Those Green Sweaters…
Dec18

Those Green Sweaters…

I too wore those green sweaters with yellow lining once. Every morning was a hustle – the niggling race against time to catch the bus. As soon as the chacha rang the assembly bell, we all use to linearly arrange ourselves for the assembly and sang the national anthem at the top of our lungs. Keeping those ‘Bata’ shoes shiny and lustered till the end of assembly was another mighty struggle of our lives. As soon as the first class started, the wait for the recess began. The geography class never seemed to end, while the games period used to just quickly slip away. The silence of the library was lingering while the shouts in the Khokha were never enough. Ahhh! How convenient was my time, how trivial were my issues! Never once did I fight the terror of gunshots, never once did I not survive. Now let me share the tale of some different faces in those same green sweaters with yellow lining. They too left home today in the usual hustle of race against time. Bata shoes still were sparkly clean and the national anthem was still sung from the top of the lungs. But then the script changed and some coward men with big guns decided to fight these small warriors armed with bite marked pencils. The gunshots were way louder than the Khokha frenzy, whereas the lingering silence of the library was nothing compared to the haunting stillness while being crouched in horror underneath the rusty table. Time never froze like this in geography class while the blood of the wounded friend was oozing out faster than the ticking clock of games period. With only one stain of ink, I was moved out of assembly line; while they were drenched with buckets of blood, and nobody moved them away from line of fire. Today they went to school and saw another day.  Today they faced the radicals and stood stern against the terror. But today they didn’t survive. Ahh! How convenient was my time, how trivial were my issues! Dear gallant friends of today, we are proud of you! You will forever survive in the hustle of our mornings and in struggles of our days. I promise you one thing that in those green sweaters with yellow lining, we will rise and shine… Again! For you and for the pride of the anthem you sang today!...

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Just Hold on to Us
Sep04

Just Hold on to Us

Once upon a time in a land far far away, a stranger got lost amidst the snow caped mountains and exotic waterfalls. On his trek to find his way out, he entered a small village of dwarfs. He found a small little house at one far end and walked till there. The stranger shyly knocked the door. A dwarf man came out and the stranger introduced himself and explained that he lost his way till here. The man instantly invited him in and prepared to a cup of hot tea to combat the bone-chilling cold outside. The man insisted that the stranger stay the night in the village and asked him if the stranger would like to accompany him to what he called the ‘villager’s congress’. The stranger was touched by the hospitality, and very humbly agreed. The whole village had gathered in there. The old, young, sick – all of them. An old man stood up and began with a prayer. He then started gibberish which the stranger could hardly figure out. All of a sudden there were disputes and disagreements all around. Nobody was willing to listen to anybody; it was as if they were in a battle with themselves. It was chaos. It was turmoil. The stranger silently sat in a corner and just witnessed the anger, the frustration and the raging disagreements. He had started to doubt even if this small kingdom of dwarfs would ever last midst this flouting conflict. What happened next, the stranger will never forget. A young dwarf wearing a turtle shell tied with bamboo ropes came running in and interrupted the session. After catching his breath, he announced that a battalion of archers has attacked the small village. All of a sudden the disputes evaporated, the frustration vanished and the anger was redirected. The young were already on their feet to get their weapons. The old all huddled together and in harmony were designing a strategy. The kids, as if were already prepared, were taking the sick to the nearby houses. The stranger silently accompanied them too. As soon as he reached the nearest house, the women were rushing in grabbing the turtle shells and were tying the bamboo ropes to them. They all seemed prepared and well fitted for their tasks. There was a unique music of passion in the air, none that the stranger has heard before! In the face of calamity, they were all one! It was a tough night for the villagers, but they survived it together. They passionately said they always have, and they always will – for their village, for their villagers. The next...

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