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The Ongoing Journey

Travel through life with every word equal to an inch, every line equal to a mile and every paragraph a road.

A Short Play

Hi readers (if any),

Recently I had written a short play for an assignment. After I was done writing, I felt that it was good enough (if not stellar) to share it here and give you a chance to read it as well (and help me improve for the future by critiquing my work). Do read it at least once.

Please write your comments and let me know what you think of it. Share it if you feel it is worthy of it.

Find the PDF by clicking on the link below.

The Mask That We Put On.

Happy reading. 🙂

Thank you

Connections

Humans are like spiders, spinning a web of connections around them. We simply go on touching people in our lives with our aura and add them to our web, making them a part of our lives. Some connections are fickle, some strong as steel. Some wither over time, while some remain intact no matter what. While we are the spider, we are also the web in the lives of our connections. Some people have a stretched-out web, whereas some suffice with a smaller one but we all need those connections in our lives. The closer the connection is to the centre, the stronger it is but that does not mean the ones far out are not important. We are the spider but we are also the part of our own web.

Depression: The Invisible Wound

We often sympathize with others when we see them hurt. We may not verbally express it but on seeing the smallest of physical wounds, we feel bad for them. We empathize with the pain that person must be going through. We only relate to injuries that are visible to us but there are so many people who are fighting an invisible battle, wearing smiles for an armor and bear invisible wounds.

Depression is not simply a state of bad mood. It is a poison that slowly kills you from inside. It starts out as a bad mood making the person gloomy and agitated. Small insignificant issues, which may seem like the world falling apart for that person, can trigger the sadness and all rationality goes for a six in that moment. The sadness then turns into misery overtime and crushes the confidence bit by bit, replacing it with self-doubt. You may fight back by escaping the reality, acting ignorant or wear layers of other emotions. Some try to escape reality by engaging into other activities or simply running away from the place they are in. Some keep on doing what they normally do, acting like everything is fine. People even wear emotions like masks; on the surface, they may seem happy, excited, nervous or even angry. However, this lasts only for certain moments and depression catches up to speed, where the people on the inside they are hanging on a string that is on the verge of breaking.

Depression is not a result of petty or even big problems that occur once or twice. Depression is rooted deep inside. It is like a parasite that grows inside us, making us weaker and miserable. It grows with you, hiding inside, slowly attacking you and when it is strong enough, it shows up all of a sudden, making you feel like the entire world is losing its colors and you are disappearing with them. It makes people numb and anxious at the same time. To express the pain they feel inside, some people inflict wounds outside. The wounds on the skin don’t hurt them at all compared to the wounds on their mind.

People suffering from depression start secluding themselves from others. They prefer to remain alone because they think they are not needed and by staying away, they will not become a burden on someone else. They may push everyone away but giving them company is the only think that they may need. The sense of being needed can bring them sheer happiness. These people know the real value of happiness for they have seen the depths of sadness. They are afraid to show when they are happy because the world will not value it like they do. When they do express it, it may be unique but it would be the most genuine thing one could witness.

The Little Moments

They sat there talking, with a cup of coffee between them. It had not been an easy week, more like the whole year, for either of them. They had found moments of comfort with each other now and then, yet it wasn’t enough to compensate for the rest of time. However, in those moments, nothing really mattered and nothing could really ruin it. The moment wasn’t captured in pictures by a camera but lived endlessly in their memories. No matter how messed up life would get, it couldn’t affect moments like those.


			

Letter From Beyond

Losing someone is extremely hard as it is. Knowing that you will never be able to speak to them; never be able to hear their voice; and most of all, not be able to come to term that the person isn’t there anymore. All these realizations come after the person has passed away. What about when they were alive and you didn’t get the chance to hear what their last words could have been to you?

Rehan and Aseem were best of friends ever since the first grade. They had gone to the same school as well as the same college. Aseem had lost his father at an early age and was the only child of his parents. His mother decided to stay as a single parent and cater to the needs of her son. Rehan, however, had a whole family with a younger brother and an elder sister. Rehan and Aseem were so alike and bonded so well that they were like twin brothers from different mothers. Their friendship brought the two families so close that they became one big family.

After college, both Rehan and Aseem went to different cities for work but their friendship remained intact. They would frequently visit each other and make numerous new memories like their old days. They visited their home together during holidays and would have their entire family under one roof. At times when Aseem was not able to visit his mother, Rehan would go to her and look after her. He would spend time with her that she wouldn’t feel the absence of Aseem in the house anymore.

Years passed by and their bond and schedules remained, more or less, the same. By that time, Rehan’s elder sister, Shivani, had gotten married to a heart specialist and Rehan’s bother, Arav, had finished his graduation and had planned on starting his own business. Aseem had also found a girl, Rabia, who he had been dating for a while, and was getting serious with her. Rehan had also met Rabia a few times but he himself lacked behind in that area. Rehan had dated a few times but could never maintain a constant relationship. Life was normal for everyone, until one sudden day Rehan met with a car accident.

The accident changed Rehan’s life. Immediately after the accident, Rehan was given proper medical care and hospitalized. Rehan’s family came to see him at their earliest possible on hearing the news. Rehan had incurred some serious fractures but they were repairable. The doctors told the family they could take him home within a week and after two months of bed rest, he may also be able to go back to work. However, as soon as he was discharged from the hospital, Rehan quit his job and decided to move back home. Aseem, and everyone along with him, found this decision to be very hasty and irrational. They tried to convince him to go back on this decision but Rehan kept his foot down. Slowly, everyone came to term with his decision but Aseem still urged him to continue with his job or look for one back home. Rehan finally decided to join Arav’s business and help him grow. After that, even Aseem came to terms with it.

Because of Rehan’s accident, the whole family got to meet Rabia. She stayed by the family’s side the whole time and left only when Aseem decided to go back. Everyone admired her being there and supporting the family. Rehan had already approved of Rabia but he gave his ultimate stamp of approval six months after the accident. Aseem asked Rehan for his blessings to marry Rabia. Aseem had planned the proposal even before the accident but had to delay it due to the unfortunate circumstances. Rehan had fully recovered his fractures by then and paid Aseem a visit to help him with his proposal. Aseem, along with Rehan and Rabia’s sister’s help, proposed Rabia on a sky lit roof of a restaurant and Rabia instantly jumped in joy and said yes. Rehan went back home after two days and Aseem decided to save some vacation time, so that he could use that time during his wedding. He had already used most of his vacations during the accident so now he skipped on some family holidays as well. During this time, his communication with Rehan was reduced to almost null. Aseem’s calls either went unanswered or were answered by some other member of the family. Even when Aseem would talk to his mother about Rehan, She would tell him to concentrate on his work or to think about his wedding and would change the topic. By now, Aseem had started to feel that some things didn’t quite add up. It was almost two months for Aseem and Rabia’s wedding when everyone urged him to come back home for a visit. He agreed to come but somehow he was a bit late.

He reached home to find his house empty. He went to Rehan’s house where he saw Arav waiting for him. Arav’s expressions were that as if he’d seen a ghost. Aseem tried asking him what had happened but Arav only asked Aseem to come along with him. They drove to the city hospital, when Aseem asked him Arav if there has been another accident in the family. Arav’s eyes became watery but he slightly nodded his head saying no. Arav took him to a room, where he found everyone surrounding a bed with Rehan lying on it. He was hooked to a ventilator and was unconscious. Aseem’s mother was already in tears and Rehan’s mother started crying as soon as she saw Aseem and hugged him. Aseem was really confused and really taken back by the whole view. The doctors explained that Rehan was brain-dead and wanted to be taken off the ventilator once Aseem had arrived. Tears came flying out of Aseem’s eyes and he simply stood there in shock. He could not move and his throat got tight. He wasn’t breathing for a moment, until the doctor put a hand on his shoulder and he started to breathe again. The doctor handed Aseem an envelope and told him that Rehan had asked the doctor to deliver it him once he was here.

Aseem- My brother,

I can’t even imagine what you must be going through. Just the way you couldn’t have imagined what I had been through when I found out I have, well by now it must have been had, a brain tumor. I wanted to tell you the moment I found out about it but I knew you would have left everything that you worked to build and come to help me, in whatever way possible. But my fate was such that the tumor had already exceeded so much that it couldn’t be cured. I knew you were planning to propose Rabia, even before my accident. Well that’s when everything changed for me. I had a stroke because of the tumor while driving, which caused my accident. I found out after that accident that I didn’t have much time left. I decided to come back home and spend the rest of my days here. I planned on helping with your proposal and your wedding so I started my treatment on chemo but I don’t think all my plans would succeed.

My situation has now descended beyond repair. There are times when I can’t remember the date or even my own name. Shivani’s husband presented my case to his colleagues, hoping to find a cure or another way out but even they gave up. I know how hard it is for everyone here to see my condition and I know it would be harder for you, that is why I have had everyone do me the favor of keeping this a secret from you. Plus, I wouldn’t want to see you and not remember who you are.

I know you will be furious at me and everyone else, for keeping this a secret from you and I know I have no right to ask anything from you at this point, but I need you to do me a favor too. Once I die, I want you to grieve for the maximum time of a week and not a minute more than that. My life has been wonderful with you in it and now it has come to an end. It will be my end, doesn’t mean you have to stop living too. After all the grieving, you would go back to living your life and get married to the wonderful woman you have chosen to be your wife as you had planned.

I wish there was some cure for this and we wouldn’t have to depart in such a way. I am not sure if there is an afterlife or not but if so, I will always be looking after you.

Your brother,

Rehan.

Changing Tides

What can you tell about someone by just looking at him or her? Seeing what they’re wearing, how they communicate and looking over their action, we can tell a lot about a person but at the same time, we don’t know what their life really is like or how it has been.

Ritesh was an average man living in Kolkata with a small sweet shop of his own. He was from Bangladesh but that life was a lifetime ago that he probably didn’t even remember about. He was young, unmarried and had a name in the small society that he lived in. He spoke so calmly and sweetly with everyone. Never had anyone seen him lose his temper, not even at the mistakes of any of the three people who worked under him. He was not well read but he knew enough to run a shop of his own.

Outside of his shop, Ritesh was also a man of honesty and principles. He knew not to take something that was not his and he tried his best to do his bit for the needy and unfortunate. He also had an admiration for the girl, Chavvi, who lived down the lane from his shop. She would often come to his shop with her mother so Ritesh could never tell her how he felt about her. Ritesh had a hint that she liked him too but he was never sure about it or what to do about it.

After all this while, Ritesh finally got the chance to talk to her when she showed up at his shop alone. He asked her what she wanted and sent one of his workers to get that packed. While she waited for her package to come, Ritesh tried to indulge her in a conversation. She kept blushing and hiding her face from him. Just when she was about to leave, he asked her if she drinks coffee. She giggled and looked away. She started to walk and he thought to himself how foolish he had acted. She suddenly turned back and asked him if Sunday was good with him. He outburst in joy and said that it was perfect.

They met at a small café on Sunday, where they first sat awkwardly without saying much. He broke the ice by asking her what she was doing and what she wished to do after her studies. They sat there for an hour, figuring out each other over sips of coffee. Before they left, he asked for the bill. He noticed that the bill was missing one thing that he had ordered so he called on the waiter and got the bill corrected. Chavvi saw this and smiled. Before they left, she said to him that most people don’t even bother paying; instead they try to go out of the place in a hurry. He laughed at said that he doesn’t wish to keep what is not his neither does he want to keep it from who it belongs to. Her smile grew bigger and before leaving she asked him if they could meet again, next Sunday.

After that, came many more Sundays and soon Sundays turned to weekends and weekends to every second or third day. They would meet and talk. Telling each other how their days were. They would talk about problems and find solutions within each other. Some days Chavvi would ask Ritesh how he always stays so humble and calm despite the problems and ungratefulness around him, in return he would simply say that life has taught his so. One day she asked him that what was so grateful in his life that he turned out the way he is. He says that it was nothing so great at all; instead it was the total opposite.

“I was about six or seven when I lost my parents. Bangladesh was very unstable in those days. We used to live scared everyday, not knowing when it will be our last. One day, my parents heard some noise in the neighbours  house and woke me up. My father went to check outside and he never returned. He was murdered at the hands of the terrorists. My uncle took my mother and me and ran out from the back door of the house. My mother couldn’t make it very far and she too was murdered at the hands of the terrorists. My uncle managed to get me to a refugee camp nearby but due to high amount of people coming there, the military were sending people back. My uncle knew it was unsafe for me to be out of the camps, so he begged them to take only me in. That day I lost the last and only living family I had and the worst were yet to come.”

Ritesh has told the whole thing very calmly. He looked up to see Chavvi only to find her in a state of shock while a tear rolled down her cheek. Ritesh wiped her tear and asked if he should stop. She looked at him and asked him to go on. Ritesh tried to calm Chavvi but she urged him to continue.

“Life at the camps was no cakewalk. No one cared about an orphan, with nothing to his name. There were times when I went on an empty stomach for days. I learned to ration my food before I could even say the word. Many times there were people stealing food from my hands to feed their own and there was nothing I could do about it. There were kids younger than me who had no one to cater to them. I would give some of my food to them too. There was even a slave trade within the camps. Many orphan kids like me were abducted in the middle of the night and sold off to other nations as slaves. I managed to survive in the camps for eight months. I was not even eight years old when I started to work in sewing factory. I made mistakes in life and was punished brutally. My masters would beat me up and leave to starve. I was further sold to merchants and miners. I spent six months in a mine without seeing the sunlight. I may have lost my sight had I stayed a few months more. It was the kindness of an uncorrupt police officer that found me in the mines and freed me when I was twelve. It took me a few weeks to fully adjust back to the sunlight. I was still lost, no place to sleep and hardly anything to eat. I would beg not for food or money but for work. 

“After three months, a sweet shop owner gave me the cleaning job at his shop and a place to sleep inside when the shop was closed. I once broke a glass and the owner came running. I started crying and begged him, sitting in a corner, not to hit me. He kept his hand over my head and said in a very calm voice that it was okay but if something like this happened again, he wouldn’t hit me but take out the money from my salary. I was still scared but he helped me to trust me over time. He pushed me to go to evening school. Once I joined, I had interests in studies too. I would finish my homework at night and in the morning I would wake up early clean the shop. As I grew older, the owner taught me to make the sweets and gave me more jobs at the shop. He also increased my salary. I still made a few mistakes after that but the shop owner never took money out of my salary. Instead, he bought me books to read and helped me become someone on my own. Over time, the work at the shop grew and I stopped studying. By the age of 24, I saved enough money to rent a place of my own and set up my own stall. The owner of the shop had no family of his own. He had started considering me as his family. When I was leaving that job to set up on my own, he gave me some more money to actually set up a small business of my own. I tried to refuse the money offered by him saying that I hadn’t earned a penny of it so I could not take it. He told me that my loyalty and honesty towards him were the reason why I earn not only the money but also his love and respect. He not only helped me set up my business but he brought my ashes back to life. I am almost 30 today and all that I am and all that I have is because of that man.”

When Ritesh finished his story, Chavvi’s eyes were filled with tears and she was on the verge of bursting out in a cry. She had no words to say. She thought that nothing was appropriate to say while Ritesh was just calm as always. Chavvi left the café crying and Ritesh tried to follow but she asked him not to. Ritesh was confused about what had he said that upset her. He got upset too thinking about Chavvi. Two days later, she came to his shop and asked him to come aside and talk to her. The first thing Ritesh said to her was sorry thinking he was wrong and he upset her. She said that there was nothing to be sorry about and it was her who should be apologizing. She then asked him what happened to the man he worked for. He told her that he died two years after that and his shop was sold away. The money from the sale was given to charity and was used to help under privileged children. She then asked him if past ever haunts him.

He said it in his ever-calming voice, “There is nothing that haunts me as I can do nothing about it. I think about the past to remind myself where I come from and what I had to come through to get here. But all I have to go from here is to the future and there is nothing in my past that can do anything about it.”

Picking Up The Pieces

Often in our lives, we start to persue certain things that we may start but we may no be able to complete them or keep doing them in our daily lives. 

I started this blog hoping to pursue my passion for writing. I know that I am not a great writer. I may not even be a good one but one should not stop dreaming thinking that their dreams won’t come true. I may have stopped writing for a while due to other things but no matter what one has to take out time in life. 

I won’t make some promise to myself or anyone that I may not be able to keep; saying “I’ll continue to write.” Though I will say that I’ll try my best to do so. I have tried to start writing various stories but I haven’t been able to complete them. I guess it’s time I pick up the pieces and make something new. I won’t promise anything but I’ll try my best to do so. 

I Apologize.

What do you think a woman or a girl should be like? Someone who dresses traditionally or in a modern way? Should she have female friends, male friends or both? Should she stay at home and do the household work or should she be working and earning the money? Should she be fair looking or dark-complexioned?

Whatever you may think is the right answer; it is not for you to think. It is a choice for a woman to be whatever she wants to be. It is a choice, just not yours to make. If a woman wants to wear short skirts, its her choice to wear it, not yours. A girl should not have to fear wearing the clothes of her choice thinking she might get raped if she wears short clothes or something that shows some part of her skin. She should have the freedom to roam around naked if she wants to, without being terrorized by the feeling that someone might rape her.

Coming from the older generation, it still seems acceptable that their generation was not so keen on women being free but what about the youth? Wherever you go, you will find movies and advertisements with explicit content, which should be normal for any person. However, it is not so. People still treat women as someone who should stay at home, look after the household work and be used to produce children. It shocks me how people still consider females as curse. It hurts me when someone uses the term, “…because she’s a woman…” in a statement. They are not any objects that you use them when you feel like. They are just like us, or mostly, better than us.

Other than this, one major thing that disturbs me is gender policing. Gender policing means forcibly asking someone to behave his or her gender. This was a lesson that I learnt from the people around me in no time, but took me years to realize and unlearn it. I often use to gender police the people around me, specially my family. Even though my father is generation apart from mine, he never taught me gender policing, instead he opposed it. I remember a few years back when I was out late, my father called me and asked me to come back home to which I replied that I am not a girl that I can’t stay out till late. He snapped at me saying that it doesn’t matter if I am a girl or a boy; I have to come home when he says so. Being a boy doesn’t give me any superior advantage. That was one of the many things that helped me learn the narrow minds of the society. Another incidence was when I saw a woman drinking and I was taken back. Seeing my reaction, my father said to me, “Someday, when you earn yourself, you can drink too. You don’t only have to be a man to be able to drink.”

I understood it but there are so many people of my age group who still see women so narrowly and police them. Gender policing has a much worse effect than we can imagine. It can lead to one of the major reasons for rape. How is gender policing leading to rape? Most of us think that what harm does gender policing do if we just tell a girl to behave like one. Well some people are stricter about such things. They see it as a way of disrespect to society. If someone is not being how the society wants them to be, these self-proclaimed agents of society decide to punish the offenders in their own ways, which may not even be legal by law. One such way of punishment is rape.

Not just in India, but women around the world are not treated equally to men. Worldwide, people think of women as disgrace. Though the discrimination has reduced over the years, it has yet not vanished from each and every country completely. Women are sometimes treated even worse than animals in parts of the world. Such treatment is so much worse that even rape seems not so bad. Moreover, most males judge women on their looks. If a female looks attractive to them, they rape her with their eyes and humiliate her publicly that she can’t do anything about it; and if they find her non attractive, they pass comments about her saying that what would she be worth for or simply humiliate her in whatever way possible. Sometimes people go to such extreme measures that even if a woman is alive, she’d wish her remaining life that she should have been killed that very instance. Many such extreme measures used by people are, including but not limited to, torture by physical wounds or cutting off body parts, throwing acid on women, damaging their genitals by penetrating with sharp objects during rape and many more. A woman is also killed if she gives birth to a baby girl, because the family had demanded her for a boy but she delivered a girl, something on which nobody has a control on. These things clearly state that not just in India, but women are hated around the globe.

I am highly ashamed and frustrated by all these facts. Women are so much better than men and they have much higher potential than them as well. Males think of themselves as superior due to high-capacity of strength, stronger emotional stability, High IQ levels and what not, but guess what? Women have the capabilities of doing all these things as well. The only reason they are not able to do things to their full potential is because men, and at times even women, undermine all women in the name of society. Society plays a major role in undermining women. Not only men, but also women are brainwashed by the society on how to behave and how not to, restricting a woman to rise as whole and become equal to men. Men are even more coward than women. They would say a lot of things about women behind their backs but in front of them, they’ll act like they are the biggest women rights supporter. I am not like them. I at least agree that I have made these mistakes but I’m on my path to repair the damage I have done. I am not a woman so it won’t be right on my part to even say that “I understand” the pain and torture any woman goes through. I am not a woman but I wish I were one for they are much more capable than any man. By the end, I wish to apologize to each and every woman, from every man’s side, who are not ‘man-enough’ to do it themselves, for them having to be scared to go out of the house late or wear short clothes. I apologize for every time your fears came to life. I apologize.

Continue reading “I Apologize.”

Life, Without Regrets.

Life is meant to be lived without regrets. We all make mistakes. Some mistakes are beyond recovery that no apology can mend. People may leave and life may turn out to different from what you expect, but at least, we can learn from our mistakes. Let time heal the wounds of our mistakes and come to peace with what we have done someday. For what is done is done but what is yet to happen, can be controlled. Life is meant to be lived without regrets, as life is about exploring and creating the future, but regrets hold us in the past.

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