Lockdown tales – 2

Unable to meet in person, kiddo and her friends created a WhatsApp group to interact.

They had a discussion about something – few agreed and few didn’t. One kid left the group in dissent!

When I heard about it, I was surprised for a while… that’s something I had seen only with adults.

Then I realised, it’s a basic human emotion all the same.

When we used to play cricket, the kid with the bat used to control the dynamics. Offend him and he’d walk away with the bat. Unable to handle that, I pestered my parents to buy me a new bat… and I did my fair share of ‘walking away’ as well.

Amidst all that talk about technology changing lives, human emotions are the same.. and will remain so.

PS: I wish my parents had taught me how to deal with a situation like that instead of buying me a new bat.

Lockdown tales – 1

A volunteer joins a team to help people struggling during the lockdown. Identifies a septuagenarian couple and offers them help to procure daily essentials and medicines.

“Thank you, we’re fine,” they say.

Volunteer leaves, but is not convinced. Thinks they are hesitant in taking his help and he should be nicer in his next attempt.

“Very nice of you to ask again. But, no! We’re fine!”

Volunteer is not convinced. Another day, another attempt. Same story.

Now, the volunteer takes it personally. Thoughts run in his head. “What did I do wrong? Maybe they don’t like me. Or I was too pushy!….” He feels mildly rejected and starts avoiding them.

Few days later, the old couple do need help. They are uncomfortable in asking. “We turned him down several times, how can we go to him now? What will he think of us?”

However, the need is such that they decide to ask finally.

The volunteer paused for a moment, felt a wry smile inside his head. “Oh, I’m busy with WFH commitments today. This is the website. You could order there yourself. It’s pretty easy.”

Baggage of dreams

It was his first TEDx speech.

He rehearsed for yet another time on the way to the venue. A lot of people knew about his achievements already. This was his chance to let them know the story behind it – the pain and hardships he had to undergo to make it happen.

Not every seedling becomes a tree!

Dreams don’t just fructify out of thin air. They need intense effort, discipline and dedication. They need a lifetime of sacrifice. Stuff that people with broken spine simply cannot manage.  Continue reading

Tangled

Should I do it? Would I be able to live with the guilt? I kept thinking.

My mind wandered to the day when I first met her.

I work as a consulting neurologist and movement disorder specialist here. It would have been just another day in the hospital, but for this particular case.

Adhira was referred to me by our neurology resident Dr Kumar.

Continue reading

The bank loan

Part I

I received a memo from head office today. It makes me nervous.

They have marked Surya homes private limited as a red-flagged account and have asked me to prepare a report for the Central Fraud Monitoring Cell.

Making it worse is the fact that this case will be directly reviewed by our Deputy General Manager, Mr Bharat, a long-timer in the bank known especially for his honesty. Continue reading

திருடன் – a short story

“ஏன்டா! உனக்கு இதெல்லாம் தேவையா? படிச்ச பையன் தானே நீ!”

“இல்ல சார், இந்த ஒரு தடவ விட்டுருங்க சார், தெரியாம பண்ணிட்டேன்!”

“என்னடா தெரியாம பண்ணிட்ட?! விசயத்த பாத்தா ரொம்ப ப்ளான் பண்ணியில்ல செஞ்ச மாதிரி இருக்கு? இதுக்கு முன்னாடி மாட்டியிருக்கியா?”

Continue reading

The fortune cookie

A sketch by my daughter that actually inspired this story (and perhaps this post)

“You’ll soon be with someone you truly love,” her friend read the fortune cookie aloud after snatching it from her.

She tried to smile, but her inability showed as she snatched it back and stashed it away. She turned her face towards the window and wiped a silent tear. They all turned silent. Continue reading

Shutter jam

I am a professional photographer.

Strange things are happening around me! I cannot explain it yet.

I think it all started after that particular client meeting on August 5th. The meeting was a disaster!

We met at CCD. The old man wanted a photographer for his daughter’s wedding and had asked for my portfolio.

I would have been fine if he had simply rejected me. He rubbed it in by laughing at my photos. “Enappa idhu? Ondu photo’nu nettagae illaa!”, he pushed the sample album aside with a smirk on his face.  It was the most humiliating moment in my career! He didn’t even pay the coffee bill, I had to.

What a jerk!

As he got into his car, I took my camera out. For some reason, I wanted to take his picture.

I pressed the shutter button. It didn’t work. Damn!

The shutter button had gotten jammed. I took it to the service centre. The technician took it in. He came back after 10 minutes and said he didn’t find anything wrong with the camera. The shutter button worked just fine.

“Really?”, I asked. Continue reading

The last novel

“Which idiot is calling me at 2am?”, he muttered annoyingly as the phone rang, piercing the silence of the night.

“Hhhelloo?”

“Listen to me carefully, Simon. Don’t waste time trying to understand whats happening now. There’s been a murder… your best friend Vishal is dead. Dress up immediately. Go to 14th cross and locate a brown coloured Maruti Omni. They are running away. Go now… gooooo”

“Whhh, whoo is this!?”

Dead tone. The person on the other side hung up.

He called Vishal immediately.

“The number you are trying to reach is switched off”, an automated voice answered.

“Smitha, Smithaaa, get up! Get up!”, he nervously shouted.

“What is it? Another emergency case?”, Smitha woke up annoyed by her husbands sudden action. “It’s time you quit your police job!”.

“No, this is serious. Someone called me and said Vishal is dead. His phone is switched off too. I need to go and check.”

“Ah.. that guy! Might be a prank of his. Or another attempt to create content for another novel that no one wants!!”

“Smithaa, don’t waste my time. There was something strange about that voice. It didn’t sound like a prank call. Oh, Smithaa, there’s no time. I am leaving now.” Continue reading