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

 

 

Into Delhi We Went…

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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!

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.                                                                                          

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

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

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6:11 pm – Louise Powell’s watch showed diligently like always. She was tired from work at the Smithson’s bakers in London just like every day. The evening bus had arrived at the bus stop, twenty minutes late as usual. She held on her shoulder her smirched satchel firmly, that smelled of the bakery: the flour, dough, sugar, cream, and customers; nothing unlike everyday. On this day, not like any other day of Louise’s life for about half a year, the rickety yellow bus with weary tires and weary passengers’ faces welcomed her differently.

She climbed the bus and reached for the conductor for a ticket. Handed him the exact change she daily kept ready and waited for a ticket while the embarking and the exiting passengers made chaos in the bus. The ticket didn’t yet reach Louise’s hand. She sensed something wrong. Realizing the conductor had mistakenly given it to a woman who grabbed the chance and curtly sat in her seat, “You!” she startled everyone in the bus, “you stole my ticket.”

The woman gave a strange look pretending to not know anything. “Mister” Louise now to the conductor, “where is my ticket?”

“What ticket?” the conductor replied puzzled.

“It’s me who gave you the money. I want my ticket. That woman has stolen it.”

The driver was furious for the delay by the conductor to signal to start. The tired, rustic passengers were furious with the whole goddamn commotion and of course the delay. Louise was furious for her stolen ticket.

“It’s my ticket that woman holds. She has stolen it from the conductor.”

Then the conductor was furious, “Don’t play around for a ticket not even a shilling, woman. I didn’t see you giving me money and I do not make mistakes when it comes to tickets.” He said in anger to Louise.

The women, sitting in the seat behind the conductor, acted completely oblivious to what was happening, having more knowledge than anyone in the bus, to the same.

“Shut up, you crazy woman.” “What in God’s name is the problem there?” “Get the hell out of the bus and do your stupid business outside” the passengers yelled in thousand different voices.

Reaching over all these voices Louise shouted shaking with anger for her ten-farthing ticket, “Well. Ask this woman, this thief, the cost of the ticket. Yeah?” she turned to the woman, the thief, “you say that, bitch. How much does the ticket exactly cost?”

She had been caught; she knew that and for the same, she couldn’t be furious at being called a bitch. Stumbling for words, she couldn’t help but look down at the ticket in her hand for the answer. The ticket was handed over to its rightful owner and the bus boom started, leaving a pile of smoke from behind. It was heading to Dunningham village, a beautiful village in the suburbs, an hour distant from London. The year was 1929 and the great depression was burning blue.

 

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

LOWLY SOULS BLUE

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

 

Trevor sat by his study with his desk before him that held a typewriter, a stack of pieces of paper, a pen by an ink-pot and a few books; two fictions and one biography of Leo Tolstoy. The room was this unpublished struggling writer’s office for about a year now. He hadn’t written anything published, a lot that was publishable though. Why he hadn’t published was a secret he kept to himself. As to his wife, Louise Powell, he was a pathetic writer for the only obvious reason that he had published nothing. Same was the case with relatives on both Louise and Trevor’s side.

Trevor was, and had always been lonely and silent with not more than just a couple of friends. He had been mistreated numerous times by high school bullies to thugs on the streets. People knew he had nothing to give them, and that they got nothing with him, which had ironically been the main player for all mistreatment. A person, from whom people expect, is a powerful one, one who has got something to give. But Trevor: just a weak suburban who spends most of his time in his small lonely study, spawning nothing. People did not have any idea about what was going on in this little, lonely room. His greatness did not see the daylight outside yet; for again reasons he kept to himself.

The great depression was resulting in utter chaos outside. Farmers to teachers to lawyers to businessmen – everyone were drastically affected with the economic infection. Books were the last thing people bought. Only a couple of big playing publishing houses were accepting manuscripts. If at all anyone had to publish a book, it had to be through private self-publication. People thought Trevor lacked the money to do so.

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

 

“World is hell outside. Hell it is. Filled with thieves, dacoits, robbers, pilferage all around, thieving all around,” Louise reached home with all these words mumbling to herself furiously.

Trevor stood by, looking at her and she looked back at him, “what?” she spat out. “Why are you burning me with those stupid eyes of yours?”

“Nothing…” A long silence pursued. “You look angry today” he said hesitantly with no expression on face.

“What else should I be looking like? With you at house, our poverty, Aunt Paulette dying, the people outside behaving bloody, what else do you expect me to look like?”

“No. No. Nothing.” – Trevor’s usual reply to his wife’s bursts of anger. These spasms of fury of Louise have increased to unbearable levels since six months after she got to know of her Aunt Paulette’s condition at the state hospital. Trevor always lost his hold on words when this happened and as usual, remained silent and took all the anger spat at him and insult made of him, by his wife.

 

“Did you get any letter from Phifficus?” Louise asked Trevor while he was busy typing.

Taking the hands off the typewriter instantly, “What letter?”

“Did – You – Get – Any –Letter – From – The – Bloody – Landlord?” she raised her voice in rage.

Trevor looked at the floor as if gaping in the air for answer and replied, “I haven’t checked.”

“Why the hell can’t you do one thing right? It is me who has to do every thing. And – and – and I should thank you for giving me the honor of being the sole breadwinner of the house too. You earn not a dime with those stupid books of yours… crazy books…. all day in that room… doing nothing…” she walked out of the house to the letter box hung to the gate outside.

To her fear to come alive, there in fact was a letter from Phifficus, the landlord who had lent Trevor and Louise a huge loan a year ago.

She opened the letter…

       I write this to inform you that you have crossed all bounds of my patience. You have been given time no one else had been. Yet, I receive nothing. I expect you to acquit yourselves of all the money I have given along with the interest in a week’s time. Else, I will turn your life sour. Take this from me as a word. The whole amount, I remind you.

 Phifficus”

        It felt like the whole world around her is going against her, routing her every single second. The air all around felt splenetic with insidious sense to destroy her. She threw the paper on the road outside the gate and rushed into the house blood burning hot.

“Hey, you, mister. Stop that tittle right now. What do you think you are doing?” she shouted to Trevor as he sat still helplessly by his typewriter. “I do not know and I do not want to listen any reasons from you. It’s time you start doing something to make things better and not sit there at that idiotic desk like a lousy hippolompic hippopotamus, you lazy…”

“Louise… Louise… What the hell is wrong with you? Please stop it. You are rusting me from inside with those words of yours. Please think for a second how I feel about things. I feel awful with the way things are now in our lives. Believe me I do feel awful.”

“Then get that sleepy ass of yours off that chair and find yourself a job that would help change things around. I cannot live this way in this house…”

“I am earning. I am not wailing my time away. I write to…”

“Write. Great. Write,” she mocked, “stub that writing down the commode. What does it bring? You earn peas with it. And dare you talk about the book you are writing. You must be the most foolish man to think this recession would recede. Have you any brains? For God’s sake forget publishing those insane books of yours. Find a job that pays, for heaven’s sake.”

Arguments pursued and Louise subdued her husband every time shutting his mouth up. Trevor, insulted, walked calmly out.

“Where the hell are you going now.”?

“To the factory to see if my job application got accepted” he replied desultorily hiding his face from Louise, in shame.

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

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

An honour and immense pleasure to be read by you… Keep reading…!!

WATERS OF THE NIGHT STILL

full-moon-reflection-in-rippling-water

 

The princess lifted the gigantic latch and pushed the huge door to the back of the palace, where people were not allowed to venture, with all her strength. It moved open making sounds of decrepit and rust as if it had not been used for ages. The architectural edifice was gigantic as if a mountainous sized rock smoothened on the outside with rectangles of bricks carved all around – the top of what is not easily seen without hurting a neck.

She stood there is abject silence devouring the beauty of what she was looking at, lit by the full moon, as if she had to be quick for someone might see her there and usher her back into the palace. Before her were five deep steps down, followed by naturally outgrown lawn wet with the night. She stepped down the stairs blowing the petal of fire in her lantern. The wet bouncy lawn of the night gave relieving cushion under her feet, making her feet realize in all senses that she no longer was on the hard stone floors of the richly touted palace.

A few meters away was a narrow stream of about a little less than twenty feet in width. She walked towards the stream surprised. The full moon reflected itself brilliantly from the water dark with the night, the glint as if hitting her eyes. Why isn’t the stream flowing? Aren’t these waters supposed to move? She put the lantern down on the grass not caring for the wet, pushed her thick multilayered gown that flowed fluently down her hip to her feet, towards her body and sat on the lawn. It felt as if the mist all around in the still and eerily silent air was warming. The moon moved a foot away on the water as she sat and the crickets were the only things breaking the otherwise chilly silence.

She pulled her thighs together and strapped her knees tight with her arms for snugness. After observing the waters for long, she started to recognize the tiny ripples formed as infinitesimal insects jumped in and out from the narrow border of wet dark mud between the lawn and the stream. She looked at the moon over her, amidst the dark sky with stellar twinkles all around and then back down before her. The moon was bigger and more luminescent on the even darker waters, still. Such a beautiful sight! Stupid myths and lores about the palace backyard!

Suddenly, arose beside her a twittery sound. And then a little wails but playful. Her eyes were now to a couple of rabbits playing. They were pushing one onto another, grunting softly and then again with their tender light limbs, away from each other, both bodies falling onto one another. The natural beauty of the play beside her was just too much for her to take in. She sat there, eyes locked in awe to the tender rabbits, ivory furred, as they played with each other. She then pushed her feet out her brown leather shoes and put them on the wet lawn wringing the grass as she pushed her bare feet into the lawn left and right cozying them of the warmth. This way passed the whole night as the rabbits played on beside her – and the full moon radiant on the heavy calm waters of the stream.

It was morning and the sun had just routed the horizon, with its first light piercing through the air heating everything. Where in God’s name did the Princess go? – the chambermaid murmured on seeing the princess’s bed empty. Then pursued a long search. The prince was worried to hell. The chambermaid had no option but to check the cursed backyard of the palace. The latch was locked from the inside but irrespective, she had to see. The door sounded less rusty as the chambermaid walked down the five steps onto a dilapidated, muddy ground with a few tiny tufts of grass here and there while the early morning sun went up.

The stream was flowing from her right to left with a brown tint as it collected the loose wet mud on its narrow banks. She heard some playful purring on her right. It was of the rabbits. They didn’t stop their mirth yet. The maid thinned her eyes curiously piercing her look to the white fluffy rabbits. She could sense but faintly something unearthly – after all, it was the unholy back of the palace she was on. Her eyes finally could detect the mouths of the rabbits that were dark blood red out all around from their noses to their long chins. Another closer look at the stream, by the rabbits, and the chambermaid’s eyes grew unnaturally large as she breathed to the top of her lungs with her tight fist beating on her chest. Her body jerked, paralyzed by the gory. –The Horror –

 

 

My Life By The Beach… I Too Lived Once…

This is and a small write up I wrote at 3 in the morning when all the thoughts of Vizag, a city in Andhra Pradesh, India where I once stayed for my law studies, took me over in its nostalgic web. I wrote this for ‘My Life… Your Life…’ that you can find in the side menu and couldn’t refrain from publishing it here though it is not written very formally…

 

I can’t stop but recollect all those feeling about Vizag. All those days when I used to just exist. I do not know what exactly implanted those days so firmly, so sweetly in my brain but I just can’t stop getting nostalgic about the immobile air there. I was free, though I had a million worries in my head. I used to wander around like a bird with minimum restrictions. I cannot think of that which rested in Vizag that allowed me to its closest making itself an inseparable part of me. I am completely taken into its trap of love, of compassion. My brain gets all wet when I think of those empty days and streets, when I used to walk in those crisscross streets near my house. I used to go to various friends houses, movies and parties. Most of all, the university and the crowd. For the first time in my life, something, without even my knowledge, touched my heart in such a sweet way and has written some indelible poetry on it. I do not explain but feel, the whole stay of mine at Vizag as a shell of peculiar air that doesn’t explain things but touches you, sways by you, and then, becomes you – whoever you are. It was magic. Better than anything, Lootera movie. If at all I were to call it something, I would call it a miracle in my life. Lootera is something I adore so much that I just can’t call it a movie. It is magic – a miracle in the form of art. Lootera, its tunes, scenes, characters and importantly, the times of it, played through the hungry pipes of my mind and have never stopped since. Naveen: my closest friend. DSNLU: my temple. The way I used to sit at the back in the class with Priya Kanurpati with thoughts about CLAT and goals that seemed distant. I used to go to the beach roam around with friends not even understanding what the beach, the road, the foot path that I walked on, the Karsura submarine, the people sitting by, enjoying the cool breeze and all, have been doing to me. Friends like Saumik, Ravi, Fazil, Priya and Nischit whom we used to friendly call, definite, were the best friends of mine and were those who have filled my mind with their friendship. All I can say after I have left Vizag and those times for good, is that they have given me, to keep with myself and cherish for my life, are memories. Memories not of playful things and adventurous deeds, but of the still air, the feeling, the touch and life. If at all anything, I cannot say more than this of the time I had there and what it has done in its miraculous ways. I just help but get up from my bed at this unusual time and write this. Vizag and Lootera have made themselves parts of me; parts of me inseparable, warming me and assuring me in their own unique ways that I have lived. I had my fill of life over there in that time. And that time couldn’t move forward, struck there. That time calls me every now and then. And I just let my mind slip into those memories…