Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Freedom at last

This was story i wrote for an exam. I don't think it came out very well.

FREEDOM AT LAST

Martha Young pottered about the kitchen making toast and tea for breakfast. She set the water to boil and put the bread in the toaster. Meanwhile, she folded the laundry and made the bed. After the water boiled and the toast was done, she sat down with the morning paper and
her cup of tea and browsed through the news. At 9:00 sharp the phone rang and Martha answered it with a cheery, "Good morning Clark." Her son told her about his day at work and once again advised her to slow down and employ a maid. She answered, "Dear, we have had this
conversation so many times before. I need the housework to keep me busy. You don't worry about me and go to work." After a few more motherly admonishments she put the phone down and took out her grocery bag to go shopping. She bought a few odds and ends and then made her
way to the hospital.

As she entered the doors of Charleston General Hospital, Jim, the doorman said, "Good morning, Mrs.Young. How's the son?" She answered, "Fine, Jim. How are the wife and daughter? Has little Cassie started talking yet?" After exchanging a few more pleasantries, she made her
way to the elevator. On the way she enquired about the health of Susanne, the receptionist and chatted for a few minutes with Carla, the head nurse. Reaching the fifth floor she went straight into one of the rooms and started cleaning up.

The figure on the bed opened his eyes and said, "Hey Martha. So what's the latest news?" Martha opened the windows, put a bunch of fresh carnations in the vase by the bed and told him all the gossip she had heard. She went and sat next to him, smoothed the gray hair from his
forehead and kissed him on the cheek. "Jonathan dear," she began, "did you know the Sallie's daughter is to be married next week? I had hoped that Clark would be the one marrying her and but that boy just refuses to settle down. He will be the death of me." Jonathan took her
wrinkled hand is his and said, "Martha, will you stop bugging Clark about getting married. He is a strong, independent young man and will find a lovely girl soon enough." They talked for a little while longer and Martha got up to leave. "Bye Jonathan, I'll be back tomorrow. Don't flirt with Carla now. I might be old but I can still throw a good punch," she warned, with a mischievous grin. Jonathan had laughed and waved goodbye.

This was Martha's daily routine for the past few months. Ever since Jonathan was diagnosed with brain cancer, life was never the same.

Martha and Jonathan had met in high school and had fallen in love instantly. They were an odd pair. Jonathan was tall with lovely brown hair and eyes and Martha was short with blonde hair and eyes as gray as an overcast sky before the rains. Martha was a straight A student and Jonathan loved sports. He excelled at everything from baseball to basketball. It was a case of opposites attract and they got married soon after leaving college. They had a son named Clark and everything was going right in their little family until Jonathan started complaining of splitting headaches. He fell seriously ill. It was hard blow to all of them but resilient as they were they stood up straight and dealt with it head-on.

They had tried everything, chemotherapy, alternative medicine, nothing worked. It seemed as if God was bent on taking Jonathan away. The once healthy Jonathan, who always has time for a game of baseball with his buddies was reduced to a wisp of his former self. His mind and heart
were young, but his body refused to cooperate. Martha stood by him through everything. She was his backbone during the worst times, when he would sink into a crushing depression. Their love had endured and Martha was determined not to let her husband go without a fight.

One morning, Martha awoke as usual and went to the hospital for her daily visit. She reached her husband's room and saw Carla standing outside with a grim face. Carla said, "Darling, he died in his sleep late last night. He felt no pain and went peacefully. We tried our best to revive him but we failed. We waited for you to see him before we did anything else." Martha nodded silently and entered the room.

Her husband was lying on the bed, a peaceful smile on his face. Martha walked to him, lovingly stroked his hair, adjusted the sheet around his still body and whispered in his ear, "Goodbye darling. You are free at last. Your fight is over." She kissed his unmoving lips and took one long last look at his beloved face before straightening up and striding out to make the necessary funeral arrangements…….

Another speech

I wrote this one for the final round of a competition. I lost but I spoke well...

Developing Countries need Better Governance
The entire world is made of three types of countries namely the developed, developing and less developed countries. This demarcation or differentiation is usually done on the basis of mainly the economic development and to some extent the political.

India, Philippines, Nigeria, Columbia are some examples of the developing countries.

To understand what Governance means will be the first step before we understand what the role is in the developing countries. Although the concept of governance has gained popularity in the recent times it is still quite ambiguous. As per the World Bank’s definition it is the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social development. To be a little clearer on the idea it is the manner in which political leaders manage and use or misuse power—is the power used to promote social and economic development of the country or is it used to pursue such agendas that would undermine these goals.

When we talk about developing countries this governance takes on a totally new dimension because it is the back bone for them. The power and its use or misuse has a direct impact on the future of the country.

A main issue in governance is the alignment and horizontal coordination of markets, government hierarchies and networks. These three elements need to work in near perfect synchronization to ensure that the country is able to meet its goals.
Research shows that one of the main reasons for Africa’s under development is the lack of proper governance.

For a country to develop itself there need to be rule of law, accountability, transparency, and the enjoyment of human and civil rights. And these are possible only with strong governance. Another way of explaining what governance is the sharing of authority for public management between state and non state organizations. Simply put governance is the rules which regulate the relationships between the rulers and the ruled. And for a developing country it is imperative that the governance be so good that the concentration of power is not so much with the central government.

When we say good governance we are actually saying a government that is not corrupt and is for the development of the country. And what is most required for all developing countries is this kind of a clean government that can and will support the growth of the weakest section.

What we see in most of the developing countries are corrupt politicians for whom money is more than anything else and to the extent that money allocated for the public is misused and misappropriated. Years back the World Bank also saw how countries like China and Japan were affected by this governance issue.
What is the need of the hour is that all developing countries have a strong system for a strong governance.

The focus needs to be on making the government more decentralized and give the power concentration on local bodies that will directly help the people and not depend upon the central government.

It makes decision making easier and faster and more personalized.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every mountain and hill shall be made low, the rough places will be made smooth, the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. These words of Martin Luther King Jr were spoken years ago but they are still relevant for developing countries today and stronger governance is what will help us fulfill these dreams.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Never too busy for a friend

A really beautiful story i read in the chicken soup series.

NEVER TOO BUSY FOR A FRIEND

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. She told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the rest of the period to finish their assignment and as the students left the room, each one handed over their papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long the entire class was smiling. “Really” she heard whispers. “I never knew I meant that much to anyone!” and “I didn’t know others liked me so much” were some of the common comments. No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished it’s purpose.

The students were happy with themselves and one another. In due course of time the students moved on. Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student.

She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one, those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pall-bearer came up to her. “Were you Mark’s Math teacher?” he asked. She nodded, “Yes.” At this he said, “Mark talked about you a lot.”

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. “We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times.

The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him. “Thank you so much for doing that, “Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it till the end.”

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.” “I have mine too. It’s in my diary.” Marilyn said. Then Vicki, reached into her purse and showed her frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times.” Said Vicki and without batting an eyelash, she continued, “I think we all saved our lists.” That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all of his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in the society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day and we don’t know when that day will be. So, tell the people you love and care for. Don’t hesitate to express that they are special and important. Tell them before it’s too late.

My friend Anne

One of my best stories. I read it somewhere else and did my own version of it. I wrote it for an exam and I got full marks :D


MY FRIEND ANNE

I looked, looked away and then looked again. I could not believe my eyes. There in front of me stood the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

She had shoulder length auburn hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her eyes were the color of a green fir tree in winter. She was wearing black sweatpants and a grey workout t-shirt. Her cheeks were red from the early morning chill and the best thing about her was her smile. It was a smile that could light up a room on a dark night.

She was leaning against a tree by the side of the path breathing in the cool morning air. I walked towards her trying to act casual but actually I was desperately hoping that she would notice me. After all, I wasn’t so bad looking with my dark hair, athletic body and brown eyes.

She turned towards me and was very surprised. “I didn’t think anyone jogged on this road anymore,” she said. I smiled and answered, “You surprised me too. I have been jogging here only for a few days now but I am sure I would’ve remembered a beautiful face like yours.” She laughed out aloud and it sounded like the delicate notes of a Chopin concerto. “I am Jesse Roberts. I live just a few blocks from here,” I introduced myself. “Well, I’m Anne Metcalfe and I’m glad to have met you. I’ve got to go now,” she said and jogged away before I could say goodbye.

I finished the round of the deserted cliff road and went back home. Try as I might I couldn’t get her out of my mind. The next morning I arrived at the path 15 minutes early and made my way to the tree where we had met yesterday. Sure enough, there she was looking as beautiful as ever.

I ran up to her and wished her a good morning. She smiled at me and I blurted out, “Would you like to jog with me?” I was hoping she wouldn’t just refuse and run away from me. I was sure she thought I was a stalker and waited for the pepper spray in my eyes. “Well sure, I would love the company,” she answered. I smiled in relief and we started jogging together.

“How come Ni haven’t seen you here before,” I asked. “I just moved here 2 days back and heard of this beautiful path where no one jogged, so here I am,” she replied. “Maybe one of these days I can show the sights around the city,” I ventured. “I don’t think so,” she said. My heart stopped. Had I moved too fast? “I am a very busy person. The only time I get is in the mornings.” She continued. I heaved a sigh of relief. “No problem! We’ll meet here every morning then,” I said. “Ok! It’s the end of the road now, see you tomorrow,” she waved and ran away.

From that day on we met every morning and jogged together. I told her about my life as a lawyer, my childhood, my family and my secret desire to be a writer. She told me of her studies, her childhood in Texas, the death of her father and how she lived with her mother. It was a very casual friendship and I loved that hour we spent together everyday. I walked around with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. My best friend Joey was surprised at this sudden change in my behavior and I told him about Anne and how we jogged together. Joey asked me how she looked and I described her every little nuance. Her perfect smile, her long tapered artist’s fingers, her laughter everything. Joey listened to all this but as I went on, his smile disappeared. He asked me, “Hey Jesse, is this girl’s name Anne Metcalfe by any chance?” I was surprised because I hadn’t mentioned her surname. “Yes, how did you know? Do you know her,” I asked. Joey went pale as if he had seen a ghost and took me to his bundle of old newspapers.

“What’s up, Joe,” I asked. “Just wait,” he answered. He rummaged through his newspapers and gave me one of them. He pointed to an article and asked me to read it. As I read it my heart literally stopped and the paper fell from my hand. In it was a news item dated to 2 days before I met Anne,

“STUDENT DIES IN HIT AND RUN”

Anne Metcalfe, a university student, died instantly when she was involved in a hit and run accident late last night. The driver was believed to be driving under the influence. The police are investigating the matter. . . . . . . . . . . . .”


A speech i gave

I do quite a bit of debating and public speaking. This is a speech for a national debate that I took part in. The topic is "Sports auction is no sporting option." I spoke for the topic.

“Ultimately it’s the money”…this phrase seems to precede all sporting events these days.

Sports has lost its sanctity in the past few years and who do we blame for this?

Sports is as old as civilization itself and even in the prehistoric times we can see pictures of people indulging in some sort of sport or the other.

If we were to trace the history of the Olympics Games it dates back to nearly a century back.

Well are we talking about-games or sports? Sports is no GAME these days as what makes it work is money and money and money. Like they say “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.

Where is that so called “sportsmanship” spirit that we grew up with? Does a sportsman belong anywhere these days? Does he play because he loves the sport? Does he play because he wants to make the nation proud?

The answer is maybe not. He plays because he gets paid to play.

WHAT makes a man so desperate to own a sports team that he would be willing to pay a billion dollars for it? And not just one man, but a whole lot of men, each bidding against the others for the right to buy the team.

The trend started with football teams being bought and sold and the practice has now found its way into many more sports like Basketball, Base ball and now Cricket.

What sense does it make to postpone improvements in the field, but spend lavishly on players before selling the team?

Well, it makes sense, for one, if you think that owners buy teams for vanity, rather than as an investment. No one's ego is massaged by owning a team of losers.

Answering why people buy teams turns out to be important to more than just sports fans. There is big money at stake.

After owners indulge their childhood fantasy of buying a team, they tend to switch to an adult perspective and start viewing the team as a business.

And they typically conclude that it's a bad business. And then what happens to the players then? They keep changing hands and earn money one way or the other…no sense of belonging..no sense of a loyalty to any one except the highest bidder. How long can money motivate a person? The glitz and glamour eventually dies out and what is left is just only emptiness and no respect.

We can probably understand the scenario better if we talked about cricket because our great country is the pioneer in making this sport also a part of the rat race and game of auctioning.

Owning sports teams gives budding billionaires budding stardom and a big return. No wonder they are all lining up to get into this business.And with ever richer people bidding against each other the inflation only gets worse.

Business tycoons and bollywood stars bid for 78 players from across the globe in the recently concluded IPL series.

The entire game of cricket is now seen in different light. What happened to a thought like that was portrayed in the film Lagaan where the entire village got together in arms to fight for a cause..that’s what sports is all about. Wonder what would have happened if Bhuvan the protagonist in that movie had been bought by someone and played for the money and not for the spirit!!

I would like to leave you with a picture in your mind. I man on stage with an auctioneer shouting out his vital statistics...age, height, weight... like a slave or a cattle market. Is that what sports has become? Think about it...


Monday, August 18, 2008

random thoughts

These are some random thoughts..

Sometimes
I close my eyes
And wonder
What life would be
If things were different
If I lived
In a different time
A different place...
Would I still be
the same
Or would I be
Different too?
Would life be happier
Filled with more joy?
Or would it be
complex,
With darker mysteries
Hidden in its depths?

alone

This one I wrote for the heck of it. I think it came out very well.

She looked at them
They were laughing
Gossiping
Giggling
Unaware of her presence.
She watched them
Enjoy without her
Her heart grew sadder
The space in it grew.
She turned
And started
Walking away.
She walked slowly
Hoping someone would notice
Waiting for the voice
Calling for her to stop
Waiting for the friendly hand
On her shoulder.
But no one came
No one even cared.
Her eyes filled with
Lonely tears
And her heart shattered
Into small pieces.
She was left alone
With no one to love her
And she walked away,
A small speck
Receding into the
distance..

optimistic one

This is one of my more optimistic ones.

I'm standing on the beach
Watching the sun go down,
The waves lap at me feet
The wind blows through my hair
My dress flaps around my knees.
All I can see is the
Setting sun.
It turns the world red,
The sea is red, gold and
All the shades in between
The colours spread in a
Collage of beauty
And then,
The darkness falls
The beauty disappears
In a moment
To be replaced by nothingness.
I turn away
But I know,
Tomorrow there will be
Another sunrise
Another beginning..

Sunday, August 17, 2008

another one

I wrote this because i was utterly bored :)

I am walking along
Foot ahead of foot
Not knowing
Where my legs are
taking me.
I don't know
My destination.
I can't predict
The future.
All I can do is
Walk
And see where
Life takes me.

Alone in a crowd

A poem i wrote after i had an argument with someone.

I am standing
In a crowd
But I cant see
Or feel
Anyone around me.
I'm alone
Even among others
It seems as if
I am just a small speck
On the great canvas
Of life
I stand still
And the world
Goes on around me
Unaware of me
Or my feelings
Or my desolation.
I will be forever
Alone in a crowd

darkness

Another of my scary ones :)

I'm wandering about
Lost and confused
Looking for a
Sense of direction
In the jumble.
Chaotic images
Jumbled thoughts
Running through my mind.
It seems as if
I've been deserted
Left alone
And friendless
Left to find
My way out.
But all I see
Is darkness
Spreading and closing down
I can't find an opening
Only miles and miles
Of black suffocating darkness
Choking my thoughts.
I'm slowly disintegrating
Into tiny pieces.
Disappearing
Into the darkness

Friday, August 15, 2008

A story

Another story for a change.

Lovely auburn hair, bright green eyes, full red lips- That was Adam's dream girl. Her name was Audrey and she studied in his class. He loved looking at her. He had had a crush on her since he was in the eighth grade. They were now in the eleventh grade and he still hadn't gotten over her.

She was the most popular girl in school; who wouldn't be with those looks and that personality!? He was a non-entity, completely inconspicuous. She was the head cheerleader and he was a Math geek. She was tall and had a model's figure, he was thin and lanky. Opposites in every way, but opposites attract, right!?

Adam used to stare at her all the time but he had never had the courage to even talk to her. Once in a while she would smile at him and after that he would be flying on a cloud all day. His friends used to tease him about his hopeless crush but romantic that he was, Adam always hoped for a miracle.

It had gone on like this for a long time. He the silent admirer, she the clueless object of his attention.

But then one day, it all changed. It was like a scene from a movie.

The hallway was crowded and Adam was walking in a daze, solving a Math problem in his head. Audrey was surrounded by her entourage of giggling girlfriends. They were walking towards each other and it had to happen. Bang!! They bumped into each other, books and papers went flying. They both bent to pick up their things. Everything moved in slow motion. Their eyes locked and Adam thought that his long-awaited miracle was finally going to happen. The crowd around them melted into blurred faces. They gathered up their papers and books and stood up still looking at each other. He could see that she was going to say something. Her eyes were glittering and then she said 5 words which sent shock waves through him and made the blood rush to his face,
"Dude, watch where you're going!!"


Illusions

This one is my most pessimistic poem. No one who read it liked it. I dont think I completely believe what I wrote anymore. Most of me does believe it I guess.

Happiness
Love
Friendship
They are all illusions.
Lies created
By man
To fill the spaces
In his heart.
He grasps at the
Strands of nothingness
Which disappear
The moment he
Touches them.
These words
Are just that,
Words.....
They dont exist.
These are just mirages
Which fade away
When you get closer.
People search,
Their entire lives
For these blank, meaningless
Words.
And all that they
End up with,
Are outstretched hands,
Left reaching out,
For nothing but
Darkness....

Want

This one was when I wanted something and didnt get it.

She wanted it
She craved it
She had worked
Hard for it
She had clawed her way up
Little by little
She almost had it
And then.....
It was snatched from her
She watched with tears
Streaming down her face
As her life's work
Came crashing down
Around her
The tears gathered
At her feet
As her dream was
Stolen from her
And she stood there
The ruins of her dreams
Spread around her..

two more

This is one I wrote in December 2006

She stared at the sky
Looking but not seeing
A million thoughts
Crashing in her head
Like waves on a shore.
So many questions
Not one answer.
So much anger
So much frustration
Bubbling inside her
Ready to spew out
Like a dormant volcano
Asleep, but not fully.
A chaos of emotions
A jumble of feelings
Raged inside her
As she tried
To find a meaning
In the dark starless sky.

This one I wrote because I was bored. Its not very good though.

She walked on the beach
Her slippers dangling
From her hand.
Her feet trailed through
The fine sand
Which slipped through her toes.
The wind whipped her hair
Around her face.
She tasted the sea spray
On her lips.
Then she stooped
And picked up a shell.
She emptied the water out of it
And held it to her ear
And in that instant
She held the ocean
In her hands...

Questions

This was a poem I wrote last year. Was in a bad mood and it came out as a weird poem.

There are times
I stare blankly
Into space
Thinking, contemplating
The oddities of the world
Or maybe in me.
I am distancing myself
From others
Or are others distancing themselves
From me?
Distances between us
Grow and grow more
Will the gap ever bridge?
I was always alone
I still am
Will I always be?
I am different
Or am I?
Sometimes, people around me
Seem so detached
Seem so distant
Or am I the one who is
Detached, distant?
Questions, more questions
I am reeling under them
OR AM I?

The tiger

My only poem which has some semblance of rhyme. I think I had read a Ruskin Bond story about a panther and thats what gave me the idea to write this poem.:)

Waiting and watching
It crouched in the dark
With an unwavering gaze
It followed his steps
With soft padded feet
It stalked its prey
A roar and a leap
And dead he lay..

A place in life

This was a poem I wrote in 2006.

There are many times
When I wonder
If I belong anywhere
I dont fit in here
I am not accepted there.
Then where
Do I come into the picture?
I am a crooked piece
In the puzzle of life
It is as if
I don't have any part to play
In the drama of life.
I know everyone is a puppet
Controlled
By someone up there,
And so I wonder
When I will find
My place,
My part to play
My true calling...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This is one my freakiest poems. Don't know what I was thinking when I wrote it.

I stand alone

Against the rest of the world
No one with me
No one like me
Feelings of desolation
Depression
Disenchantment
Envelop me
Like a dark plague
Pulling me down
Trying to drown me
Dark thoughts swirl around me
Like dark mists
Like winds of a hurricane
I am struggling against the pull
Struggling against
The heavy, suffocating darkness
Which constricts my breathing
Swimming
Against the tide
Looking for a handhold
Something to hold onto
Looking for help
Someone to save me
Someone to pull me out
I am struggling for
A last breath
I need to hold on
I want to escape
Is it a losing battle?

Where the mind

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee into every-widening thought and action-
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake

---Rabindranath Tagore

I thought this was a beautiful poem and the simplicity of the words gives even more power to the profound thoughts behind it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hope will never die

One of my more cheery poems


Alone she sat
And stared out the window
Looking into space
At nothing in particular
She was thinking,
Speculating about her life
He had cheated her
He had lied to her
She was devastated
Everything was dark and bleak
For her eyes
She felt stifled
She had lost hope
Thing would never be better
She kept telling herself
But then she saw
A flash of color
A glimpse of beauty
The butterfly fluttered
In front of her eyes
And a tiny glimmer of hope
Grew slowly, deep in her heart
That maybe, just maybe
Things weren’t dark after all
The tiny insect perched on the sill
She looked at its colors
And realized that
That things weren’t so bad
If that butterfly could be happy
She could be happy too
And finally she understood that
HOPE CAN NEVER DIE…..

Love

Here is a story I wrote for the heck of it. Not one of my best works I admit.

The first time he saw her she was talking to his best friend.

She was looking gorgeous in a yellow summer dress falling just below her knees. Her hair was the colour of daffodils and her eyes were like the blue sky in spring. Every time she laughed, it was like the tinkling of wind chimes. Later he found out that her name was Mary-Jane.

Neil had fallen for her hook, line and sinker. She only knew him as her boyfriend John’s, best friend. He knew that he was committing the gravest of sins by falling in love with his best friend’s girlfriend, but he had no control over his feelings.

Every time he saw her, he felt in heaven. She was the only thing he knew, she was the only thing he heard, she was the only thing he felt.

John wondered why the usually confident and charming Neil would turn into a blubbering fool around Mary-Jane. He couldn’t fathom why Neil was suddenly so quiet and withdrawn.

Neil on the other hand, was fighting a battle between his heart and mind. His mind told him that he shouldn’t jeopardize his friendship with John over a girl and his heart told him that he should tell Mary-Jane how he felt. He could not make up his mind and tried his best to hide his feelings from everyone.
Days passed and Neil’s inner conflict continued. His love hadn’t decreased. On the contrary, it had grown even more. Every time he decided to tell Mary-Jane, his courage would fail him and he would fear the consequences of his actions. Mary-Jane had no idea how her every action affected her infatuated admirer. She had no idea how Neil worshipped her and went on with her life in blissful ignorance.

Neil decided to go away for a few days so that he could sort out his mixed feelings and told everyone he knew that he needed a holiday. He wanted no one to contact him for anything. In reality he needed to get away from Mary-Jane. He hoped that maybe it would ease his conflicting emotions and help him go on with life. He asked God why he had ever set eyes on her, and why fate had dealt him such a bad hand.

His little trip helped him come to a decision and when he came back home, he started preparing for what he was going to do. He steeled his resolve and soothed his palpitating heart. He stopped by the florist’s on the way to his destination and picked up a single long-stemmed red rose. He rehearsed his lines over and over again in his mind all the way there.

He walked up the road and saw a wedding going on in the church. He walked towards the car decked up with flowers and streamers and wondered whose wedding it was. When the happily married couple stepped out of the church doors, his heart stopped beating and the rose fell from his hand.

He watched with tears in his eyes as Mary-Jane and John drove away in the car towards a new life together. All he could do in the end was walk back home with his heart shattered into a thousand pieces. The solitary rose lay on the pavement where it had fallen, the symbol of a broken heart, of lost love, a moment gone, a chance thrown away.

The telegram

I saw a music video and it inspired me to write this story.


Just five simple words on a piece of paper brought her crashing back to reality.

Anna Petrelli-acting sensation, fabulous singer, Broadway star. She had the looks of any man’s fantasy woman. Auburn hair, falling just below her shoulders, blue-gray eyes which flashed fire when she was angry, full lips, a small button nose and a lovely tinkling laugh which reminded you of flowing water.

She knew she was born to be an actress from the time she set eyes on the stage and saw the dances, the singing, the applause, the adoration. It had been a musical she had seen with her father.

She was his pet, his Sunshine. Her mother had passed away when she was young and he was everything to her. She had a lovely singing voice and he would spend hours just listening to her talk and sing.

She loved wandering away and exploring the woods behind her house. She would listen to the birds and the springs, watch the leaves falling to the ground in the fall, watch the squirrels scampering around and would dream of her future. She would then tell her father about all this and he would smile. He knew his Sunshine was growing up, but was it too soon?

After that one musical experience she told her father that she wanted go to New York to make her dreams come true. He knew his Sunshine had grown and all too soon she was leaving. She set out for New York- the city of dreams. The only thing her father gave her was a tiny silver cross and a simple chain which he hung around her neck. It never left her neck after that.

Anna was in New York. There were struggles at first but she learnt to live. She had to knock on many doors. There was a lot of rejection. Some said her voice was too high, some said she needed voice classes, some said she didn’t have the attitude, some said that she was too plain. She took it all in her stride and inched her way to the top. She got the break she needed and suddenly the name Anna Petrelli was on everyone’s lips. She was the new sensation.

Letters from her beloved father went unanswered because she could never find the time. She won awards but the one person she wanted most by her side was not with her.

Then one day, after one of her shows, she saw that much loved face looking for her. Father had come for his Sunshine. She reached out for him but he was lost in the teeming crowds come to congratulate her. She was left grasping nothingness while his face was replaced with those of others like an eraser slowly doing its job.

He walked away disappointed as her calls were drowned out by the shouts of her fans. She was left searching for that small piece of her heart she had left behind with him.

She could not forget the hurt in his eyes. She wondered when her life had become so full that she had forgotten the sound of his laughter, the hours she used to spend in his arms and the wonderful stories he used to tell her. She wondered if she should give it all up and go after him to find the comfort and security his touch always used to give her.

The very next day just before her show, she sunk into her chair in front of the mirror. She looked at herself. A pretty face stared back at her but all that was left of her was a shell. That carefree, adventurous girl who loved climbing trees in her backyard was gone. She had become famous but was still a nobody. All she wanted was some more time, just another day to go back to being to being that carefree little girl.

The tears poured from her eyes and her heart wept as she fingered the tiny cross around her neck. She laid her head on the dressing table and a telegram fell from her limp hands. On it were written the words:
FATHER DIED. PLEASE COME HOME.

The old man

This is a story I wrote for a story-writing competition. I won the first prize and I'm very proud of it. I think it's my best story till date :D

The old man sat in the park waiting and waiting. Waiting for someone. Hoping they would come.

Who was he? Why was he sitting there in a ragged overcoat, patched trousers and checked cap staring straight ahead with his hands clasped in his lap?

Well, that man was Jim Herriot, a leading surgeon of his time. He was a contented man. He had a beautiful wife, a lovely daughter, a lavish house and a flourishing career. He had everything a man ever wanted. But everything changed on New Year’s Eve. His wife and daughter were driving back home from a party to meet him and they were going to spend a quiet time together. Then, his wife’s car was involved in an accident with a drunk truck driver. His wife died instantly and he was left battling to save his daughter’s life in the operating room. Jim was fighting a losing battle against death. His daughter died in his arms

Jim had lost everything that meant the most to him. The funerals passed in a haze. He withdrew into a shell. He lost his job. He was thrown out of his house. Then Jim made his home on the park bench. In his own world, waiting for his lost family.

People passed by him everyday. Most of the time they were so preoccupied that they didn’t notice that old man. Some people looked at him, smiled and waved. Some people dropped a few coins at his feet. Some people gave him disgusted looks, wrinkled their noses and walked or jogged away. Some people also sat next to him and tried talking to him but Jim was oblivious to everything. He just sat there, lost in memories of his family. Nothing else mattered. Jim was like a figure frozen in time, unmoving and unspeaking. Years passed.

But one day something happened. A tiny puppy nestled up to Jim’s feet and something stirred in the old man’s heart. He bent down and picked up the puppy. He stroked its soft fur and for the first time in many years he smiled. Months passed and the puppy grew into a dog which sat at its master’s feet with love and loyalty in its eyes. Occasionally Jim would come out of his stupor and stroke the dog’s head and then retreat into his shell again. Maybe, just maybe things had changed and Jim’s life was going to get better. Still, God did not want it that way. Jim died sitting right there on the park bench. The dog now sat waiting...

Park officials came and buried Jim in the nearby cemetery. The dog was adopted but it didn’t live very long.

Some people still say that they see an old man sitting in a ragged overcoat, patched trousers and checked cap staring straight ahead with his hands clasped in his lap. But no one realized that Jim Herriot had reached his destination. He had rejoined his family up there. Even his dog was with him. Jim Herriot’s wait was finally over.

My first poem..

Here is the very first poem I wrote...
THE RAIN
Silently she sat
As the rain poured from the sky
Mother Nature shed her tears
And suddenly
The rain stopped
Everything was clean and fresh
The leaves, the grass
Even the sky
Looked new and washed
The rain dripped off the leaves
And flowers raised their
Tiny colourful heads
She looked at the new world
And shed tears of her own...
Hello people,
I'm using this space to show off some off my poems and stories.. Would love any comments or criticisms :D