The Last Ball

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Namaste Sirji. Oh you don’t know me right? I am Ramshankar Yadav son of Dayashakar Yadav. I sell balls(those multi-coloured ones) at this crossing.  I see you are trying to recognize me please don’t try sir you won’t remember as there are a number of us. No sir I am not asking you to buy one ball as I have sold all of them today like I mostly do. But do you remember that Saturday night. The night when it was raining cats n dogs and traffic was hell. You were with Madamji(she looked so happy) and I approached your SUV. Your baby who was on Madam’s lap looked at the ball and wanted it, so put his little hand out to hold the ball but Madam quickly pulled his hands in and rolled up the window. It was raining and the little boys hands were getting wet so memsahib did the right thing. But sir your boy liked the ball very much and he was squealing. Actually sir kids like the balls very much.

I waited there for sometime hoping that you would buy it from me. Its not a very costly ball sir just Rs.25/-. You could have bought it easily if I may say so. Its not a Chinese product, sir we make it with our own hands. The mahajan gives us the raw materials and we make them and sell at this crossing and give the mahajan back the amount excluding our ‘commission’.

Well you could have taken the ball for yourself too. You could have kept it in your cubicle sir or you could use for the basketball on your floor. You are wondering How a ball seller like me knows about cubicles, basketballs. You see before coming here I was working in garment factory as office boy. There the computer bhaiyaa(a very nice guy) had told me that in big offices people have games, toys, gods, fish bowls etc in their cubicles. You must be thinking that what I am doing here when I had a ‘secure’ job. Well actually  the Boss(the factory owner) used to beat me for small mistakes and one day I thought it was enough. You know even my father had never hit me so I left the job and landed into this ball business. I don’t regret sir as initially the business was very good because I was the only one here but then with time many more joined the fray and sales have started dropping but still I can manage and I am happy because I am my own boss here.

But sir that day business was very bad due to rain and I needed that money badly for Chutki. Chutki is my little sister sir. Since our parents were washed away by the floods she stays with me here. She was very ill for some days and I needed the money to buy some fruits and milk for her. We don’t worry about medicines because we have Tom uncle in our basti, provides the medicine from the charitable trust’s home free of cost. Tom uncle is not a doctor he is what you all call a ‘quack'(he is courier boy by the day) but in times of need its his medicine that works. Don’t be perplexed sir Chutki is fine now and has started going to school again but that day I waited for some more time in rain and then went home as it was getting late with just milk. On the way back I dropped at Tom uncle’s ‘clinic’ and he gave some fruits which was given to him by one of his ‘patients’. Theres a saying in bengali “Rakhe Hori mare ke” which means “If God’s with you no one can harm you”.

Anyway sir the signal is turning green you have to hurry. Sorry for disturbing you and wasting your time. And thank you for listening to me and not rolling up the window this time. Are you wondering what happened to the last ball? I couldn’t sell it that day.

PS: This is a work of fiction though I have known some of the characters from very close quarters specially the Tom Uncle(obviously name changed).

Image Source from internet

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Returning to KingsBridge

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Those of you who have read Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth or  its sequel World Without End KingsBridge might ring a bell in you.  Yes I am talking about the books. Actually it happened that I had picked ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ few months back and was  just overwhelmed by the sheer size man it was 976 pages. It was the longest novel that I had picked in my life and thought I’ll rush through and finish it fast but after first few pages I couldn’t do it I was reading every word and slowly I was becoming a part of 12 century England which Ken Follet had sucessfully conjured in front of my eyes and steadily I was adoring Jack Jackson, Aliena, Johnathan or respecting Prior Philip,  Tom Builder,Ellen or started hating Bishop Waleran, William Hameliegh, Alfred.

Soon I was rejoicing when Prior Philip out maneuvered Bishop Waleran in getting the King Stephen’s approval to Build a Cathedral in KingsBridge. I was deeply anguished when Evil William Hamleigh massacred KingBridge Fleece Fair and in the process killed Tom Builder. What I mean is over the months Kingsbridge, Shiring, Winchester, Bishops, Archdeacons, ArchBishop, Earls, Kings, Queens became part of my life. But when I reached about 700 pages I was getting restless because I was tired of the soap style conspiracies and the battle of wits, fists etc between the Good and bad. I rushed through reading only a few words in a page. Then I reached the end and like we have in our Bollywood movies it was Happys ending with Good finally winning over evil. Phew ! I thought its over(Picture ab baki nahi thi [tr: Picture was over]).

Though I had the sequel ‘World Without End’ but didnot have the energy to read another 1000+ pages mammoth book. So decided to take a break. But then accidentaly came across this review by Nishita.
And the mention of Kingsbridge brought back the characters and their trials and tribulations. I could resist it go back on a new journey to Kingsbridge albeit 200 years later because I know the founders of this city so well. I have been part of the pains and bloodshed undertaken to build that marvellous Cathedral in all of England. I had seen a village turning into a prosperous sprawling town over a period of some 4 decades. So How could I be away from it when Ken Follet already has spun another tale around it. So here I am back to KingsBridge with “World Without End”. Lets see how long it takes to travese this epic saga. BTW guys don’t expect any review from me as I am bad at that, jump over to Nishita‘s she is very good at it.

The Power of Red

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“Suddenly applying Sindoor today, anything special” inquired her husband. She smiled “Just like that” and hurried to office.

She was at office canteen as usual with her best friend. Waiting.

Then she saw him coming looking nervous but the moment his eyes fell on her forehead he froze completely.  “It worked” whispered her friend slyly.

Image : http://www.webindia123.com/women/attire/index.htm

Me & My Heart Part-1

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706280-Baby040_smallDoesn’t the title sound more like “Main aur meri tanhai”(tr: Me & My Solitude) from the Classic film Silsila(1981). Well I am no Gulzar saab so don’t even think about it. It just about Me & My heart. Interested? Read on.

It was a ‘normal’ Friday like any other weekend I played Table Tennis(Ping Pong) for a long time after office and returned home as usual. Like every Friday night I was looking forward for ‘late night’ sessions but I felt very tired maybe too much of TT and it was gruelling week as well work wise. So instead usual stuff like TV or computer I hit the sack.

I was lying for sometime but sleep seemed to elude me, actually it happens if you try to sleep early on a Friday night. But I was not having the energy to get up so I lied down. In order to make myself fall asleep I started counting in mind 1,2,3….100…200… lost patience started reverse count 200…100…reached 1 but still no sleep. So I started remembering my Gods Shiva, Krishna, Ma Durga, Baba Lokenath etc ….by now my mind was going haywire with frustration and my heart started responding by beating faster. It happens my heart is very responsive it beats faster whether its a hottie or a grumpy manager or in slog-overs of KKR/India. But hey there were no such ‘exciting’ moments so why was it racing? I ignored because at that point my heart was not important my sleep was.

I could hear Bahadur( our area night watchman – the Jaagte Raho guy) blowing his whistle and hitting the lampposts with his stick to drive away the ‘demons’. That meant it was around 1.30 AM. My heart was actually going really fast and was feeling breathless and I was clueless. I was trying different postures but nothing was comforting and I was actually feeling hot and sweating though the fan was on. Now I felt time to wake-up others as things didn’t seem OK as I was feeling hungry and sweating profusely now and I felt it was the end of my story. But I didn’t want to disturb my parents and hoped that things will be fine.

But Dil hai ki manta hi nahi(tr: Heart is not listening), BTW heart never listens right. After much dilemma I slowly woke up my mom as she has sleeping pills and asked her for them. She was surprised and asked if anything was wrong I just said that I unable to sleep so. But you know a mom she would sense and prodded for the reason of sleeplessness. I calmly said nothing just a little palpitation as it already 3 Am and no sleep. She quickly gave me a pill said to take half and gave a tablet to put under my tongue to reduce the palpitations. After sometime still the situation was not under control she gave me the other half sleeping pill and came to my bed and started caressing my chest and praying after all it was her son’s matter of heart. This time things seemed to work maybe that what mothers are for and didnot know when sleep finally overpowered my heart, mind and body.

to be continued…..

Me & My Heart Part-2

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Next morning well technically same morning I woke up at 9 AM and was feeling a little better the sleep had probably calmed my heart down. But the moment I started doing any activity the heart was pounding. My parents told me to see the doc as we should not neglect the matters of heart that too now-a-days. So quite reluctantly I went to see the doc. Who examined and saw the BP was high and said to go and get an ECG(Electrocardiogram) done.

So I went to ECG room with my Dad and the technician mistook my Dad for the patient which was quite natural coz nobody expects a ‘normal’ young guy going for Cardiac tests. So after ECG the doctor said things seem to be fine and he gave me some tablets and said to see him after 5 days.  I was on treatment though I was feeling better but still the heart would start pounding at the slightest provocation.

I went to see the doctor again in 5 days and after examining me said that apparently things seem to be fine but it’ll be good if  I go for a couple of tests like Echo Cardiogram and TMT. Though I thought it was unnecessary but like I said parents wanted to be sure and since we have a family history of cardiac problems so I had to relent.

I called up the centre and was given an appointment on morning 8 AM now that was a torture because you see to reach the centre by 8 I had to start at 7 that meant waking up at 6.30 which seemed impossible but with Mom at helm nothing was impossible so I was there at the centre though 30 mins late. Let me tell you I am generally very punctual and never missed flights or trains because they were all in the second half of the day not ‘early’ morning never. Again the dilemma occurred and the attendant started leading my dad and was surprised to see me as the patient.

They said first they’ll do Echo test and then TMT and the cardiologist was a smiling lady who said to me go nude I mean she told me to remove my shirt. See what I had to do for my heart I mean I am not Salman Khan or Arnold but there I had to take my shirt off in front of parai(unknown) lady. Just was wondering what happens to women patients anyway I was told to lie down in a particular posture she started the test and asked few routine question like why was I there in first place etc. Which I answered sincerely. Meanwhile she was speaking with her colleague regarding some issue with commission and referrals. Then she asked me about my mother tongue and seemed relieved to know that she was not speaking in my mother tongue but what she didn’t realize is that though I don’t speak any of the South Indian languages but do understand most of them(psst… don’t tell anybody…it helps me a lot when people reveal their darkest secrets in front of me without fear). During the Echo test I listened to my heart actually I had listened to my heart once earlier when in my home town I had visited our family doctor for some tummy problem(thats most common reason for my doctor visits till date. what else do you expect from a foodie?). So doctor uncle had held the stethoscope to my ears and said to listen to my heart  and it sounded so rhythmic. It was nice to hear my heart once again. Don’t they say we should listen to our heart always well I think we should.

After Echo test I was told by the cardiologist to go to another room for the next test. When I started putting my shirt on she told I have to remove it again so do I need to put it on. I nodded yes because obviously I was no Macho like John Abraham or Daniel Craig and didn’t want to walk bare chested through the reception full of different people moreover the receptionist was married anyway. The TMT is a Treadmill Stress Test and I was wired up and was told to walk on treadmill for about 11 mins at different speeds and elevation. It was quite easy for me as I was already used to treadmills at gym but this time it was with all the wires listening to my heart and trying to figure out its secrets. The cardiologist asked what medication was I on and she said that the doctor had started the medicine without any diagnosis didn’t know whether she was questioning my doctor or complimenting  his prudence. She said report was normal except for one small issue for which I should continue the prescribed medicine.

I went back to the doctor with the reports and he looked at them and started thinking and scratching his beard and was silent. I knew I myself don’t understand my heart how come a doctor will. But my father was getting tense and then the doctor said everything is normal except a small situation or condition. Which he said is not a problem and told a very difficult name for the condition. Why do medical names have to be so cryptic I thought. BTW neither me or my Dad remember the name. Anyway he said that I have to continue the medicine and my heart has grown a little bigger. He explained like we workout to build our biceps similarly the heart muscles had grown a bit. I was wondering what workout did I do previously that built my heart muscles instead of biceps. My dad asked the doctor how did it happen the doctor said it happens in some people and we need not worry and just need to keep taking the medicine to bring back my heart to shape and checking up with a cardiologist once a year or so to ensure everything is fine.

He also said no lifestyle changes required but he would like me to reduce my weight. ahem I myself wanted to do that. Well as the medicines bring back my heart to size clinically don’t you think its always great to have a very big heart literally. Finally if I have disappointed with ‘clinical’ details of my heart rather than a juicy post about my heart’s condition please forgive me afterall it is the story of  Me & My Heart.

PS: You see this is one of the reason why you find me missing from the blogosphere off late. Actually I have started gyming and cannot be up late night and my work is on full swing so no time there as well. So you may find me absent for sometime but I’ll be back with a new vigour. Also an earnest request don’t write “Get well soon” comments as the doctor said its not any disease and I am quite fine just need to be little watchful of my heart.

If I were a Baby Again

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This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 4; the fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

If I were a Baby Now

I would be pampered Wow!

No need to worry about anything,

Only a cry was enough to set things rolling.

 

Everyone would want to hold me or play with me

and I would be the apple of their eye.

If I were a  Baby Now,

Everyone would say Wow,

Look he knows this is a TV remote,

and that is a Cell-Phone!

 

But then I would be very dependent

cause they would be clueless and,

When I cry out of hunger,

would look at my nappy for answer.

Also I would be given only Milk, Dalia & Lactogen

No beer, whiskey or chilly chicken.

 

If I were a Baby now

to write these lines pen would ask how?

After the awesome poem lets have a mind-blowing 55-Fiction 😉

“See Maa how he’s behaving, Don’t know who’s the father and who’s the son ” uttered Shonali disgustingly looking at the antics of Varun and Tikloo.

“Don’t worry beta it runs in their blood even I had same complaint with your Sasurji” smiled Uma reminiscing How her husband would become a baby alongwith Varun.

Note: Sasurji= Father-in-law

This 55-Fiction is inspired from the poem of the great Hindi poetess Subhadra Kumari Chauhan‘s “Mera Naya Bachpan“. The poem is in Hindi(Sorry non-Hindi readers I couldn’t find an English translation) and if you have not read it then take sometime and read it(non-Hindi reader ask for assistance). Its a classic poem where poetess remembers fondly about her own childhood but her daughter makes it up by making her reliving the childhood through her innocent deeds.

We always wish that we could go back to our childhood/babyhood but truth is we cannot as time only goes forward unless ofcourse if you have a time machine. So what we can do is become a baby or a child once again by being with children(our own or anybody else’s) and becoming a part of their innocent universes.

Regarding the poem I have to say is that its one of the worst written pieces of my life and if you actually have read through it then I really appreciate your patience and courage (Yes you need that to read a pathetic poem.  I must tell you last blog-a-ton we had so many awesome poems so I thought let me try it this time and result is in front of you). I know I’ll  lose all votes because I put it at beginning and people might have abandoned the post itself after first two lines.(Note: I had got only 1vote in one edition… thanks to Sid aka Ravan, So votes do not matter really but reader’s torture does buddy !!!). So Read it, Curse it and Forget it but do let me know how was the 55-Fiction or the post in general?

PS : Interesting stats …. posts were getting longer but this whole baby thing made it shorter so to save yourselves suggest such tricky topics ….

If I were a Baby again – 580 words

The Indian Dream         – 978 words

Teachers AajKal          – 884 words

Cream & Scum of Blogging – 489 words

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Justice Done

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slingshot boy1

“Mrs. Roy look what he’s done” pointed the teacher angrily to the Class Monitor’s swollen forehead.

Jojo was standing in corner with his head down hiding his sling. Mrs. Roy pulled his ears and asked angrily “Now why?”

“He tried to pull my pants down in front of the Class” cried Jojo writhing in pain.

Image Courtsey : http://www.clipartguide.com/_pages/0511-0907-1419-5653.html