Posts Tagged ‘Experiences’

Convivial Relationships

Posted: August 22, 2014 by Ankur in Contest, Writes...
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What’s being a friend when you’re not there for each other at your worst?

This quote above just passed me by in a column I was reading with just an eye open, and soon as they hit my head, I couldn’t stop my thoughts from running helter-skelter.

Sometimes, it’s so hard being who you are and finding who you are, that maintaining friends becomes a little tricky! Somehow I always have managed to get some real personalities – maybe by people pleasing, or being goofy – who till date I etch onto. There are so many instances in my short life of 20 years that I have witnessed such humbleness of these wretched souls that it’s scary.

We all have certain traits and the beauty of being friends with different humans is the end result. It’s such a beautiful amalgamation of emotions, so raw and undermined. That sort of understatement is what everyone longs and it beckons everyone in the back of the head, like a burning sensation.

We all crave that sort of a relationship with a soul, where there is no surreptitious behavior, no malice and any kind of negativity. One said truly that when you have good friends, you don’t need any other mean of entertainment. Such joys, of having that person in your life where you can be goofy and still not give a damn is so appealing to me, and I guess anyone. Because let’s face it, no one likes to be judged!

My own friends are such drastic ends of a spectrum, they’re scattered in every dimension I can think of. Some, have famously become infamous, and the others, well, are still with me. I’m picky about the people I like to hang around because it is indeed disheartening to have someone be your friend and use your name in a derogatory manner. I think that sort of a negative environ is not and should not be entertained.

Rants after rants, I can say that I love myself more than my friends I’ve come to a conclusion that I owe so much of my personality to these souls I’ve come across because, it is of their immense criticism and clandestine behavior, I am what I am.

And I’m happy that this essay has no head and no tail, because I feel when you plan what you want to write, it becomes sketchy. I like it that it is crude, fibrous, and callow because for me, that is the essence of friendship.

Here’s to being a friend, forever and ever

Devesh Baheti

Institute Of Aeronautical Engineering

As I was trying to park my car, I banged into a Wagon-R.  Realizing the damage to be huge, I prepared myself to face the consequence. In Delhi a defaulter has to go through a series of verbal abuses before finally paying for the actual damage. The frequency and tune of abuses sometimes varies depending upon the appearance and attitude of the stakeholder.

“It’s ok, don’t worry, there is only a minor brush….Chill,” the owner of the Wagon-R came smiling towards me. “My visit to the workshop is due, I shall get it repaired next week,” said the owner introducing himself as Mr Li Pong from Meghalaya, after which he shook hands with me and left. For a while I could not believe my eyes and ears. I entered my home relaxed and confused unable to come in terms with what I had experienced…a rare kind of behaviour.

A week later I met Mr Li Pong again during our morning walk; we greeted each other and kept walking together. I enquired if his car was repaired, to which he smiled and replied “if for every minor scratch, I run to a workshop, I would never afford to enjoy my life”. Mr Pong was recently posted to Delhi, and like me he too works for a PSU. It was his first posting in a metro city and he had apprehension shifting to Delhi. But finally he found three factors in favour of the city: health care, children’s education and PVR theatre – he enjoys masala Hindi movies.

While walking through the park, joggers and walkers greeted him. Just when I was wondering how come an outsider knew most of the people, a bunch of children cheered up upon seeing him. It was his football team, mostly street children. He said goodbye to me and soon got engrossed in the game. There was hardly any space but it was enough for the 12 odd footballers to sweat it out. Mr Li looks like a footballer himself with a height of around 5 feet 10 inches, muscular and without moustache like any other guy from the North-east.

In the next few days we became quite friendly. I started observing him very closely, the way he smiled, talked to people and his way of approaching any issue. He was a very ordinary guy in the neighbourhood, but I must admit he emitted positivity from every part of his body. While driving he would prefer to wait rather than honk. From watchman to the rag picker he would address them by name and they reciprocated accordingly. He always carried his smile and patience with him and surprisingly he succeeded in solving all his issues with his  two ‘priceless weapons’.

One fine day I asked him how can he be so nice and still manage to push ahead with his way in a city like Delhi. He responded smilingly “when you are new to a place or an organization, people consider you to be a threat and treat you in an unusual manner”. He continued “But when you behave with them in a polite manner, they assume, too much of good behaviour can only come from a weak person and that’s when their fear drops down”. Mr Li went on elaborating “once you succeed in erasing the element of threat from their mind, the same people will unknowingly agree/surrender to whatever you say”. He concluded “I prefer to be weak and happy rather than to be strong and unhappy”…..It’s all about our choice and perception.

I started practicing the magical formula of smile and patience. I found that the technique works well. One day I was forced to park my car  few yards away from my house ( in Lajpat Nagar all cars are parked on the road). A lady came yelling at me “this is our space, don’t you have a brain, where will we park our motorcycle”. More than the words it was her tune which irritated me. I smiled, but she continue with her verbal gun shots! I smiled again (I must say it was tough) but she continued. Finally when she stopped, I explained to her that I stayed on the other side of the road and if she really wanted I was ready to remove my car. I tried to convince her saying that being her neighbour we were like a family as it is in the case of a small town from where I came. Further, I explained to her that she can count on me for any kind of help even if it was at midnight. She stared at me for a while, asked my house number and allowed me to park my car. Since then, I never had any problem parking my car.

In the second instance, a visitor’s car was parked in the slot reserved for our top floor tenant Mr Deepak. Deepak ji was a hot-headed guy and when he found his space to be occupied, he intentionally parked his car behind the visitor’s car. When the visitors finally got ready to depart, they could not take out their car. Our neighbours called Deepak ji to remove his car but to no avail. All that resulted was a big quarrel. The atmosphere was completely charged up and both parties started abusing each other. The visitors were four guys all in their mid-twenties. Mr Deepak dared them to do whatever they like but refused to remove his car and went back to his room. All this continued for around thirty minutes and I was a silent spectators to it, along with host of others. Finally, I called up Mr Li Pong. Incidentally Mr Li was out of station, however he listened to the problem and finally gave me an instant solution. According to his advice, I went to Mr Deepak’s room smiling, asked for the car key and volunteered to remove the car. Deepak ji could not refuse me. As the visitors left and the drama ended, my neighbours applauded me. I was given a celebrity status on that particular evening.

I am trying to follow the thumb rule for quite some time and found success on a few occasion. But I must confess that the process is very tough. If I succeed, I would be the happiest person. My perception of life is changing. Now, sometimes I carry a toffee or biscuit for the rickshaw wala who takes me to the metro station.  Last weekend he bought “am ka acchar” for me from his village in Bihar.

(The incidents narrated above are my real life experience, however the name Mr Li Pong is imaginary)

Abhijeet Bhattacharya


Posted: July 6, 2013 by Ankur in Writes...
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It has been now one full year since I moved into the sprawling campus in the university of Hyderabad.For a person who has lived all her life in the home and her mom doing every little things for her,from washing clothes to cooking food living alone seemed a little scary.But I had firmly decided to move out after my graduation since I mostly wanted to escape from this city(Bhubaneswar) where I have been living since 2 decades!A very long time.And secondly,I did not wanted to do my masters in a state university where teaching style is not upto the standard. Moreover,University of Hyderabad is one of the best university in India.

So on 23rd June last year,I made the really small one room hostel my home for two years.For someone who has never imagined to live in so small a room it was really depressing for the first one week.There were moments where bouts of emotions were so strong that I would go into the washroom and cried my heart out.I never wanted consolation from anyone in the campus since I decided I had to deal with this all by myself.I never showed anyone how emotionally fragile I was in the first two weeks.Then slowly and steadily I changed a lot or I guess the word evolve is more appropriate. I carried the mantle of my own life and made my own decisions.Soon I was doing everything on my own….washing dishes (when I did not felt like using the utensil provided by the mess n cleaned by them),shopping,hanging out through out the city,bargaining,travelling all alone sometimes, in a completely new city(but never getting lost,thankfully!) I traveled all alone to my cousin’s place wi thout having any faintest idea regarding the bus numbers and their routes.,booking cabs,dancing in pub with my friends,sweeping and cleaning my room,doing my own laundry(when I was not satisfied with the way the laundry fellow washed my bed sheet,I washed it myself!),eating whatever I felt like and at any time from anywhere!I girl who was scared to go to the toilet alone at night actually slept peacefully with lights off when her roommate was not there. I did things that I never did at home and my parents who would never accept it(like tasting beef!).I told people everything on their face if they are causing problems and made friends from every states and diverse cultures from India and abroad.

But whatever I did I took the permission of my parents.where there was things which they did not approve off(like going out with friends late night to a club) I had to convince them to let me experience it once and my parents actually allowed it,although they may not approve it but they thought I have every right to experience everything in life and the ball is always in my court,since I am old enough to decide what is right and safe for me.I am actually very lucky to have such parents who actually allowed there daughter to do everything out of her own free choice,this is very unlikely about most Indian parents who believe in keeping the children with a lease and treating them like a pet dog!I had my first peg of alcoholic drink,vodka, it tasted too bad. Many people I know in the campus do all sorts of things behind the backs of their parent’s back,while back home their parents sadly believe that the lease is still their hand.I cannot do this not because I am a &lsq uo;very good fellow’ or quite ‘moralistic’ ,rather I cannot live a double life,like most middle class people I cannot be a hypocrite and hate it like anything.If I do something out of free will I am not scared of telling that, by yelling at everyone who wants to know.Nobody’s opinion has ever mattered to me,other than my parents.And I always thought I need to tell them everything.And thankfully my parents never ever bury me under their advises unless and until I seek them.

I went around the city of Hyderabad with friends,eating out in different restaurants and trying new dishes,going around the major landmarks in the city and trying to grasp its contradicting cultures.Sadly am not able to visit Charminar due to communal tensions in the area since a month. The moment you enter from the new city to the old city suddenly it hits you! the sharp differences between a westernized,global Indians and the so called conservative,primitive culture still clinging to whatever left of their old world.I have no complains regarding such ‘conservationism’ if people who practice it are really happy and not doing it under any compulsions.As far as I discovered that people in the old city are quite happy and comfortable in keeping the flag of their tradition high,which actually made me happy too.Dividing people as ‘modern’ and ‘conservative’ is a colonial construction and a westernized concept where people who did not adhere to the ethos of ‘westernization’ are branded as ‘primitive’ or conservative’.I know friends who are quite very modern and secular in their thoughts,warm in their behaviour and smart in asserting their opinions,hard working to the core but are quite traditional in their dressing and I love the way they are.I admire such people for doing what they really feel they should, instead of being slave to the dictates of fashion and peer pressure.From them I learned that life should always be lived in our own terms and one is not born to please others.

About the city of Hyderabad I would sum off as one of my prof. said ‘there are many ‘Hyderabads’ in one Hyderabad,so go ahead and explore the city’.As student of Sociology and wanting to do journalism in future, I feel its very important for me to understand the people,place and the culture around me which will I believe help me to understand myself better and help me in my career ahead.Now let me move on to the most important stuff the reason am here!STUDIES.I must say that the course outline is quite tough and huge.The things which we can complete in one year,we had to complete within four months.The schedule is very hectic and I have to spent most of my money on photocopying the study materials.Just three weeks before the semester a prof. actually mailed us more than 600 pages of reading material!I cannot go out every weekend as I have to appear for innumerable internal tests.By the time the internals are over,the semester hangs heavy on your head and one actually get very limited time for fun if one is truly devoted to studies.I had to work so hard this time which I had never imagined.I really do not care what will be my grades(CGPA)since I tried my best and gave all my efforts,the rest is not in my hands.And now am at home enjoying my leisure.I do not want to tell anything about the mess food since it is so depressing that it will make my mood bad and I feel even more surprise that I have adjusted to it so well that I haven’t lost any weight,which I want to. 😦 

The campus is 2500 acres in area,largest in Asia!And suppose a student stays in the campus for many years and never venture outside then he or she cannot see or know what Hyderabad is!since the campus itself is like a small town!Everyday the same life,even if the entire city is in chaos or there is civil strife the campus will remain the same!Its actually funny to see students and also my roommate who never read newspaper,they are so unaware of what is going on just outside the campus that you feel we all are staying in a different planet! It makes you feel like as if you have a cocooned existence.But the moment you step into the campus after roaming outside for long you feel as if you are home!For those who rarely go outside feel that ‘the university is Hyderabad and vice versa’….so most of us need to go out at least thrice a month to escape from boredom.The nearest market is called ‘Indira Nagar’.Its like a long market lined with mostly f ood joints(MC Do,Dominos,subway,etc).Be it chinese,South Indian,North Indian,continental,cafes,icecream parlors and cookie stores,bakeries,sweets,junk food or street food you will get it all,and there’s a small store and boutique,gift shop,showrooms for specs and shoes,ATMs,cellphone stores,spencer,groceries et all!!Take an auto and you will reach the place in 15 minutes and get or do everything you want.The price of food ranges from 700 in hotels to 20 rupees on the street and I do what my mood dictates!Then the next hangout place is the ‘food court’ inside inorbit mall in Hitech city and the multiplex inside the mall.Have your food in the ‘food court’ and then take a packet of over prized pop corn and munch as you watch movies.If any student want it cheap(and most does!) then theres a theatre called ‘talkie town’ where tickets are only 55 rupees and in its first floor there are 3 to 4 food joints,including ‘dosa plaza’ which boost of 255 types of dosas!If you want a quick bite to satiate your hunger then the food court in the campus (known as gops after a shopkeeper Gopal!!) can only come to your rescue anytime.If you are too lazy then you can always or too busy then you can have home delivery from Dominos(if you want junk food) or from Green Bawarchi(if you want cooked,tasty food).’Kairali’ a roadside restaurant that prepares really nice and cheap Kerala food is one of the favourite of my Malyalee room mate and to some extent mine.A lot of options!huh?But ‘Indira Nagar’ followed by inorbit remain my favourite.

I cannot end this without telling anything about my really nice roommate,Haritha. In such a few months she has really been a good room mate and a person with whom I have always enjoyed talking.Even if the lights are on or off she can sleep.Staying in a hostel since the last three years she can adjust to almost everything unlike a novice like myself.Haritha and I and one of her friend and one of my friend!hang out together. I am really happy to get a nice roommate who is not only friendly but also cheer me up when I am homesick or nervous due to exams. 

So here I end this about my new life where I have adjusted and blended so well that I wonder how can I??!!

Abhinita Mohanty

University of Hyderabad

Main daudta hua Kolapur station par pohncha, wahaan meri train ” Kolapur Express” Lucknow jaane ke liye khadi thi. Tabhi TT ne green flag dikha diya and main bhagta hua train me chad gya jabki mere pass koi ticket bhi nahi tha, aur chada bhi toh kahan A.C coach me…!!

India me sab kuch JUGAAD, PEHCHAAN and CORRUPTION ke dam par ho hi jata hai, yeh baat main boht ache se jaanta tha, isiliye itna nishchit tha. Main khud corruption ko badhava nahi deta but uss din mera Lucknow jana boht hi zaruri tha. Mere dad ki tabiyat kaafi naazuk thi and maa bhi ghar par akeli thi isiliye maine ” PITRI DEVO BHAVA” ko mahatva diya aur seat no. 5 par let gya. Kuch der baad mere saamne ek mahashay apne doston ki toli ke saath akar baith gye. Sundar si dress aur nawabi andaaz dekh kar main samajh gya ki bhaiyaji Lucknowi hai. Thodi der baad unhone apna khane ka basta khola aur sabhi doston mein baatne lage. Samose , Kachori aur Mithayon ki bharmaar thi. Khane-pine ke kaafi shaukeen lag rhe the. Aakhir me mujhse bhi puch liya, ” Arre Bhaiya..! Bimar ho ka..? Lete kahe ho..? Baith jao tanik batiyaao humse, Lo samosa khao..! ” Unke chehre ki muskaan dekhkar main mana nahi kar paya. Kya pata woh mere dad ki bimari ke baare me jaan gye the..? Unhone fir pucha ,” Itni chinta mein kahe ho…? ” Maine unhe apne dad ki haalat ke baare me bataya but woh santusht nahi hokar puche, ” Puri bimari ke baare me batao..? “

Mere saamne dad ka chehra agya and aankhon se aansu chalak pade, yeh dekhte hi unhone mere kandhe par haath rakh diya, maine bola, ” Unhe BLOOD CANCER hai..!” and I started crying like a five year old. Pura mahaul tense ho gya, Unhone kaha ,” Chinta mat karo..Bhagwaan sab thik kar denge..!” And then he hugged me very tightly. Unke ek dost , who considered himself very smart, immediately bole ,” Bhagwaan bharose kuch nhi hoga , Inhe ek ache doctor ki zarurat hai..! Bhagwaan par toh mera vishwas hi nahi rha. Agar woh hote toh apke Pitaji ko CANCER thodi hota..! Kya unme itni bhi daya nahi.”  Bhagwaan me logon ki naastikta dekh mujhe boht dukh hua, Tab tak main dad ke gham se bhi bahar agya tha aur unki baaton ko dhyaan se sunne laga. Woh sab aapas me bol rhe the, ” Jo dikhai nahi deta, Jo kabhi nahi milta, Jisse baat nahi kar sakte , Usko kaise accept karle..? Kaise maan le ki woh hai..? “

Main unki baatein ek dam patiently sunta rha, Jab sab chup ho gye, toh maine kaha,”Mahashay..! Kya aapki shaadi ho gayi hai..? ” He said, ” Haan..! Aur do bachche bhi hai..! ” Itne mein TT sahab agye aur humari baaton ko dhyaan se sunne lage, Main bhi itna busy ho gya tha ki bhul hi gya ki TT sahab wahan par the. Maine bola,” Kya aap apni wife and bachchon se niswarth prem karte hai..? “

” Haan karta hun..! Boht pyaar karta hun..!” Phir main bola, ” Yahi toh ishwar ka roop hai..! Woh ek meim anek hai, anek mein ek hai..! Aap bhi naastik nahi hai, bas aap shyad bhagwaan ke anek roopon se parichit nahi hai..! VISHWAS, AASTHA, PREM, NISHKAAM KARMA..! Yeh prabhu k bhin bhin roop hai..! Kya kabhi apne in sab ko raaste par ghumte dekha hai..? Kabhi baat ki hai..? Kabhi mile hai..? Phir bhi aap yeh sari cheezen accept karte hai. Puri duniya mein aisa koi insan nhi jo isse juda ho. Jiss tarah aap hawa ko dekh nahi sakta but you can still feel it, the very same way there is THE ALMIGHTY..! Unhe aap har pal apni zindagi mein mehsus kar sakte hai…!

Dudh se makhan mathne par nikalta hai..! The very same way when u centrifugate the soul of a person , You find HIS presence..! Iss tarah se dekhe toh iss duniya mein koi bhi nastik nahi hai, its just that people are not aware of the differnt forms of HIM..!

TT sahab yeh baat sunkar, boht impress huye and he didnt fine me a single penny..! Moreover, He made a ticket for me..! Baaki log bhi vaad vivad ke baad shaant ho gye, aur mera station agya..!

Jab main ghar pohncha toh mere dad aakhri saansein le rhe the….

Main unka haath pakadkar bola,” Pitaji..! Bhagwaan itne dayawaan kyun nahi hai..? Apki bimari thik kyun nahi kar dete..?”

Woh bole,” Pagle..! Unki hi toh daya hai ki marne se pehle tera chehra dekh liya, aur yeh toh mere karmon ka fal hai, ISME BHAGWAN KA KYA DOSH..? And it is just the soul leaving the body..!

Unhone mere sar par haath rakha aur unki aankhen band ho gyi….

Main unhe dekhta reh gya…unka haath mere sar se girne laga…lekin maine usse pakad liya aur apne sir par fir rakh diya…

Yeh sab dekh kar meri MAA shock ho gyi, aur foot foot kar rone lagi..! Phir thodi der baad meri aankhon se aansun girne lage aur unke seene pa sar rakh kar, I hugged him very tightly and I could only echo his last words..!

Anupam Mishra

Sir Padampat Singhania University, Udaipur

in collaboration with Elements, SPSU Udaipur

TOPIC: What I Learnt in those 5mins

College days and that acquaintance…

Posted: September 12, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
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Those were some cherishing days – getting promoted from pampered and lazy child at home to share a room with two unknown faces in an engineering college hostel.

The ill-effect of evening daily soaps in our country –  mother’s will pamper you to the highest possible extent at home and then their desire will be to see their son as a doctor or an engineer mostly – finally when the time comes to lead a hostel life , they will start shedding unlimited volume of tears – “What will you eat there ? How will you stay ? How will you adjust , staying away from home?”

I am mentioning all this because of practical experience – mom cried one full night the day before I headed for my engineering college – I was excited for some different set of reasons though …

New life , new friends , staying away from parents will give me somewhat that  independence I craved for in my school days but leaving my comfortable house bed and parents was a minor disappointment for me .

Anyways , going ahead with the story – rooms were allocated and I was given a room with two guys – Prithvi Banerjee from Siliguri and Sudeep Roy from my hometown –Kolkata. When I entered my Room No : 203 , both of them gave me a stare , later I figured it out for two main reasons – seeing a six foot two inch tall guy with luggage in hand and guitar on the shoulder .

Never knew that one simple wooden guitar will make me a known face in my college and let my initial college days pass by with minor absurd ragging – to be more specific , groups of senior use to come to my hostel room and ask me to play a song for them sometime with a pose of a singer on stage by standing on the bed – well I use to do that happily !!!

Prithvi and Sudeep used to thank me generously for sharing room with them – seniors used to be so engrossed talking to me and listening to my guitar that they barely use to pay minor attention on my roommates.

Reminds me of a funny incident – first week of college there was few restrictions imposed on us by seniors – wearing the full sleeve single color shirts, shoes only with black socks , have to address a senior only my sir/mam .

Set of rules were even more amusing for girls – addressing part to seniors were same, have to go to college in slippers wearing single color salwars and the best part – hair should be neatly combed with coconut oil .

Well , so me and my friend Sudeep entered the college campus from the hostel and we were about to enter the college building that two seniors called us from the back “Hey first year”

Both of us turned around – one boy and a pretty looking senior was standing under a banyan tree just next to the college building – we went in front of them and wished “ Good morning mam , good morning sir “

The boy whose name was Ashutosh asked me “So guitarist , how are you ?”

I said in a polite tone “ I am doing good sir , thank you for asking”

The senior lady – Malini Singh was very pretty , fair , black-brown mix hair, blue eyes , wearing boots with the college skirt which suited her , she asked me “So I heard you play guitar really well , when are you playing for me?”

I replied “Whenever you want”

Ashutosh ‘s attention now turned towards Sudeep – “What’s your name ?”

Sudeep replied with a trembling voice “Sudeep Roy sir”

“Hmm , alright now, propose and convince Malini mam for a date now”

I was astonished , shit !!! Ashutosh assigned a tough task to a wrong person whose life starts and ends with those big fat engineering books – I wish I could help him but helplessly I was standing there with no clue of what will happen next but finally what happened can only be compared to a comic movie scene of Hollywood blockbuster ….

Sudeep was standing there like a bakra with head low , I can feel his nervousness – perhaps before getting final year school results , he was not as nervous as this situation – only thing I thought was – poor Sudeep , you are raped today !!

Ashutosh with a rough voice asked Sudeep again “ Shall I recite and make you understand , common you have just five minutes – ask for a date to Malini mam”

Next was the iconic comic scene –

Sudeep went down on his knees , caught Malini’s left hand with both his hand and said “Didi , I love you”

Only I know , how I controlled my laughter with all possible strengths within me – Ashutosh , Malini both burst out laughing – innocent poor Sudeep was standing with a thought , what just happened ?

I promised him not to share this incident with anyone who haven’t seen it – unfortunately I kept my promise but Ashutosh did not – result was , it spread like virus in college !!!

Ten years down the line when I recall all those incidents – all I think is : a time machine to go back to those days and I am sure Sudeep still laughs now when he recalls his iconic proposal style.

Now lets move to one memorable incident which occurred on the second week of engineering –

First week of hostel life was overcome with no major hurdles be it classes , friends or ragging and in the meanwhile , I figured out that my friend Prithvi was little perverted compared to others but he was sensible when it came to studying.

I remember , I was sitting on my bed with B. L. Theraja Electrical circuit , trying to figure out how OM meter works ?? ( It’s been four years that I have graduated from college but the fact is – I still don’t know clearly how OM meter works ?? – Electrical circuits can actually make your life complicated ) Prithvi was sitting on the bed next to mine – with a smoke in one hand and environmental science notes in his other hand.

Taking the last puff of smoke he asked “Dude , you know this girl Radhika Ghosh?”

Honestly I answered looking at him “No , who is she ?”

He closed environmental science notes , kept it aside and sat in front of me on my bed “Aare dude , I like a girl in my department but she sits on the front row so not able to talk”

Dealing with girls was never my cup of tea these days , very innocently I asked “How come you start liking someone within a week ?”

This annoyed him “You won’t understand”

I tried consoling him “She is your department only so in a few days everyone will come to know each other – Chill now”

He lighted one more cigarette “Hope so , I just need one chance to talk to that girl”

That night while sleeping – unknowingly thought of Radhika Gosh came to my mind – how does she look ? What is so special about her that Prithvi started liking her on the first week of college itself ? Have I seen her in college by any chance ? She must be definitely pretty ….


My college was located in Durgapur which is 400 odd kilometers from Kolkata – you can either travel through national highway else there is good railway connectivity .

Two weeks of college over – weekend arrived and Durgapur station platform was filled with NIT new engineering batch students – gearing up to go home .Everyone energized , excited , anxiously waiting for Black Diamond express to arrive into the station – many already getting calls from their parents in Kolkata to get the train updates – my parents were also coming to receive me and I was sure the story will be same for most of my batch-mates .

Prithvi stayed in Dhanbad which was towards the Bihar border so his route was different .Well so , with a small bag in one hand , iPod playing Pink Floyd at full volume and guitar on my shoulder , I was waiting for the train to arrive.

Few of my batch-mates whom I still didn’t know were staring at me , I could sense that – only guy in college with a guitar – that can always push you into the limelight.

There was a group of three girls , all in Salwar standing just a few feet away from where I was starting for a pretty long time – once I smiled at them gently and all three reverted back to me with a smile.

Anyways , trained arrived and NIT started quite pouring in ; quite obvious there was a massive rush through the narrow twin gates of each compartment.

Those gang of three girls tried getting in along with me – Ladies first is the policy I believe in so made way for them – two got in and one was struggling with the luggage .

In an attempt to hold her heavy bag , I said looking at her “Hold my guitar and get in .. I will get your luggage”

She took the guitar immediately from my shoulder and gesturing with a Thank you mixed with an innocent smile got into the compartment – I followed with two luggages in both my hands.

The train was crowded from before and over that so many college students got in – it became congested. I was standing in front of the girl I helped with the luggage – I opened the ear-lugs and turned off the iPod .

Her face was cute, big eyes and bubbly cheeks , skin color little dark but went well with her hairstyle and light yellow Salwar, height was some were around five and a half feet maybe ( I am pretty bad at guessing the height of others apart from mine)

She said with a smile “Hi “

I gestured back with a smile too “ Hello”

“Thank you for helping me out “

“Perfectly alright , no problem”

I was holding the support rod attached to train celing for support and one hand was on my guitar cover.

Looking at the guitar once , she asked “Nice , you play this ?”

“Yes , just learning by the way which department are you from ?”

“Computer science and you ?”

“I.T “

There was minutes of silence – both of us starting to look at things around us ; I was struggling internally to find some topics to talk about – people sitting were playing cards , few chit chatting , some of them reading a newspaper, noticed some of them dozed off with their head tilting sometime towards left or right , our college students busy chit chatting in groups.

My phone beeped – I took out the cell phone from my pocket and it was a text from Prithvi “Enjoy your stay in Kolkata , my train is at 10 pm”

I replied to the text and bingo – finally I got a topic to talk ; Prithvi is from computer science and so is this lady – I asked “Hey , you are from computer science right ?”

“Yes “

I got excited “Awesome then you need to do me a favor”

“What is it ?”

“There is a friend of mine from your department Prithvi Banerjee , do you know him?”

After thinking for a while she replied “Don’t remember exactly who is he but I think I heard the name during our introductory session last week with the HOD ( head of the department)”

“Ok” I kept quite

She asked now “So what is the favor you were asking about ?”

“Actually Prithvi like a girl from your department , her name is Radhika Ghosh , not sure if you know her so was just checking “

She started laughing which surprised me , followed by a big question mark on my face – she understood looking at my face that I was expecting an answer .She somehow controlled her laugh and said “I get it , I know Radhika , she is a good friend of mine – let me see what I can do about it “

“Thank you so much”

“You are welcome “ I can see on her face , she was desperately trying to control her laughter to come out.

After thinking for a few minutes what to talk next , I recalled shit !!! I didn’t even asked her name so went ahead “Hey, I am sorry but I didn’t ask your name –  Ranojoy”

She came a little closer to me , smiled and said “Hi , I am Radhika Ghosh”

WTF !!!! She started laughing again – people around stared , I was feeling so embarrassed .Oh god !! What blunder have I done  ???? I can’t run away … bad option , wish I got invisible

I felt like one of those MTV Bakra in front of Cyrus Brocha – she was still laughing , like an idiot with stammering tone I said “Look , I mean – was just joking , I mean hope you understand , it was not my intention … I am so sorry”

She stopped again and said “It’s ok Ranojoy , I understand , no big deal”

I was still not convinced – “I am really really sorry”

“Hey chill , it’s perfectly alright”

“Are you sure ?”

She looked up and thought for a moment “I guess yes but still I can completely forgive you if you play a song for me someday with your guitar”

I smiled finally “Deal , I will do that “

The train was entering Bardaman station – many passengers got up from their seats to grab their luggage and again there was even more congestion inside the compartment due to so many movements – this is one of the main junctions before Kolkata where many passengers catch connecting train for Bandel , Hoogly hence the train heading towards Kolkata becomes little empty – good for us , we both got seats to sit .

I looked for Radhika’s other two friends but they were not to be seen – maybe moved to a different compartment – I thought of asking her about them but after the blunder I did , didn’t want to take a second chance.

Rest part of the journey from Bardaman to Howrah was full of discussion on hobbies, our college , future plans of job , music , books , exchanging each others cell phone number – it was nice to strike a discussion with someone who shares few common interest and she was definitely one of them.

While getting down from the train , I apologized again to her – she said “I already told you , play your guitar someday and I will forgive you for this mischief”

Coming out of the platform – scene was even more astonishing compared to Durgapur station – to my estimations – almost everyone’s parents were standing in receiving their young engineer kids coming home for the first time after two weeks of class .

Seeing me , mom hugged me and asked almost every possible question about my health in one breath – me and dad burst out laughing !!

I tried spotting Radhika in the crowd – she was standing with her dad .On walking towards her , she introduced me to her dad – she said to her dad “Papa , you get going , I will come in a moment “

Putting both my hands into my denim’s side-pocket “So , I guess we meet on Monday again back to college ?”

She smiled and said “Well , I add on one more activity for you as a punishment apart from playing guitar for me”

“What is it ?”

“I don’t mind a cup of coffee tomorrow evening somewhere if you are not held up with something”

Whoa !!!! This came unexpected .. Is she asking me out for a date ????

I said with a charming smile “Sure , tomorrow evening will be perfect , I will call you in afternoon”

“Alright Mr. Guitarist , I will wait for your call”

She started walking towards her dad who was waiting some distance away for her daughter and in few moments, she got lost among those thousand unknown’s in the over-crowded subway of the station.

Ayaan Basu




The Good, The Glamorous and The Ugly

Posted: September 12, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , ,

I hate that kind of parties, where I don’t know more than two people and not more than two people know me. And noone knows anyone really. ‘Those’ sort of social functions. Feels, um… Boring.

It’s a menagerie of personalities, some of them idealists, moralists and some rebels and dissenters; Comics and tragics and some generally uninteresting. All in all it’s a collection of varied people, who realize that the room has a certain potpourri of a number of characters, and get a somewhat faux sense of glamour and happiness to be the part of this fascinating array of multifarious characters.

But there I was; doing a favor for a friend in one of those parties. I was hovering around the room trying to locate the only two people I knew: I failed, though.

In situations like these you have two options: what one can do is observe people and think or try to chat up with someone new. I am not really a hi-stranger-how-do-you-do kinda guy so I decided to clam up and take in the surroundings.

“It’s funny”, said a voice, from somewhere behind me, ” to see that someone is also facing a similar problem regarding socializing”.

I turned. There was a girl standing over there, medium height and dark wheatish complexion. She , to use a Indian newspaper matrimonial term, looked quite homely.

“Hi”, I said, “I didn’t see you there”.
“Of course you didn’t”, she replied, “it’s hard to see from behind the head, generally”.

I smiled. Option Two it is.

We introduced ourselves. I forgot her name. We talked for a while.

“So”, said I, “What do you think of this party?”

She replied “It’s a menagerie of personalities, some of them idealists, moralists and some rebels and dissenters; Comics and tragics and some generally uninteresting. All in all it’s a collection of varied people, who realize that the room has a certain potpourri of a number of characters, and get a somewhat faux sense of glamour and happiness to be the part of this fascinating array of multifarious characters.”

Yeah well. I plagiarized it.

“You sound like a dissenter.” I said, taking a sip of something hot; soup, probably.

“No,” she said, “I’m Ugly”.

I paused. To be brutally honest, she wasn’t a looker. Some would even call her ugly.


I, used homely as the adjective.


Clever Me.

“I beg your pardon.”

“I said, I am Ugly.” she replied.

“Is that a class of people?”


“I don’t think so”

She took a deep breath. “Look around”, she said in a low tone, “and observe, what do you see?”
I glanced around, confused.

“The humans have created many distinctions,” she continued, “on the basis of faith, on the basis of class, creed, race, language, nationality and sex. But there is one little distinction that nature has made, that class far supersedes anyone created by man. The class of beauty.”
“Look around, Good looking people chat with good looking people. The average looking people talk to the average looking, The Uglies hover with more of their kind in the interstitials. Sometimes as satellites of these groups. It’s an inbuilt class system. Something which comes naturally to us”.

“C’mon” I said, incredulously, “beauty is only skin deep”.

“I expected you to say that”, she replied, “Someone had to say that. Or else it would have looked as if humans created this segregation. It’s pretty natural. Now if you had two people to talk to. One looks much better than the other one, where will you go? Obviously, the one who doesn’t look bad to you. It’s basic human nature : Beauty gets magnified, ugliness gets blurred out of focus.”

“I don’t agree. Beauty isn’t everything…”

“You see, beauty appeals to us more than anything in this world. They say ‘ beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. I say, ‘All eyes are the same’. We don’t like ugly. We shun ugly. We attain beauty. Or atleast try to. That’s the whole principle of the face cream companies.

“Ugly is real. Ugly exists. It stares in your face. Everyone avoids it. Just to not hurt the sentiments of these unprivileged  the society says ‘It’s the beauty within that matters’. That’s probably the worst thing anyone can say. It gives you a false sense of hope. The fact of the matter is ugly is bad. Ugly reminds you of … well, ugliness and negativity. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. A thing of ugliness is a pain in the ass.”

“You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful,” I stammered “but she is beautiful because you love her, said someone long ago”.

“He was probably drunk.” she replied.

“Physics teaches us,” I rose, now desperately trying to find a loophole in her argument, “that things don’t exist if we don’t look for them. You change things by observations.”

“Yada yada yada,” she jeered gleefully, “getting desperate, are we? Trying to pull the ol’ science-is-flashy stuff on an arts student. huh? Well, nice try. But the hard fact is everyone observes. We are human. We see. We naturally move away from hideous people and move towards the pleasing ones.
“Take yourself for example,” she said as I blanched in defense of a verbal repertoire I was due, ” You didn’t start talking to me. I started talking to you”
“I wasn’t planning to talk to anyone” I mumbled, “honestly.”

“Yes, but did you ever notice that I was standing in front of you for the last 5 minutes before we started to talk.”

“I … I … noticed everyone.” I choked, “I don’t think I remember everyone I see.”

“That’s never true” she said, “anyway; Nice talking to you”

With this she disappeared in that crowd. A conglomeration of various individuals, both the picturesque and the inelegant.

Samar Patel

Rio Tinto Australia




Lintel of my Life…

Posted: August 19, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , , , ,


I sprang from bed and bumped my head and stubbed my little toe,
Then jammed my fingers ;turning down the blaring radio,

Couldn’t find any words to write about the one, who gave birth to this Leo,

Waving away the endless twists and turns,

Settled down to write the most cherished sojourn.


Her hands held me gently the day I took my first breath,
They helped her to guide me as I took my first steps,
Her hands held me close when the tears would start to fall,
They were quick to show me; she would take care of it all.

When I started school the first year, she walked with me every day,
And helped me shed the fears I had, that my world had gone away,
Every year as I grew older, and ventured  away from home,
I knew she’d always be there, no matter how far I’d roam.

She fashioned my dreams and  painted my hopes,
I’ve learned to make knots at the end of my ropes,
She mapped the way to the Heaven above,
By teaching me kindness, by teaching me love .


Her hands are now gyrating with age and years of work,

They need my gentle touch to rub away the hurt,
She flinches when you bump them and her grip is quite weak,
But these hands are a reflection of the woman inside,
Although curled up in whims, still strong with pride.

When opening a jar seems too great a task,
It’s only after great hesitation that she finally asks,
Don’t let that mislead you – for you must understand,

It’s not what they can’t do; but rather what they can,
These hands have the strength to raise a family right,
To wipe away every tear and hold you real tight.

I’m glad that you chose to be, all this and more to me,
You share a love that knows no end,
You’re more than my mother, but a miraculous friend.


You painted no Madonnas, on chapel walls in Rome,
But with a touch divine, you lived one in your home ,
You built no great cathedrals, that centuries applaud,
But with a grace exquisite, your life cathedralled .
Had I the gift of Raphael, or that of Michelangelo,
Oh, what a rare Madonna, my mother’s life would show…

Swati Achra

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham






Posted: August 14, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , ,

I asked Vani how she felt about the caged humans.

“It’s painful. It’s an emotional abortion. It’s disgusting.”

If that’s your answer then, “still you want to visit? “

“Yeah,” she said. “I could use some disgusting.”

Dad gave his me the car when I told him I was taking Vani. He put the keys in my palm. He put a handful of change in my other hand.

“To feed the animals,” he said.

Vani smoked cigarettes all the way to the caged domain. She cracked the window barely and flicked ash into the wind. She burned the roof of my alto in at least four different places. “Sorry,” she said each time, but she didn’t use any more precaution than she had before.

It was rainy and the visible parts of Indian Ocean were flooded almost fifteen feet onto the shore. Plantation rose from the water like they were meant for life in the swamp. The waste that flowed through the ocean was creeping up toward the highway and the smell mixed with the cigarette smoke. I breathed in deep to get a trace of Vani. The stink never stuck to her. She didn’t even smell of grease though she worked just much time as me in the kitchen as I did. I was now a reeking mess of lard fumes and cigarette smoke and ocean stench. Vani flicked a butt out the window. Of course it hit the door frame before exiting, raining a shower of tiny red cherry specks and leaving dark pinhole spots on the seat. I watched in the rear view for a methane explosion. Something violent that would ignite the whole ocean, adding the smell of burning rubber as the old fishermen in their waders burned away to nothing. It didn’t happen and I looked over at her. She felt my eyes and met them.


“Nothing.” And I wondered how she pulled thoughts out of me by the handful and pushed them against some giant light canvas, exposing the ridiculous in me in vivid detail.

“Want one?” she said holding out the pack, showing me the cancer ridden pancreas on the front.

“Sure.” Maybe I’d have better luck setting the fire.

We entered the domain of countless cages. The place was gray and dead. The cold wind met us head on through every twist and turn of the concrete path. Family units found us with their gaze, a polite smile creeping up on defeated lips.

At the fowl pond the convicts sat in the cooling water naked, their necks collared in leather and chained to the rock façade behind them. They were mostly fishermen, not the hostiles, but those who had tried to stay after the big border wall closed for good. They’d been warned. It was almost ten years now, but the ads had been everywhere: The Man himself on the tube, telling them, “Go home. We don’t want you here anymore. Go back to where you came from.” I guessed the fowl pond was full of these hangers on because they just wouldn’t leave, and now they were chained up in the water and their fingers were cut off, a symbolic wind clipping that prevented them from leaving if they wanted to. Vani and I watched them. They looked pathetic sitting in their own filth, waiting to catch some water-borne illness and die, flat fingerless hands stroking the water for comfort.

I used the change Dad had given me and I bought a rupees worth of feed from the coin-op machine, twisting the handle and getting a handful for fifty paise. I gave some to Vani and we tossed it into the dirty water, watched the captives climb all over each other for the scraps of waterlogged bran or whatever meal it was. They tried to gouge out each other’s eyes with phantom fingers. They cried out in squawks as we walked away. Even with tongues cut out and vocal cords scraped raw and scarred, they still tried to speak.

It was the same type of scene throughout. On Nicobar island the naked residents shivered, their hands cut off and sewn on their ankles. The reptile house with snake people stripped of their limbs. All the habitats that once housed a big cat or wolf or wolverine were filled with chained people who were hostile in some way or another. The aquarium was packed full of men and women and kids, underwater, just enough air above the surface to poke up a nostril or lips and take a breath before being yanked down by the next beast struggling for breath and trying to keep the dead at bay lest they float up and squat below the most valuable real estate.

Vani and I rested on a glossy, plastic bench fashioned to look like a log. Across from us was the Dolphin habitat. The man inside paced behind the glass, back and forth, licking his chops, growling. The info plaque stated he was a rebel, a dissident responsible for the deaths of over fifty wall builders. His fate was the smashing of his pelvis and femurs, never puzzled back together, giving him no choice but to move like the stalking big cat he’d resembled in life. Two young zookeepers walked by on patrol, hands on their assault rifles. They paid us little mind. Vani watched them walk by.

“I wanted to get assigned here,” she said.

“I thought you said it was ‘disgusting’.”

“I know. Maybe that’s why. Because they wouldn’t have me. I came here a lot when I was a kid. Lots of people on our side of the glass. Now this. It doesn’t feel right, does it?”

“I wouldn’t want to be here,” I said. “But, they have to go somewhere. We let them walk the street and it’s chaos.”

She laughed.

“You know what I mean.” I said. “More chaos. These people did something to get here.”

“Maybe. But what if they had succeeded? It might be us. They’re victims of their politics.”

“We all are I think.”

She thought about that. “Maybe. But to live this life? What warrants that?”

I read the large plaque hung above. “Treason. Murder.” I pointed to the pacing animal. “In his case.”

Vani nodded. She stood and moved to the enclosure, climbed over the metal rail and put her cheek to the glass. The man stopped pacing, rested in front of her. Vani stroked the length of his body, again and again, hand squeaking on the glass. And I envied the tiger man. If given the order I’d break him all over again.

“Let’s go,” I said. Something in my tone pulled her away, anger that maybe she mistook for confidence, safe and separate from my rival by four inches of reinforced glass. Vani smiled, still stroking the broken cat, that man, but looking at me. I again wondered how she had the ability to expose me to myself. I didn’t know what she wanted from me: a companion, a partner in commiseration, honesty with someone other than the mirror. How could I have known anything else? She was Vani and she was beautiful and she moved me in a way that made me think the end of the world was my idea. That’s a gift. To let a man think his destruction is his own doing. But that was her gift. She was my very own Vani. No, just Vani.

Nikhil Chandwani




My Experience in a nutshell…

Posted: July 23, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , ,

No matter how creative and smart working we are, we will have to put in the necessary hard work also to succeed, always view failures and the mistakes made as learning opportunity. Believe in god, he is always watching and is there to take care of us, no matter how much tough times we face, its for our own good, take them as lessons. Always help others with a selfless attitude, without expecting anything in return, because, in the final analysis, we will have to be answerable to god, not to anyone else!.  Do take inputs from others but Never follow the herd mentality or give in to others pressure even if everyone turns against you, make your own ways and do what you think is good for you. Think out of the box- instead of working under someone, try to come up with something of your own.
P.S- some of the things i listed may seem to be a cliche or impractical to others but thats what i have experienced in my life. 🙂
Gaurav Singh


Posted: March 18, 2012 by Ankur in Writes...
Tags: , , ,

Countries, discovered and flourished. Each has its own art of development. Countries diversified further to different states for the purpose proper control & jurisdiction of government. No one ever knew this diversification would be more intensified the India-Pak Partition. 

The above Indian map attached above basically shows its different states and border countries. I have a question to propose to readers, are the states actually the part of India apart from sharing the map space? or are they a different country in itself?

The current scenario demonstrates this situation. If I am born in Punjab, I am Punjabi. If I am born in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, I am a Hindu “Bhaiya”. If I am born in Maharashtra, Chennai, Tamil Nadu then I am a South Indian. I don’t understand when will I be able to call myself as an Indian who hails from India and lives for India. I have been to different states and have found the same scenario whether its Punjab, Maharashtra, West Bengal, or Uttar Pradesh. Different religions, different forms of living, different mode of working all these are admissible but discrimination on its basis is not. If I belong to some part of country which lack good schools or where Internet is a distant dream then do i hold a tag of facing discrimination where ever i go for availing them? In India it is.

If I am living in Punjab, I am supposed to go all along Canada and US but settling in Bihar would be like a disgrace for me. The justification given to this attitude is lack of opportunities in these areas. But how will people justify calling people of Bihar as “Bhaiya” and humiliating them just because they are from Bihar. Is it correct?

A laborer who is working in your field for hours, shedding each drop of sweat he could all because of money. No doubt he gets a fair deal of money but what about respect? He gets varying titles. Is this the morality we are holding?

Does me being a Hindu makes me powerless infront of a Punjabi or Gujrati or does me being a Punjabi makes me a fighter? No doubt each of the community had a trait. Someone are born fighters, some are born laborers. But discrimination on these cradles is not acceptable.

People are ready to dedicate their lives for the sake of their respective states but when it comes to country then they are reluctant. Religious strife’s are the instances of this. Whether consider the case of Ayuodhya Verdict or Austria (Vienna Problem) of Sachkhand.

For people state comes first and then their country. Every state considers its residents to be more equipped. Maharashtra case of shunting people of North India from Mumbai is an instance of it.

People, i may be sounding in-appropriate. All I mean to put forward is an appeal to people to refrain from such orthodox stunk thinking. Our constitution entitles each person to stay in any part of our country and he deserves respect.

There is a need of mutual respect and integration for people to understand each other’s strengths and weakness’es. Behaving in a responsible manner demands a person to respect each one ignoring his skill set and place of origin. The grass roots of a person aims only to understand his regional aspects not the negative traits he inherits from them. Value your state, after all development of individual states will credit the long term development of a country, as a whole.

But, do not demean the fellow states just because of their geographic location, religion dissimilarities and inconsistent opportunities.

Lack in such integration once led us to slavery under British Empire and the recurrence of it would again lead us to nothing better than misery…

Bhaskar H. Narula