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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.

Family, No Matter What!

Family is a gift that we are often ungrateful about. They are the only ones who stand by us through thick and thin. During the hardships of life, most people leave us to deal with those problems alone. Even in those dark times of our lives, our families hold on to us and help us get through. Lucky are the people who have a family to go back to. Some don’t even have a living soul to call their own.

Kabir was an eighteen years old boy, with a lovely family and a naughty but huge heart. His brother, Arjun, was five years elder to him. They both loved each other like anything in the world. One would often save the other’s ass from getting kicked. Mostly Arjun saving Kabir in silly fights with other kids but Kabir too would charm his way in front of their parents and get Arjun out of any trouble he would get in.

Kabir had finished his school and had applied for colleges in the nearby town. Arjun was giving his college finals and was going to be back home in a few days. Kabir being alone and mostly bored with the extra free time on hand went into his dad’s study to look for something interesting to read. His father was a self-made man. He was an orphan by birth. Without any parents or family, he rose from that to be a man on his own. His father knew that the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful man was education. So he taught himself by reading any and every book that he could get his hands on and knowing the power of books, he had a study full of them. Kabir couldn’t find any book of his preference so he started looking at his dad’s files in the desk. While going through the files, Kabir came across a file that was buried deep in one of the drawers labeled “Adoption Papers”.

He opened the file thinking it was his dad’s file but it didn’t look that old. He could barely understand anything written in the legal documents until he saw his own name written somewhere on the files. He couldn’t process it. The files were dated around his birthday. He was shocked. He placed back all the files the way he had taken them out. He wasn’t sure of telling his parents that he knew now he was adopted. He was always told he was the second child of the family that he was born to them. Kabir was not sure of what to do with this information. He wanted to talk to Arjun about it but he thought that crashing down such big news on his elder brother during his finals wasn’t the best idea. Kabir though of bottling up this information with him until Arjun was back home.

Kabir was bad with secrets and a secret this big was killing him. He held it up for a few days but soon the secret started playing with his mind. He saw his parents and thoughts like “they’re not his real parents” kept troubling him. One night, while eating dinner, his father noticed Kabir unusually quiet and asked him what had happened. He didn’t reply at first but his mother asked again and he snapped back saying, “Why do you care? Not like you’re my real parents.” On hearing this, his parents held back with shock and asked his what he was talking about. He told them that he had found out about it and had seen the proof. He gets up and leaves the table. His mother holds his father’s hand and hugs him.

They walk into Kabir’s room with tears in their eyes. Kabir too was crying but he didn’t do anything. He shouts and asked them why they never told him? His father sits next to him and said that they didn’t want him to feel like he didn’t belong here. He being an orphan himself knew what he had gone through and he didn’t want the same for Kabir. However, Kabir couldn’t make any sense of it. He wanted to make sense of it but his mind wasn’t letting him. He asked his parents to leave him alone for a while. They left the room with tears in their eyes and Kabir dug his face in the pillow and cried his eyes out.

His father never forgot where he came from. When he had become independent, he would go back to orphanage and would help them in whatever possible way her could. He made sure that at the first Sunday of every month, he would go there and give some of his income to help the children. It was at one of the events organized by the orphanage where his parents met each other for the first time. They met more often at the orphanage and later got married. They both kept going to the orphanage every month even after Arjun was born. One month, when Arjun was five years old, the whole family went to the orphanage. At that time, the orphanage wasn’t funded well and Kabir’s parents weren’t that well off either that he could fund it. The head warden of the orphanage came up to them and told them that a newborn child had been left in front of the orphanage. The baby had fever so they tried to help but the fever wasn’t coming down. Kabir’s father saw the child and saw an image of himself as an orphan. He talked to the mother and asked the warden to take him to a hospital on his expenses. Arjun saw the child and asked his parents, “Can we take him home? He looks sick but I will take care of him.” Listening to their innocent kid’s heartwarming words, his parents agreed on adopting him and asked the warden to prepare the necessary documents. Kabir’s mother was her parent’s only child and his father was an orphan too so it was easy for them to keep this adoption a secret.

Three days after the dinner, Arjun came back home after finishing with his finals. Before anyone could tell Arjun about Kabir finding out his adoption, Kabir took Arjun to his room and told him the whole situation. Arjun didn’t react to him in a shocking way. Instead he calmly smiled and said, “ That’s you way to look at it but look at it from my eyes.” Arjun told him how he was adopted and that he always knew about it but a blood test wasn’t going to prove that they were not family. Arjun reminded Kabir whenever anything happened to Kabir; their parents always blamed Arjun for not taking care of Kabir. Kabir often joked about his parents loving him more than Arjun, just to tease him but in reality, it was true. Whatever Kabir was and whatever he had learnt was in the image of his father and mother who raised him to be this way.

Arjun takes Kabir outside the house so they could get ice cream and coolly think about it. Kabir and Arjun could never be angry at each other. They would tease and make fun of each other but they loved each other more. Arjun walks with Kabir and says, “Our parents loved you more, even though they knew you weren’t their blood. They kept the secret from you so that you don’t think that you don’t belong with us. You are a part of this family as equally as anyone else and if you think that you’re not, then we are not a family without you.” Kabir jumps and hugs Arjun saying, “We are a family and we always will remain to be a family, no matter what!”

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A Walk Down The Street

A wide-open street with street lamps on both sides was empty. A perfectly calm street and a boy briskly walking down the path. It was a bit chilly. He needed some air to calm his thoughts but it wasn’t working quite well. After walking up and down the street for a while, he walks into the park next to the road and seats himself on one of the benches.

He felt alone amongst others, he didn’t fit quite well. He would interact with others and yet be absent. He may feel lonely with others but when he was alone, he carried his world with him. He had friends and family yet he felt like he had no one for him. He had a house yet he felt like he didn’t belong there. It was very often for him to simply walk out of the house in the middle of the night and walk up and down the street. He could hardly sleep. Even when he did, he would wake up in the middle of the night and simply wait for him to fall asleep again. He would quietly go out of the house for an hour or so and come back before anyone would wake up.

Few years back, it was not the same. He used to be the life of the party. He had so many friends and was always keen on making more. He was also the joy of the house, cracking jokes and making everyone love him even more.

Around three years back, he met a girl through common friends. She was pretty and her name, Amaira, was like meant for her beautiful face. They didn’t really talk much at their first meeting but gradually, they came closer as friends and within 2-3 months, they were almost inseparable. He slowly drifted away from most of his friends and had a separate world with Amaira. Their families also liked them being with each other. They would spend the whole night watching chick flicks, during which Amaira would catch him crying and make fun of him with him mother the next morning. Their friendship was so close that him mother would sometimes say that they both should date, for he was not going to find any other girl who was so compatible with him.

When two people are so close as they both were, things just don’t stop at friendship. It was after 8 months that they had first met, Amaira confessed to him that she was attracted to him for a while but was scared that if it didn’t work out, their friendship would also be at stake. He felt the same but it was Amaira who said it. So he decided to call Amaira and her family over for dinner and made both the families sit down together. He had prepared a speech for them and had been rehearsing it for the past two days. He began to say that he and Amaira had both been friends and started to have feelings for each other and he wanted to date her with the permission and satisfaction of all the people seated in front of him. He also said that if it didn’t work out, he would not let their friendship be jeopardized and never let things be awkward between either of them. Amaira had no clue about it and at the starting she was struck with amaze but by the end of the speech was turning red. She blushed like a 10-year-old girl. Both the families were impressed by his bravery and frankness. They all agreed to his proposal and later had a laugh about it over dinner.

Amaira was filled with joy by the way he asked her out. If she had any doubts about it earlier, she got rid of them all, watching him put his efforts like that. They both were even happier this way. They both fell in love like the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once. He found his constant in life and she found her pillar of perfection. During their movie nights, they would watch the movie for a while and then Amaira would ask him to go for a walk on the street. They would sneak out without waking anyone up and simply walk for a while in the silent aura of the night. After walking, they would sit on the bench in the park and she would rest her head on his shoulder or sometimes lie on lap. She would watch the starry sky and he would gaze her shiny eyes.

When you are in love, you want more of it. You tend to lose a touch of reality and rationality. They felt the same. They didn’t even think about the negative thoughts of losing each other. They just kept on the thoughts of loving each other. Little did they know for what was about to hit them and bring them back to reality. Amaira’s family had planed on a summer trip. They had left earlier and Amaira had to join them after two days due to some work. He dropped her off at the airport and asked her to call him as soon as she reached. He kissed her before she entered the airport and left for home. He waited for her call restlessly but felt stupid when he thought of what he was doing, so he took off for the gym. Her flight was delayed so she was late on giving him a call. She called him but he was in the gym so he missed her call. When he didn’t answer her call, she left him a voice note.

When he checked his phone, he skipped the voice note and called Amaira. Her phone was not reachable. He tried calling her again but it still was getting through. He opened the voice note where she said that she had reached even though the flight was long and tiring. She also said that she’d be in touch through out and she loved him. After listening to the note he calmed down and went for a quick nap. He woke up by his ringing phone. It was Amaira’s mom calling him. He answered the call hoping it was Amaira, instead he heard her mom’s voice, sobbing and hissing. He asked her if everything was okay and tried to calm her down. She finally told him that Amaira was in a car accident and as soon as she completed her sentence, she burst out into tears. His world had stopped there and then. He couldn’t move or say anything. Everything around him felt like it was shattering down into pieces and his phone fell from his hand on the ground. His mom heard him drop his phone and came in the room. She saw his face and asked him what was wrong. He couldn’t respond. She picked up his phone and heard Amaira’s mother cry. She asked her if Amaira was okay and she found out from her crying voice what had happened. His mom hugged him and started crying. He was unaware of when he had started crying and all of a sudden, he screamed her name, AMAIRAAA.

For the first two months after Amaira had passed away, he stayed mostly at home. People would come visit him and Amaira’s family to pay their condolences for Amaira’s death. Each person that showed up for Amaira helped her family and him feel better. He would visit Amaira’s parent everyday and come back home by night. Sometimes he would stay at her place just so that he could feel her presence around him.

His mother couldn’t see him the way he was becoming so she would make him meet his old friends. Slowly he could handle himself better so it was relieving for his mother. He too knew that he could not live in Amaira’s grief but he also knew that he could never forget her. He tried to behave normally with everyone, yet he was lonely and his world laid in those midnight walks on the street where he could bring Amaira back to life.

Taking Out The Time

In our daily lives, we have something or the other to do. If we don’t have something to do, then we try to get ourselves busy by watching TV, surfing the Internet and what not. We are hardly keeping ourselves free.

Most of the people in the world work as hard as they possibly can to reach a better place in life. Each and everyday we have something new to learn, no matter how small, that may teach us or helps us in our lives. These things may help us earn better, be more skilled, have an impact on others or simply become a better person.

Who is responsible for doing all this? Who do we give the credit for such achievements? It’s the people we are surrounded with, who are responsible and without even realizing, we may not even thank them for what they do or mean to us. It’s our family, friends, teachers or even strangers who are responsible for the impact they make in our lives that improve us. It’s the support and love of our friends and parents that make us more confident in life. The wisdom of the teachers and parents that help us grow intellectually and as a person. The help of a stranger that makes us trust others and make the world seem a safer place.

We hardly take the time to thank them for their constant help in our upbringing as a person. However, it’s not only the good things in life that teach us. I don’t ask you to love everyone limitlessly because if you love someone too much, you will end up hurting yourself and more than that, others will misuse the love you have for them. The best lessons learnt in life are the ones learnt by negative experiences because they are the ones that make an impact on us. The ones, who didn’t come out to help you at the time of need, helped you become a stronger and a more independent person. The people, who backstabbed you, opened your eyes for whom to trust and whom not to trust. The people, who thought of you as a loser, became a motivation in your life to show them that you were more than what they thought of you.

All these people improve something or the other in our lives or simply improve us as a person. Most of us, don’t even give them the credit for doing so. Some give out the credit for these things to god, but its their way of thanking them. However, I say that in our busy lives, we take out a few minutes of our day to remember these people and thank them in our minds for they are the reason for making us the person we are today.

Making The Moments Count

Life is a mere existence of an individual from the time they take birth till the time die. Mostly it is measured in the unit of time, i.e. in years. The number of years a person lives defines the age of that person.

However, the age of the person, in my point of view, doesn’t determine the life of a person. One’s life should be measured in the number of moments they lived to the fullest and by the number of people they brought joy to.

I say it but personally am not sure if I have brought joy to many people or even a single person at all. The reason for thinking so is because the people you hurt after you have made their life joyous, once or more cease to count in the list of life. I may have brought happiness and joy to a lot of people back in day, but by the end of those days, I push them away, mostly in a hurtful manner. We often wish things in life to be in our own way but everything we wish for doesn’t always come true. I don’t get things my way either so I push them away. It’s like trying to create the moments to make them count but by pushing the things away, my moments cease to count.

There is a thing about happiness, once you give it to others; it comes to you by itself. It is this happiness that count as moments in our lives. A person may live for 80-90 years but their life is not quite fulfilled if it’s not filled with such moments. However, you may live for only 30-40 years but you have lived a lifetime if you have made these moments count.

In Her Loving Memory…

Grandmother
It has been a year since my grandmother passed away and today is her first death anniversary. It’s been a year and I still think of calling back home and listening to her voice. Losing someone is never easy but they say that it heals over time. Coming to think of it, I don’t want it to heal. I want it to stay so that I keep her in my memories.

I am an agnostic person by religion. I don’t believe in god. I don’t ask anyone to stop believing in his or her gods just because I don’t have the religious faith. My grandmother was a hardcore religious person, she believed that there is just one god and he is everywhere wearing a different face. She always wanted me to believe in her beliefs. I never believed in god no matter what, but just because she would ask me to, I wouldn’t say ‘no’ twice.

I went to a gurdwara (religious place of worship for Sikhs) today because I had pledged to myself that, just for my grandmother’s sake, I will visit a religious place be it a temple or a gurdwara on her death anniversary. I went there and paid my respects like everyone else around me. I could see everyone praying, wishing, meditating and repeating the words of the raags and the paths (religious songs) that are written in the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of the Sikhs). Unlike them, I just had the image of my grandmother in my head, of how she was when she was fit and healthy, and I didn’t wish nor did I pray for anything. I simply smiled at the memory of her patting my head while I lay my head on her lap. I was told that at her deathbed, she didn’t die in peace. The disease had eaten up her health and left her body aching with pain. While I was at the gurdwara, I didn’t wish for her to be at peace because I knew that once she had passed away, she was at peace.

After knowing how she had passed away, pale and bruised, I can’t shake the feeling of seeing her like that, but whenever I think of her, I see myself lying on her lap and she patting my head.

Grandmother

The Fault In Our Stars

Amazingly written piece of work by a fellow blogger! Please do give it a read 😀

A teenagers addiction to love

The fault in our stars, a book that changed the way I think of the world today. If you haven’t read this book i strongly suggest you take a walk down its path, I promise you won’t want to turn around. This book is my absolute favorite book. The love, fear, and realness of it is just overwhelming. John Green managed to move me to tears and that is quite a task, I never really cry when reading books but this one, you can’t help it . His words could move mountains, or oceans if they tried. The main characters Hazel Grace, and Agustus Waters are two lovers caught in a battle with terminal illnesses. Now you might be thinking oh great another sob story about sick kids falling in love, but thats the beauty of john greens writing. Its not about how many days they have left, its about…

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Reading The Fault In Our Stars

When we start reading a novel, we just don’t remain a mere reader, we become the character of story. We can fell the connection with other characters through mere print in black and white. It is not our lives stop once the story ends but till the time we are reading the novel, the story becomes a part of our lives.
I had heard about the novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by ‘John Green’ since a while. More than the novel, I had heard about Augustus Waters so widely, so I got myself a copy of the novel. I started reading the book 3 nights back and today I sit here gawking and reading the last 5 words, “I do, Augustus. I do.”again and again. I was filled with a variety of emotions and reactions throughout the entire book but coming towards the end, I sit blank. I thought I might have a few unanswered questions by the end but I feel John Green made a point of not leaving the novel like ‘An Imperial Affliction’ (about which Hazel and Augustus feel a bit betrayed seeing there is not a complete ending to the story). The one major thing emphasised in the whole story was that mostly cancer victims want to be treated the same as a normal person with a non-cancerous body and as a normal person, we just understand it but don’t really know how it feels. For me, this novel was just the right amount of everything that is required as per the recipe of cooking up a best seller- drama, love, travel, happiness, sadness, misery, plot twists and much more. My words seem less in explaining the sinking feeling that I’m left with now that the story comes to an end
I have merely covered a part of novel like a handful of water from the sea. The ones who have read this novel know what I mean and the ones who haven’t yet got the time to read it are just missing a beautifully crafted story. This novel, like any other, became a part of my life but as the story ends, it does cease to be a part of my life.

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“ ‘Single’ or ‘In a Relationship’ its complicated either way…”

Sitting on the window seat of the train taking him to New Delhi, he tried to find some answers by constantly looking in and out of the train. Despite the number of passengers travelling in the train, he seemed all alone by himself. He had never travelled like that before, without anyone accompanying him to a different city. Being alone in a different city wasn’t a problem for him, rather he felt free for a while. The only thing that troubled him was being alone in general.

Karan was a working guy is his early twenties. He worked as a part-time designer and a freelance writer. His part-time work paid for his own pocket and his parents were happy that at least he was doing something. Most of his work was indoors based so his parents encouraged him in participating in activities that would make him breathe the fresh air outside. He then would also participate in various conferences and help in hosting various events in the town. He had a girlfriend but it wasn’t working so they broke up and hence, he was single since a few months. Ever since the break up, he had refrained from going out and participating in any event. His parents heard about the conference in New Delhi and forced him to go for it.

Karan had already made plans with a friend, Simrit, who he was supposed to meet when he reached New Delhi. She was one of his dear friends, who Karan had known since school days and whom he could trust. He had timed his journey before and told Simrit to meet him at 5. Well, thanks to the never-on-time Indian Railways, Karan reached New Delhi at 5:40 and it would take him twenty more minutes to reach the designated place to meet Simrit. They sit in a café discussing everything from travelling to after how long they had met to relationship statuses. Simrit tells Karan about her rough patch in her relationship and says that seeing him was the only thing that brought smile to her face in the last two weeks. They only met for about an hour but Simrit’s words stayed with Karan.

Karan had a rough patch when he had broken up and Simrit was always in contact with him helping him through. Now that she needed someone, Karan felt helpless about it, not knowing what to do. Karan had been single but always liked the feeling of being in a relationship. He would often have long conversations with Simrit about how depressing his life had seemed ever since he was single. After that meeting in the café, Karan’s thoughts seemed to change. He couldn’t sleep almost the whole night. He kept thinking of helping Simrit somehow. It was about 4 am in the morning that he realized about his conference at 9 in the morning. He slept then and still managed to wake up at 6. Around 7, his mom called him to wake him up and remind him not to get late. Even though he would never wake up before 10 at home, he was always responsible when he was away from home.

That whole day he was busy and tired. He got free late in the evening and hoped for a nice meal. He found a good restaurant and sat on a corner table. While he waited for his food, he called up Simrit to ask how she had been. While talking to her, he thought of something that would cheer her up and asked her to meet him for dinner the next day. She agreed but said that she’ll have to leave soon cause Delhi is not quite safe at night. He told her not to worry that he’d come to her and ensure that she’s home safe.

The next day was even longer and more tiring than the previous one yet Karan was willing to go to other end of Delhi to meet Simrit. Karan was dressed like he worked in one of the cubicles in one of the business firms with an office bag in one of his hands. Simrit laughed when she saw him. Karan didn’t mind it, he was happy that she looked happy. Simrit suggested him a few restaurants and Karan picked the one that would ease both their moods. They ordered a few beers and snacks. Karan knew Simrit drank but she was not good when it came to handling her booze. Before the drinks came, Karan opened up his bag and took out a chocolate and gave it to Simrit saying that it was for the times she got sad and there was no one to make her smile. She smiled and was about to say something when the waiter interrupted. The drinks and the snacks left no place for the main course so they left early.

There were no cabs around so they started walking towards her house. Karan had had most of her drinks so he knew she could handle herself. While walking she says, “The waiter had interrupted me earlier. I was going to say that no one had made me feel so special in a long time now.” Karan wraps his arm around her and says that there is no one in the world who should makes you feel any less. Simrit is smiling and Karan can almost see a few tears in her eyes. Simrit tells Karan that she wants to sit a while so they go sit on a bench in the park next to them. Karan and Simrit would often joke about some romantic encounters over the phone so Simrit jokingly asks him if he would not take her advantage now that she’s drunk. He jokes back saying that he doesn’t need to get her drunk to take her advantage. They both start laughing and all of a sudden, Simrit hugs Karan and starts crying. In a cracked voice, Simrit asks him that why does her boyfriend not care about her like he does. He holds her and kisses on her forehead and says, “People only care when something makes them happy, and for me, you always make me happy. He might not see you like he used to but for you, if he doesn’t make you happy, you should stop caring either.” Hearing this, she hugs him even more tightly. He wipes her tears saying it would be a waste of such a perfect evening if she ends it by crying. He walks her to her apartment and ensures she’s perfectly safe.

He walks to the main road and finds himself a cab to take him back to his hotel. On the entire ride home, he keeps wondering one thing, “ ‘Single’ or ‘In a Relationship’ its complicated either way…”

The Journey There After…

Life is a constant journey. You keep moving from one situation to the other. Sometimes you find yourself in familiar old situations. It is like revisiting some place that we have already been to. However, while on the journey of life, we come across a road where the path splits and we have to choose one of the givens roads ahead. That diversion in life leads us to where we will be and what further paths we will choose.

Exactly 5 years from today, on 29th January 2009, I was presented to choose one way of the two to further lead in life, with the mere answer of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The question was mine, however, the answer was not for me to choose. It was someone who made an impact in my life since that day forward and made my journey a lot more interesting. The journey did not go the way I had hoped, but only better. It was since that day forward that my life learnt its actual meaning and the reason to get up everyday. The journey since then wasn’t all jolly and fun. It was a mixture of contrasting memories and situations that actually taught me to be something on my own. The company of the person taught me that I got someone looking after my back and in the absence I learnt of my independence. The care of a person taught me that I was loved and through their hatred I learnt of my mistakes. Their compassion taught me to live life by my own will while their sadness showed me a way of returning something back. Our friendship made me learn to trust someone else while our fights taught me the importance of someone else in my life. There were times that things were pretty bad that there was no silver lining to save the day, but those times were balanced by the days where nothing could ruin it, come what may. Looking back, I couldn’t have thought of myself as I am today. It is since that day, my life took the turn and made me experience life as it is meant to be experienced.

It is not a cry for help, rather a shout-out to the one ever since for making my life the way it is. I have no regret of not knowing about the road not taken, for my life wouldn’t have turned out better than it is now. I thank you for choosing this road for me on that day and making me go on the journey there after…

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