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THE DIVIDED STATES OF INDIA

As I landed in the city of Bangalore, a man is shouting just outside the airport. He is shouting something that I do not understand. Fortunately, he has learned 4 5 English words. After all he is standing outside the airport. “Where” he asks. “Marathahalli” I spoke. “Bus 8”. He says one word and starts shouting again. He was a bus driver. But most importantly, a resident of Karnataka. Yes, this place is in my country and we both cannot communicate.




Many years back when I was in the eighth standard, my textbooks proudly and boldly highlighted the words, “India is a diverse country”. They would show the culture and folk dances of each state. Unique on its own. A moment to feel proud. You can never find a country as diverse as India, as culturally rich as India. That was just the textbook. My practical started almost 2 months ago.
Soon when I reached my hotel I realized nobody in the hotel knows Hindi. Yes, Hindi. A language spoken in India. A language which is not only spoken in India …
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CLOSE TO THE SUN

"Dude, I won the bet". "No way! I won the bet". I was dreaming about the bet I played on the gender of a child of my friend's. I definitely won that bet because I said it would be a boy. I was just arguing when the phone rang. No not in my dream but in reality. It broke my dream. It was my friend Aman Sharma calling on a Friday morning. It was his job day. I picked up the phone. "Hey! Let's go Rishikesh". "Okay" I said without inquiring how and why he made up his mind. The next thing he said, "Anurag is in Rishikesh today, I guess". He was talking about the Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. One of the best directors India has seen who has literally fought  and changed the way Indian movies are made and should be made. The true cinema lover was in Rishikesh. So close to where I live. Aman had guessed this by seeing the post of his Assistant Director on Instagram the caption of which said, "Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh". He …

FUTURE OF MY LANGUAGE

Earlier last year I went to Mumbai for an internship. People in Mumbai are of mixed culture. A heavy number among them is local people who speak local language i.e. Marathi. I also encountered the same situation everyday where I would find many people talking in Marathi in my office. Mumbai being an alive city will preserve its language for a long time to come. But this is not the case for every region.




I once had a chat with an old man sitting outside his house and thrashing the wheat. It was a nice morning in the month of July at a hilly area Karnaprayag. He was sitting on the ground and lived just 10 meters away from where I stayed. I used to see him everyday on the same chair while going to office. He was consistent. So was I. It was Sunday and my day off from office when I went outside the guest house into the sun. I used to live alone in that 3 BHK guesthouse and I used to feel alone sometimes. This loneliness lifted my feet in the direction of that man. I went to that man pret…

CONUNDRUM OF DUSSEHRA

A smile on his face, tied to the ropes, 10 heads and considered one of the most intelligent man, Ravana is standing in front of me. He is about to die. He is about to be "killed" actually by a man who was exiled, saving his wife and one of the greatest leaders in mythological history who led millions to the other country for this event.
For those of you outside the boundaries of India, Dussehra is a festival celebrated in India.

Coming back, I am standing with hundreds others. They are celebrating, eating street food and enjoying with their family and friends. It has been like this for the past hundreds of years. It has been like this for the past 23 years of my life. But today, I am alone looking at him and his brothers and wondering a small thing. Why are we celebrating this festival? Every festival has a meaning, a lesson which is moral and some reason to be happy and celebrate. You must be having your own festivals with all these characteristics. But what about Dussehra…

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || PART 3

Vishnu poured four cups and the owner asked me, "Do you want some?" I asked, "What is it?". "Oh! this is our favourite alcoholic drink prepared by jaggery in our homes. We can't go so far into the town just to bring a bottle. Our forefathers have derived a way to make it in home. Our mothers and wives prepare it." Although I would not have accepted the drink, but it sounded exciting and I knew I might never get to taste it again in my life. So I happily agreed. It tasted just like jaggery dissolved in some bitter liquid. I drank very very slowly intentionally so that they can enjoy their last day with whatever they had without involving me. I asked him, "So what are your plans for the future after this?". "Plans? Huh! This was not even a plan that is happening with us. We are in pain." Vishnu said, "Brother, this is something we never wanted. This is our living and they are snatching it from us" "They who?" I a…

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || Part 2

I climbed to the peak with a dog whose both eyes had different colours. A disease maybe. The scenic beauty of Kheerganga trek is something you cannot miss and would crave for later in your life. It was a hard trek, especially for someone who does not trek regularly. The path was natural, unpaved and quite narrow. At some places there was no path at all due to the landslide happened just a night before. It was tiresome to climb such a trek for 14 kilometers but I had a companion. I reached the top at around 5 in the evening. It was very cold at the peak. Nearly about 12-15 degrees. But thankfully there was a hot spring bath at the top. A hot spring bath is all you need after such a growing lassitude. I booked a tent and quickly went for the bath. It was the best. The natural hot water flowing continuously and in the center of the highest peaks you can see them capped with snow. I spent nearly an hour there. It was getting dark and was time to close the hot water pool.




I went back to t…

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || Part 1

This blog post is about few good men and I will come later on it. Don't presume from the name Kheerganga that I am going to recite you the beauty of the nature that I saw and how white snow embellished the high peak mountains. Well, as I said in my earlier post I would like to share my experience. The natural experience is experienced by everyone. I decided to write this post because of something else to which I will come a little later. This post is about a story which resides in the humble heart of these few men whom I met in Kheerganga.

Kheerganga is a beautiful place which is in the hilly ranges of Himachal Pradesh. I went from my hometown Haridwar to Bhuntar by boarding a normal bus. The driver was old and I thought he might take some extra time to reach the destination. But no!! I was wrong. The way he drove the bus on the hills is inexpressible. He was driving at a speed on which many of us do not drive on the plains. It was his own route, I understood. I boarded at 2000 …

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP- THE LANDING || PART 4

The Landing
I had finally reached Gangtok. It was a hell of a ride but I did. Gangtok was a beautiful place and a really disciplined one. I liked how people were so fond of following rules and maintaining the cleanliness of Gangtok. I remember one example for the same. I saw a guy who was not from Sikkim ,eating a packet of chips and was on the other side of the road than where I was. He ate all the chips and threw the packet on the grass which was on the other side of footpath. So basically you have a road, then a footpath on the edges and on the other edge of the footpath you have little grass. The dustbin was around 10-20 meters back to the direction of that guy. As soon as he threw the packet, the lady who was walking just behind him picked the packet and went back to the dustbin and threw the packet there. She did not even let that guy know about what she has done, not scolding him like what Anushka Sharma did and definitely not uploading it on social media like a publicity hungr…

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP - REACHING GANGTOK || PART 3

"Can it be fixed?" were my words as I was so doubtful about the final result. He said, "yes, yes, look what I will do, I will take this rope and tie this to this spring and remove the mudguard by hammering it. Although tyres will not be straight as the spring is broken but since there is no mudguard, what will they touch to? And the spring which was hanging, I will tie it.". This was his solution. I smiled at him and he smiled back, I knew he would do it but I was not sure about the final destination whether it will be Gangtok or some village where this car will finally breakdown.

I rushed towards the two boys who were smoking cigarette under a shed of a house about 10-15 meters away. The visibility was almost just 5-8 meters by then. I could just see the main road and the people sitting outside their house where I was standing. Another boy who was sitting beside me in the cab also asked the same question to the driver and he gave him the same answer. While I was …

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE LANDING || PART 10

As I mentioned earlier, I was seeing double from the first day till now. My eyes did not improve even a little for many days. Everything I used to see was double. Two doors, two mobile phones, two coffee cups everything. The doctor said my pupils are not moving synchronously as they should and hence you are seeing two images of everything. The images are seen separately by both the eyes but our brain combines it as one, while in your case it is still two images. But, you will be fine with time. With time. This is a very vague sentence. There is no specific maximum limit nor there is any medicine. You will see normally with time. Hence, I waited for "the time".

Two days after I came home after being discharged, I picked up my father's phone, opened chrome browser and typed, GB Syndrome patients case studies. I wanted to know how much time? How everyone else have managed and how much time they took. I needed to know. I needed to be prepared at least. I read three case stu…

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - RECOVERY || PART 9

I was finally discharged from the hospital and was eager to go to my home and sleep in my bed. I was very happy. I reached my home and laid down. I was very weak. I was strictly allowed to have only semi solid diet. It meant eating only something which is thick, viscous like porridge. It was fed by a spoon to me. I was not able to hold the spoon and eat it myself. It went like this for a few days but soon I started eating myself. Many a times in my home I would desperately want to eat Indian bread. Even without eating it, I could feel the taste of it in my mouth. I would wait for the day when I will be eating through my mouth directly. Once I decided to chew the same semi solid food. It has been long since I chewed anything. Although it was semi solid, I still chewed it. It was a different feeling this time. I don't know but I felt like I am not chewing right. I felt my teeth grinding over each other, colliding which I have never felt before while eating. I was chewing right, it w…

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - DISCHARGE || PART 8

"Calcium, Okay. Iron, almost okay. Nitrate, Okay., he is better now, you can have your private ward", this sentence made my day. After long 10 days inside IMC ward I was finally sent to private ward. I was happy since I don't have to see people dying in front of my eyes, vomiting blood in front of me or getting fatal strokes. I was out of critical ward, I was out of IMC Ward no. 204. My family was happy. The doctor told another junior to take out the line going inside my groin and move me to the private ward. He quickly took the wire out and pressed the hole created due to the wire.

 I had a last look at the IMC ward that day which was almost empty. There was no other patient that was present who was there when I was admitted. They came and went in a few days but no one stayed like me. It was almost empty with 2 other patients only. It was a sunny day, a hot afternoon. I can still feel the warmth I was feeling in the air during that time. My family packed up all the thi…
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