Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Quest for Coffee...

Now I'm known to be one hell of a Coffee Junkie.
Apart from the large crude Cold Coffee I have every morning, I need one/two large mugs of Strong Hot Coffee to keep me going through the day.
And if even one of those mugs are commercially sourced, my day is a party.

I woke up on Saturday morning, to realize that it had been 22 odd days since my last cup of commercially sourced coffee!
Oh... in case you have not got the picture, there is no Cafeteria here in Gandhidham! And the only South Indian place which actually served some decent filter coffee, shut down a month ago. (It had only been open for 3 weeks!)

No sooner than later, I was craving for Hot Coffee. The morning Cold Coffee only made this urge stronger.

Soon I was day dreaming - walking into a Costa Cafe.. Ordering a Medium Cafe Mocha on the go.. Holding that magenta paper cup in my hand.. The first sip.. The warmth going down my throat.. and that taste.. YEAH!

I had a ton of work awaiting me at office. That would keep my mind away from the aroma of roasted Arabica for sure. Or so I thought...

At work, I happen to log onto Costa Cafe's website - just to confirm that they did not have an outlet at Gandhidham! I scoured the websites for Barista and Cafe Coffee Day also, but to no avail. (Talk about lowering of standards)

Newsflash: Even the Amalgamated Bean Trading Co (with 783 Cafeterias in 105 cities) had missed a spot on the map of India. And I happen to be living there :)

By the time I was over with lunch, I knew I had to do something about it.
The websites had it all wrong.
The localites I knew we're hiding their cafeterias from me.
I knew there was a cafeteria of some sort, sitting elusively in some corner in the city.
And I had to find it...

I spent a tense 90 minutes driving around town...I drove through every resedential colony, office block and market place. I revisited the main market again.
Each time, I was dissappointed.

That evening, at about 6, I drove out to town one more time!
I was sure I'd missed the cafeteria. Heck I actually drove all the way to a neighbouring town - hoping that a man with amazing foresight had opened one there, waiting to make use of the fact that towns expand to envelope neighbouring towns, while on their path to becoming a city!

It's Sunday morning now.
Despite indulging in multiple quantities of Bournvita and Flavoured Bru Coffee, the craving still lives on. And it probably will till I dont travel the next time..

In the meanwhile, If any one of you is interested in investing in a Cafeteria in Gandhidham, call me up.
Apart from 50% funding, I promise you sales of 3/4 large cups of your premium coffee every day :P

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Gandhidham... The shock!

A day after I penned my thoughts down about the impediments to driving, I found a cure for my Insomnia!

Are they linked? You bet they are...

En route to a meeting, I was driving down the highway at my usual 70 kmph :)
A 10 wheel truck was parked up ahead to my left... his motor running...
All of a sudden, the dude decided he wanted to turn right - and he did just that - no warning shots fired here! His truck and trailer flew across the road in an infinitesimal particale of time.

CRASH! Thats what I felt... not Heard... Felt.

The back of his vehicle rammed into the front of my car - taking bumper, headlight, indicator all with him.

The truckie just sped off! I doubt if he even realised what has just ensued on account of his big behind :P

Well...We in the car were in a state of shock.
It felt like a sudden slap on the face - Shocking!

The shock lingered on... I drove home super carefully that evening.
Every truck coming my way seemed like a bully to me :)

To my surprise, I crashed at 10pm or somewhere around there!

The insomnia that had been pretty much a part of my life here in GDD, had vanished albeit for one night.

Here's to hoping I don't need to re-employ similar methods to keep the Insomniac in me at bay...

Monday, 25 May 2009

Gandhidham again...


Sunrise: 0625 hours
Unbearable heat starts: 0745 hours
Unbearable heat stops: 1900 hours
Cricket can be played till: 1930 hours
Sunset: 1935 hours
Darkness: 2000 hours

Avg Max Temperature(May): 38 Degrees Celcius (Heat Index: 45 Degrees Celcius).
Avg Max Temperature(Jun): 48 Degrees Celcius (Heat Index: 50-52 Degrees Celcius).

The Heat is On!

I spent Sunday at home mostly - waiting for the sun to stop trying to burn down the dusty terrain. The end of the unbearable phase of heat provided the Christopher Columbus in me with a window of about an hour to go exploring the town. The resolve to protect my bum from baking meant another 5-7 odd minutes to let the interior of my car cool down!

The idea of exploring GDD wasn't a good one though. I'll try to paint the scene out to you...

The streets have lights, which havent worked in the last THREE Years! And no one seens to complain.
The roads here have more potholes than plane surfaces. Falling into any of these holes can send a rude long-lasting shock up your spinal cord!
Add to this the heavy traffic from Kandla Port (Trucks and other huge machines have to customarily pass through GDD en route to alomst any other place). Ever heard of the saying: Size does matter? Well...come to GDD to see people treating that saying as their raison d'etre.

So... You decide to pay no heed to the small obstructions in your path and you're cruising on an empty road at a comfortable speed of 60 kmph.
All of a sudden, you see an eerie monster dashing past across the road up ahead.
The limited light wont let you identify what you just saw, so take my word for it. It was a lady rider on her scooter with another lady riding pillion! (No offence meant towards anyone here - Im stating merely what I have seen a million times over).

Adding to the horror of your driving experience are the thousands of man-handled Two Wheelers. Scooters are a very popular mode of transport here for women. Gujju-bens, Grandmas, Mothers, Daughters, Kids, Younger Kids...everyone!
And they exhibit a very peculiar habit of dashing across roads and intersections without bothering to look, check or even lower their speeds marginally!

Thus, the entire scenario that I have painted, ensures that you need to reduce your driving speed to a comfortable 30 kmph when cruising with regular correction to almost 5-7 kmph when you encounter one of the million pot holes.

Thus, in the 50 minutes I got to explore town, I barely managed to enter town! (I forgot to mention, I live about 8 kms away from the centre of the town. One of those plush resort kind of places - away from the city. Such a haven of peace that nearly anyone and everyone lives there now!)

After the abrupt end to my thirst for discovery and exploration, the IPL final helped me while away my evening.
It's sad the IPL is over. If I am here next weekend, It would be horrific!!
End of Story

The sun seams to have decided to burn the town down this morning. Just heard of someone succumbing to a heat stroke...

Rain you ask?
Naah! Doesnt rain here.
There are showers for about 3-4 days in a year.
The rain waiter then lingers on for a week or so due to under-developed drainage systems and people celebrate by taking their "Monsoon Breaks."

Short lived, but Im sure it would be a good respite from sitting in an air conditioned room 24 hours a day!!

A bientot...

Friday, 22 May 2009

The little pink flower...



The tree lined road winds into the distant mountains.
The azure sky is spread out till as far as the eye can see - cotton like clouds moving ever so lazily across it.
Meadows, dotted with flowers, carpet the earth and blend into the sky at the edge of the universe.
Purple mountains stand tall and proud at one end of the road - their snow capped peaks breaking the monotony of the horizon.
The scene is a perfect mixture of green, purple and blue - serene, calm, pastel and comforting.

A lonesome traveller is treading upon the winding road – seemingly sure of where he’s headed.
Dressed in pristine white, he carries a stick for support. A white satchel hangs by his side.
His hair is white. His wrinkled face is covered with a long white beard.
His black scabbard gives away the fact that he is not merely an old wise sage.
He is a warrior. Out to seek his destiny. Out to fight his fate - Towards attaining his goal.

Nature seems to be aiding the warrior. The trees provide him with shade from the rays of the sun.
A gentle breeze blows along the path carrying the refreshing scent of the flowers to him.
A bunch of berries fall off their tree. He picks them up and places them gently in his satchel.
The traveller feels tired and sleepy. Raindrops fall onto his face as if to shake him out of his stupor.
He walks on with grit and determination. Something keeps him going. Something keeps fear out of his mind.

Night falls ever so gently. The clear night sky is bejewelled with a million stars.
He looks up at them every time he feels lost. The stars glisten as if to point his way out to him.
The sage can hear the gurgling of water nearby and he knows he is close to the stream.
He knows it is time for him to move off the road and into the forbidden forest.
He decides to wait till it is morning. He lays his white robe onto the side of the road and sleeps like never before.


The traveller wakes up. Something has changed around him. Green has been replaced with fire yellow and brick red.
Unnerved, he gathers his belongings and deviates off the road, into the dense forest.
Dried leaves and twigs hide the forest floor. Tallow and Pine grows everywhere interspersed with thickets of Bamboo.
A gentle stream runs through the heart of the forest. Water flows merrily over rock, stone and boulder.
The warrior walks with measured steps. He walks ever so lightly. Not a twig snaps under his foot. Not a leaf crumples under his weight.

The sage feels he is losing his way. He ties blue silk on trees he passes. He marks out the past and heads towards his future.
He hears a faint rustle amongst the dried leaves on the ground. A ratsnake slithers out and dashes into the bushes.
The warrior follows in the hope to find some eggs. He follows the snake to its hole.
With his bare hands, he searches the inside of the lair. He pulls out a dozen white eggs.
He sits in the bamboo thicket nearby and eats the eggs, the berries still safe in his satchel.

A raging gale starts blowing from the East. The sage did not expect it. It catches him by surprise.
It rushes through spaces in between trees - silently at first and with a loud shrill whistle thereafter.
The gale starts making play with the leaves on the forest floor. It hurls the yellows up towards the sky. It hurls the reds up towards the sky.
The muddy forest floor is exposed for a second. It looks dull and lifeless. It looks mean and haunting.
The Reds come raining down. The Yellows come raining down - the forest floor is carpeted again.

The stream swells all of a sudden. A wall of water comes rushing along.
The stream overflows on either side. Water smashes against the stones. It dashes against the rocks. It crashes against the boulders.
The forest floor starts to flood at a frightening pace. The flowing water takes twigs and leaves along with it.
Wet starts conquering dryness just beyond where the sage stands rooted/
Soon his wooden clogs are wet. His ankles are submerged. He walks on. Undaunted. Unperturbed.


His face is calm. His eyes wide open. His breathing is normal. His exterior gives nothing away about the state of his mind.
He wades through knee deep water - still tying blue silk to trees as he passes them.
Nature is testing his allegiance towards her. He knows she will accept his loyalty and let him pass peacefully. He has faced the test numerous times. He has passed it every time. He knows he will pass it this time.
His mind still believes that the change in his environ is temporary. He takes it to be an abberation. An infinitesimal amount of chaos in his scheme of things.

As if reading his mind, nature shows him what she has in mind.
The azure sky is instantly covered with dark grey clouds. No white and blue to be seen anymore.
Large drops of rain erupt out of the sky. They fall menacingly onto the forest floor.
Each falling drop lands with force large enough to create a splash. Ripples arise on the surface of the water.
The ripples move with astonishing force towards the Tallow. They race towards the Pine. They dash towards the bamboo thickets.

Tallow and Pine tremble. Bamboo comes crashing onto the waterbed. Leaves, Stalk, Bark, Trunk. All.
The rain seems to be falling with one purpose in mind - destruction.
A Pine trunk comes crashing down in the distance with a loud noise. Leaves, Bark, Stalk, Trunk. All.
The sage looks towards it. His face is undisturbed. His mind is elsewhere. This infuriates nature.
Bamboo, Pine and Tallow crash onto the forest floor everywhere. Leaves Stalk, Bark, Trunk. All.

The sage is now wading through chest high water. His face is still calm. His exterior guards his feelings well.
In the distance, he can see the craggy peak of the Volcano. His eyes light up with anger. His face hardens. His exterior toughens.
He knows he has reached the edge of the forest. He can see his goal - He increases his speed.
With perseverance alone can he reach where he wants to. He has to try even harder if has wants to outwit nature.
Water comes crashing onto him. In a trice he is pulled under. Nature wins the battle this time around.


The sage wakes up with a gasp. He finds himself lying on a hard snow covered surface. His robe is still a pristine white. His satchel lies at his side.
He stands up. His eyes open wide in amazement. No matter where he looks, he can see but one thing.
A thick carpet of snow covers every inch of ground visible to him. He realizes he is atop the rugged mountain.
In his mind he recollects the image of the craggy volcano peak. He knows he has to go towards his goal. He is ready to perish but not ready to fail.
He starts his descent down the mountainside. He moves slowly and sharply. He uses stone for support. He uses rock for support. He uses boulder for support.

Something comes to life behind him. A loud rumbling. A faint tremor. A few more tremors. The ground starts to shake.
He turns backwards. An avalanche comes hurtling towards him.
He tries to look for a place to hide. A precipice. A ledge. Hollow. Hole. Geyser. But in vain.
He holds onto a boulder. He breathes deeply. He can feel fear gripping his heart. He can feel weakness taking a toll on him.
The wall of ice comes crashing down. It takes stone with it. It takes rock with it. It takes boulder with it. It takes the traveller with it.

He cannot feel his pain. He can only feel the weight of the snow piled up on him.
He cannot feel his breath. He can only feel the lack of oxygen.
He cannot feel his strength. He can only feel his weakness.
He cannot feel his brevity. He can only feel his fear.
He cannot feel his determination. He can only see his goal.

He tries shifting under the layers of snow. He kicks. He nudges. He claws. He fails.
He regrets his loss to nature. He regrets having befriended her. He regrets having trusted her.
He knows he is trapped in this snowy grave. He knows he is at the mercy of nature.
He feels the power of nature. He feels the weakness of man.
His mind focuses on just one thing. The volcano peak. His goal.



Nature has humbled the sage. She was weakened the warrior. But something is wrong. She rumbles with fury.
She can feel failure deep within her belly. She feels her awesome power is not enough to get the better of this mere mortal.
She sees him kicking and grunting. She senses he wants to give up. She senses he wants to give in.
But something keeps him going. Something stops him from yielding. A force he respects more than her - His goal.
She shakes Earth with all her might. Tremors rip across the icy plain. The snow starts to move aside from over the sage. He lies helpless and exposed on the cold plain.


She smiles. She laughs. She chuckles. Until the sage moves.
She can see him crawling towards the North - in the direction of the volcano peak.
She still hasn’t got the better of his desire. She still can’t control his wants. She cannot tame his yearning. She can’t bewitch his determination.
She feels fury rising up from her belly and into her throat. She feels her anger gathering in her mouth. She blows it all out.
Whirlwinds rise up from the ground. The sage is sucked up into them. He revolves round and round till he feels his head will burst. He then drops to the ground with a loud thud.


She senses accomplishment. He lies there lithe and listless. His sword and satchel are not on his side.
His wooden clogs are not on his feet. His stick is nowhere to be seen. He is lifeless and devoid of energy. He is weak and devoid of strength.
Surely his mind won’t be on his goal! She smirks! He would want to save his own life. He wouldn’t dare move.
Her face loses its substance all of a sudden. The sage is on his knees. He stands up. He takes a step towards the North.
She creates a treacherous wall of water. It picks the sage up and hurtles towards the volcano. It crashes into the wall of the peak leaving the sage on the foot of the volcano.


She decides to destroy him when he is on the verge of attaining his goal. She is not someone who can be challenged. She is not someone who can be beaten.
She waits and watches. The sage is lying bent and broken. His pristine white robes are torn and tattered. They are dirty and bloody.
She smiles. She knows he won’t move. His goal is right in front of him. But will he dare try again?
He moves. He is trying to climb the rocky walls of the volcano. She seethes in anger. Her heart vents its fury out. The volcano erupts.
Hot molten lava gushes out of the mouth of the volcano and flows down its sides. The lava destroys a solitary pink flower on the edge of the mouth. He sees his goal dying. He lets the lava submerge him.


The little pink flower was dead
His promise was broken
His lover would scorn
His life he had to spurn

He was young when he embarked
On this journey long and arduous
He trudged on from city to kingdom
Gaining knowledge and wisdom

Brave and Fearless
With a mind so sharp
He fought every odd
With the blade of his sword

He rankled nature
He fought earth and wind
Tamed water and fire
In the search of his lovers desire

When he came across what he was seeking for
He was too weak to gain
He was not a youth anymore
His body was old, his feet sore

He challenged nature one last time
His mind could see only his lover's smile
He fought but in vain
Nature in her fury had gone insane

The little pink flower was dead
His promise was broken
His lover would scorn
His life he had to spurn

Dancing Shoes

Last night I had this vivid dream
Life was a bowl of peaches laced with cream
As the tender fruit went into my mouth,
It brought about a pause in life's continuous boxing bout

There I was, Mr. Hunk
All dressed up and ready to slam dunk!
There you were, Ms Dimple,
So hot, so cute, so suave and yet so simple

We were going out on our first date,
To drink red wine and eat a full plate.
As we sat across a table, a candle in our middle,
Lo behold! musicians started to fiddle.

I looked into your eyes. Boy! Them do I dig!
I asked if you and I could do a little jig.
You pondered, you thought, you ruminated,
before you hesitantly agreed and that left me elated.

With a grin on my face, I took you by the hand,
And slid my arm around your waist band.
With your hand lodged in my palm,
I looked at you and got captivated by your charm.

The music played softly and soulfully,
You and me swung across the floor so gracefully.
Here i was, so madly in love
With you, my pretty pure dove

From here to there we would rhythmically prance,
A wind started blowing, laden with sweet fragrance.
As we were lost in each other, savouring every moment,
Down came the rain torrent after torrent.

There you were, drops of rain glistening on your hair and face,
The most beautiful sight ever, in time and space.
I held you closer, I hugged you tight,
And all of a sudden shone this strange white light.

Bathed in it, you looked like an angel
And in front of your beauty, I felt like an ordinary brinjal
You opened your lips and began to speak,
"Arise my dear, from your deep slumber awake."

Then it dawned upon me - it was all a dream, a joke,
What a chopsee! What a jack ! What a poke!
With you that night, I had my best dance,
Albeit only in a sleepy trance.

The boxing bout now continues. As I receive another spank,
I smile and give dude almighty a heartful thank.
That in getting ready for my dreamy rendezvous with you,
I had the good fortune of putting on my dancing shoe!

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Why did I find the need to start blogging again?
Well....I suddenly found myself in the strange town of Gandhidham!
Or GDD as I call it affectionately!

Why blogging again?
Well....I found myself with nothing constructive to do after 9pm on Weekdays and through Weekends!

Why blogging?
Well....Its to feed your brain with some superb stuff!

Blogging is where the emotional me lives. And the emotional me needs a home again. So... Here goes.

Well...a little about Gandhidham...
Located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, this dusty, dry town has a population of 3.5 lakh odd people. Since it is located only about 12 kms from Kandla (which happens to be one of the busiest ports in Western India), the town is home to a wide variety of people, all of whose business card would merely state "Import Export" ireespective of what they really do! (For more gyaan, cut to Wikipedia please!)

Also, the town is located only 60 kms away from Bhuj (the epicentre of the devastating 2001 earthquake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter).

My current job as a trader in an MNC (in the true sense) needs me to be stationed here in this dry town (please note that the word DRY has numerous implications and is one of the greatest causes of worry to me! Not to mention the weight loss it can cause!).

The town is a hub for people dealing in a wide variety of goods and commodities ranging from Textiles to Cotton to Rice to Timber.
Coming to Timber. The town is simply a collection of houses sorrounded on the periphery by large timber yards! One can look North, South, East and West and one would only see Logs! and Saw Mills! and Planks! and Bars! and Saw Dust!!

There happens to be an airport (err...aerodrome sorry) dedicated to the city. A quaint little pink building serves the purpose here! No baggage carousel! No extensive secutiry check! No waiting room! Heck...Its more like a waiting room at a train station with an X-Ray machine! It serves as an airport for exactly one hour every morning (from 7am-8am). This is simply because it caters to one sole flight which comes in from Mumbai every morning and retraces its flight path almost immediately with Mumbai bound commuters.

The work culture here is very simple.
People hate the sun. It is sunny throughout the year.
Work starts at 10am every day (9am for people like me who enjoy the status of being employed by an MNC!) and carries on till its lunch time. Then its all about siesta time till 5ish before getting back to wwrap up with work for the day!!
Evenings are typically spent trying to beat the 'dryness'!! Their ability to "import" (using diplomatic and legal terminology!) dryness busters from neighbouring states amazes nearly everyone.

A peculiar thing about the town is the fact that a significant part of the population is comprised of by Delhi-ites! One step closer to home I must say.

Another amazing thing about the place is the real estate boom its undergoing and has been experiencing ever since 2001.
Industrial property prices have appreciated by around (Hold your breath!) 4000% from 2001 through today!
Yes! I did say 4000%!
Makes you think you missed the bus eh? Boy! You sure did!
Well....after the earthquake which destroyed nearly everything, land was cheaper than a lot of other assets around. The localites, being the visionaries that they are, pumped all their family fortunes into land. Add Narendra Modi into the equation along with the increase in importance of Kandla port and Lo Behold! We get Crore-patis many times over...

The town also has multiple hotels. Small and Smaller, these cater to all the temporary traders who come in here as part of their day to day business routine. Also, not to mention the 'phoren' shippeies who land up at Kandla port in one of their merchant vessels.

Finally, the town has 3 multiplexes! Yes 3 multiplexes with 3-4 theatres each! At any point in time, it is rumored that only 5/7 seats are occupied and that too by serious movie-goers! Well...not too surprising when the only movie playing today is Dostana!! Haha...

More updates later. Ciao for now...

...And it rained.

Her hair was spread across his face.
He loved the way they smelt.
He took a deep breath – inhaling the heavenly odour - it brought peace to his otherwise chaotic mind.
He felt secure and protected.

His mind cut short to the first time they’d met. He could see it vividly.

It was a sunny winter afternoon.
Not too cold.
Not too hot either.
Perfect actually.
He entered the bookstore they were to meet in.
His eyes searched the periphery of the upper floor.
Then they lit up.
She was sitting in the far corner leafing through the pages of a book.
He came up behind her and he let out a sheepish hello. She turned.
She smiled.
Everything stopped around him.
All he could see was her smile...and the twinkle in her eyes.

His mind rushed through every time he’d met her during the course of summer.
Every place they went.
Every meal they shared.
Every walk together.
Every movie they saw.
Every conversation they had.

He remembered how she was waiting for it to start raining.
He’d love talking about the rain.
It would light her eyes up...she’d grin like a child.
He could picture her splashing water out of puddles, jumping up and down with glee.
It hadn’t rained till now.
He would pray for rain every morning.
He could see it all right now.
Them walking hand in hand in the rain, the little droplets of water in her hair and her smile - more bedazzling than ever.
But the darned summer just lingered on.

He took a deep whiff.
He could not smell her hair.
His hand searched for her on the left side of the bed.
It was empty.

He woke up with a start.
It was still pitch dark outside his window.
The street was silent.
Not a leaf moved.

He came back to reality.
She’d left him a month ago.

He picked up his guitar and sat by the window.
As he strummed their favourite song, a soft breeze started to blow.
He smiled.
Drops of water started to fall from the sky...
...And it rained.

Dont keep me waiting...

He woke up with a sudden jerk.
Beads of sweat lined his forehead.
He felt weak and almost devoid of strength.
He looked around the empty room.
He could not see her. He could not hear her.
He tried getting up but in vain. He seemed to have lost control over his limbs.
He tried calling out for help. His vocal chords felt heavy, as if coated with a thick spider’s web.
After a lot of effort, he felt them reverberating. The only outcome however was a feeble moan.
He collapsed on the bed, barely able to breathe.
He could only think of one thing...her.

She had gotten up early that morning.
Crisp rays of the sun entered through the gaps between the blinds. She felt good about the morning.
She looked at him sleeping. He lay there a child – innocent and carefree.
He was wearing his favourite blue kurta. She remembered how it used to fit him so well, not too long ago. He had become very frail.
She went back in time all of a sudden. She remembered herself taunting him with songs about how unlucky she felt to be blessed with an old man! How he would fume and fret at the song!
She came back to reality laughing. A joyful tear rolled down her cheek.
She decided not to disturb him.

He wondered where she could have gone. She hadn’t mentioned anything to him last night.
He tried looking for the phone. He wanted to turn his head. It took him what seemed like hours to turn it to the right. He could see the phone lying to his right. He tried reaching for it. His hands barely moved.
He broke into a sweat.
His kurta was drenched in no time. His balding head glistened with silver drops on them. He felt uneasy. He felt breathless.
He could only think of one thing...her.

She had resisted jumping onto him twice! She loved doing that. She loved how he’d get up cursing at first and then he would hold her in his arms and just look into her eyes.
But not today. She din’t want to wake him up. He looked so peaceful.
She wanted to have more than her smile for him when he woke up this morning.
She was going to bake him his favourite cake. It would be his most memorable birthday ever.
She left the room silently.
She hurried into the kitchen and started collecting the required ingredients.
She grimaced when she realised she would have to make a trip to the supermarket .
She found her car keys and tip toed out of the house.

He felt a piercing pain in his body. His chest became numb. His heart beats started slowing down.
He felt he was going to succumb to the pain today.
He needed her more than ever before now.
He wished. He prayed. He wanted her to come to him right now.
Suddenly something knocked the wind out of him. He felt like he’d been hit by a speeding train.
He fell back in bed. His head fell to the left side.
He could only think of one thing...her.

Their regular supermarket was shut. It was a Sunday!
She laughed at her luck.
She started the car and decided to drive to the other one across town.
She paused for a second. She thought of him. She missed him.
She picked up her phone to call him and dialled his number.
She dint want to wake him up before his cake was ready. She disconnected.
She called her son instead.
“Baba, what time are you guys reaching?”
“On the way Ma. The kids are so excited! They are dying to play hide and seek with Pa.”
“Dont wake him up till I come. Let yourself in with your keys.”
“Ok Ma. See you”

He was confused.
He could see himself lying upon their bed. Lifeless.
He looked at himself. He was puzzled. He thought he was dreaming.
He felt something hit him again. He cried out in pain.
He felt himself being hurled up into the air. A powerful force propelled him into the sky.
He was sure he was dreaming.
He could see his inanimate body. It was still on their bed, far, far below.
He started screaming.
Air rushed past him. He was moving against gravity...and at break neck speed.
He remembered when he had dreams about this as a kid. He would wake up screaming. He would be sweaty and scared.
He wanted to wake up so badly.

She reached the supermarket and parked at a convenient spot.
She dashed in.
Multi Grain Bread...
Her cell phone rang out.
It was her son.
“Ma. Come quick. Somethings happened to Pa.”

He started to fall towards the ground.
He could feel a searing pain rip through his body. He did not know where it originated.
He did not know what it was.
He prayed for her to jump upon him and wake him up. Like she did every morning.
He prayed for her to do it right now.
He prayed in vain.
As he came close to terra firma, he braced himself for the fall.
He landed with an uncomfortable thud.
It was dark.
A chill ran down his spine.
The intensity of the pain multiplied manifold.
He couldn’t help screaming out aloud.
The only word that erupted from his mouth was her name.

She drove as fast as she could.
She could not understand what the problem was. Why didn’t her son just tell her what was happening.
Suddenly she realised it was all a joke.
He had probably woken up and was playing a prank on her.
She would scream at him.
She would teach him a lesson.
She wouldn’t wish him at all.
She would just sit in anger and let him make things up to her all day.
She still drove as fast as she could.
She let out a silent prayer.

He was engulfed in darkness.
He could not breathe.
He was in severe pain.
He wanted to wake up.
Suddenly something started eating into him.
His body was dissolving into the mud.
He was turning to dust.

She entered the house.
She was livid.
She saw her son’s face.
It was pale. He looked like he had seen a ghost.
She felt her worst fears coming to life.
Something had happened to him for real.
She ran into their room.
He was lying dead on their bed.
She screamed his name out aloud.
She was on the bed in no time.
She called out his name.
She pulled his hair.
She slapped his face.
She beat his chest.
She shouted.
She screamed.
Tears fell from her eyes.
She should have woken him up that morning.
She remembered a promise she had made to him a long time ago...
She picked his head off the pillow and took it in her arms.
She bent lower and covered his face with her hair.

Suddenly, almost as if by magic, a ray of light pierced the darkness and fell on the ground around him. Almost immediately another followed. And then another.
As the sun’s rays hit the muddy ground, he saw flowers blooming.
As the rays travelled towards him, warmth returned to him. The pain reduced.
Soon it was bright and sunny.
Birds chirped around him.
Flowers bloomed wherever the eye could see.
He could hear chortles of laughter.
He could feel his body parts. He could move.
His body lifted off the ground.
He opened his eyes...
He was in her arms! Her hair covering his face...

“You remembered your promise!” he said with all his strength.
“How could I forget?” she said smiling.
“I have to go."
“I won’t let you go.”
He smiled. His face looked so happy.
“Don’t keep me waiting....”
He shut his eyes for one last time.