via Daily Prompt: Conjure
As Jai sat in front of the TV watching daily dose of Serials with more Ads than content, he pondered about future. At 80, though fit, his life was lonely. In an Indian family the concept of joint family still thrives to an extent. Jay had just lost his ailing elder brother and sister-in-law which made him jittery. Dib, Jay’s son, tried to talk him out of his depressed mood. Jay seemed cheerful while talking to others including his son Dib. However when alone he was conjuring up scenes of death which had already snatched his wife, three brothers and two sisters-in-law.
One day an young acquaintance of Dib turned up when he was not at home. Jai sat down with this young man to give him company and in no time was talking about his past, his school days and there was a sparkle in his eyes. Little later when Dib returned he found his father busy in gossiping with the young man. Now Dib got an idea to get his father out of depression. After the acquaintance left Dib asked his father to pen down his memoirs. Jai refused flatly.
Two days later Dib found Jai sitting on his desk busy writing. Dib asked his father as to what he was writing. Jai smiled and said my Memoirs but the problem I do not remember many things so what to do. Dib smiled and said, “At times you can even conjure up the past.”
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Missing Seqeuls.”
Life is itself a seqeul as per the religious traditions, you prosper or suffer for the good and bad deeds of your last life which call the Karma Cycle. Shankai, an avid reader and on occasional movie goer had all the sequels in mind but never of movies. He believed any idea should be explored only to a point where it is new or innovative. If you tried to stretch it you would not be doing justice to the original idea. We have had enough of ‘Mummy’ series or Dinosaurs returning and later sequels were just stretching the original idea to a point where you lost the uniqueness.
Shankai, while travelling had this habit of reading mostly racy novels and on rare occassions classics. Last week while returning from tour he picked up ‘Short Stories of Franz Kafka.’ The Metamorphosis left an indelible impression on him. The central character like him was a travelling salesman who had metamorphised into an insect which withered away in the end. He was very impressed by the story which made him remember his childhood when everyday he dreamt of metamorphising into Phantom or Tarzan. Nowadays kids perhaps dream of metamorphosizing into different cartoon characters. His son always wanted to change into ‘Shaggy’ of Scoobi-Doobi-Do. He smiled to himslef.
Today as he was travelling by train, almost empty, dozed off. He had an unusual dream of changing not into an insect or animal but into a do gooder. He saw a different Shankai who was little more lucky, far more ambitious and much more professional….. Shankai, was shuttling from one meeting to another giving presentations, negotiating deals and jetsetting across the world. No more self doubt or indecisiveness but straight forward with confidence calling a spade a spade without fear of hurting others.
As Shankai moved around in his field of success he now had more time to himself and for his family. He would go out of way to help the needy not just by providing charity but by helping them build up a life for themselves. Doing more for basic needs of women and children by providing for the education of the downtrodden in whatever small manner he could.He was fulfilling the onus of Mother Teresa which she left on all Kolkattans by helping to feed atleast one if he couldnot feed hundred. Doing everything without coming to forefront or in better words by staying invisible was perhaps the right way of serving God in the man.
Somebody tapped on his knee and he woke up with a start to find a beggar with no legs asking for alms. Shankai took sometime to comeback to his senses then as he was trying to take out change from his back pocket when he saw a vendor selling cakes and biscuits. Shankai called him out and asked for a pack of biscuits. The beggar in the meantime had moved on seeking from other passengers in the train. Shankai took few steps towards the beggar and gave him the biscuit pack. The beggar looked at the biscuit pack and then lifted his eyes, Shankai saw the smile of gratitude in those eyes ….. loved this Metamorphosis of his.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Middle Seat.”
Claustrophobia is the first word that came to the mind of Shankai as he saw the seat number 16E on his boarding pass. He was more of a traveller by bus going around countryside on his official tours and always carefully chose his window seat. Everytime his visit to Head Office included the travel by Air. Somehow he never enjoyed flying because in the Airport and inflight he found people acting differently. To him the action of people seemed fake, as if people tried to show themslves as high class when flying while the same person in train or a bus ride would be much more easy going.
To add on it sitting in middle seat seemed so claustrophobic to him. While growing up he and his two cousins, they had a joint family, had one room and big bed which they had to share.Joint families had this rule in which all of them though cousins were treated as siblings from same parent. The head of the family had all the powers who controlled everyone. His or her decision was binding on everybody. This was a kind of commune in which every member, whatever his or her earning and contribution was equal. A system that ensured that older generation was not at mercy or in old age home but at the helm of running the family which also ensured that they had their pride intact.
In that room of theirs Shankai being youngest was always ruled by his two elder cousins Babua and Badal, so he had to sleep in the centre as they being elder had to guard the flanks. While sleepning Babua and Badal would move towards centre of the bed leading to both the elder brothers almost stiffling him. He became claustrophobic in a sense. The middle seat brought back the memories from childhood and a kind of fear.
The easiest part of travelling by bus or train was that the people more easy mingle with and far more easy going then those travelling by Air. While travelling by Air people seemed to be more conscious about their position in society so kind of reserved or afraid of seeming more easy going, downgraded. Everybody was either busy reading novels while even flying for 2 hours or busy on the laptop as if they had no time to loose. While in bus or train people had more time and perhaps therefore easygoing.
Putting all his fears to rest Shankai got up in the plane and found one youth, old eneough to be his son and a grave looking gentlemen on two seats in his two sides. The youth had a earphones plugged in and was shaking his head time and again perhaps as per the beats of music while the grave man took up a pink spreadsheet and put up his specs and seemed lost in fiinancial results of some unknown or known company. Shankai put on his salesman’s smile and tried greeting both of them. Responses were quite interesting, the youth smiled and said something about great flight while the flying financial guru shook his head and said something about the economic nightmare.
Shankai decided it was best to sleep through the flight of two hours, he had a presentation next day and prove that he was the most important person the company had as he had his own economy to save. Most importantly he had to get his most desired weeks leave to go back home and meet his family after almost two years……….. we will continue again tommorrow…. hope you will love it
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take a Chance on Me.”
Shankai, an uncommon name, a middle level manager of Pharma company looked for stability. Somewhere around late forties this character of my story had no much ambition left in him. He was not a much of job hopper and had decided a build a carreer for himself in a $ 300 million company. As he grew up to middle level the company got gobbled by a conglomerate. One fine day Shankai found himself in a situation which is a nightmare never dreamt of.
Completely at loss at what to do he tried looking for a change after twenty four years search for stability. Situation that every middle class, ambition less man is afraid of. His son was pursuing engineering from a reputed college with scholarship, wife had a job and father had his pension which made him feel like the only useless person at home. He looked around, got a job in a middle level company with better remuneration, lesser responsibility but at a remote location. Two years passed by and he had only one opportunity to return home.
Life passed in transit from one remote place to another in buses or trains mostly at night and working in the day. The dream of a stable life lost as a daydream. He lost weight and most importantly jest for life. Nothing seemed to fire him up though in terms of work life he was considered as efficient.
One of his friend once suggested that why did he not try out something on his own. Atleast he knew how to sell and in this world anybody can succeed who can sell. This seemed to him as encouraging statement of a friend hwo had too much of confidence in him. Shankai did not have that kind of confidence on himself, so he never took that statement very seriously.
One day while travelling to one remote place from another he got a call from one of old aquaintance, who wanted him to join his start up. The only statement was ‘Take a Chance on me.’ The reality was Shankai wanted those to be his words……. we will continue in our next prompt…. planning to make a string of stories of Shankai with Daily Prompt. Hope you love reading them
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Only Sixteen.”
Sweet sixteen is what comes to mind when somebody says ‘only sixteen’ but to me it always sounds just sixteen days to the exams and as always to me whole course seemed untouched. I always knew that I was extremely intelligent and hence could cover up entire course material of one year in fifteen to sixteen days. The reality was come last sixteen days and I would try to cramp up everything. The result was I would just scrap through examination
Now again that ‘Only Sixteen’ haunts me because it means for sixteen days I have to travel around that is I have to keep touring my assigned area. So to me it is ‘uff’ again sixteen
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “No, Thank You.”
Most of the time we get requests where we would love to say “No, Thank You.” but end up saying yes. You will have hundreds of inspirational books telling you how to say NO. You are in middle of most urgent work and a request comes for something trivial and we end up doing that instead of telling a simple no.Why this inability to say ‘No.’ The reason is that by telling so we feel we may hurt other person’s feelings or the sense that we can be of help. In reality it is a common tendency of ours to do something which is easy or doable.
Just think you are at a friends place or a relatives place for a meal and you are almost full when someone close asks you to try out something new. The answer should be “No, Thank You.” What do we do, we say that ‘I am almost full, yet I will try a little bit.’ just not to hurt the person and whole night or evening have a sense of fullness and helplessness. How funny.
We should inculcate the ability to say “No, Thank You.” However I have inculcated this habit when someone asks for the books that I love reading and collecting. I have seen people, both friends and relatives, have a habit of borrowing these books from you and have a habit of forgetting to return them. When after a long time you ask for the book they simply forget that they had ever borrowed from you. Same stands true for small loans that you give without a collateral or a promisory note. Most of people simply forget that they had ever taken a loan from you but will remember any favour they had ever done to you. That does not mean you should not help people in need but remember the fact that whomsoever you might have helped will forget.
Thinking that we are in control is something that all of us enjoy. We love controlling our enviornment, our society, love having control on our near and dear ones and most importantly we all want to be Masters of the Universe. Now what is the Universe. Scientifically you may say all the galaxies with their conglomerate of stars and planets is the Universe.however in real terms it is our own little world our on lives which is the universe we want to control. How control the Universe or become Master of the Universe…. by controlling your destiny or as they say MAKING YOUR OWN WAY.
Now just think why amongst so many of there is only one ‘Steve Jobs’ or one ‘Bill Gates’. Why only these two or few guys like them change the history of humanity. Why did not many more of their friends who were equally hardworking, devoted perhaps equally intelligent didnot make it. Why only one Newton or one Einstein? Is their a bais for making certain people shine. We all try to form the best sentences to make a beautiful piece of writing but only one Wordsworth or Shakespear rules the language and becomes the centre point on which the whole world hinges.
Dear friends there is something more then simple fate behind this whole exercise of success or mastering the universe. Theer is certainly some other thing then just hard work or fate which is ruling the world. Just think why does intuition come only to few and changes the whole world. People will say they think differently. My question is that they all grew up with boys and girls of their own age and time then why does Marie Curie think of radiation differently then all her classmates or peers.
Just think while we try to make Robots that will serve us like servants or do work for us what if we are set of finely programmed advanced machines which has more connestions then any super computer we make which are programmed to what we are. Now this makes it a completely different proposition to handle. WHAT IF THOSE OF US WRITING THESE BLOG ARE JUST PROGRAMMED TO WRITE BLOGS which will be only be read by fellow bloggers appreciated or ignored.https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/que-sera-sera/
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Nothin’ But A Good Time.”
I have gone through periods in life when the so called free time is evrything other then Good Time. Just think all your responsibilities vanish for a day…. that is what the prompt says. So frieghtening, you have no responsibilities which means in this world you have no role. Here we blog not just to enjoy but as a kind of responsibility not to the world at large but to ourselves to satisfy our creative urge.Even to have a good time we need to have responsibilty.. to our children, our spouses. Infact we have most of our good times with our friends and most interesting part is that the firends change over a period of time. Your schoolmates our real close pals in your school days, during our days in college different set comes in and as we enter our professional field firstly it is our colleagues who slowly mutate into friends who stay with us throughout our professional lives.
All our enjoyments our fun moments are with them. Some of us think that we will have our fun moments with our families but they are an integral part of all our enjoyment and sorrowful moments especially for us Indians or I could say most of the Asians. We kind of stick together on all ocassions good or bad with our family. Fun is always when we do something contructive which happens mostly with our colleagues turned friends. So I find all my working hours as fun moments, why we even enjoy the deadlines and the tension attached with it.
Yet if you give me free time when I forced to shed all my responsibilities for a day I think it will be a time to update to become a better person, who is capable of giving back something to the society.
Love you all
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Helpless.”
Sense of helplessness is something that happens to us everyday. Just think when you are trying to write this blog and the laptop just disconnects and despite waiting, praying nothing happens. What are you, helpless. You stand in the airport waiting for the flight to be announced and due to rain, fog or snowing the flight is inordinately delayed, you are helpless.
Everytime I sat for examinations I found questions which seemed to be far fatched imagination of the question setter and I was the most helpless person on the face of the earth.We have been helpless so many times that I feel that the prompt has made me helpless again.
I watched helplessly when Twin Towers were bombed, Taj Hotel, Mumbai was attacked and when bombs went off in Bangkok yesterday.Anything that is not in our control makes us helpless.When I saw Tiger looking into my eyes though I was good 300 metres away from my boat in the Sunderbans I felt a kind of fear and helplessness which cannot be expressed in words.
We need to have to control on situation or we are helpless such as I am on writing about this prompt.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Community Service.”
Community of a man on move or rather on prepetual motion is something that changes with every other day. That is what is my community is. I am a travelling sales man who needs to cover or criscross nearly 3500 kms every month. I spend most of my nights in buses, trains and in motels or inns. My community keeps changing everyday depending whether I am travelling by Air, bus or train. To add on it many times I have to travel general class and not always premium class as getting the tickets is also a problem.
As my work is always on the move so my community is also always on the move. One thing I have understood that the problems of my community or any community is never static but is dynamic. Any town or city I visit face the same problem, magnitude depending on the size of the city or town. Bigger the city bigger problem. Especially in my country which is continuously trying to evolve into a developed from a developing country rapid urbanisation leads to the main problem of vast amount of garbage accumulation. More the garbage more the pollution to add on it booming population which continuously shifts from the rural area to urban areas to fulfill its dream of better life leads to acute shortage of essential living condition.
The only solution to any problem is education. Educate and empower women and any community or country will grow. The saying by Mahatma Gandhi ‘Cleanliness is next only to Godliness.’ is the only possible if mothers teach or rather ingrain the same in their children.Look at any community or nation that has progressed and it is because of the fit population. A fit popultion grows up in a clean society where sanitation and garbage is managed well. Perhaps this is the reason why Indian Prime Minister starts with fanfare Clean India movement, whatever his distractors may say.
So come let us create a garbage and pollution free world, where all get an equal opportunity to grow.