Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pappu Mama a.k.a Prithviraj

The fumes from the incense sticks formed a myriad of shapes and merged into the morning air. The minute hand of the clock kissed twelve, and a gentle chime reverberated through the walls of the house - seven times. Faint sounds arose from the cleaning activities of the two servants.

Sunanda sat in her puja room with folded arms gazing  at the idols , that stared back at her. They looked almost real, bathed in the glow from the faint light, that the flickering lamps scattered upon their marble faces.

She had been sitting there since 4 am , dripping wet initially; now just a little damp.

She kept repeating all the chants that she knew over and over again; gently throwing fragrant flowers at the feet of the idols.

Her legs screamed with pain, in proof of the two and hundred times she had circled the temple yard, the previous evening.

Unperturbed by it, she kept chanting. Her eyes were pale and sunken , her face gaunt and tired.

The prayer would go on for another two to three hours. The servants were accustomed to this routine of hers.

Ever since Dhruv went missing.


At the neighborhood park, Shekar was gasping for breath and sweating profusely. Gathering every ounce of the remnant energy he continued to run. As fast he could! As if somebody was chasing him!

He wanted to flee!Escape!From his own thoughts and fears. From horrifying images that formed in his mind.
From the feeling of guilt that clawed at him from inside.

At one point his body revolted and refused to move any further.

He collapsed on the grass, facing the ground and started crying. Uncontrollably.

The other people in the park did not stare at him in astonishment.Some just nodded their heads out of pity and understanding. They knew that this occured often.

Ever since Dhruv disappeared.


Eight months ago, on Dhruv's third birthday they had visited the Mahavishnu temple around 50 km from Bangalore, their city of residence. The child had been extremely amused at the little sights that met his eye and kept running around gleefully.

Sunanda and Shekar offered some special prayers and distributed food .

Suddenly it dawned on them that Dhruv was nowhere in sight.

Sunanda did not panic . This had happened before;he would hide somewhere just to freak her out and then peep out and break into a musical laughter.

That fateful day it did not happen that way.

For more than half a day, they searched every nook and corner of the place.

Dhruv never appeared. Thats when panic and terror engulfed them.


The couple were affluent and police initially suspected it to be a case of kidnapping. Even after a whole week,  no calls or threats were received  and they ruled it out.

Special police teams searched all over the city. Shekar placed huge ads in almost all newspapers. He arranged for posters of the missing child to be stuck wherever possible. TV ads, Facebook , Emails - he left no stone unturned.

Sunanda was shattered and wrecked.She started all methods she knew and was advised, of pleasing the Gods, begging and pleading with them to show mercy and return her baby.

She stopped reading the newspaper. Every piece about crimes related to children, cut through her like iced blades.

Shekar immersed himself in the search for his son. He was haunted by his thoughts of what might have happened to his boy. With time he learnt to shut the images even before they formed in his mind.

The police now had other things to look into. Like all unsolved  'missing' cases, Dhruv's case became a lost file in the police cupboards.

Friends and relatives tried their level best to help the couple to track their son.

None of their efforts had borne any fruit so far.There was absolutely no trace or even the slightest clue about the whereabouts of the missing child.


The wooden horse pranced and then started trotting, manouvered here and there by the tiny hands that held it.

The child kept looking at the door every now and then. It was time Pappu Mama came home.
"I wonder what Mama will bring today" the child thought.
Pappu Mama had gotten him the toy horse a month ago. Usually Mama brought rice but every now and then he would get him a toy.
Dhruv loved Pappu Mama. He played with him; took him on piggy back rides;tickled him and made him laugh.
But he called him Kishore . He did not know why.

'Chanakya Detective Agency' was engraved in simple dark blue fonts on the wall behind the reception in that office.

The receptionist gave them a warm smile and asked them to be seated.

Sunanda mechanically turned the pages of a magazine on the coffee table with one hand, the other gripping Shekar's hands tightly.

"Mrs and Mr Shekar, you may go in now" the receptionist announced.

Sunanda got up with Shekar and was about to go in when something struck her on the inside.

A thought? A feeling? An instinct ? She did not know. She could not comprehend completely. It was hidden in the depths of her heart, somewhere between her conscious and unconscious minds. She sensed its presence and pressure but could not decipher what it was.

Inside the cabin, there was a young man probably in his early thirties.
"Please have a seat sir, madam" he addressed the couple. "My name is Deepak.I am extremely sorry about what you are going through. We will put our soul and heart into this case and will surely find your son, no matter where he is. I have received your email with his photograph" he said.

'Photograph'! 'PHOTOGRAPH' the words went charging like an arrow into Sunanda's mind and released the knot. As if a dam just burst , what had eluded her earlier gushed out with a tremendous force.

She ran out of the room and rushed to the coffee table. With trembling hands she grabbed the magazine and hastily turned the pages.

'Pick of the month - Ace photographer Sridhar Iyer and ten of his most recent photographs' the title ran in pale gold with around ten black and white pictures below.

"Shek...Shekar!" she yelled in a stuttering frenzy. "Shekar...see this,...Dhruv...My Dhruv...I know...Its Dhruv..Dhruv is alive" . Shekar came running to her side and grabbed the magazine from her.

The magazine blurred in his vision as his eyes welled up. The picture on the left bottom corner was that of a man. The child on his back was Dhruv, he was absolutely sure.


The sun had just set in the small town of Jamunanagar.

Prithviraj was done for the day. His manual labor had yielded him plenty of rice and ten rupees.

He would buy the small car in the shop near the temple. Kishore would love it.

A week ago he had taken him for an outing. The little one had been seated on his shoulders and had shrieked with delight on seeing the car.


Pappu Mama alias Prithviraj entered the hut with a bundle in his arms. 'Kishore' he called out in a gentle voice.

The child turned around, broke into a grin and moved towards him with outstretched hands.

Suddenly Prithviraj saw the child's expression becoming fearful and felt two strong arms on his shoulder.

He kicked the air and tried to free himself  but his frail body was no match for the muscular men. A young couple rushed into the hut.

"Dhruv" the woman shrieked and ran to the child who had crouched in a corner with fear by now.

She took him in her arms and held him close. Dhruv struggled to release himself. Home had become a distant memory for the little mind.

There was something familiar about the hold, the touch, the embrace; About the sweet smell that seemed to come from her; About her voice; About the spark in her eyes.

A wave of  recognition hit the child; His eyes grew wide and he uttered "Amma" . Sunanda broke into tears and held him tightly. From behind her back Dhruv watched Pappu Mama being taken away by the cops.

Sunanda and Shekar had left the place with Dhruv and the place had become silent after all the commotion.

Deepak was speaking to Ramkumar who lived a few yards away from the hut.

"He came here a couple of months ago, Sir. We have no idea where he is from.  He was quite harmless, Sir and he loved the boy and always took good care of him.
He was pretty normal in his activities.
There was only one thing that was a little strange about him.
Every Thursday he would sit outside the hut during the late hours of night.
He would wail and cry and keep repeating 'Kishore...Radha...Train...Accident' again and again."
This post is part of the contest A picture can say a thousand words.. on

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I got tagged...My answers and Qns

Image Source:

In the past ten days I got tagged thrice by

1) Ash from M*U*S*I*N*G*S
2) Kirti from Verses From My Heart

Three really amazing writers who churn out excellent posts. Thanks Ash, Kirti and Kappu .

The Rules -

  1. Link back the blogger who tagged you.
  2. You must post the rules.
  3. Answer the questions given by the person tagged you.
  4. Tag eleven new bloggers.
  5. Set eleven new questions for the bloggers tagged by you.
  6. Inform them about the tag
Questions From Ash:

1). When did you start blogging and why?
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I quit my job and was a stay at home mom. Needed something to keep my grey cells ticking and blogging was a great way to do that.
Another reason was, I wanted to record little adventures I had with my bundle of mischief a.k.a my kiddo.
Started around 2010.

2). What makes life worth living?
Every single moment in life makes it worth living. Enjoy the show while the game is on.

3). What do you like doing in your spare time?
Pretty much what most of us like ....Browse the net, watch some nice movie, read some book, try something different (like baking)...And I think of what I had been postponing for sometime to be done during spare time and do it...Like re-arranging my cupboard for instance :)

4). Who was your first celebrity crush?
Have read somewhere that till a girl finds her man, every good looking guy appears like a prospective soul-mate to her. The same applies to the celebrities :)

5). What one quality would you give the most importance to while choosing (or having chosen) a life partner?
Quality of not expecting perfection, accepting me the way I am and a give and take attitude

6). What do you like most about your job? (Do answer this even if you chose to be a home-maker, because that is a full-time job in itself!)
Whatever be the job - an assignment at work, a meal you cook, a painting you  create, a blogpost you write, a home you manage - The adrenaline rush and the satisfaction you get when you  do it well tops the rest.

7). Are you happy with your present choice of career, or would you rather be doing something else?

There are times I wish I were a kindergarten teacher or a caretaker at the zoo. Just to be with little kids or cute animals. But I also believe that distant pastures are always green.

8). Do you follow your head or your heart more?
First I get confused as to which one is my head and which is my heart. In case I manage to clear that, it depends on the situation.

9). If you were given the chance to rewind your life and do any one thing differently, what would that be?

To answer your question, I would go back to July 9th of the year I was born, and alter the time of birth to pick the most auspicious time on that day as per the planetary positions. Everything else would fall in place ha ha.
 ( What a selfish answer eh ?:) Could not think of anything very dramatic :) )

10). How would you react if you were being followed by a shady-looking character in a secluded place?
Get practicing my karate and Kung Fu. (He would not know I dont know those would he? :) )

11). Tell me about someone whom you've met in the strangest manner, who has then gone on to become an integral part of your life.

I was asleep when suddenly a wave swept me. I  was immersed in water and kept getting pulled by the current. After what seemed like hours, I saw light at the end of the tunnel.Someone pulled me out.
I felt the wet kiss on my forehead. Strange aint it?

My mother is an integral part of my life.
Questions From Kirti:
1. What does music mean to you?
A pathway to the depths of ones soul.

2. Poem or a story?

3. The deepest desire of your heart.
I dont have one deep desire, its a lot of small small wishes....:) Learning to play a  musical instrument ,swimming across the English Channel(learn swimming before that of course),becoming a presenter on TV,  releasing a book some day(may be), :)

4. (I am being naughty with this one :P) Your idea of a romantic story :P (I know Antzz you are jumping at this one :P)

Well, I cant think of naughty answers at the moment. So moving on to the next question :)

5. Walking or cycling? and why :P
Walking. I do it often and enjoy it. With nice music playing in your ears, walking gives you a chance to look at yourself;retrospect and provides an opportunity to see small sights around you and feel happy. Cute puppies out for a walk, little babies taking their first steps, old couples enjoying sweet moments together....etc

6. What does blogging mean to you?
Its an integral and important part of me and my life!

7. The favorite character you have created so far. Someone you feel like using in all your stories.
Yet to create one like that

8. The favorite character you have read and loved. and why.
Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot of Agatha Christie Mysteries. Boy! Those are terrific brains!

9. If you get to impersonate one super hero/heroine who would it be and why.
I would take one long look at the mirror and continue to impersonate the super heroine staring back at me :)

10. Your idea of fun when you are out with your friends.
Going on a trip to some nice vacation spot and having, roam, chat, laugh!
11. The song thats playing in your head at the moment :)
'I like to move it' from Madagascar. My son is crazy after that.

Questions From Kappu:

1. What/who got you into blogging? A note of thank for him/her/it? ;-)

My son who is three and a half now.

The physical bond got cut some time ago
But there exists an invisible one
That will always tie us together, my son
Love you sweetheart
And thank you for everything!

2. You are gifted with a great voice, what song will you sing to your love?
Hmmm...La la la....

Absence of words can sometimes convey more love than a thousand words put together !  :-)

3. If you are given the time and money to learn something new today, what will you choose to learn?

Flying a plane probably!

4. What do you like and dislike about marriage? (Bachelor(ettes) can let their assumptions run here!)

Being each other's support and sharing life together - What I like
I dont think I dislike anything specific...Sometimes it can drive you nuts,  thats a totally different story! :)

5. What according to you is an act of kindness?
Any act that  comes from the heart with a selfless intention

6. A date with a celebrity - whom will you choose and why?

No one. Let them  be spared of the horrors of my company ;) ha ha 
7. What adventure sport do you SO love to do right away? With anyone in specific?
SkyDiving. May be Superman so that he can bring me back to safety  in case something gets goofed up!

8. Do you like photography? What do you think of the developing culture of SLR craze?
I love capturing little pleasures of life in photos.
As for SLR, Some have one to take good images.Some have one to build their own image! Depends on why you have one!

9. Whats your secret recipe that you'll cook to impress or woo someone? (okay if its maggi!)
Will get Harry Potter to give me secret potion and mix it in a glass of orange juice? :)

10. What do you like about your best friend?
Being there for me.
11. Whats the MOST favorite post A)written by you B) written by others? Share the link!
The one I wrote in memory of my dad - Thats one of my favorites written by me.
Written by others - Tough to pick one. You see so many wonderful posts each day!

Okay Now my turn to tag and ask questions

Bloggers I would like to tag -
D.Nambiar from Tipsy From the trip
Jas from Going Beyond the Pages
Eternal Fighter The Ultimate Comeback Kid- Akshay Kumar
Raj at A beautiful mind
Rahul Miglani of Desire v/s Destiny
Vaish at Life is Beautiful
Mak at Journey Never Ends
Bikram at Me and My Random Thoughts
 Suresh at Life is like this

1) Is there any specific time of the day that you set aside for blogging?
2) Do you live to eat or eat to live? :)
3) Name some movies you would never mind watching again and again
4) Which is the best place you have been to on vacation?
5) If you are given an option of eradicating any one social evil in India which one would you pick and why?
6) Name one bad habit you have been trying to change
7) Whats your favorite cuisine and food items?
8) Share something which  a small kid said to you, the memory of which always brings a smile to your face
9) What was the scariest experience you had in life so far?
10) When you are extremely confused about some decision what do you do?
11) Which is your most favourite genre in blogging  ?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On that rainy night!

It was raining cats and dogs and I could hardly see the road ahead.

The only other soul in the vicinity seemed to be the driver of the lorry around 300 m ahead, whose tail lights were now serving as my beacon to move on.

Sheela did warn me after seeing the overcast skies.I should have listened.

I wanted to surprise Ammamma, my grandmother, and had started off as soon as work got over that Friday. I could rest the whole weekend once I reached her place.

I had thought that I would reach by dinner time, after the three hour drive.

The first 80 km, consisted of well lit roads and hundreds of other cars gave me company.

Once I hit the road leading to Gauthamapuri, our native village, it was totally deserted. Except for the swish-swish of the whipers and the noise of the incessant downpour, there was nothing but an eerie silence. Not one streetlight was present and I found no shelter where I could temporarily stall.

Now I was midway and turning back was also not a wise option.

Suddenly the engine started giving some wierd noises. I tried to change the gear and with a jerk, my white Alto came to a halt. My repeated attempts to get it started were in vain. I looked desperately ahead, hoping that the lorry driver would notice and stop, but he proceeded on his way and vanished into oblivion.

My cellphone was not receiving any signals and was of little use. I sat in the car for sometime hoping that some other vehicle would come along and get me out of this predicament.

The rumbling noises from my stomach reminded me, that I had not stopped to grab some dinner.

After an hour or so, the rain transitioned to a faint drizzle. I got out from the car and scanned my surroundings. I was in the middle of a jungle area and all I could see were tall trees on either side of the road. It was a full moon day and since the clouds had started clearing a bit, I had some visibility.

I thought I saw a light at the distance in the middle of the woods. I moved in its direction, hoping and praying that someone would offer me some help. May be a house?

When I neared it, I realized, it was not a building; just a sort of a brick tower with a lightbulb hovering over a dilapidated board. The first half of the writing had faded away and the second half sent a shiver down my spine. 'CEMETERY' !

A branch cracked nearby and gave me a jolt.

I turned back and hastily started walking away when I heard a voice .


I kept walking

'Hey, Dont go!'

I hastened my pace.

'Dont be scared. Stop, Please!'.

The voice sounded harmless and my curiosity won over my fear. I slowly turned around.

A  girl who seemed to be in her twenties was standing near the tower, smiling at me. She wore a light blue Capri, a flowered shirt , white sneakers and her dark brown hair was in a boy cut.

'Hi' she said and extended her hand.

'Who are you?' I asked , rooted to my spot and not daring to move.

She came towards me and thats when I saw her eyes. They were a turquoise blue, and had an unnatural gleam about them.

'Ok, Let me not beat around the bush.I am a ghost! I died two years back and I was buried here' she declared in a matter-of-factly tone pointing towards the cemetery.

I dont know if its the way she said it, I felt more stupid than scared.

'What? I dont believe you' I said.

'Okay, See this' she said and her body glided up from her sneakers and two feetless legs dangled a few metres above the ground.

'Aah' I screamed and there was total darkness.


When I became conscious again, I found myself in a seated position leaning against the wall of the tower.

'Welcome Back!' , the same voice! So it was not a dream!

She was sitting next to me, playing Sudoku on what looked like an IPAD floating on its own.

'Hi, Now don't faint again! ' she said. 'I am Namratha. I was not joking earlier. I died two years ago and thats a fact. '

'What?' I asked in a shivering voice staring at her in disbelief. My voice refused to come out at first but somehow I managed.

'Yes, Madam' she said with a smile.

I had always heard about scary and horrifying ghosts. Here I was with a fashionable one that was good looking . There was a sort of warmth about Namratha. She appeared friendly.

She held out her hand again. I took it in mine and shook it. It felt like ice.

'Dont be scared of me. Treat me like any other friend you have' she said.

She narrated about her own life before her death and how she had died.As our conversation developed, I relaxed. I told her about my job , my home and my family.

'Are you not lonely here?' I asked.

'Only at nights. We are five of us here.Every night my friends wander off into the depths of the jungle to scare people. They dont scare the good folks. Only those indulging in illegal activities like poaching, smuggling, etc.We are a bunch of socially responsible ghosts you see'.

'Why are you not with your friends then? '

'My looks!' she said with a tone of frustration. 'Do I look scary to you? People get scared of ghosts only if we come in white sarees and with long hair let loose. I can manage a white saree, but my hair simply refuses to grow!'

'Your hair grows?' I asked in bewilderment.

'Of course, the way it grows for the still-alive folks like you. My hair is totally lifeless and dull and hence I sport this boycut. We ghosts can change our looks at will. The hair is an exception. We need to take care of it like you guys and we resort to the same kind of stuff that you living things use.  You know, Shikakai, Henna etc. I have tried so many things , no use at all. Who would get scared of a ghost in a boy-cut? Tell me!'

Saying this she touched my head and ran her fingers through my hair. 'Wow!! You have gorgeous hair. Simply beautiful! Can you please tell me what you do for this length , lusture and shine? I can use your tips and then I can join my friends on their nightly tours. '. Her frustrated expression turned into one full of hope.

I felt sorry for Namratha and said 'Do you know there is a company called Dove?, They have some really amazing products. My hair used to be horrible till a few months ago. Pollution, stress etc had caused a lot of damage.  Then Sheela, my roommate got me this gift containing some amazing hair care products from Dove and that was the end of my hair problems! It has done wonders. I found so many wonderful hair care products at their Dove hair aware app! You should give it a try'.

'Ok! Dove!' she declared smiling.

'But you are a ghost. How will you get it?' I added in a worried tone.

'No big deal, girlie. We have our own ways.Thanks a ton for that piece of advise. If this really works, I will see to it that no ghost ever comes near your family or harms them in any way.'

'It worked well for me. I think it should work for you too' I said.

We continued talking about a whole lot of other things and soon it was almost dusk.

Namratha lifted me up and flew back to my car. I had a new Dove shampoo bottle in my handbag and I gave it to her. It was funny to see her holding it with her translucent fingers.

Nammy ( I had started calling her that by now) touched the car and Lo! the engine sprung back to life. I gave her a goodbye hug and started on my way. I promised to visit her every time I visited Ammamma. What a friend I had found on a rainy night!

This is my entry for the contest ‘My Beautiful Hair Story’ by Dove and Indiblogger.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hue and cry
Echoing everywhere;
Anger, Rage, Accusations, Fury;
Reflecting here and there;
Hours will pass,
Then days,
And so will years;
Hands that sabotaged her,
Will find more venues;
Voices that were raised,
Will thunder again and again
For a reason
Not hers;
Faces with silent eyes
Will be blessed with scenes anew;
Their hands glued to their sides,
The men will stand;
Is there a dearth
For an incident here?
My own words
Would sing a different tune;
Her story would diminish
From  pages elaborate,
To lines miniscule;
And finally,
Only the hurt,
The pain,
The insult,
Will remain;
Scars outside would slowly fade;
The ones within
Will remain etched
Burning her insides;
Plunging her
Into An Abyss, deep;
Is there an elixir somewhere
To eraze; to demolish
The ruthless,
Indelible agony?
She has to find it within
And rise as a phoenix
From its ashes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Caste Differences..Are we eliminating? Or promoting?

Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra –there were the four main caste subdivisions that existed in Vedic times. A division primarily based on the occupation of these men – The priests, the rulers, the businessmen and the labourers or the cleaners doing the menial jobs.

This got divided and sub divided into further sects and today we have innumerable divisions in our society termed ‘CASTE’. With time, the practices related to this classification started taking ugly forms in alarming proportions fuelled by man’s yearning for superiority.

Various reforms were brought about by some leaders and today’s India has a lot more equality to boast about than a few centuries ago.

Yet it’s a fact that there still exist insane practices followed in our nation in the name of caste, predominantly in the rural sections.

Dalits not being allowed to enjoy certain priveleges. Dalits not allowed entry in some places. Dalit people being harassed. Dalits being punished when they ventured into the avenues ‘prohibitted’ for them.

Absolutely Shameful. Many a time I have read of incidents where the ruling Panchayat engages in such atrocious actions

Whatever happened to the ‘equality irrespective of caste, creed, religion’ taught across schools to the children?

These incidents scream at us with vehemence that despite all the economic and social development we have undergone, we still have a very long way to go.

In some parts of India, especially in cities and some towns we seem to have done away with this social evil to a great extent. Atleast people mind their own businesses and live together in harmony. Intercaste marriages are becoming more common. I am positive and confident that with the passage of time the rest of the country will follow suit.

Unfortunately these differences are further magnified instead of getting eliminated by the respected governing Netas of our country. The fanatism for their caste held by various groups is exploited and directed towards achieveing political gains.

Electoral parties get formed everyday for a specific ethnic group or caste.

A ploy used by every other politician to gain votes is that he would fight for the interests of a specific group. SO what about the rest?

If one is interested only in the upliftment of a specific caste, then politics or the assembly is a wrong place to be.

Is any of this directed at doing away with the difference?

In fact in the name of upliftment of the downtrodden castes, I have come across speeches throwing insults at certain other castes in the community for no reason at all.

I was born in a Brahmin family, classified as 'Forward/Upper Caste'. This is not explicitly stated or declared but when it comes to getting a seat in an educational institute, or a job in the public sector , we would be put into the Open Category.

Today when students clear their Boards, in addition to their marks, their parentage i.e. the CASTE they belong to would decide their fate.

 Every student who passes out of school would need to get a ‘Caste Classification’ certificate in addition to his Board Exam marksheet.

30% - BC (Backward Caste), 30% MBC (Most Backward Caste) 35% OC(Open Category) and 5% SC/ST

These percentages may be inaccurate but this is to give an idea.As the name declares OC is for all irrespective of their caste. For the rest there is a quota. The BC,MBC and SC/ST students can get a seat in the Open Category when the seats in their quotas get occupied. But the reverse does not happen.
Today a student in the OC category needs 99% to get a specific seat. For the same seat it would suffice if a student in BC secures 95% and an MBC student would need only 92%. So a student aspiring for a particular institute needs to set his target depending upon the caste he belongs to. Also there is a very good chance that he gets enrolled in a lower rank institute compared to his classmates even though he scored more than them.  Where is fairness here?

Most of the people belonging to castes classified as BC or MBC today are socially well developed and are in respectable vocations some of them lawyers,doctors etc . I mean to say that these competing students are similar in terms of the socio-economic background of their families.
So Why this difference?

This discrimination in a way promotes the exodus of a lot of good talent towards greener pastures outside the country where the competition they face does not have anything to do with their caste.

I am speaking out LOUD here because I know the impact.

Every other day we have one community or the other with a demonstration raising flags demanding a quota for their wards.

If it has to be fair, do away with all these differences. Let the allotment be purely on the basis of merit.

There are specific communities like the tribal folks in some forests etc which need to be uplifted. It may be impossible for these people to compete on par with the rest. There could be a panel of selected members from the society who can allot seats for these students.

For the rest I do not see a reason why there should be a difference based on caste.

 I truly believe that irrespective of caste and creed all men and women need to be treated as humans first and all oppression in the name of caste should be wiped out from the face of the nation. At the same time let us stop glorifying the differences in the name of elimination.

Let there be EQUALITY in the true sense of the word irrespective of caste creed and religion.

Then my India will shine.

Bikramjit Mann's post based on Stayamev Jayate triggered me to write this one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Back's Kinda Back

It happened around 3 weeks ago.

I had just  gotten up was preparing some tea in my kitchen. My son came running and I bent down for the customary 'Good Morning darling' and 'Attack'. I got this sharp feeling in my lower back. A sort of jammed effect. I tried straightening and an electric jolt went shooting up my spine.

The doctor gave me some pain killers and I expected that I would be back to normal in a couple of days and that I would be dancing like Prabhu Deva. But after completing the entire course of medicine, there was no effect and I was still moving around in close similarity to the poor elephants in the circus when they walk on just two legs.

Sitting on the couch was impossible and the floor was not much of a help either.The worst part was, when I tried to get up after sitting for an hour at a stretch. There was no way I could stand straight leave alone walk. If I lay down flat on my back it was not so bad. Getting up from that position was again as easy as mountain climbing!

All my activities right from looking after my son, to my office work got impacted and I was feeling miserable. Blogging got affected two fold. Sitting at the computer was tough and my brain went on an indefinite strike refusing to give ideas or words.

People who saw me thought I had fractured my leg or something as I was limping. Who does not like attention? I wasted no opportunity in explaining that I had sprained my back and was having a bad time moving around.

In this information era , the internet and other modes of communication have given us a lot of exposure to all the illnesses that exist on this planet. Complete knowledge would make you a doctor. Total Ignorance gives you a sort of innocence like the poor illiterate people in some parts of our country.These folks would not try to figure out anything by themselves and would religiously follow the words of the doctor and would trust every word of his. There is one category in between these two.  People like me who harrass their drained intellects in figuring out what could possibly be wrong, with the limited knowledge it has. 'Hmm, May be the bone has degenrated or something, whats that called? Or a muscle tear? Or one of those diseases we are scared of uttering the name? Oh my God! Let me check ' and there, the usual and some random searches trying to fathom the reason for all the discomfort.

The XRay center took three whole days to send a two word report to my doctor. Wondering how they managed to achieve that amazing speed.

I looked at the XRay under the tubelight. If I knew what it was showing, instead of sitting here and typing this at this moment, I would probably be mending the bones of some poor kid that cracked them after falling from a mango tree.

The doctor pointed to the section between two of the spinal discs and said that the cartilage has slightly thinned, what they called as mild spondylosis. 'Thats very normal. Nothing to worry. Its due to aging'

What an evil statement to tell me when I was already depressed about my thirty first birthday that was around the corner.

'Aging? I am just thirty'I groaned.

'Well, medically you start aging at 20' he declared . Blatant Flinging Of Horrible Facts! I hate doctors!

I was directed to a physiotherapist. This gentleman ended up being my guardian angel.

After more than two weeks of no change in my condition, I had no expectations. My mood was in its worst best. I was sporting the expression  of Narasimha Rao in his saddest hour. In fact, I was a teeny weeny bit scared.

After examining me, he uttered a sentence 'Nothing wrong in your XRay. It would be the same for anyone in your age.What you have is some weakness in the muscle and that can be corrected with some exercises'. To me that was SP Balasubramaniam singing to A.R.Rahman's tunes . I was almost dancing like Prabhudeva , Almost!

He did some physiotherapy twist and massage, put me on traction and taught me some exercises to be done everyday. It was magic.

Within two to three days my pain went down considerably and for the first time in three weeks I was able to stand straight and carry on with my  routine without turning to all those ointments and balms that bring instant relief ONLY in television ads.

We do not take enough care of our bodies when they continue to adjust with all the roughness and  toughness we subject them to. When the body finally cannot take it anymore, it begins to show and then only we realize how important it is to stay healthy. This is my take-back from this experience.

I had carried some really heavy weights after shopping one day which seems to have caused this.

My request to all those reading this - Please respect your physique and take very good care of it. Do not take it for granted. Have a healthy and balanced diet, exercise as much as possible , and find ways to destress. It is very very important, if not for your own selves, for your loved ones atleast.

Well, since the entire length of this post is about the back, I would like to share some tips that I was given
  1. Do not lift heavy weights. If its necessary hold them close to the torso. A backpack is anytime better than a one sided bag in case you are carrying a laptop.
  2. Regulary do some exercises that stretch your back muscles.
  3. When you need to bend to pick something, do not do so with your legs straight. Bend at your knees to go down and then pick it up.
  4. Do not remain seated for long. Take a break once in a while and walk a little bit like to the washroom or to drink some water.
  5. Try to maintain good postures while sitting, sleeping etc.
I wanted to blog about something as it has been more than ten days since my last post. This bad-back episode had taken entire control  and no other ideas seem to appear in my head when I sit down to write. Words are also not flowing like usual, kind of like a clogged pipe!

Even now, when I get up, there is this slightly knotted feeling in my back. Hope to be completely okay before the next physiotherapy appointment. Take Care Folks!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 29; the 29th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'TWO MINUTES'.
It was 1 pm.

The police vehicles hurried through the city, their sirens blaring and hastily docked at the market place. The uniformed men quickly stepped out and wasting no time proceeded to evacuate all the shoppers and shopkeepers with a lighting speed.

They used all means possible to bring the chaos under their control and within ten minutes the place was occupied by only the security forces, the common men now watching with growing curiosity at a safe distance.

Personnel with metal detectors and sniffing dogs started prowling the place, vigorously hunting.

A tip-off from one of their trustworthy informants about a possible terror attack had sprung them into the current deputation.

One of the German Shepherds ran towards a pillar at one corner, which was mainly used as a dumping point for all the garbage and started barking ferociously. The policemen hastened a metal detector to the spot and the loud beeps confirmed what had been sniffed by the dog.

They hastily rummaged through the filth and soon saw the sinister looking cardboard box beneath.

Gautam stepped forward looking like a robot in his outfit for the job.

Today was his last day in the force, end of ten years of service in the bomb squad.

He was passionate, intelligent and smart, a combination that had won him many laurels from all the superior ranks in the force.

As he cautiously moved forward, Shwetha’s tear streaked face flashed in his mind.

He took in a deep breath and furrowed his brows to erase away all thoughts and concentrate on the mission at hand.

He soon got the knowledge that he was racing with a timer attached to the explosive. He had just a little over two minutes left , ebbing away now.

Shwetha had been his childhood sweetheart and they had married less than a year ago.

Marriage had changed everything. Every day when he went back home, he would see fear embedded all over Shwetha;s face; melancholy deep in her eyes.

The last time he had gone home after an assignment , he had found Shwetha shivering and shaking, almost hysterical. She never said anything but he knew that his profession was subjecting her to a lot of torment.

He had decided to call it quits and go back to his father’s business. Ten years had given him a great deal of satisfaction and he wanted to go now. He owed Shwetha’s family a lot.

Today was his last day officially. A totally unexpected mission had come up. One last!

He was now knelt down near the cardboard box, Shekar, his compatriot, seated next to him.

The seconds were ticking. There was no time to move it to a less hazardous location.

Gautam knew that irrespective of training and experience, his success depended to an extent on his intuition and of course his destiny.

There was a fair percent chance of his attempt being unsuccessful.

He took the clipper to the blue wire. In a fraction of a second, he changed his mind and shifted it to the red.

Shekar’s expression was grim yet determined. His thumbs up was a go-ahead signal.

Flash, Shwetha;s face again.

As was his habit Gautam slowly said 'Om,One, two and three'. Gautam tightened his grasp.


2 pm. Shwetha’s phone started beeping.

She had been busy packing her belongings unaware of the turn of events .

‘I love you, darling’ the message read.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.