Reading Time: 6 minutes


Dhananjay was studying architecture. The handsome, brilliant young man was very popular amongst his age group. The subject of architecture was giving him ample scope to express his creativity. He was performing excellently in his curriculum. Thinking something different from the normal, was his trait that was getting strengthened.

And one day, his creative mind spilled over into his daily routine. He decided to keep long hair. Months passed without having a haircut. When someone checked about this, he would reason out the heavy submission work keeping him away from hair-cutting saloons.

When his hair grew long enough to tie a ponytail, society saw this handsome man sporting a ponytail. Initially, he was the topic of ridicule by his friends. But confident Dhananjay paid no heed to the comments. And slowly Dhananjay was accepted as a person with a ponytail. Apart from his brilliance and his handsome personality, his ponytail became a prominent feature describing Dhananjay.

Days passed into months.

To everyone’s dismay, another man from this group stopped visiting hair cutting saloon. And one more person from the group was seen sporting a ponytail.

Then one more and then one more.

Many young men from the college of Architecture were seen with the ponytail.

Yes. It had become a fashion to keep long hair for the men.

After graduation, these young men joined the professional world. Still, they maintained their fashion and it was widely accepted as keeping up with the new wave.

Dhananjay joined a company and started fetching a fat salary.

Sometime later, Sandhya, a bright young lady in the I.T. profession, joined the same company.

There were many occasions during lunchtime when Dhananjay came across sparkling Sandhya. He liked her. He tried approaching her.

For a long time, the encounters did not extend beyond formal hi & hellos.

Usually, when any young lady he came across, Dhananjay used to have a cautious approach and would refrain from getting closer to her.

But on this occasion, Dhananjay was attracted to Sandhya. He was willing to get closer to her. He was trying all the known tricks to interact with her as much as possible. But Sandhya was keeping herself at a distance from Dhananjay.

That day Dhananjay’s senior officer called him to the cabin.

Dhananjay while entering the cabin, saw Sandhya already sitting there.

Dhananjay had a disturbing thought. ‘Has Sandhya complained to his senior officer against him? Oh my God! But I have not done anything wrong.’

“Take a seat, Dhananjay.” The officer said.

Dhananjay was relieved. He was eager to know what his boss wanted to discuss with him in presence of Sandhya.

“Dhananjay, I believe, you know Miss Sandhya.”

“Yes. Of course.” Dhananjay smiled, his ponytail shaking swiftly.

“See, we have to design an office for an I.T. company. Dhananjay, discussing the requirements of an I.T. set-up use your creativity. You interact with Miss Sandhya and produce a novel design for our client which is an I.T. giant.”

“Ok, Sir. How many storeys?” Dhananjay’s creative mind had already started working.

“I have discussed the client’s requirement with Sandhya. You get all the details from her and start working.

“If you have any difficulty, contact me.

“Ok then. All the best Miss Sandhya and Dhananjay.” Saying this the senior official closed his book indicating Dhananjay & Sandhya to proceed further leaving his cabin.

Dhananjay and Sandhya got up and went to the discussion room.  

During the discussion, Sandhya detailed the requirements of an I.T. set-up. Dhananjay’s imagination was running wild. After discussing various ideas, Sandhya was able to present a realistic picture of a progressive I.T. company’s functioning. Incorporating the latest features of communication and project management techniques, they started working on designing the layout of the office.

Dhananjay and Sandhya were meeting regularly and trying to give maximum scope for Dhananjay’s design ideas. Dhananjay was getting involved more and more with Sandhya as the layout of the office was taking a more concrete shape.

Dhananjay was wondering why was it that Sandhya’s emotional responses were not intense enough as much as he expected? He had confirmed from all his friends that Sandhya was not already involved with any else. But still, she was keeping herself emotionally aloof. After every meeting, he was getting disappointed on the emotional front.  

The project reached completion.

And the day arrived when the client was presented with the design and the plan.

A thrilling appreciation was received from the customer. As a result,

Dhananjay was congratulated by everyone in the office. A group party was arranged.   Dhananjay and Sandhya were felicitated for their achievement.  

When at home, Dhananjay was a bit disappointed by Sandhya’s reaction. He was lost in thoughts over why Sandhya was distancing from him. He needed some help in this regard. But how was that possible?

The lunchtime gossips centered around Dhananjay and Sandhya. Dhananjay used to enjoy comments from the group members. Senior members of the group also wished that Dhananjay was paired with Sandhya.

One of the senior members of the group once found Dhananjay working all alone. He approached Dhananjay.

“Dhananjay, very busy with work? Can I disturb you for five minutes?” the senior said.

“Oh my God! If you want to talk to me, I am always available,” saying this Dhananjay set aside his paperwork. “Now, tell me.”

“I consider you as my younger brother. Can I ask you a personal question?”

“Yes. Yes. By all means.”

“Dhananjay, You have done a great job in designing the office for the I.T. organization. The entire office is proud of you. Actually, you both. You and Sandhya. Now, to tell you, our entire group thinks of you both as an ideal pair in real life too. I want to know, do you like Sandhya or not?”

Dhananjay was shocked. He never expected such a private question from the senior. He also realized that his behavior in the group, however objective, must have reflected his liking for Sandhya to other members.

With a soft smile, he looked around and whispered lowly, “ Yes. I like her.”

“But then why don’t you express it to her? Have you ever gifted something to her? Have you ever asked her to dinner?”

“Gifts? No never. I don’t think Sandhya is that cheap who will get impressed by the gifts”

Dhananjay said positively. His ponytail wiggled.

“All girls surely value gifts. But you are a mature man and you know better the person whom you like. So, no comments on that. Then, what is holding you up?”

“I am not holding up.”

“Then, shall I speak to that wonderful girl on this matter?”

“That you decide. I can only say I like her.”

“Thank you, Dhananjay. I will now clarify her ideas about you. I must find out why these two fabulous persons are not getting together,” saying this the senior got up.

“I will talk to you soon.”

Dhananjay was overjoyed to find some unexpected help.

In a happy mood, he pulled out his paperwork and started pouring in his imaginative ideas.

After a couple of days, the senior called Dhananjay to his cabin.

Dhananjay thought he would get to know Sandhya’s ideas about him.

“Dhananjay, Congratulations. The top management is very much pleased with your creativity and they have promoted you as the team leader. You will also get a fat raise in your pay-check.”

Though very happy at the news of a promotion, he was disappointed that he did not hear anything about Sandhya. He rose from the chair.

“Dhananjay, congratulations again.” They shook hands.

With a little disappointment, Dhananjay turned around.

“Dhananjay, tell me what prompted you to sport this ponytail?”

Dhananjay was shocked at this unrelated question.

“Sit down for a few more minutes. I spoke to Sandhya. She also likes you but for your ponytail. She told me she has a hatred for the ponytails sported by men. “

Dhananjay was jolted. He could not hide his disappointment.

“Further, she added ‘with a normal hair-cut, Dhananjay would be unstoppable’. Think over this situation. If you need my opinion, I am available to you.”

Without adding a single word, Dhananjay rushed out of the cabin. He went to his cubicle and opened up the file he was working on. As a true professional, he set aside his emotional turbulence and continued his designing task.

When at home, Dhananjay was lost in thoughts.

‘My ponytail came as a hurdle. Unimaginable!

If she likes me, she must accept me as I am! If she can’t adjust to such an unimportant matter, how is she going to adjust to much more difficult situations in life? No, it does not make any difference to me whether she hates the ponytails sported by men.’ Dhananjay had taken his decision.

The next day, Dhananjay discussed this matter with his close friend Avinash.

“I have a solution. You have a normal haircut now and after marriage, you insist on a ponytail and grow your hair as per your wish,” Avinash suggested.

“What nonsense! That amounts to cheating. No. I will never do such a thing.” Dhananjay was certain on his stand. ‘No conditional acceptance. No bargaining in a relationship.’

Dhananjay spoke to his senior. “Sir, I am not ready for any suggestions. No negotiations while deciding life partnership. Acceptance should be as one is. I don’t want her to change in any way.”

The senior was disheartened.

Sandhya when learnt about Dhananjay’s point of view, thought on the matter more deeply.

‘If for such a trivial thing as hairstyle he can not adjust, how is he going to adjust on more serious matters in life in the future?’

The blooming relationship was shriveled due to a fashion.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ramesh had applied for the post of Junior Engineer in the Central Government department in Mumbai where his father was an officer at a very senior level. He was eagerly waiting for the results. His father was an upright officer. Ramesh repeatedly told his father to use his position to get him the job.

“If you perform well, you will get the job,” was his father’s reply. “No one can deny the post to a deserving candidate.”

 Ramesh appeared for the written test. He was sure that he would get the call for the interview.

Unfortunately, his name did not appear on the list of successful candidates.

Ramesh was very upset. He felt that there was a reason, something other than his suitability that he was rejected. He was dead sure that he was the most suitable candidate for the post. But still, he was not accepted.

After thinking over the matter, he concluded that he was a case of discrimination. Since he was not from Maharashtra, he was denied the job.

In the night, after dinner was over while discussing with his father, he said, “Babuji, I was turned down because I am not a Maharashtrian. As I am from UP, I was denied the opportunity. A clear case of prejudice. These Maharashtrians are parochial. I am going to fight against this injustice.”

“Ramesh, How are you sure that you deserved the post? Before blaming someone else, you should be doubly sure that you were suitable for the post.”

“Babuji, you don’t know how these people select the persons. They will pick up the candidates only from their state. I am the victim of their partiality.”

Without adding anything, Babuji got up from the table. Ramesh thought that his father did not have any authority to push his candidature.

The next day, he discussed the matter with his friend, Santosh.

“Ramesh. I just came to know. The principal selection officer was from U.P.”

“Are you sure? In that case, why wasn’t  I selected?”

“I am sure. I was told that the chief selection officer was from U.P.”

“Oh! In that case, he must be a non-Hindu person. How these people take revenge!

Just because I am a Hindu, I was rejected. A clear case of discrimination.”

“No. What I have heard was that he was neither a Christian nor a Muslim,” Santosh said.

“In that case, the chief selection officer must be from SC/ST. Otherwise, how could I get rejected?” Ramesh said.

Despondent Ramesh was lost in thoughts.

 Another friend, Nitin saw Ramesh demoralized.

“Ramesh, don’t get disappointed. Try once more.”

“No Nitin, I am not afraid of appearing once again for the written test. But I am angry that some SC/ST chief officer threw me out of competition.”

“Who said the selection committee was headed by an SC/ST person? I am pretty sure he was not from any special category. I know he was from UP. But I do not know what caste he was from?”

“Then, he must be a brahmin from U.P. Do you know these people? They hate other castes so much. That is how I was not selected.” Ramesh spoke out.

The next day Ramesh met Akshay. “You know these brahmins hate other castes, especially Yadavs. That is why I was dropped.”

“What Ramesh, have you not received the interview call? Are you not going for further processing?” Akshay was surprised.

“No yaar. The Brahmins hate Yadavs so much. Any opportunity to put the Yadavs down and they will hold it securely. That is how I am denied the chance to get selected.” Ramesh said,

“Who said the selection committee head was a UPite brahmin? No.No. I know very well the chief was a Yadav,” Akshay said.

“What, Yadav?  Then he must be from Jharkhand. Otherwise. I was sure to get selected.” Ramesh said.” These Jharkhand Yadavs hate Yadavs from UP.

I am the victim of this hatred between states. Yadavs from Jharkhand are dumb-headed. My sister had received a proposal from Yadav from Jharkhand. But he was an idiot of the first order. My father was ready to give him dahej in cash but he wanted only a Toyota car. Finally, the negotiations did not move further.”

“How foolish! But I think this Yadav is from UP and settled in Mumbai.” Akshay said.

“Oh my God! And still, I was refused.” Ramesh was disgusted.

Disheartened Ramesh left Akshay immediately. He reached home and waited for his father to return home from his office.

As soon as Father entered the house, Ramesh said,” Babuji, do you know? The chief of the selection committee was a Yadav. And that too from Mumbai. How come you did not know him? He must be jealous of you. And that is why he disqualified me. He must be very happy now. Babuji, please find out this Yadav and fire him. How could he play with the life of your son?”

“Ramesh, cool down. Instead of wasting time and energy finding out about the chief of the selection committee, you should have tried to find out why you could not perform better.”

“What Babuji, when some Yadav from your office removes my name from the list and you don’t feel upset? How could he dare to do this wrong to your son?”

“Before blaming someone else for your rejection, did you check up on whether you were worthy of selection? 

“Ramesh, you must put in more effort for the next written exam and prepare for the interview. And stop this nonsense of blaming others.

“DISCRIMINATION. This nicely quoted word many people use to take shelter for any wrongdoing or incapability.

“First, you pointed out to different state, then to a different religion, then to different castes, scheduled caste, Brahmin community. Then finally, when you found that person was Yadav only you could not pass the buck further

That is a gross misuse of that word. Without doing any introspection, you tried to get the sympathy under the shelter of DISCRIMINATION.

 And Ramesh, I would like to tell you that I know the person who was chief of the selection committee.”

“And Babuji, you did nothing for me, your only son?” Ramesh asked sorrowfully.

“Listen further. That Yadav is your father.”

Ramesh was awe-struck at the righteousness of his father.

Reading Time: < 1 minute


Majestically gorgeous and tall

To impress the passionate lover

Put on different charming colours

Without any accomplishment

Realizing, the romantic sweetheart

 preferred zero figure.

They shed the deciduous

Awaiting the arrival of the consummate admirer.

The first encounter of skift of snow

Like a feather tickling the cheeks

He lovingly covered with whitecoat

The expectantly shivering trees

Reading Time: 10 minutes


On December 15th of 2019, the space shuttle team gathered for a final meeting of the astronauts for the last briefing about the mission.

“Yes, my brave team members, here is the plan.

This team of four is going to take off on 25th December at midnight. The space shuttle will be heading straight for the ISS (International Space station) and after orbiting for two days it will dock with the ISS.

The new team of two men and two women will take charge from the earlier team and within two days the old team will start their journey homewards.

The new team, please keep in mind that this trip of yours is not just a simple one to carry out some experiments.

We are going to observe the human behavioral changes and psychological effects of being in space without any support or backup from the earth for three years. Once you take charge and the old team starts their return journey, your entire communication channels will be cut off. You will not be able to contact the earth in any situation whatsoever, whether the space station gets set on fire or your oxygen supply gets over or any other calamity; you will be on your own. We have provided you with all the protective gadgets, and we have trained you on how to handle adverse circumstances.  Whatever conceivable situation, we have provided you with the solution. But if any unimagined threat to your life arises, you will have to handle it yourself. In no condition, we can be contacted.

And in such a secluded condition you will stay on ISS for three solid years. After the space shuttle takes off from the IS station, you will not even hear the existence of life. Only four of you will be there.  In this multiverse, with billions of galaxies each with billions of stars, you will be all alone. Only solace will be in the vicinity of earth. Nothing more than that.

Every day at a fixed time that is at 8 o’clock, you will have to stand in front of ROBOT XX and will have to answer the questions he asks you. He will test you in a certain way to know the state of your mind. It will record its findings but will not send them to us on earth. After three years when we will establish communication with you, ROBOT XX will hand over to us all the data collected.

But for three years neither you will hear from us nor you will be able to talk to us.

Okay, then teammates. Get ready for the space shuttle. All the very best.”

Everyone dispersed.

On 25th December night, the space shuttle took off.

After orbiting the earth twice, it docked with the ISS. The newly arrived team was welcomed by the existing team.

In three days, the returning team got onto the space shuttle. It was undocked from the ISS and it started its journey toward Earth.


The new team was left on the ISS to get back only after three complete years. The spirited team was at the peak of their excitement. They looked towards the earth.

It appeared so calm. It was rotating about its own axis at a fixed speed. It was also revolving around the sun. It was neither in any hurry nor having any concern about completing one revolution in one year. From this distant place, everything looked cool on earth. No border disputes between nations. No wars over the matter of supremacy of any country. The entire planet sounded peace-loving. The complete human race seemed to believe in peaceful co-existence.  It looked like an ideal place to live compared to the distant planets and other solar systems.






But here down on earth, on December 31, 2019, Wuhan Municipal Health Authorities reported a string of pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China.

On January 13 Thailand discovered its first patient, a sixty-one-year-old woman.

Then Japan recorded its sufferer.

On January 21 USA, TAIWAN, HONGKONG followed the suit. Then Singapore, Malaysia, France, Vietnam, and Nepal registered their first cases.

The death toll in Wuhan, China rose to 27.

On January 25 Canada, Australia, Germany, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia declared their first cases.

On January 29 Finland, UAE joined the list

On January 30 India, the Philippines reported their first cases.

The WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic THREAT to the entire world, on 30th January 2020.

And the mood all over the world had turned gloomy.


Satish and Vidya mulled over the issue.

“Don’t know how these developed countries are the first victims of the spread of the virus. Thank God the underdeveloped populous countries like ours are away from the effect. If it had started in this part of the world, it would have created havoc“.

“Already, the air pollution is causing innumerable diseases. The moving vehicles’ exhausts vitiate the environment so much that we can hardly see clear blue skies. As a result, stargazing in the clear night sky is becoming a rare occasion now.” 


On January 31 UK, Russia, and Italy joined the muster.

On February 4, Belgium reported the first victim.   The number of infected was increasing. Every day, a new name nation was getting added. Brazil, Canada, and Iran had witnessed the presence of COVID_19 victims.


“Yes. It is spreading very fast. But India is far away and I think we are safe“.


Astronauts on the ISS, viewed the earth rotating at the same speed in the same orbit as earlier.


But Indians have better immunity than Europeans & Americans as in India, the hygienic conditions are not critically maintained. Certainly, the virus will not open out here as it unfurled in the western countries








February 07, 2020

  • Total Countries With Confirmed Cases: 25
  • Total Confirmed Cases: 31,484
  • Total Confirmed Deaths:   638

February 20, 2020

  • Total Countries With Confirmed Cases: 27
  • Total cases confirmed Globally: 75,386
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,129
  • Deaths Outside of China: 11

February 28, 2020

.    Total Countries with confirmed cases: 56

.    Middle East countries got infected. Afghanistan, Iran. Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Brazil, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Romania, and Pakistan were added to the list.

.    Total Cases Confirmed Globally: 84,090

.     Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,874

March 06, 2020

  • Total Countries With Confirmed Cases: 90
  • Total Cases Confirmed Globally: 100,481
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 3,408
  • All 28 states declare an EMERGENCY in the US.

March 11



On 12 March, a 76-year-old man from Kalaburgi, Karnataka who had a travel history to Saudi Arabia became the first victim of the virus in the country



  • Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak recordsjust 5 new cases of coronavirus


March 13

  • More than 5,000 have diedfrom coronavirus worldwide.
  • S. President Donald Trump declared a state of National Emergency under the Stafford Act.
  • Total Countries with Confirmed Cases: 121
  • Total Cases Confirmed Globally: 142,095
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 5,373
  • Deaths Outside of China: 2,197
  • Global coronavirus cases doublefrom last week, reaching almost 330,000 cases.  

On 25th March 2020, the Gudi Padva  Day as a proactive action, India declared LOCK-DOWN in the entire country. Plying of cars, buses, and auto rickshaws were stopped. The long-distance, local, and even metro train services were canceled.

March 26 

  • Nearly a third of the world’s population is livingunder coronavirus-related restrictions. 
  • United States death toll reachesone thousand.  


Every person was supposed to remain within the four walls of his house. Only for essential requirements, individuals were permitted to get out of their habitats.

The environmental difference, like the temperature in India being higher than in western countries, offered natural protection against pandemics.


On 28th March confirmed cases in India reaches 1000.


The infected number in India was swelling day by day. But the death rate was very low compared to the western world.

Big cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai were getting into the danger zone. All modes of transportation were banned and the entire country had come to a halt. (standstill.) Still, the infected number was swelling faster.

“Oh, the public does not take proper care.”

“At least in this horrifying situation, our careless attitude towards hygiene maintenance should change.”



“The entire world is under the grip of this pandemic COVID-19. We do not know how it is going to strangle the existence of the human race.”

Various theories for spreading the killer virus were being put forth.

“Some say, it is like influenza. Not to worry much.”

“But the figures coming from all over the world, suggest it is growing fast. Also, it is said to be fatal for senior persons. In particular, those having some serious illness already, are more vulnerable to the

COVID-19 virus attack.”


April 4: Worldwide cases exceed one million.


Astronauts on the ISS viewed the earth rotating at the same speed in the same orbit as earlier. But the picture looked clearer than earlier ever. The astronauts thought – “Looks like people on earth have taken air pollution very seriously and are taking effective actions against air adulteration. They appeared to be concerned about the health of the atmosphere.”


On 5th April confirmed deaths were 100.

“It is really, torturous to remain confined to four walls. Cannot go out to even to breathe the fresh air.”

“Yogita was saying she is finding it very difficult to contain her 6 years old daughter in four walls now. For a few days, they managed. But it is getting almost impossible to keep her from going out to play with her friends.”

“Yes. That is a big problem. We oldies can manage somehow. But what about youngsters, children?”

“Whatever you say, but the skies are clearer these days. One can easily spot stars, planets, constellations, etc. The appearance of ISS for a very short time, gliding gives immense pleasure.”


29th April Confirmed cases 30,000.

confirmed deaths 1000.

A big shuffle of migrant workers.

“Tukaram was finding it difficult to manage house without any source of income. Nobody is ready to call for any services for house maintenance. So, he has gone to his village in Satara”

“Ramlal was prudent that he left Mumbai for his village in UP by the first train available after the lockdown was declared. He knew nobody is going to come to have pani-puri from his cart in this lockdown period.”

“Sawant left for Ratnagiri as his employer had told him he would be called only after lockdown gets lifted.”


10th May, in India

Confirmed cases 50,000

confirmed deaths 2000


“Santosh’s company had announced that they would be working from home, so to make sure of the internet connection at home. And he left for Varanasi along with his family after he received his laptop from the company.”

“The construction workers have left Mumbai for their villages. So, all the construction work is totally stopped. The construction Engineers to go on leave till the building work resumes.”

Some hundreds of workers had started going to their villages, walking.


The number of infected persons was increasing in leaps and bounds. Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, were the worst affected.

19th May in India confirmed cases 1,00,000.

27th May confirmed cases in the country 1,50,000.



“General public is not serious about masks and social distancing. If they do not follow these norms, the number of infected persons is definitely going to increase.”


31st May in India confirmed deaths 5000.


“Our area of Ashokvan is still safe. Not a single case so far. “

In Borivali and Mira Road a few cases were found and they were sent to quarantine centers.

All men were having the looks of Rishi Munis as it was nearly four months that the hair-cutting saloons were not allowed to open.

A new face of our youth was surfacing as many youngsters were volunteering as medical workers to increase the checking of citizens for detecting symptoms of Covid-19.

Families without youngsters in the house were receiving support from the younger generation. And then there came news that gave goosebumps to the people of Ashokvan. One old lady,  detected positive for Covid-19, was admitted to a hospital and within three days she died.


June 08  Confirmed cases 2,50,000.

Confirmed deaths 7200.


“But our area is safe as people are more responsible. They are taking maximum care.”


July 02nd Confirmed Cases 6,00,000

Confirmed deaths 17,000.


The number of deaths is still very low in our country. So not to worry.


July 17th 

Confirmed Cases 1,000,000

Confirmed deaths 25,600


The number of positive persons is increasing. But no one from acquaintances, known faces was infected.

The pandemic has not spread still in our areas.


July 23rd  in India

Confirmed Cases 1,238,635

Confirmed Deaths 29,861


And then a big building in Ashokvan was sealed as two families were found positive.

Received warning. But so far no person of acquaintance was infected.


On August 7th Confirmed cases 2,027,074

Confirmed  deaths  41,585

A school classmate of Neah was detected positive as she had to attend the bank work even during the lockdown period. She was quarantined in a nearby center. Shocked and extremely worried. But after 4-5 days she tested negative and returned home happily.

The worldwide figures increasing in bigger steps, had nearly reached a million mark. The Indian figures were rapidly approaching a six-digit mark.

The mental condition of all those confined to homes was getting bad.


August 23rd Confirmed cases 3,044,940

Confirmed  deaths:     56,706


Those who were dependent on daily wages or daily earnings were getting extremely worried about the maintenance of the household.

In the slightly better-off families, Old men were getting solace from listening to music, and ladies young and old had got hooked to the internet and got busy cooking new dishes.

But the Covid-19 was busy spreading its wings.

Vidya’s friend’s husband who was around fifty died of Covid-19.

After a week’s failure to contact his brother from a village some 350 km from Mumbai, Satish got the connection only to get the news that his entire family, the elderly couple, his daughter, and her 6-year-old son were quarantined for a week in nearby quarantine center and when they were tested negative, they were back home. The news created a shiver in the couple in Mumbai. So long they were feeling safe that no known person was infected till then, suddenly Covid-19 was seen so very close to them.

In the depressed mood, the couple was wondering when would this Covid pandemic trouble get over.


September 5th                 Confirmed cases 4,023,179

Confirmed  deaths:     69,561



Then the upsetting news reached. Satish’s childhood friend, ex. chief conservator of the state, residing in another big city in the state succumbed to Covid-19.  He was past 75 but absolutely fit and very active. Beyond imagination was that the Covid-19 fangs would be so poisonous.


September 16th           Confirmed Cases    5,020,359

    Confirmed Deaths      82,066.  


One more news came their way. A couple was found Covid positive in their society.  They were quarantined in their own house as there was enough space in their own house.

Just after a week, one more couple and a day later a third couple was detected positive.

And the worrisome matter was all the infected were below the age of fifty.

Covid-19 had reached their doorstep.



September 28th                Confirmed cases 6,074,702

   Confirmed  deaths   95,545.

October 3rd                  Confirmed  cases 6,473,544

Confirmed  Deaths     100,842   


October 18th             Confirmed cases 39.51 million

Confirmed Deaths 1,106,000.




In one more case in this society. A senior person, aged 75 was taken to Covid center.

Date 26th October 2020    300th  Day of the virus.



         Confirmed cases 11 million.

                                 Confirmed Deaths 11,57,000.


 Confirmed cases over 7 lakhs,

Confirmed Deaths 1,19,000.


November 15, 2020

Confirmed Cases : 52 millions

Confirmed Deaths : 1,285,379.

The death count increased exponentially and by end of 2022, it touched 8 Billion. The almost entire human population was the victim of the Covid-19 virus with different variants taking the lead one after another. The vaccine developed for a variant would be ineffective for the fresh variant attack.  



2nd January 2023 the space shuttle which had arrived from earth docked with the ISS.

The team of four persons boarded the shuttle and the space shuttle took off for Earth. After a couple of orbits around Earth,

the space shuttle landed at Florida airport.

The astronauts found many dead bodies lying scattered all over.

Unaware of the situation, in the eagerness of breathing the fresh air of earth, they took out their masks. In a short time, they started coughing intensely. Covid-19 took the last traces of humanity under its wings.

And in a couple of minutes, Covid-19 ended the last hopes of human life. The stranglehold of COVID-19 on humanity was complete. And the entire humanity went into oblivion from the map of the universe.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I am UNIVERSE. I have started writing my diary when I am 1000 years old. Yes, that is when I became somewhat mature. First, I will note down my birth and then  I will continue scribbling in the diary if I observe anything noteworthy. God, please help me in my resolution.

I was born when all the matter and energy were contained in a hot, dense point size of a billionth of a nuclear particle. There was a big bang. In about 10^-43 seconds, I came into existence. I was a very hot and dense point then. Weakly interacting massive particles, dark matter, and dark energy appeared and I started growing. As an infant, I was getting cooled down when I started expanding outwards. I had cooled down to 10^32 kelvin (degrees).

Now, the gravity separated and the electronuclear forces such as bosons and matter were developed.

This is when I have started writing my diary. I hope I continue writing whenever I see anything different.

Today nearly 300 million years have passed.

Many stars with their solar systems are formed. The stars have started shining. Few stars were bigger and hotter but had a short life

 Now 400 million years have passed and many stars have started their own habitat called Galaxy. The galaxy I loved most was named the Milky Way.

The number of galaxies and the stars in each galaxy was increasing by leaps and bounds.

3.0 billion years:

The first observed habitable planet, is formed.

5.0 billion years:

Rocky substances are solidified – these nurseries lead to the formation of rocky terrestrial planetsmoonsasteroids, and icy comets

8 billion years: 

Alpha Centauri Star System, the closest star to the Sun, is formed.

9.13 billion years:

In the milky-way galaxy Proxima Centauri forms completing the Alpha Centauri trinary system

9.23 billion years:

My most favoured solar system was evolving faster.

 Four Jovian planets (JupiterSaturnUranusNeptune ) evolve around the sun.

9.27 billion years:

Earth-Moon system is formed.




9.3 billion years:

Sun becomes a main sequence yellow star. Formation of the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt from which a stream of comets like Halley’s Comet and Hale-Bopp begins passing through the Solar System, sometimes colliding with planets and the Sun

  • And now, the most important, evolutionary, Water was formed on earth.

9.8 billion years:

 Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies had a little collision.

10.4 billion years:

Life is evolved on Earth.

11 billion years:

The photosynthesis process started on earth.

12 billion years:

 Multi-cellular life was born on earth. Plants started growing.

13.35 billion years:

Vega and Sirius, the bright stars in the Earth’s sky, were formed.

  • Further development took place on earth. Vertebrates were evolved.


The tilt of the axis and the elliptical orbit tracing of the earth gave rise to different seasons on earth. I am getting extremely curious to observe the developments on this cute planet, earth.

The cycle of changing seasons was a regular affair as the speed of rotation and the orbit were followed strictly by the planets of the solar system.

  • At the beginning of the month of April, spring appeared after passing a harsh, bone-chilling, bitter winter.
  • The trees which had shed leaves during fall and become bare have started sprouting new leaves. A joyous atmosphere has arrived. The spring is welcome. Many plants have started flowering. Flashes of different brilliant colours are seen all around. The world of plants is increasing in size.
  • To accompany various colours, birds with melodious calls have joined merrymaking. Returning from a distant place on the planet where they had migrated to save themselves from harsh winter, the birds are happy to get back to the place of comfort and take charge of the areas nearby lakes to lay the eggs. Some smaller birds are making their nests on the trees where the emerging leaves are getting unfurled. Soon the eggs are laid in the nests. After some time, the eggs are hatched. And now, the parent birds keep taking care of the fledging young ones. The winged friends grow in size and in number too.
  • The same is the case for fauna. Spring carries with it the mating season. The animals give birth to young ones and their population starts swelling.
  • But every species has a predetermined life span. The birds, animals, and plants end their life after a specific amount of time. The cycle of life and death continues. Growing more and more, only to end its existence finally.  Humans also fall in this category.
  • The difference is the period of the cycle. Some insects live for hours whereas some for days. Many birds live a small number of months whereas animals have a life cycle of a few years. Some animals live for some decades of years whereas not many live even for a few centuries.

Some stars also die but the universe goes on expanding.

13.5 billion years :

There are billions of galaxies each with billions of stars following the laws of inflation.

Inflation is a process  in which space-time is expanding exponentially at a much fast rate. The expansion  is driven by an energy present in the vacuum

The galaxies of diameters of thousands of light-years are still expanding further and

each pulling itself much more apart from its neighbouring galaxies.

Inflation, growth. From big to enormous.

I am so happy that from a size of a speck, I have grown so big. A fantastic achievement.

Now some trillions of years have passed.

As I had dreaded, I stopped writing diary. Of course, there was nothing different happening. Inflationary expansion, formation of new stars and new galaxies was going on. As a result, I have become enormously big.

But since last few hundreds of years, I am noticing that star and galaxy formation is reducing.

The existing stars are fizzling out. The glittering property of sky is disappearing. The sky is becoming dark. And I am afraid the black holes have started gobbling up the matter. Slowly, the black holes will finish-up all the lingering matter. There won’t be anything left. I am seeing that very soon the traces of heat will disappear. And that would bring my death, the Big Freeze.

A few trillions of years passed:

Again a big bang will take place. Instant birth from an infinitesimally small point, gradual inflationary growth. and a new universe will be born. It will start expanding and continue growing. After some period, presumably billions of years, the big crunch will end its life too.

This is the interminable cycle.

I hope somehow sometime this diary will be discovered by some intelligent species like human being and will be able to know how this universe lived its very long life, and how colourful life existed on the cute planet earth.

Reading Time: 9 minutes


That was Malgund village in Chiplun Taluka of Ratnagiri district. The entire area filled with mango, coconut, and areca nut trees was coated by the thick fog of January 1948. Satish using his battery torch paved his way home after meeting the client in the factory which was close to his house.

Satish kept the keys of the factory in its proper place and after cleaning himself joined the other members of the family for dinner.

His father, Shri Ganesh Pant Gogte said, ”Listen, Satish, you get more involved and take charge of our business activity. Since our country has now got independence, our people will decide the policy for the growth of the industry. The road map will be announced and we have to be prepared to take benefit of the schemes. Ramesh and Suresh are still studying in high schools.  You have passed B.Sc. and you will be my spokesperson henceforth. The small-scale unit which I have established ten years ago is now stable. We need finance to take a leap forward. And I am sure our government will announce some plans to help the small-scale industry to come up. We have to achieve something big in the coming 5-7 years. So Satish, you have to share my responsibilities and we have to expand. Soon Ramesh & Suresh will get ready to take some roles. Next year only we should see our industry covering a wider area. I am very optimistic.” Mr. Gogte had dreams in his eyes. He was looking for the opportunity to prove his capability. He had expectations from his brilliant sons. They had proven themselves in schools. He wanted them to sparkle in his industry which he had set up with a lot of hardship.

Mr. Ganesh Pant Gogte’s father had spent a major period of his life in jail due to his participation in the freedom movement. His elder brother had also joined the movement. Ganesh Pant had taken up the responsibility of running the family. Despite the turmoil of the freedom movement, he  worked hard and set up a small-scale unit producing parts required for making electric fans. Slowly he established his credibility as a dependable source of parts. A unit started in the backyard of his house, slowly grew to provide employment  for 25-30 workers of Malgund village.

After a frantic struggle by a large number of freedom fighters following different methods to pressurize the British rulers, some following the non-violence and others following the roads of violent methods, finally, Britishers handed over the reins in the hands of Indians on 15th August 1947. But it had a dark side of genocide as the country was partitioned into two countries based on religion. It was one of the deadliest bloodsheds of the world.

But Gogte family was far away from the borders of the partitioned nation, and so was not affected directly by the carnage. Getting freedom for the country was celebrated with fervor in this area. Every individual was happily breathing the air of freedom.

Mr. Ganesh Pant Gogte who had put his sweat and blood in bringing up his unit to present level, was looking forward to expanding his unit to cover all of India. He was grooming his sons to contribute to further development of his unit.

After dinner, everyone retired to bed.

At around midnight, there was a desperate knock on the door. Ganesh Pant got up, switched on the light, and opened the door. On that foggy night, the sarpanch of the village, wrapped in a blanket was at the door with a couple of senior members of the village.

“Yes Patil, what is the matter?”

“Gogte Sir, have you heard that Gandhiji is assassinated?”

“Oh my God! Who was that idiot?”

“We do not know all that but he shot Gandhiji point-blank. Gandhiji collapsed on the spot. And there is a spurt of violence all over India. We have heard that in Maharashtra state, big mobs are moving from village to village causing a lot of destruction. We request your entire family to collect all your important documents and valuables and come with us to our house. Quick. We don’t have much time.”

“But Patil, when the mob comes to our village, we all will have to face the same danger. Whether here in my house or your farmhouse.”

“No. Gogte sir, it is not the same. The murderer of Gandhiji was a Brahmin. And the mob is destroying the properties of only Brahmins. They have the complete list of Brahmin houses. The mob just pours petrol on the houses of the Brahmins whether anyone is inside or not. They burn the entire property. There are many instances of  families burnt alive. Please let us not waste time anymore. Every moment is important. Please take important documents with you and let us run to my farmhouse. I have my bullock cart ready for you. Please hurry up. We do not want you take your car with you. That will disclose your presence instantly. ”

By this time the entire Gogte family was aware of the lurking danger. They picked up all their important material and started out. In no time, the Gogte family was in Patil’s farmhouse.  Everyone was extremely worried. Totally helpless.

Soon they heard a big mob carrying burning torches running euphorically towards their bungalow. A lot of shouting and noise was heard. A flash of big fire could be sensed by the Gogte family hiding in the darkroom. 

After an hour’s commotion, the mob moved to another village. One could see the property set ablaze.

Patil came to the farmhouse. “The inexorable idiots did not listen to us. They tied our hands and legs. Some 7-8  of us who were trying stopping them from doing  this horrendous act.” Patil could not control his sobs.

In utter despair, the Gogte family waited until it dawned. After the sun appeared, the Gogte family rushed to their house.

There was nothing left. The entire house and the complete factory were turned into ashes. The half-burnt axle was the only proof left of the car. The half-burnt furniture was generating a lot of smoke. Ganesh Pant  Gogte could not control the tears flowing away with his dreams.

The freedom of the country brought with it, the disaster for the families of the Brahmin community in Maharashtra.

Gogte’s family took some time to come out of desolation.

After considering all the options, they decided to move to Ratnagiri. Without talking to anyone, they took some public transport and reached Ratnagiri. Rented a room in a chawl, and Mr.Ganesh Pant Gogte started a new life from scratch. He had to wipe off his early struggle. He searched for a small part that can be made in the house. Ganesh Pant and his wife took the responsibility of making the part at home and the delivery was handled by the two younger school-going children. Satish looked for a job. And the family forgot the holocaust and took over the challenge of re-establishing themselves.  Ramesh and Suresh sparkled in the school. Earned scholarship and continued their brilliant career.  Suresh, the youngest of them was maintaining his rank consistently and was getting popular in the area. After S.S.C., Ramesh got his Bachelor of Science and specialized in forestry. He took up Conservation of forests as his career and strongly moved up in his profession. Very soon Ramesh was the Chief Conservator of the state of Maharashtra. Suresh chose medicines as his occupation. After MBBS, he got his Gold medal in Master’s degree, MD. He shifted to Mumbai. He became the medical advisor of the State Government.  

 Ten years passed. All the three sons of Ganesh Pant Gogte got married and had children. They built a big bungalow in Ratnagiri named “AMELIORATION”

 Once in February, the entire family assembled in Chiplun and visited the village Malgund. The entire family went to the spot of their house and the factory. A placard displayed there read  the following message,

“This place belongs to Shri Ganesh Pant Gogte and his family.

We are ashamed that this property and his factory were destroyed by the mob frenzy. The person who had struggled and set up the industry, which had provided an opportunity to earn bread to 30 families of the village, had to face this ill treatment. We could not trace him after the disaster. We do not know their whereabouts. If anyone has any information, please contact the Sarpanch.”

Ganesh Pant Gogte was moved. They went to Sarpanch’s office. A young man was in charge.

Ganesh Pant told his identity. The young man immediately rose, came forward bent down, and touched Ganesh Pant’s feet.

“Sir, please pardon us. Our society had done injustice to you, Sir. We are ashamed of all that. Please come back to this place and start your factory. We are ready to bear all the expenses to rebuild your house. We want your presence here.

Sir, I was a small boy then. I did not understand anything about what happened that day. But my father and our earlier Sarpanch, Patil tell us about you every time we pass the place of your house and your factory.

Sir, my father is not keeping well. But he always says, he has to see you and seek forgiveness before he leaves this world. Mr. Patil is also in distress. He says, when we hear the atrocities on Jews by Hitler, we feel sympathetic about them. When we come across some Indians who were pulled out of their own houses during partition and had to come to India to take shelter, our hearts cry. But here in our own village,  innocent persons were attacked by the unruly mobs in 1948, we could not do anything to save the people from atrocities inflicted on them. Mr.Patil is very upset about his failure to stop the act of brutality.”

“Where is he? I too want to see him.”

“I will take you there. Please come.”

The man took the entire family to Patil’s house. Patil was relaxing in an arm-chair. As soon as he saw Ganesh Pant Gogte, he got up. Bent down and held his feet. Started sobbing. His tears wet Ganesh Pant’s feet.

“Sorry sir, please pardon me. I seek forgiveness. I could not stop the mob. I could not prevent the disaster. I am deeply ashamed. Sir, we are ready for any punishment you give us. But Sir, please come back. I tried whatever I could to get in touch with you. But failed miserably. Now Sir, please take charge of your land and please come back to stay here. There were many proposals to purchase the place. But we  refused all of them. We wanted to hand over the place to you.”

Then Mr.Patil looked at the sons. “Satish, Ramesh, and Suresh. Children, please forgive this old uncle. I was not able to stop the mob from destroying your property. I am guilty. I need to be punished. Please tell your father, to come and stay here. We will build the house for you. You do not have to do anything. We only need  your presence here.”

“Patil, these children have become a big entity. Satish has become the Principal of a college. Ramesh has become the chief conservator of our state. And Suresh has become the chief medical advisor for the state. He keeps visiting various countries. All of them are very busy.”

“Oh my God! I am so happy to know this. Bandya.” Patil called the young Sarpanch.

“Bandya Sawant, This is the great sir, in whose factory your father worked. “

“I recognized them as soon as they came. Come on Sir, you will meet another person who is on death bed but keeps seeking pardon often. Yes, my father is waiting to see you, sir.”

“Sir, please go and see his father. He is holding on to his life just to apologize to you. After you see him, we will have lunch together. Children, are you ready to share our meal? It won’t be like your five-star meal. ” Patil said.

“Surely, we will come back and have lunch with you all.”

All of them went to the other house. The old person could not get up. Ganesh Pant held his hand and with tearful eyes said,” Now I have come here. I have forgotten everything that had happened. Don’t feel guilty. Get well soon.”

Tears poured out of Sawant’s eyes. He could not say a word. The young Sarpanch, Bandya, his son brought a few cut mangoes and offered them.

“Mr.Patil is waiting for the meal to share with you. We will go back to him. “

 Ganesh Pant rose with a heavy heart. Again, held the hand of bedridden Mr.Sawant. He could see Sawant’s face brightening up.

Sawant in his choked voice said, ”Sir, That night when we came to your house with Patil to warn you about the anticipated danger, you were reluctant to consider yourself as separate from the entire village. Unaware that the agitation was against a particular community, you were ready to face the calamity with the entire village. You considered the whole village as your own family. ” Sawant could not utter any word further. He took a deep breath and whispered, ” And these impotent family members from the village could not protect you.” Sawant was bawling all the way through.

Ganesh Pant also could not stop his tears. He somehow controlled himself and said,

“Sawant, I told you I have forgotten everything that happened that day. Please don’t feel remorse. It was not the fault of anyone from the village. The outsiders came and burnt our property. They were so many of them. How could you have controlled them?

Please, for my sake, drop this guilt. I am settled in Ratnagiri. My children are doing very well in their lives. Please do not worry. Now, if you want to make me happy, take your medicines and get well soon. I am going to come back only if you yourself will come to receive me at the temple.”

“Promise, Sir?” Sawant said with freshness on his face. “ I will definitely be there to receive my God back to my village.” Sawant again bawled intensely.

Ganesh Pant patting on the Sawant’s back, said, “Now, no more weeping. Let me see you smiling.”

Sawant forced a smile.

Ganesh Pant and his family left the house heavy-hearted.

They had meals with Patil’s family.

Ganesh Pant and his wife assured the Malgundkars, the villagers from Malgund, that they would shift and would be an integral part of the village.

The Gogte family left Malgund on a happy note.     

Reading Time: 6 minutes


In the auditorium. Dr.Ramesh and his colleagues were waiting for Dr.Satish, the enthusiastic young research scientist to join them for the seminar.

“Did you remind Satish about this seminar?”

“Yes. Yesterday I had told him about this. But as usual, he had forgotten. When I called him today after lunch, he was apologetic and told me he would start immediately. That was at 2 p.m. It would take at least two and half hours to reach here, the Colaba terminus from Lonavla. He should be here any moment.”

Dr. Vidya had joined the institute recently just 3 days ago, soon after receiving her doctorate. One of the scientists Dr.Satish occasionally used to go to their laboratory in Lonavla to carry out some experiments. Vidya had heard a lot from her colleagues about Dr.Satish. She was eager to see him.

And just before the seminar started, Dr.Satish arrived. He was exhausted after driving through heavy traffic. Unshaven for three days. hair was unkempt. Vidya was disappointed to see him. She did not expect a person in the office so untidy.

“So, I could make it. Actually, my experiment was in such a state that I could not just leave it to come here. Finally, I started the process and instructed Pandu to monitor it and switch off the incubator after 3 hours. After the seminar, I will have to go back to Lonavla.” Satish explained Dr.Ramesh.

Dr.Ramesh said, “Yes scientist. I can imagine how entangled you must be.

Ok. Now meet Dr.Vidya, who joined us just two days ago.” Moving to Dr.Vidya Ramesh said, “Dr.Vidya, this is Dr. Satish. Sometimes he has to go to our Lonavla lab to carry out some experiments. You can see how involved he is with his experiment.” Vidya smiled and said “Hello.”

Satish responded with a nod. Vidya could not hide her disappointment. Each one took his place when the seminar started,

Satish thought Vidya snobbish. He found her reluctant to exchange a smile.

After the seminar was over, he started back for Lonavla. He said bye to his colleagues but refrained from talking to Vidya. Quickly, he got into the car and started off.

While driving back to Lonavla, Satish thought over Vidya.

“What a lady she is! Did not give even a simple smile to me. Appeared proud. Anyway, I don’t have to do anything with her.” He brushed off his thoughts about her.

Satish entered the lab and started looking at the output of the experiment he had started before going to the seminar.

Dr. Satish was working on the hypothesis of phytochrome that they can sense the far red rays. He was putting a posit that consumption of leaves of certain plants would restore the human ability to detect the far-red frequency by the human optical sensors, the quality which had become defunct during the process of evolution. Satish was very hopeful about his result.

Here, Dr.Vidya was working on the development of a protein that would make the skin transparent. The T-enzyme would make the skin transparent and so a non-invasive method can be used to detect the abnormal behavior of any part of the human body. 

Once Dr.Madhavan had called the young scientist colleagues to dinner at his residence. Vidya alone reached at the right time. Mrs. Madhavan got introduced to her. In a short while, Satish entered the scene. A handsome, attractive Satish impressed Vidya. She could not believe that was the same untidy Satish whom she had resented.  Satish gave a forced smile to her and started talking to Dr.Madhavan.

Vidya joined the conversation but Satish ignored her. Meanwhile, other colleagues arrived. The discussions came in full swing. Vidya tried to talk to Satish. But he did not respond. The gala dinner ended but Vidya could not establish contact with Satish. She was hurt. Satish was happy that he had avenged his insult.

Later Satish had finished his immediate need of experiments at Lonavla. So he started going regularly to Colaba. He was coming across Vidya too often. But both of them kept aloof from each other.

In the tea break, Satish used to find Vidya mingling so well with other colleagues. He could not believe that the same Vidya had behaved so snobbishly with him, had ignored him insultingly in their first meeting.

Dr.Vidya was wondering why this nice, handsome young man kept away from her.

 Days were passing. Satish and Vidya were doing great in their field. But they could not establish communication between them though both of them had got interested in each other.

That day while going through the scientific journal, Satish located a paper that was published in Austria, just the previous day which was pertinent to Vidya’s field. He took a snap of the paper on his mobile and decided to hand it over to her at the tea break. He was happy that he got some opportunity to mend with her.

During the tea break, he waited for her to enter the cafeteria. As soon as he saw her, he approached her. With a smile, he said,” You are working on melanin enzymes, isn’t it? I came across a paper on this published just yesterday, in Austria. I thought it would be of interest to you if you have not seen it already.”

Without looking for further details, she murmured, “I have already seen it.” And went ahead. Satish was deeply hurt. He put his mobile in the pocket and left the cafeteria, dejected.

He swore by not thinking of Vidya anymore. Went to his lab and got involved in his research work of Phytochrome.

After snubbing off Satish so badly, Vidya was very much upset with herself.

“No.No. I should not have behaved so badly. What is wrong with me? He came with a good intention to give some latest information happening in my field and stupid that I am, I brushed him off. How many times have I longed to talk to him? Whenever I saw him, I wished to talk to him, to establish contact with him.  And when he approached me I set him aside?

No. That was the silliest action. I should call him and apologize to him. I must tell him how I miss him if I don’t see him even a day. I want to be in touch with him always. I should admit that I like him. Or I should open up my heart saying I love him. I don’t want to do this in the office. I should do this in privacy. Nobody else should know what I say.

He may be so much hurt that he would not even talk to me. I would plead with him to meet me at some secluded place where I can talk freely with him.

I must do this. As soon as I reach home.” Vidya decided.

Satish left the office much earlier than usual time.

At home, he took up the reclining chair and started thinking over the matter.

“How bad she was! But how could she be so curt? I don’t think she was in her senses. Why is there so much hatred for me? Was I very bad with her at Dr. Madhavan’s place?  Maybe that had hurt her. And still, she is remembering it. I must seek pardon for that.

No. I can’t stay without seeing her in the office. How happy I get when I just see her!

Maybe this is a sign of my being in love with that lady. No. Vidya. Do not go away from me. I should tell her that I love her.”

And the mobile phone rang. He picked up wondering who that must be on the other side.

“Satish, this is Vidya. Please, do not hang up till you listen to me.

I want to apologize to you.” Vidya said in a choked voice.

“What for?” Satish acted as if he has forgotten the incident.

“I know, you are badly hurt. I am extremely sorry for it. Will you apologize to me for my stupid behavior?” Vidya could not utter the words properly.

Satish was happy that he got one more opportunity to express his mind.

“That is okay. I have forgotten that.”

“Really? Are you serious?” Vidya was delighted with this response.

“very serious. How can I prove that?” Satish hinted that he also wanted the same thing.

“Meet me at the Five Gardens, outside the Milan café. After an hour. That is at 7.”

Vidya reeled out whatever she had decided to tell Satish.

“Done. I will be at Milan Café at 7,” Satish said. He was exhilarated. Immediately got ready. Told his mother that he was going to see his friend and might have dinner together.

At 7 sharp, Satish was outside the café. He saw Vidya approaching. When she came closer, Satish said,” On the dot at 7. Nice.”

“Appointments are to keep,” Vidya said smilingly.

“Shall we take around in the park instead of sitting across the table in the café?” Satish suggested.


They started walking inside the garden.

“So tell me,” Satish said.

“Why don’t you say something.” Vidya was shy to open up the topic.

“But you called me. That means you want to say something important.”

“You said you have forgotten. Have you pardoned me for my stupid behavior?”

“Otherwise, would have I come here? Ok. Let me tell you.

We have been cross with each other every time we interacted. But I know, we had different feelings for each other from within. Let us not look into history. Past is forgotten. Now I would like to tell you. Shall I say straightway?”

“Yes. Please. Let us be frank.” Vidya.

“My liking you is getting into love. In short, I love you. Will you accept me as your life partner?” Satish opened out.

“Oh my God! I also wanted to say the same thing. I am extremely happy. I am thinking of this since I saw you. But I was getting very tense whenever I talked to you. I am extremely sorry for my erratic behavior. I hope you have pardoned me and forgotten everything that misfired between us.”

“Vidya, I told you. We have forgotten our past interaction. And now we will start a new relationship filled with love.” Saying this Satish held her hand with his both hands and squeezed it. “I love you, Vidya.”

“I love you too.” Vidya put her other hand on the clasping hands.

“We will tell our parents today only about our decision. They can meet each other just tomorrow and start the preparations for marriage.” Satish said.

After taking a quick dinner in Milan Café, they departed with the dreams of a wonderful life together.

Reading Time: < 1 minute



The tantalizing feel was exhilarating whenever I wetted my tender feet of seven years in the cheerful stream in the forest area.   

After sixty years, going through ups and downs of life, I  visited this joyful stream, wetted my wrinkled feet and had the same fascinating feel.

The flowing water of perpetual stream!

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Caution the unsuspecting


The fan tailed fly catcher pair was seen

Frequenting the area behind the house.


The bush of the trimmed bamboo trees

Swaying with delight to see the visitors a new.


The melody generator sweet little birds,

 happy to find the place good enough


To make the nest guarded and secured

for laying and hatching the eggs  


Easy accessed, hidden from evil eyes

Young ones would be sheltered and safe.


Hardly they could imagine the lurking,

wicked paws of the jumping cat

 to trample the nest from the branch

which appeared protected and shielded


Few months ago, the cat attacked a nest,

pulled it down from the branch.

And oh dear! The young ones from inside,

were picked and gnawed


The uncontrollable distress of the parent birds

was beyond anybody’s capacity to bear


Somebody should caution

these unsuspecting parent birds.

Of the danger hidden in this

safe looking bush of bamboo


Someone should advise them to look for

unrestricted growing bamboo bushes

Where a nest on high branch there

would be out of reach of small four footed.


To go away, into deep forest.

Where the domestic cats

won’t be wandering,

with their evil eyes rolling.


Reading Time: 9 minutes


Ramnathan’s close relatives and a few young men, his select students were around the bed in the special room of the hospital. A few were waiting outside the room inside the hospital.  All were worried that probably those were the last few minutes of his life. But Ramnathan was fully conscious and was trying to tell something to the students who were standing very close to him. That was Satish who took his ear close to Ramnathan’s mouth. Satish took care that tears did not wet Ramnathan’s cheeks.

“Please, do not forget what I have told you. I want to donate my body to a hospital.”

Ramnathan took a pause. After a deep breath, he continued,

 “My relatives may oppose this idea. They cremated my wife when I was away in the USA. They did not listen to my telling them and did not care for her pledging her body to a hospital. When I die, do not let them do their way. They all love me. ”

After another deep breath, he said, “But they just don’t agree with me on this matter.

You take responsibility for my body donation. Do not listen to them. I want the last drop of my blood to be used for society. Let me experience how strong characters I have shaped. I remember once Ajay had said that I had chiseled out better shapes out of rough pieces of rocks. This is your test.”

Ramnathan took yet another deep breath. He took his brother’s hand in his trembling hand. “Babu, I know, you all loved me. I am going without the slightest grudge on any one of you. All of you had always sprinkled affection on me.”

Ramnathan took yet another deep breath. “My only last desire is donating my body to the hospital. You must go against your ideas and respect my final wish.”

“No Dada, you tell me anything else and I will follow it completely. But please do not tell me to do this barbaric act. We all love you so much that we can not stand the idea of your body being dissected part by part. No. We can not bear this torture to your body. Barring this, we will do everything else as per your wish. You have given away everything for others. We never disagreed. Though we wanted to get preference for any of your acts of donations, you considered the deserving person above all the relations. Your own family never got any favors from you if a more deserving person came across you. And there is no dearth of persons in the society needing some help. Dada, you had cut off the word “self”  from your dictionary. But we want your consent on the final rites on your body. Dada, excuse all of us. But please.” Ramnathan’s younger brother Babuji said in a choked voice and with teary eyes.

“No Babu. This is my last wish. I have pledged my body. You overruled my wife’s desire of donating her body when I was away at the time of her death. But not this time. You have been critical of following rituals blindly. But then why do you want to do this? I know you don’t believe in unfulfilled last desire and all that. I am not saying my soul will be unhappy and will not rest in peace. But please. Let my students do what I have told them.”

Babuji did not say anything. He could not control his sob. He turned his face and let his tears flow uncontrolled.

Ramnathan looked at Satish. “Satish, do not disappoint me.” Saying this Ramnathan left this world on the eternal journey.

And the persons around the bed wept uncontrollably. The news of Ramnathan’s demise made the small crowd waiting outside the room wept silently.

After the first burst of emotions, Satish came out of the room. Babuji followed Satish. He held Satish’s hand and said, “That is the end of a great devoted life. He loved you all students so much, we used to feel jealous of you all. And you were not two or three but over fifty. Sharing his love to all of you.” He shook his head emotionally. All the present had their eyes filled with tears.

“Okay Babuji, I will inform the body donation workers and they will come as early as possible,” Satish said.

Babuji controlled his grief and said, “Satish, do not be silly. We all are against body donation. None of us can bear the idea that our beloved brother’s body will be dissected hundreds of times, in medical college. The colleges get innumerable unclaimed bodies for their studies. We don’t want to put our brother in that category.

Soon, we will call an ambulance and we will take the body to the crematorium.”

“No. Our Sir has taken a promise from us that we will see that his body is given to the hospital. And we want to keep his promise. Otherwise, his soul will not rest in peace.”

“Satish, Are you telling me about soul resting in peace? What have you learned from that great person? He was against all these myths. Yes, He wanted to donate his body to the hospital but that is a wrong idea. Last-minute I told him, he could tell me anything he wanted us to do but for this body donation. He knew that we would not do this in any circumstances.”

“But Sir, Ramnathan sir had told us repeatedly to guard against this idea of yours. We will not allow cremation.” Ajay, another student said with a firm voice.

“See children, I know you were very close to your sir. But do not forget that I am his younger brother. I know him more than all of you collectively know him. He was against these ideas of soul resting in peace and all the rituals to be done for the soul to get the rest. However strongly you feel against the body cremation, we as his nearest relative would carry out  cremation in electric furnace in the nearest crematorium.”

“No Sir, please remember we nearly 50 students will stage a protest in front of the hospital.” Akshar showed his anger.

Babuji caught up with the relatives getting ready with the cremation of Ramnathan.

In a short while, the team of the Body Pledging group arrived at the hospital. They had a few documents to be signed by close relatives. Satish presented the ID card which Ramnathan Sir had received when he had signed his willingness to donate the body. They forwarded the papers to be signed by the relatives to Satish. Satish took the documents with a pen to Babuji for his signature.

Babuji returned the papers to the volunteers of the organization without signing the paper.

The volunteer was shocked. He said, “Sir, Mr.Ramnathan had agreed to the donation of his body.”

“Yes. The ID card says so. But we do not agree with this. We will not give our consent  to this.” Babuji said.

“But we need to do some processing within four hours. Otherwise, it would be too late.”

“ We are waiting for one of our relatives to arrive and then we will take the body for cremation,” Babuji said.

“No. But our Sir had told us repeatedly to send the body to the General Hospital attached to a Medical College for students to learn physiology. He was insistent on this. He had even told us that his brother may oppose this. But he told us to fulfill his last desire.” Satish put forth his idea.

Babuji said,” Please do not pay attention to these children. You may please go back.”

“No. We have Mr.Ramnathan’s statement expressing his desire to donate his body. Unless we get a substantial reason for denying this, we will not go,” the volunteer said.

“And Sir, we, all his students, number nearing fifty will stage a protest if the desire of our sir is not fulfilled.”

“We don’t care for the protest. We have called for the ambulance, as soon as it arrives, we will take the body to the crematorium.” Babuji said.

‘Come on friends. Let us block the gate of the hospital for the ambulance exit,” Laxman said.

In no time the students quietly gathered outside the exit gate of the hospital.

Babuji realized the seriousness of the protest.

He called Satish and said, ”Satish, we can not yield to your demand immediately. We will need some more time to reconsider the matter.”

“But we do not have much time.” Satish.

“Yes. Now, how do we handle the situation?”  Babuji started thinking in this direction.

Suddenly, he got some idea. He said,” I think, today we will keep the body in a morgue. Tomorrow, we will make the decision. “

“Ok. If you need more time to change your decision, it is ok. But we want Sir’s final wish to be satisfied.” In a choked voice Satish said.

They discussed with the hospital staff and made arrangements with the morgue of the same hospital.

With a heavy heart, all the relatives and the students left the place.

While leaving the hospital, the students were thinking over the decision of keeping the body in the morgue.

“Let us consider whether it involved any trick to fool us,” Satish said.

“Yes. There can be some trap. But I don’t understand why Babuji is so adamant over the cremation of the body.”

“It is a matter of emotions.’ Vikas said.

“But I think Babuji is a seasoned person. He may fool us and will execute his idea.” Abhijeet expressed his doubt.

“I have a scheme. “ Sagar said. Everyone was all ears.

“We should take out the body before they come to the hospital. And take it straight to General Hospital. With sir’s ID card for pledging his body, we can complete the formalities. Then we can call Babuji and tell him.” Sagar explained.

“Yes. That is perfect. How can we get charge of the body?” Shivam asked.

“I know the Morgue attendant. I will talk to him. Quite feasible” Yesh supported the idea.

“Let us not talk in the air,” Ashish said.

“What do you say Satish? Are you ok with it?”  Santosh checked up.

“We should take Babuji in confidence before our final act,” Satish said.

“ But do we have any proof about Sir’s telling us about body donation? Just having an Id card is not solid proof. ” Antim said.

“I knew this is an important matter. I have recorded the entire conversation on my mobile.” Sanket said.

“That is wonderful,” said Rohit. 

“Ok. Yesh. Let us contact the morgue attendant. Let us go.” Abhijeet said.

Satish instructed, “You do the preliminaries and give us a call. Sushant and I will reach that place in ten minutes. Then we will think over the matter and decide our course of action.”

Abhijeet and Yesh moved quickly and met the morgue attendant. He agreed to show them the place where the body was kept.

Sushant and Satish joined Yesh and Abhijeet at the morgue. The attendant opened the place and let all four of them in. It was pitch dark and shivering cold. The attendant put on one light. All of them started moving between the rows of the racks in which bodies were kept after processing, carrying out embalming. The attendant pulled out one rack. And all of them had a look at the dead body. They had goosebumps. They saw the body having the eyes shut and the mouth stuffed with cotton. The close look of a dead body, without any emotions on the face, was horrifying to look at. “No. This is not our sir.” The attendant moved forward. All four of them followed him. He pulled another rack. And another dead body. The boys were scared. After 3-4 such unsuccessful attempts, the next rack showed up Sir’s body. All four of them broke down. The attendant closed the rack quickly. He put a small red cloth hanging out of the rack as the sign of identification. They noted the physical position of the rack and quickly came out of the morgue.

Emotionally disturbed, they decided over their plan in coordination with the attendant. The scheme was chalked out.

Next day when Babuji and Satish would meet the morgue attendant, they would be involved in the necessary formalities. Meanwhile, before the attendant takes Babuji to identify the body, the helpers of the morgue would take out the body from the rack already earmarked by the red cloth and take it straight to the ambulance waiting to go to the General Hospital. After the body is placed in the ambulance, Satish would take Babuji to the ambulance and show Sir’s body to Babuji and would tell him they would take it to the General Hospital.’

The young men reached their respective houses.

The next day early in the morning Babuji called Satish to meet at the morgue at 9a.m.

Immediately,  Satish informed all other members of the executing group. Made arrangements with an ambulance for taking the body to the General Hospital. Also, distribute the word among other students to be present at the exit of the morgue at 9 a.m.

Babuji reached the morgue at quarter to nine. Satish was waiting for him. Babuji came close to Satish and said, “Satish, We were thinking over the matter all over the night. And finally decided to honor Dada’s final wish. We will take the body to General Hospital and complete the formalities.” With teary eyes, he further added, “Let us get going.” Satish was relieved. Confrontation was avoided.

Babuji was surprised to see the ambulance waiting. Satish told him that was arranged by the students. They went to the morgue. The attendant brought the body out quickly. Babuji was surprised that he did not have to identify the body.

The body was put on the stretcher which was then taken into the ambulance. When the ambulance reached the gate, the crowd of students shouted in unison,


Soon the ambulance entered the General Hospital. Babuji completed all the formalities of body donation. Satish and Babuji embraced each other making each other’s shoulders moist with tears. Babuji said in a muffled voice, “Satish, you students’ determination  has changed our ideas and opened our eyes. We all from the family also have decided to pledge our bodies.”