Tag Archives: courage

The Fighter Father


She was 6 years old. She stood frozen with her mother on the streets of Kanyakumari at 4 o clock in the morning, hoping the dawn to break, and the noise to fade away.Her Father was trying to fight it out with a rogue taxi driver, who thought to extract the maximum from clueless tourists…
“You can grab my collar Sir. No insults traded. I am a Taxi Driver. My work is to make money. Earn it . Sweat it. Cheat. or Snatch it.
What if I do the same to you? Look at your wife and daughter!”
But wrong was wrong. Who will see the right, if everybody was blinded by choice to the might of the wrong?
My mother warned, ” Someday you will not be in a state to fight any more. We will sit beside you and moan. You are a fighter- F.I.N.E!  But You are a husband and father too…”

That day came soon. Two decades later.

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22nd June, 2014. I watched the news flash blood soaked images of Daddy frantically. The scrolls reading-“A Thief had attacked a  Scientist, in a communally charged area…The DRDO Regional Director, while trying to nab a pickpocket in Charminar, stabbed...”
He walked valiantly into the Police Station, grabbing onto his cuts . Blood oozing out like water from a fountain.He told the Police who he was and called up Mother to say he was fine and fainted.

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48 Stitches. 46 cms long cut,4.5 cms deep, nearly missing the spleen and vitals.
Had it hit? I don’t even want to imagine that!
Lying on the hospital sofa for 10 days and more, I wondered…
My Father was stabbed while trying to get back the stolen cell phone of a colleague.They had been there in Hyderabad to attend a Director’s Annual Conference. That was the last day of the 3 day meet.
He was to catch a flight back home that evening.
23rd June was their Marriage Anniversary.

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Here sat my Mom receiving flowers from an ocean of visitors. Yes. Get well soon.
Doctors cluttered to ‘personally‘ talk to the man who was all over the Newspapers. Political parties queued up to offer their ‘apologies’. Colleagues across the country from almost the entire DRDO spectrum, were a pillar of strength that even family couldn’t provide. Unknown people walked in to get a glimpse of The Man
Here lay a HERO. My Fighter Father.

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What was so unusual about this?! Each day,each moment,in each corner of India, somebody burgled somebody else. So many other somebodys watched over passively,”it happens!!“. Many somebodys lost their lives- stabbed, wounded, bleeding till death… So W.H.A.T?!

Yes there was something unusual for sure.
Here lay a man, who bled for one, who wasn’t related to him by blood.  People didn’t do that every day, not even for themselves.
What did he gain?
An indefinite vacation in the hospital-thronged by well wishers. A tonne of apples, oranges and pomegranates. A much needed company of his children. Lights-Camera-Action! from the media, who savoured each bit of such ‘nearly extinct human species‘.  And the idea that he was so liked by so many, so much regarded, so very connected to so many unconnected people.
What did he lose?
Buckets of blood, that would take months to replenish. Some really important tasks that had to be done for the family. His own very expensive glasses.The clothes, that were a gift from his children.Lots of money on buying overpriced flight tickets,   & on uncountable phone calls. Flak of cynics who thought he was foolishly quixotic.

Oh! That meant there was more to be lost than gained.

I listened to him narrate to the visitors. Couple of Muslim representatives from a political party visited to apologize. They had met the convict, a “17” year old Muslim boy , in the juvenile home. He had asked them to convey his Sorry to my father- or so did they say.
Why was it being viewed from a communal angle I really couldn’t comprehend. The thief was Muslim, but so were most of the Nurses who took care of Daddy, just like his daughters. And so were many empathetic sympathizers.

It struck me then that we had completely forgotten about the boy. He was a Muslim so what? We didn’t have any anger against him, neither against a religion that was being made a casualty like truth. He was a victim as well- of poverty, of ignorance and of society’s indifference to humanity and compassion.

The boy had stabbed while my father held onto his hand, trying to reason with him, “you are my son’s age. Please give back whatever you have stolen“. But in a bid to escape, he had nervously stabbed and run away.

This was his 4th such crime. He had been caught by the Police earlier as well and put in the juvenile home.
Did it reform him in any miniscule manner?
He was fed and clothed and sheltered there and sent back with a license- to steal, rape, kill, whatever? Oh! He was a juvenile after all.
And in a country like India where birth records were as cautiously maintained as its Family Planning efforts, 17 years 11 months and 17 years 12 months definitely could be differentiated with pin-drop precision?!?

A thought to be spared also was- had not Daddy been in such privileged position, would  justice still have been delivered? Would he still have received the medical aid and attention with urgency?

He narrated, how he incessantly kept on insisting who he was, before he could get the Police help and bring in a sense of urgency. Had he been a somebody, he could have simply bled to death in a Police station while trying to file an FIR.

Then there were many who were good economists. They aptly calculated how he wasted more resources than he could save.
Well, Ethics and Economics never got on well!

But there were many many others who were proud of him and considered him unconditionally brave. Had they not stood with us in such trying times, it was hard to say, if Daddy could have recovered the trauma.

Such times in life are a watershed. They are revelations of who we thought are friends but turn out to be strangers by choice- bystanders in our life’s battles. And of who we thought were strangers but get strangely enmeshed with our lives.

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35  then, his blood boiled against the unjust, unfair, corrupt.
53 now, but the Specific heat capacity of his blood has still not gone up with age. And so he let his blood flow for the right, 20 years back, and still can- 20 years from now.

Papers would get new sensational news, the ‘ reformed juvenile‘ would be back again, people would forget most of this story soon.
But some of it would certainly be remembered, that there are still such foolish, impractical and unnecessarily brave people left in this big bad world who make most of us pause and introspect what we are and what should we be!

Hyderabad gave us the blood that flowed down from his body, and as tears down our eyes. Hyderabad gave us the Love, that bound our hearts and our lives. Hyderabad thus gave us the people we can so truly call- Blood relations. 20140628_212134

Yet a line from the news flash haunts my mind constantly, “This incident has nothing to do with DRDO affairs”.
True. But how promptly we close our eyes, ears, mouths, minds and hearts, at the slightest thought of “unnecessarily involving” ourselves in “unrelated” events that do not concern us.
Every truth is seen as an alleged lie. Every lie is treated as a proven truth. So much so that, we never step out from our comfort zones in seeking the right, in fighting the wrong.
Until the accident has happened to us, we think ‘it happens!!’, but we never ask, ‘why?’,  ‘How can we fight it out?‘ We just promptly declare, “this alleged incident has nothing to do with our affairs.”

Nothing has changed and nothing was supposed to- to be practical. But what has changed is, the thought that Heroes do exist and most of them donot make it to the TV. They are Anonymous. They are among us. They are within us, waiting to be woken up from slumber, called up to say, ” yes, it has something to do with me, although it has nothing to do with me.

PS: Rajiv Gupta Uncle and Laxmi Aunty. I have no words to thank you. And perhaps family is never thanked. All I can say is your affection makes me miss even the hospital days. 🙂
Vikas Uncle and Poonam Aunty, Paritosh Uncle and Sandhya Aunty and Venkat Uncle- for all that you have done for us, ‘Thank you’ would be a very small word. You made Hyderabad a home away from home.

THE LOSER?


When someone has nothing to lose, she becomes capable of everything to gain. So the world should beware and watchout, whether what it wants to snatch out is already snatched away.
Robbing a soul of its last morsel of hope, has the capability of creating a shadow that does not fear light, a silhouette that does not fear night.
Just when the world thinks it has taken all,
made you powerless,
bent you to your knees-
It sees!

It has not made you powerless.
It has made you fearless.
Fearless- of even losing fear…

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Who decides whether power overpowers fear or fear threatens power?
Who decides who is the loser?
Who decides whether there ever was anything to lose?
Yes the Loser, who will never lose again…

To The God Anonymous


There are millions of moments in  life when you are forced to look back, instead of looking forward with a vision. And those are the times when you are made to look beyond — beyond yourself, beyond how the world sees you, beyond success, beyond failures.
Those are the times when your faith is put to test.

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It is the test of your God and not your own.

In your heart beats you are very much aware that you have asked for the comfort of palaces to a God who chose vanavaasa himself, lost kingdoms, lost his wife, sacrificed his children, wealth and well-being.
You pray for the fragrance of the roses to a Lord who was made to die on a bed of thorns by the very people whom He loved.
You ask for victory,ecstasy, and gifts to a Lord, who chose for himself thorns,sorrows and grief.

Yet you pray. Yet you put your God to test- time and again.

Being God, he has the liberty to act being deaf, the power to deny. But he doesn’t. He complies.

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Having lost the most precious dream I ever dreamt, no doubt I am notably shaken, but not beyond repair though.

Today, I am asked for something which I donot possess myself.
I am begged for something which I am robbed of right now.
I am forced to lend something which I have borrowed from the world myself- Courage, Hope, Smile.

But Just like the Lord I pray- I shall comply.

I am happy that years of prayers have taught me- “Wealth and Well-being are ephemeral.Wisdom is eternal.”
In the quest for wisdom you would be forced to part ways with wealth and well-being, with excruciating pain.
And ironically when you need them no more, when you have mastered the art of living with wisdom and wisdom alone, when you have excelled the trick of sleeping on a bed of thorns…you would be offered with infinite wealth, infinite well-being.

But this wisdom eludes me more often that not. I am sad to choose between the three. I am tempted to have them all

I have failed miserably today, not because I have failed. But because, I have failed to stand up again and try.

I have heard people say, ” A real winner is one who is moved by victory with humility but unmoved by downfall in striking back again.

It would be a crime to deny that I was unmoved by a hopeful triumph then and this dreadful defeat now.
I am moved- to question my prayers, to bully my faith.

I ask my God. I ask myself. “why do I pray?”
The God doesn’t answer my question. Prayers do.

You pray not because you need something from the Almighty. And you turn your back not because you were made to return empty-handed.
You pray because, You want to pray.
That is the only choice you ever have.

If not, then it is like complimenting somebody for their good looks just because you want them to say, you look amazing too.

So You Pray because you want to heal yourself.

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Even when heaven falls apart some truths hold to be true.
Your parents can sacrifice anything for you.
Your grandparents would never say, but your sorrow shatters them more than it shatters you.
Your Teacher will consider himself victorious, if you outrun him in the race of life.
And you will be your worst enemy and your best friend for all life through.

But each one of them, you fully acknowledge, with all their strengths and shortcomings.

If I am hungry for a hug, I shall go to Mummy.
If I donot recall a physics formula, I will run to Daddy.
If I am in dire need of a piece of hope, I will ransack my own brave heart.

But then there are so many things in life which I need and nobody else I know in this world can give me…
And funnily enough there are so many moments in life, when I don’t know what I actually need.

In the quagmire of what I need?whom to ask for?where to look for?… I think of Him.
The one person who doesnot have a face; who doesnot have a resume of role-profiles, capabilities and shortcomings; who doesn’t have an address where I can appeal.

And so it is the easiest to assume– He is in every face. He is capable of doing everything. He exists everywhere.

I cannot afford to be hopeless today. I cannot afford to be a cynic tomorrow.
There is always a specific somebody for every specific desire. All I need to do is seek. Find.
And there are so many wishes, wills and whims in my heart today, that need to be fulfilled. People suffice for most, He for the rest.

Can I ever be an atheist then?
The Love for myself makes me believe in Loving Him.
And I pray.

ANGEL

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You are scared- of Darkness and of Light.
You are scared of the Darkness because you do not know what it holds.
You are scared of the Light too. Because you know, it doesn’t hold what you need.

In the dark whether you open or close your eyes- it hardly matters. It is Dark. You are blind.
But you want to open your eyes anyhow, step out of the Dark, and turn on the lights.
But the brilliance of the rays splinter and hurt your sight. And you close your eyes again…

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So did you wish to open or close your eyes?
In life, it hardly matters what you wished.

It is then that you realize,how darkness can brighten into light and Light blind you into darkness…
How it actually doesn’t matter whether you open or close your eyes- because you always see what you want to see. And you can always see what you want to see.

You can see Faith. You can see Hope. You can see your prayers reaching Him.

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TO THE GOD ANONYMOUS!

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I would like to convey a few things.

You have returned me empty handed. But you returned me with a filled heart.
You have shown me how my hands would be filled with your gifts someday, but my heart would never be. Silly thing! It always longs for more.
But then I like it to be that way! I shall compensate my greed with my faith on you.

And yes! Is there such a dear victory that cannot move a man in delight and is there such a disastrous defeat which cannot move a man in plight?
Is there any such thing as ‘unmoved‘ at all?
And is there anyone other than you who remains unmoved?? Despite a million prayers. Despite a trillion tears.

I guess not.

I cannot promise to remain unmoved ever.
You move me with ecstasy with the magics you show.
You move me with pain with the tricks you play.
I am very much moved by you.

And I guess it is better not trying to swap roles with you.
You play God and I shall play myself.

Sometimes I feel pity on you. How more often, you are scoffed at than being thanked!
But It was you who chose to play God and not me.

Please do not forget– You may love to sleep on the thorns, but I prefer the roses.

Thank you God- for all that you have given.
But of course you would never be forgiven for what you haven’t given.

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When winds of change gallop


Taking out only the necessary fingers from inside the blanket, I refuse to come out of hibernation. A severe head ache bangs in my head with too many thoughts struggling to prioritize themselves. A call from a girl I have never seen, never met, never loved, never hated…wakes me up. Why do Residues of relations that come and go out of your life like a boomerang, refuse to fade into oblivion, refuse to die off??

It amazes me how and why we  remember people sometimes. How and why we pretend to forget some and How and why we wish we could ever forget some others…

I look at the beams of sunlight coming from the asbestos roof over me. I am amazed at how grumpy I can be when the pillow seems not too soft at home and how when alone I can curl up to battle the cold on a bed that’s exactly fits me…

There was a day when  I was scared of change. There came a day when I made up my mind to play all those games I was scared of . There came this day when all I know is change: Change myself, Camouflage sometimes and Cast off those myriad masks sometimes…

Because  I know you won’t change for me.

So I put up those colored glasses and see you as I wish to see you.

In the concrete closet I am in, waiting for a gift to come soon, I stop counting   hours… realizing that life is a long wait. A mysterious force within gives me inconceivable faith that this is the ultimate trial before the triumph.

There are no Do’s and Dont’s here. But some instructions are implicit. I know I cannot sing here and whispering on the phone inside the blanket, careful enough that I don’t make too much noise makes me go crazy sometimes. And the wonderful washroom perfectly fits me…I can never slip off and fall in it as I usually did before 🙂

Life offers its share of Laughter and Lynches when you least expect it to.

Well … My dream of being a silent, sober missy is finally being answered. 😛

But as I attempt to hum my favourite song…my lips fumble and the tune is lost…I am scared that I might lose my voice some day soon…

I stare at the ‘bird in the cage’, the only fancy thing that hangs on from the roof. Rolling on with time, I rolled off all those things that could be categorized as unnecessary into large cartons that were taped shut forever. The only thing that was somehow  left out was this.

I am reminded of the times when wind chimes would hum into my ears with the rain, with the breeze. But when winds of change gallop… chimes have made way for the cage here.

Once the bells in the wind chime struggled to stay still when the breeze would tickle them at length… and today the bird in the cage struggles to flutter, if only there would be a breeze…

There are so many firsts that take us back in life, that we are bound to deal with such grace as if we have been doing that all through. If we clench our fist, we get a fist in turn. But if we open up our palm, time tugs at our finger and shows us the way…

I Hope.

A last that lasts..


I have been missing my blog since September…and wanted to write something good..something great..and in d attempt to do so…lost out in d race of time…

but before the clock strikes 12… I want this date to be inscribed on my blog forever…

today wasn’t such happy an ending….and so i would make it an early ending. Perhaps I will sleep off the winter and ignore the cold, in me and around me.

But after every night comes the day and after every unhappy ending I am assured of a very happy beginning… 🙂

I would wake up to hopes tomorrow and yet not forget the today..because I don’t want to….else the lessons would be lost, the achievements would be belittled and the hard times that I faced undaunted would lose their charm.

Whatever happens…happens for the better. Because the best is yet to come.

I have walked without slippers towards my Crystal palace…yet miraculously my feet were unsoiled… I received much more than I ever thought I will…yet the natural desire for more goes on in my quest. The broken glass must have torn my feet but I might not have shed any tear….perhaps that’s why there wasn’t any pain…

But right now at the doorstep, when I see the ravenous red on the shards… I deny my oath of not crying…. It hurts..it pains…and you can’t deny it.

But good that I am reminded now and not before…or I couldn’t have traveled this tortuous path. Now I am clinging onto the crystal door and sooner I would be ushered in. I would soon wash off the ravenous red and soon soothe my blisters… i would wash off my feet and wash off my wounds…sleep and wake up as if I was never hurt.

I would wake up on the throne. The crystal palace would be mine.

I have lost out in the race of being a perfectionist. But to go on, I have to see the ‘yes’ as a ‘no’ and the ‘no’ as a ‘yes’ and see that what my heart desires.

NOW!

I am not a perfectionist. I am a Narcissist.

I love myself and soon you would love me too.

I am the princess on the crystal throne.

I am the hope for myself.

I am the best I could be.

And now I will sleep…because I have got to know…

You need to sleep to wake up.

Happy Old year. Happy New year and Happy ME!