The Kite Stealer

As a young boy, I was very unhappy. I was not poor, but neither was I rich. My father, like millions of other middle class bread-earners, took great joy and pride for being granted the chance to serve our great nation. To me, he was just a clerk in the East Coast Railways. Years and years of hard work in his dinghy office, his earnest allegiance and fortitude to never accept a bribe, earned him nothing more than a good name among the 250 other clerks and a few white collared officers. My mother was a humble housewife, and there were no two sides to it. She took redundant pride in it as well. I, on the other hand, after 12 years of my existence had learnt that there was nothing in my miserable life to boast about. 
I always had enough of everything, but just barely enough. We belonged to a class of the society, a tier in the financial pyramid, which comprised of two types of people, the dreamers and the fighters. My father belonged to the latter type, everyday he strived to provide for his family. He never desired for anything more. All his life he was a content man. But I was a dreamer. I wished for everything, wove kaleidoscopic dreams every night. Unfortunately, the dreamers were the most unhappy and restless people, for they were equipped with only dreams, but no means to fulfill them. So all they could do was resign to their fates and pretend to be a fighter, happy and proud to be just able to provide for their families. The dreamers embodied one of the greatest paradoxes in the society.
I went to the only English-medium school in the town and so did all the rich kids from uptown, only I didn’t have their freshly ironed attires, sparkling boots, trendy water bottles with tic-tac-toe or themed stationary. I strode into those walls everyday donning one of my two pairs of soiled uniforms with my broken pen in my pocket, dragging my rugged cloth bag behind me, trying to evade as many banters as possible. While they proudly shared their pasta, chips and muffins, I gulped down my modest roti and achaar before any of the scrutinizing eyes caught me. I could never put behind me the abhorrence and disgust that reflected in their eyes while they cast a demeaning look towards me when I wasn’t allowed to play football with them because I didn’t have the ‘right shoes’. All I could do to retaliate was stand there mortified summoning all my strength to prevent tears from welling up in my eyes.
That day I had pleaded my mother to let me go to the local government school, where most of our neighbour’s children went. But she wouldn’t listen and said that English-medium education would make me a babu one day. People attending on me, big cars with chauffeurs, VIPs congregations… (I guess that was the source of my dreamer genes). But her dreams seemed as inane and mocking as the demeaning looks of the rich boys. I lamented my life and I regretted being myself. I indicted my parents for the miseries of my life. I failed to comprehend the significance of life without the fashionable clothes, classy accessories and pricey videogames.
Once every year I forgot all my miseries and set out to conquer the world. It was Makar Sankranti, The Festival Of Kites. Kites were my passion. The fervor I had for flying kites was incomparable. Fortunately enough, I was equally gifted. And I left no stone unturned to master my inexpensive hobby. Watching my kite soar high above, untouched, unrestrained, beyond anyone’s reach, rendered an inimitable pleasure and pride, something I lacked in my life otherwise. It carried me to an alternative world, where I could fly freely with my kites in the boundless sky, while infinitesimal people of the world could only gawk at me awe-struck. The Kite Festival was the day when I had the chance to prove myself to those haughty rich boys.
On the fateful day, I awoke just when the sun was starting to peep at the horizon, emptied half a bucket of water in my attempt at bathing, donned my best pair of clothes, parted my hair neatly and set off to the tapering aisle between the old Post Office and the Town Engineer’s house. Flying kites in an open field is a cup of cake, but launching my soldier into the air amidst that jungle of old dilapidating houses, was an extraordinary challenge.. and every time triumph was enslaved. My game-plan that day was to camouflage myself among those archaic edifices, masquerade my attack on the village ground and vanquish the rich brats there.
My rainbow-coloured minion soared high in the sky, while I steered myself through structural barricades. I knew those lanes like the back of my hand. The countless afternoons I had spent there, sharpening my skills had to account for something. My gaze was following my minion as ardently as a kite watches its prey. I was right behind the Hanuman Temple when I noticed an unpredicted falter in the gait of the bearer of my honour. I tugged at the line, but the tension was gone and it slumped back lifelessly.
What a prodigious blow at my pride… I thought while I watched my fallen soldier vagrantly drift towards the ground. My vision was shrouded by desperate rage and utter shock. Even more desperation struck.. This was the end of my dream to vanquish my adversaries. In my quest for the ‘despicable being’ who took me down, I turned around the corner and the veteran banyan tree confronted me. Under it, was a humongous rock and reclined on it was a four-feet tall, ebony-coloured, shabby little boy, candidly gloating in pride. In one hand he clutched my captured and trampled pride and a humble white kite slung on his other shoulder. I was crippled by a spiteful animosity. That distasteful imp-like creature had made me bite the dust. I was torn between mortified embarrassment and indignant exasperation.
He grinned at me, exposing his yellow stained teeth. Before I could translate my feelings into words, he extended his idle hand and said ‘If you give me a rupee, I will return your pretty kite.’ I glared at him without moving a muscle. ‘I won it, I didn’t steal it. It’s mine now. But I know how much you love it. I have been watching you everyday. I learnt flying kites by watching you. You are so good.. But today I cut your line, ain’t I good..’ I felt like roots had grown out of my feet. I stood there impassively. He went on, ‘Come on.. I know you have 25 rupees, I saw you counting it earlier today. I have had nothing to eat in 2 days. I really want to buy a cotton candy at the Mela. Please Bhaiya give me 1 Rupee.’
In a split of a second, my perspective changed, my eyes softened, and I was gripped by a sudden pang of sorrow and empathy. But the embarrassment was unaltered. He had no tangible assets and perhaps no kith or kin to look forward to, yet he stood there so calmly, appeased at the prospect of a cotton candy. And I had treated him with nothing but abhorrence and loathing. Suddenly I felt like he had stepped into my shoes and I had been looking down upon him through the eyes of those rich boys I deeply despised. We were similar in so many ways, yet there was an enormous disparity. He wasn’t accusing others for his miseries, sulking or whining, instead he was availing his skills to earn his infinitesimal reward. It dawned upon me that the world was deluged with less fortunate people who would kill for a life like mine. I was imbued with the serenity of my ‘kite stealer’ and he taught me that just because I failed to acknowledge what I had, its significance did not diminish.
Since that day I wasn’t apprehensive about being judged anymore. I refrained myself from perusing what I did and didn’t have. I focused on doing my best in everything I attempted. Today 20 years later, I have done pretty well for myself, but when I discern my parents.. aged and senile, I wallow in remorse and guilt for having blamed them for all those years, for holding them accountable for my miseries, while I chose to be unhappy. I have replenished the lives of my children with everything they need, but I sincerely hope they learn to appreciate it. I hope they meet their ‘kite stealer’ soon.

Familie Bilder - Day #14

'A Picture is worth a thousand words.'








Drugs, Alcohol & Religion - Day #13

Addiction to chemicals, religion or even fellow humans is pernicious and fatal. Ideally one should hold on to something only until one can let go of it, beyond that point its addiction. I say ‘ideally’, because I am no one to preach, as I myself am addicted to more things that you can count on your fingers. So I am merely channeling the information.

Drugs.. Some are pretty innocuous, while some can get real bad. I am saving myself the ado. Instead I prefer to stimulate my reward pathway the natural way. Check out how :) I am not really a fan of social stigma, but I think awareness is crucial. If you are aware and you choose to exhilarate yourself and elevate your senses by mutilating your brain cells (cells that control every*freaking*thing in your body) (I am not kidding, if you are brave enough, have a look.) then it is your own discretion. I don’t give a crap.
But it’s sad for the ‘poor rich kids’ who have no idea what the thing they eat, drink or smoke does to their brains (They were too cool to attend any lectures) and end up being broke and over-dosed. (That’s how THAT happens.) All in the futile pursuit of eternal coolness… But I don’t give a crap about that either.
So go on.. Smoke Your Joints, but please learn the ‘Science’ behind it too. (And feel free to make fun of me for being ‘uncool’ and for denying to be the passive-pot-smoker.. I don’t give a crap yet again :D)

Alcohol..   I love my alcohol, but at the right time, right place, with the right people and in right amounts :) And I am aware of the ‘Science’ behind it. I have decided to trade moments of imprudent-drunk-fun with the transient health of the synapses in the front-lobe of my brain. It is not only those moments, but also the everlasting memories formed in those moments. It’s a pretty good bargain between keeping my sanity and the health of my brain. And it provides the extremely valuable escape from the monotonous and drab work-life most of us lead.
‘Wise words’ for others would be.. Go for a drink, two or even more.. if you know you can handle it. I have been there, done that and loved it :D I have experimented with almost everything from every known and unknown land and have succeeded in holding my liquid in. But alcohol tolerance quite erratic and unpredictable. (Trust me.. I have seen weird phenotypes. I can share the stories more privately maybe.) As a very famous and old saying goes is several languages (including our own), ‘Stretch yourself as far as your cover reaches.’ And to those who have refrained themselves from giving in to the lure of this bane, My Respect :)
PS: I had my first drink at the legal age of 18. Vodka & Orange Juice. And next morning I decided never to drink Orange Juice again. :D

Guys please visit the amazing Mouse Rave Party.

Religion.. It has my full credence. May be not the commercialized religion put on sale these days, but I believe in spirituality, good deeds and a higher power guiding and looking upon us.
Through centuries science has been parted from religion. People of science have denounced religion. And the men of religion have shunned science and its apostles. To me rationality is an extrapolation of ideologies. Deeper I plunge into the abysmal ocean of Science, more tenacious, vehement and profound becomes my credence in God and his celestial powers. For something as intricate and abstruse as a living being, and a world adorned with a diverse assortment of such beings, all linked by an elaborate food chain can be contrived, spawned and fostered by only ‘someone’ with inimitable competence and dexterity. Life in itself is evidence of the existence of a higher power, The Almighty!’

But It Never Rained – Day #12

The Monsoon in India, when it arrives, feels like the first breath of air after you’ve been choked. Relief.. Personified :D The parched, dry land, takes a breath of life. It looks like the world has been resurrected. The first showers, when touch the scorching land, infinitesimal vapors of heat can be seen escaping. And the feeling of rain drops caressing my face while I ride my Scooty, heedless of the world around, is nothing less than eternal bliss. Shielding the rain, while striving to masquerade my covert wish to get drenched to my soul, then the apocryphal explanations of why I am soaked irrespective of the umbrella and the neatly folded raincoat under my seat..  uuh Nostalgia!!
The traffic jams, the puddles and the perpetual power-cuts aside, I love the headstrong and incessant, pouring and pounding tropical rains. I loved it before, but now I love it even more and pine for it for I haven’t witnessed it in ages now. The only rains I get here are the irresolute and meek temperate drizzles.

The following lines from a poem called ‘The Rain’ encapsulate my feelings appropriately:

I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
'Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
'Twill be a lovely sight.

~ William Henry Davies

Sun*Shine*: Aquarian With A Difference Day #11

I am an Aquarian. But I am not too credulous of signs. I envisage it as just another charade humans like to cling on to so that they have a scapegoat when confronted by difficult circumstances, inability to attain what they wish for or the dismal plight of a failed relationship. I posit fate and destiny do exist, but eventually our choices and discretion in life lead us to where we end up. Thousands of people are born every moment, not even a fraction of them share the same traits or (mis)fortune. As an apostle of rationale, I fail be convinced by something so vague. I agree it can’t be refuted either, especially since it has been established since centuries. (Everyone knows ‘the fate’ of the medieval aficionados of Science and Rationale.) To me.. its merely something that brings more evil than good. I do not defy it, but I do not countenance it either. And I am sure stars have much more to do rather than pawn our lives.  

Unbelieving & Cynical.. Ehh? Are those Aquarian attributes too? I have no clue.. Maybe U know better :)

Truly Musical - Day #10

My moods keep swinging all the time, sometimes they are extremes while at other times they are more in-betweens. And my music varies too, but generally it isn’t synchronous with my mood. My music, mellow or loud, is always happy. Music always makes me happy. And my music comprises of unlimited gigabytes, spanning all possible sorts of genre from Folklore to RnB. Although I do admit, I am not such a big fan of Metal. But I do at times vent my anger by listening to Headstrong or Cold As Stone (This is not until I am extremely pissed.. which is extremely rare in itself). I know.. its cheesy, but what is life without cheese :P So it’s hard for me to classify my music with my moods (which are too complex already).  Music also has it’s period with me. At any given moment in my life, I fall in love with songs and after a considerable amount of time, I fall out of love too.. :)

PS: I am currently heads over heels in love with ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars, ‘You Are The Only Exception’ by Paramore and ‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor Swift.