Thirty For You

  1. People change.
  2. Timing is everything.
  3. Money is not everything, but at times, it is. Figure out which is when.
  4. Life is short. Enjoy it while you can. Try to even when you cannot.
  5. Earn respect; never demand.
  6. Read more. Make others do the same.
  7. Early morning walk is heaven.
  8. Don’t wait for anything. That’s the stupidest thing to do.
  9. Family is precious. Never overlook them.
  10. Health is important. Keep your body active and flexible. You will thank yourself for it later.
  11. People get sick. It’s normal. No matter how bad you do, focus on the recovery. It is in your hands.
  12. Friends are everywhere. Find them. Or let them find you.
  13. Real friends are rare. Hold on to them.
  14. Never be busy for your friends; even better, for anyone.
  15. Help everyone, including the ones whom you don’t like or who don’t like you.
  16. Never let go of anyone you care about.
  17. Religion is an absolute nothing. Don’t let it or anyone in the name of it influence you.
  18. Nothing beats the feeling of winning, but always remember that winning is temporary.
  19. You age. Make peace with it.
  20. People say it’s hard to find a good soul. That’s not true. Plenty are around us.
  21. It is easy to earn haters. Learn the trick to lose them soon.
  22. You are no less than anyone; you are no more than anyone.
  23. ‘I’ is the single strongest word. It’s also the weakest when used against someone.
  24. Never do something you would regret later. Don’t hang on to it, in case you did.
  25. There is no shame in apologizing when you are wrong.
  26. Never look down on anyone. You will be surprised to know what they are capable of.
  27. Time flies. It is obvious, but you seldom care until it matters.
  28. Bad times won’t last long, you think. But sometimes, they do. Whatever happens, life goes on.
  29. Get into sports. Any sports. Just do it.
  30. True love exists. Or doesn’t. You will never know.
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A Story – Part 9

~ Originally posted on Feb 15, 2017.

By the time I got home, I had received quite a few messages and a couple of missed calls from her. It was weird considering that she hadn’t texted me except for once in the morning since we had exchanged our mobile numbers; and that was only to acknowledge that she would be at the library at around 10 A.M. I was anxious.

When I entered the hall, I saw my friend completely engrossed in his thinking. I chose to ignore him and rushed to the terrace. I knocked the trashcan on my way upstairs.

“Hey,” shouted my friend.

“How many times have I told not to place the trashcan on the stairs, you morons?” I shouted back picking the trashcan. He didn’t seem to care.

“What are you thinking so deeply about without even noticing me entering the house? Another love-fact of yours?” I questioned him.

He smiled. I got my answer. As I reached the terrace, I found my other friend washing his clothes.

“Dude, what is with you guys? It’s scorching hot out here. Can’t you wash your clothes in the evening?” I still haven’t gotten over my questioning phase.

“Uh-huh, what are you doing here in the scorching heat, sir?”

“Just came to check on you. You carry on, please,” I replied with an intention of ending the conversation with him. He was so nice that he went back to his work without asking any further questions.

I moved to the other corner of the terrace where there was a big shade. It was much cooler there. Thanks to the large banyan tree that stood at the back of our house.

I opened the Messages folder and read all her messages one by one.

Message 1 @ 11:14 A.M: “Hi… Who is Sneha?”

Message 2 @ 11:15 A.M: “Sorry, I just asked u casually. u can choose not to reply.”

Message 3 @ 11:16 A.M: “Or u can reply!!!! J”

Message 4 @ 11:19 A.M: “Are u ther?”

Message 5 @ 11:24 A.M: “Oye!”

Message 6 @ 11:28 A.M: “I’m sorry. u don’t have to reply who she is, but at least u can text me back.”

Message 7 @ 11:34 A.M: “Oye! This is going to be my last message. I am not going to text you again until u reply. Bye.”

I then checked the call history. The calls were made @ 11:18 A.M and @ 11:33 A.M. respectively.

I reread all the messages thrice picturing the exact happenings based on the timing of the messages and the missed calls. I felt her nervousness.

I typed “Oye!” That’s how I start a conversation with someone I am very close to. Of course, practically, she wasn’t one yet, no matter I had already begun to feel that way. You know, I can’t explain how happy I was when I saw the same word in two of her messages. Same wavelength, we have, I felt.

Before I could send it, my brain acted better. I decided to call her. It took a few rings before she took my call.

“Hey!” I started.

“Hello! So you are alive only. Great to know.”

“Listen, it is not what you think it is.”

“Wait. What do you mean?” She cut me off.

“Come on. You know what I mean.”

“No, I don’t.” She tried to control her laughter. I sensed it.

“Oye! This is too much.” There I was, throwing ‘oye’ at her whenever I pleased.

“What is too much?” She wasn’t ready to give up. I was sure.

“You behaving as if I purposefully didn’t return your texts and calls.”

“Oh, no. No. Not at all. I even forgot that I texted you. And called too.”

“See, you are still doing it. That’s fine. Ring me up when you remember them. Or better still, text me. Bye.”

“Oye! Hold on.”

I remained silent. She too was.

After a few seconds, she started, “Are you there?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Why did you call me?”

“I was just returning your calls. Why did you call me before?”

“Didn’t you read my texts?”

“I did, of course. And I…” I dragged.

“And you?”

“And I also sensed your uneasiness when you didn’t get my reply.” I said and laughed. I didn’t know why I did then.

“What’s so funny about it?” She sounded angry. Or tried to be, I would rather say.

“Nothing. I just couldn’t believe that you thought I was ignoring your texts.”

“You would have thought the same. Wouldn’t you?”

“Probably.”

“What probably? I am sure you would have too.” She was right. In fact, I would have been worse. I would have more likely followed up with a big apology message. I was glad she thought of me better.

“Alright. I agree.” That was the safest I could respond.

“Hmmm…” She seemed relieved.

“I was riding my bike back home from the library. Moreover, my mobile was in silent mode.”

“Silent again? You didn’t stop by any temple on the way, did you?” She asked and laughed uncontrollably. Her words and tone were dressed in sarcasm. Oh, the memory these girls have. I instantly decided not to turn my mobile silent ever again.

I waited until she stopped. I didn’t want her to stop though. She did, finally, after almost a minute. I didn’t know since when, but I kind of liked to hear her laugh. Such a bliss, you know.

Eventually, she caught my silence and said, “I’m sorry. You continue, please.”

“Nothing much. I saw your texts and calls only a few minutes back and wanted to check on you. Seven messages and two missed calls in such a short span. It must be important. Very important, no?” Sarcasm was obvious in my words. It was time to switch positions, after all.

“Hey… Don’t sound too sarcastic. It doesn’t suit your voice. Know what, I don’t bother. I shouldn’t have asked you about Sneha. I felt bad and awkward, to be honest. I didn’t want you to think that I was being, like, intrusive. I wanted to clear things up.”

“It’s okay, really. In fact, I didn’t mind you asking.”

“Alright then. Who is she, I mean, Sneha?” Needless to say, her smartness took the front seat at the right time.

… to be continued (part 10)

Fictional Diary Pages – 1

~ Originally posted on Apr 21, 2012.

I reached out for a pen and paper. It was my New Year’s resolution to pen down my every day’s experience. Please note that it’s not just for the sake of recording the happenings. The aim was simple, realistic, and apprised by my beloved teacher. It’d be optative to call aims rather than a mere aim. They were – one, to make myself fluent in the language (I swear, I didn’t know what level of fluency he meant anyway); two, to make myself know where I stand every day (I never even had the slightest idea of where I stand in my life. I never wanted to in the first place;) and three, to improve my hand writing (‘Are you serious?’ That was my instant thought when I heard him say this).

As any hopeless, lackluster, and carefree kid would do, I did nothing. The problem was that he never saw me as a kid who was in the bounds of the previously mentioned adjectives. And that was the reason why he, of the several others, became my beloved, my only beloved. But, regrettably, that didn’t save me from lying to him often. I didn’t know if at all he knew that, but whatsoever, he never eft a hint. I was safe. I mean, I felt safe. Always.

It had been several months since he asked me to do the writing stuff. I never did that till date. What I wondered the most was, he never got tired of asking me about how it was coming along, every single day – save the days when I didn’t meet him at all. Unsurprisingly, I too never got tired of saying the same words to him – “Great! I can see the progress myself.” He merely smiled and patted my shoulders. I never understood the real meaning of that smile and the pat. All I assumed was I was good at lying, and that there was someone who believed whatever I said.

At times, he used to ask me to show my scribblings (yes, he always referred my writing as scribbling. He was trying to be funny, you know. Nevertheless, my academic writing was itself a scrawl anyway.) I’d blatantly reply, “Sir, it is personal.” And guess what, I’d always get to see his smile and feel his pat. In a way, I liked them. I as well liked to lie to him and enjoy his response.

On the first day of this year, as I was still asleep, he came down to my home. My mom had to wake me up to greet him. It was 9:30 A.M. already. I wasn’t sure that it was the question in my mind that he read or it was the usual habit of his to explain things, but he told us that he was crossing my home then and thought he should come by to wish me. By the way, the question in my mind was, “What the heck is he doing in my home at this point of time?” I was a dumbass, after all. Before he left, he gifted me a pen (the one that I’m holding in my hand now) and wished me luck. My parents were lame, but I wasn’t. It wasn’t a random visit. I knew he came by purposefully, and it was to gift me the pen; otherwise who would walk somewhere with a pen gift-wrapped in his pocket, no?

That was when I decided to take this New Year’s resolution – to scribble (in his words) or to write (in my assumption) my every day’s experience. I went back to my room, took out the diary that I had got from my dad the previous night, sat in the table, and started ‘Jan 01, 2001’. Before I could round off what to start with, my mom called for me from the kitchen. She was howling to get me brush my teeth and have my breakfast as it was late already. To take shower was out of question as she knew that if it was included, I’d only have my breakfast at lunch time. She became so adjustable with me. I loved her for that and for every other reason regardless. That was it. That diary only had the date scribbled by me yet.

Today, the calendar in my room shows the date as Jan 06, 2001; but that’s not today’s date in real. Lucky, at least I was sane enough to know that it’s not. Blame it on my laziness – the laziness to tear off the paper every day. Having said that, I don’t exactly know what today’s date is. Maybe, 16 or 17; well, probably, 16th of January. I have to go to the other room to check. Ugh, forget it. Who cares? In fact, that’s the least important of all. On this day of the year, I don’t own a cell phone to check the date and time in a split second. I haven’t even held one in my hand yet, let alone owning one. None of my family members own a cell phone, which I hear is tardily becoming a sensation, at least among the younger generations.

Okay, what’s with me now? No answer. A Blunt mind, which is all it is. It’s been fifteen days into the year with my doing nothing to be proud of, an absolute nothing. Not even able to be true to my beloved teacher; worse, not even able to be true to myself.

Well, that’s not the real reason that made me to sit straight up here from my bed to pen down my first diary page (not precisely in a diary though. Who knows, probably I’d paste this paper in my diary later). It’s the dream I had. The dream in which my beloved teacher met with an accident. And as he laid in his deathbed, asked me about my scribbling. Heck. I was so bad at lying in my dream. But still, he smiled and patted my shoulders before he closed his eyes.

Why did I get this dream all of a sudden? That’s the life, can I answer to myself? Life treats me badly, I feel sometimes. Whenever I feel it, what I fail to do is to treat life differently, as in brazenly different. Things change, in an unexpected and undesirable way. But when and how are the questions. They can’t be answered precisely. We only have to experience them as and when they come along – just like the way I’m doing for a while now.

The Call

~ Originally posted on Jan 4,2014.

She hung up. He remembered the dialogue from the movie, “The Town” – I know I will see you again, this side or the other. It wasn’t surprising for him to relate every event of his life with a scene in a movie he had seen, ever since he had become a movie maniac.

He dialed her number again. This time, it wasn’t answered at all. He rued his missed chance. If only he had this courage to talk something other than a formal Hello in his first attempt. Blame it on his nervousness. He did hate that awkward nervousness. He always did. He ran the past few minutes in his head for umpteen times. Every time he did, he came up with a way he should have handled the situation. It was too late, he knew though.

When he thought of the call few minutes back, he wasn’t any more interested to call her again.

He dialed her number exactly at 8:25 A.M. after ensuring, quite a few times, that the numbers added up to an odd number. It was how he wanted it to be. The previous night, as he was struggling to come to a conclusion of whether or not to call her, something struck his otherwise sane mind. He decided, if the numbers of the time he sees first the next day morning added up to an odd number, he will call her. He, in his normal senses, was not a person of superstitious beliefs. But it was long since he lost his senses. Unlucky, he was. When he woke up and unlocked his mobile, the time was 8:14 A.M.

He dialed her number. Though he hadn’t been in talking terms with her for more than three years now, her number was at his fingertips. It was carved in his mind, pretty deep, after all. As the line was getting connected, his heartbeat increased drastically. He became nervous. Before even he realized that he should be normal – and that he was just going to talk to a person who is close to his heart, and that they had this divine, inseparable friendship between them few years back – he heard her voice at the other end.

“Hello,” she sounded as fresh and energetic as she used be from the time he knew her.

“Hello,” his nervous mind struggled to talk nonchalantly.

“Hello,” her energetic voice was slowly losing its charm, he could sense. He assumed that she was slowly recognizing his voice.

“Hello,” he knew he was lame with his repeated hellos. But the fact that he repeated the same word was because he could hear a male voice at the background. Don’t judge anything wrong here. He couldn’t hear the exact words, but he thought she was either out shopping or was in the middle of something at her home, maybe talking with her dad.

“Huh, hello,” her voice this time assured him she had recognized his voice.

“Hey, Sham here,” he didn’t want to repeat the hello mode, time and again.

She hung up. He dialed her number again. This time, it wasn’t answered at all. He knew this would happen. He had thought of a way to avoid this kind of situation. He felt bad that he didn’t use the words he had been rehearsing for a week then. He had decided to start with, “Hey, please don’t hang up. Just listen to me for a couple of minutes. Please.” He had a hope that those words would work out. He had practiced, in every possible way, to say the last word, please, with sugarcoating.

He kept on staring at the mobile as his dejected mind was busy calculating the numbers again and again. It was 8:14 A.M. when he woke up. It added up to 13. It was odd as expected, but not when added further. 4, it was, he realized. It was 8:25 A.M. when he dialed her number. It added up to 15. Again, an odd number as expected, but not when added further. So it was all wrong from the start, he said to himself. Not to blame him. He was still being lame, reveling in the superstitious beliefs. Will he ever recover? Only time will tell.