If Only, Papa was a Soldier

In India, most public service employees and officials are looked down upon (since the impression is that there’s hardly any work to do) yet everyone wants a government job. This is a story of a man who honestly did his duty  in Indian Railways and quite literally died due to his unending dedication to that duty. Told by his son who turned out be equally honest and idealistic, this blog pays a tribute to unsung honest workers in world’s second largest sub-continent. Do give it a read.

Source: If Only, Papa was a Soldier

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Love in the time of startups!

One more time a beautiful survival story that she read in the paper moved her to tears, and made her stomach ache so bad. She noticed the wrinkles on her hand suddenly as she held the glass of water. The fluid burnt her throat as it gushed down her spine. It was this 15-year old boy from a remote government school who had made it to NASA. She knew who was behind the now glittery success story of an ordinary boy. She knew that extraordinary heart too well, the one that had broken her own, years ago. And she had gladly embraced that hurt for the sake his dreams.

She never wanted to tell her own story of sacrifice to the world. Not even to herself. It wasn’t a sacrifice really, it was just the most apt thing to do at the time. Startup was the buzzword back then and hundreds of young hearts had decided to quit jobs and start their own enterprises. It was like this craze, a sort of fad. For a major chunk of youth, it was an expression of a revolt against a corrupt society, the system and most of all their parents who often loaded their own dreams on to their children’s shoulders. But for many others, it was the perfect time when they could get the courage to really do what their heart longed for. It was like a worldwide startup revolution where people didn’t have the time to love, to desire a companion in flesh or to share souls with a mate.

They were all too busy to prove a point or disprove it. Some wanted to change the already changing world. Others wanted to look different by doing what most of them were doing. He just wanted to nourish others’ dreams. He liked protecting people’s dreams inside his palms. He didn’t care if he was different or same or even sensible. He knew that was his only shot at triggering what was left human inside of him. He didn’t have a choice, really. It had to be.

She was the lover of all things beautiful. Their thoughts kissed, their feelings embraced each other, their souls ached with longing. Yet, he knew all too well what this meant. He could only afford one passion in a lifetime. He couldn’t live with both. He couldn’t divide his heart. He loved her too much to inflict a half piece. She was content with what he had but she knew it would destroy him. He never told her how much he loved her, wanted her. She never insisted upon it. Not everything needs telling.

She suddenly awoke. She had fallen asleep on the couch. The paper had slipped out of her hands on the floor. She held it again. The photograph of the boy looked dim. She grabbed her tainted glasses. Wiping them with her sleeve, she looked closely through them. A memory hit her hard. The eyes. “I want to see the eyes of these children shine in joy with opportunity,” he had once told her.

Was her sacrifice worth all of this? Her stubborn heart ached again. ‘It wasn’t a sacrifice, it just had to be,’ she reminded herself.

 

 

Before you say sorry

Before you say sorry, consider this

twiceuponaspace

Demand not forgiveness

Nor burden them with pleas

Say it gently but mean every syllable

Even before you say sorry

Get into their shoes

But expect not to understand

Give them some time to heal

Way after you say sorry

Leave them alone if you can

For they may have memories bitter

Desire not a lot of flowers

Just before you say sorry

Let the scent of love

Do the needful on its own

And try not to smell revenge

When you finally say sorry

Demean them not when they take time

Or judge them for the cold

Would you have forgotten so easily?

Ask before you say sorry

Say sorry out of deep regret

Not as another ego trip

Count their tears not yours

Before you say sorry

Keep not a record of their faults

Or plan a sweet revenge

It’s your need not theirs

When you choose to…

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It just takes a moment to look up!

twiceuponaspace

Pity yourself for a day. You realize it sucks. And the world will embrace your stronger self more easily. Heck, pity yourself for your own sake. To get your own hug. And before you know it, you would learn to laugh at yourself.

For a change, listen to a bunch of parrots chirping at night. You will know nights are as beautiful to them. Even they can be nocturnal like yourself. They may be finishing off an argument over equal rights to female parrots, started during the day. Or a couple parrot may just be fighting over who brings food for the kids. Thank God they don’t have internet.

Fight jealousy for just one day. And see how beautiful it is to see the guy you like being happy with that other girl. Don’t they look cute together? So happy and content. It feels great to be elder one and…

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The hospital canteen sequence

Things do happen. The details around which you weave several fictitious sequences of life. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful place. Sometimes it’s a hospital canteen where they serve this amazing Chai Special. The smells of antibiotics make each sip heavenly. There’s a waiter who looks across from the serving desk. He bends a little from the upper partition of the steel desk and steals a glance. He always looks amused in this particular sequence. I always find myself sitting opposite him, sipping. Of course, there’s someone else sitting right across the table. He is with me. He has a common name. He, like the waiter, is a regular in this one. So we are sitting and sipping. I am struggling to control the blush of emotions on my face. In vain, yes. He is unfazed, staring and searching my eyes. We are in a serious situation that doesn’t concern us. It’s a common friend whose sickness has brought us together on this table over a cup of chai. We both love this friend, obviously.

He is seeing me for the first time. You know when two people sit face to face and become self-conscious of the ugly curves of their faces. The actual seeing. So every word that my eyes speak is like a brand new addition into his vocabulary. He is also reading the punctuations. The question marks, the exclamations, the semi colons and the full stops. He will know any minute now that there never was a room for the commas.

I am acting normal. That’s quite a task. For once, I am not thinking of my chapped lips or the inner strap that is showing from my tee or the extra greasy corner of my nose. I don’t care if he finds my face pretty or ugly. I am just trying to handle the same emotion he has on his face. Boy, that’s driving me nuts.

Of course there are these absolutely bizarre topics. Too much antibiotics make human bodies immune to some medicines. Kejriwaal is not the answer to our problems, it’s us who need to change. Many people thought ‘Baby’ didn’t have a suspense, how silly! Most espionage movies don’t have suspense. Ha ha. The blaring news channel directly over his head is the perfect setting for these random topics.

They said there’s a silence before a storm. I waited for that silence. But the storm is already brewing. It’s too late. I am seeing it in his eyes. They are telling me he had always wanted me. He didn’t know if he loved me. He still doesn’t. There was just never the right time, or the right intention or the right phase or whatever the rights there were. I wanted to skip this part and nurse the grudge and let it become a balm.

It’s too late now. My eyes are hungry to send the forgiveness signal. He is focused now. He is not missing a single chance of catching my eyes. The topics aren’t helping anymore.

‘ I have hurt you.’ I am avoiding his gaze. My cup is empty. His is half-full. I put both my hands on each of my eyes, as if in fatigue but basically trying to alter the emotions. That does the trick for a few seconds. He is studying every nook of my face. He is not embarrassed anymore. Oh wait, he is sorry.

His eyes find mine. I try the plastic smile but even that façade betrays me. I have a strong urge to scratch my nose at this point. I am extending my hand instead. He extends his, oddly. See you soon, I say, knowing well I never will.

As I descend the stairs in no particular hurry, the smell of freshly brewed chai wafts through the air again.

What is admirable about Israeli society?

Answer by A Quora admin:

An awful lot.  In just about 130 years they've built the only functioning democracy in the Middle-East.
 
An excerpt from an answer that I gave to a related question:  For 2014 Israel is on-track to have a GDP of $306-billion; per capita $38K (and this with no oil-wealth).  The average per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of the fifty-seven countries that comprise the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is $5,746.00.
 
An excerpt from What Went Wrong? by Dr. Farrukh Saleem:  “Over the past 105 years, 1.4 billion Muslims have produced eight Nobel Laureates while a mere 14 million Jews have produced 167. Muslims constitute 22 percent of the world population, but have only a 1 percent share of Nobel Prizes, whereas Jews constitute less than one quarter of one percent of world population with a 22 percent share of Nobel Prizes.” http://www.shiachat.com/forum/to…
 
Economy of Israel
 
meforum.org
The Economics of Democracy in Muslim Countries

 
Clearly the Israelis are doing something right – and they've accomplished what they have in about 130 years and with their neighbors trying to annihilate them.

What is admirable about Israeli society?

The boy in white shorts

He still makes castles in the sand
And visits Alice’s wonderland
In dreams or when he sleep-talks
you know that boy in white shorts

twiceuponaspace

He may be a Catcher in the rye
That you come across bye and bye
To tangle you in his thoughts
You know that boy in white shorts

At dusk, he floats in the free skies
While lying down on his back, with his eyes
That inquire in wondrous whats
You know that boy in white shorts

He loves watching fist-fights
Or playing Robinhood –the brave knight
And cooks up tales and what not
You know that boy in white shorts

He still makes castles in the sand
Often visits Alice’s wonderland
In dreams or when he sleep-talks
You know that boy in white shorts

He laughs oh so hard
That they hear it from afar
And never hushes the farts
You know that boy in white shorts

He flinches with every caning
And so despises training
But goes to school just for laughs
You know that boy in white…

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