Posted in Pandora's Box

The fat footballer

We had Aarti in the most beautiful and serene places in the entire campus- The Amphitheatre. Swamiji was himself taking Aarti for us that night… I don’t exactly remember what it was that he said, but he cracked some really good joke. Unfortunately, my laugh is very loud and this time too, I laughed loud enough for people to consider me crazy. Example? Abhinav, that fat football guy that I was talking about? He was sitting next to me in Aarti and after I was done laughing he asked me if I was crazy. I just laughed and said that he noticed it quite quickly. He just smirked at me and was like, I knew that already. Good for you, I said, and that was that. Idiotic boy. I don’t understand what his problem is. Anyway, dinner was good…

Hahaha! Oh my god! I actually described him like that! I remember that incident quite well; it was the first time I spoke to Abhinav. I just didn’t remember thinking of him as the fat football guy during Aarti… Anyway, it must’ve been quite a big stereotype for me to keep calling him that again. Almost eight months after that incident I was recounting this incident to him on phone, as he sat shivering in Ranchi and I sat wrapped up in Mumbai. He didn’t believe me and was completely convinced that I was making this on the spot… I am quite good at making up stuff like that, I told him, but I swear I’m not lying this time! It’s written in my dairy somewhere! We laughed about this the entire conversation…

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Posted in Pandora's Box

That’s how?

Extract from the Diary of Vaidehi:

We were all supposed to go for sports for the first time that evening. Not many girls were up to that, but boys from my grade were playing football together. I knew some guys. One of them was this thin guy from Dubai called Prashant who claimed that he sucked at football. He really did; I laughed my head off while watching these guys play football! There was this other fat guy called Abhinav that I had been introduced to. He was behaving as if he was the God of football or something. Anyhow, it was entertaining to see these guys bond over football, though some of them were deliberately showing off because I was standing there and watching them. Maybe, that’s what made it more hilarious! Anyway, we had aarti soon…

Wait. I put the diary down. That’s how I described him first? Is that really what I thought of him? A fat guy who thought he was the God of football? I vaguely remember hating him, but this…? The thought was hilarious, and it could not be false. I had written it down myself. Abhinav… No one would believe my description if they saw him now. I myself didn’t believe that I had written this down, and if this was true then what happened to this nerdy looking guy I had first seen and immediately hated? I continued reading…

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I am Jal

I hardly ever fell in love with Mortals. I am far beyond their reach, far ahead than their capacity to comprehend, control or love. Yet, there have been some exceptions. The last time I fell in love was when I lay my eyes on a king when he was hunting. This young king captured my attention like no mortal ever had. I appeared in front of him, and eventually we consummated. I had been cursed to bring about the death of my first seven offspring. The eighth was Bheeshma, the uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas, one of the finest men mankind had seen. Many years, decades, centuries have passed since and I had yet to see another mortal worthy of me. I am Jal, the nectar of life and mortality. I am the creator and destroyer of these mortals. I am the reason they live and die. I am that which lives forever. I am the most beautiful being on Earth and all that I give nourishment is, in turn, beautiful.

And yet, I got obsessed by another mortal in the Kalyug. So black were those days, so ignorant the people that they kept poisoning me after innumerous warnings. I lashed them with Tsunamis and storms, floods and droughts. Ignorant humans! I had lost all hope and faith in these fickle beings that polluted me so brazenly! These creatures that I waited to wash out, and purge myself from! These beings that I withstood for so long because their death was eventual and imminent! These mortals that still had a part to play, and thus, must be forgiven and spared! Oh, how I waited for the one time I could purge the earth of these ungrateful wretches! I had seen no one pure enough in decades of waiting for one pure soul, one mortal whom I could love, who would give me a ray of hope to hold me together and control my emotions.

And then I saw him. Just a baby. As soon as they dipped him in me, I knew that there was something different about him. I did not know what yet; I had long lost my touch of humanity. But I was willing to find out everything about this mortal. The prayers that they were chanting as they dipped him in the stream behind that Devi mandir suggested that he feared me fiercely, and this was to be his cure for this phobia. A sudden urge gripped me. I had to make him love me! This one soul had to know me, love me and adore me! He had to be the one! I needed him!

They called him Vishesh, a suitable name for the big heart and infinite soul that he possessed.  I fell in love with his name, in awe of his soul’s willingness to overcome his fear, and his own childish innocence. I fell in love with him already as he was calmly seated in my lap and splashed around, wetting himself with my waters. I poured my heart out to his excited heart so I could bond with this mortal that I wanted to know completely. How had I not noticed him earlier I wondered; I was glad I did. I just started believing in ‘Better late than never’. Now that I had accomplished a bond with his soul, I could identify him anywhere.

I had started to feel human emotions again once as I kept a watch on Vishesh. The first years of his mortal life had been beautiful- he learnt to bathe, learnt to swim, learnt to fish and learnt to boat. He did not yet know the pangs of mortal love and jealousy. I had watched for too many generations of mankind rise and fall, and knew when he would begin to experience those pangs. He did, faster than I would like, and I felt jealous once more when he first fell in love with an inanimate being. It was a rainy day and I was in my most beautiful form. And there he was, standing and staring on the black box which he called a camera. Her name was Cannon and she stood on a shelf, not even acknowledging the existence of such a beautiful soul who had fallen in love with her at first sight. I could feel the rush he felt when he saw her. I could feel his dejection when he knew he could not afford her. Did he feel my jealousy because she had a physical form which I could not take? Did he feel my loathing because she chose to remain ignorant of his newly established love? Did he feel my dread as I thought of the possibility of him finally possessing him, as he later did? I felt so helpless that day, and so angry- that he chose to ignore my love for a person who chose to ignore his love- that I reared up a dark and muddy puddle and splashed myself all over him! I know he hated me that day, for I had broken his hazy reverence. But I couldn’t have him hurt by her.

After that moment, I felt so aggrieved by my own actions. It rained for two more days, there were floods in many lands and the seas were in turmoil. I felt so many emotions! My children- the lakes, rivers and seas- cried out and begged me to stop! I had attached myself to a mortal too much, and too quickly, they said. Relieve yourself, Oh Mother! Realize your duty once more!

The waters receded and so did my feelings. I realized my folly and the importance of my duty. I couldn’t have a mortal all for myself, and if he had to love me then he had to love me in his own way. I gave him some space after that.

I still don’t know if it was because of the space I gave him, or if he longed for the attention I showered him with, but he paid more attention to me then onwards. Maybe, though I hate to admit it, it could have been because of his inanimate love, Cannon. He carried her everywhere and she showed him sides of me that he wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. He went on to click pictures of me in all different forms and moods, and contributed his love of water and photography to the world as long as he lived. And for the few hundred of his mortal years I rejoiced in his love, as he rejoiced in my forms, and we had a quiet and deep pact made between us.

Posted in Pandora's Box

The Golden Pages

My eyes fell on the golden cover of the book that had preserved my initial Junior College memories. Before I reached out for it, I tried to remember what secrets the golden pages held. I tried for a few moments but then decided that it was better if I didn’t venture into this particular part of my life. I closed the red door of the book-cupboard and turned my back to it. But I had left a piece of conscience, heart, mind and piece between those golden pages.

I took my phone out of my shorts and wondered whom to call first. But what the hell? I would WhatsApp both of them and chat with them. I sent my message to both of them.

Me: I found my diary. Should I open it? I think there are things about him written in there but I’m not sure…

Suraj: Do you want to read it? The other things at least … I mean, you won’t find out till you find out.

Harshita: SURAJ! Shut up! Vaidehi, don’t even touch that book if it has the slightest possibility of his name being in there!

Me: I’m opening it… I wanna know if he’s in there, what I thought of him then…

Suraj: I knew it… 🙂

Harshita: I knew it! 😡

Me: Can’t help myself… But later if I…

Suraj: I’m here for you…

Harshita: Just call…

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Analyzing Two Pens

Pens are simple implements that aid the user to record any information on agreeable surfaces. Research into the field of development of pens has led to the manufacture of varieties within the product itself. The three major classifications that are widely held in the world today are fountain pens, ballpoint pens and gel pens. The cost of the pens signify the ease-of-use, custom design and the brand of the pen.

The two pens provided for this case study are gel pens of the same brand- Reynolds. Though the brand and costing of the pens are the same, there are differences in different aspects of the same pens. While Reynolds Jiffy Gel has a black refill, the Reynolds Mera Gel has a red refill. By social norms and the tendency of public usage, blue refills are generally more in use. However, for similar reasons and an ever-growing social notion the red gel pen is restricted to the maximum use of teachers, professors and similar higher authorities. Students, hence, tend to prefer a black gel pen (Jiffy) for their work. The number of students are naturally more in society, hence the sale will be more.

The making and style of the two pens is quite simple ad practical and holds no aesthetic value except for the red color of the Mera pen, which is eye-catching (according to numerous previous scientific studies). Practically, the design of the Mera gel would be handy for the rubber grip provided to the users. The rubber grip also has a design of some aesthetic value.

People generally prefer to own pens that have handles that do not break. In this case, the Jiffy pen is more suitable for it’s inbuilt handle, unlike the Mera pen’s externally attached handle.

The over-all conclusion is that the Jiffy is more user friendly with cost-effectiveness, practical design, comfortable grip and a preferred color as compared to the red Mera pen.