Reading Time: 26 minutes


Mr.Ramnathan at the age of 75 was on the terrace of his house in Puri in Odisha.

That was the evening of October 2019. The Sun had just set. The twilight was making the entire atmosphere pleasantly golden. He looked above in the sky. A lot of stars were glittering. A few were bright enough to catch attention but many were twinkling with their might to get noticed.

“What are you looking at Sir?” Satyavrata, a young boy, his student, broke the thinking chain.

“Oh, Satyavrata! I was looking at the stars. They are of varying luminosity. But all are trying to shine as brightly as they can.” Ramnathan said.

“Have all members gathered?”

“Yes Sir. They are in the classroom.”

“Am I late today? Let us go.” Ramnathan started climbing down the stairs. Satyavrata followed.

In the so-called classroom, 7-8 students had occupied chairs.

Ramnathan pulled his chair near the whiteboard.

“Sorry boys, I am a bit late. But I was lost in thoughts observing the beautiful evening sky and looking at the innumerable stars.

Anyway, what is the topic of discussion today?”

“Hope and reality”, one student.

“But Sir, we would like to know the thoughts you were lost in. Today, we would like to listen to your thought process. Could you share them with us?” said another student.

“Oh. Nothing much. Looking at the number of stars, I remembered our UBUNTU group’s overnight trips to nearby places to watch meteor showers and stargazing.

Forget about it. If I start talking about my UBUNTU group in Mumbai, it will be very difficult for you to stop me. “

“No Sir, today we want to hear about your UBUNTU group of Mumbai.”

“Children, you are not aware of what trouble you are inviting.”

“No Sir. Please tell us about your Mumbai group UBUNTU.”

“Okay then. Let me start.


After winding up my professional activities and entering the new phase of life of retirement, I found teaching, sharing my knowledge with the younger generation, an easy way of engaging myself in somewhat serious activity. There were several young members in the vicinity who were seeking some senior person as their friend advisor. I initiated my activity by helping some Engineering students in English speaking along with clarifying some doubts in technical subjects.

Well begun is half done. And it started. I was meeting youngsters from the nearby areas who were anxious about the medium of instructions for higher education which was different from their schooling medium. I was more than willing to help them out by making them conversant with English, the new medium. Also, some youngsters who had got their degrees by adjusting to the new medium of instruction during college education but were finding it difficult to communicate in the office environment, wanted my help after their working hours, after 8 in the night. I was ready for this also. I had kept the fee a meager amount of Rs.100 per month.  Every 3-4 months I was getting a new group of 4-5 students some doing commerce, some studying Engineering and some struggling with their communication skills in their working place. We named the group “UBUNTU”

They all were at different stages of youth, from different backgrounds with financial conditions varying within a narrow bandwidth. All of them had dreams in their eyes, aspirations to win over the entire world.  Their parents struggling to provide education to their wards with the hope that one day their progeny would have enough strength to face this world to be successful.

But the fire in their heart was of varying degrees. Some of them came with the idea that by just attending the class they would be mastering the language and hence would ride the success immediately. They were not ready to put in the necessary efforts. Whereas there were many with a burning desire and ready to take all kinds of challenges to conquer the battle. Their emotions had frills of love and respect for the seniors-be their parents or a well-wisher like me. What we call culture was evident in abundance. Their roots were in Maharashtra or U.P./ Jharkhand.

Periodically, I used to have tests to assess their performance. The student getting the highest marks was appreciated by a chocolate or a small souvenir. Even an outstanding performance in the class period would earn a bar of chocolate. The prizes used to be divided among all students inculcating the idea of sharing with others.

I was getting impressed by such students who were looking into the future with realistic vision and were trying to get ready with all their weapons sharpened. The number of such persons was not small. They all were falling in the category of strugglers and I was willing to help them whatever I could with my limited ability. I was getting entangled with the shaping of the lives of these crusaders.

I remembered, Nebula often called the Star Nursery is the region of the space, in which, from the remnants of an age-old star, new stars begin to form. A group of brightly shining stars is identified as Constellation.


That day Amar, a bright, young boy in the last stage of teenage, who had worked with me in my electronic gadget producing setup, approached me with Yesh and a group of 5-6 students to get some help in English as the medium of their post S.S.C. education was English whereas they had studied in Marathi so long. They had difficulty understanding every subject. They could not speak even a single sentence in English, correctly.  But they were keen to achieve something in life. The goal was not fixed but was something higher.

I realized the problem and started coaching basic English speaking along with casual sessions of Engineering subjects too.



Yesh was bubbling with enthusiasm. smiling, full of initiative. sensitive dared to take unconventional action/decision, confident. But he needed to understand the value of his words.

Vikas was a serious, gentle, a bit diffident boy. He valued his words and was dependable. An ideal friend or family member. But needed to be more confident.

Akshay Salunkhe was well-focused, serious, with a lot of initiative. He needed to be empathetic and had to get out of self-centered thinking.

Akshay Salvi was well behaved, well mannered, and was having the necessary initiative.

Sagar Rawool was a sports enthusiast with an extraordinary memory. A boy with a lot of potential but ridden with diffidence and lethargy.

I wanted their dreams to come true and their life on the proper track.

I started helping Yesh with Engineering subjects. Used to spend time reading his books and trying my level best to explain the technical subjects. Teaching speaking English was going on. But Vikas along with Yesh entered our family. We both I and wife Vidya had accepted these young souls as our own. We missed them very much whenever they did not come to our house when they had gone to their village or were busy with college affairs.  I was worried about their future.


That day Yesh arrived a bit late. With a frown in control of his pleasant face appeared very funny to me. I knew something had gone wrong with him and this loving, ever-smiling boy had got angry.

“Why are you late today?”  I showed up my authority even though it was very

difficult for me to control my chuckle.

“Sorry, Sir,” Yesh muttered with a grumpy face.

“Yesh, what is wrong? Why are you so angry?”

“Nothing. I am not angry.” The crabby look indicated that his words were not true to his emotional state.

“Don’t lie, Yesh. Tell me the truth.”  I continued digging for the root cause of the upset of this sweet little boy.

“Bhai slapped me without any reason. I had not done anything”

The fact came out. I could not control my smile. Bhai, his brother elder to him by 3-4 years had ascertained his seniority.

“Oh! That is why my sweet Yesh is angry. You must have done something wrong. After all, he is your elder brother.”  I tried to pacify him.

“No. I did not do anything wrong.”

“Okay. He misunderstood you. But does anyone get angry with his own brother?”

“It hurt me so much.” I saw his cheek was still red.

I gave a gentle rub on his face.

“Such things do happen sometimes. But forget about everything else and now let us start work on the properties of the database. Did you do the homework I had given you yesterday?”

“I had studied. But don’t remember anything now.”

“See, your anger has wiped off all your efforts. “

I opened the book on the database and started reading each line. After every line, I was translating it into Marathi and made him understand what it meant.


Meanwhile, the semester results were out. Most of the boys managed to get through but Yesh had 3 A.T.K.T.s(Allowed To Keep Terms for further studies with an additional chance to attend the tests along with the new semester). I decided to pull Yesh out of this problem.

So I started to have separate sessions on the weekend mornings. Intelligent that he was, he picked up and performed sufficiently well and cleared the next semester along with the pending  A.T.K.T.s.

I got in contact with the parents of a few selected students. And surprisingly, they appreciated their wards’ association with me and handed over full reigns to me to mold them.

Fathers of two students had expressed their annoyance over their sons sleeping till late every day during vacations. I started coaxing them about this. A regular dose of good habits of waking up at reasonably early hours was not having the desired effect. I used a trick. I started waking them up by the notification tinkle by sending messages reminding them about the current main task of their life, passing out the final exam of their diploma with good marks. The initial response was of irritation. But I did not budge. My initial message sending daily at 8:30 in the morning, I started preponing every week, slowly I reached up to 6:30 and then at 6 a.m. After a few months father of one student called me saying apart from the behavioral change in his ward, he observed that his son had started getting up at 6. He sincerely thanked me for this change. I was elated.


They got their diploma and they decided to go for an Engineering degree. Their excellent upbringing by their parents had strengthened their decision-making power, I was just witnessing their actions. I was appreciative of their struggle. Their parents were ready to extend their support to their wards for further studies. They joined new colleges and got involved with their college activities. Their visits to our house were regular though reduced considerably. The busy schedule of college, the submission load did not permit them to visit us frequently. But whenever time permitted, they managed to squeeze in a hurried visit to us. The critical final year of graduation in Engineering was very hectic for them. The project work execution was testing their endurance limit. Whenever we met I saw to it that I patted them for their hard work. A few words of appreciation comforted them. My own Engineering qualification carried some weightage and that helped me to guide them whenever they were looking up for some advice. Finally, they got their degrees and their focus was shifting towards appearing for entrance tests, aptitude tests, interviews, etc.

The group started discussing what type of job they should accept. There were 4-5 areas in I.T. such as Development, Maintenance, Marketing, etc. Somehow, a  weird idea of accepting only development jobs rejecting any other discipline was getting a stronghold in the group. I openly disapproved of this idea and tried to bring them to the reality that except Akshay Salunkhe and to some extent Sakharam, nobody else was suited for the development jobs. I thought Yesh was fit for marketing whereas Vikas would sparkle in maintenance. But this choice had to be exercised only after they were in the mainstream. For the first job, they should be willing to accept any type of IT-related job.   Fortunately, this idea got acceptance in the group, and very soon they were part of the IT industry.

Unfortunately, the intake of campus interviews was drastically reduced. Akshay Salvi passed his aptitude tests and was selected by TCS. Yesh also succeeded in getting some position in a company offering I.T. related services to other companies. Only Sakharam and Vikas were left without a job. My feeling was either they were not seriously putting in effort or they had different ideas about themselves. They did not discuss with me their interviews, preparation for aptitude tests, etc. Whenever both of them came to the house, they played UNO or chatted on various topics but in Marathi.

Once unexpectedly, I got an arrogant response from Vikas. I was upset. I fired him left and right. I presumed he would not talk to me anymore. But I thought it was my duty to bring him to the right path. The next day, I called his father and told him what transpired between me and Vikas. He was very much supportive of my action. I was relieved. After a week Vikas gave me the news of his getting a job. A few days later, even Sakharam was employed.

In came another group of diploma students joining degree college. Our intimate network was getting wider. Some more students were attending the class. I was trying my level best to remove the taboo of the English language. And then one day, a ‘fire ball’ came in to enquire about the class timing. That was Laxman Dabholkar, a first attempt CA achiever. I was floored to read his dreams in his eyes. They seemed to radiate the vibrancy of youth. The stumbling block in the path of his goal was his weak English. He was hell-bent on removing this obstacle and starting his own group offering consultancy services in accountancy to smaller companies that could not afford to have their own accounts departments. The blaze was so powerful that I offered all possible help in my capacity. The focus of his goal was so sharp that the objectives looked absolutely bright. Laxman etched his special position in the ranking of my students. Another gentle, soft but also impressive student was Sanket More. Disciplined, decent character in the final year of Engineering, Sanket also had a sufficiently high position in our ranking. He later passed out his graduation, got a job in a smaller group, and slowly but surely started climbing up the ladder of growth. Laxman and Sanket both shifted their residence to Mira Road. Their visits to our house started reducing. But our bond was intact. I used Laxman’s services for my professional activity. He was in touch with us more than Sanket.

Soon there was a frill of tension attached to my thrill of seeing ambitious boys on the proper road of conquering higher goals. One of the boys, Ramesh had started an affair with a girl, Nalini. I envisaged the derailing of Ramesh from the path of achievement. I warned Ramesh in plain words. He assured me his relationship with the girl would not hamper his main target. I was deeply disturbed and tried my all to dissuade Ramesh from this dangerous path. But he was firm on both the promises. I had later, after 5-6 years, conceded to him of my utmost pleasure for proving me wrong. Ramesh was sailing on waves of a successful career and then only married his teenage love, Nalini.



After a year’s close association with these boys, yet another group of Engineering students from a neighboring area spoke to me for some help in English conversation. They had the same problem as the first group. Their schooling in vernacular languages, some in Hindi and a few in Marathi, was posing difficulty for them in expressing themselves in English, the medium of their current education.

This was a bigger group. And everyone was with a different shade of behavioral pattern. They all had got admitted into Engineering colleges meant they all were above the ordinary level. A genuine difficulty very common was due to a change of medium of instruction. Their inability to exhibit their brilliance in college studies was making them unhappy. I had a cursory check of their intelligence level and I was impressed. But like the constellation – I, they too were unable to speak even a single sentence, correctly.

To initiate speaking in English, I told them to talk a few lines about their favorite bird. None of them could go beyond expressing the color of the bird, about the beak and the wings.  I provoked them by saying “that sounded like 4th standard children”. They all felt a bit humiliated. “I can understand the problem with English. But the total absence of imagination! Boys, your efforts to learn English have to be supported by good imagination. And I guarantee, you will make rapid progress.”

We started with the basics of speaking English.


Shivam was a plump, pleasant boy bubbling with confidence. He was not bad in English conversation. In the group, Shivam stood out for his explaining power. Any point, any event, or even any idea would be explained wonderfully by him. This trait would help him to move up the ladder very quickly in his career. But he had to learn how to brief the matter. Not every time one needs all the details.

Rohit’s name I had registered in my mind as Rakesh. I took quite some time to address him correctly. He was a bit reserved and had a wonderful quality of empathy. His gentle and well-mannered behavior was enviable. An ideal family member. He was short on the initiative.

Pravin was a small-statured, bright boy. Ajay was also thin and short. But later he proved himself an “out of box” thinker, smart boy. Despite being metropolitan born, he had a very naive accent like a rural boy, But miraculous progress he made, and that drawback was forgotten very soon.

A lean, tall, Akshay Pawar was a little younger. He was full of confidence & ever smiling. He stood apart for a fantastic, rare quality of being concise.

Vishal Waghmode was yet another small-statured, thin boy. He was enthusiastic, confident, and intelligent.

Ashish Yadav was a brilliant, confident Engineer. Good boy overall but was self-centered. Needed to be empathetic.

Chandresh was one more pleasant boy. I found him disciplined.

Dilip was a lovable youngster, He was adventurous and imaginative.

Vishal Misra was a thin, always smiling boy. He was an intelligent but unfocused boy.

Nirav was yet another impressive teenager, bright and good at singing film songs.

All these boys were pursuing various streams of Engineering.

Antim was a delicate-looking, ever-smiling, a bit diffident boy studying commerce.


With their excellent response to basic English, we started discussing various themes, very soon. By triggering their imagination brain-cells created such a wonderful atmosphere that I used to wait for the boys to come for their class as much as they got hooked to this exercise. Rarely anyone remained absent for the session unless some assignment in the college did not permit them to attend the class. They used to think with all their imagination to put forth their point of view. For their grammatical mistakes, I was correcting them in a manner that did not dishearten them. The result I could see was amazing. Started with three sentences each on their turn, reached full five minutes talk with a minimum of errors. To think of topics to make them tax their brains was a big challenge for me. I was posing more and more difficult topics and to my surprise, each one had his own line of thinking and a 4-5 minutes speech with confidence was the easy outcome.   The subjects to express their minds were given to them extempore and the thoughts those got revealed were electrifying. The friendly atmosphere in the class was enjoyed by each one of them. The discussions on various topics such as religion, movies, sports, world affairs, etc. with emphasis on astronomy, that being my own passion, constituted the agenda of our meetings. The subject “Gift to God” was discussed spiritedly. The lion attacking an elephant which is many times bigger than him was sighted as an example of courage, Sculptures were mentioned not only as a form of art but a flagship of our culture that would last for centuries, the love, at first sight, was dismissed as sheer infatuation. Independent thinking was the basis of all opinions.  


Once Pravin was lingering behind when all the students had left for home after the class.

I was surprised to see Pravin waiting for me.

“Yes Pravin, do you have any difficulty?”

“Not a difficulty in the exact sense. I want your guidance.”

“Okay. Tell me.”

“Sir, I am in love with one girl. I would like to marry her. But she is not from my cast. I am sure father is not going to agree to this.”

“What year are you studying Pravin?”

“I am in my second year.”

“How many years still more to get your final degree?”

“Two more years after I pass out my second year.”

“Frankly, This is not your age to select your life partner. You have not seen the world as yet. Also, you need to concentrate on your studies. This is your main task on hand. First, complete this assignment. Then you can think of choosing a life partner.”

“But Sir, I am in love with this girl.”

“Dear Pravin, you are at a stage when every other girl you will find lovable. But that does not mean you should select her as a life partner.  Take my word. Control your feelings and concentrate only on your studies. After you pass out B.E., settle in a job then look at girls with the idea of a life partner. By that time your ideas about life would be somewhat clearer. Discuss with your parents and then go ahead with proposing to her. Certainly not now.”

I saw he was disappointed.

“Go home. Think over my suggestion and then come back to me.”

“Okay, Sir. Thank you so much.” Pravin left with his head down lost in thoughts.

I was delighted that Pravin thought of me as his confidant and looked for my guidance. I was happy to have such a relationship.


Meanwhile, I got shocking information about a very good student Dilip.

Dilip was intelligent, well-behaved, and valued the social norms. But that day something wrong happened.

At around 11 in the morning, the neighboring girl Sunita was looking at Dilip expectantly. Dilip realized Sunita wanted to say something to him. Seeing that nobody was around, he went closer to her.

She, in a subdued voice, said, “My parents are going out after lunch. They will return only in the late evening. Shall we meet at my house?”

Dilip was astonished. He politely rejected the offer. “I am also going out for my work after lunch.”

“Come on. You have the entire vacation to do your work. But this opportunity of meeting in solitude will not come every day. Please come to my house to solve my difficulty in maths at around one p.m.”

Dilip was tempted. He agreed.

At around one, after lunch, Dilip saw Sunita’s parents leaving. After a few minutes, he picked up a mathematics book and avoiding all eyes entered Sunita’s house. She closed the door after him.

“What is your difficulty? I will explain how to solve the problem.” He said in a muffled voice.

Sunita came closer to him. Took his hand in her hand. Dilip pressed it slowly.

And next moment there was a knock on the door.

Both of them were startled. Dilip moved close to the table and took the mathematics book in hand. Sunita slowly opened the door. Her father  rushed in muttering “ I forgot my wallet here.”

 He saw Dilip sitting at the table.

“What are you doing here?” he asked Dilip.

“I have come to help out Sunita in mathematics” Dilip.

“With doors closed?”

“Yes father, to avoid disturbance in studies.”

 Sunita’s father was very angry. He slapped Sunita which made a loud sound.

Dilip was frightened. He picked up the book.

“And you, get out immediately.” He pushed Dilip out of the house.

”If I see you here next moment, I will break your bones.” He shouted which could be heard outside. The immediate neighbors realized the graveness of the situation.

Dilip quietly ran out and entered his own house quickly and closed the doors.

The next moment the news spread in the nearby area. 

 I could not believe such a cultured, sweet boy would succumb to this adolescent pitfall.

That alerted me of the dangerous period of adolescence. Fortunately, my favorite student Dilip was saved from the undesired aftermath.


Though these boys had stopped attending class, our group meetings continued.

2-3 years passed by. Their English was improving along with confidence. Our bondage was getting stronger.

I was witness to my young friends struggling, struggling hard to complete the different tasks of college studies. On weekends when colleges were closed, they used to play cricket, football the whole day as recreation.

Once I expressed my annoyance over some message which was going viral on the social medium, on the present education system. The speaker in heat of condemning the present set-up made a sweeping statement that all the students in the final year of Engineering, buy out the projects from experts which they are supposed to do themselves. I was very much upset with this remark. During the next session of our class, I openly criticized the speaker saying this was a direct insult to many students including my students who struggled hard, very hard to complete the project in stipulated time.

My students were happy that there was somebody who valued their efforts and sincerely appreciated them. Our bond got still stronger.


One day one of the girls, Revati came to me and told me that she liked a boy, Nirav from another batch. She had given him a note indicating her love for him. She was waiting for his response. She asked me whether that was a wrong deed. I told her that was certainly a wrong action.  That was not the right age for them to get into love matters. Nirav was in his final year of Engineering and he had to concentrate on his studies. I advised her not to go ahead with this idea. And to my surprise, the next day the same boy, Nirav confided in me to have received the note from one girl about her interest in him. He further added that he had responded to her indicating to her that he considered her as a good friend but did not have any interest in her from that point of view. I took care of not revealing the other side of the matter to each one of them. I was so happy that Nirav had put an end to the matter that could have otherwise created a complicated situation. The innocence was getting maturity level.



To trigger their creativity, organizing talents, and an opportunity for speaking in groups, I planned two national festivals celebrations every year. 15th August and 26th January were getting popular amongst my students – current & past both. The entertaining and brain-teasing games such as scrambled words, scrambled sentences, etc. were organized to increase team spirit. The emphasis was on speaking English and enforcing pride for the country.

On every occasion, the best performing student was felicitated. I used to invite some recognized personality who was an achiever in his field, such as Yusuf Lanewala, D.Dinesh, D.Roshan, Deepa, Mr.Roda, etc. to give away the awards and share some words of wisdom with the students.   It was appreciated by each one of them although the awards were not of any significant monetary value.

These activities brought forward the qualities of leadership, team spirit, planning, organizing, and public speaking. The first year it was constellation-1 who managed the show under my guidance. Later the new candidates took over and some great performances came forth. The constellation-II sparkled. As the years passed by, the younger stars had a glittering contribution. Constellation-III performed exceedingly well. The senior members such as Akshay Salunkhe, Rohit, Akshay Pawar, Antim guided the young lot with enthusiasm and active support.


Then the final semester exam was declared and the day approached very quickly. The boys were happy that there were two days off between each paper.

 And the first paper was over. They returned home and relaxed. The next day which was off, I casually contacted one of them to find out how their study went on the “off day”. I was shocked to know that as part of recreation, they played cricket and football the whole day. I could not control my temper. I called all of them in an hour. All of them came after getting freshened up. I asked them about their timetable of studies during those critical hours. They had planned to study only the next day morning. I pointed out their serious mistake. After the play the whole day, they were so tired that they needed rest the whole night.  The most precious time was thus wasted. I suggested they have some other type of recreation that would not exhaust them physically. So they could use more hours to study and get ready for the next paper. That convinced them and they promised me not to play exhausting games during the ongoing exam. We both departed on a happy note.

The following rest days between papers were spent more sensibly. And the immediate effect was felt by them.


The final Engineering exams got over.   But the campus interviews, aptitude tests by various companies did not allow the students to relax. Group discussions, extempore speeches, mock interviews were being conducted under my guidance and each student was sharpening his weapons to conquer the battles.

In a matter of 3-4 months, most of my students got placed in good companies. A few of them had to undergo specialized training arranged by the companies.

Akshay Pawar after an initial struggle was going through the process of seasoning so that after some time a strong, sturdy structure would be seen by the society.




Some more 7-8 students, a mix of boys and girls, with the hope of receiving some help in their studies joined. Most of them were studying commerce and some science branch of graduation. I started a new batch.

With the same enthusiasm, I started understanding them and trying to teach as per their standard and the need. They were taking interest and I attempted to raise their level. I got a satisfactory response from a few of them.

Abhijeet Chandurkar had a sharp memory and tremendous confidence but had some complex about very insignificant matters.

Anamika Pandey with her splendidly disciplined approach in maintaining her class notebooks stood out. She also impressed me with her ability to write poetry in Hindi.

Jyoti and Soni Paswan, the two sisters attending higher secondary school classes,  were very sincere in everything that came their way. Jyoti who was a slow starter to express herself when her turn came, slowly made such tremendous progress that she was selected as a group leader in her school class. Soni also made remarkable progress in school.

Two more Engineering students who were not part of other Engineering batches need special mention.

Sampada Phatak was a very active, confident, intelligent, determined student. She had some medical problems, fought with all odds without losing confidence, and overcame all the hurdles that came across her. She had a struggling life but was ready to take any challenge. She also maintained her hobby of writing poems albeit in Marathi. After getting her B.E. Electronics, she was settled in the teaching profession. Needed a stroke of luck then.

Shivnath Yadav was yet another crusader. A fitness freak could lift 100kg. had BE in instrumentation but could not be part of the mainstream. He chose to give serious attempts to UPSC exam. To my dismay, he was very low on confidence.

Yash Ambre, Antima from the commerce stream and Manoj preparing for I.A.S. position were impressive. They actively participated in National Festival celebrations.

There were a few, a bit senior, married students who had a burning desire to get familiarity with English while executing their family responsibilities. Among them, conspicuous were Vitthal, Nadeem, and Lubna, all having two children. Nadeem even occupied the best student position in ranking for the season. Lubna stood apart for her fighting spirit against all the hurdles of life without losing courage.

These students had a spark in them and my job was to set fire, intense enough to make them noticeable. I was getting exhilarated to see their response and this new group was getting closer to me.

With the second Constellation, a nice bright boy of 12th standard, Anurag attended the class. He tried to the best of his ability to be on par with the Engineering boys in speaking English. Jovial he was, he used to brighten up the atmosphere of the class. But his efforts were falling short of the expected level. He continued attending class with the following batches also. Once his elder brother Dhananjay came to the class with him.

Dhananjay was in the third year of Engineering in the I.T. stream. The stout, well-built boy appeared to be reserved and shy. He had very few friends in the locality. But I found him brilliant, a thinker, and gutsy. Slowly, he filled the vacuum created by the departure of earlier Engineering students after their graduation. He won the best student position and became part of our family. He introduced to me the concept of Artificial Intelligence. I started addressing him as Sir as he made my ideas about AI very clear.



In the year 2015, we both (Vidya and I) were the victims of the epidemic of Dengue. Due to my earlier heart problem, I was advised hospitalization whereas my wife Vidya shifted to her sister’s place to be looked after by her sister. My daughter flew down from U.S. to take care of us and my students took over the responsibility of attending me in hospital particularly during the night. Employed students could not contribute to this requirement except on Saturday night. The students who were still in college managed amongst themselves.

The boys attending me in the night used to leave only after the Doctor’s visit the next day morning.

After the first night the next day morning, during his round-up visit Doctor found a young man waiting beside me. Doctor asked who this young man was.

I told him “He is my son, Akshay.” The doctor acknowledged and moved on to the next patient.

The next day Doctor, during his morning visit, saw another young man beside me.

 The doctor gestured who that gentleman was.

My reply was “My son, Dhananjay.” The doctor smiled and went ahead to the next patient.

The following day, Doctor saw yet another youngster looking after me in the night. Before he could ask any question, I said,” we have decided to break Gandhari-Dhritrashtra’s record.”

The doctor had boisterous laughter and he proceeded on his duties.

After 6-7 days I was discharged and I returned home.


15th August of 2016 was a bit different for UBUNTU group. The complete celebration of the occasion was managed by the senior group. To start with the members willingly contributed to the expenses. The itinerary was organized by the students. The games. the prizes everything was handled by them. At the end of the event, the balance amount was handed over to me with all the details of the account.

After the onset of the pandemic, each one of them carried out his responsibility very well. Yash Ambre joined the volunteering medical cadre risking his life against the unknown enemy Corona-19. On noticing the difficult financial condition of one of the students of the class, they wholeheartedly agreed to forward the balance amount of the collection for the celebration of National festivals, to him maintaining anonymity. Yesh and Vikas had culminated this act of common cause by adding their own additional amount,

Yes. My innocent students had now matured enough to come forward to the help of society with their might, in a difficult situation without any publicity. I was ecstatic.

Days, months were passing. After every 3-4 months new batches of students were made comfortable with English. But no other batch was in any way match to the earlier three batches.

Laxman started his own consultancy business with an office in Borivali. He married an equally ambitious girl Ekata and was proud of having her as his wife. Sanket got married to a very loving, unassuming, qualified working girl, Jyoti, having varied interests such as hiking, music, drama, etc. We had a short meeting with them during the corona pandemic. But even that much encounter had put forward their claim for the best couple of our class. Yesh Gawde announced his marriage in December of 2021.

Now in the clear sky, Constellation-I, Constellation-II, and Constellation -III were shining brightly.
















He and his partner

He is such a sweet boy

Full of kindliness,

Always comforting others

With smile on his face

At no time upset in any situation

Never sad on any occasion

Ever prepared to help the needy

Perpetually ready to share happiness

With the dreams overflowing

Willing to share responsibility

Embracing big ambitions

Endeavoring to achieve them

He deserves a life partner

Delightfully charming

With tenderheartedness

Spreading warmth in surroundings

Happy to share the feelings

With one dear to her

Every time finding joy

In everything that he does.

Supporting him invariably

Whatever he brings off

To gel completely with him

She should be capable of

In the ups and downs of life

She should sail along with him

A dolphin pair should point out

‘We must be like them’





The small little dream

From Kashmir to Assam, It is our Hindustan

But our entire family has to share a small room in one chawl.

There are so many buildings in Mumbai, Thousands of flats in every township

But how can we afford them when builders are demanding crores of rupees.

Our parents worked so hard through their lives, with aim of giving us better education

To enable us to win the most difficult fight of cut-throat competition

They have gulped many a dose of venomous

Taking them as nothing but innocuous

Their aspiration of a better way of life, we are pursuing

With hard work and efforts untiring.

We got our degrees, in IT, hoping to get placements in big companies

But as luck shifts its focus, the big firms started shrinking

Those firms which used to pick up candidates in thousands

Have come down to selecting only a few in tens.

How will we get employment with a good salary?

When will we be able to change our level of living?

When will we leave the present dwelling

where essential facilities  are shared with many families

 To enter a self-sufficient apartment of our own?

No. No. We are not frustrated. On the contrary, we are charged up.

Come what the situation may be, we will fight tooth and nail.

Maybe we will succeed in a start-up industry,

The internet making the whole world a local market and tiny.

We will certainly triumph, and accomplish our parents’ dream.

With our own self-contained house, parents will see our level shifting.



One evening Vishal Waghmode and Rohit Yadav came to me with smiles on their face. “There is good news from us.” Rohit said.

“Okay. Tell me.”

“Sir, we both got admission for MS in the U.S. ”

“Great. Where?”  I asked.

“Vishal got in Texas and I got in Buffalo University. They have offered the courses as we wanted.”

“That is very nice. So when are you leaving?”

“We have to get a visa now. We have to join spring sessions.”

“That means just a month and a half left.”

“Yes. We will have to speed up. We will fly till New York together and then take different flights to our destinations.”

A week later, Akshay Pawar came with a packet of sweets giving news of his shifting to Chennai for a good post in a top-ranking company. He would leave in a month. Ajay received an offer from Dubai and he announced his joining within a month.

Soon, Vikas and Akshay Salunkhe were flying to Germany for their new job in Munich. Their joining date was just two weeks away.

A few days later Shivam came with some sweets for good news. He told me that he had passed out UPSC exam and he was posted in the Delhi I.T. department. He would be taking charge of his I.A.S. post in a month.

Antim couple of weeks later Abhijeet announced his selection in the IAS cadre for the Government of Maharashtra and he was posted in Solapur.

Finally, I heard of Yesh taking over a job in Finland. He was shifting there with his family in a matter of a month.

The fledgling young ones had taken to flights of great heights.

With so much good news of my students conquering some peak or other, the perturbing feeling was that they all would leave Mumbai very soon.



It was more than two years that new students had joined English speaking class through some 7-8 batches. Still, the same old students were close to me. I was feeling very happy to see them climbing up the ladder of progress. But none of the fresh students was able to take their position.  A vacuum was getting generated in the absence of earlier students.

My irritation over the void not getting filled up was noticed by friend Patnaik. He once asked me,

”What is bothering you?  You are not the same as you were earlier”

“Nothing. But I am missing my sessions with my students which I used to enjoy most. There were a few youngsters who started with me as my students but slowly got so much attached that we had a very close relationship. I was teaching them to speak English, but they were interacting with me on various fronts. Crossing the age barriers, we had become thick friends. We were not just 2 or 3 but the number was around 15-20. And now slowly they have left Mumbai one by one. We sometimes meet online but the charm of getting together in person is missing”

“Oh! Only this problem? I have a solution. In a couple of months, I will be shifting to Puri in Odisha. You too come to Puri. I will provide you a small little independent house. After spending most of your life in Mumbai, now taste a smaller city far away from the hustle-bustle of this metropolitan. You will find good-hearted youth there. There also you will find many who need some experienced, kind-hearted person like you as a guide. And I am sure you will not miss your wonderful young friends from Mumbai. As you had struck a lucky lot of good, well-behaved students in Mumbai once, you will find well-mannered, polite, cultured students in abundance there. You will certainly enjoy their company more and more as much as they come closer to you. I am certain on that account. Now Ramanathan, tell Vidya Bhabhi about this suggestion and I am sure I will receive your call to book your air tickets to Puri.” Saying this Patnaik left the house.

*************** IN SEARCH OF NEW NEBULA..

I discussed with my wife Vidya, and we boarded the plane for Puri with my friend Patnaik. In a couple of hours, we were in Puri, the spiritual city of India. In Puri, we entered this house. Very soon Patnaik introduced Satyavrata to me.

And all of you know what happened thereafter.”

Mr. Ramnathan took out his handkerchief and wiped his eyes.

“That is the panorama of my UBUNTU group of Mumbai.” He concluded.

All the students got up with heavy hearts.

“Thank you, Sir, Thank you very much. We had a thrilling tour of your overwhelming experience. It was just great!”

“Sir, we will meet tomorrow at our usual time,” Satyavrata said.

Slowly all of them dispersed.


Reading Time: 7 minutes



In July, Satish entered the school for the first time after his father shifted his family from Puri  to Vadodara on his. The schools had already opened and started in the month of June. Satish was directed to his class, 9A, by the peon. The class was already full with nearly 40 students and the teacher was teaching mathematics.

“May I come in, Sir?” Satish halted at the door and sought the permission from the teacher.

“Yes. So you are the new student. Take a seat.”

Satish looked for a vacant desk and kept his school-bag there. He took his position.

Taking a pause for few moments, teacher said,” Ok. Please introduce yourself.”

Satish stood up. “I am Satish Waghmode. I have come to Vadodara from Puri, Odisha.”

“I plan to make my career in I.T. Engineering. My hobbies include playing cricket and write poems and short stories.”

“Good. So you write poems too. Can you say a few lines from your poem?” Teacher asked.

“I will try, sir.”

Satish started.

“Initially, worried and anxious about co-students.

Now, I feel I have found my long-lost friends.

Want to make career in I.T.Engineering

By putting in my efforts untiring”

All the girls applauded. They were impressed by the poem. But none of the boys clapped. Nitin was unhappy that Satish had succeeded in making an impression with the girls. He signalled his group members not to appreciate the poem.

Satish was surprised that the boys had kept quiet and did not appreciate him. He sensed some sort of jealousy among boys. He had anticipated some non-cooperation from them. But not so early. Anyway, he smiled and sat down. Sir taking note of this behaviour from boys, said that he was surprised that the boys did not enjoy the lovely poem. He appreciated Satish and patted him. Latika got up and said, ”Very good poem. We girls enjoyed it.” On seeing Latika openly admiring Satish, Nitin’s blood was boiling. But he managed to keep quiet.

After the class was over, Satish mingled with other boys. He found them cordial. Then Satish approached Latika.

“Thank you for admiring my poem. May I know your name, please?”

“She is Latika. She not only tops our class but is first ranker of entire division for last two years.” Sushama intervened.

“Oh, great! Nice to meet you.” Satish said with a smile & folding his hands.

“Sushma is exaggerating. Nothing great. It just happened.” Latika said.

“That is modesty. Thanks Sushma for introducing your friend.” Satish added.

Quickly Satish was accepted as a friend. But Nitin was hurt by Latika’s admiring Satish in the class. He could not forget this incident.

Slowly, Satish became popular among his classmates, boys as well as girls.

Soon there was an inter class elocution competition. Satish sparkled with a gold medal. That scaled up the popularity of Satish. And Nitin was extremely upset.

One Sunday, the boys planned a day picnic to Sayaji Garden.  That being a festival day, the girls did not join.

All the boys were enjoying the wonderful landscapes and a lovely weather added spice to their merry making.

Nitin was contemplating how to avenge his insult from Latika. His mind was working on an opportunity to get it straight with Satish.

In the afternoon, they decided playing the game BLIND MAN’S BUFF. After two-three rounds Satish was the blindfolded man. His eyes were tied up. He had to touch or catch one of the players blind folded to give him the blindfold.

Nitin’s crooked mind took over. He told all the boys to leave the site and let Satish move blind folded all alone. Everyone followed Nitin’s idea. Sincere Satish was moving around blind folded for quite some time. When he did not get any response from other players, he suspected some fowl-play.  He took out his blinding folds only to find entire field empty. There was no one from his class to be seen. He looked around but no one could be traced. He waited at that place for some more time. But he realized all the boys had played a fast one on him. Then he returned to his home.

Next day in the school, each boy asked an innocent looking question to Satish, “Where did you go?” Satish did not answer any one of them.

When Latika came to know this pulling the fast one by other boys on Satish, she knew the main person behind this must be Nitin. The girls decided to teach a lesson to Nitin and his friends, in defence of Satish.

Latika arranged a dinner in one of the restaurants, for some of her classmates.

A few hours before the dinner, one girl contacted Satish and told him about the change of venue. Satish reached the new place in time. All the girls had gathered there. Latika took care of Satish. They had a very nice dinner. Every one enjoyed thoroughly.

The rest of the boys had got together as informed by Latika. But the boys were not informed about the change of venue. They waited for quite some time for Latika to arrive. But the absence of Satish and all girls was linked by Nitin.

Next day, in the school, all boys from class 9A were searching for Latika. That day Latika deliberately reached late. The boys could not shower anger on Latika. In fact, Latika started expressing her annoyance with the boys that none of them turned up for the party at the changed venue. A lot of heated arguments were exchanged. But Latika was happy that the ill treatment to newcomer Satish, was repaid. 

Then the season for cricket tournaments started. An external cricket coach was appointed to pick up the team for school and training them for the inter school competition. To the surprise of class 9A, Satish was nominated as captain for the school. Annoyed Nitin spread a rumour that the coach knew Satish and his pick as the captain was an act of nepotism.

Soon the coaching sessions started on week ends. Still Satish’s performance in studies was not hampered.

The interschool cricket tournament commenced and Satish remained absent in the class. The reports of school performing well started pouring in. Finally, the news of the school winning the Trophy made everyone ecstatic. His century in both the innings was termed as captain’s leading from the front. He was adjudged as the man of the match and the man of the competition. Most of the students were extremely happy. Nitin had to express gladness even though he was very unhappy. He was not getting any opportunity to ridicule Satish in front of the girls. Satish had become a heart throb for not only class 9A, but the entire school.

After the cricket euphoria was over, Satish turned his attention to the studies. The topics which were covered in his absence, Satish tried to make up. He sought some help in mathematics. Latika was more than eager to help him out. Nitin was getting irritated over the idea of Latika going closer to Satish. But that was that.

Once Nitin was trying to complete the science journal in the class. He was not able to draw the diagram. He rubbed it several times but could not make a neat presentation. Satish too was giving finishing touches to his journal. He saw Nitin struggling completing the diagram. He came close to Nitin and asked in a low voice, ”Could I draw it for you?”

Nitin looked around. No other student was in the class.” Can you do it?”

“Yes. Let me try.” Satish said. He pulled Nitin’s journal near him and started drawing. In a few minutes the drawing was complete. Nitin was amazed. “Thanks Satish.” Nitin said.

“My pleasure.”

“But do not tell this to Latika.”

“Are you mad? Why would I tell her? Don’t worry. We are friends.” Saying this Satish picked up his own journal and walked out.

Nitin was surprised that despite his being cross with Satish on many occasions, Satish had never behaved bad with him. He started liking Satish due to his wonderful behaviour.

Nitin conceded his defeat in the one up man ship. He realized the virtues are eternal and Latika was attracted towards Satish’s ethics, decency, honesty, kindness. By showing some one else down, does not lift  the person’s position. One needs those qualities which stand out and make the person attractive.

Nitin changed his way of thinking. He wanted to surpass Satish by making himself better than Satish. Nitin started studying seriously. Instead of whiling away time pulling other person’s legs, he tried to acquire good qualities.

Nitin approached Satish. Asked clarification on some topics. Satish explained the subject and tried his best to make Nitin understand. Slowly Satish became a fast friend of Nitin, a changed Nitin.

As the annual examination approached, Nitin spent a considerable amount of time, studying. When the examination ended, all the students were curious to know the result.

And the results were declared. As expected Latika ranked top. The second in rank was Satish, narrowly missing the first position. The third position, to everyone’s dismay, was occupied by Nitin. The teachers were also surprised. But that was reality.


In June, the schools reopened. The entire 9A class had gathered in happy mood. Latika was being congratulated by one and all. Nitin’s group was extremely happy that their leader had sparkled at third position. Nitin was also elated. He was searching Satish. He could not locate him. He spotted Latika. Quickly approached her. His first question to her was about Satish. She said that she also had not seen him after the examination was over. Nitin was disappointed that nobody had seen Satish for long. He was rather as upset as Latika was. He wanted to meet Satish urgently to express his gratitude towards him for making him understand  the meaning of life.

After an hour, Satish arrived. Everyone wanted to talk to him. Paving his way, Satish came closer to Nitin. They both hugged.

“Where were you during the entire vacation? No contact at all.” Nitin said in choked voice.

“ Actually, my father got transferred to Mumbai and we had to leave Vadodara urgently. We shifted to Mumbai. I had to choose the right school as this year is extremely important in our life. S,S.C. is a deciding factor in our life. Finalizing my school was critical.

I finalized all those matters. And now I am here to say bye to all of you.

Congrats Nitin, You stood third in our class. Great.”

Knowing that Satish would be leaving the school, Nitin was sad. Tears filled his eyes. Latika joined them.

“Look Latika, Satish is leaving us. He has come here just to say bye. He has turned totally inconsiderate.” Emotional Nitin somehow completed his sentence.

Hearing this Latika too was disconsolate.

After completing the formalities at the office, Satish came out only to bid good bye to a big crowd of friends. They were reluctant to let Satish leave them. The students in gloomy mood, presented a small souvenir to Satish.

Satish with Latika & Nitin along with a few more classmates, visited a restaurant and had a small party. They exchanged their contact numbers. Finally Latika with tearful eyes wished Satish the best. Nitin had a long hug which dampened Satish’s shoulder with Nitin’s tears. His group members had never seen Nitin getting so emotional.

Satish bid bye to all of them with heavy heart. He could not control his tears. He turned back and left the place.


Reading Time: 9 minutes



Shankar Rao with heavy heart handed over the key of the room to his son Ramprakash.

“Ram, this is the first time you are staying away from your parents. Go to the mess in time and have proper meals. But remember, your main task is to acquire knowledge. You will be attending class with boys and girls. So long you have had only boys in the class. So be careful. Girls are not bad but they are perilous for your career. Don’t get friendly with the girls.  I would advise, you stay away from girls.” 

“Baba, I promise, I will concentrate only on my studies and will keep away from girls.” Ramprakash reassured his father.

Ramprakash passed out his Secondary school with excellent marks. His father, Shankar Rao wanted Ramprakash to take higher education in college and get his degree. The main problem was there wasn’t any college in his town, he had to go to the nearby city where there were a few colleges. These colleges were at a distance where daily commutation was not possible. He had to seek some hostel accommodation.

Through his friends, Shankar Rao managed Ramprakash’s admission in a college with attached hostel for boys.

The day arrived when Shankar Rao and Ramprakash entered the hostel. With a small suitcase containing the bare minimum necessities, Ramprakash took charge of the room.     

Satisfied with Ramprakash’s promise, Shankar Rao left the hostel teary.

Ramprakash made himself comfortable. Got ready and proceeded to attend the class.

The class was a huge hall full with nearly 150 students. Ramprakash saw one side of the class was occupied by boys and the other by almost equal number of girls.

As the days passed, Ramprakash made many acquaintances, some friends, a few good friends. Initially, his mixing with girls was limited to exchanging smiles.

As the first semester exam approached, the fever of studying hard caught up with few boys. Ramprakash saw some of the girls were also serious about their goals. He noticed Sunita was one of the studious girls. Ram’s encounters with Sunita while going to library, were increasing. But it never went beyond ‘hello’.

After the exam was over, while coming out of library, Sunita asked Ramprakash, “How was the exam?”

Ramprakash was a bit confused to answer. He just said “It was okay.” He wanted to know about her performance too. But could not gather words. After speaking that sentence Ramprakash just moved on in other direction though he wanted to continue to talk to her.

During further encounters, Ramprakash would refrain from changing his direction. He would answer the questions raised by Sunita. He would pray that Sunita had some more queries and he would answer them. But he did not have courage to put some questions to Sunita.

Soon, the first semester results were announced. Ramprakash stood second in the class with 85% marks. He wanted to know Sunita’s score. But he could not search on the result-list as he did not know her surname. Neither he dared to ask his friends about Sunita nor he could look for Sunita in the crowd of students. 

Ramprakash went near the library expecting Sunita to come there. He waited for her for some time but she did not turn up. He was getting impatient to see her. Ultimately, disappointed he started to leave the place. And then he saw Sunita coming in the direction of library. Delighted, he moved towards her.

“What are you doing here? I searched you all over the college. Even today, you want to study?” she said.

Ramprakash gathered a few words. “ I was waiting for you.”

“For me? I am so happy to hear those words. Anyway, congratulations, for getting such good marks.”

“Thanks, Sunita. What is your score?”

“I came 5th in the class.”

“That is great. I tried to scan the list. But there are so many Sunita’s in our class. And I did not know your surname. Tell me what is your last name?

”Gupte. Sunita Gupte.”

“Oh. Now I will remember.”

“But Ram, I know your surname. Saane.  Ram Saane. Right?”

Delighted Ram had a nice smile in return. He wondered how did she manage to know his surname.

“Ram, I need a party from you.”

“As soon as possible.”

“Let me talk to other friends.”

“I am not talking about that general party. That you can give any time. But I need treat only for myself.”

“Okay. Let me finalize my party with my friends which includes you. But special treat for Sunita alone will be at any time convenient to you. “



That was the beginning of Ramprakash’s entanglement with Sunita. 

The wonderful part was their meeting place was library instead of some park or cinema hall. Their discussions were on the topics of curriculum instead of dreaming about their life. The result was their career graph was going up together.

Three years passed and their performance was getting better by every examination. Unaware of their bond of love growing stronger and stronger, they appeared for the final year examination. 

And suddenly they were brought down to reality, by Sunita’s father telling Sunita of the marriage proposal from a U.S.based I.T. Engineer who knew Sunita in her school days.

The day after the final examination was over, Sunita asked Ram to meet at the coffee shop in the park.

Taking up a  corner table, they made themselves comfortable. Sunita appeared to be a bit tense. Ramprakash started the dialogue.

“What a wonderful time we had! Together we did not deviate from our goal. On the contrary we complemented each other and our performance has been on the rise. Now is the time I feel I should open out to you. Sunita, I want to express my feelings.

Sunita, I love you. I feel with you as my life partner, we can conquer high peaks of our career.” Saying this Ramprakash held Sunita’s hand and pressed it gently.     

Sunita had an expression of ecstasy on her face. She responded by pressing Ramprakash’s hand in return.

“Yes Ram. I also feel absolutely the same. I am feeling we are born for each other.

But yesterday only my father talked about a proposal received from a friend of my father. His son who knew me since my school days, now settled in U.S. is interested in me. And father was excited about it as he knew the family, the boy itself and his financial position.”

“Then what?” Ramprakash spoke in despair.

“I was thinking over it the whole night. I knew that you also love me as much as I love you. But you had never indicated it before. If I was sure of you, I would have flatly told my father yesterday itself. Now let me see how to handle it.

Ram, I know my father always says, promises for the future can’t be relied upon. In that case, what should be my answer? “

“ I will come to your house and let us sort it out face to face. I will try to convince him; we have to conquer many more goals. I will pose a question to him, ‘would it not be better if we get married after we attain our  goal?’ Let us try.”

We will meet at 5 in the evening at your house.”

Next day at five in the evening, Ramprakash was at Sunita’s house.

 After a brief introduction, Sunita’s father put the first question to Ramprakash.

“So, Ramprakash Saane, answer my question.

Saane surname indicates you are Kokanastha Brahmin. Do you know, we are C.K.P.? Will your parents approve of this match?”

“Basically, they will oppose it. But I will convince them.”

“See Mr. Ram, I don’t believe in future promises. Last minute if you say ‘my parents are not agreeing, so I am helpless’. What should I do? We will have lost my choice due to refusing the proposal and my daughter’s choice too due to your parents’ refusal. I don’t want to get into this situation. Now you give me a solution.”

“But Sir, I am certain of convincing my parents.”

“Then, why don’t you talk to them right away and get consent.”

“Sir, my getting married itself will be shock to them. On top of it, the out of caste marriage will be more difficult for them to digest. To get them to agree  to all this needs some time. Though I am certain of their approval finally, I need some time.

As your daughter has trusted me, I request you to have faith in me. I cannot dream of living without Sunita.” Ramprakash begged.

“No filmy dialogues, please.”

“I told you my genuine difficulty. Now tell me what action from my side will satisfy your concern for your daughter.”

“You marry my daughter tomorrow itself. I have given you one more day to convince your parents. Permission or no permission. If we can perform marriage by tomorrow, I will believe your feelings about Sunita are genuine. Otherwise, Sunita leaves next week for the U.S.”

Ramprakash borrowed few more minutes to answer his question.

And Ramprakash came back with a brilliant smile. He looked at Sunita and said,

“I am ready for marriage tomorrow itself. I will  marry Sunita  tomorrow and we will be together through our entire life be it easy or tough.”   

“Are you sure Mr. Ramprakash? In that case we will call the priest and the marriage ceremony will be performed in the presence of family members only. You both call few chosen friends. That is all.

 Mr. Ramprakash, this is not a joke. You be present here at 10 in the morning. I will call the priest at 11a.m. “

“I will be here at 10 sharp.” Saying this Ramprakash started off. Sunita followed him. When out of the house, she said, “Ram, don’t you think it necessary to take permission from your parents? Will they not be hurt with your decision?”

“Sunita. Do you know Grace Hopper, Rear admiral of U.S. ? She had made the very famous statement “ Sometimes it is easier to seek pardon than to seek permission.”

When I am sure that permission from my parents for our marriage requires a sizeable time considering the various factors involved in our marriage, I will seek pardon from my parents after our marriage is performed.”

“Ram, I know you would take care of your parents. But is it not risky?

If they get hurt beyond expectation, then?”

“Sunita, if you are with me, I am ready to face any challenge. I am confident we both together can win over my parents too.”

“Ram. I am glad to have you as my life partner. Will wait for you tomorrow at 10 in the morning.”

Next day, Ramprakash was at Sunita’s house at 10 am.

By mutual consultation, Sunita and Ramprakash invited few friends. Sunita’s father called some close relatives. The marriage was performed  in the presence of the small gathering. Sunita’s father was happy over Sunita’s choice for life-partner. He arranged for their honeymoon at a hill station for 10 days.

After their return, when the final year results were announced everyone in Gupte family was happy that Sunita and her husband had secured the first two positions in the university. Ramprakash was at the top of the chart while Sunita stood second.

Ramprakash immediately rang up his father and spoke to him.

“Baba, today the university results are announced. I have two news to give you.”

“Great. Tell me quickly.” 

“First news is that I topped the university chart.”

Before Ramprakash could say anything further, Shankar Rao said, “ How great! I am so glad to know this excellent performance from you.

Ram, I am proud of you. Not only you have achieved an exceptional success, but as you had promised me, you concentrated on your studies. Wonderful accomplishment, my dear Ram. I don’t know how to appreciate you. What do you want from us?”

“Thanks a lot Baba. Whatever I want, I will ask from you when I meet you in person at our house. I will start tonight by luxury bus and will reach home tomorrow at 10 in the morning.”

“Surely. I will get prepared to satisfy your demand. Your mother is eager to hug her small child.

Anyway, what is the other news?” Shankar Rao asked.

“I will tell you when we meet in person.”

“Okay. We are anxiously waiting for you.”

Shankar Rao kept down the phone.

Ramprakash told Sunita his plan to start in the evening for his home by luxury bus.

Next day at ten thirty, they were in Ramprakash’s native place. Sunita was happy to enter a big bungalow. Ramprakash’s parents were waiting for him ready to do ‘aarati’  with a lamp for the great success he had got. They were surprised to see Sunita with Ramprakash. While doing aarati, Sunita kept herself aside. “Sunita, you also take aarati. Aai, she stood second in the rank. She also deserves this.”

“Oh. Then please stand here. Let me do aarati to you too.”

Sunita was thrilled to receive this grand welcome.

Now father came on the scene. “Ram, who is this Sunita?”

“Baba wait a minute. First, I would like to remind you that on phone yesterday, you had asked me what I wanted for my achievement. I had told you that I will tell you when I will meet you in person.

I need your pardon, Baba. Tell me you have granted it.”

“Dear Ram, there is nothing you can do that needs you to be absolved. “

“Baba, still. You must forgive me. “

“Okay. You are forgiven. Now tell me.”

“Baba this is Sunita. My best friend during the course. We used to study together. That helped each one of us so much that I got the first position and Sunita secured second position. When thought of life-partner came to my mind, I considered her as the best fit for me.

Her father had agreed and he wanted me to get approval from you. But Baba, the circumstances needed us to get married urgently. No. Nothing of any suspicious relationship between us. We had not crossed our limits of true friendship. But the difficult situation had to be overcome. The only solution was we had to get married. We got married fifteen days back. Baba and Aai, please forgive me for getting married without letting you know. Actually, there was no time to seek your permission.”

“Dear Ram. If you had just informed me, we would have rushed to attend the marriage.”

“But Baba there was one more glitch. Sunita is C.K.P. I thought you would not accept this as it was against your ideas.”

“Again, you are wrong. The character of the person does not depend upon the caste. The girl who was instrumental in your achieving this great success along with her own, is certainly praiseworthy.

Ram, we are glad that you two complement each other. We are extremely happy to receive her as our family member.

Sunita, we both, Ram’s mother and I, shower blessings on you. Wholeheartedly we accept you as our daughter in law.

Ram, in choosing such a wonderful life-partner, you have done us still more proud.”

Ram and Sunita were ecstatic with this happy ending for the decision Ram had taken.   


Reading Time: 6 minutes

During his vacation, Satish’s parents took him to Nashik to renovate their property where Satish’s father wanted to spend his post-retirement life. After a gap of 6-7 years, Satish was in Nashik.

While clearing all the junk in the old house, a box so well saved by Satish took the attention of everyone. Satish opened the box. That was the small mechano gifted by Latika.

He got nostalgic about his childhood. He remembered his 5th birthday bash. His parents used to make it repeatedly clear that that was the final birthday that would be celebrated. Later on, no gatherings for birthdays. So, this birthday was a special day. Father got a tricycle for him. Many invitees attended the function. Satish was dressed as Chacha Nehru and he moved around with pride having a rose flower put in his shirt pocket. A photo session was arranged.  His parents posed with Satish lifted by his father. His teenaged sister posed training him on the tricycle. All through, Satish was at the centre of every action.

But Satish had a special remembrance of this day due to Latika, the girl from neighbourhood.. Satish was especially pleased with her sweet smiles and her elegance in moving about. Her gift of small mechano, Satish had treasured and kept it separately where nobody else would find it.

After a strong friendship between them for four years, Latika’s father got transferred. They moved to Kolkata, retaining their present property. During summer vacation, Latika used to come back to Nashik and used to have a great time with Satish. Satish used to show Latika, what different artifacts he used to make using the mechano given by her, But later on, Satish’s family itself moved to Chennai. Satish made it a point to visit Nashik during summer vacation. His meeting up with Latika used to rekindle their relationship which otherwise was kept going through letters. 

But later his classmate in Chennai, Nilima attracted Satish’s attention. Satish used to feel very happy whenever he interacted with Nilima related to studies. Any day, whenever she was absent, he used to feel dispirited. The sight of her in the class usually put Satish in a great mood. This made him rank first in the class till he entered high school.

Slowly, Satish’s correspondence with Latika started getting reduced. Their meeting during summer vacation in Nashik was very rare. Satish’s academic performance was getting more and more impressive. He concentrated on his studies.

Years passed by. Satish had a group of friends, interested in hiking, trekking, mountaineering, etc. Along with his studies, he followed these activities. Satish initially covered nearby areas but later he covered the hills of entire India and he had the thrills of having trysts with nature.    

After his Engineering, he got placement in the Indian Navy. He went through rigorous training. Later, he got a position on India’s first aircraft carrier ship Vikrant.

Repacking the mechano, Satish was lost in thoughts. ‘Where must Latika be now? What she must have studied?’  He longed to see her. He was uneasy over his mental state. But the next thought made him uncomfortable. How could he get so much anxious about her? Would she remember him still? What if she was already married?

In a few days in Nashik, one of their neighbors extended an invitation for the function of marriage in their family. He also mentioned that Latika’s entire family had promised them that they would attend the marriage. Satish’s hopes of meeting with Latika got revived. The function was just four days away.

And that day Latika arrived with her parents. Satish was anxious to meet her. At 4 in the evening, the previous day of the actual function of marriage, Satish spotted Latika. He approached her. Yes. She had the same elegance and had the same sweet smile as Satish had remembered her since childhood. He was happy to find her unchanged in her appearance though she had grown into a mature lady. Due to a lot of crowd around her, Satish did not get a chance to speak to her and know about her present status. That there was no mangal-sutra around her neck, gave some solace to Satish. But nothing further. On the marriage day, Latika could not be spotted in the large crowd around the bride. Satish could not open out to anyone else to enquire about her. After the ceremony of marriage was over, in the evening there was a gala reception. He could find an opportune time to talk to Latika alone in spite of a big gathering.

Gracefully dressed Latika was in one corner. Satish approached her.

“Very busy?” he started the conversation.

“Who? I? Not at all. It’s not my marriage. I attended this function to meet all my childhood friends.” Latika responded.

“Have you met them whoever you wanted to meet?” Satish.

“Just seen them. Have not got time to talk,” Latika.

“Yes. These crowded functions everyone attends to renew the old ties. But one hardly gets a chance to talk to each other.” Satish.    

“Anyway, how are you Satish?”

“I am good. How about you?”

“I am also fine. What do you do these days?”

“I am in the Indian Navy. Currently, posted on Vikrant. It is in Mumbai docks recently. That means I am in Mumbai these days,”

“Oh! Great. But you forgot to invite us for your marriage.”

“Ay, come on. Who got married?”

“ Ramesh told me you got married last year.”

Satish realized Ramesh had pulled a fast one.

“And you believed him? Have you forgotten how he used to tell bluffs in our childhood only? He has not changed at all.”

“But you have changed. How could you be out of contact for so many years?”

“Latika, honestly, I was so much occupied with my career that I lost all my contacts,”

“And do you think, there were others who were free to remember you all through?”

“I did not say so. But you also did not write to me. And tell me honestly, did you remember me?”

“There are many things in life which can not be proved.”

“Anyway, Are we going to keep on arguing only? What is your plan?”

“We will leave Nashik tomorrow evening.”

“That is fine. But tell me about yourself. I do not know anything about you.” Satish.

“Have not Ramesh told you anything?”

“I told you, I do not trust him. So no asking him any information.”

“Ok. What do you want to know about me?”

“Your marital status.”

“I am unmarried till now. But would like to settle down soon. My baba is after me.”

“That is nice. So, we should expect an invitation from you very soon.” Satish said unhappily.

“Happy to attend other’s marriages? What about your own?” Latika said.

Satish’s heartbeat increased.

“I have been longing to propose to someone. But I don’t know how to start the topic.” Satish said hurriedly.

“That is great. What has she studied?”

“Don’t know. But I like her as she is. Since childhood, I admired her. Was missing her.”

“Then what is the problem? Tell her you would like her to be your life partner.”

“But what if she has chosen someone else as her life partner?”

“Ask her if she has. If she answers affirmative, wish her best and forget about her. But if she is still waiting for you to propose, then do not waste even a single moment.”

“Ay, Latika. You are wanted there urgently. Please come with me.” Ragini pulled Latika with her and Satish’s words did not come out.

“Wait here only. We will continue after I finish with them.” Latika said before leaving.

Satish was confused. He was not still sure about Latika’s thinking. He was eager to hear her willingness in simple, plain words. Half an hour passed. He was getting impatient. He saw Latika coming his way. His face brightened up.   

“So, when are you proposing the girl?” Latika put the direct question to him.

“Right now,” Satish said. He gathered words and spoke after a pause.

”Latika, are you ready to be my life partner?”

“How long did you take to utter those words? Yes Satish, I am waiting for you to say this to me for many a year. I am ready to spend my entire future with you, in thick and thin.”

Satish was overjoyed hearing those words.

“Satish, you did not bother to know what I have been doing these many years. This is the outcome of our childhood liking. Is the mechano given by me on your 5th birthday, still with you?”

“Yes, Latika. It is still with me, intact. I can’t believe my ears that Latika has agreed to be my life partner.”

“Yes. Satish. I will be with you like a pair of dolphins.

I must tell you. I finished my M.D. in gynaecology last year. I got appointed to City Government Hospital, Mumbai, immediately. I had offers from private hospitals with a much bigger pay packet. But I preferred Government Hospital where I can serve the society much better.”

“Oh, great Latika. I am thrilled all the more. Our wavelengths still match each other.”

Both of them were ecstatic.

Latika took Satish to her father and disclosed her decision. After immediate approval from her parents, the four of them talked to Satish’s parents. They too were happy over the matter. 

The engagement was announced the next day.

dust after rain Reading Time: 4 minutes


After a prolonged summer, the first shower of the season made the atmosphere cool. The petrichor filled the surroundings. Vanita was exhilarated with the aroma. She quickly came out into the garden of her small bungalow in Nashik. She wanted to get drenched in the first drizzle.  The rain God obliged and the drizzle continued for some more time. The passing cloud was large enough that even the strong breeze could not put a stop to the generous fall of the light water droplets.

Vanita was enjoying the episode. That evoked a plethora of emotions that dragged her into the period of college days 5 years back. 

That was the send-off party for the Engineering students who had passed out the Bachelor of Engineering. Vanita had reached the college a bit late. Many students had already gathered. While talking to her friends, her eyes were searching Satish. She had heard that he also had passed out with very good grades. But she wanted to meet him. Wanted to know his plans. And she spotted him. Quickly she approached him.

“Hi Satish! Congratulations.”

Satish was delighted to see her. “Thanks, Vanita. Congrats to you too.”

“Thanks Satish. What are your future plans? What are you going to do further?”

“I am going to do M.Tech from I.I.T. Tomorrow only I am going to fill in the form for GATE. I want to do post graduation in Robotics. What about you?”

“I have not finalized yet. But I also want to do post-graduation. I don’t think I.I.T. is within my reach. I will take admission in Mumbai University only.”

“Ay, come on. Why don’t you also appear for GATE? I am going to apply for GATE, tomorrow. Why don’t you join me? We both will go to I.I.T.”

Vanita remembered, they both applied for entrance test G.A.T.E. Both got admitted in I.I.T. Satish & Vanita got their preferred subjects, Satish got Robotics and Vanita got I.T. After their post-graduation, they both got placed in Mumbai in different companies.

Slowly their friendship, made them the first choice as their life partners.

Vanita analysed Satish’s behaviour. She found him ambitious, hard- working and compassionate too. Satish also wanted to check whether Vanita was fit as a life partner. He was impressed by her career-oriented behaviour, being cheerful and caring. He liked her hobbies of trekking, hiking etc. as he himself loved nature. After scrutinizing pros and cons, they agreed that they were appropriate for each other as life partners.

Got married and started happily their new life. The thick bond of love between the two souls was like bright moonlight spreading a web of affection.

A year passed merrily.

But slowly small disagreements started surfacing. A small spark started inflaming frequently. The behavioural qualities that were appreciated earlier had turned into the cause of resentment. A war of words was a regular occurrence.

Finally, Satish and Vanita reached a stage when they decided to consider the option of separating permanently. Divorce.

Vanita was perturbed. How could a person considered wonderful on many fronts just before a few months suddenly turn to be indignant on many occasions?

“ Probably, I have changed my outlook. I am focusing on the matters of dissonance. I have become more critical of where we discord.

Satish is still wonderful if I interact with him the same way when I had liked him. He has not changed at all. But we both have started emphasizing on the matters of our differences. We are overlooking the points on which we agree.

Adjustment. That is the key to happiness in every life. Also, the matters must not be blown out of proportion. We have to be flexible to accept the partner with the small little disagreements. We must not fall into the trap of ‘the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence.’

How can two personalities with plethora of emotions, match cent percent with each other? A discord on one point is very likely to be followed by concurrence  on some other front. Each personality has to be mature enough to treat the disagreement with due importance.

 A painting with only matching colours turns out a bland outcome. A dash of contrasting colours makes it attractive, isn’t it?

Even the petrichor! The wonderful aroma comes after the first rain only after the earth gets baked in the summer, a very hot summer. If it would rain ceaselessly, keeping the environment cool and wet throughout, the petrichor would not get produced. 

That is nature. Some discord is essential to make the life lovable. But one has to learn to adjust. Some sort of give and take.” Vanita resolved and returned into the house. She decided to change herself. The word “adjustment” had got deeply embedded in her mind.

Satish returned home from the office. On finding Vanita completely wet, he exclaimed, “You were not supposed to go to office. How did you get wet?”

“Satish, the first rain of the season is always alluring me. The mesmerising petrichor. Whenever possible, I try to get drenched in the first rain of the season. I was at home and it rained, How could I miss the opportunity? I enjoyed the occasion.“

“That is nice. But when did it rain? I think it rained 3-4 hours ago. And you have not changed yet?”

“Satish, I got wet. It dragged me into introspecting myself.”

“Oh, that is great! What did you think over?”

“Satish, I realized that l in the last few months our points of disagreements have increased considerably. I feel we are getting irritated over each other more than being happy with each other. That should be stopped at the earliest.”

“How great! While looking at the first rains from the window, I was also enthralled. Due to the airconditioned office, I missed the enchanting  petrichor but I too got into analysing our behaviour during the last couple of months. Worried a bit, I had decided to sort out the matters with you once I get back home. And here you are! We will finish our dinner first, then we will mull over the situation.”

After dinner, both of them opened their books of behavioural accounts.

Started writing off the dues from each one. And at the end they found the balance sheet of their life leaning heavily towards a surplus. A big amount of credit balance.

At the beginning of dawn, they cuddled each other and got drenched in showers of love.


Reading Time: 7 minutes

This was also published onTwist and Twain.

Shakuntala was holding her mother’s hand and was moving in the crowded fair which was set up in a village far away from hers. She had put on a new frock and was very excited to be in the fair where a lot of people had gathered. Many shops were set up selling a variety of toys.

There were joy rides such as giant wheel, merry go round etc. Ready- made clothes were on sale. Many stalls were also there vending eatables. Shakuntala was tempted to get some sweet eatables. She expressed her desire to her mother. Mother promised to buy her some things a little later. They were moving from shop to shop looking at different items which were displayed as mother was not able to make up her mind. The crowd was getting denser and denser. Many children had come to the fair with their parents or only with mothers as their fathers were busy earning bread for the day.

Shakuntala’s mother warned her to be extra careful and not to leave her hand. “See. The crowd is getting more and more. If you get lost in the crowd, it will be impossible to trace you. So Shaku, walk very close to me holding my hand.”

They came in front of a toy shop. Shaku told her mother to buy a small doll for her. Mother asked the shopkeeper for the price of some dolls. Shaku was already in dreamland with her doll. She was imagining playing hide and seek with the doll. But the cost was exorbitant. Mother told Shaku to wait till they find some affordable doll. Shaku was an understanding girl. She did not persist with her demand hoping to see an affordable doll in nearby shop. So they moved on. When they were in front of another toy shop, mother stopped and asked for the price of a nice small doll. She found that the price was within her budget. She told the keeper to pack that doll. Shaku was very happy and was again in dreamland playing with the doll.

And all of a sudden, there was a big commotion. Everybody started running here and there. “Fire. Run for your life. Leave the place immediately.” A stall had caught fire and big flames of fire were engulfing whatever came in their embrace. The already over-crowded fair was totally disrupted. The whole surroundings were filled with cries and screaming. A complete chaos prevailed.


India Market
Bustling market at night


Shaku could not keep herself with her mother. When everybody was running to go away from fire, Shaku was going in the direction of fire. Her mother was looking for Shaku. But the loads of crowds pushed her away and she had no control of herself. She kept shouting “Shaku……………..Shaku” but to no avail. Shaku was calling out “Aai……………A..a..i” for her mother. But she could not hear the calls. Desperately mother was searching for Shaku. Just then a big burning log of wood fell on her. Some persons rushed to save her but the fire took her in its embrace and she died instantly.

Here Shaku was crying and looking for her mother running every where. The toy shops were turned in to ashes. When Shaku came in front of the shop, she found one half burnt doll lying in one corner which Shaku picked up. She got the doll but she was not able to find her mother. Shaku was crying. Thousands of persons were around but her mother was not to be found anywhere. She cried incessantly. LAXMI an eunuch draped in lady attire noticed Shaku was crying all alone in this chaotic situation. She took pity on her. Laxmi went to Shaku and enquired about her mother. When she heard that Shaku had missed her mother, she asked her name and address so that she could be reached home. But Shakuntala could not give Laxmi her name or address of her residence as this was the first time she had come out of her house with mother from a distant village.

LAXMI looked for Shaku’s mother all around but failed to trace her. Laxmi was confused as to how to handle the situation. She consoled Shaku, told her that they would search for her mother both together. Laxmi showered motherly love on this just found child. It was getting dark then. Shakuntala’s eyes had turned dry due to continuous weeping. LAXMI gave her a vada-pav to eat. Hungry Shkuntala grabbed it and ate it hurriedly. After this she was sleepy. LAXMI took Shakuntala in her lap trying to put her to sleep. Laxmi felt the emotions of a mother springing up from within. She imagined of her own child in her lap even though she knew that she could not bear a child in this birth. Now she was in love with this child. Laxmi was afraid of finding the child’s mother. It occurred to her that as soon as this child found her own mother, it would leave her instantly and go away with mother to her own house. Laxmi hoped that this child stayed with her. That would change her life entirely. She prayed to God that the child’s mother should not be found. And God answered her prayers.

Waiting till it got completely dark and the commotion had calmed down, LAXMI gave up her search for the child’s mother and brought Shakuntala to her house, a hutment in the corner of the village. In the night only she wound up her belongings and left the village where everybody knew her as a eunuch. Under the cover of darkness she proceeded to another village where nobody would know her sex identity. She carried the child with her giving the child a new identity as her own child acting as widowed father.

In the morning Laxmi dressed as a man and introduced himself as Shaku’s father. He tried convincing Shaku that her biological mother was dead in the fire and now he would take care of her as her father. Shakuntala refused to talk to Laxmi. But after a couple of days, Shakuntala experienced the affection of Laxmi as father. Slowly Shaku accepted the food cooked by Laxmi. One morning Laxmi asked her how he should call her. Shaku told Laxmi “my mother used to call me SHAKUNTALA. You may call me Shaku.”

Laxmi told Shaku that the next day he would take her to a school. He warned her that she had to go to school and study hard. She should become an educated lady.

Next day Laxmi took Shaku to the nearby school and admitted her in the name of Shakuntala and herself as Shaku’s father.

Shakuntala’s new life started going to school. Laxmi looked after Shaku very well. He provided her with clothes, school books and offered her food cooked with full affection.

Slowly, Shakuntala forgot about her own mother and Laxmi too forgot about her sexual deficiency. But Shakuntala used to feel odd about her father Laxmi. She used to find that Laxmi was not a normal man. Nevertheless she loved Laxmi very much.

The days passed into months and months passed into years. Shakuntala turned into a brilliant student. Passed her school exams with excellent marks. She even came first in school in the board examination. She was so happy that from school she went home running and held Laxmi with both the hands.

“Baba, I am so happy. I stood first in school. You will have to accompany me to school to receive the prize. Our Principal has told me to bring the parents to the function of prize distribution. You are coming to school with me.”

“Oh. I am so glad. We will buy a new frock for you. You wear that and go for prize distribution. I will not come. I am not feeling well.” Shakuntala was disappointed. But she knew why Laxmi was not ready to come to school with her. She knew Laxmi was not like the father of her friends. He was different from other men.

She entered the college for further studies. Laxmi acting as a man, fulfilled all the duties as father. Laxmi took some labourer job and ensured that Shakuntala did not face shortage of money for college studies. Shakuntala completed her graduation and then joined a company as an executive. The father and daughter binding of love got stronger day by day. Now Shakuntala insisted that Laxmi stopped working and manage the house and take full rest at home.

And one day Shakuntala brought one of her friends home to introduce to her father. Prakash was a very cultured young man working in her office. Shakuntala introduced her father to Prakash.

“Baba, this is my friend Prakash. He is working in my company.”

“Nice to meet you Baba.” Prakash said.

“I am also happy to meet you. Where do you stay?” Laxmi answered in his hoarse voice.

Prakash was a bit upset over Laxmi’s voice and manner of speaking. He found Shakuntala’s father’s behaviour a little odd. He felt her father resembled a eunuch. But Prakash did not make his impressions very apparent.

“Shaku is a nice girl. We know each other for quite some time. I want to marry her. We want your permission for that. “

“Do you really love her?” Laxmi asked.

“Yes. I love her very much. I will keep her happy throughout our life.” Prakash opened his heart out.

Laxmi delighted by Prakash’s seeking permission, whole heartedly gave his consent.

And one day Shakuntala and Prakash were married. Laxmi performed the KANYADAAN of Shakuntala and got a heavenly pleasure. Laxmi felt very happy that despite her different sexual orientation, she could get the opportunity of doing kanyadaan.

After Shakuntala left her present house to move into another house to stay with Prakash, LAXMI felt terribly lonely. He could not bear the separation from his daughter. Moreover, he had sensed that Prakash had suspected his sexual orientation as male. Laxmi did not want any trouble in Shakuntala’s life due to his different sexual orientation. He decided to end his life.

One evening Shakuntala received a sad news of her father committing suicide. Shakuntala was very upset. She remembered Laxmi’s sacrifices for her education. She recollected how her father had suffered for her bringing up a better way. She missed her father very badly.

Shakuntala’s married life was going very satisfactorily. And one day she disclosed to Prakash that he was going to be a father very soon. Both of them were very happy.

But one morning Shakuntala got up very upset. Prakash noticed that. He asked for the reason. Shakuntala said, “I had very bad dream. In my dream my father came and smilingly he announced that he is going to take rebirth as my child.”

“But is not that good? Your father is taking rebirth as our child. That means we are going to get a boy. I am very happy.”

Shakuntala thought “only if my father was my real father, I also would have been happy. But actually my father was a eunuch. He just brought me up.” She appealed to her father,” My dear father, I love you very much. I always remember you. But I do not want your rebirth as my child. I do not want an eunuch as my child.”

{This story is based on the Indian assumption of a person after his death taking rebirth at his will and with the same gender as before.}

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Philosophers say “When love reigns, the impossible may be attained”

See here.

When Neah was trekking in India, Eric was skiing in U.S.

While Neah was taking delight in wild life sanctuaries in India, Eric was adoring marine life in U.S.

When Neah was cycling in India, Eric was enjoying diving in U.S.

When they both met in Buffalo, they shared their hobbies.

Instead of staring at each other, they started looking in the same direction.

The result – a classic amalgamation, an ideal mixture of two souls that has united two families.

I read somewhere that love is a friendship that has caught fire.

May their fire stay strong and bright and filled with love for the rest of their life.

Reading Time: < 1 minute

O princess of my dream
Will you meet me in reality
Will you open up your feelings

Crowding in your mind
I have always appeared in
The picture you imagined
Which you have been seeing
Day and night

I am confused  watching
Inscrutable movement of your eyes
I hesitate to hold you actually
Close to my heart

I want to take you as my queen and
Place you in my heart sharing
The tenderness of my emotions
To get through sprightly life

We will laugh together
We will cry together
We will be completely united

To live the life together.
Let us break the shackles of
Dreams.  Imagination
And come out in real world
Holding each other