Category: Fiction & Poetry (Page 1 of 4)

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The Kid and the Grandfather

A Late afternoon walk towards the beach, with his grandfather, the kid walked alongside holding his hand. His grandfather towered over his tiny self. They were more than tens of thousands of steps away from the beach. He wanted him to put him on his shoulders as they did back at home, and from where they came traveling on a train.

But grandpa wanted the kid to walk. He should walk. His favorite lines included a lot of thoughts about having to walk after eating. The kid usually noticed him talking about digestion, quite often, with his old grey-haired friends. He would always dictate what not to eat. This included chocolates, Ice-creams, and Frooty. The kid liked just these things.
He disliked the opinion of his grandfather who mocked him for eating all this and spoiling his teeth. Yes, the kid had lost a few frontal teeth, but everyone says, they’ll come back. All white and new. Unlike the fake ones that the grandpa had. The kid also mocked his grandfather with the able company of the grandmother. But now, his grandmother wasn’t there. So, he had to just listen to what the grandfather told.

A dreary day this would be. The kid was sure.

As they walked towards the beach, the grandfather took a small turn, and instead, they headed somewhere else. It was like a beach but not like it. It was mostly still water. No waves and no running away from the water when it the waves came rushing. Grandfather said it was a ‘lagoon’ and he’d probably read about this when he grows older. The kid thought he was old.

There was a boat there and lots of people on it. They both went and sat in the middle of the boat. His grandfather gave money to the man and placed him next to him.

The kid was excited. Before this, he had only made paper boats and ran with them during rains. Sitting on a real boat made him happy. He was talking loud, and the other people sitting on the boat were laughing, along with the grandfather. Grandfather held him and made him dipped his hand in the water. They went around a circle and returned to the same place.

‘How was it, huh? Good?’

‘Should we do this again?’

‘Next time.’

As they headed back, the grandfather even bought two popsicles from the ice-cream guy there. Back home, these ice-creams are made from the dirty drain water and not here. That was what the grandfather told the kid while eating the other popsicle.

the gift

The Gift

“It’s the thought that counts!” She insisted for the nth time. The ‘gift’ was on the table in front of her while he stood there, with his hands in the pockets, looking embarrassed. He made an expression reminiscent of ‘Are you sure?’ by twitching his face and biting his lips.

She wasn’t sure of it herself. But she had to appear certain. He needed her to be. “This’ll be really useful; unlike so many other things they’re going to receive.” She reasoned with her smile while wrapping up the gift in a red wrapping paper diligently. He looked towards her, neatly folding the paper, and thought, ‘She’s right. As always’, as he headed towards the mirror to knot his tie.

As they headed into the glittering Convention Hall, the dressed up crowd, the lightings around was all they could see. He saw the table where all gifts were kept and they both headed to place the package. It was like getting rid of it was in both their minds. And just when they were to place it there, someone tapped on his shoulder, and a ‘Hey!’ filled the air around them. She knew it was them, but she didn’t turn around immediately. She had to make sure the hosts did not see the package in her hand.

She turned around in surprise, clenching her fist, to greet the hosts who were out there welcoming the guests. Thankfully they had just careened close by when someone pulled them up for a selfie. ‘Thank God!’ she thought at a minor reprieve to place the gift among a pile of others.

He looked at her with a smile. Yes, she wanted just that. He looked agreeable to her being right about ‘No Gift is small’ with the way their hosts welcomed them.

As they finished the gala dinner and headed outside to catch a taxi. She asked him to ‘take a walk’.

‘Isn’t it far?’

‘I ate too much!’

As they walked away, holding hands, she took out two crumpled name-tags of ‘best wishes’ out of her pocket and aimed at the dust-bin. Bulls Eye!

ठंड के वो दिन

आज बैठा था धूप तापते हुए बालकनी में। हवा साथ मे चल रही थी तो धूप की तपिश का वो मज़ा नही मिल पा रहा था। मैंने अपनी नीलकमल थोड़ी खिसकाई और आगे की तरफ बढ़ा। पर हाल फिरभी वही था। 

यूँ तो मैं सर्दियों का फैन नही हूँ। वैसे देखा जाए तो गर्मी या बारिश के extreme नेचर का भी फैन नही। हर चीज़ में मॉडरेशन पसंद कुछ ज़्यादा है हमें। लोग आजकल लिबरल भी कह डालते हैं। कुछ विषयो पे एक्सट्रेमिस्ट भी कह चुके हैं। अब लोग तो लोग ही हैं, काम हैं उनका कहना। 

खैर, अभी बस ठंड की बात करते हैं। आज घर वाली सर्दी को miss कर रहा था। धूप में भी स्वेटर पेहेनके बैठना , घंटों तक, कॉमिक बुक हाथ मे लिए। फिर जब वक़्त हुआ तो , खेलते रहना बिना थके। उस दौरान हुम बड़े चाव से टेस्ट क्रिकेट भी खेला करते थे। हालांकि में कुछ खास नही खेलता था पर उत्साह हमेशा ज़ोरो पर रहता था। आलम तो कुछ ऐसा हुआ करता था कि हम रमज़ान के महीने में भी घंटों खेल लिया करते थे। क्रेजी कह लीजिए। फज्र की नमाज़ के लिए न निकले पर बैट धरके सबको जागाते हुए गांधी मैदान में दिख ज़रूर जाते थे।

गरम पानी के इलावा कुछ चूना कहर हो मानो। लकड़ी के चूल्हे पे बारी बारो पानी गर्म हो चलता और नहाने की बारी लागतो। थोड़ा टालते पर कुछ डांट सुनते गुसलखाने की जानिब चल ही देते। नहाके सीधे दौड़ते हुए धूप में। ठिठुरते हुए। 

इस मौसम में बैर काफी मिलते थे। कभी कदर हम पास के एक कंपाउंड को फांदके बैर भी चुराया करते थे। और ये भी न किया कभी तो कमसेकम घर मे बुयाम में हल्दी लगाके रखे बैरों का चुपके सेवन तो ज़रूर किया है। 

रातों को बड़े की निहारी सुर सुर करके खाना तो याद है ही और साथ मे मोहल्ले के चौराहे पर अंडे के कूट से हाथ सेकना भी। फिर अम्मी के चिल्लाने पर घर आते ही रज़ाई में दुबक के दादी के साथ सोना, ताकि अब्बू डांटे नही। 

वो थे ठंड के दिन। और आज यहां पंखे की स्पीड को ताकते नींद को बुलाने की कोशिश जारी है। 

नींद से याद आया, कल मंडे है। 

कोई कह रहा है, ‘आज कहिये जनाब’।

Expiry Date

There, but not there! 

Seeking perfection even in the camaflogue of the broken, twisted and peculiar settings, our innermost desire still remains – finding that perfect story. 

In the corners of the world, probing for boxes with that one perfect story hidden somewhere. They all look appealing. 

‘Maybe, I want them to’, the voices warn!

One after the other. Open. Each box is supposed to be: ‘the one’. 

Anticipation. 

‘Please try again’

And we move to the other.

‘Better luck next time’

The cycles. 

Boxes. Us. The stories. 

They all change. The us-es. And with them, the stories. Just like the changing boxes. 

You’re ired to continue opening another one of these. You’re tired of the disappointments. Of those stories that are there, but NOT there. Of yourself. Of them. And you so wish that it was in your hands to let it all stop. 

The myth of the choice. Hadhtag My Choice. Hashtag their choices. The puppets think they have free will. The strings are just accessories to walk around the life’s stage. Idiots. We’re all the Siri’s and Alexa’s in a parallel universe. 

Stories where cliffhangers are the norm just tend to miss out on cliched endings like.. ‘…ever after’. Lifelong happiness sure might be a myth. But even seeking the permansncy of a ‘they lived’ is a tall order. 

They say, there’s no correct box. The idea of that one box doesn’t exist. Unless it’s a book. A really good book. Or a movie to lend thoughts to those imaginations on 70mm. But, who listens?

‘Customize it!’ They say. ‘Weave your own story. Paint it the way you’d like the world to see. ‘ they add to their wise sayings.

‘But.. the story isn’t for the world!” I contest. 

‘No one gives a $#@*’. Their look says it all. Uncensored. 

Expiry Date

Expiry Date

Empty rooms shout the loudest. On their own. Laced with the echoes of yesteryears. The silences shout louder from the depths of it. There are traces of your laughter. Those awkward ones with a snort as if you’re trying hard to not laugh. Failing, of course. But successfully remaining etched. Redefining what failures means.

Ever wondered how their flaws stay back while the perfections fade away? Perhaps that’s the charm.

There’s music adding to the gloom, failing to drown the noises of the past. Instead, helping it thrive. Words, I don’t know of. It probably does. As the strings caress each other and the symphony flows out like the background score of a Spanish drama, I stare out of the dark smudges of the window. Nothing.

With my back stretched on the sofa and the legs dangling out on the carpet, I stare at the ceiling. Questions. All over the carvings on top, flowing without answers. Navigating my way, forlornly, from one pattern to the other. Following the mundane routine.

‘Why it had to start?’ The question on loop since the exit.

The numbered days had already stapled an expiry date for the end. I knew it, she did too. A set timeline for it to happen. For a change, I chose the short term joy over my long-term sanity. I overlooked the pain of not looking into those eyes ever again over the laughter accompanying me for a few. But it did start something. A beautiful beginning awaiting cessation. The end was always in sight. Tick Tock. Tick tock.

‘Why it had to start??’ The question was still unanswered.

As we sat on the stairs, while the moon shone brighter, silence engulfed us both. I feared, that this is it. Did she?

Her eyes said, ‘Maybe this is for the best’. She said nothing.

‘Why it had to staaa…’

‘Ting’

A smile dangles out, effortlessly, as a message popped up.

‘Kitna roega be C%$#^? Neeche hoon. Jaldi aa’.

Maybe they all don’t come with expiry dates.

…and that’s when I knew

That look of yours. Yes, the same one were you magnify your eyes. The one which makes me feel that they’ll just pop out. That. 

That’s when I knew. 

When you blurt out the same things. And when I do the same. And then we understand, but don’t laugh. The silent high-fives.

That’s when I knew. 

When you share those uninteresting stories. Oh, sorry that’s just me. You hold them back. But you listen, to mine. And remember.

That’s when I knew. 

Your start-stop act of being funny (trying to) and thoughtful. 

That’s when I knew. 

Maybe we both know. Now. And then. Or maybe it’s just me. Again. Waving at the bus, I keep missing. 

”It’s just in your head”

‘Yes, and that’s the damn problem!’

The daily wage

A soft step walk as if he was entering someone else’s house, he placed the small packet of rice in the kitchen and walked straight into the bathroom.

Panting hard. He opened the tap and waited for the bucket of water to fill, looking passively as the water took it’s own sweet time.

“Just Rice?” She shouted from the kitchen. “We’ve been waiting since morning for this?!”

He leaned on the wall listening to her agitated voice. Sweat dripping down his temple over his muddy clothes. His tired eyes blinked in slo-mo.

As the overflowing water from the bucket brought him back to his senses, he stripped down to pour water. The soiled water went down the drain while he washed himself up along the background score coming from the kitchen.

When they all sat down to eat. A bowl of rice, a watered down dal from yesterday and pickle sent over by the kid’s grandma, he tried to read the silences. Her irritation and the kid’s helplessness of having to eat the food.

He had no answer.

As he gulped down a spoonful of rice and waited till it reached somewhere close to his destination, he uttered his thankfulness to the almighty along with a forced burp. Shukr Alhamdulilah.

His kids looked up from their plate and threw a smile at him.

He had finally received his day’s pay.

Scene

There’s so much to write about you and then literally nothing. You’re the preoccupation that refused to get off the mind space. 

Not that you’re present in the specifics. You are all so vague. Like you were. 

I’ve replayed that scene. Of how it could have been different. How my fake laughter should have given away the disappointment. And you could SEE.

When you asked rather rhetorically about him, I should have shown my disgust. Not for him. But for the question. Even thrown away the plate of canteen food that was itself hard enough to gulp down. A tantrum or a two. Or just walked away like others had done. To you. 

But there I was. Laughing. At my own misery. 

Don’t mistake me for your cliche of a good guy. I’m not. Our breed is just scared. 

 ‘… after all this, there is an Us. Of a you and a me. ‘ echoed in the noise.

As I walked back to the class where a C+ desperately wanted to be an A, it was the numbness of the lunch with you that presided over the presentation. Of watching people and reading out the slides. Next. Next. And next. 

Thank you. 

.. and Scene!

The Uninteresting stories

Her eyes grow bigger every time she tries to tell a story. The sincere eyes moving around, even though it’s just the two of them talking, tell their own story. 

He, half-listens her story, while his eyes remain preoccupied with the shine in her eyes. Her excitement in narrating an uninteresting story fascinates him. Of the few stories that she decides to share with all. 

He knows his stories are told the same way. Uninteresting. While she listens to them with rapt attention. Remembering details to be recounted later. Her wandering eyes try hiding in the imaginary crowd. But he adamantly dives down in them. Every time.

With an actual crowd, sneaking innocent glances while people laugh about everything and the random, alike. A world of their own. The alternate glances. 

“…but this would not last. There’s just no time.” Their minds would shout almost in a chorus.

‘So what?!’ The eyes rebelled for that temporary solace.

Charger

Story: The Phone Charger

He searched for his phone next to his pillow, while trying to open his eyelids, adjusting to the sunlight from the window.
 
“Good Moornnning!” she walked in with her morning tea along with her visibly routine excitement, like there’s a good day awaiting.
“I’ve put it on charge”, she said, while putting the morning newspaper on the table next to the window, blocking the sun rays from his face.
 
“You do know I need to check my mails in the morning.” He rhetorically cried stretching his eyebrows.
She ignored him like the page3 gossip and headed over to the editorials. Folding the paper to read, glancing across to the bed, to see him look irritated. A controlled smile escaped her eyes.
 
“Why do you do this?”
 
“So that your phone doesn’t run die while you’re out!”
And before he could add-in a rebuttal. She quickly added, “…. No, you’ll forget your charger too”.
 
“But I do….”
 
“Even your power bank isn’t charged!”
Damn! This woman knows too much! , he thoughtfully murmured.
 
“What did you say?”
 
“I said…”
 
The sunlight blurred his eyes, adjusting his eyelids, he got up from the bed to answer only to find no one.
 
He sat there in silence looking at the old newspaper by the window.
 
The phone rang from a distance. Near the charging point. She was a good teacher.
ghalib-quotes

23 Amazing Ghalib Quotes to Read

Ghalib Quotes to Read

Mirza Ghalib or Ghalib, as we remember him as, was originally named as Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan. He was born on the 27th of December in 1797 during the end of the Mughal Empire. Hardly many would know or remember his real name but the pen names used by him can be echoed everywhere where Urdu is understood. Apart from “Ghalib”, the pen name of Asad was also used by him. While Ghalib means “Dominant”, Asad means “Lion” in Urdu.

There are of course many Ghazals which he wrote, which are still loved across the Urdu-speaking populace around the world.

This post has a few of his famous 2-line shayris and Quotes which have been used quite often and are some of the best of Ghalib.

Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (20) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (15) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (16) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (17) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (18) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (19) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (14) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (13) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (12) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (11) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (10) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (8) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (9) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (7) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (5) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (4) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (3) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (2) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (1) Mirza_Ghaalib_Shayri (6)

A lot of influence in Ghalib’s writing comes from loss and the rebellious mind that he possessed. There’s something to take away for everyone who reads any of his works.

It is said that Ghalib was more proud of his Persian poetry than Urdu. Although he is more famous for his Urdu poetry now.

According to Ghalib “Sau kos se ba-zaban-e-qalam baatein kiya karo aur hijr mein visaal ke maze liya karo” (from a hundred of miles talk with the tongue of the pen and enjoy the joy of meeting even when you are separated). He is credited with making letter writing part of the mundane rather than just remaining royally ornamental. Most of his letters appear to be informal which is a contrast with the letter writing traditions of the time. Especially considering the impact of the British on how people communicated back then.

Do comment and let us know which one is your favorite Ghalib Quote. If your favorite isn’t listed here, add it in the comment section as well. We will add it up in the post.

[Liked what you read? Explore other categories on the Blog: Travel, Entertainment, Random Philosophy, Fiction, etc as well]

An Idiot’s Love story : The Stalking (Part 3)

I felt kind of cheated. Not by her. But by my own thoughts which had already started building up 2bhk apartments of imaginations where there had not even been a foundation laid. Even thoughts of me getting laid. 😛

I was stupid. Yes, I was. Being a romantic is a pain in your own ass, you know. You turn every single incident, every single statement and gosh, even you try to read the hidden meanings those smilyes might give off.

Why you ask? Well for starters, I tried to start off a conversation on facebook instead of actually going to her and talking, because you know, I just couldn’t!

So, there I was, sending her a friend request on facebook.

Oh, yes I’ve grown quite addicted to this, thanks to a little jealousy and to sharpen my stalking skills. With anticipation and worries, the night went on. Finally, got the notification that my request was accepted. Yes, I was happy and more so, relieved. A smile flashed in between the lecture, to which the professor gave me a strange look. Thankfully, it just stopped at that. Yeah, the look from him, not my smile.

From that, chats became a regular affair. Of course, I had to initiate those chats every night. Was yet to talk to her in person, but there was no stopping me to continue. And well, as it turned out I wasn’t the only one after her. Not just via this stupid fb chat, but on a lot of “platforms”, from restaurants to late-night walks to helping her in projects. Damn, and I was pinging her on facebook!!

So when this castle started showing cracks of being broken, with the heart breaking stories of her outings with others, and one in particular. I tried to talk one day, and move my online communication to the offline world. But then, the way it all unfolded only made me shrink in with the fear of never getting to be with her. Thoughts of me not of “her league”, not the one she is looking for and a whole lot, creeped in, like a storm.

What happened was a simple incident, a group of friends standing and there she swooped in to talk to one of them, even I mustered up courage to say a few words, afterall even I was one of her friend too, even though it was just facebook. But what I uttered, couldn’t travel the distance of a 2 feet!! Maybe she didn’t hear or maybe she just ignored. And I still repeated the same thing thrice, only to witness my words just fizzing off without getting to her ears.

Not that I never got to talk to her ever again. Staying in a residential college has its own perks, of having to cross paths multiple times and somehow during those “incidents” we did got talking. But then did anything happened or build on post those? Nope, not with me atleast.

A few days later she was with someone else. So, I became the guy, who admired her, while she walked around with someone else. Stalking her.

It wasn’t the end though. I did got my second chance.

What happens next ? Be there to find out soon. Also do read the first two parts of the story.

Part 1 & Part 2

As narrated by the Idiot, with minimum exaggerations and enhanced expressions. For further development keep waiting. 

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