Friday, 29 January 2016

MR. DEATH, ARE YOU OKAY?

[NOTE: The story never ends.]

"Kill the sun, slaughter this man. Let's take him away to where he belongs...to the death box, to the coffin designed in black velvet," shouted the man in black gown on Mr. Pinku Mukherjee's face, his half veil disclosed not his identity.
"May the crows feed on his blood!" he continued with same sense of vigour and hatred.
Piku was frightened like hell. And his fears numbed him when he realized that the man was Mr. Death himself: the representative of Hell's Congress. He pleaded but his voice could not reach the man's ears, as if vacuum had surrounded. Mr. Death finally pulled out a machete on which were engraved the words: "May Peace be Irony."
Pinku could not determine his actions. His hands were tied behind him with the Hell's Handcuff built from shrapnel and pieces of broken glass. And before he could speak, there went the glittery edge of the machete and...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Oh! My God!" screamed he, and jumped out of his bed. The alarm was ringing and Pinku could not understand for the first few moments if he was alive or was he just a soul! As his heart beats steadied down to normal, he just cursed himself for watching horror movies a night before.
He dressed himself for work, and ate his breakfast. He reached office as usual. Mr. Pinku was a different kind of guy. He followed rules strictly, and enjoyed alone. But that did not made him a freak. He could speak for hours on a subject, and the women liked him too, but he kept a distance. He did not consider random gender intimacy to be moral, for he believed those things hurt, and although he had never been a participant, he opted to stay away from these. He liked life to be simple, and that was why he was the Best Employee for three times in a row. He never competed against others; he loved his way and others loved his way of work too. In short, he was not abnormal, and led a peaceful life. Only that morning's dream was a bit too loud!
Pinku finished his tasks and returned home. He lived alone in a small compartment. His parents lived in his native village, both teachers by profession, and he was here, working in a company that worked on smart home appliances. Pinku boiled some cauliflower and fried them. He crushed two eggs and scrambled them on the pan. He had a sweet dinner. He opted not to watch another horror film as that morning gave him real jerks.
He chose to sleep. When he woke up, he found himself in a dark room, his hands tied to a chair. He was sleepy, but the blood on his wrists frightened him. Apart from cough syrups and paracetamol, Pinku had never seen a doctor, nor had he seen blood. The blood oozed out from the wounds on his wrists. He tried to suck some blood and spit when he cut his lips. Just then a candle glowed in the dark. He saw none but he screamed, "What the Hell!" His hands were tied with the same Hell's Handcuff he had seen in his dream. As he turned his eyes towards the candle, he saw someone standing...that was Mr. Death himself, the representative of the Hell's Congress. Now things were beggining to get real. These were the Dream Stealers: they steal into one's life through one's dreams, and kill them as planned. Pinku knew not what to do. Gradually the figure approached. He pulled out his machete upon which were engraved the words: "May Peace be Irony!"
However, unlike his dream, the figure was silent and then spoke.
"Those words were only for your dream," he uttered as if he could read Pinku's fearing mind, and laughed in terrible echoes.
Then he stopped teasing his prey, and swooshed the machete to maximum stretch and ...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pinku kicked his room-mate out of his bed. Pratap yelled in pain, and cursed him. Pinku awoke to find that that was just a bad dream, and found his friend lying almost shattered. He realized that he had had two dreams within a dream, and laughed at himself. Pratap was still cursing. Pinku felt sorry for his friend, and said, "Mr. Death, are you okay?"

The story may not end here. What if, you are still reading a dream, and there's more to this story. I had told you: the story never ends, my friend. Have a carefree sleep! Smile!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Monday, 25 January 2016

THE INSIGNIFICANT IMPORTANT

"Things may seem insignificant,
aren't you too busy to introspect?
The past is your strength,
be foolish not,
the insignificant past I speak of,
future stays stagnant
for it waits for you to introspect?
Aren't you too busy to inspect?"
  -Myself, January 26, 2016

I make my own quotes when I do not find anything relevant to my subject. That doesn't make the post unattractive unless I mention that those lines are mine. People expect these lines to be by someone great leading to the question: is the name important or the truth? 
However, this blog post does not, at all, relate itself to the copyright or authenticity of a truth. This, in fact, pinpoints how a man, through his phases of life, from being a kid to an adult, realize the importance of his country. This may hold true for any individual belonging to any nationality, but this post shall strictly stick to India.
When Sarojini Naidu's poem, 'The Night of the Scorpion' was a part of our school textbook, we knew that she was the lady known by the sobriquet, 'The Nightingale of India', and that she was a part of the struggle for Indian independence. But, we only enjoyed her poem, so comical at times, and a treat to understand the ill sides of superstition. The content of the poem stayed confined to the pages of that English textbook, but I remember, even today, that 'The Night of the Scorpion' was composed by a lady who later became the first woman governor of a region.
Father did not subscribe to cable connection when I was in school. The cable man came only during my vacations. I was more inclined towards television, and so he realized that that would ruin my studies. During one vacation, I watched Manoj Kumar's 'Purab Aur Paschim', a film which has marked a place in my mind since then. The influence of the West on the East, and the love for motherland was so daringly taken up by this movie that I have always regarded this film as one of the best. That was when I was in high school.
The events from my life which are so significant for me may be insignificant for another. Yes, 'The Night of the Scorpion' and 'Purab Aur Paschim' may be the best poem and the best film for another person, but those may not occupy a place in their timeline as mine. However, this is where you should pay attention. There may be other instances for others, which, if they truly recall, are important in developing a sense of love for their country. Those may be real life events or fictional drama on stage. Those may be anything. This country is big, and its roots are many; the picture for one may not be the same for another.
Many of us have not seen the days of the Indian independence, but, we really have a sentimental association with this land. This is what links our birth to this motherland. Through the books we have read and through the films made on this country we have seen, we have associated ourselves to the glory of this country, to those who are martyrs of this land.
This post may have failed in letting you know of its purpose on this day. The point is that no matter in what time we are born, this country will make us proud. There are events in life which seem insignificant but have been important in building our love for this country.
And these days when the social network and internet makes news easily reachable to one another, it must be noted that any false opinion of this country may ignite a wrong revolution before people realize it is too late. 
All that this piece of write-up with scattered thoughts tries to say is: recall your insignificant important events of your life, which have made you know of your country! Do you know about your country yet?
Happy Republic Day, 2016.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

MR. DUTTA FOUND HIS FREEDOM

(NOTE: This short story is completely fictional, but yes, the feelings associated or expressed are true.)

(Dedicated to the Indians who lived and died during Indian freedom struggle.) 
1945. Those were the days of struggle for Indian independence. On one hand, the World War was discussed in groups and troops, and on the other, the news of plane crash of Netaji had just arrived. The country had lost a number of men in the War in addition to the ones who had fought for the Indian independence. 
Sudeep Dutta, 25, was a young member of the freedom movement. His methods of revolution was a bit different: he wrote poetry in his own newsletter. But, he was physically strong and could easily beat down a couple of hawaldars, if required. The newsletter was his brainchild. He named it 'Somapto' which means 'End' (a newsletter meant to support the end of British Rule in the country). Dutta's newsletter was just beginning to be read. He had no printing press of his own; so, he used charcoal to design its pages. That made him quite famous for his skill and dedication towards the movement. Another problem was his irregularity. The newsletter was published weekly; however no one had any idea on which day of the week it would be released.
Dutta's poetry was good, but, he sometimes wrote on the beauty of English ladies who passed by his street often. Those, however, he wrote with care and metaphors so that people would find it difficult to read between the lines. But, he expected someone to charge him on this, for, he thought then he would know that his poetry was understandable. Dutta often spent his evenings at Rafiq's tea shop. The battered fries and chutneys of Rafiq Da were unimaginably exciting, and he thought them to be far better than British dishes.
One evening, he happened to visit Rafiq Da's stall and didn't find the old man. He shouted, in worries, for the old one had told him that the winter had had enough on him: "Rafiq Da, Rafiq Da..."
"He is not at home," came a female voice from inside.
Dutta could not understand but he was baffled for an instant, by the absence of the man and also by the voice that so soothingly replied to his question. 
"But, Rafiq Da had never mentioned his family lives here," he thought.
Finding no one, he left, a bit disappointed by the absence of Rafiq Ahmed, the shopkeeper.
Dutta wrote a poem that day on tragedy and death:

"For how long would you tease
the spirit of man, 
his love for motherland?
Aren't there enough evil in hell
that souls must burn here,
thus burning the crops of farmers
to ashes, grey and dark,
darker than gunpowder
that knows no hell, no motherland?" 

Dutta realized that he had never known what independence was! He was, after all, not born in the ages of 'freedom'. 
"What would happen if India was independent?" he often questioned himself.
"Would there be a printing press for him by the government? Wouldn't there be Union Jack flying on every rooftop of offices? Would free India mean no British beauties? Would free India mean no World War? Or would a free India mean rich farmers?" These thoughts troubled the young mind. And that was, in fact, natural.
Dutta visited Rafiq Da's tea shop the next evening. He saw a few people on the bench outside the shop, taking their sips of tea. Dutta was happy that he would not have to long for Rafiq Da's fries.
But, he saw a young lady at the stove. Rafiq Da was nowhere to be seen. He was puzzled. 
"Who is she?" 
Her dupatta covered her face as she poured tea from her disfigured kettle into the earthen cups. The little boy served the cups to the people outside. 
"Hey Chotu, who is she? Where is Rafiq Da?" Dutta asked the little boy.
"She is Nazreen Didi, Rafiq Da's youngest daughter. He has gone to fetch goods. What will you take?" replied the kid as he seriously delivered the cups to the customers.
"One cup of tea and a plate of fries," Dutta sat down on the bench. 
The kid shouted out the order to the lady.
She turned, and Dutta for the first time was awestruck. He wrote romance, but, never had felt before the real jerks of love at first sight. He watched her like a fool. Her eyebrows spoke a lot to him, and her smile almost killed him. 
"Ah! This heart is now a slave to you, Nazreen," the poet teased himself.
He waited at a distance for the customers to disperse. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"What do you want?" a female voice charged. She stood there with a piece of wood in her hand. The darkness of the night veiled her identity.
"Who are you?" Dutta asked.
"You answer first, you scoundrel. What have you been doing here? I have been watching you from that shop."
Dutta understood. "Nazreen, isn't that you?" he hesitatingly said.
"How do you know my name?"
"I am Sudeep Dutta. I visit your tea stall regularly. Even today..."
"No, no...do not try to lure me."
"No, Nazreen, please listen. I mean no harm. I was here yesterday. I was the one who had asked about your father. I came to know your name from Chotu."
"Didi, he is Sudeep Da. Uncle knows him," shouted the kid as he approached them running.
"Sorry." Nazreen felt ashamed of her act, and ran away.
Dutta smiled and left.
Next morning, Dutta reached the tea stall early, long before customers must have arrived.
"Anyone there?" he shouted. 
There was no response from the inside this time. After a few moments, Nazreen appeared. She simply stood, her fingers moved in uneasiness.
"I am sorry, Nazreen. I didn't mean to trouble you yesterday. Actually, it was my fault. I should not have hidden amongst the trees."
"It is okay," said she with a smile.
Dutta gained some confidence as she seemed relaxed.
"Would you like to have something?" she said.
"But this is not your time to start. There is no one here. No, leave, I will come in the evening."Dutta replied.
"Time is for customers, Sudeep Da, not for guests," voiced Nazreen. Dutta was shocked at the composition of words. He was happy too.
"Okay...I can never refuse the tea of a beautiful host," Dutta replied, and this struck Nazreen with a blush. She turned towards the stove.
Dutta felt different. His poetry was beginning to evolve around a unique central character whom he had never imagined. He had always thought the Indian struggle was his poetry. But, life was turning out to be a surprise.
Nazreen prepared her best cup of tea and offered to her 'Sudeep Da'. 
"I have read your poetry," she spoke.
Dutta didn't expect this. But he chose not to spoke. That day was giving him the best surprises of his life.
"Which one?" Dutta asked.
"Almost all. I have been reading 'Somapto' since I arrived."
"Did you like them?" Dutta simply flirted.
"No...not all," replied she instantly.
"Why? Which ones?" Dutta was a bit overtaken.
"The ones where your mind was distracted by the British ladies who pass by your neighbourhood, and also the ones where you were biased towards beauty of British women."
Dutta sat dumb. The whole world was dying, and there was this lady who made tea and cooked battered fries at a little tea shop, and no one but her decoded his poems.
"How...?"
"I have studied at the Missionaries, Sudeep Da. Poetry is my favourite," she laughed at Sudeep Dutta's expressions.
Dutta smiled.
Nazreen spoke again, "Next time, I will see if you can bypass me for writing about any English lady. If you wish to sip my tea for the rest of your life, do not dare to praise them."
And both laughed out heartily. Nazreen found her soul, and Mr. Dutta...
Mr. Dutta found the meaning to freedom!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.