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: 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: 5 minutes




Satish took up the mike and started.

“I remember when I finished my graduation, I wanted to start my business. I opened out to my father. He was startled.

“Have you gone nuts? No person in our ancestry has even thought of it. It looks very lucrative. But it needs different skills. We don’t have those qualities. We can not do business. We are better off in taking up a job.” Father said.

“But Baba, the days have changed. It no longer depends upon your qualities you are born with. What I learnt in business management will definitely help me to go ahead.”

“Look son, bookish knowledge is not enough to start your own business. Don’t be stupid and dig your own grave. If you do not want to study further, start searching for a job. But throw off the idea of doing business. You will be like a fish out of water”

“No Baba. I do not want to take up any job. I have decided to be an entrepreneur”

“My son, it is not a joke to start on your own. From my side, I can offer you only my best wishes.”

“That is what I want from you. Wish me the best. And that will give me strength to fight out all the odds.”

“OK son, all my best wishes to you. Now you are on your own. Come to me for help only when you change your mind.”

That was the last conversation I had with my father. I left the house after I sought my parents’ blessings by touching their feet.

“Yashaswi Bhava! Be successful.” was what they bestowed me with.

  I started my crusade all alone. Had business deals with some of my friends and with a few businessmen. I was on the roller-coaster of my career.

Days and months went off. I was struggling.

It was pitch dark. I was lost. The end of the road did not seem to be within reach. I was walking on and on. Could not even feel any sign of life accompanying me. I was alone. Dragging myself in an uncertain direction. Nobody to tell me where I was, which direction to go.

 A big mountain could be sensed nearby. The path which I was following was zigzag and not trodden. But I was moving on. I was getting tired. Very exhausted. But still, I was going on.

And all of a sudden I saw a dim light far away in a small hut. My hopes got rekindled. I moved in the direction of the hut. Everything was still. Only my dragging feet were making the sound. I came closer to the hut. No movement in the hut. I peeped from the window. I was surprised to see an old man, a very old man with long white beard, sitting in front of a burning log of wood. He moved his head and noticed me peeping from the window. He did not move any further. I looked for the door and entered the hut. Few vessels with cooked food were near the fire. The old man did not utter a word. I was confused. Again, I was in two minds whether to sit or not to sit. He took out some food on a plate and offered me. He could make out that I was very tired and very hungry.

“I am trying to reach the peak of the mountain. But I have lost my way” saying this I sat in front of him. He moved the plate with food towards me. I started gulping every morsel that I took.

“Got tired? Lost courage? The aspiration to reach your target is dried up?”

I did not say anything.

“You are not the first one to have come here. Numerous have taken halt here and proceeded further.

Many with very big dreams to achieve, start their journey with all their might. They continue for some time. Their friends, close relatives try to dissuade them. But their desire, the determination is so strong that they overcome all the resistance, all the hurdles and they keep on their way to reach their goal. But the journey is not smooth. Many of them lose their way. Still, they continue. They get tired. Exhausted. Nowhere to take rest. Not a soul to consult. No one to guide. Nobody to help. And they lose their courage. They try to gather some energy to move on. But they fail. As a last resort, they hope for some miracle to take place. They expect some unknown power to come to their help. They become so weak that instead of walking on the path which they have chosen, they wait helplessly for some unknown power to take them to their goal. But it does not happen. They wait on and on and on. But nothing comes their way. They get disappointed. Disheartened. With the last ray of hope, they keep waiting at the point where they have reached.

Finally, they give up. They lose all their hopes. They are out of strength. And no more enthusiasm is left to attempt any further to achieve their goal.”

“At this moment, many change their direction, head back to their start point. They try to be in their comfort zone. But few have some mental stamina left with them. They locate this hut. Come here and rest for a little while. Work out their plan for further action and move on their path of the goal. They put in all their effort to reach their target.

 These very few people get the energy required to move further, to conquer the peak they have planned to reach. And they do achieve their goal.

I am glad that in that extremely exhausted condition, you located this hut. Now with renewed enthusiasm, you will move further and faster. And certainly, you will achieve whatever you have decided to achieve.”

Saying this, the old man got up, walked slowly to the door, went out, and disappeared in the dark.

Now fully rejuvenated, I got up and came out. I saw it was dawn. The sky was slowly getting brighter. I could see the path I planned to take. The peak that I wanted to conquer was within sight. I started walking on the path. Again, there was nobody with me. But I was walking firmly with full enthusiasm. The pace of walking was increased.

Very soon the sun rose and made the surroundings clear. I could see myself having come up so high, away from my starting point. I was thrilled. Very little to walk and I would be very close to the summit. 

I took a few steps and moved further. And I found myself at the top, at the peak. I was ecstatic.”

Saying this, Satish concluded his talk.

Then the chief guest of the event, got up. He handed over “The Entrepreneur of the Year” trophy to Satish. With utmost humility Satish received it.   He was given a standing ovation.

Satish got into the car and straightway drove to his house.

When the father opened the door, he was surprised to see Satish and whispered,


Mother also rushed to see Satish.

He placed the trophy near their feet.

“Baba, This fish has learned to survive out of water. I have achieved my goal. Now, both of you are coming to my house right away.”

Father and mother embraced Satish together.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sumitra was very happy that she was now a grandmother. Her daughter-in-law Vidya had delivered a baby boy. She was unhappy that her husband Pradeep was not in this world to see his grandson. Her son Satish was extremely happy to get a son.

The child, Abhimanyu was growing healthy. On his second birthday, Abhimanyu’s physical features were getting sharp. The child was as fair as Satish was. His nose was straight as his mother, Vidya’s.

But now, the color of his eyes was noticeably different. It was grey. Everyone started wondering, how did Abhimanyu get this color for eyes. They checked up the entire heritage from both families. There was not even a trace of grey-colored eyes, in the entire family chain.

Satish was wondering whether that was a classic example of “CHANCE” in the link of evolution.

On the third birthday, Abhimanyu was dressed up as an Army man. Many acquaintances, relatives were invited. Amongst all the invitees, Nitin Bapat, Vidya’s schoolmate stood out. He was their family friend and had continued his friendly relationship after Vidya’s marriage with Satish’s family also. Very jovial and lovable man. Nitin Bapat was a regular visitor.

On this birthday, Satish noticed that Nitin Bapat also had grey eyes. All of a sudden suspicion struck his mind.

Abhimanyu’s grey eyes, could they have any relationship with Nitin Bapat’s grey eyes?

Amongst all the merry-making, Satish’s consciousness was biting him. Was any further relationship between Vidya and Nitin?

After the party was over, before sleeping, Satish opened out his heart.

“Vidya, Nitin is a nice man. Is not it?”

“Yes. He is a very good friend, gentle, decent, and jovial.”

“And lovable too?” Satish was sarcastic.

“What do you mean, Satish? So, are you doubting me?” Vidya.

 “No. Not doubting. But seeking an explanation. How come Abhimanyu’s eyes have the same color as Nitin’s?”

“Oh my God! What link you got to doubt my behavior! Satish, the colour of Abhimanyu’s eyes, I have not chosen. “

“I know that. And I say exactly the same. That is genetically decided. And, in both of our heritage line up, no one has grey eyes. But Nitin has. That means Abhimanyu has a hereditary quality of Nitin’s genes.”

“What nonsense! I think you have gone mad.”

“Now, you can say anything. But I am upset.”

“There is no valid reason for you to get upset.”

“Okay. Let me sleep now.” Saying this Satish turned on one side, pulled up the sheet, and tried to sleep.

Vidya thought, the next day morning he would cool down and then would realize his mistake. Everything would become alright. But she also could not sleep. On other occasions of tiff, the cause used to be very trivial. But this time Satish had leveled a very serious charge on her. How to handle it? This thought did not allow her to sleep.

The next day morning, Satish was in the same mood as the previous night. He did not speak a word to her. Nor did he take Abhimanyu close to him.  During breakfast, his tantrums were noticed by Sumitra.

“Looks like something has gone wrong.”

“Yes. I don’t understand. Aai, he has gone mad.” Vidya said.

“Don’t worry Vidya. He will cool down soon and will come on the proper line.”

“No Aai. This time he is accusing me of infidelity. The reason being Abhimanyu’s eyes are grey as Nitin’s eyes.”

“Oh, God! What nonsense! Don’t worry Vidya. I will explain to him.”

“No use, Aai. These Engineers don’t know even this much biology. “

“Don’t worry. I will try.”

Vidya and Sumitra finished their breakfast after feeding Abhimanyu.  

 The day passed in tension. Sumitra found Satish very upset and realized this time it was something serious. After dinner, Satish slept in the other bedroom all alone. Vidya took Abhimanyu with her and went into their regular bedroom and bolted it after her.

Savitri laid on her bed. Her mind was revolving around grey eyes. Apart from Nitin, who else she had found with grey eyes? She was trying to recollect.

And she was startled. She remembered it was SAMIR, her collegemate and usual visitor to their house. She also recollected that eventful night when Samir had visited their house when Pradeep was outstation.

Sumitra picked up the phone.


“Yes. This is Dighe’s residence. Who is speaking, please?”

“Oh, Samir? After a long time. Where are you?”

“In Mumbai? Ok. Why don’t you come over for dinner, tomorrow?”

“Pradeep is outstation. He will be back tomorrow morning. We will have a nice dinner together.

Okay then. I look forward to seeing you around 7 in the evening, tomorrow. Bye.”

Sumitra kept down the phone with a smile on her face. Her collegemate Samir Sane would be visiting her the next day. She would be meeting him after about 3-4 years.

The next day, Pradeep called Sumitra and told her about the change in his program. He would be returning only after two more days. Sumitra tried to contact Samir but failed.

In the evening Sumitra got ready to receive her collegemate, after cooking some nice dinner.

At 7 in the evening, the door bell rang. Sumitra opened the door and saw Samir standing there with his pleasant smile and glittering grey eyes. “ Hallo, Mrs.Sumitra Dighe.”

Sumitra returned a smile. “Hallo”

She said and let him in.

After a few minutes, Sumitra told Samir about Pradeep’s changed plan. Samir immediately got up to leave saying “Okay, then I am going. We will meet during my next visit.”

“I tried to contact you but did not get through. Anyway, we will have dinner as planned and then we will meet again with Pradeep, during your next visit. You don’t have to quit immediately.”

“No. I don’t feel comfortable without Pradeep. I must get going.”

“Are you mad? Let us have dinner at around 8:30 and then you leave. Taste, how well I cook! And anyway, it is going to rain heavily now. Getting a cab will be difficult for you. So, cool down. Have dinner with me.”

“Of course, I will enjoy dinner with you. But ..”

“Do not worry. Relax. Would you like to have a drink? “

Sumitra led him to a small chest. Opened it for him and said, “Help yourself.”

Samir poured a drink for himself and started chatting with Sumitra.

They had a nostalgic memory tour of college days. Other group members appeared prominently.

With a cool atmosphere, heavy rains, and a nice dinner, Samir was enjoying the evening.

But finally, they both could not control themselves and succumbed to the natural instinct.  

Sumitra further remembered that the next day when Pradeep returned, he was in a terrific mood. And they had very exhaustive bed activity.

Soon Sumitra had conceived. Pradeep was extremely happy. But Sumitra was not sure whose baby she was carrying. Samir’s or Pradeep’s?

The pregnancy period passed with extreme joy in the house. Pradeep was planning with Sumitra the names for the child, either girl or boy. But Sumitra was extremely worried not knowing whose child she was going to deliver.

After the child was born, Sumitra was anxious to know if the child had any feature that would clearly indicate who his father was. Most of the features were common in both Pradeep and Samir. Except for the colour of the eyes. When Sumitra saw the child had light brown eyes, she was relieved. But then she found out some features take proper shape after 2-3 years of age. After the 3rd birthday, when Satish had light brown eyes, Sumitra was totally out of anxiety.

But now Satish’s son had grey eyes. Could it be skipping of generation?

And poor Vidya was getting blamed for infidelity. Sumitra decided to talk to their family Doctor and confirm this notion.

The next day Sumitra took the appointment of their family Doctor. Visited her and discussed this matter with her.

When at home, Sumitra reassured Vidya, not to lose her courage. She would try her best to prove her innocence.

Evening Sumitra called Satish and Vidya in a room.

“Now Satish and Vidya please hold your breath and listen to what I am saying. I want to confess something. I had told Pradeep about this. And that great person he was, he pardoned me with his big heart.

And now, Satish, please forgive me for such an unethical thing I was indulged in.

Please do not doubt Vidya’s character. She is as pure as crystal. If Abhimanyu has grey eyes, it is because of my sin. I am the sinner. “

Sumitra narrated the entire story. Finally Sumitra said,” And Samir had grey eyes.”

Satish and Vidya, both got a jolt.

Vidya leaned on Sumitra’s shoulders and sobbed uncontrolled. Satish was also moved. He spoke in a choked voice, to Vidya. “Please, excuse me, Vidya. Please forgive me.”

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Amazon had announced a grand sale, A large number of buyers got busy placing online orders. Mr. & Mrs. Kadam were also contemplating placing an order for some furniture to avail large discounts.

“Let us order a new sofa set. The existing sofa set is totally out of fashion. Whenever my friends come to our house, they don’t forget to suggest I to change the sofa set before the next meeting. So we can shut their mouths once for all.” Mrs. Kadam put forward her point.

“I agree, the sofa set needs a change. But I think the fridge also warrants a replacement. Don’t you find the fridge insufficient for all the things to keep cool whenever some guests arrive? I think we should get a fridge of larger size. That seems to be a higher priority.” Mr.Satish Kadam put forth his idea.

“But to think of it, even the air conditioners in the bedrooms are not functioning properly. They also need to be changed over. We require split a.c. to cover both the rooms.” Mrs. Kadam pointed another item that needed immediate attention.

“I think we will not agree over the most needed thing in the house. So, I feel, we should not place any order for any single item. Instead, we will postpone our purchases till the next sale. And,  two of us should take a trip to a nearby destination, for 4-5 days.   Andaman islands would be the right place to visit. We can talk to different Travellers.

We have not taken a trip for very long. Better we choose some destination to relax and recharge ourselves.”

“Yes. This is a good idea. We will buy the furniture at the next sale. That means we will not buy anything this season. We will enjoy our vacation at some unexplored place maybe a beach like Nivati, where very few people go.”

Finally, concluding that they would neither buy any piece of furniture nor would go to someplace to relax this season, but postpone the action till the end of the year, Mr. and Mrs. Kadam went off to sleep.

Later, the big advertisements of the sale were tempting the Kadam couple to buy something that was playing in their mind. But they refrained from it. Controlled themselves and did not order anything, postponing their urge for buying something new.

After a week, they received a packet from Amazon, when the actual sale had created a lot of commotion in the public. Curiously, Mrs. Kadam opened the packet. She was surprised to see two tickets for a grand tour to the Andaman islands. Delighted, she wondered who had sent the tickets when she did not find the sender’s name on the parcel. Extremely happy to see the tickets, she discussed the matter with Mr.Kadam. They considered all the possibilities of who could have turned empathetic and presented them the tickets about which they were planning for the last year.

“Could it be Nilesh, your friend from Pune with whom we had discussed going outstation?” Mrs. Kadam guessed.

“No. I don’t think it is Nilesh. Do you remember how angry he was when we did not agree with him on any destination while planning to go out together? Finally, he swore not to think about any picnic with us anymore. I don’t think he would surprise us with a picnic so soon.” Mr.Kadam ruled out that possibility.

“In that case, it could be my friend Nilima. She wanted to show off to our friends that whenever she gives any gift, it is never a small, low-cost thing. This gift would give her a chance to boast about her magnanimous gesture on several occasions. My God. Now I will have to keep appreciating her gesture again and again in our every meeting.”

” No. I feel strongly that this must be action from Ramesh. During our last get-together, when he got high after repeat pegs of rum, he remembered his losing a bet with me that was taken some 2-3 years ago. Started saying, “Satish, I have to give you some gift which you will remember for a long.”

Over this, I had said, “Ramesh, this you are saying because you are high, under the influence of liquor. You are in heaven now. Tomorrow morning when you come down to earth, tell me the same thing. The bet that you have forgotten for the last two years, I don’t think you will remember it after you become normal”

My saying this, hurt him very much. Later, every half an hour he was telling me, “Satish, I have not forgotten the bet. Tell me what you want as an unforgettable gift.”

To tease him further, I said, “Ok. Give me two tickets for a tour to Andaman island.” To this he replied, “Done. Satish, you will receive tickets for two for a trip to Andaman”.

Maybe, this time, he has truly remembered his bet even after he became normal. So, this must be the memorable gift from Ramesh.” Mr.Satish Kadam reiterated his idea about the generous person.

“Satish, I feel this gift is from Mrs.Gore. A few days ago, Mrs.Gore had announced that her brother had started a traveling agency. This must be a promotional freebie of that endeavor.”

Not coming to any conclusive decision over the person who could have gifted them this wonderful present, they decided to forget about the generous person and get ready to enjoy the cherished dream.

Planned their clothing for the entire week, packed the suitcases, and prepared to board the plane direct to Andaman. On the day of departure, they got ready, ensured that all the cupboards, windows, and doors were locked properly, the car was kept inside the garage which was also locked carefully. Satish called the Uber services and the Kadam couple was on their way to Andaman.

And after a week, when the Kadam couple returned to Mumbai carrying many unforgettable memories with them, they reached home in the late evening at around 8. Their independent bungalow looked very attractive to them.

Mr.Kadam took out the keys and tried to open the door. Satish came to know the lock was broken.

Satish had goosebumps. He opened the door and entered the house.

Satish was shocked to see his house ransacked. 

The frame of the 60″ TV was without the TV.  He went into the kitchen. And the fridge was not in its place. Mrs. Kadam entered the bedroom. Both the cupboards were broken-opened.  Almost empty. She looked up and found even the air-conditioners too were absent. She rushed into the other bedroom. The air-conditioner there too was not in its position.

To the mirror, a note was attached,” At least now, can you guess  who had sent the tickets for Andaman?”

Kadam couple totally depressed, sat on their suitcases inside their own house.


Reading Time: 7 minutes



“Can you pass me my mobile please?” Sudha Tai asked her son, Suresh. Sudha Tai Pradhan had just got up from her bed and forgotten her mobile on the table, next to her bed. She was now preparing tea for herself and her husband. The old couple always got up at 6 a.m. Just after finishing brushing and morning duties, Sudha Tai usually had a look at her WhatsApp account. To answer her messages received during the night after she retired to bed the previous night and before she had her morning tea at the dining table, Sudha Tai would have a cursory glance at her WhatsApp account while making tea. Mentally, getting ready to reply to every message, as soon as she finished her tea, she would get lost in the most important task of the day. Good morning messages had to be responded with an emoji of thumbs Up or folded hands. Any news item about the members of her friend circle who were not on the WhatsApp group had to be noted down carefully. Any song item had to be responded to with comments such as ‘Too Good’, ‘very nice, “melodious” etc. Luckily for Sudha Tai, the group had banned political comments and no political comments were circulating in her group.

After finishing the most urgently needed actions for the day, Sudha  Tai would look into other routines, not so important matters of the kitchen such as breakfast, planning lunch, etc. While performing any of these activities, the mobile had to be within the reach of her hand so that any phone call from the very important person such as Mrs. Salvi, Mrs. Ranganathan, Mrs. Malhotra, Mrs. Ghosh, Mrs. Shaikh, etc. can be attended to immediately. Sudha Tai used to make it a point that she would pick up the call before the third ring started. And sometimes such conversations used to get extended into tens of minutes, even beyond half an hour discussing paramount issues. Sometimes, the dish cooking on the fire would get burnt and the Pradhan family had to suffer the effects of the misbehavior of the new daughter-in-law in the Malhotra family.

Mr. Pradhan’s attachment to the phone was no less. He used to discuss ongoing cricket matches for hours with his friends. If cricket was out of season, other sports such as tennis, hockey, or even film songs, etc. were the topics to continue long sessions.

Suresh, typical of his teenage, was stuck to mobile throughout the day. In the mornings he was attending online classes. Afternoons were reserved for online sessions of college. And in the evenings, he was hooked up to friends. Late evenings were only for special friends.

Thus mobile was the most important factor of Pradhan’s family as was the case with most of the nuclear families.

And one day, the entire network went out of operation.

“Oh my God! What a calamity! How will we live through the day? ” Mrs. Pradhan, Sudha Tai expressed her anguish. All the members of the Pradhan family were extremely upset. They all were disconsolate as if some family member had expired. 

After the isolation for solid 24 hours, there were some symptoms of the network getting restored.

In the morning, Sudha Tai received a call.

” Sudha, I was trying to contact you since yesterday. But was not getting your connection. Do you know, Malhotra’s daughter Rashmin…..”

and there was a break. After a pause, the phone continued, ” with Ghosh’s son Arup.” Again the voice was cut off.

”Hello. Hello. ” Sudha Tai was trying to get the connection. She was upset that important news was interrupted. But her repeated ‘hello’ did not help to get the line connected. “How the hell the world will survive if the network fails like this?” Sudha Tai was wondering.

“If I try to club the two half sentences, Rashmin has run away with Arup, Ghosh Didi’s son. That is startling news. But this wretched network deprived me of that thrill of discussing over the matter and its after-effects.”

Sudha Tai saw Suresh coming near the dining table.

“Do you know Suresh? Rashmin has run away with Arup just a couple of days ago?”

“How do you know?”

“Mrs. Ranganathan told me just now. She has been trying since yesterday. But this rotten network! That played the villain.”

“Impossible. Arup is already hooked up to another girl in his class. He can not run away with Rashmin. “

“Arre, Mrs. Ranganathan told me. She never spreads rumors.”

“But Aai, Rashmin is also in a relationship with Vinayak who stays in Galaxy building just across the road. Rashmin and Arup don’t even talk to each other. Some unrealistic information you get and you immediately believe it.”

“Suresh, how do you know these matters?”

“This has been going on since the college opened last year. That means this is happening for the last one year.”

“Last one year? And you are telling me now?”

“Then what? Do you think I should have given the news to this broadcasting station?”

“You call me broadcasting station? Don’t you think I have to warn the unsuspecting parents about these extra-curricular activities of their wards? Anyway, it is never too late. Let me tell Mrs.Malhotra about Rashmin.”

“But just now you said Rashmin has already fled with Arup. Then what warning are you giving?”

“Actually, I don’t believe Mrs. Ranganathan. Her news must be wrong. I trust you more than her. I will check up with Mrs.Salvi first. I will tell my news to her.”

“What nonsense, Aai, I told you what I knew. You don’t have to broadcast it immediately.”

Sudha Tai wanted to talk to Mrs.Salvi immediately. She started dialing but the network refused to respond. “Oh! This network.”

Suresh had a sigh of relief but Sudha Tai was extremely impatient to talk to her friends over two contradicting news items. She was sad that such great information she could not relay on a network of her friends’ circle.


Here Mrs. Mehta was tired of waiting for the response from her  friends

after dialing their numbers. Suddenly, the phone rang. Delighted Mrs. Mehta immediately picked up the phone. Before she could say hello, the other person spoke.” I was shocked to see Mrs.Khanna without the layers of make-up. My God! So horrible.” And the line got disconnected. It was as if the network had started only to spread the news how Mrs. Khanna looked in her natural self. It was a nice item to talk about but the news provider’s identity was not known. Ignoring this aspect, Mrs. Mehta was waiting for the network to start. And lucky Mrs.Mehta got connected to her friend Mrs. Nene. Dreading the disconnection again, Mrs. Mehta used the trick of the previous phone call. Without wasting even a second on non-informative talk, she started reeling off.

 “Mrs. Khanna is horrible looking before her daily makeup!  My grandchild got so scared of her that it did not stop crying for nearly an hour.”

“Oh my God! I had always some doubts about her beautiful skin. But that lady must be taking care that before everyone is up, out of bed her skin make-up would find a place on her face. I don’t think anyone has ever seen her without makeup.” Mrs. Nene.

“Ok, Nene. I have to talk to our other friends. I will call you later.” Mrs.Mehta disconnected and got busy dialing other friends passing on the news of Mrs.Khanna’s looks without make-up.


Sanjeev was getting ready to leave for his office. He told his wife Renuka to answer the phone if he was not near the phone. He was also fed up with the bad network for the last two days. He was waiting for a confirmatory call from his colleague, Namrata about their meeting near Regal Cinema to proceed further to keep the appointment with their client in Colaba Causeway. After working from home for nearly one and a half years, first time, they were having an in-person meeting with the customer. They both were coming straight from their houses and they decided to meet at Regal Cinema where Sanjeev would pick up Namrata at 3:30.

Namrata could not get a connexion to talk to Sanjeev for quite some time. When she got connected, Sanjeev was in the bath. As per his instruction, Renuka picked up the phone. “The True Caller” app identified the caller as Namrata. Renuka got curious. She received the call. A few muffled words followed by “at the Regal Cinema”. and after a break for few seconds, “at sharp 3:30.” Before Renuka could say something, the call got disconnected.

Renuka was lost in thoughts. ‘Sanjeev would be meeting Namrata at Regal and they want to see 3:30 show. My God! He was pretending to say he had an important meeting in the afternoon. So this was “The important meeting.” How is it possible? Why would he cheat me?’ Sanjeev came out of the bath ready to have breakfast. While serving breakfast, Renuka did not utter a single word. Sanjeev sensed Renuka was upset. She opened her laptop and acted as if she was thinking over her office matters.

“Any serious matter?” Sanjeev asked.

“Yes. Very serious. Breach of trust.”

“Who breached the trust? And whose trust? Renuka, in business, not everyone follows ethics. You will find some people who stick to ethics. But many don’t have moral values. One has to be careful while negotiating deals.” Sanjeev tried to pacify her. “The lawyers  of your company should take care of such matters.”

“But how the deals can be negotiated in a cinema hall?” Renuka wondered.

In the evening Sanjeev reached home at 5:30. Renuka was surprised to see him that early. “Did you not get the tickets?” she asked.

“What tickets?”

“Cinema tickets. At Regal theatre.”

“Who had gone for cinema?”

“You with Namrata. You were to meet her at the theatre at 3:30.”

“Oh, that was the reason madam was upset in the morning. Renuka, our meeting place was The Regal Theatre. But not to go for the movie. Our client’s office was just two buildings away from Regal Theatre. We met the client and grabbed the deal for two crores. The meeting got over quickly. So returned early. And you thought, I met Namrata to see the movie with her.

Great extrapolation. Cinema theatre, meeting time. And Namrata.“ Satish clapped. “Wonderful imagination. Yesterday, the entire day network was down. And today also it was very short-lived. So Namrata when got a connection, wanted to confirm our meeting before the network went down. So quickly she communicated the confirmation without wasting time. And the network did fail soon after her sentence was over. Namrata told me that she had called and without confirming who was at the other end, she just confirmed the meeting.  

So the debate on breach of trust had this reference. Oh my God!

The unreliability of the network has whipped up the web of suspicion.“

“I am sorry, Sanjeev. Now, please stop making fun of me.” Renuka was embarrassed at her stupidity.

The next day, the internet network got into the proper groove and all the communication services were restored. All telephone services turned reliable, the internet services worked uninterrupted and all the members of social media had their mobiles at their disposal without any break.

Reading Time: 6 minutes



Satish was a prompter at the Chitralekha Drama Company. Apart from carrying out many sundry tasks at the time of the show, Satish was in demand by many actors as a prompter. His alert and swift prompts were appreciated by famous, very popular actors.

But today Satish was a little despondent. His most favorite actor Abhijeet was coming on the stage for the last time in the role of Mr. Kadam, the protagonist of the drama, “Kartavya”. Abhijeet had announced that after performing 500 shows in this role, he wanted to give up this portrayal. Abhijeet had wished that some other actor should present this role in his perspective and should take this wonderful character to a different height. Satish was so much tuned to Abhijeet’s movement on the stage that any sign of missing out some words and he would pick up quickly and would prompt the further dialogue. Abhijeet was very happy with Satish and he was very much assured that he would not be let down in any eventuality.

Satish remembered the days when Abhijeet started performing this role on stage.

When the role was ready, he committed it to memory, not simply the lines and moves and the gestures but every little detail of what his muscles went through in creating those emotions. Then it was simply a question of recreating that physical pattern in performance, with technical finesse, every time. As a result, the act of performing was never an emotionally or intellectually tiring one, nor did he have to rely on “inspiration”. He always thought that an actor was a philosopher-athlete—an athlete because he worked with his body; a philosopher because he had to think deeply and had to use his body to say something. Abhijeet was in fact a cerebral actor.

The ticket counters always displayed a “HOUSEFUL” board in a very short time of opening of the box office. People crowded literally to shake hands with him. There was euphoria, craze, and adulation for him.  Abhijeet was on top of the world. 

When this drama was a big hit, different people gave credit to different actors of the play. But slowly, it was evident that it was Abhijeet who was the crowd puller.

Sometimes, even two shows in a single day were performed to the packed houses. Abhijeet used to enact without getting tired physically or emotionally. He was such an actor.

After  500 shows, he wanted to quit this role. The producer of the drama was unwilling to replace Abhijeet with any other actor. He was not sure if any other actor can

substitute Abhijeet effectively.

Abhijeet made the audience laugh with him as well as cry with him swaying on the swing of the destiny of the protagonist as depicted by the author.

Satish thought, Abhijeet was the savior for every employee of the Chitralekha Drama Company. Abhijeet stood strongly behind everyone in their difficult days. He always used to express his gratitude towards even the smallest artisan.

After two hundred performances, when the drama was still the crowd puller and the “HouseFull” board was still being displayed for every show, some of the other companies, could not tolerate the grand success of Abhijeet’s drama. Once they planted their people in the audience. When the show was in full grip, one person from the front seat, got up. “O Abhijeet, you are not in your senses. You are saying some irrelevant dialogues. Go home and mug up your dialogues and after that only come on the stage. You can not insult our holy stage.”

Abhijeet was stunned. Satish too was shocked. Then another person from the rear seats shouted at the top of his voice. ”Yes. We will not tolerate this nonsense. Abhijeet, you get away from the stage.  Pull the curtains down.”

Abhijeet held his wits. He said, “I know. I am not saying anything wrong. If the respected person finds it disturbing, he should go to the booking counter. He will be refunded the ticket amount. Please, all those who think what I am delivering, is not the right dialogue, please go to the booking counter to collect their booking amount. But please do not disturb the performers and also the rest of the audience.”

5-6 persons got up and left the auditorium. Then one from the audience got up and said, ”We are sorry Abhijeet. I am seeing this drama for 5th time. And there is nothing wrong with your wonderful delivery. These must be the persons planted by some other drama group. They wanted to disrupt the show. Please pardon us and continue the show.”

“Thank you, sir. We will resume in a moment.” Abhijeet said and within a moment he carried on with the drama.

Satish as a prompter was completely confused. But the way Abhijeet handled the situation, he was overwhelmed. After the show was over a large number of persons entered the wings and apologized to Abhijeet for this unexpected happening. And the entire episode ended without any adverse impact due to Abhijeet’s excellent handling of the situation.

Then onwards, every show passed off without any untoward incident.

With such a background, Abhijeet had become an integral part of this drama.

After 450 shows were over, Abhijeet started contemplating relinquishing his role. He spoke out his feelings to Satish first. Shocked, Satish vehemently disapproved of his idea. In a choked voice he said,” No Abhijeet, please do not think on these lines. There are thousands who will be broken-hearted if you do this. In my case, I will not be able to perform my job anymore without you on the stage,”

“No, Satish. I do not want to hurt anyone. I will never be happy if you get upset. But please understand me. I enacted Mr. Kadam for nearly 500 shows. All of you and even the unknown audience loved me so much. But now, I feel some other actor should depict Kadam from his perspective. This will give the audience a chance to see the character of Mr. Kadam interpreted differently.”

“I do not understand those things. But please, give up this idea. Many like me can not imagine Mr. Kadam of Kartavya without you, Abhijeet.”

“Okay, I will reconsider my idea of giving up the role,” Abhijeet said to pacify Satish.

But there was no sign that Abhijeet had changed his decision. And the show for 500th performance was announced. The day was approaching very fast.

Satish realized that that day would see the last performance of legendary Abhijeet. Satish became emotional. He was not sure whether he would be able to perform his duty properly that day.

Before the beginning of the show, the announcer declared that that would be the last performance by Mr.Abhijeet as Mr.Kadam in this drama. As soon as the announcement was over, there was an uneasy whisper among the audience. At the start of the drama, there was a pin drop silence. When Abhijeet entered the stage, there was big applause. Abhijeet expressed his gratitude by bowing. A standing ovation was given to Abhijeet even before the drama started. After some time Abhijeet started with his dialogue. Silence prevailed in the entire auditorium. The mesmerizing delivery of dialogue hypnotized the entire audience.

After one and half an hour, the interval was announced. The curtains came down. But a few from the audience came on the stage and they wanted to say a few words. The hall management obliged.

One person took charge of the microphone.

“The announcement of Mr. Abhijeet withdrawing from this drama is very shocking. The character Mr.Kadam of this drama is superbly painted by the great author Mr. Pandit. But that character was etched in our, we audiences’ hearts by Mr. Abhijeet. I have come to see this drama 11th time just to get soaked by the wonderful dialogue delivery by Abhijeet. There are many more in the audience who would be visiting this drama just to enjoy Abhijeet’s acting. But we are saddened that this is going to be the last Kadam performed by Mr. Abhijeet.  This is unacceptable to all of us. We request the producers that they should not allow Mr. Abhijeet to leave this role, That will be an injustice to thousands of drama lovers.

On behalf of thousands of drama lovers, we want a promise from Mr. Abhijeet and the producer Mr. Kaldate that Mr. Abhijeet would continue to act as Mr. Kadam of this wonderful drama. A substitute for Abhijeet may be available. But we just can not imagine Mr. Kadam of this drama, “Kartavya” without Abhijeet. We want Abhijeet only to see in the role of Mr. Kadam.

I would like to announce here that unless we get such a promise from Abhijeet and Kaldate, we will not allow this drama to move further. No Abhijeet No Kartavya.”

He kept down the microphone. There was big applause.

Then Mr. Kaldate took charge of the microphone.

“We also did not want Abhijeet to stop working on this role. But he was adamant. Now, he has to agree to public demand. Mr. Abhijeet, please come out and tell your decision to this respectable gathering.”

Abhijeet came out on the stage and took over the mike.

“My idea of quitting the role of Mr. Kadam was to give chance to another actor to present Mr. Kadam from his perspective.”

“No. No. As long as Abhijeet is on this earth, we want Mr. Kadam to be played by Abhijeet only.”

“Ok. I want to honor the wish of a respectable audience. I will continue with the role of Kadam.”

The applause was louder and longer-lasting.

Then the audience took their seats and the drama KARTAVYA continued. Abhijeet delivered the dialogues with his usual intensity, the audience was getting drenched in the emotions of the drama.

Satish was extremely happy. He was elated that his favorite actor would continue to perform the role of Mr. Kadam in this great drama, Kartavya.

When the show was over, Satish handed over a rose to Abhijeet. With teary eyes, he said, “Thank you so much.” Abhijeet received the flower, placed it in the pocket of his shirt, and embraced him only to dampen Satish’s shoulder with the flood of tears.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   – 1219 words


Satish landed in Logan Airport, Boston early morning. Hiring a cab, he reached the Hotel Boston International. At the reception, he displayed his invitation card for the International Convention. With utmost politeness, he was taken to the 17th floor where he was allotted a room. After freshening up, he found out the venue for the convention. It was to be inaugurated in the evening at 6.

Satish, the recognized scientist in the area of the effect of music on the environment and the living species, & winner of a few prestigious awards, was invited to present his views on the coming new year.

At 6 in the evening, the ace scientists from various fields gathered at the convention hall. Everyone had donned a mask. After the formal inauguration, each of the extraordinary scientists expressed his vision for the coming year from the perspective of his research plan.

Prof. Gordon from Cambridge University, London spoke about how the launching of the James Web Space Telescope had enabled humanity to peep much deeper into space. He also said how it would help mankind to know more about the birth of our universe. Dr. Smith, the acknowledged scientist of quantum physics, from Boston University, U.S.A. stated that the secret of entanglement of molecules was getting revealed. He further added that soon it will be a reality for the human being to move in space at a speed exceeding the speed of light. Dr. Mehta a scientist from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada presented his paper on nanotechnology increasing the efficiency of energy consumption. Dr.Yamanaka, Tokyo University, Japan talked about the development of superconducting magnets which would ease the production of rails for maglev trains. Prof. Satish Chowdhary, from the University of Pune, India presented his successful experiments on living beings as well as on the environment, the effects of various instruments & vocal music playing different Ragas. Dr. Natasha Tito from Moscow University spoke on her study on human Genomes.

For about three hours, various scientists made presentations on different topics on which they had worked and would have significant development in that field in the year 2022.

Before the concluding speech was delivered, an elderly person with a grey, long beard, got up. He spoke out loudly, “Can I put forth my ideas?”.

Immediately the convenor came forward. With a lot of respect, he said,

“Surely Professor, Karmarkar. We will be honoured if you say a few words.”

When the name Prof, Karmarkar was mentioned, everyone was all ears. A veteran, with a Noble prize and an Order of Merit award in his kitty, was one of the most respected personalities in the scientific world. A young scientist came forward and gave him his hand to climb to the dais. Prof. Karmarkar took the mike in hand and started,

“I was very delighted to hear about the great achievements by different scientists in various fields. Congratulations to all of them.

But is it not melancholic that we had to get together with our masks on?  Since 2020 the pandemic Covid-19 is sitting on our necks strangulating humans. It has been two years that our movements are restricted over the entire world. The death toll has touched  horrifying figures. With its strong clutches, the Covid-19 killed innumerable human beings. Our scientific world worked very hard and succeeded in getting a vaccine for Covid-19. Before we could heave a sigh of relief, it entered our world in a different format. We termed it as Omicron. And it started spreading at a much faster speed. Though its impact is not that severe today, the spread is so wide and so quick that a slight variation or a little mutation of this virus can again cause disaster all over the world. Today, we are a bit relaxed thinking the impact of Omicron is mild. But we cannot guess what modification in the virus can suddenly make the situation, horrendous.

Today, we heard how we have succeeded in looking deeper into space. We have made maglev transport cheaper and faster. Nanotechnology has made production methods cheaper. The advances in quantum physics have opened up doors for our inter-stellar movement. Also, we have learned the effect of music on the environment which will help us protect our environment from further deterioration.    

All these things will certainly help humanity.

But will not we be able to benefit from all these only if we are alive?

We are surely making progress, but some other forces are acting to eliminate humanity from the earth. What about it?

There is a popular saying in India meaning one can have fifty hats if the head is safe.

In 2020, when we were caught unawares, we lost human beings not just in hundreds, thousands but in millions. We could not do anything, but keep counting the number of deaths.  It took nearly a year before the finding of a vaccine was announced. This awful situation we had to go through because we were facing an enemy about whom we knew nothing. Human intelligence won over the tactics of the enemy after a year.

We could protect ourselves against Covid-19. But before our steps could be effective, Covid-19 had made his entry deep inside of our society. And when we felt that we had won over it, it reappeared in a different form spreading rapidly. Due to our vaccination drive for Covid-19, the new virus, Omicron could not have a fatal effect on its victims even if it had a sizeable entry, The effect was mild. But the quick spread of omicron  is again a matter of concern. Its just existence is a possible threat of a new terrible pandemic. The latest information is that a new variant of virus has already emerged with the combination of properties from the Delta Virus and the Omicron virus. It is termed as Delmicron. It appears that the killer virus is all set to eliminate humanity from the globe with the fast-spreading property of Omicron and the killer strength of the Delta variant.

So it becomes extremely necessary that the entire world gets together and with the united efforts try to eradicate Corona from the earth. Its trace in any part of the world, in any form, will be hazardous to the entire humanity.

We have eradicated polio, smallpox, etc. It does not exist in any part of the world. Now we are safe from these deadly diseases. The same way, we have to get rid of Delmicron.

This will ensure the rest of our lives, secured and safe. Then only we will get a moral right to wish a happy new year 2022 to each other.

The year 2022 still hangs in the balance. We, the entire world should come together to win over the situation. This is possible only if all the research laboratories, the world over,  concentrate and work only in the direction against Corona-19.

By committing to this single goal, we can earn the moral right to wish everyone else “A Happy New Year 2022”.

We all will wish Happy 2022 to all the residents of the earth by committing to a solitary program “ COMPLETE ERADICATION OF COVID FROM EARTH”.

The entire gathering called out in unison,

“HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022 to all the residents of earth.”


Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Baba, we all are going to Nivati Beach holidaying for a week. I have booked a Bungalow on the sea-shore. Let us get ready for that outing next week.” Satish told his father Gangadhar Pant.

“Oh! Great! Let us plan our activity for the entire week. Yamuna will be happy to hear this. Have you and Vidya got your leave sanctioned?”

“Yes Baba, after Vidya’s leave was approved only we planned the venue and booked a bungalow in Nivati,” Satish said.

“How far is it? How do we reach there?” Gangadhar Pant asked.

“It is in the district Sindhudurga, near Sawantwadi. We will drive down. It will take 10 hours from here. We will start at 6 in the morning. Will break at Mahad. Take our lunch. Relax for an additional half an hour. Then continue. We will reach there by 5-30.”

“Are you listening Yamuna? Next week we are going to Nivati holidaying for 8 days.”

“So nice! I am ready any moment.” Yamuna Bai answered from the kitchen.

Along with the two teen-aged children, every one of the family was highly excited. They all started their planning for the entire week.

But in the night, Gangadhar Pant was a little upset. Yamuna Bai checked up with him at the time of going to bed.

“What is the matter? Why is all your enthusiasm dried up?”

“No Yamuna, I am a little unhappy over our trip. I am feeling again and again that we should change the time of our trip. This period is not the appropriate time for our holiday. Or we should change the venue.” Gangadhar Pant said. 

“When everything is finalized, why are you putting spoke in the wheel? Nothing doing. We are going to Nivati.” Yamuna Bai ascertained.

“I am repeatedly feeling that there will be some problem during our stay there.”

“What problem?”

“Something will happen and we will be only confined to our house there. “

“What  makes you think like that?”

“No particular reason. But I am feeling that. My intuition is prompting me to stop the trip to Nivati” Gangadhar Pant said.

“This is your negative thinking. Forget about it.”

“Ok.” Gangadhar Pant said and went off to sleep.

The next day, again Gangadhar Pant was uneasy. He opened the topic with his son, Satish.

“Satish, I suggest, we should not go on holiday next week to Nivati.”

“Why Baba, what happened? Why do you think that way?” Vidya asked Gangadhar Pant.

“Nothing in particular. But I feel we should not go there.”

“But why? After giving a lot of consideration, we have come to conclusion that Nivati is the most suitable destination for us. It is not far away. Also, it is not a very popular spot. The number of tourists is minimal there. So, we will not have any problem with big crowds. We will get solitude and will be able to enjoy the clean beach. Moreover, our children can enjoy the water-sports such as scuba diving to their content, They can see various fish and go deep enough to see the corals, etc. Plus, they can enjoy the thrills of surfing too. The children will enjoy the trip most.”  Satish explained.

Gangadhar Pant slightly got positive about the trip.

“And also Baba, do you know, in winter, this is a home for many migratory birds. The sandpiper, a small bird, like our mynas, comes here to avoid the severe winter in the northern hemisphere. We can see them in hundreds on the serene beach in the early hours prior to sunrise. Before the beach gets disturbed by human activity, the birds come down on the shore to pick up worms. There are many instances of them flocking very close to solitary morning walkers on the beach. “ Vidya added her point.

Gangadhar Pant got inclined more towards going to Nivati as scheduled.

“The fog on the horizon gives a heartening view of sun rays penetrating the thick mist and illuminating the tranquil sea. Plus walking barefooted on the sand that has come fresh on the shore from the deep down ocean during the high tide gives a heavenly feeling.” Satish painted a colourful picture.

Gangadhar Pant almost agreed to the plan.

“Yes, all of this sounds extremely good. I am also inspired to go to Nivati. But somehow, my subconscious mind tells me not to proceed towards Nivati Beach. I don’t have any explanation. But my inner self is telling a big NO to this trip.

This NO is not only for me but for the complete plan.

So please, let us go out somewhere else. If that does not make you happy, we will go to Nivati some other time, but not now.” Gangadhar Pant pleaded.

 “Satish, can we change the dates? “ Vidya said. After a pause, she continued, “If Baba is so much decided on it, we will cancel our trip. We will go sometime later.”

“Thank you, Satish and Vidya. I don’t know why, but my subliminal mind is totally against this trip. We will plan our trip some other place at some other time.”

Eight days passed very quickly. And they saw flash news on TV.

“A sudden local cyclone which lasted for just half an hour has wreaked havoc near the Beach of Nivati.

The unanticipated gust of winds of the speed of 120 kmph to 150 kmph, appearing almost like a twister, hit the beach of Nivati early in the morning. This unexpected blast of winds caused windthrow to many coconut trees which are known to withstand high-speed winds. A large number of houses got severely damaged. The glass panes of the windows of the houses were shattered. Many rooftops of the fishermen’s houses, were blown off. A large number of persons were missing.

The rescue operation has started and clearing of the debris is bringing out many a dead body. The daily routine of the town is totally upset. The gloomy atmosphere is prevailing in the entire area.”

Listening to the news, Satish and his entire family were extremely upset. They heaved a sigh of relief. “If we were there at this difficult time, we would have got troubled. Don’t know what all we would have  suffered.” Satish thought. “Sometimes, is it not better to believe intuition than all the options got through the reasoning?”