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A Traveler's Saga

Photo taken at Plitvice National Park, Croatia by Vibhor Dhote Oh! What are these days I have found myself in! The bagpacks I carry n...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Last Call


“I will make it right this time,” she was determined as she thought to herself.

It was a cold and windy night and very few people could be seen on the streets, especially at fifteen past midnight. She had been walking briskly since the last ten minutes. She passed a few teenagers sitting on the pavement near the road feeding on something she assumed to be akin to drugs. She skipped a beat as it made her anticipate the near future even more. Seeing a couple cuddling and kissing each other, made her walk faster eventually to break into a run. It was her last chance and she had to make it right this time. She held the jacket she was wearing, closer to her cold body and ran as fast as she could on the streets of Philadelphia.


“How about never giving up?” He asked his mother who was sipping on her third cup of coffee. Neha had this habit of drinking a lot of coffee whenever she was worried. Rohit continued to motivate his mother, the way he had been doing from the last half-hour, to change her newly made decision of quitting her job but Neha was only half listening. She was lost in her thoughts of the dreadful politics that was going on at her work-place.

“I am tired, beta.” She said to her 15-year old son. “Leave me alone for some time.” Neha had been feeling too old of late; too old to avoid the politics, too old to even take part in it. She felt hopeless and Rohit’s encouraging words went to deaf ears.

The following day, Rohit saw his mother coming home early with tearful eyes. The two words “I resigned” was all she said that day.


Five months had passed since Neha quit her job but she seemed to have never moved on. She would talk less with her son, she would avoid her neighbours and she would never go to the parties her family was invited at.

His mother was the only family Rohit had and after losing a father at the tender age of eleven, he almost felt like he was losing his mother too. She looked older than her age, she acted older than her age and she would no longer be there for him to solve his issues or even to talk about them.

He had issues – in his love life, in his friends’ circle, with his teachers, with the kids of the society they lived in. Rohit, the boy who once was talkative, became as silent as his mother at times. He felt he lost his best friend, his mother, too. And Rohit, the same boy who had once motivated his mother so much, was now at a phase of life where he lost all hopes from the people in the world.


 It was an early Saturday morning when Neha saw something she should’ve noticed long ago. While returning from her visit to the mart she saw two guys sitting on the pavement near the roadway. One of the guys was Rohit looking up at the sky. In his hands was something that a fifteen year old shouldn’t hold, neither by law nor in the outlook of a mother.

“Drugs”, Neha uttered a scream. Rohit’s friend, a black little kid of about thirteen years of age, fled the scene seeing a lady in front of them. And Rohit sat there unable to perceive what was happening.


Neha didn’t know what to say to her little son who chose the wrong way. She was never a good counselor and the recent happenings made her feel like a bad mother. After she caught Rohit doing drugs, she made it sure that she walks with him to his School and accompanies him while he returns so that he doesn’t bunk school to sit on streets with random strangers. But even after a week of doing the same, she received a phone-call from the Principal of the school informing her that her son’s attendance is marked low. On further asking, she realized that he hadn’t been attending his classes since the last three weeks. A speechless Neha held the receiver while the gentleman kept asking if her son is unwell. Neha didn’t know how or why her son had been doing all that nor could she answer the person over the phone.

Neha needed someone to tell her what to do. She stood perplexed whether to ask her son forthright or whether to ask his friends to find out the matter. “And I don’t even know who are his friends,” Neha realized. She had been so engrossed in her own grief of loneliness and inability to continue her job-life that she neglected a son who was at a tender age where often teens choose the wrong path. She felt like a loser.
When her son returned home that day it was he who spoke first.

“Did anyone call for me?”

“No.” Neha lied.

Rohit went straightaway to his room with an expression of disappointment.


“May be all he needs is a little attention from your side.” Neha’s mother said over the phone.

Neha had finally decided to consult her mother in India about the matter and after talking to the old lady she realized it was a sensible decision she made.

“Talk with him; you’re his mother, not a stranger,” advised Neha’s mother.

Neha understood this time, although late. She walked to her son’s room, calling out to him that dinner was ready.

The door was ajar with a note hanging by the doorknob that said, “Goodbye, Mom.”


“I will make it right this time,” Neha said to herself as she ran out her house searching for her kid. She asked a few passersby who showed her the way they saw the kid walking. She dashed in that direction, she knew she wasn’t much late. She looked at her watch, it was fifteen past twelve. She had been walking since the past ten minutes in the middle of the night with no signs of her son to be seen. For a moment she thought she lost him but that’s when she saw the silhouette of a young man wearing a jacket and standing near a bridge that crossed a small river. She heaved a sigh of relief.

“Come home, son.” She called out to Rohit. “I am sorry.”

Rohit looked at the water below the bridge he was standing on. He took a step forward towards the edge of the bridge.

“Wait,” Neha interrupted the train of thoughts Rohit was in. “Where are you going?”

There was a smile on the young guy’s face. Rohit threw a final glance at the water below and shook his head. 
“I am coming home, Mom. I am coming home.” Rohit said and backed off from the bridge, walked towards the lady he loved the most, his best friend, his only family, his mother, Neha.


Sometimes we feel the urge to lose ourselves to oblivion, to simply fade away, to vanish from the sight of everyone we love. Does that mean we be lost forever?

Nay, sometimes all our heart wants is for it to be loved, to offer that one last chance to the ones who care enough to will to mend what has been broken.

Sometimes we seem to want to simply fade away only to be shown that we are not invisible, we matter.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The ITian

College was about to end
And Employers were at the door
Discussions and Interviews
Like there had been none before

Being selected as one
Was like winning a battle
And everywhere I’d see
Congratulations did rattle

The victory was ephemeral
And it soon meant losing
When time was to leave home
Family and friends, so loving

They say, “job-life’s boring”
And you gulp in fear
Alas! it is no less than fun
When you find new friends, dear

And it’s another world here
Framed in the cold block
With warm smiles and hope
A system, desk and a lock

The indolent youth
Spending four hours in college
Now spent nine in office
Working to gain knowledge

Within a month or two
We too became professional
Work and Responsibilities
And a personal life in parallel

Family would motivate
Bosses would guide
Colleagues would help
and we sail with the tide

“Priorities” is the word
We learned as we grew
From students to employees
Of such a change, who knew?

There are personalities
who inspire us to do more
there are speeches and sessions
and we learn from each chore

With high hopes and determination
We begin each day
With queries, sessions and tasks
Completing by the end of the day

Soon this too shall pass
then it all might seem black and white
But for now, let life be colored

It’s new; it’s fun and tomorrow seems bright...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Of outbursts and outcries

of myths and lies
in that gentle veil of silence
the love so pure, dies

The heart wails
and it bleeds
for all it couldn't get
and all it needs

And he's punished
he's torn
for all that is red
for all he had worn 

There were wounds
there were scars
and he was tied
behind the bars

Oh, there was laughter
and there was cure
there was lunacy
and there was lure

There was lust
on top of hatred's pile
there were the unfulfilled desires
and a wicked smile

Oh, there was freedom
there was salvation
but he knew it cannot die
not his own creation

On the path of oblivion
lied his grave, treacherous
and so he awaited, unaware
of the fate precarious...

Kaleidoscopic Perceptions - I

(We, the contributing authors of  Kaleidoscope were wondering how to make our weekends more productive and so we came up with the idea of conducting contests among ourselves inviting honest criticism from each other. Below is the first one - To write in 300 words, one's perception of the picture below)

 I often find myself trapped between my other two sides. On evenings like these,when the setting sun of life draws a curtain upon my peaceful existence,I begin to introspect. I am lost in the chaos of my own silence as I discover my other sides. I am tired with the days happenings, of my failure that vapourises my prior feats. Like the early bird, that returns home with the pride of touching the blue skies along with the regrets to fall back on the land. I was the winner all along. I still am! Stars never fall to dust, nor do they fade when the nights get the darkest. This is one of those dark nights. While I am caught midway with repeated failures to fly higher than before, I need to my a choice. A choice between looking back at those glorious moments when I outshone myself, inspiring myself not to give in. Or to choose between my weaker soul that chooses to look down and give up! Both the sides are a part of me, the question is which one of them is more prominent. As the evening dissolves into a new hope,I choose the one the inspires. I choose the lessons of the past that will help me fill in a new flight. While a whole new morning awaits me ..

By Smriti Mahale

There are three kinds of people in this world. 
First, who are seeking all the answers from within themselves. These are people who are restricting themselves in their shell.
Second we have people who are looking at others for their own answers. They depend on others to seek themselves. 
Third and the most successful are those who do neither of the above. They are not too much into them. They are not finding themselves in other's journeys. These are people who are looking into the horizons and writing their own stories, charting their own paths, walking their own journeys.....

By Parul Tyagi

Crow #1: Hey, you know he smells different.
Crow #2: Yes, he’s been with them. He reeks of humans. Now he sits aloof from us as if we are beneath him.
Crow #1: I never thought he would change so drastically. We were together in all the ups and downs of life. Should we talk to him?
Crow #2: Nah, you wait. He’ll come back to us begging. The nerve of that guy.
Crowd #1: You’re right. We’ve done too much already for that guy. 

Crow #3 (in deep thought): I hope my friends accept me even if I’ve been tainted forever. I don’t know where else to go. Who am I kidding? They’ll understand I had no choice. After all, we’re the best of friends.

By Rafaa Dalvi

When the Sun hasn't kissed the horizon to rise, they rise like clouds on a windy evening. Leaving the comfort of their nest, to perch on the thin wire that carries electricity like the restlessness in their own veins, they fly as the dawn follows them. And they wait, every dawn, not for the Sun to rise, but because the dusk felt too long to sleep. 
He looks down, the darkest of the crows, in a search for a sign of raw flesh lying dead on the ground as he gulps his fear that he might see something he shouldn't. 
The other searches the skies, looks all around; he hopes against all odds that what he searches for will come flying to him one such early morning.
 But the third one knows it all; he pretends he doesn't know what his brothers are waiting for. He pretends he is lost in thoughts. He recalls the old days and he fears the future darkness holds. He looks up at the heaven and gently sighs - “Mother, I wish you were here.”

By Sanhita Baruah