The Mid-Summer Stranger- OneShots

The mid-summer sun promises of much exhaustion, but that day. The Bangalore roads were traffic free. The reason, Bharath Bandh, so it wasn’t just Bangalore who had the benefit of crowd free roads but the whole country celebrated a moment.

But, there is a man with a story. He doesn’t catch anybody’s attention, his attire, simple and dirty. He could come by as a homeless traveler. The authentic cotton white hat adorned his head barely giving away his receding hairline. His long silver beard is dusty with the pollution in the scorching sun. As he crossed the road teary eyed, he coughs twice least bothered about the city etiquettes of covering his mouth.

He wipes off the shining sweat beads off his forehead and drags his way with all the weight his torn bags are carrying. He crosses the road a bit limping and weary eyes cautious of the speeding vehicles.

“Rajajinagar?” He tries stopping a rickshaw with a tired tone.

“Bharath Bandh”  a group of aggressive Patriots shouts slogans along the road.

Every shop was shut down, every mode of public transport was temporarily at a halt, and every other middle-class citizen had a problem with this.

I sit inside my AC filled car as I dodge the reclusive heat of the sun. All the designer wears on the online shopping venue doesn’t catch my attention as the struggling stranger does.summer day, bangalore, traffic, story, fiction, writer, blog, author

With a punctured wheel, I await the return of my driver who has taken ages to search for a garage that could replace my wheel and get me home to my loving family.

I observe the man as he struggles to find a way to commute.

“Madam, can you give me a lift. It is an emergency, and none of the buses are in movement” He narrated his state that  I was well aware of, in his broken Kannada language.

“Where to Sir?” I ask him, trying to quench my curiosity.

“Water madam” He almost begged. I withdrew my curiosity instincts and fetched a bottle from the back seat.

He gulped it down like an animal. I made him keep the bottle.

“Where to, Sir?”

“Rajajinagar” He squeaked

“But that is two hours away from here, and I’m not traveling that way” I made sure he understood my Kannada and gestured him the absent wheel of my red swift.

“Oh, how can I help you, madam.” It was a spontaneous reaction that fetched him the respect he deserved.

“Sir, It is ok. Let us sit under that shade of the tree until we find help” I lead him to the only tree on the roadside in the next 50 meters.

“The place where I come from has lots of trees and cleaner air to breathe. We have bullock carts that help us commute. But Bangalore is like abroad for us” He smiled as he reminisced his village.

I nod my head in an assertion.

“I came here to see my daughter who is in this city. I have her address as well. It has been ten years since I saw her. See. Also, I came here to give her these” He opened his dusty bag to fetch a three football sized watermelons.

“Why doesn’t she come home?”

“She married a Hindu, and I couldn’t forgive her for that. Allah Maaf Kare” He silenced with a prayer

“I can understand Hindi, and it happens. You realized, and you are going to meet her. That is really a good thing” I smile at his acceptance.

“I am too late madam. Today is her 23rd birthday, and she is no more. She died a few weeks ago, and I never got to know. I heard she has a five-year-old daughter. My grandchild. I’m taking these for her. She is my Sabha now” He gulped down his tragic story.

I sit there with a shiver on a sunny day. Here was a father going to visit his dead daughter after years and there is a kid who has never seen her maternal grandfather. Will they accept each other? Do ego and religion come in between any relationship, any blood bond?

As I gazed into the oblivion, a car stopped in front of me. Chandini, a friend of mine from school, got down for the customary reunion hugs.

I ask her a favor to drop the old man to Rajajinagar, the place where she resides. A few minutes later, I still sit there wondering how time flies and what we lose. We need to acknowledge people around us. We need to tell them how much we cared, loved and sacrificed for them.

Essential as it is to tell, more needed is the heart to forgive and to forage out our own imperfections and move on in life. With love, with gratitude and a smile that can make memories live longer in the hearts and not just in the camera rolls.

 

 

 

 

‘B’ack-up Passion…AtoZ Challenge

I don’t know if such a thing called back-up passion exists but one thing that I’m sure of is that we are all born to be passionate about one thing or the other in life. Something that makes us feel alive. It might start as a mere curiosity or just a connection felt when doing it as a random act.

Coming to it I love to read, I mean a lot. Not the text books per-se but all the stories in the world. It was the tinkle series that got me started or should I mention that it was my mother who brought that Tinkle and ignited the fire of reading in me. Well thanks to both of them then.

I remember as a little kid, while commuting to school in a van that fairly takes over forty minutes and I always felt the time fly and it was then I realized that Time doesn’t travel but our brains make travel. Einstein was a genius for the relativity concept ( A bow). Courtesies to my tinkle and other magazines for connecting to Einsteins relativity theory. 

So that said it all, I realized that reading was my passion. I was wrong. Writing was my passion albeit not as literary concern as possible! Yet I still found time to write horror stories when I was young putting all my flexible muscles in my fingers to scare my brother who was and is the most honest critique of my works. And then we all grew up, started to believe that the real world out there scorns at your hobbies and passion. You had to be an engineer or a doctor to make a mark in life and so I was set for the career choice that I was believed to be the best for me and that was the best decision I ever made .

For it opened the doors to a new world, where learning and knowing the importance of the stage, coming to know of the value of friendships and the value of your passions were decrypted. Until then I had forgotten all about reading and writing until I came across like-minded people , Mangs(Mangala) , one of my closest friends who wears that shy traditional name and it was from her ; I discovered the plethora of books that I could read and tend to get a gist of the genre I like and thus my journey revamped.p

So , passion is fine but how long can one be only passionate about a single thing. The process can propel in the loss of creativity as the mind tends to dry up in the same dampened lane. This is when one needs to have a back-up passion , one that supports you, inspires you, gets you on your strong spirits and re-directs you to the goal.If that is what I have to say , then photography especially when it came to conceptual photography was more inclined towards my choices until the death of my camera. Then I was least interested with the low picture quality that comes from the not so expensive smart-phones. I have always felt that they never made justice to the object.

Then what else, when I had nothing to write about or click about, dilemma imposing it’s ambiguous sword against my neck.  had an option , there is always a choice.Find something that you like and I like singing with my feet and contemperory style has always fascinated me. It’s the most complex yet graceful forms that I have ever come across. The tilts , the jumps , and the way you lift yourself into the air, it feels like flying(not that I’m a dancer, but still…) and maybe that is why I was more attracted towards the form.It inspires me, it makes me wake up with a purpose, re-connecting me to the goals, to the dreams that I have planned for myself.

And that is how you motivate yourself back to your true passions and  back-up passions are a blessing to human kind. Embracing it would lead us to the unknown paths that’s lighted only for us intensifying the passion to learn more in all the ways possible.

I’m grateful for all the good things in my life and many more struggles that only has strengthened me so far.In the process of backing up more skills.

Happy day:)