As Steve Jobs said, ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinion drown out your own inner voice. Most important is to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. I have always wished that for myself. And now, I wish that you.’
And with these powerful lines by a great man I hope this book will bring a new morning in your life.
Image credit: David Niblack, Imagebase.net
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead, events or locales is purely coincidental. The words and other content in this e-book must not be construed as medical advice.
Copyright: Atul Sharma. All rights reserved
Rahul Sharma woke up with a start. His hand patted on the empty side of the double bed, searching for his mobile phone. After a long fight with the darkness he got it. His half opened eyes couldn’t withstand the glare and he snoozed the alarm. He knew it would disturb him again so he put off his other set time alarms of five-thirty and six to off.
He thought of his dream. The alarm of five did not allow the dream to come to an end. And Rahul thanked the alarm. He tried to recall his dream. In the dream he saw himself lying on a stretcher placed against a wall in a long white tiled corridor surrounded by doctors and Para-medics.
‘He has anthrax,’ said one of the doctors.
‘Then all of us are dead,’ yelled one of the Para-medics.
‘Why they come to America,’ yelled another.
‘To kill us,’ answered another.
And suddenly all of them started to run frantically in one direction leaving Rahul alone. Rahul saw them running for a long time. He could not move.
He saw one of them turn around, looking straight into the eyes of Rahul and yell, ‘He is dead for sure.’
And then the five o’clock alarm ended his panic.
Rahul just kept on rewinding his dream in his mind and the last sentence echoed furiously in his mind.
‘He is sure to die.’
And this furious sentence did not allow him to go for his morning jog. He knew he should dismiss his dream as rubbish and carry on with his mundane routine of getting up at six after ditching the alarm of five and five-thirty, brushing his teeth, watching his pale face of early thirties in the mirror, staring at his sad eyes and then putting on his sports shoes and walking to the nearest park for a jog where he saw others like him dutifully walking with their heads down. All of them seemed to him sad. When Rahul had started to walk he tried to wish everyone with a nod of head but instead of getting any encouraging gesture he just got a rude nod or worse he was just ignored. After a few days he learned their way of walking. Their way, which involved walking like robots with their heads down and just circling the park. As if their eyes met it would bring apocalypse to the town. The town called Chandigarh whose people are infamous for their big egos in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. Rahul recalled the remarks of his aunt who resided in Ludhiana and had just returned from America, ‘We love Chandigarh but we don’t like its people. They are full of snobbery just like people of New York.’
And on recalling the same daily rituals of the morning walkers of Chandigarh. Rahul’s lips played a smile. He tapped his mobile and it showed him seven. Rahul didn’t realise his thoughts have eaten two hours of his exciting morning.
Getting ready for hell
To the world it was a bank. A place, where they could put their earnings safely. But for Rahul it was hell. A place which tortured him. Rahul worked as a clerk in the bank sometimes handling cash and sometimes handling back end operations. Both killed him. Rahul saw himself in the mirror. For the first time he saw a spark in his eyes. It was strange to him. Anyway he brushed his teeth, took a bath, put on a crisp white shirt with grey trousers, threw a sandwich and a glass of milk into his stomach and he was ready to go. He locked the apartment, put the keys in his khaki trousers and started to climb down the stairs of his second floor apartment slowly –slowly. On reaching the parking area as he put the keys of his bike in the ignition, he raised his hands heavenwards and slammed one foot on the concrete floor yelling, ‘Shit! You idiot.’ He was loud enough to pull the attention of his old neighbour Mr. Verma. Rahul saw his eyes and could see his own sadness in his eyes. It seemed to him he was seeing his own eyes in the mirror. He speedily climbed up the stairs, opened the door and ran back with his forgotten helmet. And he was lucky to reach the bank on time. As he entered his eyes fell on the newspaper’s heading which conveyed to him, ‘Truck rams into house, six people killed.’
Rahul went straight to his desk.
It was not as if Rahul hated the bank. He just disliked his life so much that this dislike had forced him to hate everything around himself. The bank was not a place where employees were haunted. The manager Mr. Shukla was a nice man never shouting at anyone, always encouraging everyone to work hard and often ignoring the petty mistakes.
There were still fifteen minutes left for the bank to open for the public. Four staff members were busy discussing the marriage of the assistant manager’s daughter.
‘She married her off to Greece,’ started one.
‘Why?’ asked another.
‘The craze of foreign land. You know how Punjabis are fond of foreign,’ contributed another.
‘Has she enquired well?’ asked another concerned one.
‘Nobody for sure can inquire about anyone in the foreign land,’ added another.
And the conversation came to an abrupt end when the assistant manager Sunita Bhatia arrived.
‘Good morning mam,’ wished all in unison.
‘Good morning to all of you.’
‘Thank you all. Everything happened in such a rush. Sorry I could not invite any of you.’
‘It is okay mam,’ said everyone in unison again.
Rahul was watching the whole drama sitting in his desk and waiting for the evening to arrive as he had waited for the past ten years.
One by one the staff left the premises of the bank for their home. Rahul saw his watch which told him it was five-thirty. Rahul got up to go to his home. It took him half-an-hour to reach. To his horror there was an alien lock hanging on the door. Rahul watched it closely for a minute. It was a heavy steel lock of Godrej. Rahul loved locks of Godrej they were always reliable. And suddenly he realised he had forgotten to lock his home in the morning when he came back to collect his helmet. He froze for a moment, scratched his head thinking about the lock putter. Rahul looked back. He read the name O.P Verma on the golden nameplate. He might have helped thought Rahul and for the first time in ten years he rang the bell.
The Television got muted, then there was silence and Rahul heard footsteps coming towards the door. He stood upright holding his breath in anticipation for the door to open. The sound of the footsteps stopped and for a few minutes silence came back. Rahul heard a lot of shuffling noises as if something was being searched for. He heard noise of keys, newspapers and a little pushing of furniture.
Rahul waited for a few more minutes and rang the bell again. The door opened in a jiffy startling Rahul.
‘Yes,’ said Mr. Verma.
Rahul saw Mr. Verma closely for the first time. He had a good crop of silver hair, small cutely pie eyes and a face full of beard, white beard. He was holding a nice glass with whiskey inside it. Rahul stood still for a moment. Mr. Verma too said nothing just looked straight into the eyes of Rahul. Mr. Verma took a long sigh, drained the content of the glass into his mouth in one go and stood aside leaving wide room for Rahul and said, ‘Come in please. I put the lock in the morning but now can’t find the keys so for a moment be my guest.’
And Rahul went in.
House of Mr. Verma
It was a two bedroom flat just as Rahul’s except it was owned not rented one like Rahul’s. Rahul sat on the sofa. He saw the centre table which had a whiskey bottle and a white plastic plate full of potato chips. Mr. Verma closed the door and sat on the sofa opposite to Rahul’s. He poured a large one in the glass and gulped it in one go. There was no soda or water required. Mr. Verma loved his whiskey neat. Mr Verma rose and went into the kitchen. Meanwhile the eyes of Rahul took a full round of the living room. It had: three pieces of suede coloured leather sofa with the capacity of two, one wooden centre table, two brightly lit tube lights, Led television and an unusual huge portrait of a young lady. Rahul’s gaze fixed upon the portrait. It was a beautiful lady indeed. The portrait had a lady standing in a sari and her face illuminating radiance. Rahul was mesmerised. The thud of glass on the wooden centre table brought Rahul out of his mesmerisation. Mr. Verma poured large doses of whiskey in both glasses, shook his head in disappointment and got up. He brought a plastic bottle of water and placed it in front of Rahul. Rahul looked at Mr. Verma and thought, ‘What is he doing? Silly old man in a vest and black shorts.’
‘Thank you sir. Just give me the keys,’ requested Rahul.
‘Okay as you wish.’
And Mr. Verma fished out a small key out of his shorts’ pocket and placed it by the side of the glass of Rahul’s. Rahul looked at all the three things: the glass, the bottle and the key. Rahul had to just pick up the key and free himself from the hold of this silly old man. There was something which was not allowing Rahul to leave. He wanted to know about the portrait. Rahul wanted to know whose it was. Why such a huge portrait of a young lady in an old man’s house? Why? And Rahul to erase the itchiness of this why picked the key and threw it into his shirt’s pocket. He opened the water bottle, poured water into the glass filling it up to the brim and then took a large sip reducing the contents of the glass to half. He munched on a few chips and rested his back against the sofa with his head falling back on the backrest. Rahul gazed the ceiling fan for a long time allowing the strange tranquil to be soaked in by his soul.
Mr. Verma had tastefully decorated his house. There was a very beautiful false ceiling and Rahul didn’t want to take his eyes off from the ceiling. He was feeling good, feeling relaxed. There was a calm silence pervading in the house. No noise, no sound and Rahul could feel his breath. He felt a deep soul soothing calm in the house. After a few minutes Rahul lifted his head, saw Mr. Verma staring at him as he pushed himself forward.
‘Thank you sir,’ Rahul said.
‘Doesn’t matter boy,’ answered Mr. Verma.
Rahul smiled. He took his glass into his hands and finished it off. He again munched a few chips. He was feeling happy. He was feeling alive.
‘Thank you sir,’ said Rahul this time in a stammering tone.
Mr. Verma just allowed his smile to reply. Mr. Verma poured another stiff one into Rahul’s glass. Rahul filled the glass with water and drained all of it in one go into his stomach.
‘Thank you sir,’ said Rahul with a stutter.
‘Don’t just throw it in your stomach. It is one of the finest scotch. Just allow it to remain for a few seconds in your mouth touching every corner, savour its taste. Twirl it with your tongue. Then gulp,’ instructed Mr.Verma.
This time Rahul didn’t munch on chips. He just rested his back on the sofa with his spine erect, wiped his fingers on his trouser and saw straight towards Mr. Verma. The two stiff pegs had given him courage. Mr. Verma got up and bolted the wooden door finishing any views from the world on their meeting. He also sat in an upright position resting his back against the sofa.
The two gentlemen sat in that position for a few minutes waiting for each other to break the ice.
Breaking the Ice
‘The portrait is a beauty,’ appreciated Rahul
Mr. Verma had always been an eccentric fella to Rahul and on listening to his question he stood up with a start thus Rahul’s belief in his eccentricity grew stronger. The summer heat of July and the closing of the wooden door had made the room stifling for Mr. Verma. And he switched on the air conditioner. After switching on the air conditioner Mr. Verma sat in his old position. He took a long sigh, looked at his glass, and shook his head as if saying no to himself and at last answered, ‘My late wife Sangeeta Verma.’
Late wife Sangeeta Verma
Mr. Verma repeated with a sigh, ‘My Late wife Sangeeta Verma.’
And he carried on looking at the portrait.
‘You know Rahul she was a teacher, English teacher. She loved her job. And I hated mine. She came home happy. And I came home gloomy. She made my life heaven and I made hers hell with my yells. Still she never ever returned my hate. She just loved me. She just loved me in a pure and pious manner. An unconditional love which went unrequited for her. I should have loved her. But how could I love her if I didn’t love myself. Only those who can love themselves can only love others. The love starts at you and then it radiates its warmth to others just like a sun. She always encouraged me to pick up my passion and leave the job. The bloody hell job.’
Mr. Verma turned his moist eyes towards Rahul, ‘The job of the bank.’
And he gulped down the material of his glass. And poured another stiff one into his glass leaving the glass of Rahul empty. Rahul filled the glass with water and took a sip.
‘Rahul I always wanted to be a painter. As you can see there are no initials on the portrait. I have given it life. It is the only one I made.’
‘Its wonderful sir. Why didn’t you made more?’ asked Rahul.
Mr. Verma laughed.
‘Courage! My boy courage. Dreams want courage. Courage to leave the normal life of security and fulfil your destiny. Only those who have courage can make their destiny, for the rest destiny is just lines on the palm which become bleaker and bleaker as they carry on with their normal life. Only courage can make these lines of their palms permanent. And only they, fulfil their destiny.’
Mr. Verma stopped. Rahul was captivated by this brief outpouring of Mr. Verma. It seemed to him he was seeing his future. Drunk, full of regrets, regrets of not following his dreams. Regret of not allowing love to blossom in life. Regret of living alone and depressed.
‘And Rahul I can see my younger days in you. I can read the same sadness you carry on your shoulders as you leave this compound every morning. Don’t take me wrong my dear boy but if you will keep on doing this to yourself no one can save you. Even God can’t. I repeat no one. Mark my words. Only you have the power to be happy. No one can make you happy.’
And taking the tone of an army officer Mr. Verma asked, ‘Can you give me just one night Rahul. I can’t see this world getting another O.P Verma.’
‘Can you?’ echoed Mr. Verma.
‘Yes I can,’ answered Rahul with the same fury.
‘Then you are ready to receive my dear. Let’s have a chat,’ shouted Mr.Verma.
Rahul I always hated. Hated my job, my colleagues, and my house and sometimes even Sangeeta. And you know why all of this happened because I hated myself. Now when I look back and see, I can easily understand why there was always so much hate around me. The source of my hate was me. I allowed all of my hate to pervade around me. Instead of allowing love to pervade. I should have loved. And for that to happen I would have to love myself first. And you can say that it’s really easy to say love yourself. But believe me it is.
Start with appreciating what you have. You may have less or you may have more. And the game of less or more will start only when you will compare yourself with anyone. Why compare? The comparison also has its role. If you want to feel rich compare yourself with a poor fellow and if you want to feel poor compare yourself with a rich fellow. But Rahul believe me it is not going to take you anywhere because by comparing with anyone you are sending a message to the universe that you think yourself as a lesser being. And why are you thinking of yourself as a loser. And believe me Rahul this universe has immense power to transform our lives but for that to happen you need to believe in its power. So if you want that love should surround you then start by appreciating things you have like right now we can appreciate this soft sofa which is allowing us to sit comfortably, then this light of tube which has taken away the dark from us, then this air conditioner which isn’t allowing the sweat to form on us and not to forget this liquor which has given you today enough strength to talk to me though it can be used for evil purposes also. Let me tell you a story of an old man who lived in the jungle and hated the king. His hatred for the king was so strong that be it any time of the day he would abuse the king loudly in his hut. The universe carried his hatred to the king. And one day as the king was roaming the forest he saw the old man’s hut. The king ignored it. And by chance the old man came out of the hut. His eyes met the king’s eyes. The king was famous for his soft heart. But on seeing the old man the king’s heart filled with hate. The king asked his minister to immediately remove the hut from the forest as it was destroying the beauty of the forest. The minister was shocked at the inhumane decision of the king but he knew the king was a good man so he obeyed his order. But still the thought of an old man being made homeless didn’t allow the minister to sleep. He went to the old man at midnight. The old man was sleeping at the place where his hut stood once. The minister asked the old man that what he thought about the king. The old man said I knew he was a demon. I always abused him be it day or night. The wise minister understood the reason. He offered the old man a silver coin daily if he could say nice and good things about the king every evening when he would visit him. The old man was reluctant but after many requests by the minister he accepted the offer. And for the next one month the minister dutifully went to the old man and told him about the good deeds of the king and asked the old man to say a few good things about the king. So after one month the minister asked the old man to go to the king and tell him that he is homeless as one day he ordered his hut to be destroyed. The old man did the same. The king wept bitterly and ordered the same minister to construct a beautiful house for the old man in the woods and if possible visit the old man once a month to know about his well being.
Here you can see the power of hate and love from the above story. Hence Rahul appreciate everything around you and the whole universe will fall in love with you.
And that’s the sure shot method to love yourself.
Conspire with the universe
Whole my life I wanted to be a painter. I saw a dream but lost it you know why? Because I didn’t conspire with the universe. Rahul, as the famous writer Paulo Coelho has said:
‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’
Here you can see the power of universe. And the best thing is it is free. You don’t have to part with any of your penny to call it to work for you. All you need to do is just believe in it. Don’t be afraid of your dreams. Allow them to mingle with you freely as you allow your friends and family members to mingle with you. Ask your dreams to be a part of your life. Every morning when you wake up, close your eyes for a few minutes and in those moments when you shut yourself from the outside world see your dream world. Like I wanted to be a painter, I should have closed my eyes and saw myself painting, the nature on the banks of a river. I should have imagined the calm and serenity of the river. The joy it would have brought into my life. But I didn’t. Ask your dreams to come with you on a dinner date. Go to your favourite restaurant and while you enjoy your meal think if you were a famous painter the people present in the restaurant would have come to you seeking your autograph. The waiter might have been replaced by the owner of the restaurant who might have taken your order as he would have considered it a prestige issue that a famous painter has visited him. Allow your dreams to slowly take over your life. Allow them to be the guiding force in your life. And when you have done this you will become a conspirator who has conspired with the power of universe to fulfil his dreams.
You are a magnet who has the power to attract anything available in the universe. You can attract good as well as bad things. Now this is for you to decide what you want in life. Let me help you with this small story:
A stout believer of God reached the gates of Heaven. There God himself was present to receive him.
‘Come my dearest child,’ God welcomed the man.
‘I am not your dearest child,’ said the man in anger.
‘Why say such harsh words my dearest child?’ asked the God.
‘My whole life I had to live in a small house, drive a small car and money was never sufficient in my house Whereas many people I knew thrived with big houses, big cars and lots of money. Tell me how I am your dearest child?’
God smiled softly. He opened the gates of heaven and the man entered along with God. There in a corner God showed the man a big car, a big house and bags full of money.
‘All were for you,’ God said as he pointed towards them.
‘You never gave them to me,’ shouted the man.
God saw into the eyes of man. The man’s soul found relief. He calmed down. And God said, ‘My dearest child you never asked for them. You always prayed for a small house, a small car and sufficient money whereas others prayed for abundance in everything. I fulfilled their wishes thinking you were happy with everything small.’
The stunned man realising his mistake said nothing further and started to relish his stay in heaven.
And here on earth Rahul smiled.
Fight or Flight
Adversities are always going to come in your way. You are always going to meet them in your journey to your dreams. It all depends whether you take the fight or flight approach. When we face an obstacle in our lives we have two options; one is to run away from it which means to allow its fear to sit in your heart which is generally what losers or cowards will do. They will choose a corner in their house and start taking drugs and the second approach is to fight. And this is what I should have done. You know Rahul encouraged by Sangeeta I had put some of my paintings for sale in the local gallery. The response was lukewarm. Even my ears were forced to hear a few distasteful comments. Many people tried to dishearten me and some encouraged me. And here I fell into the trap of flight. I took the discouraging words to the valley of my heart. There they stayed for long. There they echoed for long. And I fell into their trap. I took off all my paintings, brought them home and one by one tore them. I brushed aside all the pleas of Sangeeta. I had become their victim. The bad words are like predators who will only attack you when you are weak at Heart. When you are strong at heart they become weak. And this is what I should have done. Instead of taking the flight approach I should have taken the fight approach. I should not have listened to the bad words echoing in my heart. Instead I should have allowed the encouraging words to stay in the valley of my heart. There I must have allowed them to stay for long. They must have acted as warriors killing off any bad words who tried to invade the territory of the valley of my heart. But I failed. Hence I am here in front of you drowned in liquor. Rahul the valley of the heart is a very sensitive place. It is innocent. It can’t make difference between bad or good on its own. It allows any one to stay in it and blossom. So we should choose wisely what is going into the valley of our hearts. Only allow good words to stay in it.
Talking of the fight or flight approach let me tell you a little anecdote about the famous writer J.K Rowling of the Harry Potter series:
A failed marriage, jobless and a dependent child. And if these problems were not enough in her life she was diagnosed with clinical depression which filled her with thoughts of suicide. Here you can see how she turned her life a failure into success with the ‘Fight approach’.
J.K Rowling signed for welfare benefits. She took her daughter for walks so she could fall asleep. Then she wrote in cafes with her daughter asleep by her side. After being rejected by twelve publishers she didn’t lose heart and at last she was published. And here is a clear message for you Rahul: ‘She wrote.’
In 2004 Forbes named Rowling as the first person to become a US-Dollar billionaire by writing books.
Do something productive
I reached home at around five thirty in the evening. After taking a bath and then a cup of tea with Sangeeta the five thirty grew itself into six thirty swiftly. They were still young when compared with our time of elder nine. I had at least two and an half hour with me. Sangeeta busied herself with her next day class assignments or her evening walks. And what I did in this time was to watch Television and kill time. Instead I could have done something productive like following my dream of becoming a famous painter. I could have painted. I could have joined a class to learn painting. But I didn’t. All I did was to brood and drink. And this drinking hasn’t allowed me to do anything productive apart from helping me to kill my time.
You too, Rahul are on the same path. I know when you arrive from your office you too just kill your time by watching television. Let me warn you here. There is a research conducted which states that anyone watching television for more than two hours a day is at risk of making his brain unproductive. Instead do something productive. Oh! Sorry I didn’t ask you about your passion, your dream.
‘And may I ask what have you written till date?’
Look this is the problem. We know what to do but we don’t. And when I will ask you why, you will have nothing to say. You want to be a writer. Then start writing Rahul what are you waiting for? Write a blog post, a poem, a short story, even write trivia, write, write and just write anything you love. Then you will become a writer. Whatever time you get do not waste it by watching television or brooding over your miserable life. Get up early in the morning and write. Remember to allow your dream to come true you need to do something productive.
Kill your negative thoughts
You know Rahul, negative thoughts can kill you. They are so poisonous that if you will allow any of them to remain seated in your mind they will multiply their numbers in thousands and start spreading negativity all around you. Let me give you an example: Once a dear friend of mine who worked at the bank with me was looking pale. It was just because of many sleepless nights he got because of his love of watching television. Many loving customers asked him about his health for days. He became worried. He went straight to his astrologer who told him to do few things otherwise he might die. He allowed the negative talk of the astrologer to be seated in his mind. And within days he died in his sleep the cause for the medical world being brain haemorrhage. It was shocking for all of us but such is the power of negative thoughts so before they kill you, you should kill them. And how to kill them there is a simple answer.
Now in this world of ours where stress has become an integral part of our lives any stressful event can allow negative thoughts to become seated in our heads. Always see what your mind is thinking.
Rahul took a big yawn. Mr. Verma saw the clock, it showed twelve o’clock.
‘Got bored by the lecture of an old man,’ asked Mr. Verma.
‘No sir, just feeling hungry.’
‘Oh! Sorry Rahul. There is nothing to eat. I don’t eat dinner.’
‘You don’t need to sir, whiskey fills you up,’ said Rahul patting on his tummy.
Mr. Verma laughed loudly. He looked at Rahul; he was also doing the same. Mr. Verma got up, brought bread and jam from the fridge.
‘Help yourself. I will make some tea.’
Mr. Verma came back after a few minutes with two cups of piping hot tea in his hands. Rahul had finished the bread. It was small ten rupees bread. Both finished their tea silently.
‘Can I come tomorrow for the rest,’ requested Rahul as he placed the cup on the table.
‘Yes you can but…’
Rahul knew a bomb was coming so he waited patiently for it to rip him apart.
‘But may be I won’t be in a mood to help you tomorrow. Actually you love procrastination Rahul, the biggest of all flaws in us.’
‘I do not want to go anywhere sir. I thought you might need rest,’ Rahul defended himself.
‘Oh! Thanks for your concern Rahul. But I don’t.’
‘You know Rahul; whenever Sangeeta pestered me to paint I always told her that I will do it tomorrow. And tomorrow never comes dear Rahul. What if you die tomorrow? We generally tend to procrastinate. I also did the same and till now my tomorrow has not arrived. So never procrastinate.’
And till today I have not been able to come out from the habit of procrastination.
‘Okay Sir. But right now I want to know about mam,’ requested Rahul pointing towards the portrait.
Mr. Verma took a long mournful sigh, watched at the portrait for a long time and nodded.
‘Rahul! D killed her.’
She was in seventh month of pregnancy. Every month she deposited five thousand rupees for the future of the soon to be born child. I was happy too but you know Rahul no one has ever won over fate and ours was a damn cruel one. And Rahul remember:
‘No matter how much tight you hold a thing, one day you are definitely going to lose it.’
I had advised her not to take her evening walks in the park. D was on rise. Everyday newspapers were filled with reports of people being claimed by D.
‘I am immune. I got it two years back,’ Sangeeta always laughed at my suggestion ignoring my pleas and continuing her evening walks.
I too got assured. After two days I found myself in a hospital running pillar to post for treatment of D. Still she assured me, ‘It might be something else.’
‘The reports are not false,’ I showed her.
She froze for a moment. Her eyes met mine and her lips painfully parted to say with a sigh, ‘My baby Omparkash.’ Silent tears rolled down her eyes. The doctor arrived in the room. Sangeeta collected herself and said, ‘Sir I got it two years back. Am I not immune?’
The doctor, a man in his late forties looked tired. He stared at Sangeeta’s stomach for a quite long time, took a sigh and almost snatched the reports from my hands.
‘Both are of different types,’ he declared after carefully examining the present and past reports.
‘My baby and I will be fine,’ asked Sangeeta.
The doctor placed the reports on the bed. He darted out of the room without saying a word. My heart missed a beat as it was in desperate need of a few words of comfort from the doctor. I think I saw his eyes getting moist after all docs are also humans.
‘I will be all right Omparkash. Don’t worry,’ were her last words.
After one week of struggle in which I saw doctors using all of their might to stop a would be mother from departing this world I became alone in this world. A man lost her wife and baby to a different type of D. I hate D, not for killing my wife and baby but for sparing me. Even now when I read in newspapers of D claiming people for the other world my heart fills with rage for D. D should not have spared me.
‘What is D?’ Rahul asked with pain.
Mr. Verma looked straight into Rahul’s eyes. He was pained at his insensitivity. Here too he wanted a few words of comfort.
‘What is D?’ Mr. Verma repeated and laughed.
The room became silent for a few minutes. Then Mr. Verma pulled out a newspaper from under the table and threw it towards Rahul. He read the front page. It said, ‘Hundred people have died of Dengue.’
‘Hundred people have died of Dengue,’ Rahul re-read it in his head.
Mr. Verma poured another stiff one in his glass leaving Rahul’s. Rahul poured himself as he was also in urgent need of it. Both of them gulped it down in a jiffy. Rahul looked at the portrait and this time he noticed a slight swollen belly in it.
Mr. Verma threw the glass on the floor. It broke into pieces. Mr. Verma looked at Rahul and then cast his eyes heavenwards and as if he was in a trance recited Poe’s lines:
‘Leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit the bust above my dear!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”
Nevermore! Nevermore! Nevermore! And Mr. Verma wept bitterly in his hands. Rahul hugged him. A few tears left his eyes. He didn’t wipe them. They were a tribute for the pious love of Mrs. Verma which was still with Mr. Verma. Mr. Verma took one full hour to regain his composure. He went to the bathroom to wash his face. Rahul looked towards the clock. The clock conveyed four of the morning. Mr. Verma sat at his usual position. He smiled at Rahul.
Believe in the power of God
I just can’t understand why so many people hate God or just swell in pride in declaring that they are agnostic. Did it do anything good to them Rahul? I don’t know and Rahul I really don’t want to know either .And for you; you should believe in the power of God. What’s the harm in it? Actually when you believe someone is higher than you it provides you humility. And humility is a great trait for success. Only people who are humble can achieve great heights in their lives. So, you should believe in the power of God. And for that to happen firstly believe in God. You are not going to gain anything by denying the existence of God. Pray daily to God. Pray to him for yourself, your family, your neighbours, your colleagues and even strangers. God will definitely help you to achieve your goals. You don’t need to read Gita or Bible to understand God. Just see the smile of a child, feel the fresh air in the mountains its God, sit still and feel the silence it is God. When you will be able to feel God only then God will be able to feel you. And remember Rahul:
‘Miracles only happen to those who believe in them.’
And here many believers can question that even after praying and seeking guidance from God they have just got peanuts in return. To all of you believers, who are on the brink of becoming non-believers, read this story:
In a small Indian village a widowed mother did not have the money to pay for his son’s bus fare to school. The boy had to cross a thick forest to reach the school. The boy was afraid of the long lonely walk through the forest. He did not want to go to school.
‘There is no need to fear son. Whenever you feel afraid call your brother God Krishna for help,’ the mother advised.
The boy had full faith in his mother’s advice. The next day he called for Krishna. God Krishna on seeing the small boy’s devotion appeared and walked daily with him to his school. The mother was happy for her son. The boy told his mother daily how he enjoys the company of his brother Krishna. The mother just listened to him without reacting, taking it for a small boy’s innocence. One day the boy asked his mother for some money.
‘What for?’ asked the mother.
‘Tomorrow is my teacher’s birthday. Everyone will bring a present. I want to buy one too.’
‘I don’t have money to spare, ask your brother Krishna for help.’
The boy slept unworried fully believing his mother as usual. Next day, the boy asked Krishna for help. Krishna smiled softly and gave him a jug full of milk.
‘Everyone will laugh at me Krishna. Give something good.’
‘It is good dear. The jug has got an endless supply of milk.’
The boy was satisfied. He presented the gift to the teacher.
The teacher accepted it with a smirk. He started to empty the jug in a big container. The container spilled out. Shocked, the teacher tried to empty it in a different container but failed. This container also spilled out. The teacher got afraid.
‘Where did you get this jug?’ asked the teacher.
‘My brother Krishna who lives in the forest gave it to me.’
The teacher and the whole class burst into laughter.
‘Take me to him,’ ordered the teacher.
On reaching the middle of the forest, the boy started to call for Krishna. After a long wait as no one appeared the teacher scoffed at the boy, ‘Let’s go back.’
As they turned around to walk away, the boy pleaded desperately, ‘Brother Krishna show yourself my teacher wants to see you.’
And this time the whole forest echoed from all sides in one go, ‘ I can’t brother. I can’t. He doesn’t even believe in my existence.’
Being Mad doesn’t mean you should get yourself admitted in an asylum. Being Mad means to get yourself immersed so much in your passion that you should not worry about the world as the mad people give a damn to what others say. Just keep on working for your dream irrespective of the words or sentences others say to you. Just be mad.
Mother Teresa never gave a damn what others said about her. She just kept on working for the poor and the destitute all her life. During her teaching years at the Loreto Convent she realised her true vocation lay in uplifting the poor. She applied to the Vatican to allow her to work amongst the Calcutta’s poor. She started by opened a school in a nearby slum. In nineteen forty-eight she established her Missionaries of charity. She faced many hardships and many people ridiculed her when she wore a sari similar to what the municipal sweepresses wore. She helped the victims of plague, partition and the poor. Never caring about the unfit words of the world. She worked selflessly all her life.
Bury the Past
Rahul no one can change the past. And no can predict the future so just try and live in the present. It’s your present which you can alter and make beautiful. It is your present which will help your future. Many people including me are just wasting their lives over their pasts. They just sit in the bars, taverns; seek refuge in drugs to forget their past. But they can’t and will never be able to forget their past.
Steve Jobs the famous creator of Apple was thrown out of his own company by the people he trusted. He felt bad, real bad. He could have drowned himself in liquor and drugs, always brooding about his past and the people who back-stabbed him. But he chose another way of revenge. He worked harder, formed another company Next which was acquired by Apple. The very same Apple which had thrown him out. He rose again like a phoenix. He was asked by the same company Apple which had ousted him many years back to head it again. He accepted the offer. And again did a miracle by pulling out the ailing company and making it one of the most profitable companies. And during this time he got cancer. Still he did not allow the cancer to deter him. He worked and worked and one day breathed his last in contentment. That’s a bloody hell way to bury the past.
Design your life in thirty minutes
Take a pen and a notebook. Note the time. I always insist on notebooks or diaries for recording as we tend to misplace loose sheets of paper. Write on top of the first page rough. And now take a deep breath, let calm take control of your mind. Allow calm to be the master of your brain. You are going to do the most important work of your life. You are going to design your life. After you have allowed calm to take full control of your brain you will realise your dreams are coming and taking seats in your brain. You will feel them leaving your heart and going slowly to your head. Now do not waste a minute sir, allow your fingers to take a perfect grip of the pen and start writing your dreams. Do not wait for the most lovable one to arrive first, just write down whatever dream makes its appearance first. It doesn’t matter if it is the least important one after all every dream is important. Write them down as if you are possessed. May be after a few minutes you will feel you have written all but do not leave your place. Wait! Wait! Wait! More will appear. Some of them will be new to you, you will feel surprised. Still write them. They are yours. The whole exercise will take ten or at the most fifteen minutes. You will feel it is over. But it is not. See the time. If thirty minutes are over then you can rise and make tea for yourself and if still there is time do not dare to budge from your seat. A few more are on their way. You can’t make them feel unwelcome when they arrive. You need to be present to receive them warmly.
After thirty minutes are over, close the notebook and do whatever you want. After a day, visit your notebook again now you can prioritise them. A break of a day is necessary for you to come out of the amazing experience you have just realised.
Rahul took a deep breath. Mr. Verma smiled softly at him. The sun streamed through the window. And Rahul gladly played his fingers in its light. And Mr. Verma hoped and prayed in his heart that this morning might halt birth of another O.P Verma and said:
‘Marry soon my dear Rahul.’