Showing posts with label short story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short story. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Namaste Italy!!!

This is a true story based on a simple man named Mahendra who fought against all the odds and despite being knocked out by life ruthlessly, raised back to his feet stronger than before. A man who has set the best example that an Indian can achieve anything when stuck to his roots. Presently, Mahendra Mahi Sirsat is a successful entrepreneur in Italy who is spreading the Indian culture in a #MoreIndianThanYouThink way. 

So here it goes...

Nagpur, a small town in the Maharastra state is stuffed with rich Indian culture. The religious festivals are celebrated with a great zeal in this city and the various mythological temples and places have made Nagpur one among the auspicious city in India. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the Indian culture is in the air in Nagpur and hence every person who is born here has it running in his veins. 

Mahendra was born and brought up in this city, Nagpur. As a child, his mornings were spent doing yoga with his dad. His dad would proudly tell at home how Mahendra was a fast learner and did every poses perfectly even at such a young age. His evenings went playing the games like Gilli Danda and Goti in the streets of Nagpur. When the sun would set and the aroma of tempering from the curries and vegetables would linger the entire town, which was being prepared for dinner by the women of the house, his Aai (mother) would call out his name loudly but sweetly, asking him to get back home. Mahendra would run back to his small house to enjoy the hot and crispy bhaji made by his Aai, served along with spicy chutney and lots of love. The house that Mahendra lived was too small for his traditional joint family to fit in comfortably. He could sense his mother's adjustments and compromises even at such a young age. He used to say, 'When I will grow up, I will build a palace for you Aai'. His mother would ignore him with a smile thinking that he was just a child weaving dreams which will fade with the time. Being in a small town with such a sparse earnings as then, building even an average house was a distant dream.

Mahendra grew up but his dream of building a palace for his Aai did not vanish with time. In fact, it became even stronger with the every passing day. He spent many sleepless nights thinking different ways of making his dream come true but everything he did in Nagpur seemed like tiny droplets of dew in front of his vast ocean like dream.

One fine day in the late evening, Aai heard someone knock their house door. On opening the door, she found a thin young man with fair complexion and trimmed beard standing behind the door. He enquired for Mahendra and so she asked him to come inside and have a seat. His tall stature made him bend a little lower while entering their house. He took his seat on one of the plastic chair sitting in their modest but neat and tidy, dimly lit room. Mahendra came out of another room surprised to see some stranger asking for him. He strained his eyes to look at him and it took him a few seconds to realize that this man is none other than his old friend named Raghav, who had suddenly disappeared 10 years ago. When Mahendra had learned that even his parents had no idea where he has gone, he along with his other friends had searched him through every street and every corner of Nagpur for days and nights together. But all their efforts were in vain. Mahendra was excited to see him and even before he could say a word he hugged him tightly. The excitement in Raghav too was no less than Mahendra. Just as the old friends finished welcoming each other, Mahendra informed his Aai that he will be back in sometime and both left the house for a walk to their old usual place. Reaching there both the friends became nostalgic and laughed their hearts out recalling the naughty memories of their childhood until their eyes flooded with the uncontrollable happy tears. And then, for a moment, the sudden silence crept in between both of them. It was then when Raghav slowly began narrating his story.

He told him how one of his uncles spoke to his parents about taking Raghav to some European country but his parents being orthodox strictly denied it. But, it was too late as his uncle had already instilled the thought in Raghav and even he was dreaming of making it big. He then revealed how he and his uncle both hiding from the eyes of everyone made all the arrangements for getting a passport, visa and collecting the enough cash and fled to their dream destination one fine day. Within the first few days of reaching there, with few of his uncle's reference, he got a job as a cook in one of the restaurants and today after 10 years he has made enough earnings by which he can spend his entire life more than comfortably in Nagpur. Raghav was back to his roots now. Back to his home Nagpur never to go back again.

Mahendra's eyes sparkled listening to Raghav's story and he instantly knew what he has to do next. And above all, it all sounded so easy. He jumped excitingly and told Raghav that even he wants to go there and work. Raghav was more than happy to help him as much as he could. Mahendra went back to home and told his Aai about his conversation with his friend. With initial denials, Raghav convinced everyone at his home and within few months he arranged all that was required and finally set on his journey to Italy.

On reaching Italy, Mahendra checked into a modest hotel room with Raghav's guidance. He was exhilarated thinking about how easily everything was falling in its places. After all, until now everything was happening exactly the way it was planned. He spent that day exploring the city around. Italy did not fail to mesmerize him in the every step that he took. After getting back to his room that night, lying on his back and gazing at the ceiling he imagined himself sitting in his palace like a house with his Aai, eating hot and crispy bhaji made by her, served along with spicy chutney and lots of love. He recalled his childhood words 'When I will grow up, I will build a palace for you Aai' and fell asleep.

Mahendra woke up early morning next day and after finishing with his daily Yoga, he left his hotel in search of a job. He went to the employment registrar office as per the Italian rules to register his resume and other documents. He had a tough time communicating as none of them understood what he was trying to say. He somehow managed to complete all the formalities and his resume registered successfully. That was the day when his mind slowly began to register that it was not going to be as easy as he had thought. Tired he returned back to his hotel in the night. Lying on his back and gazing at the ceiling he consoled himself that it was just the first day and next morning would be better. He fell asleep with the words swirling in his mind again 'When I will grow up, I will build a palace for you Aai'.

Slowly the days turned into weeks and weeks into the month. One month had passed but yet, Mahendra was not getting any response for his job. His quick learning skills have helped him learn some of the basic Italian by now, by which he was able to communicate with the people around. His savings were all depleted rapidly and now he was left with no much cash. In just a few days later there came a time when he had to even leave his hotel and just wander the streets only to be disappointed by the end of the day. During nights he slept on the benches in the park, but the unbearable freezing cold of Italy knew no mercy. To avoid the cold, he used to cover himself under the debris of old newspapers. After doing his morning Yoga in the park, he would go to registrar office to inquire only to be disappointed by the end of the day. He was slowly losing hopes. But even the mere thought of returning back to Nagpur petrified him. The words 'When I will grow up, I will build a palace for you Aai' kept on resonating in his mind whenever he thought of giving up.

A few days later he was left with only a mere amount of cash which would be enough just for a weeks food supply. With a heavy heart, he was finally making his mind prepared to accept the reality and return back to India. That morning just like any other day, he finished with his daily yoga and was shocked to see a lady staring right into his face, as he opened his eyes. He hesitated a little and then questioned her, "Che cosa sta cercando?"(What are you looking for?). When she heard him speak Italian, her eyes glittered and she was visibly relaxed. At first, she apologized him, for her sudden appearance but then revealed how eager she was to know more about Yoga. She told him that she had read the benefits and seen videos on yoga on the internet and had always wanted to learn it and practice herself. After their conversation for a while, she came to know about Mahendra's struggle for a job. She thought for a while and offered him if he could teach her a yoga, she could pay him for it. Mahendra fumbled for words. To him, yoga was just a casual thing which he was doing since his childhood just as a daily routine. He had not even imagined in his distant dream that he could use it for his earning someday. He instantly agreed and started to teach her yoga immediately from the next morning, in the same park where they had met the previous day. Just as his first session was about to end, seeing them doing the yoga poses, there came an another man expressing his interest in yoga.

15 years later...



Mahendra now runs a yoga institute named Krishnalila in Turin, Italy and is quite popular among Italians. He has a huge number of Italians as his yoga students today. 


 

Apart from his regular yoga classes, Mahendra also plans trips for his yoga students to India during the festivals and let them experience Indian festivals in more Indian than you think way. 


And regarding his dream of building a Palace for his Aai in Nagpur. Here it is...


Photo credits: All the photos and videos used in this post are with Mr. Mahendra Sirsat's permission.
You can reach him at www.mahikrishnalila.it.
Or he can be also reached on www.krishnalila.weebly.com.

This post is written for a contest #MoreIndianThanYouThink by Lufthansa hosted by Indiblogger
Also, do not forget to check the cool add by Lufthansa Airlines. 



Monday, 2 May 2016

Life Through A Bamboo Plant's Eyes...

I was born once again on that day. It was a day of a new life for me. My happiness knew no bound when, finally a lovely lady adopted me, from that dull boring gift shop. I was a little Bamboo Plant then and was happy anticipating my life full of care and love from this lady. On reaching my new home, to my surprise, she handed me over to a man and said, "Hey Sweetheart, since you love plants, I have brought this gift for you". He took me in his hands and began examining me closely, touching the tender leaves of mine with his bare hands. I hesitated. I was scared that he might hurt the delicate stems of mine with his harsh manly hands. He placed me in a plastic container with some water in it and kept me on a window pane. 

With open arms, I began enjoying the fresh air that gave me a feeling of independence. The mild sunlight kept me warm and cozy. This was everything I had wished for, while I was at that lifeless gift shop. My life changed in just one day and that too in a beautiful way. He kept visiting me every alternate day and served me new fresh water. Now, I was no more scared of him. He also sprayed some water on me, that gave me the tickling sensation and I felt so much loved. His care and attention made me feel on the top of the world and I grew like never before. The new leaves begun sprouting out of me. I was on the cloud nine.

In between all these good things, there was something crawling continuously behind my mind. The lady who had brought me to this home, not even once looked at me, after that first day. I saw her often here and there, but forget about touching me, she dint even gave a mere glance at me. Every time she passed by the window, I would eagerly look forward to her little attention. But, that day never came. My heart ached. I longed for her to touch me at least once that would make me feel complete. After all, there were only two people in my entire world.

I had overheard them discussing about me once. 
He had said, "Have you looked at our Bamboo plant? It's growing up."
She replied disinterestedly, "Oh! Is it?"
"Why don't you ever water it?," He questioned. 
She said, "Everything in this home, which is green in color belongs to you honey". Breaking my heart into hundred pieces, she had revealed on that day, that she doesn't like plants.

Days passed into weeks and weeks into months. Everything was normal in my life until that fateful day. He was going out of town for a few days. Before going he had filled my bowl with lots of water. It was unusual. I was never been filled with so much of water before. While leaving, he casually informed her to water me. I don't know if her mind had registered what he had said. First two days passed and I was already missing him. I had thought at least his absence would bring her a bit closer to me. But, I was wrong. I remained as an unwanted lifeless thing in her life.

Four days passed and the summer heat ruthlessly began depleting the water from my bowl. I was worried. After a few more days there was no water left. Not even a drop. I was thirsty. The hot sun made it even more miserable. I wanted to scream and call her out for help. I was dying. She remained ignorant of my plight. Not that it was her mistake. It was just that I never came into her mind. Two more days passed and my green leaves began to dry. Few of them turned into brown and I became weaker. I thought I would spend my last days recalling the good times of my life. I closed my eyes and smiled reliving the days, from the first day when I was brought to this home and ever since showered with so much love from him. I missed him. 

Due to the lack of water content in me, I had become very weak and weightless. The breeze was shaking me and I couldn't hold myself for long. I fell down from the window pane on the floor, with the thud noise, along with the plastic container that was holding me. Listening to the noise, she came running and saw me fallen on the floor. She picked me up in a panic state and for the first time ever I saw the compassion in her eyes for me. She placed me back on the window pane and ran inside only to return back with a mug of water. She not only served me the water that day but she also spoke to me. She touched me with her soft hands and said, "I am so sorry dear". She sprayed me with lots of water and I drank till my hearts content. 

From that day onwards, something changed. I cannot remember a single day since then, when she did not come and checked me out. She began loving me. It did take a few days for me to recover, but it was all worth it. The happy news is that, I heard that even He will be back to home tomorrow. The more new green leaves have started emerging out of me. To my surprise now there is another little Bamboo plant sitting next to me. I have got a new companion. But, no doubt, they love me more. I have got a complete family now.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Nightmare? Or a Serial Fever ?

The house was flooded with the guests. All my close relatives were busy in my marriage arrangements. I was on cloud nine as my dream was finally coming true. My wedding Saree, the traditional South Indian jewellery everything was set and I was almost ready to be dressed and walk as a most beautiful bride.  

Suddenly I sensed there was something wrong. My Mom and my aunt were discussing something seriously. I went close to them to know what was the matter. I heard them talking that the groom's family had rejected for the marriage. This matter did not shock me. As I was sure that even if his family had went against me in this very last moment, he will be there to support me and will find out some solution to this. I had so much of trust in him that I was sure he will come in few minutes and the marriage ceremony will go on as planned. 

It was then my eyes fell on the marriage invitation card. But, whose name have these people printed on this? There wasn't his name on the card. That means my parents already knew of all this and have fixed my marriage with someone else.This scared me like hell. The only thing that came in my mind at this moment is to call him and hear that everything was alright and he would be coming soon. I just wanted to listen that he love me. 

I went upstairs and called him. He received. I was still sure that he is not going to hurt me in any ways. The trust level was so high. 

I asked " Have you got ready for the marriage?" 
"No" he replied.
"So you want to marry me no?" I questioned.
"No I don't want to marry you" he said in a harsh tone.

I could not believe my ears. A chill ran down my spine. I was sweating profusely. Completely unaware of what went wrong all of a sudden I began to sob uncontrollably. The sweet memories spent with him were swirling in my mind. There was not even one such bad moment I could recall which could make him take such a cruel decision.

I somehow composed myself and went back to my dressing room. The last moment arrangements were still going on as if everything was normal. I thought that it was better to live everything on fate now. I did not want to hurt my mother even more by creating a scene. Being a single mother, she had done a lot of sacrifices while growing me up. So, at least now it was my duty to give her little happiness by all the possible ways that I could.  

I asked my aunt "What is the guys name to whom I am going to get married"?
Earlier when I had seen his name in the invitation card, my mind could not grasp it due to the adrenaline rush.
My aunt said "His name is Sarvagun".

Forget about seeing the guy, I had not even heard this name in my lifetime. Even the mere thought of spending my life with some stranger about whom I did not know even a little, gave me shiver. I heard someone speaking in the distance that the groom works for export and import company. Now the only thing I knew about my to-be-husband was that his name and his profession. Tears flowed down my cheeks again.

I missed him. Once again every moment spent with him played in front of my eyes. I cursed my fate. There was a strange sense of fear of loosing him for ever. I was trembling as the sweat slowly trickled down my forehead.

And then....

I heard a strong masculine voice shaking me "Wake up Sonia its 8. Even today you will be late to work ". I got up with a start and saw my husband lying next to me. A sense of relief embraced me. I thanked god that it was just a dream. I hugged him tight as I will never let him go. He asked what happened to me. I told him about my dream. He laughed and hugged me tight.

We might not realize the depth of our love for someone in day to day life. So, sometimes a nightmare is needed to know how much we love them. 

I have completed one year of my arranged marriage this month and now even the mere dream of going away from my husband has shaken me to my soul. My husband kept making fun of my dream all day long. I am watching a lot of serials (daily soaps) these days. I strongly feel my dream could be a good masala for a daily soap episode. :-P