Metamorphosis

As I entered and sat, I saw a flood of people around. Chatting and interacting as if they know everything about the other one. I, a reluctant, hesitant, and probably diffident introvert had entered a class of mass media. Everyone around was so open and talkative that I felt jealous and agitated at the same time. How can you talk so much in one day? I cannot talk that much to strangers even in a week! Then, I sat in a corner, alone and distant as my background would permit. What on earth can make them take selfies in the very first week of college? I never took selfies because I dislike them and the event or the place has to be special enough for me to take it. (Additionally, I never had a front camera in my phone!). Fast-forward three years, the same diffident, reluctant, and hesitant guy is now confident enough to go and talk to anyone; takes selfies with people and clicks some decent pictures to remember a lifetime. How? Let’s see that in my college journey!

The first year of college was about adapting to the new culture, merging in the new environment, and adjusting myself to the change in my life and lifestyle. The major change was in the culture and environment. I belong to Rajkot, Gujarat where there is a huge gap between males and females. My school wasn’t co-ed and there were different sections for boys and girls. Adding on, I am an introvert who would take time to gel in and make friends. The friendliness and the warmth people had in here, shocked me. They would hug strangers and take selfies with them on the first meet! Err, we would not do that unless there is a certain amount of closeness there! The presence of girls in the class, very different vibes and culture probably made me sit in a corner and witness what all people would do. I would talk more about the subject in class to the teacher than to any of my classmates! However, I did plays and took part in every committee possible in the first year. That was quite an experience. Some personal issues were going on too and I was not satisfied with my accommodation then. Hence, the first year was all about exploring the city and college, trying to gel in with people and get accustomed to the new culture.

Come to second year where everything seemed familiar and I felt more comfortable and open. I had found my friend circle and I was happy with how life went. Every problem or hindrance I faced in the first year seemed to resolve. The year was greater as we celebrated days and festivals. The short film screenings and project presentations were a unique experience. The smooth journey ended with an ultra -memorable day wherein we had potluck in our class, a roast, and we dressed like actors from Bollywood or Hollywood. It also marked a shift in the classes as I was going to journalism stream where there were only a handful of people. The most fantastic discovery happened in this year- my affection towards photography. I did like clicking pictures ever since I had a camera in my phone, but I was never satisfied and always complained about the results and the equipment. I finally discovered the art and the passion that lies in me.

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The third year was by far the best year of education I have had in my life. The change in me was evident. I spoke in every lecture and talked to everyone around. I also started singing full on shady Bollywood songs like Beedi jalaley aloud and in class. There was a different me altogether now. I could see the negative side of everything too. I had become critical of everything. This always helps me to see the potential one can have and the best one can do. I had grown in every aspect I could think of, be it putting opinions aloud, showing my mean side, writing, photography, and I guess drawing too! I met and studied with a different set of people. The concentrated class with similar wavelengths and interests created a magic to cherish for the lifetime.

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What added cherry on the cake was my small role in the play we put together- Chali Kahani. It was hardly for 30 seconds in the play of 120 minutes. The role was of an authority that would announce the harsh decision of dividing classes that were together for two years. The message literally crashed the dreams of everyone. That is what I played. I did realize that I could play the villain too. The mean and the bad side of mine is coming out slowly and it is something that I need to display as and when required! And of course, there is no greater fun than being a sadist! 😛

This journey would have been incomplete without many people-

  • Teachers– You all did the best thing someone could do to someone else- empower them. You taught us and made us learn about various things in life, be it about the printing techniques or the simple etiquettes one needs to follow in an interview! There is still loads to learn from you and I would do that by staying in touch with you all!
  • Batch mates and friends – I have learnt something from each one of you even though I would have rarely interacted with you! I am always here if you want to talk and I would be glad too! We have a great set of memories to cherish and reminiscent our college life! I am sure someday, we would have a reunion and talk all we want to, like old times!
  • Juniors and seniors- you are the people who made college look like college. Without you all, we would probably be a lost and a hopeless class who had no one to guide and no one to bully! 😛
  • Journalism class– Haaye, I hope someday we are back again at some place and pretend to be the pseudo intellectuals we always be and talk about issues of world like Donald Trump and shady songs of Bollywood! I am sure each one of us would stay in touch and make the most of our lives!
  • My mentees and the mentorship committee– Well, the one thing that I was never confident of was my leadership skills but you all proved me wrong in various ways in that! I think I can lead someone now although I have lots to learn. But the experience was awesome and I feel empowered enough to help and guide anyone in need! I am one-step closer and a level upgraded to my final destination!
  • The college and everyone in it– From the canteen person to the peon, everyone contributed in some way to make this journey even more beautiful! The college would never be the same even if one of you were missing!

I think that is all from my side! Thank you for making these years a world in itself and transforming me from a restricted and a bit afraid caterpillar to a carefree and agile butterfly who can fly wherever it wants to! A few lines to sum up the experience-

Sehma sa ek ladka aaya tha yeh class mein,

Jo Hichkichata baat karne se, kehta tha baad mein!

Na jaane kya jaadu kiya sab ne mil ke,

Woh tod gaya sab zanjeere dil ke!

Na raha dar, na rahi hichkichahat,

Befikar hoke karta hai sab, leke muskurahat!

Khoobiyan thi kahi choopi kone me jo,

Bahar aayi aur choo gayi dilo ko woh!

Har ek ko dost banaya aur har ek apna ko mahatva dikhaya,

Yeh safar na jaane kitne badlaav laaya!

Jab saalo baad main kholunga yeh yaado ka guldasta,

Yaad aayega har koi jaise ek farishta!

Jab aap jaise humsafar hue mujh pe meherbaan,

To Ek mamooli sa silsila bhi ban gayi meri anokhi dastaan!

Bas kehne chahta hu aapko yeh  apne dil se,

Chate chalte yuhi takra kar dauhrayenge yeh dastaan ek baar phir se!

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Raavi Paar

Hello, this is a story named Raavi Paar from the book of the same name by Gulzar. I have attempted to rewrite it in my own words. Do read and give your feedback.

The fire of hostility was spread all around. What was once a giant piece of land where humans lived as brothers in harmony was now divided into two sections based on religion. It was like The mother was forced to witness and select a side between the two of her sons and favor one of them. Riots, curfew, murders, and communal violence was a daily affair then.

Amidst this chaos and mess, there lived a family. It consisted of a man, woman, the man’s parents, and the couple’s twins. As the intensity of riots and violence increased, they decided to leave the place and go across the river to settle across the border.

As they were leaving with all the luggage and family, the father stood on the balcony and asked the couple if they are ready to go. They were ready. The old man took a step and started to come downstairs. But fate had something else decided for him. As soon as he reached the third step , he slipped and fell in the verandah. The old man fell exactly on the small hand pump and it pierced through his head. The blood was spread all around. The blood of the old man spread on the ground and colored mother earth as if she was crying red tears.

This shocked them but they needed to move on. They completed the rituals and then went to a Gurudwara for food and shelter. They stayed there for a day. As they left, the mother refused to come as they had to travel by train and old age would not be able support the struggle and hardship that they were going to face. After much discussion, the couple left with their twins. Their parents were left behind. The father was in heaven while the mother at God’s home. Both in the protection of holy powers.

The couple reached the station with their twins. The station was full of people and there was no place to stand. The train came and it was like a sugar crystal covered by ants from every possible angle. It seemed like a flock of people sitting on one another and there was no sign visible which could prove that it was a train except the length . Somehow, the couple got to climb the roof of the train as they had kids with them.

The journey started. The kids started crying and the mother knew they were hungry. She could only breastfeed her. This went on for a day. The next day, they could not hear one of the babies crying. Soon, the couple checked the baby. The baby had died. The greed and the desperation of man had lead to the death of everyone, from innocent newborns to the wise olds.

They kept the dead baby with them some time but they realized that there wasn’t enough space to keep the baby. The people sitting besides them also advised to throw the baby in the river when they pass the bridge as there would be a lot of violence and chaos even after they leave the train. It would be best to return the baby to mother nature through the holy river of Raavi. They agreed and they had not much choice.

Soon, the bridge arrived. One of the kid was in the hands of the husband while the other one was the wife and she was breastfeeding him. He threw the baby by wrapping it in a small cloth They soon heard a cry.

The baby being breastfed was the dead one.

The Comb

There it lay, on the secluded corner of the table in my house. It has been there like that from about 15 years now. It is a comb; rather a piece of some rare metal, which is very much like a comb but it fails to function. The teeth of the comb are like heartbeats of a healthy human being, in a haphazard and fluctuating manner with which you could never comb your hair. I always pondered why we have keep this useless piece of metal in our house. Whenever I ask my father, he says I will tell you when the time comes. I have been asking its significance in our lives but father always said that you are too young to understand it now and it would not make sense to you. This was the answer every time until now; hence I stopped asking the question and waited for him to say it to me.

One day, my father came running to me and showed me the newspaper. He could barely read as his eyes had become weak and his English was very weak. He showed me a picture of a bald guy with a strange kind of sadness on his face but his eyes were shining bright like the stars. It was as if his happiness was hidden in the mask of a sad expression. I was 18 now and I was the best in English in my class. I read the passage and it seemed like an obituary in a newspaper. I told my father the same and he almost had tears in his eyes. I asked why and he said that it is a long story and you would need to sit with me for some time to understand it properly. I happily agreed.

He said “Around 10 years ago, a terrible storm had come to our village and all the raw and kaccha roads were drown in water. It so happened that Mr. Desai, the man whose photo was in the newspaper was halting at a Dhaba nearby. When he left in his scintillating and shining car, it started raining torrentially and he was stuck in the middle of the road. The road had sunk in and the water level started rising. I was standing at the window and I heard some voices. As I searched, I could see nothing but water and mud. Strangely, there were water bubbles in that huge puddle. I was curious and I called out your uncle. We went ahead and saw that the puddle had some spots of red colour. We immediately called a few more people around. The puddle was neglected and everyone ran to his or her houses because of the weather forecast. We soon discovered that there was a car with two people in it. One was Mr. Desai and another was a young driver. We soon rescued them. The rains were still pouring heavily and the car was stuck. Hence, we asked them to stay in our house and took care of them. They stayed for two days.”


He was a very influential and wealthy person in his town. He told his life story and how he struggled since his birth. He was an orphan and he lived in an orphanage throughout his childhood. As he became an adult, he took up a few jobs and finally started his own business. His business flourished and he had earned a great amount of wealth. He mentioned how lonely he was and he missed his family often. He was very delighted and felt great staying with us. 

He soon left for his town as he had a business to run and several employees were waiting for him. He did not have a family and his work was all he had. While leaving, he gave us this strange comb you always keep asking about and told me certain things. “Do not ever lose this comb. Keep it safely and give it to your child when you feel the time is right. If you ever need anything, I am just a phone call away.” He left with this words and he often called us.

 However, he was ill since the last few years and he stopped calling. I almost forgot him until I saw this paper. I am going to his house for his last rites and prayer meeting. Would you like to come?

I agreed. He also gave me the comb and told me to keep it safely forever. It was the first time I held the comb in my hand and it was quite unusual. I never dared to touch it because of the fear my father created in me. However, I kept it with me and left for the funeral. 

The Desai mansion is the biggest house I have seen in my life. It was filled with people and it was pretty evident that Mr. Desai had influenced several lives. Soon, we were welcomed by a man who was almost the age of my father. It took some time, but my father recognized him. He was the driver, which was with Mr. Desai when the incident happened. He was glad to see us. We expressed our condolences. He was rather at peace with the death. He told that Mr. Desai had been struggling for quite a while now and the death was like a freedom from his lifeless existence on earth. I was startled by the  mind-set of the driver. I had never seen death like that and all my life, I was afraid of it. 

After all the rites and rituals got over and finally people started leaving, the driver came to us and insisted to stay with him in the mansion. It was almost evening and it would take us at least fifteen hours to reach home by road. We agreed. The mansion was no less than a maze to me at the first glance. Out of about ten rooms present in the mansion, we were given the one which Mr. Desai used. We were surprised but the driver said that this is what he would have wanted. He said that everything is at its place and if you need anything, feel free to call me. I am in the third room from here. He left us in a huge yet admirable room where in everything was available. We rested for a while and then I started checking out each part of the room. In the side, there was a huge piano with a book on it. The book had a specific page open and there were music notes written in it. I had music as a subject in my school and I enjoyed it. I started playing the piano. It took me a while to get the notes right, but what happened after I hit the right note made me rethink this.

A sharp and shrill sound came as soon as the music ended. The wall shifted apart and there was a secret door with carvings on it. The carvings read,

You would never be able to open this if you were greedy, you would never be able to access this door if you had the best key with you. The answer lies in using something you never used and proving a point which never has been proved.” 

Father and I never had seen such a mysterious door in my life. We were scared, afraid, frightened and at the same time, surprised to see the existence of such things. I did not know what to do ahead and dad too was clueless. We chose to ignore this and close the door. We slept then or at least tried to.

The next morning, we got ready and freshened ourselves. Everything was the best but we could not find the comb. We asked the driver and he said that Mr. Desai had specifically told not to keep any combs in this room after his death. He soon left and I remembered that I had the comb he gave in my pocket. An idea stuck me like lighting.

I played the music notes again, the wall shifted and the door was right in front of me. It had cravings with the writings but what we did not see was a pattern. A pattern was right there at the place of the door handle. The comb was the missing piece of the pattern and we put it in. The door soon opened and we saw lots of money, gold, and some papers lying in a corner. Greed clouded my mind and I was about to leap on it when my dad said no. I controlled myself and I moved slowly to the papers. The papers were his will. The will mentioned dad and me as the next owners of the property and the business! 

The next month , we were roaming around in cars instead of trains but we wore the same old kurta and dhoti, which we always used to. Our lifestyle had changed, we hadn’t! 

The Mirror 

Life is perfect. I earn 2 lakhs per month, my company is one of the most bankable ventures in the market, and my lover is the most interesting, romantic, and attractive person you’ll ever meet.  If you thought it cannot get better, think again. I am going on a Europe tour the next month with Ruhani, my lover and to be wife. It is so exciting to even think about this when your whole of life has been constrained to a small village in Gujarat- Rajsamdhiyaran. The farthest I have ever been is Ahmedabad, the most developed city of the state. Ruhani is the better one here. She has been all over India as her father is in a government job and he gets transferred and promoted every 4 years. It is great to have her by my side for this trip. One might think that why would a 27 year old young man who is the owner of a highest earning startup get nervous at the thought of traveling? 

It all starts in my childhood. I was a stubborn, sneaky, and curious child who would question everything and get to the roots of it to know it. This was appreciated in the beginning by my family, but soon it began to annoy and bother them. I used to ask my father that why he would always write with right hand and never with left hand. What would happen if the roads are replaced by rivers like that in Europe. He answered whatever he could, but me being me, I would ask the same thing until I finally found its answer. This annoyed my father a lot, especially when he was working and writing stories for his book. Oh yes, he is an author of children’s storybooks. His books are not very popular but we earned a good enough living to eat well and live a quite descent lifestyle. Another peculiar trait about him is what I call “the uncivilized keeda” in him. He preferred villages over cities, walking over cars, trees instead of houses, and so on. He would eat only roti sabzi and pizzas, pastas, burgers are all welcome, but in rare occasions. He was a sophisticated and advanced villager. 

One day, he was writing a story about a kid who always disobeyed his parents. I peeped in his work and started asking the same questions again. “Papa, why do you write with right hand while mom writes with left? Why sometimes sun and moon come together? And when they come, is it night or day? What would happen if trees had gold in their leaves but we never discovered it?” My questions didn’t have an end. He got fed up but he knew that anger would only make things worse. He pondered for a while, went upstairs, and came back with a mirror. He placed the mirror exactly opposite his arm. I saw it and realized that now left was right and right was left. I was dumbfounded and took the mirror. Being a kid of 5 years, I didn’t understand how it did the exact thing which I always did. 

This fascination and curiosity has stayed with me all this while. Now, I understand the working of mirror but the fascination never dwindled a bit. Every morning, I would stare in the mirror and forget everything. The mirror acted like a brainwasher and refresh button. Before leaving, I would always say the lines “I’m a confident person, nothing can go wrong, and I can do whatever I wish to.” This may sound kiddish and amateur, but believe me, this works and it’s the very secret of my success. 

The trip day was near. Everything was done and it was just a start to the most exciting 10 days of my life. We took off and started our journey. The trip was fabulous and Europe has plenty to learn from. We returned gaining a very valuable experience and with a bag full of memories.However, fate had other things planned for us. My firm- Call to Learn , which provided on call technical support and taught technical things on phone to people all over the world was in ashes. Lightning had stuck the electric wire, which lead to short circuit and my office caught fire. The three storeyed tower of computers was reduced to three metres of ashes and a place of destroyed rocks. I couldn’t control myself. I cried and wept for 2 hours continously. I had no where to go. The empire I built in five years was bought down in five hours. All I had was some money in bank. I was fortunate that no one got injured or died because of the fire. Somehow, Ruhani managed to calm me down and she bought me to sleep. 

I woke up next day. Freshened up and got ready. Just as I wore my tie, I realized about my loss. I screamed with all my might and punched the mirror. “Everything is in ashes, nothing is right, and I can’t fix this.” Ruhani came running and saw my bleeding hand. She bandaged it and calmed me down. She cleaned up the mirror from the wall and on the floor. 

Much to her surprise, she saw a key hole on the mirror wall and a key among the pieces of mirror. She called me and showed me. I quickly took the key and opened the secret door. I was expecting some treasure trove which would make me ultra rich over night and help me rebuild my ruined empire. Much to my disappointment, there was a small camera, a pen, and few sheets of paper. I took them out and while taking it, a letter fell from it. 
It read-

“To mr  Sahil,

Probably it’s the time when I told you the truth about yourself and the mirror. Ever since childhood, you’re a curious child and would inquire about everything from the secret behind uncle’s wealth to writing practices of human. It was difficult to answer all your questions, but more importantly it was even more difficult for me to digest the fact that you’re just like grandpa. Grandpa was also a curious and fascinated person who would go to any extent to uncover things and share it with everyone. This quality was never subdued in him and he became a spy. His job was interesting and always exciting. But at the same time, it was pretty dangerous too. One day, he was secretly hiding and recording a scam that was taking place in X mines, the largest mines during that time. Somehow, the people came to know about him and his spying. He managed to send the pictures to the newspapers, but he was killed on the spot. He also sent a note asking grandma to ensure that none of us get into this profession. There was no social, human, or romantic life in this field. There was no money.It was just a time bomb to death. 

Hence, Papa tried to suppress your curiosity and feelings of collecting information from everywhere. You also used the camera when you were just a kid and would simply go to someone’s house and start clicking pictures. One day, you went to our neighbor’s house and clicked pictures of uncle having an affair with the servant. From that day, the camera is hidden from you. 

I don’t know what would you do now, but there would be no more mirrors kept to distract your mind and give you false direction to something you’re not. Good that you finally broke the mirror of deception and saw your true self. The choice is yours now. Either rebuild your ruined business empire, do something entirely different, or become a spy like me.

Yours,

Sahil from the future.

Neend

​Raat thi sunsaan, chaya hua tha andhera,

Darte kaapte hue main tha intezar mein ‘kab hoga savera?’

Aankhein hone lagi dheere se bandh,

Neend ki saasein bhi hone lagi buland.

Tabhi darwaze pe khatkhataya musafir,

Khauf ki bijli tan mein daud gayi phir.

“Kaun hai?” Chilaya main zor se,

Par kuch jawab na aaya darwaaze ke us paar se.

Vehem samaj ke wapas sogaya main,

Aksar neend mein hota rehta hai yeh.

Jaise hi hui aakhein bandh,

Achanak se badh gayi thand.

Darwaza phir khatkhatake chilane laga,

Main to darr se kapkapake hilne laga.

Muh se nikli na awaaz,

Darpok mein tha main, na tha koi jaabaz.

Phir achanak se kuch sir pe gira,

Udhar dekha to jaana kaun tha ye sarphira.

Darwaza toota, 

Main neend se utha.

Chilaayi ma ” Naalayak, aalsi, nikamme,

Kya kar tha shauchalya mein itne samay?”

The Supermoon

Billions of years ago, the sun had a crush on Earth. They always were together and stayed nearby. The Earth; a gorgeous and beautiful lady . Evergreen with her soothing smile. The Sun ; a handsome and hot man . Unmatched was his chivalrous nature. They stayed together for billions of years until fate had a different plan for them. 

It sowed the seeds of fire that grew and blasted them apart. Now, the sun and the earth were way apart, in different areas. Away from each other’s reach and in a different world. 
The Earth cried and sobbed. Each of her tears became flowing rivers and when they froze, they were glaciers. 

The Sun grew ferocious each moment. His anger knew no boundaries. It showed fate the power of eternal love and faith. It shone and gave light to a stone floating around. The stone served as a mark of love and faith the Sun had for Earth. Each day, it would give the stone some power of his own to say his heart’s feelings. The Earth in return would blossom flowers and make rainbows. 

The stone became the Moon, visible as their love strengthened. The stars became the witnesses of their eternal love. The rainbows and rivers were signs of joy and happiness of Earth. 

Together, they lived but apart they flourished!

Thanks for reading. Stay Happy and always keep smiling 😀

The Firework

Everyone in this world is good at something and bad at something. Everyone has some hidden talent that needs to be explored and is waiting to come out. The talent is like a firework.

Fireworks are the piece of gunpowder mixed with some explosive pyrotechnic device . Fireworks are pretty much like the talent within you. The thread to burn is your first experience with your talent. Slowly, it builds up and reaches the highest point of your potential. This is when the thread comes in contact with the explosive. It goes up, just like your progress in your field and your burning passion. Finally, all your struggles, self doubts, and confusions burn. The final product is the spectacular visual you see in the sky. It is the achievement you earned and it is the result of your struggles.

Therefore, go ahead. Burn every string of opportunity, take risks, be cautious enough to handle it carefully and have safety measures ready. All you need to do is to reach the string, burn it perfectly and start the process of reaching the sky. Nothing can stop you then. Reignite the match if it extinguishes, wait a while if it rains, let time pass if there’s sun in sky. Patience with a tinge of tactfulness will make you kiss the sky.

Come on, take the first step, let the firework in you explode and show the world what a spectacular human being you’re and display the excellence you always had in yourself. Be fearless, be yourself, and start the bandwagon of trying till you reach the sky.

Thanks for reading, keep smiling and have a great day 🙂