Sense of Yearning

There wasn’t one bird,

Which sung,

Nor was there one leaf,

That cracked!


Calm and reserved,

She always was,

And scant and preserved,

She spoke!


But in that silence of her,

I groped for truth,

The music I never listened,

I searched for!


Like wave after wave,

New urges rushed in me,

To live this puny little life,

In nothing but her glee!


Found sense in stupidity,

And sight in utter dark,

Yet this love seems far away,

And the pendulum didn’t stop to sway!


Oh, come to me my love,

Just know this man exists,

Who lives in your hope,

Searching for the air you breathed!


For part 1 of 2

(the characters below are fictional but not the places and the experiences!)


Done with the cathedral that I awaited all day, instead of feeling lighter, I felt heavy, as if I gained all the experiences of those old days, little lost. It was like being rummaged into the past that then became a part of me.

Well, finally we were… at the proverbial crossroad. We didn’t plan that part of the day. I do not know why! Maybe for all the rush that we were in in the morning. Instinctually, I pulled out the map as if it were the solution to every problem anyone could ever have. Unsurprisingly, I found nothing more than labeled colors scattered around in tiny bits.

“So what are we gonna do now?” Pankaj – as if I am the map now! But then, an interesting idea struck me (god bless the cathedral).   We are in Belém. A short walk to anywhere and we can catch a tram or an elevator (nothing more than a tram but just that it takes people up and down the steeper streets of the city). It was six in the evening. Can roam around in the trams and be back to Belém for those egg tarts by eight just like the driver said – I thought.

“Hey,” I said, still looking into the abyss, “why don’t we take a tram?”

“Really?” He asked considering the suggestion.

I laid my thoughts out to him and the next moment, we were walking away from the monastery searching for the streets where we could find the trams. On the way, Pankaj stopped what he was saying and went to an old man sitting on the bench by the road to ask and quickly enough, I stopped him. “Lets do it ourselves.”

“You got a hell of an adventure in you suddenly!”

I thought about the cathedral again.

We walked a bit more and found tramcar tracks flowing down a steep street down to the road we were on. As soon as we turned into the street and took a few steps, a tram going up the street stopped for people to get on. We ran and climbed up the old metal steps on the tram. And then, it moved, with ease into the Portuguese street with the beautiful European buildings that looked like a piece of art each, with their tiny metal railed balconies and full bloomed flower pots.

It’s hard to call them ‘trams’ actually. It’s always only one short cabin not connected with any other, each running individually, up and down the streets. The yellow colored metal cabins were iconic of the city for they were so common and so much used by the people.

Unlike Pankaj, I did not get a seat when I got up but soon found one by the window. And the same feeling returned from the Hippo Trip. I felt lonely… and strong and self-assured. Strange and shocking to me, the sun doesn’t set here until eleven in the night. And while we were in the tram, the clouds spread themselves out into the naught and made way for the evening sun and the thin layers of rain water on the streets glittered sharp golden.

We took the tickets till the last stop and sat in desultory comfort, having no worry that could bother us. The street went higher and higher before it started descending down steep and the tram went along with it. Pankaj got up from his place in the front and sat beside me, “look at those cafés, brotha,” he said, pointing to the many cafés that were by the road, calm yet with so much activity, friends nurturing their friendship, lovers loving, families laughing their own private laughter and artists thinking deep with their cups of coffees in their hands.

“We gotta sit in one of those today. “

I thought for a moment and approved, “Why not! The Café that the cab driver suggested is just like these. I’ve seen it on the way.”

“Yeah? Okay then!” He said and after a long pause, “hey… do you see that man sitting there in the front?”

He pointed towards a man who I guessed must be in his early fifties, with his hair grey here and there. “Yeah, what were you talking to him about?”

“Listen, this guy says he studied Portuguese law, was a lawyer for a few years, got disgusted, and went to London to study Art History. Isn’t that crazy? A lawyer turned art historian who now writes for a magazine.”

“So technically, he’s also a writer and a journalist!” I said as stoically as possible.

He rolled his eyes in thinking and said, “yes!”

“What about him?”

“He said he was jobless so came out just to go around in the streets. And he agreed to join us for dinner. It’s cool right?”

I didn’t give a second thought to it, “absolutely. Seems like a hell of fun.”

He went back to the man whose name I forgot to ask and resumed his conversation and I leaned onto the sill and watched the street go by for another hour. The tram reached the end of the street. We paid for another ticket to the last stop and alighted the tram, at the same place where we got on.

On the street, standing by a shop that sold souvenirs to tourists, we introduced ourselves.

“José Miguel! Do I pronounce that right?” I asked.

With an equable smile that radiated temperament, he said, “absolutely. That’s hell of a way to pronounce for the first time. It’s a Mexican name by the way.”

We walked back down to the main road and arrived at Café Niccolo. It was modest in space but dripping with Portuguese adornment everywhere with paintings of navigators on its thin walls and full-bloomed flowers and green leaves everywhere inside. A typical café, it was not rich but was friendly and accommodating.

We have let José order the food for we had no idea about what was good. While we talked over a continuous flow of issues, the food arrived smoky with its aroma spreading all around. The diet ranged from fish to beef to prawns and the best part of it, there was not one vegetarian dish available. José and Pankaj gulped down their food with a bottle each of chilled beer. I’m a teetotaler and far from alcohol, I do not enjoy the idea of having a cool drink. As much as I get pestered into alcohol by my friends, I have abstained myself hard against it. In fact, the first conversation between Pankaj and Me when we met in law school was on our shared hatred towards alcohol and how we supposed a ban on it would better the society so much. As it can be seen, I wouldn’t mind people drinking before me, and so would I not in calling Pankaj a hypocrite either.

Our stomachs to the brim, we suspended the egg tarts for tomorrow and decided we’d go back to our hotel. José too had to head back home as fast as possible to his waiting children.

Soon, Pankaj and me were standing outside the café and it was 10:20. The sun was half set and from outside the café, it was a view.

“Evenings beautiful here aren’t they!” Pankaj said from beside looking deep at the sun.

“Want to see the other half set?”

“Do we have time?” he asked and I was sure he wanted me to say ‘yes’.

I took my eyes away from the glittering semicircle and turned towards him, “look! It’s not too often that we’d tour Lisbon. High probability that this if the first and the last time. Would it be a bad idea if I said we walk individually – you in some direction, me in some other, and both meet at the Carmo Lift in Roccio Square at say…” I looked at my watch.

“11:30?” Pankaj asked and I could find excitement flowing from his voice.

I smiled in approval, “lets meet at 11:30.”

“I’ll probably go that side between those buildings…” he said and started walking away. I turned the other side and looked intently at the houses around. To my left was a busy street whose end I couldn’t see. But a kind of affection radiated for it felt like reading a novel of Charles Dickens about his eighteenth century Europe.

The sun was almost set and the last rays of crimson lit one side of the buildings. I took the street and walked, looking at all the shops and Cafés that passed by on either side. I walked slowly randomly changing the streets as if I knew the city since birth. After a few minutes, I entered some kind of a Centre where there were huge fountains in the middle with gigantic pedestals over which men of history were standing tall in stone.

Amidst the many shops, I eyed one that sold souvenirs for tourists just like the one we had seen at the tram. I went inside and waded through the number of eccentric items on the racks. Returning the smile of the stout old woman at the counter who ran the shop, I approached the perches that held miniature versions of Portuguese attractions and took the Torre De Belém in my hand. Admiring its bitsy size, and the exactness to the real one, I bought it for 4.5 euros and moved out of the shop.

Just outside the shop, on the other side of the street, three youths were playing saxophone, drums and a keyboard and people walking by the street stopped for a minute or two, enjoyed the music with a grin of content on their faces, put a few euros in the bowl full of coins and went ahead on their way. The music was pulling and I stopped there for some time listening.

While the tune played on and on, I thought of the grumpy and sullenly look the driver who dropped us at Oeiras Station in the morning put. What could have been the reason! And suddenly it struck me, like a kick from behind. “Oh my God, we forgot to tip him,” I thought clutching my forehead. I almost laughed out loud about it.

Simpering and laughing inside for what I had done hastily in the morning, I put 5 euros in the bowl by the trail and proceeded, back onto the street and turned right by an antique shop; with the smile remnant on my face. The sun had then completely set and the night had taken over. And I kept walking on and on!


For part 1 of 2 (the first part)


(the characters below are fictional but not the places and the experiences!)


It was 9:15 in the morning and we missed the bus. I almost finished my breakfast and Pankaj told me this. I remained cool, unlike him with his hands on forehead and worry all over the face. These days, I seldom get tensed or frustrated about things, they cripple my thinking when it is most needed.

Putting the cutlery into the plate for good, I said, “Then lets make the day exciting”.

Pankaj pulled the chair and seated himself before me, “What do you mean?”

“Remember what you said in Spain?”


“You said, a tourist can never truly love a place, only a traveler can!”

Recollecting his own words, he smiled with his eyes to the floor. He jerked his face up decisively, “We need a map,” I nodded my head returning the smile, “Lets explore.”

It was after seeing Spain that I and Pankaj came to Lisbon, not very far, the second in the two cities we planned to visit. Frankly, I did not read or listen much about the city or about Portugal before, except the faint remembrance of Pankaj telling me something about Portuguese egg tart that tastes scrumptious (his choice of words), when in law school.

With no longer the co-tourists with us, we rushed through the palatial lobby of the hotel to our rooms, swapped the flashy clothes with some airy shorts and tees. Being a lawyer comes with a lot of weights – most of it of the heavy black suits that we wear each day to work. In those tees that we wore, it felt different… it felt easy.

I approached the beautiful lady at the hotel reception who must be in her forties and asked for a map. She handed it over so quickly as if she had been waiting all along for us to ask. Seeing us struggling for tourist spots in the map, another receptionist, a hefty, pale but a well-mannered man, suggested places from behind the counter in his broken English that we marked hastily… thees… veary naice… beoutteful place… ‘ave thoo veesith…

The hotel generously arranged for us a cab that took us to the train station in Oeiras. We wasted no time on the way and conjured up what seemed to us, an itinerary for the day that was both concrete as well as flexible to our timely whim! In no time, we reached the station. I got down, wearing the rucksack on my shoulders, out into the sun that was brighter than the day before, wished the driver farewell and walked into the station with Pankaj. Puzzling to us, the chauffeur gave a very insolent look to us as we left. I ignored. And in the sun blaring upon us, I knew Pankaj ignored too.

Though well equipped with automatic ticket machines, vending machines, etc., the station felt small and dingy and not having many travelers, abandoned too. Pankaj and I did not dare use the automatic ticket machine with all those names of places in Portuguese. Besides, we really wanted to communicate with people; their suaveness was something we were barely accustomed to in India and it struck us too pulling to pass up – the way they respond with their faces tilted and a beautiful smile all over them as if nothing in the world could be better.

“4 Euros, 50 Cents,” said the petite woman, pushing the tickets to us from behind the glass. We headed to lane 1 and waited there in the open air for the train. Unlike inside the station, there were many people waiting just like us, on the platform.

“These chaps are quite diversified!” Pankaj said observing intently the people around, his lips making an inverted ‘U’.

I joined him in observing – “I do see a few black people and a few Americans around here but I have to say, the Portuguese maintain great integrity in their language and ethnicity.”


“Meaning… above ninety-five percent of Portugal population is Portuguese speaking.”

Nodding his head, “you do have a point there… But where the hell did you read that?”

“I was surfing the net yesterday and thought, you know, getting interested in the country we’re in isn’t a very bad thing!”

The train came with great speed and stopped instantly and all the passengers boarded. I was surprised we did not get seats. Absolutely against my notions, the train was too crowded. Anyway, we just stood there cuddled between so many people my mind unable to think. Though this was the case, there was something very uncommon about the train that didn’t make me think low of it. I was appreciating everything when I was in. I do not know how or why. The world seemed to be like some pleasant decision I have taken.

Amidst the rush, I found a woman standing, resting on the a seat that she missed to someone else and I asked, in the politest possible way, “Excuse me, how many zones is Cais de Sodre?”

“Uhh… Three zones,” and a customary smile.

Pankaj added to the girl, “Can you prompt us when we are there, please?”

The girl plucked an earphone from her ear that must be playing some Portuguese melody, not understanding what he said.

I interrupted, “He means, can you tell us when we reach Cais De Sodre?”

“Yeah, sure!”

In a few minutes, we were off the train in the destination station. Another perusal at the appropriate part of the map, a mile’s walk on the road by the calm Tagus River and we reached Alcântara, where we planned to take a ride on the Hippo bus. Hippo trip arranges buses, which travel both on land as well as water, or the way we called them, the amphibian buses! We did not exactly know the itinerary though.

We bought two tickets and waited for the yellow bus to be ready. Slowly, other tourists joined, bought tickets and in no time, we were on the bus while it started. Pankaj and I ran to the last seats for we knew they had the best view. I was resolved I wouldn’t take my phone out for photos.

First was a city tour for about forty-five minutes and then the same bus enters onto the water in the River Tagus – that was the plan. The bus started whirring past the small and beautifully ornamented shops on the streets while the guide explained to us, the city with all the humor added. The cold air from the huge window hit on my face and I gaped at every building, every public square and the statues they had, as the bus cut through the city on the beautiful roads paved with assorted stones.

I was trying hard to understand the localities, with little success though. But at that moment, I felt alone… the most beautiful kind of loneliness if I may make some sense. Even the thought of getting off the bus in some time, made my gut feel sick for the ironical loneliness was too comforting to pass. I just put my elbow on the sill, forgot about the feeling and let the air hit my face harder, pushing my hair back and the solitude entice me.

Through with many streets and beautiful squares, we got back to the main road by the river that had many historic monuments, memorials and towers protruding from it onto the wide river. And then, a grand symphony started playing loud in the bus and slowly it had slid into the water. All roared with cheer, me included, as the bus made its way into the river. We sailed in the waters for over half an hour listening to the guide explain us all those historic buildings by The Tagus.

We turned back when we reached the end of the river where it meets the Atlantic Ocean, heading back. For a second, I wished that we didn’t turn back, that we touched the waters of Atlantic Ocean. Just that it could have been memorable. Anyway, we were back on the land as if saved from sinking, and reached the place and disembarked where we started.

To my shock, it was 1:45 in the afternoon already. Welcomed back to the land by the dark clouds that have taken over the sky, the sun went missing. “Its gonna rain today…” Pankaj said, “It’s gonna be awesome!”

I felt irritated by the thought of rain. I always despised it for the way that it made things uncomfortable – sticky clothes, dirty roads, droplets all over the spectacles and a very, very gloomy city. “Oh, I hate this. Does it have to be only today.”

“Come on,” Pankaj stretched the words, “don’t be a drama queen.”

“Drama queen? What’s that supposed to mean?” He walked as if he didn’t hear me, “You said rain was awesome and then you call me a drama queen?”

“Get some testosterone!”

This guy is the most difficult one I have ever befriended. Difficult to be with and even difficult to let go off.

We walked almost half a mile for a taxicab stand and approached a lone taxi standing.

“Jerónimos Monastery,” I said to the driver from the half open window glass of the black sedan.

“Mosteiro dos Jerónimos,” he assured in Portuguese and indicated us to get in.

“You know, you don’t ask if he’s willing to take you,” Pankaj said as soon as we sat in.

I looked intensely waiting for him to continue.

“You can just get in the car and tell him where you’d like to go.”

“What if he doesn’t know the route”?

“Dude,” he gave me his signature look that says – how much dumber can you get – “he uses…”

“Okay!” I interrupted, “he uses a GPS”.

We started off to the monastery from Alcântara. It started to get dimmer and dimmer around in the afternoon for the clouds ruled the whole of the sky. The driver, an old man with no hair above him, drove so deeply lost in his driving. “Hi,” I started the conversation in quite an awkward manner, “can you suggest us some good restaurants around, if possible”?

“Oh… uhh… you are going to Mosteiro dos Jerónimos which is in Belém. If you want to eat lunch, there is a café Niccolo, nearby.” And got lost in his thinking again, “there is a café nearby called Pastéis de Belém. Most famous for uhh… Pasties de nata. You know Pasties de nata?”

I did not. Pankaj cut in, “yeah, yeah… the egg tart!”

The driver replied with great exclamation, “Oh! Okay! Egg Tart. Yes, that’s what you call it.”

“So what’s special about this place?”

He swerved the cab on to a street and said, “It sell… uhh… the best egg tart in Portugal. You can have a good dinner there. So go out in evening and come back by eight uh clock. Huge line for the egg tart… but try!”

“Sure,” I said, “thank you!”

“No problem,” he stuttered.

The taxi dropped us at Café Niccolo, not a very Portuguese type of a café but was quite different in the taste that it served. We had some burgers with coke and some deserts – nothing exquisite, and extra tipped the waitress for good service.

Soon, we were before the brilliant Jerónimos Cathedral looking at it in awe, at its historical architecture and gothic style. We went along with the moving crowd into the cathedral. It was a tall and wide cathedral stretching long, with all sorts of historic scenes, voyages, sailors, battles and other religious and Portuguese carvings over its stonewalls. It was lit by candles and was crowded with tourists.

As soon as we were in, we realized two things. One, that all have come in groups of at least more than five and have arranged a guide for themselves, two, that we cannot do without one. So, I started being the lawyer that I was and pried into a group, which seemed peculiar. It was diversified and none knew each other. I pulled Pankaj along and curtly stepped inside and joined. Now, we have a guide too, a tall, bald-headed man with Portuguese slang but a perfectly grammatical English.

“Hmmm!” – Pankaj said – “Impressive move!”

The guide took us through the importance of everything in the cathedral cum monastery. It was particularly surprising to see Vasco da Gama’s tomb inside and to imagine his bones underneath. On the huge glass windows were the typical evangelical paintings in rich resplendent colors. One such striking painting on a huge glass window that was on the right side, was of Vasco da Gama praying, along with his co-sailors, before embarking upon a sea voyage to nowhere, that later turned out to be India, in 1498. Then, on the other side was the actual church with people praying. I did not have many words to talk to Pankaj or anyone at that moment but to think only intensely about what I was seeing.

The sculptures in gold, the decrepit utensils made of precious metals and stones and everything inside was a work of brilliant historic sagacity. I do not know what it was, but the composure of the cathedral was inspiring and very enticing to my heart – it was attracting and pulling stopping me from leaving.

After an hour of admiration, we all moved out and the guide did not stop there but started to preach about the outer peripheral magnificence of the cathedral, about its dimensions, the carvings and statues on the front, with a statue of King Emanuel I and above it, another of a mother holding a baby, that suggested assurances of protection and help when navigators of the olden days needed it.

For part 2 of 2

Tar Smoothens

These days, I am seldom left jobless at home. Some or the other work gets me started every day. I have been learning to drive not since very long. Today, I had to go to the ophthalmologist and the dentist for routine check-ups (by the way, I am no 80 years old… just 19) and could hardly give up the chance to drive. I started wheeling through the mild traffic while the driver sat beside guiding me. Feet and hands at work, it was ethereal moving on the road into the orange crimson light of the dim dying sun. With slight jerks as if the car had pangs and short stretches of smooth movement, I drove towards my nearby destination. When all on the road were happily descending to their homes tired from work, I had energy running through every vein and nerve of my body! At that moment, life felt calm, free from the troubling baggage it comes with and passions were lulled to sleep, while the car levitated through the scattered vehicles around, in motion consonant with mine!

THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London – Book Review


The Call of the Wild written by Jack London is a book published in 1903 that garnered great respect in literary, social, and psychological and many artistic fields for depiction of allegorical experience. Among so many novels of similar kind like My Dogs of Northland and Orianda Animals, The Call of the Wild stands out to be a remarkable literary work of fiction by itself.

The book is about a dog named Buck, which is kidnapped from a comfortable house where it lived as pet and is mistreated by numerous people who own it later. Averting one such mistreatment, John Thornton, takes the physically and mentally feeble Buck under his wing and nourishes it with all the love he could give which Buck does not fail to return.

In the end, when a few Indians, primitive as they are, cause the death of Thornton and his other dogs, Buck, who survives by roaming around in the woods at the time of killing, takes revenge by fatally wounding the Indians. It then involuntarily recollects the days it spent in the forest in a primordial manner, fighting and killing other dogs, etc. It answers this call by joining a pack of wolves in the woods and returns in solitude to mourn over Thornton’s death every year.

The story is emotionally surreal and its beauty lies in its thematic haziness. The theme of the story or the message the story tries to deliver are so hazy that anyone would be able to find his own special interest in it. It is a short book of only 103 pages and is recommended for every one of all age groups. Though the language is half cooked and may not be as splendid as everything else in and about the book, The Call of the Wild certainly stands unmatched by any other in its allegory and its construction of the story.

Look Where The Little Girl Goes

Till yesterday, nothing mattered to me. I breathed and walked past everything. Rarely did I ever find importance in things or ideas. I was just swaying in the air unconcerned – about anything. But then things started to become interesting in my life. The tops of the mountains that I little noticed in the years I have been in the place started to seem beautiful. The evening sunlight illuminating their curves gold. My walk from school to home has never been this interesting. I feel like walking and walking and do nothing else. I just want to admire everything I could – to take all the beauty in… at once. The ever moist weeds beside the road full of ruts of travellers, the everyday afternoon rain and the clouds; yes, the clouds – those divine curves with gloom on one side and silver linings on the other. No, I’m not going insane, Sana too asked me the same when I told this to her today at school. It’s just that I started loving my life. It has been a month since my mom shifted with my little sister and me to this place. I had been depressed all along about the region with few people or friends to play with. But everything’s all right now. I know I might not have many people here to jump around with. But I just want to live my life away looking at the mountains and thinking about possibilities. But before I leave to the solitary roads all around; to walk my time away, please tell me – ISN’T IT PRETTY TO THINK SO?


It’s long past my waking time but its Sunday. I turn and turn on my bed and finally moor to my right looking at the room balcony’s glass doors bright with sunlight. I can see different rays of light piercing with ease into the room. But then I wonder, why am I not seeing the tiny dust particles that float in thousands in the air and glitter in sunlight. Is the air so fresh or did I not open the balcony for long? The old man in the neighboring house that is just behind my bedroom is shouting in anger at someone, maybe his other neighbor, and I also can hear some children laughing their sweet unperturbed laughter. The room is growing chillier and I start gaping for the A/C remote on the bed. Switching it off, I curl myself back again into the thick heavy blanket and close my eyes. It felt like huge amounts of stress have been busted in that one second when I closed my eyes. But sleep was hard to get. You remember, I have slept long through my waking time! And then I open back my eyes for floods of sunlight to come in. I ask myself, how much longer am I going to stay in bed this way? Just then, I shudder inside remembering my family that does exist in the same house, maybe frantically going about their daily work just outside my bedroom door and wonder why mom has not knocked to wake me for it must be 9:30 or something. I then fixed my eyes on the books on the desk adjacent to my bed, heavily lit by the sunlight; East Of Eden, the fat and hardbound River Of Smoke and below the two, the thin yet magnificent Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck. These books then took my thoughts over. Will I be able to read the fat River Of Smoke to the end? And then the bigger questions found their way; what is it that I would gain from reading so many books? Will I ever be able to write books like these authors have did? What must they have felt when their book has been a huge success? I close my eyes again trying to wade all thoughts away from my mind and then start to hear the play of children outside my balcony, on the road maybe, grow louder and louder in laughter. After a while, as time passed through this sulky laxity on my bed, I also start to hear the old man shouting again and wonder if its me who ignored him all the while or he had who had stopped his caterwauling for a while. With no interest whatsoever of getting out of this Sunday bed, I try again falling asleep and close my eyes, clutching the blanket tight to my body. Surprisingly, sleep strikes me this time and I let my body and mind slip into its restful hold. I then slept and slept as if competing with some other sleeper and maybe I am dreaming in my sleep now, of flowers and Sundays – and of children and their laughter.

On The Air Port Floor…



Stood she on the airport floor,

The sun glinted on her skin gold,

And waited before her the door,

To a new world to unfold.


Her lover watched her turn around,

One last glimpse before into the door,

His face darkened by the sun behind,

One last glimpse, once more!


Her luggage slipped from her hand,

On to the airport ground,

Eyes couldn’t help but give way!

And the world seemed to go round and round!


By and by she started to run,

Leaving behind her luggage,

Ran she into the sunshine,

Finally an outlet for an inner rage!


Stopped before him with watery eyes,

On the airport floor,

In the evening of crimson light…

She hugged him tight.

Motivationally Shri Shri Koteswara Rao – Translated by Pratheek M Reddy

Authors Note:

Shri Shri Koteswara Rao is a prominent speaker in Telugu with fans from almost all parts of Telugu speaking land. His speeches were famed to be very powerful and transformational in nature. Since the time he started delivering speeches, he was known to have changed and helped people better their lives spiritually, motivating them to work harder and achieve their goals. He, unlike other motivational speakers, used primarily the anecdotes and excerpts from Ramayana and other Indian epics to incite a feeling of solicit and concern in listeners. A deeply religious, and morally rigorous man, Koteswara Rao is one those few people who have the power and mental pith to draw people towards their words to transform and augment their souls. The following essay is an effort to broach up and convey his words to Anglophones who haven’t been introduced to the words of this great man.


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Koteswara Rao : –

The thing that thwarts success from most is their laziness. Because of this four-letter word, all students do not become successful in their endeavors. A teacher lectures all the students equally and not differentially or discriminatorily but all do not become great in their lives – all do not turn out to be an inspiration to their progeny.

The reason is, only those who listen with great concentration only will be the one. Milking a cow is not the issue normally. How attentively you milk the cow, without indulging in talks with other people in the process, with immense concentration so as to not let the milk spill out of the tumbler or the bucket is what makes the difference. Only he who does it in this way will be considered good at milking a cow and not anyone else. Likewise, those students who while a teacher lectures, allow only the words and thoughts of that teacher into their buckets called ears and nothing else will be considered great students.

Time is the most valuable asset human beings can ever have. A student, for an example, plans to study something a day but at the same time, there is some distraction on the TV like a movie of his favorite star or a cricket match with his favorite team. He then changes the plan to watching TV and then, studying later. This happens with many a student everyday and they end up studying nothing for months until exams arrive and when they arrive, they are in huge panic. The time lost is lost forever and for the same reason, time is compared to the great Yamuna River, which never ever travels backwards.

This student’s classmate, who had been once upon a time, sitting beside him studying, stops at a red light on the road in his seventy lakh rupees car with a good wife sitting beside him and just beside this flamboyant car, stops out student on a bicycle. When both have studied at the same place with equally good parents, why did one buy a car that costs seventy lakhs and the other nothing but a cycle? The only reason is because he had not put the required concentration at the appropriate time in his life.

In any student’s life, post tenth class is the most essential time. It is unimaginably crucial for his success in life when, even a second of time wasted is a great and incorrigible mistake, which would cost him beyond his ken. Had he, the same student, put enough concentration is those five years of his life, like the other student has done, he could’ve live a happy life in great comfort. But, he had wasted that essential time by getting attracted to what is not permanent and temporary attractions and satisfactions due to which, he would be spending the rest of his life in remorse for his mistake and regretting that while his friend could become someone great, he lagged behind in the puny and paltry.

There are some mistakes in life which can be corrected, and some not. A mistake of wasting time is the goriest of all mistakes and cannot be corrected by means whatever. For this reason, rishis give utmost importance and reverence to time by planning each day of their lives perfectly so as to not give any leeway for wastage. This also brings me to another issue. The time of night is not correct for doing intelligent things. It is the time of night that gives way to thoughts of depression, reminding us of our problems and other undesired thoughts. A student has to get up early in the morning and study. One must sleep when all do and the same must be intelligent at the time when all are or ought to be.

A student is not forced to visit the temple everyday, nor is he forced to indulge in great pujas and other religious rites. When he has his parents, who are his God and Goddess, and the divinest of all, he has not reason to visit temples everyday. A person in his student life has to study and only study, which would later in his life give him all the strength and beauty to lead a comfortable and respectable life. Such a student will be lauded in future as a very systematic and great man. There may be many problems and worries in the future when you grow up which would hinder you from studying. But a student’s life is where there are no worries and there is a loving mother and a father who would buy him books with great love. No parent will ever say to his or her child to watch TV, when that child wants to study.

Another great concern of mine regarding today’s students is their usage of cellphone. A father in a family holds a phone for reasons necessary. He is the caretaker of the home and should require a phone, but why does a student whose work should only be studying, require a phone? A phone can corrupt a young mind as much as it can and when this abhorable object is handed to a young student who does not have the required maturity to use it properly, why would he not get deviated from what is right and venture into that which is wrong?

Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s second Prime Minister, had to cross a river in order to reach his school. A day, when he did not have the money to pay the boat man his fee, and the boat man had asked him to get into the boat and that it would not be a problem, Lal Bahadur Shastri questioned him as to why he should enter without paying what he had to and swam across the river with his books satcheled in his shirt. This great man has spawned wonders in his life, which have prided not just his parents but also the nation.

Today’s parents are working really hard to their utmost abilities so that their children will not have any problems that will deviate them from studies. The problems that existed in the past exist no more. So when parents are working really hard and the teachers are always forthcoming to help the student study happily, he should have concentration on other thing than studying.

The students of the present day need to understand and feel the tremendous amount of efforts great achievers in their lives have put in to be established in their respective professions. A P J Abdul Kalam, for example, had to collect stacks of news papers thrown out of a speeding train for there was no stop at his place and distribute them travelling on a bicycle to each house and then in the evening again, he has to visit each house to collect the bill. But, in between, he used to sit among people with great dreams in life and comprehended book after book with lot of concentration and reverence. This man has later become one of the greatest scientists our country has ever seen. We need to emulate the life stories of such great people and try to walk on their footsteps.

Another major reason for misuse of time by people is because of a vicious characteristic of people called laziness. Whenever you think or plan of doing something, you have to do it and that’s the end of that matter. If we see the work that great people have done, they awe us; we need to recognize the amount of effort that has gone in. And here we are, thinking it is okay to study three days before the exam and planning how to wail the time away.

Another reason why man is normally spoilt is because of unnecessary talk – gossip or prate. Only that person talks the unnecessary and nonsense who does not have goals in life, who does not want to get into a profession, who does not read books. Worse, it is not just him that is spoilt but the person who listens too, hence, augmenting the damage. You must talk only when you feel it is productive or necessary. It is insane and absurd a mistake to be wasting time talking unproductively which, successful people never do.

Further, Gandhiji has said – if you want to achieve anything in life, the most primary requisite is bravery. He said – We need to take pride in what we do and should not falter to anything if we believe we are doing that which we rightly should be doing. Durga Bhai Deshmukh heard this speech and was completely transformed and went on to become one of the greatest personalities of India who has penned down a book in Telugu called Maatlade Raallu or Talking Stones. In the book, she gives me goose bumps when she writes – a great man who works hard and gives utmost respect to time can earn crores and crores of rupees while any crores and crores of rupees will not make a man like that.

A P J Abdul Kalam says – whatever you want to become, a writer, a singer, a lawyer, a doctor, is your decision. But you have to be at the zenith of your profession and should be talked about even after death. For things such as this to happen, one must understand, again I reiterate, the importance of time. Those, who, in their student days study and only study only will stand tall in future and will be lauded as great. Only those who use this time to its utmost will be successful in their life in future in all spheres.

Many a great man has left behind many things in their lives but time. Arabindo, the great spiritual leader, was once imprisoned in a gaol in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, during independence struggle in harshest of the conditions where the body wouldn’t fit to lye flat on the ground for the prison was so small. Even drinking water was a great hardship. Other prisoners couldn’t bear the silence and used to shout their lungs out and die after which their bodies were thrown into a river. But this man was not impatient. He spent all his days reading Bhagawatgita and other Indian classics and rose up to become one of the greatest personalities mankind has ever seen. Even Nehru, when was imprisoned for the same reason, spent all his days authoring books that achieved the status of classics today and do not fail to inspire and rejuvenate even today’s youth to social issues.

As Gandhi says, when we are pursuing something that is worth pursuing, we should fear nothing and absolutely nothing that would come on the way. Those who work hard in their lives and value time more than anything will shine bright and will be role models and motivation to millions others. This way, you should get inspired by great people and emulate them, trying to walk on the paths that they have taken with immense effort and hard hard word.



            “When you reach an obstacle, turn it into and opportunity. You have the choice. You can overcome and be a winner, or you can allow it to overcome you and be a loser. The choice is yours and yours alone.”

  • Mary Kay Ash



                                                                               – Pratheek M Reddy



Into Delhi We Went…


The First rays of the day lit the room faintly while my phone started to alarm. I gaped with my eyes closed, for the phone. Switched the alarm off and got off the bed, called to wake up the birthday goose Karl Braganza and then in a jiffy, I was out of my room all ready for an extraordinary day ahead. I knew that there were only about nine days left to semester exams and I had to submit a legal methods assignment the next day. I thought I would leave these asides my brain for the one-day just to feel free of academic weight.

I went to Karl’s room, and standing in the balcony, made a few calls to my Mom, Dad and grandma, all of whom were quite disturbed by me not calling since a week ago. Karl, Jami, his room mate, a silently awesome guy, Dhruv Patwari, the funniest kiddo ever, Abhay, who has no control over his reactions to peoples’ jokes and comments, Uday, whose last name I do not know of and me, the self proclaimed rock star, went to the dining hall where we met with Swetha, a very good friend of mine and Joysheel who had become one as the day matured. We all had a boring breakfast and walked to the main gate where we got into an Innova, from where, we drove off – into unknown roads, small yet important pleasures and hell a lot of good memories – we were on our way to Delhi.

We got down in Jahangir Puri and took a metro to Saket. The metro ride was not a jot like I expected. It was clean, spick and span and the people were disciplined in their conduct. As soon as I got into the metro, the first word that struck my mind was ‘posh’. Dhruv was cracking jokes non-stop while Abhay couldn’t resist from pointing his finger to every passenger he was talking about. We got down at Saket and went to PVR cinemas and quickly sat in the theatre already missing half an hour of Intestellar movie. The movie was so awesome that I couldn’t rise from my seat after the movie was over and Dhruv, who sat beside me, started praising the movie so much and didn’t stop that the whole day.

From there, we roamed into and around different malls amidst crowds that seemed dejected and lost yet active and agile, and finally found our eyes on crispy cream donuts that were very pleasing to the eyes. With not a word from any of our mouths, that were to be pleased too, we went ahead and feasted upon some of the best donuts I’ve ever had. I was then quite taken aback on knowing peoples’ stomachs weren’t filled yet. So, we headed to TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) and ordered pizzas. We had some of the best time and pizzas there. We talked a lot and also discussed about how each person in the group has met the others each for the first time. After our lunch, we had a few very good moments together captured in our cameras and went out of the mall where, Swetha and Karl have bought a gas balloon the resembled a zebra with much childish excitement.

We headed then, to metro station where sadly the zebra that hovered over our heads for over an hour has breached Swetha’s hold and went up flying only to be stuck to the ceiling of the metro station. We boarded the metro train anyways and after a good one hour more or less of travel, and a long walk on footpaths by roads with traffic and people that seemed a bit different and unusual in a way, we arrived at Palika Bazaar where we bought many a miscellaneous thing especially me with an air-gun, a badge with a smiley on it, a cap that would cover my ears (which I sure am not going to use in the coming few years before I lose all memory of it) and other such puny things in my bag.

Then, we walked for a very long time by the shops, cafés, bars and pubs of Connaught Place amidst people who looked quite amusing. Something in their conduct insinuated ingenuity, specifically in their frantic and frenzy. All people were rushing hither and thither, though I’m sure, without the need. A very fat lady walking, carrying all her bodily luggage, with a half emptied packet of groundnuts in her hands, without any concern or inhibition of people like me who would smirk surreptitiously, a motivating old man with a stick in his hand which seemed to be the only thing that helped him walk, moving forward in the best of his speeds with tenor that seemed to rout all fear from old age and others many such, of the most general of common public have allured, fascinated and interested me.

Finally, after a leg paining walk, we settled ourselves in a café for some snacks for about more than half an hour. We ate and had much fun with each other over the lamest of our jokes and funniest of our laughs with not a worry about time, which by then had reached its scant. Having paid the shockingly huge bill, we got ourselves out of there and walked to the metro station again to head back to Jahangir Puri from where we would take a cab back to the university – to call it day – a day spent with throbbing pitch at an exhilarating pace defeating the daily monotony of time giving it, the littlest of our concern and worry.

We reached the campus at 9:30 in the evening (you might as well call it night) and the food that we ordered from a nearby dhaba called Mughals over phone on our way back from Jahangir Puri had arrived diligently. We seated ourselves in the dining hall and had the tasty food and crazily, headed to Amul to have ice cream as if the chill of the night hasn’t satiated us. Relieved and tired, all have separated to their rooms to acquiesce with all that the day did offer, while I went to Pranav’s room to have some good chat and then to Karl Braganza’s room to wish him and Jami good night.

This way passed one of the best days I, and maybe others too, have had in the recent. I patted myself to have taken time to have fun on that day with people who became the best of my buddies since, and then I closed my eyes to sleep perpetuated deep by bodily tiredness while my brain spurned one insane dream after another about me having supernatural powers of flight and stealing half written manuscripts from Dan Brown… God, what a day it was!