Stories of shattering dreams

When I look at my friends and talk to them,

I don’t find them happy.

They have enough bank balance, they can survive,

And they are just surviving.

They have lost their happiness, each one of them.

Is this just a phase? Or this will last for a lifetime?

There is a storm up to every throat and heart;

They will survive. They will not.

They are now dreaming of running away, so do I.
Once upon a time, all those souls were happy and free; 

Now they are burdened.

Heaviness settling on their shoulders and in their hearts.

They might lose it.

I just hope they don’t.

They say the words and feel it too much;

Either they feel a lot or not.

I can hear their cry for freedom and happiness,

I feel it too.

It is very strong.

Taking us all in, deep, very deep.

We will get out of it, but then we will not talk about this,

We will bury it deep inside our hearts, too scared to take it out and show the world.

We will still talk, just superficial.

There will not be any long walks and carefree laughing, smiling, teasing and our secrets.

Maybe we will find the happiness or at least feel like we found it.

The freedom will have new definition.

 Definition chosen by the society, in a square impenetrable box.

Maybe some of us will break through it someday;

They will define things for them,

They will know what true freedom is and how to be really happy.

I will see real smile on their faces and the laughter out of their throats will not be constricted.

A few dreams will reach their destination.

I am happy for that and hoping for that.

If even one of them finds the dream, it will be success.

Success for all of us.

But now the things are gloomy and clouded;

They are enveloped in the sadness of what is lost, unable to see what is in front.

We are directionless, the paths are new and thorny.

The fog is thick; forcing us to hold on to whatever comes into our hands.

We are reaching out for anything that gives us the hope,

One day we will find the light, and some of us will reach out to it to go out.

The small flicker of courage and hope will blossom into a strong fire;

The hypnotizing fog will not be able to hold us any longer.

Breaking the chains will not be easy, my dear friends,

But maybe we will be able to do it.

Right now, all I see is the broken fragments of our dreams;

They hurt like the broken glass shards slicing through our naked flesh.

The words, when they are spoken, promises that they are losing the fire in them.

The shine is fading away, just like life leaves the dying eyes.

No one cares about your and my dreams,

We have to keep it protected.

Pretend that you forgot and forgave;

They will see your broken smiles with their weak eyes, 

Sounds of shattering dreams falling upon the deaf ears.

It happened to many, happens to many, will happen to many;

Just let them think they won, we will win our will back someday.

Just keep calm and get ready.

The dreams will roar one day and you will be the only one alive on the battlefield.

You will find yourself.

You will win.

Some day.

One day.

I hope, we will and so will I.


Booze called travel

Being a travel writer is all what I have dreamed of becoming since I started watching Food Safari. Yes, food was the main source of inspiration and like many others in India, the exposure to western culture brought lust for something- wanderlust. It wasn’t just simple touristing for me. I never dreamt of getting an extravagant hotel booked, with a pre-planned tour to the city. 

Like the rest of the youth population in India, I worship bunny too. He lived a life he wanted on his terms and gave us all new life goals *(for all those who don’t know who bunny is). To the detached and confused youth, the life of a runaway vagabond sound like heaven with its own financial perks. So, since that movie, I haven’t stopped mailing my Curriculum Vitae Fox Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, and National Geograohic Traveller.

The magazine purchase, however rare it was, left me in the clutches of student poverty. The showaholic nature of mine grew worse as all I watched was travel shows, all day, every day. I knew about places I have never visited like the small shop that the host went in Vietnam. Traveloholic.

I started understanding that I always loved travelling, irrespective of my age. I analysed my childhood trips and tours with or without family and I knew that I can live travelling. It was no more the detached youth yearning to run away. I now knew that travelling made me human again while liberating my thoughts.

I learnt new emotions, new stories, how to make people happy with the little you have. Too much beauty brought tears to my eyes, I know where to place the camera, and it looked good even blurred. I wasn’t a confident teenager, leaving behind my glorious days of unabashed confidence in my childhood. So I knew that writing is my only option.

There was a lot still undiscovered, near the places people knew about. No one was interested in those and it shocked me to core. I started to discover places, no big places, but the small ones which can make you feel human again. I wonder whether people will be interested in reading about those. Will they pay you for telling them about the hidden gems near them?

I do not know, but I dream of finding the answer to this.

*Bunny is the main character of a Bollywood movie Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. He worked as an intern for Fox Traveller and later got a job as a videographer and eventually a host for his own travel show. A song Ilahi takes us with Bunny as he travel places in all over the world and eats good food.

In search of a Home

I always wondered how it would feel like to belong to someplace or someone.

To people who belong to someplace;

It was always fascinating to listen to people with similar characters in their each story.

When they can proudly say that they know their area inside out and everyone know them in the alley.

They can take you in the shop and hold a conversation with the shopkeeper for five minutes straight.

 They will know the names and ages of all the kids who grew up with them and are growing up in front of them.

To people who belong to someone;

They will always have secrets, they are hidden from the world, but their home knows it all.

They never have this urge to make people understand them as their home will always understand them.

You will find them tired of arguments as they argue a lot with the person they feel home at.

They always have a reason to skip a social event as they have someone waiting for them back at home.

People who don’t have a home;

They are home to everyone, temporarily.

They will treat, serve and take a leave, because they know how it feels to not have a home.

They will stand at the edge just so to catch the homeless from falling into the endless pit of despair they once fell into.

They feel so lonely, but I dare you to find a single moment when they are not smiling.

Because nobody wants a cold and broken home. 

People don’t need to know, they never tried and never will.

What is the point of telling them that in the world where buying house is easy, they are desperately searching for a home.

Their heart is filled with memories and the people in those memories have forgotten them with time.

People don’t remember them because they don’t belong to them, they never will.

There are heartbreaks at every corner, for they failed miserably in the search of a home.

They are now called wanderers, for they have no hope of finding a home again.

The feeling of restlessness they felt earlier is now just a sensation that will remain forever, they have learnt to live with it.

They are passionate for everything yet cold towards everything.

To the outside world, they are heartless, but they fail to understand that they are just homeless.

No curtains

There are 99 things that I can say about this society but I will just share what happened to me when I was travelling in a train. Indian Railways take the whole India from one place to other and it’s a people’s medium. You will agree with me for the fact that we find India in Indian Railways. 

So what happened to me was funny to the extent that I barely noticed that it was actually a gift from our past generations to us. Getting a seat in the train to my city from Bhopal becomes more competitive during the tatkal hours as there is one train thrice a week. So, Tatkal tickets aren’t easy to book as there are at least 20 people fighting for one seat. After a lot of planning, praying and spending more money later, I got a seat and was ecastic to go to home.

The date of journey was there and I boarded the train and imagine my shock as there was not even a single woman in my coach. Praying that the toilets will not make me puke and there will not be any creepy stares, I went on to sleep. Hoping for the best, after my beauty sleep I rivalled a racoon after a few hours. Oh, there I spotted a creepy stare- frowned a bit-and returned the stare. 

The no-woman compartment ensured that there were no other distraction and I suffer alone. So rather than suffering, I chose sleeping. Sleeping straight for 12 hours gave the much needed relief and time pass. As the train neared the destination, everyone started changing their cloths. I forgot to mention that my co-passengers were mostly in Lungi and shirts. The lungis acted as curtain for the men and they changed into formal pants and jeans. 

I could have chosen the curtain idea too, but as I wasn’t in a position to do that so I took out my cloths and climbed out of my seat. It was almost hysterical that the men who changed their pants in front of me with just a lungi to hide them were looking at me as if I just murdered someone in cold blood. Shrugging off their reactions I took the cloths and entered the stink-room to change.

When I exited the bathroom, people looked at me in bewilderment or if I rephrase that correctly- shocked. They were snickering when I got back into my seat and I had to ask what the matter was. Viola, the snickering was gone and everyone turned towards the windows.

I laugh a lot whenever I remember that incident, but it also made me think deeply that exactly what caused it. Was it the society’s years of brainwash or it was simply too naïve and childish of me to want the change of clothes after a day’s journey? I haven’t reached the answer yet, I think someday I will, maybe a decade or more later. But will the things be different when I finally understand the reason behind the snickers and the shocked expressions? I don’t know.

Satan’s poison

From the balcony of his palace, he stood and watched as the people cried and wailed and howled in pain, he felt powerful. With a victorious smile on his face he looked up to see smiles and happiness on people’s face, he felt disgusted.

He was livid that everything he gifted to this world wasn’t long lasting, hardly appreciated. He gifted death, jealousy, greed, anger and many things just so that the pain outruns the happiness, all in vain.

He can’t think of anything to cause ever-lasting pain to people, a resistance to the medicine that always cheered the broken hearts and mended them with time, he felt helpless.

Frustrated, he ventured out of his palace into his kingdom, he felt a bit better as he saw endless misery everywhere and to stroke his ego furthermore he continued to travel.

He then saw his old wise minister in the marketplace, writing something on his notepad as always, enveloped in his work. An idea then struck his brain and he approached the wise man. 

On seeing his king, the wise man bowed down and the king nodded in acknowledgement. The wise man thinking that the king wanted to know about the work he was currently assigned to, he started to give him a brief review of his studies.

The king wasn’t interested and interrupted the wise man.

 King- “O wise man, as I am about to ask you a question, I want you to be fearlessly honest with the answer”.

Wise man- “My king, as your humble servant, I will do as you say”.

King- “Look around you and tell me what you see”?

Wise man- “Dear king, I see misery and pain all around, in and around everyone”.

King- “In my kingdom, the misery and pain is endless. It’s everywhere and still spreading like a forest fire. I spend so little and my tools here aren’t that strong and effective. To earth, I give my best and strongest gifts and yet the people there aren’t suffering as much as the people here. I am still tormented by their smiling faces each day. I am at my wit’s end”.

Wise man- “My great king, to earth you present the strongest gifts- death, jealousy, anger, greed and so many. The people of God fear your gifts, the death are more gruesome after each day, and it causes more pain to the precious ones. But my king, none of them lasts forever. They heal with time and replace the pain with memories.

King- “Wise man, then tell me how to make it last”?

Wise man- “O my inquisitive king, the people in your kingdom are under the effect of the poison that grows in the kingdom. It works slowly but is very effective. It takes out every ounce of happiness from heart.”

The wise man upon seeing the king’s confused face, he politely asked the king to follow him into the market. As they went deeper, the chattering lessened and a loud banging noise grew stronger. After a few minutes, they were standing in front of a shop of blacksmith.

Wise man- “O my mighty king, do you see the blacksmith hammering the iron continuously. He is shaping the iron to turn it into wheels. The poison we discussed acts just like the hammer to human heart. It continuously hammers it and devours the usual happiness the heart feels. The poison is the key to everlasting pain.

The king understood but still felt the lack of direction.

King- “How do I spread the poison into the human world? It can’t grow there and need a physical body to reach amongst the people”.

Wise man- “My king, people fear most what they can’t see or understand. Let the people be the units to spread the poison. They will become the cause of constant pain to people. By day, they will hurt the people thinking that they are doing the right thing and by the night they will grieve for what they have done to others. They will belong to no one. A pariah and without any home to their heart.

The wise man continued- “The pain is disguise will last long, but my king, you will have to ensure that the units are cleverly designed, so as to lure the people. They must be loaded with gifts that are attractive to humans. Make them cheerful, happy and inviting.”

People look for things in the darkness. Hide the evil in the blinding light. People won’t be able to see it.

It will grow rapidly and seep into the population. These units will do your bid unknowingly, forever”.

As a next step, the king ordered the manufacturing of these units. After few years, the units were all around the world- doing what they were made to do.

Her skirt

She wore skirt to work every day. They never looked same as she hyped it a bit every day with a new accessory or a new shirt or even her hairstyle did the trick for her. She was an enigma for the whole office. Everyone wanted to be acknowledged by her and be her friend. For them, she was their floor royalty with her perfect poise, elegance and intelligence. Unsurprisingly what the girls around her admired that how she handled her skirts without a single slip up and damn she was an expert at it.

She was loved and adored by all. Who wouldn’t, she was a happy face with a caring soul. She wore only skirts and they were always the talk of the day. She had gentle and melodious voice but a fierce and strong personality to rival it. She was a wonder for everyone.

This was a normal day in her life where she entered her office in a lime green plaid knee-length skirt and a sky blue off shoulder satin shirt with an attached collar. She looked beautiful as always. As she proceeded towards her desk and greeted everyone she met with a charming smile, the door of the boss’s cabin opened and everyone turned to see a new face. The company had a surprise waiting for the employees because there was a new boss smiling at everyone.

She was shocked just as everyone else was. The boss came and greeted everyone with the information that he doled out about the change of hands. “A circular will be taped on the notice board later and we are glad that an already complete, creative and hardworking team has been handed down to us. You think that I am a boss but I am just your friend with a cabin of my own. I know that we will have a good time. So let’s continue with the work and have a nice day“. 

The employees dispersed away and dived into their work with little murmurs floating all around in the office. She stood there rigidly with her face stoic. Then, she smiled to herself and went to her desk to start her day. She wore pants to her office next day. When questioned, she simply shrugged it off saying she wanted a change. 

She was still enigmatic, poised and beautiful. A loved co-worker and person who was invited for everyone’s celebratory parties and fun times. She worked happily ever after.

The End.

A good story leaves happy faces behind and the best one tears. For a best story read on…

After the work that day, she went to her apartment and closed the door firmly. As the door closed, floodgates of her eyes opened. She was scared. She was scared of wearing skirts again. She was scared of the monster that came out of the door in the morning today and she was scared of wearing skirts again in front of him. He, just like before will enjoy the view she gave no more as she was elegantly poised and there might be an accidental brush on her thighs as she is leaning down to explain her plan as a team leader.

She was scared of him but she was terrified of a something else and it sent her into thought overdrive. She was terrified of the image that she was expected to portray in the society. What if she enters the office with a gloomy face and sad demeanour? What would people say if all she wanted to wear was thick cloths that covered her whole body instead of the cute and glamorous skirts she wore?

She was terrified of the Facebook pages wanting to know her story, the twitter feed containing news related to her being revisited again and her Instagram feed that was empty until she joined this office. 

She was panicking because all her writings related to women empowerment will be laughed at as she is not strong enough now. What would happen to all the girls who looked up to her when they read her articles to gain their diminishing strength while crouched down in the corner of their rooms?

She had to be strong because the society wanted her to be. There mustn’t be any weak moments for her now that she have won once. The society that hardly understood her made her strong. She can be weak behind the door for her whole life, but a strong upfront was must. So, she did it.

She somehow managed to gain swollen eyes, stuffy nose and dark circles the following morning. She had expensive makeup kit to show her strength and hide her weakness. So she hid it. She faced the world with a smile again but with pants on. Her first step to let anyone in, for real. No one ever did. She worked and wrote with her makeup on. She was truly enigmatic, wasn’t she?