THE DAY THE WAVES CAME

 If I was supposed to die today, what would I not give to not feel the desperation that precedes it

We have to get out of this alive. I looked over to my sister standing knee deep in the debris and holding on to a palm tree trunk- holding onto dear life.

I tried to keep talking to her amidst the rumble the sea was creating, almost as if it didn’t want any voice rising above its own. Half the town was being swept in front of our eyes and it was a sight that made your heart sink. The grumbling was deafening. Cars and entire houses were being swept away as if they were made of paper. That day the sea was the monster devouring everything that came into its path.

Debris laden water was rushing in, flooding the coastal town. Clouds of muddy sludge started filling the clear blue water of the pool and for a moment, I forgot I was struggling to keep myself from being swept away. Wooden planks and metal objects kept banging against my leg under the sheer force of water. But for a moment I watched that dark slurry invade the pool, like a sandstorm inside water. It moved as if a spell was cast on it, as if it was a monster feeding on that clear water. I couldn’t blink for it was such an incredible sight. At a moment like that, when destruction was all around me I was captivated by the image in front of me and you may call me crazy. But I forgot my fear. When you are staring at death, you struggle to seek that moment when you can ignore the horror of it. If I was supposed to die today, what would I not give to not feel the desperation that precedes it.

When that moment ended, I realised we had to get out of this alive. I turned towards Mahi who seemed exhausted and was drowsy. 

Hey! Hey! Hold on, okay? Stay awake. We will get out of this. I promise you we will. This is not how we die, okay?’

Faith

Here on my plate,
Remain crumbs of my faith.
And I wear it like a second skin sometimes.
And when I open my mouth,
All I ever say,
Is a reinstatement of my fickle faith.
Tell me not,
Who to worship, 
And when not to speak my mind.
Tell me not,
To be blind,
To your intolerance that kills my belief when you stifle a voice.
When on this dreary road I tread on alone,
My belief is my choice.
And suddenly this place,
That I used to call home,
Lets me know today there is a price,
To what I say.
I wear my faith,
Not on my forehead or on my wrist,
Around my neck it doesn’t decay.
I wear it up my sleeve,
This little lie of morality,
That paints your faces red and your swords rise to defend it,
It numbs my reason,
Yet never moves,
My faith.

Aparajita

The 16th December 2012 incident guy is NOT a hero.

Someone took the trouble to clear the air! Well written!

I Speak-Aditya Bhasin

So, here is another message that is flooded over Whats App and Facebook on friendship day’s eve. I received it on Whats App from quite a few friends and in groups but chose to ignore it initially. I thought that it is something nobody would trust or believe in and would be forgotten like other forwarded messages, but that didn’t happen. More people messaged me the same thing and many even posted on Facebook. Well, this was when I almost typed to one of the friends how I thought this message was ridiculous and makes no sense but then I thought that I should rather blog about this. Reading this message made me feel furious and I am strongly against what is being conveyed in this message. Copy-pasting the exact text from Facebook with some formatting changes. (Content remains same):

A year ago in-front of his eyes his girlfriend was…

View original post 2,491 more words

Acid

‘Didi, there’s a hakim I know of. He’s too good! Why don’t you take Anu to him?’
‘Tell you what, Anu is 28 now. How long will she stay at home? The hakim will give her a paste or something. He’s famous. It might work, you know.’
Maalti, aware of her sister in law’s insensitivity, signalled her to hush up by putting a finger to her lips as Anu entered the kitchen.
‘Want something, my child?’
Anu looked up and shook her head.
One couldn’t help staring at her or looking away in disgust. Acid had eaten up her entire face and an eye had been rendered useless forever. Her face was a piece of rotten flesh and her life one desperate and painful journey towards the end.
She hurriedly moved away from the refrigerator after taking out a bottle of water for the polished surface reminded her of the defaced existence.
She paused before leaving.
‘Bua, all of you are such hypocrites. You wouldn’t want to live a day of my life and here you are,with your dumb opinions, provoking me to kill myself.’
Maalti turned when she heard Anu say so and saw her standing at the threshold, holding one end of the door in her hand. Her face was full of a strange determination and Maalti had a hint of what was coming. She dashed towards Anu but she slammed the door on her face and bolted it.
Maati banged it wildly, calling out for help and trying to reason with Anu in turns.
Her breath began failing her while her sister just stood stupefied some distance away.
Soon enough, the smell of kerosene filled the air. In between wails and pleas, it turned into a repelling odour of burning, charring flesh.
And all was at peace.

Incomplete #5

He waited with a bated breath for her to betray a glimpse of that unflinching storehouse of utmost affection that she had once showered on him. His condition, he felt, was like a moth ready to char itself to death in the devastating flame of the candle. He loved the heartburn more than ever. Inside him, his heart was creating a deafening ruckus. To his surprise, he realised that the lively Ananya had lost the spark she carried effortlessly as a young undergraduate in Delhi University. Prominent dark circles showed beneath bewitchingly demure eyes which had perhaps, in the last couple of years known a lot more pain than a tender soul as hers could carry. She looked so fragile and helpless. Ishaan felt dizzy, as if an ocean of emotions wrecked havoc within him. It ran in his veins with terrifying ferocity. He felt a sudden desrire to take her in his arms and let the expressive eyes tell him her story.

Ananya’s thoughts, on the other hand, were going through a turbulent storm in which incessant memories hurled themselves against her calm demeanor. They threw in front of her whatever had, at one time, passed between her and Ishaan. They had once again ignited the desire to be loved. She regretted having stopped.
But as destiny would have it, distrust and agony reigned supreme in the end, thus taming the wild turbulence her mind was racing through.
***
‘You must restrain yourself from trying to make amends now, Ishaan. You know that once anyone loses my trust, I’d rather not have anything to do with that person if I can help it. I’m surprised, though, that you even dared to shamelessly ask for an apology for an act that has, lets say, deleted you from my mind.’
Ishaan looked on listlessly.
‘Is it not enough, Anu, that I’ve come home to you? Now I know that it’s not Riddhi but you that I want to be with in the end. Does it matter so much that this realisation comes a bit later?’ He looked at her squarely.
Ananya shook her head in desperation, concealing the disappointment that he wasn’t able to see how much his actions had hurt him. How he had said things that would stay with her throughout life, pinching her conscience. She stood up, pushing the chair behind her with such a noise that Mrs. Rosy, the assistant librarian, looked up, eyeing her sternly. ‘Silence please!’
Embarrassed, Ananya apologised and turned to Ishaan, leaning forward and said, ‘Considering how tactless you can be at times, Ishaan Sharma, let me get my point straight. I’m just sick of your trial and error method of finding out which lucky girl takes you home. Do you think I even give a damn about who you’ve zeroed in upon? You should’ve known better than sleeping with her.’
Ishaan was too shocked to react against her tirade. Ananya softened a bit. She was struggling hard to gulp down a lump that was weighing down on her and tried to keep herself from clying. She must be strong.
‘This is my life, for God’s sake! It isn’t a fucking TV show! You are never to contact me again. I’m going back home next week…
-she paused-
…and that ends it.’
She stormed towards the checking out counter. Ishaan rallied behind, trying to talk to her.
‘Anu, please listen to me once naa.’
He overtook her and fixed himself between her and the exit. ‘Lets talk things out. Give me a chance to explain.’
Anu lost her temper and glanced around. Quite a number of heads had turned towards the two. She almost found herself shouting.
‘ENOUGH!
Get out of my way.’
Mr. Shantanu Ghosh, the History Professor noticed the commotion and stepped in, throwing an inquisitive glance at Ishaan. ‘Is there a problem here?’ Ananya shook her head and answered in a composed tone.
‘None Sir.’
‘Still, would you two consider taking your personal issues outside the library?’ Ishaan walked out and stood in the corridor, leaning against a wall.
Ananya walked past him and stopped short. She turned to face him.
‘I hope I never see you again.’
Ishaan pursed his lips and nodded.
‘As you wish, Ananya.’
***
Back, in the market, Ananya didn’t let even a hint of her emotions show on her face. She gave a cursory glance with no approval of recognition, turned, and walked away.

The Fickle Customer.

The Indian customer might be an alien territory for large FMCG companies. She stresses on quality that doesn’t interfere with her budget and yet stands out as an intelligent shopper. You may find her bargaining with the green grocer about the selling price but even she knows what value-for-money means.

We all have seen the spurt in services available to us in the form of an IT revolution, as the world becomes one market for the trade of goods and services. Online shopping has been one such innovation that has taken the consumer’s idea of shopping by storm. The Internet user base in India has been growing owing to attractive schemes being provided by network providers and the very necessity in today’s inter connected world to possess a virtual identity as well as to find prospective consumers for the sea of products now available.

I, too, turned to online shopping last year through the online selling portal Flipkart.com. I was lured to the aspect of online shopping for a hassle free experience as physical movement of the consumer is not required. All I needed was an internet connection. And there were incentives like free shipping, cash on delivery among others. To the seller, I am a customer of the low end bracket as I never made a purchase of more than Rs. 400. Considering the number of Internet users in India at 150 million today is next to only USA and China, and is likely to double in the next five years, any smart business enterprise making its foray into on-line services should have an eye on this targeted base. It is not rocket science to apply one’s logic and say that a large chunk of this group would be comprised of the salaried or self employed young men and women. As technology reaches us at the very doorstep in far flung and rural areas, won’t a considerable portion of this group would initially start from being categorised into the low end group?

When I begun buying through the portal, the shipping charges were fixed at Rs. 30 if the total cost of the products did not exceed Rs. 300. And today, when I found out that it had been hiked to Rs. 50 if the total cost of all the products bought did not exceed Rs. 500!

I was disappointed of course, I started browsing other portals with a *conditions apply on free shipping less costly than this. Now that should ring alarm bells for the portal because if I, as a consumer belonging to the low end group trying to economize on how much I spend as well as owing to my ficklemindedness can switch from one portal to another in a click of the mouse, it would soon loose the loyalty of this bracket owing to more than competitve offer provided by rival groups like Homeshop18 which for the time being is still offering the Rs.30/300 condition.

Numbers business can be mind boggling. Let us take a simple hypothetical situation. Let us say that 10 people were making purchases through an online portal when Rs. 30 was being charged as shipping cost on a total cost price of less than Rs 300. to avoid that, 5 customers made purchases totalling Rs. 350 each. So the total price they pay is Rs. 1750. The rest 5 made purchases of Rs. 250 each and paid shipping cost of Rs. 30 each. Total: Rs. 1400. On shipping charges Rs. 150 was mopped up. We know that the number of customers far exceeds this and so shipping charges would be a considerable part of the company’s revenue as the products are moved around the country not on individual but on a bulk basis. So an increase in the ceiling by Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 would surely bring in a lot of revenue on a level that loss of user sentiment may not hurt much. I think that is what they are banking upon!

(View expressed are personal)