…the confession of a
proof of abnormality?
is the ultimate destination of life.
in mind, the real self-satisfaction comes from real deeds.
friend in need is a friend indeed” “A friend indeed is just for a
need!” and lights up a ‘joint’ (marijuana rapped in
there? Hey you, come out. Who’re you hiding from?”
Aman wakes up at wee hour suddenly to find no one in the room!
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!
we started creating pages on social media. We even sent emails to the
media and posted Ads on different websites.”
titled it “Brain For Sale!”
be there for you whenever you should need me. I promise.”
By: The Mishra (SP)
New Delhi; 1985 to 1991
This chapter may sound like an old Bollywood crap. But this is what
life is like a movie.
is a hero of his own story.
journey too is no less than a movie story.
story that will remain with you for a long time.
mid-night June 15th,
ambulance stops in front of the gate.
staff in white gown opens the ambulance door and takes the stretcher
good looking, well-built man carrying his wife in stretcher rushes to
family and relatives follow them to the hospital.
It’s twins.” A nurse congratulates the father.
starts congratulating each other.
sigh of relief and happiness is obvious.
happy moment for the entire family.
name them Manav and Aman.
is an hour elder to Aman and seems quiet and hardly smiles.
is just opposite. He likes to smile and seems to be a naughty child.
is in their blood.
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.
of four, including Manav’s grandfather, who were jailed for their
rebellious stands back in 60’s/70’s, three are former top-level
Manav’s grandfather doesn’t believe in making politics a
also knows the fact that his honest and straight forward nature
doesn’t make him a suitable person for politics.
he doesn’t see himself getting involved in all these for mere money
to say, he’s highly reputed for the same.
the same time, like most of the families, they too have a
mother-in-law-daughter-in-law strained relationship.
overall it’s a happy and a reputed family where every member knows
how to take a stand for their rights.
God seems to have some other plans for this family as he decides to
take Manav away leaving Aman alone and hurt.
only is he hurt but there is a drastic change in this baby!
has become quiet now and he hardly smiles!
a two months old kid feel the trauma?
is harsh but it goes on.
is some cultural event going on at Aman’s school.
senior boys from 9th
standard are performing on stage and he is watching them from the
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”
is tapping his feet and seems to be enjoying it thoroughly.
you ever seen the rain…? Someone told me long ago, there’s a calm
before the storm…”
of the seniors from 2nd
standard approaches Aman.
accompanies the senior leaving the concert midway!
mother, as always, goes to the school to pick Aman up.
she’s surprised to know that he has not been in class after the
mother runs to relative’s house seeking help.
all start searching the kid, but fail to find him.
police complaint is lodged.
return back with no luck.
their surprise, they see Aman sitting in front of the door with his
bags on, waiting for them.
rushes towards him, kisses him and coos;
I’d gone to watch Amitabh Bachchan with a senior!”
Bachchan?! Why didn’t you inform anybody at school? And how did the
guard allow you out?”
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
couldn’t have been a better movie for a 6 years old kid. Good job
Son”, says the father in a funny tone.
senior must have fooled you and asked you to buy him a ticket!” Mom
tries to get the information.
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.”
kid! Relatives laugh and appreciate the kid.
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.
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
grandfather decides to retire and spend rest of his life in his
hometown, thinking that his son would take care of the business.
his son has his own goals.
doesn’t want to be under the shadow of his father and wants to
start his own newspaper.
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
grandmother, a Sanskrit teacher by profession, is the decision maker
of house. She is a strict and egoist lady.
thinks that it’s the daughter in-law who’s brain-washed her son.
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.
you will have no money to survive, then you will get to know what it
takes to build a name, a position.”
watches them quarrel, helplessly.
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.
decide to shut down the newspaper and move back to the small town.
take Aman along with them due to bad financial condition of his
father who’s now kicked out of business.
ready to leave.
holding Aman’s hand and carrying a bag, walks towards the main
probably wants to say something.
turns back and looks at his mom, who’s in tears as she waves
goodbye, and probably thinks:
Please don’t cry, I’ll be back soon.”
1991 to 1996 Small Town, Bihar
speaker is on: Chalat Musafir Moh liya Re pinjare wali muniya…….
…….. ……!! They enter the village in horse and buggy.
bole kauwa kate, kale kauwe se dariyo……..mai maike chali jaungi,
tu dekhtey rahiyo!”’……… Aman is enjoying the music on loud
Ch*d! Bhains hataa raastey se!” shouts the horse-carriage driver.
cross the market.
Devi ji, Pranam Maalik”, “Devi ji Pranam”, “Paai Laagu
Maalik”, villagers greet them.
is this crowd for? Why is she acting like this?” asks Aman pointing
at a woman who’s surrounded by dozens of people.
She’s been possessed by Ghost! And the man with garlands is a
‘Tantrik’ performing his rituals. ” explains the grandmother.
you want to have a closer look at life then try and spend some time
in a village.
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.
climate, new lifestyle. Everything is so different! Yet so
continues his education in small town.
the same school where grandmother teaches Sanskrit.
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.
they’ve a different stand in society.
is not able to adopt the village life completely but he’s loving
got couple of friends to play with.
of them is a girl named Nutan. A tom-boy who plays cricket, kabaddi
a couple of years elder to Aman who he calls Didi (elder sister).
enjoys their company.
it’s hard for him not to miss his mother as he’s too young to be
away from her.
pass; one year… two years…
the other end, his father is still struggling to make a stand.
starts his own newspaper.
it is not easy for an honest person to succeed.
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.
father like son. He too chooses father’s path, i.e. the path of
honesty, which ultimately give them the real satisfaction, they
at the same time is growing up away from parents.
he’s the grandparents who take care of every small demands.
night grandmother has to tell a story, if not, Aman would refuse to
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
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
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
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.
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.”
laughs at their stupidity.
did you laugh?” asks grandmother.
the use of learning if they finally got trapped?!”
It means, learning itself is not important as long as you don’t
implement it. Don’t only learn, implement.” She educates the kid.
asks really good questions. He seems very bright.” Informs the
grandma to her husband.
he’s sharp. Let’s hope he doesn’t choose a wrong path.” Says
am sure he’s a smart kid who knows what’s right and what’s
is gradually becoming street-smart. Thanks to the surroundings and
the life that he’s lived so far.
I give you a thin piece of wooden stick. Can you break it?” Passes
the stick to Aman.
breaks it quite easily and smiles.
ties 5 sticks together, “Now break these 5 pieces of sticks joined
together. Can you?”
tries but fails to break it.
unity” educates the grandmother.
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.”
makes a note of it.
he prefers grandmother for inspiring stories, he spends time with
grandfather who gives him wisdom that he’s gained from life and his
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
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
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?”
would I know if I am on the first path or the second?” asks another
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.”
looks confused as he’s got many questions running in his mind.
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”
will choose the second option. A path of truth”, Aman replies
easy to start and difficult to continue. But dear grandson, keep in
difficulty that you face would be an indication of you being on the
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.
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
will give you the courage. Truth will give you the confidence.
Dedication will keep you focused and Patience will give you the
makes a note of this ‘hymn’.
grandmother is getting ready for school but seems to have misplaced
her wrist watch.
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
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
Granny! I am ready. How do you know it’s 9:15 when you don’t have
a watch handy?”
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
of the brick of 11th
row, which means it should be around 9:15am.”
finds her the watch and looks at time, its 9:15am.
years… four years… five years pass.
he also accompanies servant to graze the buffalos and collect grasses
experiences every small to big thing that people in village normally
fishing, swimming, from dealing with thieves to handling cheap
mentalities and so on.
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.
gradually transformed himself into a typical village boy.
along with his friends including Nutan are at a playground.
Kabbadi! Kabaddi!!... .... Kabaddi!”
opponent tries their best to trap this 11 year old boy but he dodges
them quite easily.
neighbour, a 60+ year old conservative man, sees them play.
slaps Nutan and orders her to leave.
stares at the old man as if she’d slap him back and refuses to
here.” He then calls Aman.
old man first scolds the kids and warns them not to play with him or
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.”
looks at his embarrassed friends.
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?”
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
old man looks dismayed while Nutan and the kids start laughing making
him more angry and frustrated.
like him are a big threat to our culture and society.” complains
the old man and leaves.
doesn’t like any discrimination. Though people around him are very
conscious about class and caste, he belongs to a liberal family.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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?”
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
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.”
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.’”
grandpa asks, “Anyways, you tell me, what satisfies you the most?”
smiles, keeps him on his laps and asks, “And what is self-respect?”
for me is being my own hero.” Answers Aman.
looks surprised and impressed.
next day, Aman and granny are on their way to school, it’s a
sees an old lady staggering due to the heavy weight of baggage.
Please take my bag to school, I’ll catch you there. Let me help
smiles and tells him to help the lady and be at school on time.
walks to the old lady, takes her baggage and drops it to her house.
raho beta!” (May you live long!), blesses the old lady.
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.
are few strangers, probably guests, outside her house who’re being
served tea and biscuits.
father sees Aman staring at them. He invites him to have biscuits.
curious to know what’s happening with Nutan Didi, joins them.
of the guests asks, “Do you know how to knit sweaters?”
who’s a tom-boy, replies politely in a soft voice, “Yes, I do.”
you show us some samples?” asks another guest.
father gets a couple of sweater from room and shows it to the guests.
It’s nice. The neckline could have been better though. Anyways,
tell me what the current price of potatoes in market is?”
rupees per kg.” she replies like a disciplined and soft-spoken
ask her to walk for 20 meters. After observing her walk and other
qualities they ask for a couple of minutes to discuss among
like her. But she has to improve cooking. No worries, her
mother-in-law will teach her.”
who’d be getting married by a couple of months, is hardly 13 years
more Kabaddi for her. No more tom-boyish attitude.
life ends here! I mean, her life starts here.
life that would revolve around her husband and in-laws!
in a room 24*7, pretending to be someone she is not.
What a life!
there? Hey! Come out. Who’re you hiding from?” Aman screams at
the wee hour while everyone is asleep.
happened? Who’re you talking with?” surprised grandmother lights
sorry! I felt someone is there” and sleeps.
next morning grandmother discusses the incident with his grandfather.
am concerned, this is the second time I have seen him in such
worry. It’s normal for a kid to get scared.” He tries to
you there? Come fast! Your son has sent a letter. Pass me the
grandmother runs, I correct, a mother runs happily with spectacles.
come here. Your Dad has sent a letter.”
a small parcel with a newspaper and a letter.
here. Hope you’re doing well.
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
condition is stable now and I can take care of Aman.
him in a school here. His class will start soon.
Please send him
runs towards his granny, holds her hand and weeps;
don’t want go. I don’t want to leave you. No. I want to stay
granny is heart-broken.
me a hug.” Says the old lady and starts sobbing like a baby.
don’t cry. I’ll be back in a month.” Aman tries to console her.
grandfather, too, is grief-stricken and at a loss of words.
walks to each of them and tries to commiserate.
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
a couple of kids shout from outside, “Aman! Are you home?”
a cricket match now. Come out.”
kisses Aman on his forehead and tells him to join his friends.
leaves with them to the playground.
grieving grandparents try to empathize each other.
is our destiny. We knew someday he had to go back.”
will be much happier with his parents and get a better education now.