Rediscovering love


Nostalgia

“New Years’ Eve, 2014 will be on us in a few hours from now, thought Surya to himself. It had been a tough 3 months now, but he was still in control. Sitting on the terrace of his house, he looked back to last New Years’ Eve.

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2012 had been a bad year for Surya.

Meghna, the love of his life had gone to Jamaica on a nursing assignment with her batch-mates from college in October and unfortunately got caught up in the deadliest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Hurricane Sandy. The bus in which they had been travelling came right under a falling electric pole and the six passengers in the front 3 seats were immediately electrocuted. Surya couldn’t quite bring himself to accept the fact that she was no more.

While his mind understood that this was a quirk of fate, an act of God and could not have been prevented, his heart couldn’t quite reconcile to it. After all, this was the same girl for whose love he had abandoned his entire family, left them in the lurk while he went ahead, got a tourist visa to Jamaica and wooed her, and made her fall in love with him.

JamaicaBeach+sepiaThe memories of the few days of bliss that they had spent together on the Jamaican beaches, in the sunshine, wandering around with gay abandon without a care in the world were still fresh. In fact, he could still feel the cool salty winds caressing him in the face which reminded him of all the walks into the sunset on these beaches.

When all the rum and other assorted varieties of alcohol didn’t help him overcome his grief, he turned to drugs. What started off as snorting coke soon graduated into injecting heroin and other exotic forms of ‘cocktail designer drugs’. And soon Surya was addicted to the needle. He needed his fix every few hours. And in a few days his mind was numbed out to everything around him, he finally couldn’t think of Meghna anymore.

narcotic-drugs=revised

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On one such evening when he was ‘high’, Surya was riding his bike on one of the cliffs in the Jamaican countryside. As was the norm these days, the entire landscape was a blur and he was riding the bike purely on his instincts. The roads near the Negril Cliffs in this region were quite notorious for their blind hairpin turns and it was on one such turn that the little girl happened to run across the road.

Seeing her flaming yellow dress appearing out of nowhere in front of his bike, Surya immediately swerved to his left, off the road. Since he was riding reasonably fast, he ended up totaling his bike and crashing down around 20-25 feet off the edge of the cliff onto a narrow ledge on the side. He immediately passed out.

The next thing he remembered was waking up in a hospital where he learnt that he had multiple fractures on his left leg and he had slipped a couple of discs in his spinal cord as well. This effectively meant that he was stuck in hospital for at least 12-15 weeks with only the other patients in his room for company.

Given that he was in a hospital, his newest best friends, the deadly cocktail of narcotics wouldn’t be available to him, and the doctor who clearly realized his addiction by virtue of having analyzed Surya’s blood samples thought that this would be a good time to put him on a ‘de-addiction’ routine as well.

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The next few weeks saw a lot of patients being moved in and out of Surya’s room which he had to compulsorily share with one more patient. Given that he had nothing else to do, Surya ended up befriending each and every one of them. Starting from a 9 yr old girl who was a terminally ill cancer patient who had been abandoned by her poor family to a 89 yr old man who had lost all his memories due to Alzheimer’s’ Disease, he was exposed to a myriad variety of people, and by virtue of spending at least a week with them, Surya managed to get an insight into their lives and how almost each and every one of them still held the hope of a better tomorrow.

alzheirmers-disease-revisedWhile the little girl knew that she had a horrible disease which meant that she would have to take bitter medicines and that her hair would never grow long and lustrous, she still managed to find her smiles by playing ‘make believe’ games with her two dolls and Surya. While the old man couldn’t quite remember things coherently, he still enjoyed the warm sunshine streaming in through the windows every dawn and dusk and was able to look into the horizon with a smile on his face.

It was then that Surya realized that while the loss of Meghna was a terrible one and something that could not be changed, he still had his whole life in front of him. And by the time he was back on his feet after 4 months of therapy, he had decided that all these days he had missed the one person he loved the most – himself.

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Yes, 2012 and 2013 had been bad years for Surya, but 2014 heralded a new beginning in more ways than one for him. And this time around, his priorities were clear, he wanted to live, and live a full life at that.

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This post is written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts where the idea is to publish at least one post a day based on the prompts provided.

Today’s prompt was “What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.” And the post was a fictional story woven around Surya missing his ‘true self’.

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BlogAdda's Tangy Tuesday Picks
This post has been selected for BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks

This post was selected by Team Blogadda as one of its Tangy Tuesday Picks.

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On duty, all these years


Mekhri Circle, Bangalore, in 1995 was not a pleasant road to be driving a car or riding a two wheeler on. Given the post-liberalization boom, the availability of foreign brands in India and the slowly increasing levels of affluence in Bangalore, courtesy the new sunrise sector of Information Technology, meant that more and more vehicles were finding their way on the roads of the Garden City, but infrastructure development projects were not keeping pace with this growth. And nowhere was this more evident than the Mekhri Circle traffic signal.

masked girlStaying in one of the new localities of the city, Sanjaynagar in Bangalore North meant that Sita had to pass this signal at least twice a day, on the way to office and on the way back home. And the fact that she worked in a nationalized bank meant that she had to travel during the peak hours in the morning and the evening as well. While her trusty Kinetic Honda allowed her to zig zag her way through the traffic, the fact that there were so many more smarter riders and the additional fact that all of them seemed to be in a perennial hurry meant that Sita had to spent quite a few minutes at this particular traffic signal every day of the week.

forearm-tattoo-4On most days, during the third consecutive red light at this signal, she would notice the traffic policeman briskly going about his duties and regulating the frequent offenders who jumped the red light. What interested her the most about this particular cop were two things: the first was the fact that he was young and quite trim when it came to physique which is not something that the usual traffic cop looks like. In fact, he looked quite out of place in the traffic department without his potbelly and the nose mask which covered most of his face. And the second thing that she noticed him was his unusual tattoo of five stars that he had on his forearm.

The years went by, the traffic situation at Mekhri Circle only got worse with each passing month. And finally, the Bangalore civic authorities had to construct an underpass which would ease the traffic congestion situation, but by the time they actually planned and finished the underpass, the volumes of traffic had reached levels unmanageable by the underpass as well.

In the meantime, Sita grew old enough to retire from her job at the bank and settled down quite well in the Sanjaynagar area. And it had been around 12 odd years since she had actually ridden her two-wheeler through the Mekhri Circle traffic underpass.

Life in Sanjaynagar has settled down into a decent routine for her. She would get up in the mornings, go for her morning walk with her husband and a few other common friends of theirs, come back home, freshen up, have her breakfast and then go to a few spiritual classes (Bhagvad Gita, meditation, etc), and in general she kept herself quite busy. With this packed itinerary and her voracious love for books, she managed to keep herself engaged for most part of the day, and she was enjoying her retired life quite a bit.

guardBoth she and her husband always took their morning walk in the Dollar’s Colony Walking Track as it provided them with the opportunity to catch up with common friends almost everyday and it also provided them with a secure environment as the track itself was fenced with a polite Security Guard at the gates. In fact this guard was so polite that he smartly saluted her every morning and evening without fail.

On one of the days when Sita was enjoying her brisk morning walk, there was a commotion near the entrance of the Walking Track. When she reached near the place, she realized that a biker who had tried to snatch the chain of yet another morning walker had been apprehended by the Security Guard. She stood around and watched while the policemen arrived and took the chain snatcher away.

Impressed with the guard, she waited until the cops left and then congratulated him. He just smiled and smartly saluted her. Given that she was actually seeing him today, she noticed something familiar on his forearm, an unusual tattoo of five stars.

She had seen that tattoo before. If only, she could remember where.

Sitting down on the benches in the walking track, she furiously searched through her database of memories and then it all came back flooding to her. The Security Guard was the same smart traffic cop from all those years back. She went to him and confirmed this information with him. When he replied in the affirmative, it was then she realized why she hadn’t realized this before.

Back in the days when Ramu was a traffic cop, he had always covered most of his face with a nose mask to keep safe from the pollution. And now that he was a Security Guard, he always wore a full sleeved shirt. In the scuffle with the chain snatcher earlier today, his sleeve button had come undone which was why she noticed the unusual tattoo on his forearm when he saluted her.

It was then she realized that until people like Ramu still existed in this world, people who would turn up to work everyday and put in their best efforts despite rough weather conditions and bad traffic, the world would remain just that little bit safer.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. This weekend’s prompt had to include the line She had seen that tattoo before. If only, she could remember where which is the reason it has specifically been highlighted in the post.

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This post is one of Blogadda’s WoW picks for the weekend of Nov 17, 2013.

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Faith in numbers


http://nicoleciccarelli.wordpress.com/
http://nicoleciccarelli.wordpress.com/

Paul has been named so by his devout Christian parents after Jesus’ favorite apostle and his most ardent believer. But apart from the name, there was nothing even remotely religious about Paul. In fact, so much so that he even stopped believing in the concept of God and religion and lost all faith in even religious agnostic things like fate and destiny after he lost both his parents in a fatal car crash when he was only 16 yrs old.

Given that he was prodigious at math right from a very young age, he tended to rely in the comfort of the wonderful world of numbers. He instinctively understood and correlated all of his life with math. Here everything was a clear case of cause and effect, just like numbers were.

His math teacher always told him “2 and 2 always add up to 4, and similarly everything in life has a clear cause and a clear effect, it’s just that we have to put in the effort to understand the variables and draw up the equations carefully.” Paul had understood, admired and lived by this credo ever since he first heard it when he was 6 yrs old, but all of his faith in the cause and effect relationship was shaken by the loss of his parents. He couldn’t quite comprehend why his parents had to die the way they did.

His dad was not a rash driver, his mom was not the type of person who would disturb and distract her dad by incessantly talking to him. Then why did they have to die the way they did? Why did have to be their car which was pushed off the narrow mountain road by the drunk driver of the trailer truck? Why not any other car?

Even probabilistically speaking, the chances of a fatal accident occurring on this particular expressway were only 1 in 9,325. Paul had calculated this using the statistics gleaned from the Motor Vehicles Department website. Not knowing how to deal with the tragedy, he tried finding ways to figure out the causes for it to have happened in the first place the only way he knew how, by resorting to his world of numbers.

Despite his best efforts to do so, neither could he figure out the reasons for the accident nor could he reconcile himself to the fact that he was all alone in the world. He therefore decided to take the most drastic step of all, kill himself.

Given his height, weight and Body Mass Index, he correctly calculated the amount of cocaine it would take for him to overdose on and ultimately die. He managed to procure the cocaine from a geeky friend of his who used to help him out with his computer assignments. The stage was set, and he decided that he would end his life tonight.

He prepped the syringe with the required amount of the drug and set it on the table by the side of his bed. Although he had decided to take his life, it wasn’t quite as easy as he thought it would be. He lay down on the bed, closed his eyes and took deep breaths trying to calm himself down and be convinced that this was the only choice he now had. He kept hearing a constant buzzing in his ears, but dismissed it as the effects of his nervousness.

Ten minutes passed by and he was finally ready. When he got up, the pillow fell off the bed and it was then he noticed his phone below it. He then realized that the buzzing sound in his ears was that of the phone ringing in the vibrating mode. He was amazed when he saw the phone. 38 missed calls in 10 mins! He wondered what was going on.

After all, he didn’t even have any friends who he considered close enough to call him. The only people who called him on his mobile phone were both dead anyway.

And then the phone rang again.

01123581321

This was the number that flashed on his screen. And any math aficionado worth his salt would immediately notice that this was the famous Fibonacci sequence. His hands shivering, Paul answered the phone.

My son, are you sure you want to do this? Is taking your life the only solution to your distressed state of mind? Think again, your gifts have not been granted so that you give up on me so soon, my son” a soothing voice on the other end spoke.

Paul was immediately jolted back to his senses. He then realized that he had been asleep all this while and it had been a dream. More than a dream, it had been a revelation. He immediately got up and checked his phone below the pillow. It was on the vibration mode, but there were no missed calls, no call logs from any number at all.

Paul was born, again, and this time he was a believer!!!

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian bloggers by Blogadda.

The prompt this week was to include the phrase 38 missed calls in 10 mins! He wondered what was going on which is the reason why it has been specifically highlighted in the post.

The intention of this post is not to promote any particular religion or faith but is just a fictional post attempting to explore the psyche of a person who is about to commit suicide. It also explores the metaphysical possibility of divine intervention in such situations, that’s all. It was never my intention to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments with this post.

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This post has been picked by Blogadda as one of the WoW picks of the weekend.

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Published in The Woven Tale Press


One of my earlier posts “Fizzy Beginnings” written for a Write Now prompt has been picked up by Sandra Tyler and published in her e-zine The Woven Tale Press, November 8 edition.

Please do check out the e-zine at this link [Issuu Link] which contains an interesting mix of blog posts from all over, and the last page includes my post.

Taraka and Subahu – How did they die?


Image courtesy: kamadenu.blogspot.com Maricha and Subahu attacking the yajna
Image courtesy: kamadenu.blogspot.com
Maricha and Subahu attacking the yajna

Taraka was fierce rakshasi and with her sons Maricha and Subahu terrorized and devoured anybody who dared to enter the forest near the confluence of the river Sarayu with the Ganga. This forest soon came to be known as Taraka’s forest and nobody had the guts to even go near the place, let alone enter it and try to earn a livelihood in this region.

Fed up with the menace of the rakshasa trio, the great sage Vishwamitra decided to conduct a penance and yajna with his disciples in this particular forest. When he noticed that his disciples were unable to perform the rituals of the yajna properly due to the constant menace of the trio, he decided to approach King Dasaratha for assistance. He went to Ayodhya and requested the King to send his eldest son, Rama, then just a teenage boy of 13 yrs to help him vanquish the demons. Dasaratha had a soft corner for Rama and hesitated to agree to this request of Vishwamitra. However, when the learned Sage Vashista who was the royal guru of Ayodhya instructed the King to send Rama with Vishwamitra, Dasaratha agree to do so. Not to be left behind, Rama’s brother Lakshmana also accompanied him to Taraka’s forest.

When Rama, Lakshmana and Vishwamitra entered the forest, they were almost immediately attacked by Taraka. Rama, with some help from Lakshmana succeeded in felling the foul demon with a well placed astra. Pleased with this outcome, the sage Vishwamitra blessed the young duo, and also gifted them with divine weapons.

Then, the sage took the young princes to the place where the yajna rituals were being conducted and proceeded to restart all the rituals with the boys on guard. The teenage warriors stood guard day and night near the place watching out for any signs of Taraka’s sons, Maricha and Subahu. Despite their constant sleepless vigil, for the first five days they did not notice anything untoward.

However, one thing that they did not know was that they were being watched. When Maricha and Subahu heard the news of their mother’s death, they were shocked and enraged beyond their wits. Shocked because Taraka was a formidable rakshasi who with her knowledge of the dark magic and ferociousness would strike mortal fear into the hearts of even seasoned warriors. And the fact that two teenage boys had managed to kill her struck fear into their hearts.

At the same time, they were enraged as nobody had even dared to think of challenging them and their authority over this forest for many a decade now. And now suddenly these young boys had popped up from nowhere and in one felling swoop managed to kill their mother.

They were therefore watching the activities of Rama and Lakshmana very carefully for the past five days, waiting for the appropriate opportunity to strike back and extract revenge for their mother’s death as well as reclaim the forest, their forest.

On the sixth day, the rakshasa brothers had run out of patience and attacked the yajna from the skies above with their horde of asuras. Despite putting up a mighty and valiant attempt, the entire group of asuras were no match for the battlefield prowess of Rama and Lakshmana. And finally when Subahu was killed by the divine astras of Rama, his brother Maricha fled to the ocean. Thus, the hegemony of the asura brothers over the forest finally ended. Maricha would eventually reappear in Rama’s life, but that story happens quite a few years later.

Thus, even at the very young age of 13 years, Prince Rama clearly showed the world what he was capable of on a battlefield with a bow and his arrows.

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out creative writing topics each weekend for Indian bloggers.

Today’s prompt was that post had to include the line one thing that they did not know was that they were being watched and that is the reason this phrase has been specifically highlighted in the post.

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This post has been picked as one of Blogadda’s WoW posts of the weekend.

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