India 2020

A chill ran down my spine as I barged-in on this land after 16 yrs, with a box of my Dad’s ashes. Sooner than the nostalgic aura could impinge me, my ego disgusted on Dad’s last wish to be flew in the Ganges.

How finicky I had been about this place, INDIA.

Waiting for my luggage at the airport, I sat on a chair. A child next to me was engrossed in reading the newspaper, to which I peeked in and murmured in mordancy, “Aahh! This developing country will never make-a-fortune!”

He gave me an excruciating glance, “Sir, do you know India’s GDP grew this year by 17.8%?”

I gave a void gesture.

He continued, “India ranks 1st in farm output and 2nd largest agricultural exporter. 83.5% of rural areas have been developed in infrastructure with reliable water and electric supplies featuring add on of 150000 MW.

Indian literacy rate scaled to 94.73% while malnutrition depressed to 21%. Unemployment stats abated to 3.4%. Urbanization escalated to 38.7% and outwits as 4th best corruption perception index scorer in the world.

ITU projects major phase of 6G technology by Q3 this year. ISRO’s PSLV-C38 Rocket puts into orbit record 33 satellites and launches INSAT -5DR.

Numerous running metros, rail and solar plant projects; Agni VIII and Prithvi V have been launched successfully.

He breathed in assent and I was jaw-struck. He then stood up in jounce, giving me a brazen look,

Child: “I got to leave Sir. By the way, India is no more a developing country, it stands 1among the 53developed ones today. And I am Krishna, heading to The States to represent my INDIA in International Mathematical Olympiad.

He left soon, but what he actually left was a mirage in my heart of what late Dr. Kalam visioned 2decades back. That, this is INDIA 2020!!

Jana zaroori tha..

“Sahab ji, aapse ek baat puchun?”

Saamne rakhi milne aane walon ki register pe sign kar rahe Arnav se vahan ke chaukidaar ne bebaak hi ye sawaal kar lia tha.

“Haan kaka, puchiye na”.

“Aap pichhle 1saal se lagatar har mahine ke akhri ravivar ko yahan aate hain, saara din rehte hain aur shaam ko chale jaate hain. Kaun hai aisa apka jisse milne aap aate hain? Itne log rehte hain yahan par koi kisi se milne nahi aata is pagalkhaane me aur wo bhi lagatar to bilkul bhi nhi”.

Kuch muskuraate hue Arnav ne kaha, “Kaka log apni duniya me khush hain islye shayad kisi apne ke yahan hone se fark nhi padta, par meri to duniya hi yhin hain, fir kaise na aun main?”

Ye keh kar, apne chashme ko thoda thik krte hue wo sidhe ward no. 82 me ghus gya.

“Arnav baba, humko malum tha tum aata hi hoga islye to hum isko jaldi se ready kar dia”, ward incharge ne Arnav ko dekh kar kaha.

“Thank you sister. Ab main jaun usse milne?” “Haan haan baba jao aap, koi disturb nhi krega.” Ye keh kar sister wahan se hanste hue chali gai.

Arnav muskura to raha tha par use us halat me dekhna bardaasht nhi tha use. Kya kasoor tha us masoom ka jo chanchal mann hote hue bhi aaj shaant thi.

Wo saamne bed pe leti thi, baal khule, kuch safed se ho gae the, aankein patthar ho gai thi, aur safed kapdon me bas lipti hui bejaan pdi thi Arnav ki duniya uski nazron ke saamne. Haan, Arnav ki duniya, uski Khushi.

Bagal ki chair bed ke paas khinch ke Arnav jaise hi baithha, Khushi ne ungliyan hila di jaise keh ri ho, kitni derr lga dete ho tum aate aate.

“Haan, haan Madam, aa gya main. Aur ye dekho tumhari favourite ice-cream bhi lekar aya hun.”

Arnav janta tha ki Khushi aaj bhi koi jawab nhi degi par fir bhi use ye ehsaas nhi dilana chahta tha ki wo zindagi ke aise padaav pe hai jahan khud se baithh bhi nhi sakti.

Uske safed kapde dekh ke Arnav ka mann jaise har baar tukdon me ho jata, kya ye vahi Khushi hai jise rangon se itna pyaar tha, narangi aur gulabi rang ke to itne kapde hua karte the uske pas ki sale hi lag jae. Kya sach me Khushi ke baal itte safed ho gae the, jo humesha kaha karti thi ki apne baal na lambe kar ke burgundy colour karvaungi main. Ye vahi Khushi thi jo din bhar itna bolti ki chup karana mushkil ho jata tha, aaj wo itni shaant kyun pad gai hai? Kyun wo rang chle gae uski zindagi se? Kyun wo chaah ke bhi muskura nahi pa rhi hai? Kahin na kahin iska kasoorwaar wo khud ko hi manta tha.

Arnav ne bahut hi pyaar se usse baatein kar kar ke ice-cream khilayi, pure ek mahine ki baatein sunai, khud hi hansta, khud hi hasane ki thodi koshishein karta. Par Khushi yunhi leti rehti, bejaan si.

“Khushi, tumko wo saari ki showroom yaad hai jo ghar ke raaste me padta tha aur tum roz gaadi me kehti ye wali zyada achi hai, wow uska color kitna acha hai, jaise aadat me tha wo mod tumhare aur tumhare hi chakkar me mujhe aadat pad gai thi jab bhi guzarta hun to saree zrur dekhta hun vahan ki. Vaise aaj kal vahan dummy pe bht hi sundar pink and orange colour ki saree lgi hui hai, koi bolega to le ja sakta hun main shopping karane.”

Khushi par jaise asar hi nhi tha in baaton ka fir bhi Arnav laga rehta uske saamne apna dil khol kar rakhne me.

“Khushi, vaise main bahut gussa hun tumse, roz roz subh call karke utha dene ki jo aadat daal thi yahan tumne, foreign ja ke bas har subh tumhari baatein yaad aati thi, ki roz main late karta tha aur ye ladki late kar dye ho ye wo chillate rehti thi mujhpe. Haan maafi bhi mangna chahta hun, har roz tumhe late karva deta tha, tumne to kabhi kami ni chhodi mujhe waqt ka paband banane me, main hi kabhi samajh nahi paya ki waqt rett ki tarah behta hai. Meri Dhanno to aaj bhi intezaar kar ri hai ki uski madam kab baithhengi hava se baatein karte hue chillate rhengi.

Kya ho gaya hai ye Khushi tumhe? Main pyaar karta hun tumse aur humesha krunga, din raat ghante seconds, shayad yhi wajah hai jo har mahine ke last Sunday tumse date karne aata hun foreign se. Meri to saari khushiyan tum ho, mera inspiration, meri strength sab tum ho, fir humare darmiyaan ye kaise faasle aa gae.”

Ankhon ko kuch pochte hue usne aage kaha,

“Tumhe ek baat btaun, wo suji ka halva bahut tasty banaya tha tumne, main to yunhi chhed raha tha ki acha khana ni banane aata tumhe.

Tum samjhi hi nahi itni pagal thi. Tumhe kya lagta hai main samajhta nhi tha ki tum apne chacha chachi ke bartaav se preshan rehti thi. Ve tumpe roz is qadar prataadit karte hain ki tum uth ni pati un baaton se. Main to saath dena chahta tha, fir kyun mujhse ladai ki aur majbur kia sab chhod ke jane ke liye?

Main to tumhari ek muskurahat ke liye kya nhi kar deta Khushi? Tumhe yaad hai na, har function ke pehle tum sir khate rehti thi mera, jeetna hai bas jeetna hai mujhe keh keh ke tang kar dia karti thi, jungli billi ki tarah aur hum dono ka luck itna acha rehta ki har bar pehle puri raat ladai krte aur subh se tum mere sir pe khadi rehti- aae kyun ni ab tak, ye chahye wo karna hai aur fir har baar jeet ke jo khushi tumhare chehre pe rehti na, kayal ho jata main to uska.”

Ye kaisa rishta tha, jahan pyaar to tha par dard se kam. Ek taraf Khushi jo apne dard apne me hi rakhti chli gai, aur dusri taraf na jaante hue bhi Arnav un dard pe marham lagate chla gya.

Kaun janta tha ki wo milenge, fir milenge par faasle itne ho jaenge ki na jiya jaega na hi raha jaega.

Kuch faisle zindagi badalte hain to kuch humein khud badal dete hain. 3 saal ho gae un yaadon ko fir bhi yaadein reh hi jati hain.

Unke bich ki in barfili baaton ka koi or chhor naa tha ab. 2 saal ho gae the dono ko alag hue, aur 1saal se Khushi depression me chali gai thi, uske ghar walon ne use pagal khaane laake rakh dia tha. Kuch doston se pata chala tha uski haalat ke baare me to daudta hua Arnav milne chala aya tha. Aur fir har mahine hi ata, usse baatein karta, purani bisri baatein yaad dilata, is koshish me ki ek bar wo uthegi aur uski Khushi ki tarah chehkegi. Par na wo waqt aa raha tha na wo muskurahatein. Haan wahan ki ward incharge batati thi ki kabhi kabhi raat me Khushi diwaron pe kuch likhti thi aur subh tak mita deti thi, shayad use hosh ata ho par kuch derr ki hi baat hti thi. Arnav ne shadi ke baare me socha hi nahi kabhi, aur jabse Khushi ke bare me jana to sochne ki kalpana bhi nhi ki thi. Haan uspe gussa zrur ata use ki kaash mera saath de deti to use aaj sabse khush rakhta par jo bhaagya me likha hota hai use koi mita nhi sakta.

Arnav ke jaane ka samay ho gya tha. Bahut hi bhari mann se jate hue Khushi ka hath pakad lia usne- “Khushi ye haath mujhe apni zindagi me chahye, humesha ke liye. Tum sirf meri ho. Aur mera pyaar hi tumhe vapas meri Khushi bna dega. Tumhe chhod ke yun jane ka mann to nahi hota hai par tumne majboor bana dia hai mujhe. Har bar wo akhri raat yaad aati hai jab tumhare sath baithh ke taare dekh raha tha, tum bhi chup thi main bhi chup tha. Bas ansu nhi ruk pa rahe the. Mujhe agli subh niklna jo tha. Aaj lagta hai tumhari is haalat ka zimmedar main hun. Tum to humesha se pagal hi thi, par maine kyun saath chhod dia tumhara? Sirf ladai kar li tumne islye? Itne kamzor ho gya mera pyaar. Main fir aunga, aur umeed karta hun ki mujhe meri Khushi jaldi hi mil jaegi.”

Ye keh ke Arnav chala gya, sister aa to gai thi par har bar ki tarah Arnav ki ankhein dekh kar kuch keh ni pai.

“Khushi tum kaisa hai, Arnav baba tumko itna pyaar karta hai, tum uske liye to thik ho hi sakta hai na. Wo tumse milne itni dur se ata hai, maine dekha hai uski ankhon me jaise tumhare alava koi chahye ich ni usko. Fir tum kyun nhi jaldi thik hota hai re baba. Hum to aisa ladka aaj tak nahi dekha, tum ko to happy hona chahye aur jaldi jaldi thk hona chahye”.

Sister Khushi ko daant rhi thi, pta nhi wo daant thi ya pyaar tha.

Agli subh Arnav ki flight thi. Abhi 1 ghante the check in karne me. Tabhi Arnav ki maa ka phone aya- “Main janti thi tum India me hi hoge aaj ki subh. Kaisi hai wo?”

Maa ki in baaton ko sunn kar Arnav bas itna hi keh paya- “Bahut khubsoorat hai Maa”.

“Tumse baaton me kab jeet paungi main. Laut rahe ho? EK adh din ki chhutti lke yahan bhi aa jate.”

“Aunga Maa, apni Khushi ke sath aunga, jaldi hi.”

“Main intezaar karungi, thik se jana vapas aur khabar kar dena apne pahunchne ki.”

Maa ka phone rakh ke abhi kuch soch bhi pata Arnav ki fir se phone bajne laga.

“Arnav Baba, jaldi se aa jao, Khushi.. Khushi…”

Bas itni hi awaaz aai ki Arnav ko jaise jahan mil gya tha. Uske saare sapne pure hone wale the. Khushi thik ho gai thi. Pagalon ki tarah sab bhul kar daud hi gya jaise wo. Mann me itni kalpanayein lke jaise yakeen hi nahi ho ra tha ki Maa se jo kaha abhi ki jaldi hi Khushi ko lke aega wo pura hone wala tha, uski Khushi use milne wali thi, wo muskurahat dubara dikhne wali thi jispe wo baar baar marr chuka tha, wo awaaz fir se uske kaano me aane wali thi jise sunne ko itna intezaar kia usne.

Wahan pahunch kar aaj to sign bhi nhi kia Arnav ne, kaka awaaz dete reh gae par jab zindagi yun kadam pe sab kuch rakh de to dhadkanon ko kaun rok pata hai.

Andar sabki awaazein aa ri thi, ward incharge, asylem head, room cleaner sab aaj ward no. 82 me khade the. Daudte hue jab Arnav wahan pahuncha to saamne uski Khushi baithhi thi. Ab bhi utni hi khubsurat lag rahi thi jaisa wo use chhod ke chala gya tha.

Par ye kya, uski awaaz nahi aa rhi thi, wo hans nhi rhi thi, aaj to uski patthar hui ankhein bhi band thi aur ansu ki ek dhara ankhon se kaano tak nishaan bnai thi jaise raat bhar bht roi ho pagal aur chup ho gai ho. Arnav ki duniya kuch ghanton me badal gai thi, ya yun kahun ki khatm hi ho gai thi. Khushi ne aatmhatya kar li thi. Arnav bhaagta hue use apni godd me le lia aur cheekh ke rone laga. Us sannate me sirf Arnav ka dard bol raha tha, jise Khushi ab sunn bhi nhi skti thi.

Pyaar kaisi chiz hoti hai, hum badi badi cheezon me pyaar dhundhte hain, khushiyan dhundhte hain par wo to un chhoti si muskurahaton me hoti hai jo saamne wale ke chehre pe apki wajah se hai. Kabhi hum pyaar ka intehaan lene lagte hain par jab palat ke pyaar intehaan leta hai to zindagi jaise bikhar si jati hai.

Ye kaisa manjar tha, abhi to sochne lag gya tha koi deewana ki uski zindagi vapas aa gai, aur abhi sirf cheekhein gunj ri hain uski. Wo apni Khushi ko baahon me lene ka intezaar jaane kabse hi kar raha tha, suna tha kabhi ki jisse pyaar karo wo apki baahon me ho to saansein thamm jati hain, par itni thamm gai Khushi ki saansein ye yakeen na tha.

Sister ne kuch sambhala use aur kaha ki aaj pehli bar Khushi ne diwaar pe kuch likha aur mitaya nhi hai, shayad uske liye hi likh pai wo aakhri shabd.

Arnav ne khud ko sambhaalte hue diwar ki taraf dekha, aur jo padha usse peeda itni badh gai ki shayad bachi hui saansein kam pad jaengi apni takleef bhulaane ke liye.

“Arnav,

Main janti thi tum zaroor aoge, mujhse lade bina sukun kahan milta tha tumhe. Par pta ni kab hanste hanste main itni chup ho gai Arnav.

Hum itna lade, itte ache dost rahe, tumhe bhi pata tha ki mere ghar ki sthiti kaisi hai, wo to bas kisi tarah khush rehne ki koshish kar leti thi main. Aaj bhi ladungi ki humesha chicken bnate the na jab pta tha main nhi khati hun aur main kuch bna dun to itne nakhre ki ye ni acha wo ni acha.

Kyun chale gae tum, bina koi shabd kahe?

Tumhare jane ke baad jaise mujhe hasne ki wajah hi nhi mili kabhi aur main kab hasna bhul gai pta hi nhi chala mujhe. Tumhari tarah strong nahi thi main, jhallad hi thi bas ghar tod ni sakti thi par khud ko todti gai aur kab bejaan ho gai pta hi nhi chala.

Dekho na aaj jab aae ho to main patthar ho chuki hun. Main jeena nhi chahti, kyun har bar tumhari aankhon me sirf pyaar dikhta hai, par wo pyaar jiske liye tha ab main vaisi reh nhi gai. Shayad main kabhi bol na paun, shayad kabhi hans na paun, fir tumhara mujhse ab to dur rehna hi sahi hai.

Bas ek sawal jehan me humesha reh jaega Arnav, kya jana zaroori tha? Kya ruk nhi sakte the? Aur mujhe jane ki khabar bhi tab di jab rok nhi sakti thi.

Mera kaha manna, tumhari Khushi tabhi khush hogi, itne aage jaana ki mere aur apne dono ke sapne pure kar pao.

Aur haan, kasam me nhi bandhungi, par agar ho paya to shadi kar lena, shayad wo meri tarah pagal na ho.

Jab dard hadd se zyada badh jata hai to saare ehsaas khatm ho jate hain, reh jata hai to sirf adhurapan, bas ab aur jee nhi sakti, tumhari ankhon me mujhe dekh ke jo takleef hoti hai wo ab dekh nhi paungi.

Mujhe maaf kar do har takleef ke liye, mujhe maaf kar do meri har bhool ke liye.

 

Tumhari Khushi…

 

Bas itni si hi to baat kehni thi, na Arnav Khushi ko takleef me dekh saka na khushi use. Fir kyun aksar hum aisi galtiyan kar dete hain, ki jisse pyaar ho use zahir na kar sakein? Kyun jana zaruri ho jata hai thheherna nahi? Kyun pyaar ka sach tabhi pta chalta hai jab manzil nahi mil pati? Waqt rehte jee lene me kya takleef ho jati hai, waqt rehte izhar karne me kya takleef ho jati hai? Kya pyaar karte hain soch lena hi kafi hai, use nibhana nahi?

Sneh to mann ka hota hai, fir itna kamzor kaise ki chhoti chhoti ladai jhagde se khatam ho jae?

Ye sawal agar khatm ho jaen, to koi deewana roega nahi aur koi pagal ladki apni jaan yun vyarth hi nahi de degi.

Conversation between you as a reporter and Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam……..

I never had this restlessness within, but it was worth. Hastily, I just entered the room where I was fortuned to interview the “MISSILE MAN of India”. A chill slipped down my spine as I saw the most serene face, a handsome man with lines of galvanized empiricism and a million dollars smile in his ‘Kalam coat’.
I smiled in bestir and took my seat. He rewarded me with his smile.
Me: “mmmmm errr, Sir, shall I, no, shall we…..”
Kalam Ji: “Lady, if I would have been married in my young days, I would surely have had a daughter of your age. Consider that and you may start with your interview dexterously.”
His syllables were enough for me to gain my nerves.
Me: “Sir, if this is so and as we all know you are so much fond of kids, opportunate me to begin with the ever wondered question, why didn’t you marry?
Kalam ji (jocularly): “If I had married, I would never have achieved even half of what I have managed now. I was too busy in work and didn’t find time to get married. Henceforth, have kept nothing for me, neither wife nor children and earthly possessions”.
Me: “Well, that would inspire many. What ideations do you carry in mind when you sleep at night, Sir?”
Kalam ji: “Transformation of India into a developed country and smiles on the faces of my people. That is my dream”
Me: “You have made India believe it can be a superpower, how do you envisage the boiling blood of youth will accord to it?”
Kalam ji: “Youth needs to be channeled to a prolific task like INDIA VISION 2020. They have to be inspired with the feeling that “I can do it”, “we can do it” and “the nation can do it”.”
Me: “Sir, you have been matured to this gray hair now, still how do you connect with students so well?
Kalam ji: “Same age, lady”. (Laughing)
Me: “Sir, tell us about some incident in your life, which can be a morale booster to many students and youngsters?”
Kalam ji: “My life, which has been long and eventful, has seen great heights of success and failures. You will have to read my autobiography “Wings of fire” to know all what inspired me throughout.
Me: “Sir, how come you are such a transparent person?”
Kalam ji: “My belief is that the nation has to be bigger than the individual and the individual has to work for the nation. Working for oneself is not transparency, but once you put the nation above you, you become one. ”.
Me: “Sir what is the main terror that threatens the development of our country?
Kalam ji: “Ignorance!!”
Me: “You are so perfect in your words, that every bit of it has ignited minds in various arenas. What would you like to convey them?”
Kalam ji: “Visualize whether the experience and education will embellish you to give to being human; probably that is your stage of performance. As a young citizen of India, armed with technology, knowledge and love for the nation, I realize that small aim is a crime.”
Me: “Thank you so much Sir for your valuable time and words”.
Kalam ji: “If you really want to thank me, explore and contribute in making a developed India by 2020. It is not just a vision in minds, rather a mission that we can all take up and succeed”.
We ended with the conversation; everyone applauded and gathered around him.
He left soon, but what he actually left is the impression in hearts, to explore, to achieve, to aim, to win. Let every Indian be the next KALAM so as to make India a guiding light for the world.

#won1stprizeforwritingthisblogatNOKIANOIDA

Sporting with the corporates……..

After dining and ensorcelling here I come upon sporting with the executives… :-p
Who says corporate life is a 24*7 depressed and well-dressed frame of mind? Naaahh.. not me.. Executives aren’t personified laptops, they are humans too; they too bestow within them the whirlpool of vivacity. All you need is a little boost up…
The fervor started 2weeks back but natural showers did not make the event realize, hence the gusto doomed and the event got postponed. Once the spirit is actuated on high but is decelerated eventually loses its impetuosity, same was with us.
But then spondulicks speak :-p (Payments were done for the next scheduled day, ab to baarish ho ya baadal garje ana to hai Boss..).
I had collywobbles as there was lesser availability of girloz in our team and every game needed them (Women emPOWERment you know!). There were 4 teams- TITANS, FALCONS, CHEETAHS and THUNDERBOLTS (Woww jotting them down sounds am a member of some IPL team :-p) and fortunately I was a TITAN….
The morning started with beamish smiles.. We reached Genesis school at 8.30… And then the regular attendance (not that gooooodd moorrniiiinnggg Sir/Mam, but the counting of heads to mark on punctuality…) which followed with light breakfast.
We had our 1st match against CHEETAHS in volley ball… And we lost drastically… But but but… Aaye hain to leke jaenge, and yes we won against CHEETAHS in next kho-kho, cricket, circuit run (Sorry CHEETAHS but could’nt help :-p :-p :-p )
Believe me, am a novice for cricket who doesn’t even know the C of it, but sat beside the scorer and blared out of zeal….
Circuit run was one more exciting one, we did crunches, push-ups, skipping, sit-ups and ran and ran and screamed with amain.
Tug-of-war, I guess I shouldn’t state anything (as far as I remember exactly, the moment we started to hold the rope we were pulled badly, crudely, laughingly and must say FALCONS you did that dumm laga ke haisha part stupendously).
Winning Circuit run and the father of all sports –Cricket, made us hoot, scream, howl- TITANSSSSS TITANS… The gush of sprouting excitement and emotions was eyesome.
We posed for various photography and those which weren’t posed were even better ones. With delicious and hygienic luncheon we enjoyed, laughed and screeched our heart out.
And you guys, the TITANSSSSS TITANS- Sanjeev Sir, Amit, Ankit, Raj, Prem Sir, Ashok Sir, Abhishek, Abhishek, Abhishek (No ways. Its not the Ekta Kapoor effect.. They were 3 different individuals :-p : -p), Prateek, Dishant, Shipra, Hiba, Aarti, Aarushi, Hasmeet, Puneet, Mayank, Nitin Sir, Nikhil, Kanwarjeet, Modi (please forgive me if I missed any name) really really rocked in every event.
#onemorememorabledayaddedtomycorporatechapterhappysporting

Ensorcelling with the “EXECUTIVES”…………

La Chicas and El Chicos…. Executive parties are irksome?? Actually not always…
Yeah.. I actually happened to be a part of such double quoted cocktails. And well my experience was sterling.
It was Monday evening, 13th October 2014 (No no 13s are not always villainous). Along with my seniors, I too was opportunate to attend the cocktail on the eve of procurement of 2 major projects.
I believe it was a proud moment for me as I was the only one with just 10months of work-ex, rest all were senior and ofcourse, highly senior …… We summed up our work by 5 in the evening and left.
Decorticating the setting rays and glooming night lights (Am literally toxicated to gazing at the stars on black velvet sheets of sky, being hemmed in street lights ), witnessing the yellow head lights in a row and red tail lights in another row separated by huge road dividers from the curve of highway was one of the noticeable feature that evening… Of course I had that smiling curiosity that even that heavy traffic seemed scenic.
Crossing god knows what count of tolls, covering UP, Delhi and Haryana (Wow 3 states in just 1 evening ) and the JLN stadium where the National Football match was on hype (Ohh gosh I saw those lightings which we we reached DUSIT DEVARANA, a resort, I mean an exotic one. Oh my my I saw a blood red Chevrolet, parked alone in the arena (I still wish I could have stolen it 😉 )
We met numerable dignitories whom we only heard on conference calls.. And believe me I repeated- Namrata Baranwal, CSSC SDM with that extra stretched smile and formal ;-p handshakes erratic times (How much do I desire to order “Peppy paneer pizza, large size with extra cheese and mouse cake”, same tone ahha!! for all those number of times)… We tried the starter cuisines and juices (Yeahh I know it was a cocktail party, but m still a kiddo by heart and don’t have the guts to even hold a glass of champagne or wine, whatever it was)
Along with my seniors, I walked through the lanes of the resort, although much dark but the place was impeccable. And indeed it made me realise am still single ;-p ;-p Coz the aura on the sidelines of pool and island structures were worth romanticizing.
And then some sort of speeches about the journey till the win win by the heads.. some were absolutely mind breaking as I got to know under what pressure these highly paids are…
We even enjoyed the after-drunk phase of a senior who is a hard-core non-vegetarian and his whimsical gestures calling the waiters for the non-veg starters (GOOFUS!!).
Eventually dined on lasagne, cottage cheese stuffs etc etc… And there was a complete different scenario in the Ball room…
Astonishing, confounding, startling and what not… The, yes the THE executives danced on the beats like:- “tutak tutak tutak tutiya”, “tere bina kick mujhe milti nhi” , “subh hone na dein, ek dusre ko hum sone na dein, main tera hero” and the tracks of Honey Singh…. God, in a typical baraati way (Please don’t kill me for this adjective :-p )
And finally covering 3 states in just an evening as I said above, we reached home in the morning by 12.30 am…
Immemorable evening though

“Dinner date with my…..”

It wasn’t completely morning yet, but there was some turbulence down the lane. I looked outside through my window pane, birds did start to chirp but more than that I could hear some wordings, some cries, some fear, some smiles, some laughters, some anger, some care as if there was a repeat telecast of a daily soap after 2 long decades.
When I couldn’t handle the sudden jerk to my heart, I just rolled to hug my husband tight, lying beside me.
I had a dinner date tonight, with one of the most handsome man I have ever known (of course not my beloved spouse).
My husband left for his office, my kids to their classes, I took a leave and impulsively got over with all the chores. I started dressing up for the evening in my most precious suit, although it was too old and rugged still it looked the most beautiful in my wardrobe. Mirrors never lie and I still looked enthralling, especially through the eyes which my date would eye on me.
I told my family I’d be a bit late today but couldn’t gain my nerves to tell them the truth, may be couldn’t accept that I am going to meet him after 22 long long years.
I reached to the restaurant and directly to the table he mentioned in his message.This was one of the toughest journeys of my life from my home to this place, and the even tougher was from the entrance towards him. Each step went heavier and heavier with the encumber of emotions, and my heartbeat rose to god knows what count.
We greeted each other, he asked me to take my seat. We didn’t speak for a while; he was continuously glancing at me that made me a little uncomfortable.
He broke the silence, “You have grown up to be very beautiful”. I didn’t know how to respond on this compliment, best was to smile.
“What would you like to have Sir/Ma’am?”
He passed me the menu, as he always used to do and I was the one who always used to order at restaurants. My eyes were gazing at the menu; I turned towards the waiter, “One half chowmein, half fried rice and one full veg Manchurian.”
I saw him smiling, and I loved it that he remembered it too.
“So, how are your sisters doing?”
“Oh, they are doing well in their lives. What about you?”
“I am with my wife now, having 2 sons who are currently studying abroad. And am pretty happy in my life.” I saw a grin on his face when he used the word happy.
“My husband and I are leading a good life with both of us working at good profile, have a daughter who is up to schooling.” We dined and conversed, with a sense of hesitation. He was the same man, a bit dominant in his words, bit over cared, but was still one of the most handsome ones in the world, His grey lines of experience on his face and those loose skin under eyes(for which he as always bothered) grew to be old and old.
It was one of my beautiful nights ever. While departing, he smiled and hugged me. My heart skipped a beat.
We bid adieu, and the last words I said while waving my hands was, “I have always loved you, Papa
And more than that, I have missed your presence in my life.”
P.S. – 2 years later, I heard of his funeral, I didn’t feel like going but something in me just pushed me.
I couldn’t see him for the last time as his sons cremated before I reached, but they handed me a box which he left for me. I opened the box, it contained all those birthday cards we sisters gave him while we were kids, that black teddy bear which carried a heart scribbled “BEST DAD” (when I was 10 or 11 we bought this for him and the heart had I love you written on it, we painted it dark red and wrote BEST DAD, Oh I still remember this…), there were pale letters that I used to write him from hostel and then there was a fresh piece of paper that said,
“My beta,
I know I couldn’t be the best father for you, but you have always been my best child. I regret for the losses and sufferings you had to face at a stage where you needed me the most. You might not know but I have always had complete information about all you girls of mine. And I must say, your daughter is as sweet and loving as you have been, I am the ice-cream uncle who met her every Saturday. And you have chosen the right life partner for you, he has always respected me and informed me about all of you, and yes, he loves you more than I do. Beta, I was happy to see you after so long that night, even happier to see you wore the last dress I could buy for you when you were 23, although you didn’t like it much. You can’t imagine what that night meant to me, and how happy I was.
I have always tried to have mangoes and gulab jamuns in my fridge, so that whenever I opened it I was reminded that I have been gifted with a wonderful child.
My man ego and that disgusting anger stopped me to talk to you girls, and even when I came to know you contacted your mother, I was even filled with much anger. I did marry again and had sons. But child, I missed you, I know you too would have. By the time you would be reading this, I may not be there to wipe off your tears, have not been although since 2 decades. Some of my precious belongings that have always linked me to you are here in this box. All I could sum up is, Beta I love you a lot. Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother and a perfect lady and making me proud of you always, always.
Your doomed Papa”
I screamed and wept and wept my heart out……