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“I are…”

the confession of a mastermind or proof of abnormality?



It’s not a mere book!



Satisfaction is the ultimate destination of life.

Keep in mind, the real self-satisfaction comes from real deeds.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed” “A friend indeed is just for a need!” and lights up a ‘joint’ (marijuana rapped in paper/cigarette)


“Who’s there? Hey you, come out. Who’re you hiding from?”

Frightened Aman wakes up at wee hour suddenly to find no one in the room!



"Truly said by Harriet Tubman, ‘I freed a thousand slaves! I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves!’ Mind you! Losers work in the corporate world and winners own it. No matter what position you are at, if you're not an owner, you're a slave just like me. We're in the same boat. ", warns Aman, an IT employee, to the HR leader of his company!



“….then we started creating pages on social media. We even sent emails to the media and posted Ads on different websites.”

We titled it “Brain For Sale!”




"I'll be there for you whenever you should need me. I promise.”







By: The Mishra (SP)





The Childhood



Chapter 1:

New Delhi; 1985 to 1991



Warning: This chapter may sound like an old Bollywood crap. But this is what it is.

Everyone’s life is like a movie.

Everyone is a hero of his own story.

Aman’s journey too is no less than a movie story.

A story that will remain with you for a long time.



Its mid-night June 15th, 1985.

An ambulance stops in front of the gate.

A staff in white gown opens the ambulance door and takes the stretcher out.

A good looking, well-built man carrying his wife in stretcher rushes to the ambulance.

Entire family and relatives follow them to the hospital.



“Congratulations! It’s twins.” A nurse congratulates the father.

Everyone starts congratulating each other.

A sigh of relief and happiness is obvious.

A happy moment for the entire family.

They name them Manav and Aman.

Manav is an hour elder to Aman and seems quiet and hardly smiles.

Aman is just opposite. He likes to smile and seems to be a naughty child.

Honesty is in their blood.

Originally from a small town of Bihar, Grandfather, despite being a newspaper owner and having contacts with the decision makers of the country, lives a simple middle class life in New Delhi, which tells the whole story of his honesty.

Out of four, including Manav’s grandfather, who were jailed for their rebellious stands back in 60’s/70’s, three are former top-level ministers.

But Manav’s grandfather doesn’t believe in making politics a profession.

He also knows the fact that his honest and straight forward nature doesn’t make him a suitable person for politics.

Moreover, he doesn’t see himself getting involved in all these for mere money and fame.

Needless to say, he’s highly reputed for the same.

At the same time, like most of the families, they too have a mother-in-law-daughter-in-law strained relationship.

But overall it’s a happy and a reputed family where every member knows how to take a stand for their rights.

However, God seems to have some other plans for this family as he decides to take Manav away leaving Aman alone and hurt.

Not only is he hurt but there is a drastic change in this baby!

He has become quiet now and he hardly smiles!

Can a two months old kid feel the trauma?

Probably, he can.

Life is harsh but it goes on.

Nursery….

K.G....



There is some cultural event going on at Aman’s school.

The senior boys from 9th and 10th standard are performing on stage and he is watching them from the audience.

“….. we will we will rock you… buddy you’re an old man poor man…… you’ve got mud on your face and it’s a big disgrace…….. Sing it, we’ll-we’ll rock you”

Aman is tapping his feet and seems to be enjoying it thoroughly.

“Have you ever seen the rain…? Someone told me long ago, there’s a calm before the storm…”

One of the seniors from 2nd standard approaches Aman.

He accompanies the senior leaving the concert midway!



The mother, as always, goes to the school to pick Aman up.

But she’s surprised to know that he has not been in class after the lunch break!

Worried mother runs to relative’s house seeking help.

They all start searching the kid, but fail to find him.

A police complaint is lodged.

They return back with no luck.



To their surprise, they see Aman sitting in front of the door with his bags on, waiting for them.

Mom rushes towards him, kisses him and coos;

“Where were you?”

“Mom! I’d gone to watch Amitabh Bachchan with a senior!”

“Amitabh Bachchan?! Why didn’t you inform anybody at school? And how did the guard allow you out?”

“No Mummy! It’s a movie I am talking about. The senior boy told me that he’s going to watch Amitabh’s movie in a theatre. We watched ‘Sharaabi’ (Alcoholic)” replies the kid innocently making everyone laugh.

“There couldn’t have been a better movie for a 6 years old kid. Good job Son”, says the father in a funny tone.

“That senior must have fooled you and asked you to buy him a ticket!” Mom tries to get the information.

“Yes! He did ask me to buy a ticket for him as well but I told him that I don’t have money and instead he should buy me a ticket.”

Smart kid! Relatives laugh and appreciate the kid.

Mom doesn’t think it is funny, “Beta! Only bad boys ‘bunk’ classes and go to the theatre. You’re a good boy. My son is a good boy. Promise me you won’t repeat it again”, and starts blaming his Dad for all these.

The father takes the kid in his arms, “So, did you like the movie? From next time let me know if you want to watch a movie. We’ll go together. Ok?”

Aman’s grandfather decides to retire and spend rest of his life in his hometown, thinking that his son would take care of the business.

However, his son has his own goals.

He doesn’t want to be under the shadow of his father and wants to start his own newspaper.

“I’d rather start my own business. If you can help me financially then it’s good or else I’ll see if I can manage”, speaks out Aman’s father.

Aman’s grandmother, a Sanskrit teacher by profession, is the decision maker of house. She is a strict and egoist lady.

She thinks that it’s the daughter in-law who’s brain-washed her son.

"Get the hell out of my business. Let’s see how you manage! Go and get yourself a name. We don't need you", said angrily the old lady.

“When you will have no money to survive, then you will get to know what it takes to build a name, a position.”

Aman watches them quarrel, helplessly.

“He’s my grandson and I don’t want you to ruin his childhood. If you want to suffer, it’s your decision but my grandson will not suffer with you. He’ll come along with us”, orders the grandmother.



They decide to shut down the newspaper and move back to the small town.

They take Aman along with them due to bad financial condition of his father who’s now kicked out of business.

They’re ready to leave.

Granny, holding Aman’s hand and carrying a bag, walks towards the main gate.

Aman probably wants to say something.

He turns back and looks at his mom, who’s in tears as she waves goodbye, and probably thinks:

“Mom! Please don’t cry, I’ll be back soon.”



Chapter 2:

1991 to 1996 Small Town, Bihar



Loud speaker is on: Chalat Musafir Moh liya Re pinjare wali muniya……. …….. ……!! They enter the village in horse and buggy.

“Jhoot bole kauwa kate, kale kauwe se dariyo……..mai maike chali jaungi, tu dekhtey rahiyo!”’……… Aman is enjoying the music on loud speaker.

“B*h*n Ch*d! Bhains hataa raastey se!” shouts the horse-carriage driver.

They cross the market.

“Pranam! Devi ji, Pranam Maalik”, “Devi ji Pranam”, “Paai Laagu Maalik”, villagers greet them.



“What is this crowd for? Why is she acting like this?” asks Aman pointing at a woman who’s surrounded by dozens of people.

“Beta! She’s been possessed by Ghost! And the man with garlands is a ‘Tantrik’ performing his rituals. ” explains the grandmother.



If you want to have a closer look at life then try and spend some time in a village.

You will get to know what ‘Struggle’ is, what the real poverty is. At the same time a village can also teach you unity, value of money, importance of a society and adjustments.



New climate, new lifestyle. Everything is so different! Yet so refreshing.

Aman continues his education in small town.

Joins the same school where grandmother teaches Sanskrit.

Grandma is very popular as she’s among the very few educated lady in and around the town. And not to forget the contacts and reputation that grandfather has earned, which is very rare for small towns.

Altogether, they’ve a different stand in society.



Aman is not able to adopt the village life completely but he’s loving it.

He’s got couple of friends to play with.

One of them is a girl named Nutan. A tom-boy who plays cricket, kabaddi etc.

She’s a couple of years elder to Aman who he calls Didi (elder sister).

He enjoys their company.

However, it’s hard for him not to miss his mother as he’s too young to be away from her.



Years pass; one year… two years…

At the other end, his father is still struggling to make a stand.

He starts his own newspaper.

But it is not easy for an honest person to succeed.

Media and journalism is a powerful medium and if used with an intention of making money then it’s a field which can make you super rich. At the same time if you prefer to be honest, neutral and straight forward then this field can give you a lot of respect but unfortunately not the luxurious comfort easily. You got to earn every bread. You got to keep on proving yourself at every stage to the people. You will get no supports from any party or groups. They’ll try to bribe you at every stage.

Like father like son. He too chooses father’s path, i.e. the path of honesty, which ultimately give them the real satisfaction, they believe!

Aman at the same time is growing up away from parents.

Fortunately, he’s the grandparents who take care of every small demands.

Every night grandmother has to tell a story, if not, Aman would refuse to sleep.



“Today I will tell you Ramayana”, she tells the story “…Then Lord Rama marries Goddess Sita…….. And then ….. Raavana kidnaps Sita….. The society starts passing comments on her character…… When Lord Rama sees Sita, he gets to know that Lov and Kush are actually his sons……”

Aman interrupts “But you said he is a God. If Rama was a God then he would have been aware of all these. Why didn’t he recognize his own son?”

Granny explains “Rama was a re-incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was re-incarnated as a human being with the same emotions, feelings and strengths. Though he was a Lord, he was living a normal human being’s life.”



Aman is confused. Who is God? Does he even exist? Where does he live? “If he’s a God or sent by God then why did he let his own supporters die who were innocent?” The doubts are endless.

“There used to be a bird-trainer who used to train birds before setting them free, making sure that they don’t get trapped by any kind of web or hunter. He used to teach a sort of ‘hymn’ to the birds. He decides to train few birds. The birds mug up the ‘hymn’. When the trainer is convinced that these birds have thoroughly learnt the hymn and won’t get trapped, he sets them free. The birds fly singing the ‘hymn’. A hunter hears them singing and thinks it would be difficult to trap these trained birds. However, he makes an effort to give it a try. To his surprise, the birds get trapped quite easily! But they still keep singing the ‘hymn’ they’ve learnt.”

Aman laughs at their stupidity.

“Why did you laugh?” asks grandmother.

“What’s the use of learning if they finally got trapped?!”

“Correct! It means, learning itself is not important as long as you don’t implement it. Don’t only learn, implement.” She educates the kid.



“Aman asks really good questions. He seems very bright.” Informs the grandma to her husband.

“Yes, he’s sharp. Let’s hope he doesn’t choose a wrong path.” Says the Grandpa.

“I am sure he’s a smart kid who knows what’s right and what’s not.”



Aman is gradually becoming street-smart. Thanks to the surroundings and the life that he’s lived so far.



“Here I give you a thin piece of wooden stick. Can you break it?” Passes the stick to Aman.

He breaks it quite easily and smiles.

She ties 5 sticks together, “Now break these 5 pieces of sticks joined together. Can you?”

He tries but fails to break it.

“That’s unity” educates the grandmother.

“Keep in mind, you should always stick by your family members and relatives. If you fall apart, it will be easier for others to break you. But if you’re joined together, you will be much stronger.”

He makes a note of it.

While he prefers grandmother for inspiring stories, he spends time with grandfather who gives him wisdom that he’s gained from life and his experience.

“You’ll always get two options or paths to choose from. One would look very easy and attractive and the other would appear highly difficult and discouraging. While the one that appears easy and attractive would welcome you with its arms wide open by rewarding you with money and luxury, the other option would test you at every stage rather than rewarding you initially. Which one would you chose? “Asked grandfather.

“Obviously! The first option. But why would there be second option if it didn’t have any reward? It has to have some rewards, right?” questions curiously.

“Right. Self-satisfaction and self-respects are the rewards you would gain initially. However, if you stick to the same path till the end then you’re sure to achieve your goals. You will surely emerge a winner. The first option may give you lot of fame and money but mostly at the cost of self-respect. Now tell me which one would you go for?”



“How would I know if I am on the first path or the second?” asks another question.

The grandpa smiles, “Whenever you realise that life’s been very easy and kind to you and you’re earning everything so easily, stop. Think. Ask yourself “Did I do it right? Am I really happy achieving it? Did I achieve it in a right way? You will get the answer. In contrast, when life gets tougher despite doing everything right, when people around you start discouraging and criticizing you, when you start finding it difficult to cope up with surroundings thinking you’re honest and hence different, and when you will start noticing fear for you in these people’s eyes, you’re on the right path.”

Aman looks confused as he’s got many questions running in his mind.

The grandfather makes it easier for him and explains “In other words, you can easily earn luxurious life by choosing a wrong path which is greed, crime or corruption. But it’s very hard to earn the same choosing a right path, a path of truth and honesty. But, eventually, second path will give you tremendous self-respects and ultimately take you to the spot which would be out of reach for those who’ve chosen the first path. The length of success, if you chose the first path, is very small in comparison to the second path. Stick to the second path no matter what and you shall get an eternal success”

“I will choose the second option. A path of truth”, Aman replies promptly.

“It’s easy to start and difficult to continue. But dear grandson, keep in mind, the difficulty that you face would be an indication of you being on the right path. So do not panic. Do not get discouraged by criticisms. Rather congratulate yourself and move on. Difficulties give us a proper shape, it makes us stronger and teaches us lessons. Always welcome them with an open heart and a smile. The more difficulty you face the closer you’re to destination.

If you give up, you’d be left with only first option and that is the path of greed and corruption. For you to stick to the difficult path you need to be honest, true, dedicated and patient.” He further adds “Honesty will give you the courage. Truth will give you the confidence. Dedication will keep you focused and Patience will give you the success.”

Aman makes a note of this ‘hymn’.



The grandmother is getting ready for school but seems to have misplaced her wrist watch.

As always, Aman is busy finishing his homework at the last moment. He has a pen, made up of bamboo, in his hand and an ink pot in front of him. He seems to be cursive-writing. Part of daily homework to improve handwriting.

“Aman, are you ready for school? Did you see my watch? Help me find it.” She looks at a wall, “Oh! It’s already 15 past 9, I am late for school.”

“Yes, Granny! I am ready. How do you know it’s 9:15 when you don’t have a watch handy?”

“Look at the sunlight’s shadow on the wall. When the shadow touches 11th row of the bricks on the wall, its 9:00am, the shadow has just crossed 1/4th of the brick of 11th row, which means it should be around 9:15am.”

He finds her the watch and looks at time, its 9:15am.



Three years… four years… five years pass.

Sometimes, he also accompanies servant to graze the buffalos and collect grasses from farmlands.

Aman experiences every small to big thing that people in village normally do.

Farming, fishing, swimming, from dealing with thieves to handling cheap mentalities and so on.

He likes to play, like every normal kid does. He plays cricket, Gilli-danda (a sport played in village), marbles, wrestling, playing-cards, chess and every game that’s available in village.

He’s gradually transformed himself into a typical village boy.



Aman along with his friends including Nutan are at a playground.

"Kabaddi! Kabbadi! Kabaddi!!... .... Kabaddi!”

The opponent tries their best to trap this 11 year old boy but he dodges them quite easily.





Aman’s neighbour, a 60+ year old conservative man, sees them play.

He slaps Nutan and orders her to leave.

Nutan stares at the old man as if she’d slap him back and refuses to leave.

“Come here.” He then calls Aman.

The old man first scolds the kids and warns them not to play with him or Nutan.

“Do you know which caste they belong to? We don’t even let them touch us and shame on you! How could you play with them? Go and take a bath and dare you play with them again.”

Aman looks at his embarrassed friends.

He replies in anger, “What’s your problem? My grandparents know who my friends are and they don’t have any problem with it. Who’re you to tell me who my friends should be?”

Aman’s voice becomes louder as he gets emotional, “You’re right! I’ll have to take a shower but not for playing with them but for talking to you.”

The old man looks dismayed while Nutan and the kids start laughing making him more angry and frustrated.

“Kids like him are a big threat to our culture and society.” complains the old man and leaves.



Aman doesn’t like any discrimination. Though people around him are very conscious about class and caste, he belongs to a liberal family.

The grandfather believes, “Playing with them doesn’t make you small but to think yourself superior to them does make you small. We’re all the same.”

“But! That uncle told me that they’re poor and lower caste. We shouldn’t be-friend with them! Grandpa, why are they called lower caste? They’re nice and helpful people. I like them.”

Grandfather educates the kid saying “Had there been no insecurities, there wouldn’t exist a society. This society is formed by a bunch of insecure people. These show-offs, discriminations etc. are the result of insecurity.

A person is not rich or poor because of his financial condition but because of his thinking. Yes, they’re nice people and that is what makes them rich and upper to us, not their caste.”

“I don’t like this uncle. He behaves badly with poor people. The other day I saw him shouting at our servant for no reason. Why does he behave as if these people are out of the world, some aliens?”

“Satisfaction! Losers try to satisfy themselves by dominating others, pulling others down, proving others inferior and projecting others failure rather than proving self a winner. This uncle, probably, lacks genuine satisfaction, hence, he tries to satisfy himself by dominating others.”

He adds, “The society is full of fakers and pretenders. When you achieve something; most of them try to ignore it or rather pretend that they’re not aware of it. From those who can’t, few start projecting your worse side to others to overshadow your achievements.”


“Did he really achieve it? I can sense some foul play! I doubt.”

“It’s not a big achievement. It’s normal.”

“He had failed miserably multiple times.”


These statements define a loser. You will mostly encounter people who’ll not be ready to accept you as a winner and try to prove you a loser at every stage. But you must always say to yourself ‘Yes, I can achieve more. I’m sure I’ve the ability.’”



The grandpa asks, “Anyways, you tell me, what satisfies you the most?”

“Self-respect!”

Grandpa smiles, keeps him on his laps and asks, “And what is self-respect?”

“Self-respect for me is being my own hero.” Answers Aman.

Grandpa looks surprised and impressed.



The next day, Aman and granny are on their way to school, it’s a walking distance.

Aman sees an old lady staggering due to the heavy weight of baggage.

“Granny! Please take my bag to school, I’ll catch you there. Let me help that lady.”

Granny smiles and tells him to help the lady and be at school on time.

He walks to the old lady, takes her baggage and drops it to her house.

“Jeetey raho beta!” (May you live long!), blesses the old lady.



While on his way back he sees Nutan in a Sari and her face wrapped up partially or covered up with the pallu / aanchal of sari.

There are few strangers, probably guests, outside her house who’re being served tea and biscuits.

Nutan’s father sees Aman staring at them. He invites him to have biscuits.

Aman, curious to know what’s happening with Nutan Didi, joins them.

One of the guests asks, “Do you know how to knit sweaters?”

Nutan, who’s a tom-boy, replies politely in a soft voice, “Yes, I do.”

“Can you show us some samples?” asks another guest.

Nutan’s father gets a couple of sweater from room and shows it to the guests.



“Good. It’s nice. The neckline could have been better though. Anyways, tell me what the current price of potatoes in market is?”

“Two rupees per kg.” she replies like a disciplined and soft-spoken girl.



They ask her to walk for 20 meters. After observing her walk and other qualities they ask for a couple of minutes to discuss among themselves.

“We like her. But she has to improve cooking. No worries, her mother-in-law will teach her.”



Nutan, who’d be getting married by a couple of months, is hardly 13 years old!

No more Kabaddi for her. No more tom-boyish attitude.

Her life ends here! I mean, her life starts here.

A ‘happy married-life’.

A life that would revolve around her husband and in-laws!

Locked in a room 24*7, pretending to be someone she is not.

What a life!



“Who’s there? Hey! Come out. Who’re you hiding from?” Aman screams at the wee hour while everyone is asleep.

“What happened? Who’re you talking with?” surprised grandmother lights the lantern.

“I’m sorry! I felt someone is there” and sleeps.

The next morning grandmother discusses the incident with his grandfather.

“I am concerned, this is the second time I have seen him in such condition”

“Don’t worry. It’s normal for a kid to get scared.” He tries to convince.



Postman! Postman!!

“Are you there? Come fast! Your son has sent a letter. Pass me the spectacles please.”

The grandmother runs, I correct, a mother runs happily with spectacles.

“Aman come here. Your Dad has sent a letter.”

It’s a small parcel with a newspaper and a letter.



Pujyaniya Babuji and Maa 24/03/1997

Pranam,


We’re fine here. Hope you’re doing well.

After going through all the struggles and ups & downs, I am happy to inform you that I am stable now.

I’ve sent you a copy of my newspaper.

Please let me know if you want to see any improvements.

Soon we’ll find a distributor for our town.

Hope to make you proud someday.


My financial condition is stable now and I can take care of Aman.

I’ve admitted him in a school here. His class will start soon.

Please send him back.


Pranam!

Your’s Loving

Son



Aman runs towards his granny, holds her hand and weeps;

“I don’t want go. I don’t want to leave you. No. I want to stay here.”

The granny is heart-broken.

“Give me a hug.” Says the old lady and starts sobbing like a baby.

“Please don’t cry. I’ll be back in a month.” Aman tries to console her.

The grandfather, too, is grief-stricken and at a loss of words.

Aman walks to each of them and tries to commiserate.

“Don’t cry! I will stay in touch. I will come to meet you every month. I will write letters to you. I will tell Dad to call you home. We’ll stay together.”

Meanwhile, a couple of kids shout from outside, “Aman! Are you home?”

“We’ve a cricket match now. Come out.”

Granny kisses Aman on his forehead and tells him to join his friends.

Aman leaves with them to the playground.

The grieving grandparents try to empathize each other.

“This is our destiny. We knew someday he had to go back.”

“Aman will be much happier with his parents and get a better education now.


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