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!

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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?

OF FLOWERS AND SUNDAYS

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…

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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.

*

P.S.

            “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

 

 

LOWLY SOULS BLUE – Short Story (Part 2 of 2)

For Part I of the story, LOWLY SOULS BLUE – Short Story (Part I of 2)

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The automobile factory was open and on work all round the day, the week and the year. People there worked like machines for nothing but a few pennies a day. Workers there did not have life; they were lifeless bodies. They were just machines except that they were not made of iron and steel. A writer like Trevor didn’t have to commit crimes against the humanity to reach hell, poverty would take care of that.

Sales of automobiles have been halved in the past year and the production too had to follow. This factory in Dunningham was one of the few factories doing better. Nevertheless, their employees already were a burden on the factory, option of new employees, very grim. Trevor was said that the application had not been considered yet and that it would take time.

 

“Hey!” someone shouted out his lungs running towards Trevor while he was leaving the factory. Trevor turned back feeling strange. People calling him this way was very rare. Last time someone shouted his name out loud in the public was when Louise wished him bye from aboard a train, leaving to her Mom’s, in Birkshire.

It was his brother Edmond in blue cartons with a factory cap. Trevor was shocked not on seeing his brother, but the cap he wore. The hell he worked in the factory?

“Brother” Trevor replied pretending happy but he knew inside, a real good novel feeling was radiating through the idea of companionship.

“What the hell ya’ doin’ here?”

Ignoring the question, “Are you working here, brother?” Trevor asked.

“What?”

“The cap. That. Factory cap.” Trevor pointed to his head.

“Oh, this! I made a friend here in the factory. We were just playing around. I forgot to return it.”

“Brother.”

“Tell me, Trevor. You seem troubled.”

“I applied for a job here in the factory.”

“Yeah. Louise told me the other day I met her in the market. Why the hell would you do that? There’s no chance to find job in this factory. Any factory for that matter.”

“You said you have a friend here in the factory.”

“Huhhuh.”

“Is there any way…”

“No, no, no way Trevor. The conditions of the economy are so bad now, that friend of mine is shivering in fear of losing her own job in the next month. The management is throwing all the front line workers out with stupid and trivial reasons. I don’t understand how in Satan’s name the management never finds any problem with itself. If you ask me, I would say, the management and the other authorities that are sprouted in the recent years are bigger a burden than the menial workers.”

“Is your friend a girl?”

“Yeah.” Edmond looked awkwardly at Trevor. Their eyes met and Trevor turned his eyes away spontaneously. “Why would you ask me that?”

“Nothing. Was just curious.”

“How is Louise doing?”

A long silence pursued after which, he replied, “Bad.” He looked into Edmonds eyes this time as if yearning for help, for solicit. And continued slowly swaying his head, “worse.”

Edmond put his hand on Trevor’s with brotherly concern, “Why don’t you say something to her.” He turned his gaze away from Trevor, “She ain’t none to treat you that way.”

“She started to become restless since she got to know about her Aunt Paulette’s deteriorating health. She speaks barely with me. Only when very necessary.”

“Trevor, you have to talk back. You have to restore your dignity and not fall into ridicule this way. Doesn’t blood in your body rise when you are mistreated?” he said with a sad yet, unwavering tone. “God, I would’ve slapped my wife and locked her up for a week if she did even half of what Louise is doing to you.”

“No, brother.” Trevor said helplessly. “I can’t do it.”

“Why can’t you brother? You like it in your home? Getting insulted by your wife all day. Soon, people too would start talking. What would you do then?”

“Its not that I do not get angry when she does that, Edmond. My blood, like anyone else’s, does heat up when she does that to me. But, when I get to that level where I feel I would lose my control, I remind myself, she is the love of my life. You talk about beating her up. It’s not very difficult, brother. Trust me its easy. But she is the woman I loved; I kept her to my heart all the while. Now, just for the things aren’t very smooth, I can’t lose all that I hold for her in me. I love her, brother, a lot. I cannot raise my hand on her like you say to do; not in my dreams.”

“Well, you are one hell of a crazy stubborn. Sometimes, you have to do that which you do not like to attain that what you like,” the elder brother looked away hopelessly, “I can’t help you better, brother.”

*************************************************************

Louise was sitting on the porch her eyes lost in deep thinking. Trevor came back. On seeing him, she put across the obvious question as quick as possible pretending a dejected and insipid look, “What happened? What did they say?”

Trevor locked the gate behind him and turned to Louise. She was bad at pretending to be uninterested. “It’ll take time. My application has not yet been considered yet. She tightened her lips and looked at the floor lapsing back into her interrupted thinking. She was angry again.

An hour passed on the porch. From afar, she could see a plump, fat man in an officer suit coming towards on a bicycle. Yes! She could see the man; she could sense danger. She ran into the house and jerked Trevor away from his typewriter. “What happened?”

“Phifficus is coming. Move your ass, goddamn it. We are not at home. Go, go. Lock the door from outside. Run to the back and enter from the kitchen. Run, run. Run you. Quick.” By the time Phifficus covered half the distance to their house, the house was locked from the front door with both in the hall waiting for time to pass. “Haven’t seen a man more a harass than him. Didn’t reply to one of his letters and he’s home now,” she whispered and then scowled at Trevor, “and you on the other hand earn not a dime to make this loan up. To hell with this world.”

*************************************************************

“Louise.” Trevor called inquisitively.

No reply.

Again, softer, “Louise, what are you doing.”

Clutching all clothes in her tight fists and throwing them down into a suitcase, “I’m done here.”

A lump rose in Trevor’s throat. “Louise.”

Leaving the clothes aside, she turned defiantly to him, “What?” she cut sharply.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Why do you think?”

Trevor gathered strength, if not now, it would be very difficult in future. “Louise, I know I have been a bit apathetic to your condition and Aunt Paulette’s. But give me one more chance. It’s just a matter of time. Every thing will be all right. Aunt Paulette will be alright.”

“All right? When will she be all right? After she dies?”

“Louise, come on. I think I deserve a chance.”

She resumed to stuffing the suitcase on the floor with her clothes. “You keep thinking while Aunt Paulette dies.”

“For God’s sakes woman, She WILL – NOT DIE.” Louise looked at him taken aback by the power she had heard in Trevor’s voice for the first time. “I promise. Your aunt will be fine. She will be all right. Everything will be all right. I love you.”

To the last expression, she lapsed back into her fury from hopelessness, “bull shit.”

He pursed his lips with his eyes turning misty now, finding no direction to stop Louise from going. To make her believe, he does love her and that Aunt Paulette will be fine. She would definitely be fine – Trevor needed just a few more days – he knew it – he should’ve told her – he lacked the courage.

It was all falling apart, like a house made of cards blown away by the marsh winds, tight and sharp. He moved his eyes left and right frantically for words. None struck. If anything could be done, he knew it was then. Else, his shyness and inhibition would take him completely over. But he couldn’t decide to reveal the truth – the secret that he had kept to himself for long.

Louise again broke her work and tuned toward him and cut sharply, “Give me the locker keys.” Trevor’s eyes turned to her, quick in astonishment. “Trevor, give me the damn keys to the locker. I need my jewelry.” Trevor stayed unmoved, as hard as ice. “What the hell is wrong with you? I need the locker keys.”

“I can’t give them.” Trevor said in fear of his little secret’s revelation.

“Trevor give me the keys. This is the last time I am asking you. Trevor…”

Trevor moved back, “I cannot. And I am not going to.”

Louise, shocked with his guts, “Tell me, Trevor. What have you done with my jewelry?” she asked thinning her eyes, pursing her lips.

“What have you done to them, Trevor? Give – me – the keys – to – the – locker – for Christ’s sakes.”

Slowly, a pair of keys clinked from Trevor’s hands to Louise’s snatch. Choosing for the right key, in frustration, Louise reached the locker in the room, put the key into the hole and turned it hard. The rusty metal door of the locker creaked open. Louise was petrified in bewilderment.

*************************************************************

There were four rolled bundles of pink notes, neatly held together in rubber bands, warm in the locker. Louise brought one out into light and held it, bemused. Trevor looked down in shock to what has happened. He had to get ready for whatever Louise is going to ask. His secret hadn’t been revealed yet. It was waiting.

“Trevor, what is this” Louise has asked in a very soft voice as if she held no authority over Trevor. It had been many months since she has spoken like that. “Where did you get all this, Trevor?” she asked again looking into his eyes in a sad, yet astonished way.

“I have been saving then, Louise,” a gulp, “for Aunt Paulette.”

“What?” she gasped as if exasperated. “How did you find all this money?”

She was not angry now; at all. She was sad; very sad.

“I told you,” Trevor said, on verge of tears, “Aunt Paulette will be fine.” He continued, “Everything will be all right.”

 

“Trevor,” Louise asked the question, “were you publishing those novels you were writing?

. . .

 

 

~THE END~

 

For Part I of the story, LOWLY SOULS BLUE – Short Story (Part I of 2)

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for you have taken your valuable time out to read this story I wrote.                                                                                          

An Unholy Disturbance…

The night was calm like water in a lake lonely. But soon, ruffles formed. The water moved. Rippled formed. Drops of water started shooting up into the air gesticulating the ruffle underneath the water. Those waters were received by the Satan. Something extraordinary was in line. A short time was the only thing that was between the evil and the then present. The vagaries were churning themselves in the waters. It exploded. Like something that had been gathering strength since years, it came bursting out of the troubled waters. Into the air rose the mountain king turning the nature, the trees of the darkness, the plants, the water under him, the sand, the whole goddamn earth was in his hands while a crescendo of music rose into the air. The Satan laughed startlingly roaring into the air to the deafeningly gory music that didn’t stop yet to increase its volume. The evil waded through the water. The waters that turned unholy just seconds ago before us tried to catch hold of the devilish creature that was spawned. The music grew louder – unbearably louder while the evil ghost made his way on the land gasping the air of the night that was no more cold due to the devilish music. The land and every thing and being on it too is in his wrathful clutches.

He roared facing up to the sky over the sound of the music declaring his power over everything. Thus pursued, the unholy disturbance.