Friday, April 20, 2018

Rishikesh



I closed my eyes and chanted 'Aum.'

A revered spiritual guru had organized a 3 day Meditation Camp, and people flocked in large numbers. I was one of them.

I had come to Rishikesh for a special mission, to do what I was afraid of. I needed all my will power.

Three hours later, I was walking towards the bank of the Ganges with my friends. They were all excited about river rafting, while I was scared.

However, it was a different experience today. I never knew I could befriend water so easily.

I had finally captured my fears.


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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quilon



They reached Quilon by noon.

"Welcome aboard," the Captain greeted.

Backwaters! She felt at home.

The houseboat waded along Astamudi Lake. Suddenly, a thunderstorm erupted out of nowhere. With no time to anchor, the boat overturned.

The crew hung on to their life jackets. Her husband was caught unaware, and struggled to stay afloat.

She swam faster, and brought him on shore. Her husband was unconscious, but he would be fine.

She was, however, worried he would know her secret. The mermaid had to dry herself before he regained consciousness, so that her tail would again turn into legs.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Puri



I was 15, he 10. Our parents had taken us for Rathyatra, the biggest festival in Puri, and the crowd pulled him away.

Frantic searches lead to nowhere. My brother was lost.

I got married a week ago, and my husband insisted we take our blessings at Lord Jagannath's Temple. So here I was again, reluctant.

We offered our prayers and came out, when we saw a young man distributing food to poor. Those eyes. That smile. I knew them. His face turned towards me, and our childhood returned.

I found my brother, and also my faith in God.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ooty



I have counted mists like pearls on seabed, careless, beautiful. A slight drizzle, and my counting broke.

I woke up with a jolt. Nathan was sleeping peacefully beside me. It was just yesterday that we reached Ooty, but it seemed a lifetime now.

I walked towards the mirror. Outside it rained. Inside, parched. I touched the glass, and the surface reverberated. As the ripples died, Nathan was smiling at the other side.

I stepped into the mirror, our souls met. Behind, two bodies rested on bed. Lifeless.

We should have held on, trusted ourselves. In death, however, we united.


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Monday, April 16, 2018

Noida



It was Sam's first day at SmartTech, a Noida based IT firm. He was surprised as he entered. There were robots all around. He was greeted by one such robot and taken to a cabin.

Suddenly, the cabin door shut, with Sam inside.

"Hey. Open the door!" he shouted.

"Welcome to SmartTech, where AI meets Reality. Please hang on while we extract your brain, and replace it with AI," the robot replied.

He was scared, and then noticed, the robots walking around were actually humans, with their brains replaced with AI.

He was going to become one of them.


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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mumbai



His movie was releasing all over the country. He took his Mom for the First Day First Show screening. Being from a poor family, his mother had never visited a cinema hall. He wanted her to witness his success today.

The cinema hall was packed. Audience clapped in almost every scene.

Post the climax, his Mom asked, "The movie was nice, but where are you in it?"

He pointed towards the screen. The end credits rolling out had his name in bold: "Spot Boy: Vikas Anand."

His Mom had never been happier. Her son had made it into Bollywood.


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Friday, April 13, 2018

Lucknow


Rohan, 13, was on a trip to Lucknow with his parents.

At Bada Imambara, he rushed towards Bhool Bhulaiya, a labyrinth of  thousand passageways.

"Mom! Dad! I am going in."

He walked through various pathways, when suddenly he realized he was lost. He got scared.

It was turning dark. The sound of 'azaan' from a nearby mosque calmed him. After a while, he noticed a flicker of light. He walked ahead, and saw his parents standing beside a cake with burning candles.

"Happy Birthday Dear," they chorused.

Rohan was delighted. He found his best birthday surprise, after being lost.


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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kolkata



The Rabindra Sadan auditorium was packed. This was her first time in Kolkata, and she was nervous.The soliloquy she had practiced now seemed jumbled.

She began, but realized she had forgotten what her act was. Her eyes welled up, and she cried.

Suddenly, a person started cheering for her, and the entire audience followed suit. Why?

Nevertheless, it gave her confidence. The lines returned, and she performed with aplomb.

She looked out for her Saviour, but He wasn't there. Instead, she found Him in a portrait on the wall. Tagore - her Messiah, smiled back.

Art never failed in Kolkata.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Jaipur


They couldn't speak, but that didn't stop them from entertaining hundreds of audiences everyday in the busy Bapu Bazar of Jaipur. He was the Prince, she the Princess.Songs and narrations were played, and they performed to the tune. They were happy, and so was their Master.

One unfortunate day, a little girl requested, "Can I take the Prince?"

The Master readily agreed. He received Rs 200, with which he could buy another one.

The Princess cried, and pleaded, but who would listen to a puppet? She might have a new partner tomorrow, but all she needed was her Prince.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Imphal



I met her for the first time at National Sports Academy, preparing for the Commonwealth Games.

"You are from North East, right? I've heard it's beautiful," I tried to strike up a conversation.

She smiled, "I'm from Imphal. North East is a direction, not a city."

There was an unparalleled dedication in her practice sessions. "Seems you will earn a number of Golds this season," I winked.

"I have to. Today, I'm just a girl from North East. A Gold for my country, and I'll be hailed as an Indian athlete. Indian - that's the identity I need, and deserve."

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