Marathi

शाळेतील श्रावण

कविराज कुसूमाग्रजांनी केलेलं श्रावणाचं वर्णन पर्याप्त आहेच, पण शाळेत असताना जगलेले श्रावण महिन्यातले दिवस आजही स्मरणनीय आहेत. श्रवणातले सोमवार दुपारची शाळा असणाऱ्यांसाठी अधिकच लाडाचे दिवस असतात.

ह्या अविस्मरणीय दिवसांची आठवण करून देण्यात सिंहाचा वाटा असतो तो ऊन-सवालीचा खेळ खेळणाऱ्या वातावरणाचा. धो-धो पाऊस पडत असताना शाळेत जायला माला कधीच आवडले नाही. सायकल ने जायचे असल्यास कदाचित आजही आवडणार नाही. खरा प्रश्न पाऊस असल्याचा नाही तर सोबत असलेल्या रेनकोट चा असायचा. विषेशतः श्रावण महिन्यात हा प्रश्न अधिकच गंभीर व्हायचा. घरून निघताना असलेला मुसळधार पाऊस जर वाटेत बंद झाला तर शाळेत पोहचत पर्यंत पावसाने नव्हे तर घामाने न्हाऊन निघण्याचा त्रास असायचा. पाऊस ओसरला की वाटेत थांबून रेनकोट  काढणं म्हणजे मला कटकट वाटायची, आजही वाटते.

श्रावण सोमवारची विशेषता जगासाठी जरी बेलाच्या पानांनी केलेली शंकराची पूजा असली तरी सोमलवार रामदासपेठ च्या पोट्यांसाठी विशेष म्हणजे लेंड्रा पार्क वर झालेली क्रिकेट ची मैच च असायची. लेंड्रा पार्क वर आम्ही फुटबॉल खेळल्याचं मला फारसं आठवत नाही, पण बॉल हरवत पर्यंत क्रिकेट मात्र नक्की खेळलो. सोमवार ची ही मजा शनिवारी जेव्हा पवन दादा नोटिस घेऊन यायचा, तेव्हाच सुरु व्हायची. अपेक्षेप्रमाणे नोटिस वाचून झाल्यावर सर्वसंमतीने एकत्र काढलेला “ओs होss” चा सूर शिक्षकांसाठीही अविस्मरणीय आहे. शाळेच्या जवळ राहणाऱ्यांकडे बॅट ची तर पुला-पलीकडे राहणाऱ्यांकडे बॉल ची जबाबदारी असायची. सोमवारी लवकर सुटी होणार ह्या आनंदाने शाळेत जायची मजा काही निराळीच असायची. लवकर सुटी आणि त्यातही शेवटचा तास मोकळा मिळाला तर मग काही विचारायलाच नको. ह्या रिकाम्या वेळात शिक्षकांची नजर चुकवून वर्गातल्या वर्गात बॉल खेळताना पकडल्या गेल्याचही माझ्या लक्षात आहे. शेवटची घंटा झाल्यावर लवकरात लवकर प्रार्थना संपवून वर्गाबाहेर पळणं हा आमच्या क्रिकेट टीम चा एकमेव उद्देश असायचा, कारण लेंड्रा पार्क वर सर्वप्रथम पोचणाऱ्या टीमचा चांगल्या पिच वार हक्क गाजवण्याचा अधिकार असायचा. स्टंप म्हणून कसेबसे दगडं उभे करून शाळेच्या गणेवषात खेळलेली क्रिकेटच्या मैच च्या आठवणींनी आजही मन आनंदी होतं. त्या आठवणींना उजाळा देण्याचा हा एक प्रयत्न.

Story

Without a Past – Part 3

This is the final part of the story ‘Without a Past’. Find previous parts here: Without a Past – Part 1  and Without a Past – Part 2

A couple of days later….

“Kirti, have you seen Pratyusha?” asked Kunal from the other room.

Kirti walked in with an envelope in a hand. Pin drop silence, she handed it over to Kunal. He was traumatized to see Pratyusha had resigned. His worst nightmare had come true.

“Did she know about yesterday?” asked saddened Kunal. “I feel so sorry, Kirti. What do I do now?”

“Maybe she knows. Do meet her and apologize. Tell her you trust her, that you love her. Let her know it was impossible for you to avoid meeting Veer. I’m sure she’ll understand”, Kirti’s confidence helped him. Anyhow Kunal knew how to reach Pratyusha.

“If you trusted me, why did you go to meet him?” Pratyusha was joined by Kunal and Kirti. “There was a reason I asked you not to visit him. Look at you, you can’t even keep promise for a few days. Veer kept his promise till his last breath”, Pratyusha wasn’t crying but she was deeply hurt.

“What do you mean….” asked Kunal but was interrupted by Pratyusha.

“Since the time you met him yesterday, he stopped reacting to treatment. You’re right Kunal, Veer died a couple of hours ago. Do you really think, it is natural death?” Pratyusha was now in teary eyed. “Answer me, Kunal, answer me.”

“Yes, it is”, said a voice across door. It was Veer’s father joining the conversation. “I’ve treated you like my daughter, Pratyusha. Don’t blame him for my son’s death. Veer died because he saw that there’s Kunal to take care of you. I’m sure he must have celebrated the moment within himself knowing that Kunal love you, the way he loved you. He just wanted to see you happy Pratyusha. He took his last breath when he came to know about Kunal.”

“Trust me, I don’t hold you responsible”, he continued, this time speaking to Kunal. “If my son died just because you visited him, I thank you for freeing my son and me from extreme pain. Don’t feel bad about it, but as a tribute to Veer, always keep her happy”, he said, pointing to Pratyusha and left the room.

“How and why should I trust you?” asked Pratyusha.

“You’re misunderstanding, dear. It wasn’t about you, but me….” Kunal was trying to convince Pratyusha.

“Enough you guys”, Kirti lost her patience. “Pratyusha, tell me, do you love Kunal?”

“It doesn’t matter, it’s morally incorrect…”

“We’ll decide that later”, interrupted Kirti. “Just tell me, do you love him or not? I’ve troubled myself enough to make up my mind. It’s just for you, I’m letting go of my right for Kunal. Just for you, I’m letting him go. Nevertheless, even he knows how much I love him. We have always been more than just best friends. Whatever it is, you guys fix it among you. I can’t always come for setting things right between you guys. My heart can’t afford that”, Kirti walked away with a heavy heart.

“You can’t afford losing Kunal Narang, Pratyusha. Please say yes”, said Kunal staring deep into her eyes.

“Maybe Kirti is right, when I had agreed for marriage with Veer, I didn’t really love him. I still gave him a chance and he succeeded. I know living with this past won’t be easy. But I love you, Kunal and at this point, it is more than enough for me. Let’s go”, Pratyusha’s smile made Kunal’s day.

 ~~~

Fast forward few years….

Kunal and Pratyusha got married but the almighty had different plan for them. The poor couple’s joy didn’t last long. In an untoward incident, some a group of people attacked Kunal and Pratyusha on their way to home. Well he did save her but not without an injury on her head. The injury turned fatal and took a toll on Pratyusha’s memory.

“Hurry up, Kunal, we’re already late. You know she doesn’t like you being late”, said Kirti as she stepped out of Kunal’s Mercedes.

Kunal rang the doorbell. “Hi Vaishali aunty, are we late? Where is Pratyusha?” he greeted as she opened the door.

“There she is. Happy birthday Pratyusha!” Kunal and Kirti exclaimed as they saw her sitting on the couch.

“Thank you so much and yes, you guys are late by a minute and half”, she said as she stood up to hug them. Pratyusha then ran to bedroom with a piece of cake after cake-cutting ceremony and everyone can hear a Thank you in her happy voice coming from inside.

“She forgot everything about us, our marriage, the love we had, every single thing….” said Kunal to Kirti as they watched Pratyusha talking to hypothetical Veer from window. “All she carries is the burden of thoughts about what Veer has done for her. The commotion left no past for us.”

“It’s been a couple of years, Kunal. You should probably tell her the truth now”, suggested Kirti.

“She won’t be able to handle it. I still love her the same, so it doesn’t matter to me. She doesn’t know who I am, but I still know she’s my wife. I can make it work.”

“What if she comes to know the truth somehow? Will you be able to deal with it?” asked Kirti out of curiosity.

“Well I don’t know that. But I do know that you’ll always be there for me” replied Kunal.

“You always take me for granted, don’t you?”

“Like always, always”, Kunal winked at Kirti and both burst into laughter.

~~~ ❤ ❤ ❤ ~~~

The End

Inspired by Mitwa

Story

Without a Past – Part 2

This is in continuation to Without a Past – Part 1. Read it here

Fast forward few months….

“Is this what you’re wearing for the conference?” Kirti just joined Kunal in his room.

“Oh conference! Kirti, my honey, you please manage it for me. I’m having an important mission for today”, answered Kunal with his signature running-from-responsibility smile.

“No, you can’t skip this meeting. And are you proposing her today?” asked surprised Kirti.

“You always guess correct, my darling”, he said picking up his Mercedes keys.

“No, wait, we’re still not clear about Mr. Pratap’s proposal…”

“I trust you, Kirti. Go ahead”, Kunal interrupted her and shut the door behind him to leave.

Pratyusha arrived to see Kunal already sitting at a table that offer a perfect view of sea. The ambiance couldn’t have been any better with cool breeze and dusk light at the beach. All these months, even Kunal knew Pratyusha’s feeling for him. After some casual talk, chilly paneer and a Choco Frappe, he made his point. Not fancy, but he expressed how much he loved her, looking right into her eyes.

“Will you please marry me?” he smiled opening the sparkling ring box to her.

“What happened, Pratyusha? I’m the one who should be nervous, why are you?” he couldn’t resist not asking.

“I can’t be with you, Kunal. I should’ve told you earlier, before all this…” she choked, unable to continue. Her statement was enough to vanish smile on Kunal’s face.

“Why… what are you talking about? I… I thought you too…. I can’t understand.”

“I was raised in an orphanage but with camaraderie since I was five. I wasn’t lucky enough to spend time with my parents. I hardly recall their faces now.” Kunal could see her eyes shining as a tear roll down her left cheek. “Vaishali aunty, who ran our orphanage arranged my wedding. Veer and his family was undoubtedly good, but I was never looking forward for it. I didn’t feel like getting married. But it was Veer’s love and Vaishali aunty who convinced me for wedding. We got engaged in a glitzy ceremony. He did everything to keep me happy. He promised to do the same till his last breath.”

“But you never told me that you’re married”, Kunal finally spoke up.

“We didn’t get married Kunal. Our wedding day never came. Before that came an unfortunate accident and everything was shattered. The horrendous day destroyed his family, dreams about us, his life”, Kunal could see Pratyusha gasping.

“I’m so sorry. But it has been long he left us. You should move on honey, shouldn’t you?” Kunal expressed exactly what he felt.

“That accident killed his mother but Veer is not dead, Kunal. He’s in coma. I go to spend time with him every evening. That is why I denied night shifts”, Pratyusha couldn’t hold her tears.

Kunal couldn’t imagine worse. He rose from his chair and hugged her assuring everything would be fine, even though both knew it was uncertain.

“Veer and I have been together since long. I never really loved him, I just love.… I love you Kunal, but I can’t be with you”, said Pratyusha, wiping her tears. “Veer is living up to his promise to love me till last breath. It’s my payback time, Kunal. At least for what Veer did for me, for the sake of our togetherness. I must not betray him leaving him at this stage.”

Kunal can understand what Pratyusha was going through. Today she made him love her even more. Kunal wasn’t habitual of taking a no from girls. But this was different.

“One more thing, Kunal”, said Pratyusha, now calm. “Please don’t try to meet Veer. I don’t want you to meet him.”

“But why Pratyusha? He’s brain-dead, he won’t even know me”, Kunal spoke his heart out.

“That’s what doctor said, but I know he can still feel few things. I told you about Veer because I love you. This is my entirely different world. You show up there and he’ll know. I don’t want him to know about you, about our relationship.”

“I still love you the same. I know I can’t live without you, Pratyusha”, he couldn’t resist expressing and it brought a smile on her face. Her beautiful eyes never failed to mesmerize him. He was hypnotized to her fragrance.

Kunal spent sleepless night, intentionally missing several phone calls from Kirti. He knew he couldn’t tell her over phone. Next morning he narrated Kirti everything from previous night.

 ~~~ ❤ ❤ ❤ ~~~

The final part of the story Without a Past – Part 3 to be published on April 05, 18:00 IST

Story

Without a Past – Part 1

“Why the hell did you hire her? Who does that when having several better options?” said Kirti entering the capacious balcony in Kunal’s private mansion.

“Kunal Narang, as they call me. And do you really think she’s not qualified for this position?” answered smiling Kunal as he turned back to see his best friend.

“She’s absolutely qualified for the job, but she won’t be doing night shifts. She mentioned it quite clearly and you still hired her?” Kirti trying to make more sense.

“I like her cavernous, meditative eyes. And did you know she’s the first girl I found who wasn’t highly excited with me around?”

“Oh I see, seems like playboy has already begun flirting with the new recruit, huh?”

“Of course, we had coffee and breakfast together. Just the two of us!” Kunal winked.

“Well, that’s nothing new for me. But buddy, I’m really worried about this position. It’s too much work and she won’t be able to work….” Kirti patted on Kunal’s biceps as he interrupted.

“I know, don’t worry. We do have huge staff. And if anything goes wrong, I know you’re there.”

“You always take me for granted, don’t you?”

“Like always, always. And she’ll be coming for tonight’s party”, smiled Kunal as he pulled Kirti for a hug. She reassuringly rested her head on Kunal’s chest.

~ ~ ~

Kunal looked up staring at bright white stars as a boisterous party raged downstairs. He either needed to be alone for thinking or someone very close to him, in which case, Kirti would always accompany him.

“You were absolutely right, sir”, said a soft feminine voice. “But don’t you think, Mr. Thakur won’t be with us for next contract?” Pratyusha continued as she walked up to Kunal.

He was happy seeing her there and nodded.

“There have been a few similar incidents before. And Thakur is just my client. I don’t care about the incident downstairs, I don’t care even if he discontinues this project. I’ve lost more important people in my life.” Kunal took a deep breath.

“I am sincerely thankful to you sir. I really needed this job”, said Pratyusha getting less personal.

“I like your eyes. I could read my thoughts in them. It reminds me of my parents, my dear ones who left me……” Kunal continued talking, he knew he was falling for her. “What’s your story? I don’t know much about you.”

“What do you want to know, sir?”

“Why did you refuse night shifts, even when the pay is really good?” asked Kunal curiously and continued “of course, only if it’s fine for you to tell me.”

“I have a past, sir. I think it’s late, I should leave now. See you tomorrow”, said Pratyusha as she walked past him.

~~~ ❤ ❤ ❤ ~~~

to be continued….

Lifestyle

The Age of Violence

‘I know that’, said Ganesh, turning back to look at the sangam of the Ganga and the Sarayu. ‘The rivers fight with each other with the only currency they know: water. We humans fight with the only currency we know in this age: violence.’

‘But how else does one establish one’s standpoint, dada?’ asked Kartik. ‘There are times when reason does not work, and peaceful efforts prove inadequate. Violence is ultimately the last resort. This is the way it has always been. The world will, perhaps, never be any different.’

Ganesh shook his head. ‘It will be, one day. we live in the age of the Kshatriya. That’s why we think that the only currency to bring about change is violence.’

‘Age of the Kshatriya? I’ve never heard of that.’

‘You would have heard of the four yugs, cyclical eras that time traverses repeatedly through a never-ending loop: the Sat yug, Treta yug, Dwapar yug and Kali yug.’

‘Yes.’

‘Within each of these yugs there are smaller cycles dominated by different castes-professions. There is the age of the Brahmin, of the Kshatriya, of the Vaishya and the Shudra.’

‘Age of the Brahmin, dada? I haven’t heard of that either.’

‘Yes. The main currency of the age of Brahmin was knowledge. And in our age, it is violence. Some philosophers believe that after our epoch will be the age of the Vaishya.’

‘And the people in that age will not use violence to establish their writ?’

‘Violence will never die, Kartik. Neither will knowledge. But they will not be the dominating factors, since it will be an age dominated by the way of the Vaishya, which is profit. They will use money.’

-The Oath of the Vayuputras

 

Lifestyle

Life’s Pursuit

The people’s president, the Missile Man of India, former supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, a passionate teacher, scientist, children’s superhero, youngsters’ inspiration and of course a proud Indian, a man of action Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away last month leaving the world teary-eyed. The mankind has, undoubtedly lost a gem with his demise.

It’s crazy to think that Kalam didn’t even want to be a scientist, he just wanted to fly. Dreaming of becoming a pilot, Kalam studied aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology: “What fascinated me the most at MIT was the sight of two decommissioned aircraft displayed there. I felt a strange attraction towards them, and would sit near them long after other students had gone back to the hostel, admiring man’s will to fly free in the sky, like a bird. … The goal was very clear in my mind, I was going to fly aircraft. I was convinced of this.” The rise and rise of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, his life is a message for everyone. This post is a tribute to the man I admire.

A characteristic feature of the authoritarianism in our society is its insidious ability to addict people…to the endless pursuit of external rewards, wealth, prestige, position, promotion, approval of one’s lifestyle by others, ceremonial honours and status symbols of all kinds.
To successfully pursue these goals, they have to learn elaborate rules of etiquette and familiarize themselves with customs, traditions, protocols and so on.
The youth of today must un-learn this self-defeating way of life.
The culture of working only for material possessions and rewards must be discarded.

Are you aware of your inner signals?
Do you trust them?
Have you taken control over your life into your own hands?
Take this from me, the more decisions you can make avoiding external pressures, which  will constantly try to manipulate you, the better your life will be, the better your society will become.
Life is a difficult game. You can win only by retaining your birthright to be a person.
And to retain this right, you will have to be willing to take the social or external risks involved in ignoring pressures to do things the way others say they should be done.
-Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Check out zenpencils cartoon for this quote here

Lifestyle

The Secret of All Secrets

“New philosophies today blame desire for everything. Desire is the root cause of all suffering, all destruction, right?”

“Yes Guruji“, said a student.

“Please explain”, said the teacher.

“Because desire creates attachment. Attachments to this world. And, when you don’t get what you want or get what you don’t want, it leads to suffering. This leads to anger. And that to violence and wars. Which finally results in destruction”

“So, if you want to avoid destruction you should control your desires, right?”, asked the teacher. “Give up maya, the illusion of this world?”

Shiva, from the other side of the curtain answered silently. Yes.

“But the Rig Veda, one of our main sources of philosophy,” continued the teacher, “says that in the beginning of time,there was nothing except the darkness and the primordial flood. Then out of this darkness, desire was born. Desire was the primal seed, the germ of creation. And from there we all know that the Prajapati, the Lord of the Creatures, created the universe and everything in it. So in a sense, desire is the root of creation as well.”

Shiva was mesmerized by the voice on the other side of the curtain. Good point.

“How can desire be the source of creation as well as destruction?”

The students were quite, stumped for answers.

“Think about this in another way. Is it possible to destroy anything that has not been created?”

“No, Guruji.

“On the other hand, Is it safe to assume that anything that has been created, has to be destroyed at some point of time?”

“Yes,” answered a student.

“That is the purpose of desire. It is for creation and destruction. It is the beginning and the end of a journey. Without desire there is nothing.”

-The Secret of the Nagas