Friday, July 29, 2011

Strawberry Crush... (Part 2)

Please read Part 1 before reading the following continuation.


He flipped the book on to the table as he stood up and ran his hand through his hair. What on earth is happening ?? He was utterly perplexed.

It had been getting crazier by the day ever since that incident in class. And he couldn’t even get a hold on matters. He was finding himself in awkward situations once too often.

Just the other day as he stood by the tree with his group of friends. And suddenly he saw Her. Across the lawns. Walking down the path with two of her friends. His eyes following her. Watching her face. And all he contributed to the discussion with his friends was a mumbled ‘Yeah’ to something Ronnie had said. And was startled to death as all of them exclaimed a ‘Whaattt ???’ in unison.

“Did you just agree with Ronnie that Sachin should be dropped from the team for the next series ??” asked one in complete disbelief. “Noo. Yeah. I mean. Noo. I didn’t… What ??” was all he could reply. Had they caught him looking at her ?? No. They didn’t. Could they ?? They shouldn’t…

And then the other day when he saw her coming out of the library. And how she had suddenly looked back. And he had turned hastily, bumping into Mrs. G ! He cringed at the mere thought of the events thereafter.

He had been able to make a complete fool of himself. But somehow, he had been finding her all around. In the class, in the library, in the canteen or in the corridors. Just about everywhere. Or maybe he had been hallucinating. He was completely baffled.

She was pretty disturbed. Her life was going on fine. At least for a normal girl. But things were getting complicated lately. Though she was happy before. But recently she had experienced moments when she felt even happier. And then hours when she felt really depressed. She wasn’t prepared for such a contrasting phase of emotions. What was happening ??

She remembered the other day when she was in her room, deep into a fantasy world, when she was shaken back to reality by her friend. “What are you dreaming about ? Do you want to be late for the lecture ??” asked Nancy. “Uhh.. Ohh… Actually, we are having a party at home. So, I was just thinking about which dress to wear…” She had tried to make up a story.

“Okk. We know who’s that special someone coming to the party. That’s why you want to look your best…” Her friend had winked while the others laughed. They had run off before she could get up to chase them.

Somewhere at the back of her mind, she knew what was disturbing her. It was Him ! Ever since that day, he had somehow captured her mind. He had hijacked her thoughts. And she kept running into him everywhere and every time. Every morning, she would find her eyes searching for him. And sooner than later, she would spot him. And then she would feel a strange sense of relief. Everyday, on returning, she would be filled with a sense of guilt. But all such sense would vanish into thin air on seeing him the very next day.

She had been catching him stealing quick glances at her. And every time she would catch him, he would quickly turn away or look elsewhere. And she would find herself fighting to prevent a small smile on her face. She could experience the delightful thrill in this other world of hers. She wanted to test if it was real. And she decided to play the game with him. Things were surely getting crazier.

It was still some time for the class to start. She looked around in search, and found him standing by the pillar talking to his friend. She walked up to the smart guy right across him.


“Hi’. He replied.

“I was wondering if you could help me out with this question from yesterday’s test.” She asked him, while making sure He noticed her talking to this guy.

“Sure. Let’s sit here”.

She sat down on the empty bench trying to force her attention to what the guy was talking about. I hope he’s watching. He must be watching ! I’m not going to look up at him !

But it was hardly a minute before she gave in to the temptation and looked up. HE WAS GONE !

“So, you see, you just have to analyze…. ” the guy was still speaking.

“Ok. I got it. Thanks !” She said as she abruptly got up and walked towards the crowd of students near the hall.

“Hey… But I’ve not even started…” The guy called her, but she was already into the crowd. Searching for Him.

And then, she saw him talking… and laughing… with the girl who had almost every other boy falling for her.

He stood there, fixed, looking at them talk. When suddenly, he turned to look at her. Once again, their eyes met. But only this time, it was a lot different.

She turned away and walked. Fuming. While he turned in the opposite direction.

“I HATE HIM !!!”

“I HATE HER !!!”

(to be continued.......)

(Image source : Google Images)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Faith, Belief and Worship...

This post has been selected by Blogadda as one of the top posts for this week's 'Spicy Saturday Picks'.


Over the recent years, India has witnessed an overflow of god-men, spiritual gurus and ‘swamis’ who seem to have captured the imagination of the masses. Their followers are not restricted to particular strata of the population, but span across varied professions and social classes.

One often fails to understand what makes such god-men so successful and their followers so faithful to them. Even though pure logic and scientific arguments clearly prove their tactics to be nothing more than tricks to deceive innocent (and not so innocent) followers, these god-men continue to increase their disciples not just in India but even from abroad.

But what is it that makes these ‘babas’ so much in demand ? I’ll try to explain here, how I comprehend the logic behind it all.

Every human life, from birth till death, follows a somewhat similar path. If one remembers high school mathematics, it is very similar to a ‘sine curve’. It’s a curve which changes it’s co-ordinates at regular intervals, consisting of crests and troughs.

The above is a basic and symmetrical sine curve. But every human life differs in the variations of each crest and trough he or she goes through during life. The positive and negative phases, though uneven in time and magnitude, always follow one another just as a ‘sine wave’ does. Which means, periods of happiness lead to not too happy ones, and bad phases are destined to end in good ones.

Now, suppose a person is rather happy and content with his life. Let us mark him to be at point ‘A’. But as soon he passes point ‘B’, things seem to start getting not so good. As he passes point ‘C’ on the baseline, things start going from bad to worse.

That is the phase usually when every person gets panicky and wants relief. The point marked as the red star in the ‘life-curve’ above is the time when such a person, feeling hopeless with his life, runs for some spiritual help, expecting it to turn things around magically.

At this point, he may be advised about the amazing qualities of a ‘guru’ or ‘baba’ by a relative/friend/neighbor or anyone for that matter.

This is when he actually develops faith in the aforesaid person to lift him out of his mess. He becomes a sincere disciple of the ‘guru’, expecting for things to change for good.

Sooner, rather than later, his ‘life-curve’ passes point ‘D’ and turns back upwards towards the positive side. He realizes things to be getting better and attributes this change in ‘fortune’ to his ‘guru’. As the curve passes point ‘E’ and gets still higher to the positive side, his faith now turns to belief for his ‘guru’. Now he is a die-hard devotee. By the time his ‘life-curve’ reaches the next peak at point ‘F’, he has already started worshipping at the god-man’s feet.

The above is just a basic example. A person may have a larger ‘crest’, thereby solidifying his belief for his ‘master’. Or he may have a prolonged ‘trough’, which he attributes to not being sincere in his devotion, and waits patiently for the ‘master’ to bless him.

Recently, I heard about a lady who recalled about how her husband fell ill while on a trip, having a fit and frothing at the mouth. And how she quickly dropped in some of the ‘sacred ash’ into her husband’s mouth which a god-man had given her. And how her husband recovered magically.

I have personally heard countless tales of businessmen running for the blessings of a ‘guru’ after bearing business losses and thereby becoming die-hard devotees for life.

Then there are sick people, who, after going through loads of medication, still don’t find a cure and start feeling better once they experience the ‘miraculous’ treatment of a god-man. Which may be anything ranging from ‘sacred-ash’, ‘magic-water’, or a ‘healing-touch’ to even a wave of a hand.

It is not that once a person having cleared a depression in life will not experience another. But the new found faith, leading to a belief makes his confident that he worshipping his ‘guru’ would once again lift him from the bad phase into the good one.

Thus, one will never find a dearth of blind devotees to every other ‘swami’ or ‘baba’ who look up to them for their miracles to rescue them from physical, mental or economical bad phases in life.

Almost every other spiritual leader, god-man or ‘swami’ has been found involved in some sort of mess or the other. Be it amassing wealth, conversion of black money into white, scandals, illegal land acquisition to even murders. But such cases have not affected the number of devotees to such frauds. The followers refuse to accept even obvious proofs of their ‘master’s’ crimes. In fact, they just cannot take anything that questions their 'guru'.

The bottom line is that people are scared to accept logical explanations of their troubles. They would rather depend on some supernatural cure that has no certainty but is based on positive faith and belief. And the above statement is probably the only thing which such fraud god-men know and take advantage of.

(Picture source: Google Images)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The sun was still playing hide-n-seek with the dark clouds as he stepped on to the terrace. It had been raining heavily all through the day. The clouds, having seemed to have drained their store of cats and dogs appeared to be interested elsewhere. He was disappointed not to find a rainbow. But the brisk and cool breeze sort of made it up for him.

He decided to scan the neighborhood as he walked around the damp terrace. The north end was calm as ever. The only difference being that the kitchen-garden of the neighbors next door had pretty much been converted into a kitchen-pond in which their five-year-old was trying to sail his paper boats.

Moving over to the west, he saw two little birds on the big mango tree making quite a noise about a worm they had just caught. Obviously arguing about which of them was earlier. The south, however, looked a tad disturbed. It appeared that the dozen odd kids from the four-generation-household, who had finished drenching themselves running after each other in the rain, were now running around trying to escape their mothers who wanted to get them out of their wet clothes.

But he stopped as he came to the east-end. As usual, he glanced towards the house down the street. It somehow felt alive within, but motionless as always. The terrace was deserted. He was confused whether to feel relieved or disappointed. So he continued to eye the deserted terrace in order to solve his confusion.

And he got his answer the next moment as the door burst open and revealed contents which instantly spread all over.

The rucksack of terror that emerged from the door was ‘Gonglu’, the ten year old who was the scourge of the neighborhood. Though he was barely ten, he was built well enough to handle two ten-year-olds. He had heard how Gonglu’s mom was to have twins. But apparently gave up on the trouble of delivering twice and instead had Gonglu. He surely looked like a pair of twins that weren’t given the trouble to separate at all.

The quality which kept Gonglu at the top of the weekly charts of the nuisance mongers of the area was his spontaneity. To hatch up an evil plan to render his victims aghast was with him, the work of a moment.

And each time his eyes saw Gonglu, he would involuntarily be forced to recall that day when his ‘Rambo’ ran up and down the street at unbelievable speeds as each of the juicy ‘chatai’ bomb tied to its tail blasted louder than the one before. To watch one’s beloved dog run for his life is bad enough. But to watch him run without even being able to tuck his tail in between his legs is worse. And he simply winced on recalling that incident once again.

He had hated Gonglu ever since he descended on that peaceful locality with his family for newer prey. And he could have easily dealt him some good lessons if it wasn’t for… Her. Gonglu’s elder sister. He remembered the moment when he first saw her. And how he had simply melted. She had mesmerized him. And that sparkle in her eyes had shot right through him. He always wondered, how could siblings be so infinitely opposites of each other… ??

He scanned the terrace once again. There was no sight of her. But Gonglu seemed to be getting ready to fly a kite. Something that gave him immense pleasure. Though it served as a warning sign for the entire living neighborhood. And suddenly he had an idea. “I’ll show the devil how to fly a kite !” He ran back in and came out with a kite and thread.

The wind was brisk, and the kites were up in no time. He realized that the wind was towards the north-east. “Even better !” he thought. “Maybe I can poke it right on the brat’s head.”
Gonglu looked around for probable victims, and saw him tugging at his kite. He grinned. When he saw Gonglu grin, he felt his insides churning and something hot rising up his nose, to his head. “Just you wait. You monster !” And he loosened his kite further to get to the right length.

When he felt it was just the accurate distance, right above the ten-year-old plague, he tweaked the thread. Just as the kite turned down on its nose, he pulled hard. And down dived the kite. Aiming right at Gonglu’s fat head. And he mumbled to himself, “That’ll teach you a nice lesson !”

The sound of the impact echoed through the length of the street. He wondered if people had ever heard a kite strike a ten-year-old’s head. Maybe they hadn’t. But the sound he heard right then didn’t really seem like it. The sound should probably have been close to a thud. Not the thud of a falling sack-full of potatoes. But a thud of a stick striking a hairy head. But this sounded more like a pair of scissors striking a table head on.

And as he shifted his attention to the source of that very sound, he saw Gonglu’s burly Brigadier of a dad pressing hard at his bald head looking around desperately to ascertain the new target for his rifle. In all the excitement to teach the thug a lesson, he had completely missed when Gonglu’s dad had joined him on the terrace.

There are a few situations which ask for immediate actions. And this was one such situation. And the best and only possible action he could think of was to duck. And as he ducked, he plucked at the thread in his hand to avoid leaving any ‘loose ends’. He watched through a crack in the wall, still crouching. And he could see the Brigadier stomping his feet off the terrace. While the real target was still at large.

He wasn’t going to give up. And soon he had another kite up in the air. He decided not to risk repeating the previous plan and ending up hitting bald and unsuspecting Brigadiers on the head again. “I’ll fight him off in a kite fight !” he said to himself. He tweaked and pulled at the thread, trying to get close to Gonglu’s while he had one eye on the terrace to check if the dad really returned with a loaded rifle.

And that was when he lost it. She had just stepped out on to the terrace, looking around skywards. And he felt his heart skip a beat. She had walked up to her kid brother, taking keen interest in the kite flying contest.

He was still tugging at the thread, looking at her, when he suddenly felt it get too tensed. And as he looked back bringing his attention to his kite, he couldn’t find it in the air. And it immediately struck to him that his kite had smoothly landed somewhere behind their house while he was busy admiring the cutest girl around. The prospective fight had ended rather abruptly. And he saw Gonglu look back at him and grin. And she looked back too.

“Oh God. She’s looking. I’ve got to get out of this one !” he prayed. And he tugged at the thread. And all of a sudden his kite appeared from behind the roof top.

But his joy was short lived as the kite was now in the possession of a red faced descendant of the apes. Panic ! He tugged and tried to pull it out of the monkey’s hands. But one cannot do much but stare when monkeys have some other ideas. And this one had too. It quickly started biting the kite like there was no tomorrow. And with each bite, he could hear the guffaws of Gonglu mixed with those of his sister. All he could manage was stand and stare with his face getting as red as the monkey’s, and starting to feel faint with embarrassment.

Gonglu was having fits of laughter. While she had sobered down a bit. He watched silently as she turned to leave. She walked up to the door, and stopped. She turned her head around to face him. Looking at him, she smiled. And then she ran inside.

He suddenly noticed, there was a rainbow in the eastern sky now, and he smiled too.

(Plot source : A  friend's real-life experience :P)  
(Image source : Google Images)


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