Congratulations! It’s a bartender!

Being born in India is like being born with a head tag that reads out one’s career. Right when the baby drops out or sometimes even before the sperm has hit the egg, they are destined to become something. “Hey, I want to have kids” both the parents talk. But it’s a bit different here, it’s like “Shit my favourite uncle died of cancer! Let’s have sex and give birth to doctor?” 

The kid learns unscrewing a bolt, and the parents are already proud. They are pleased because they want to make the kid a mechanical engineer, and this unscrewing somehow makes them feel like it’s progress. Doesn’t make sense? Shouldn’t either! “I always wanted to make you a doctor, son” Come, one dad, I always wanted to be born in a mansion with 24 servants. I couldn’t choose my parents, neither can you determine what happens to me.

When I was a kid, I always dreamed of holding guns and standing at the border, chanting slogans of my country. If the tables had turned and my country was to be vanished and occupied, I would still be holding a gun, but I would be called a militant. Career is a joke! Professions are just labels we created to make things easy; they are only labels.

 I felt relieved when my schooling was finished. Didn’t even know what those subjects had to do with my life, but I was promised that they would somehow help me. I happened to visit an uncle who lectured me for an hour. He said I should take engineering as my bachelor’s degree and also study my masters in some foreign university. I never knew why people would do those things. Like studying in international institutions, as they cost a lot! I thought they were going for the quality of education. But it was only later that I realised they needed quality of certification and not professional training.

An MA History from Danayya Institute from Dilshuknagar looks blech. But the same certificate with beautiful words and designs looks attractive. Who doesn’t “Woah” at a guy who had done ‘Masters in Liberal Arts’ at Stanford University? Did they feed him with diamonds? I don’t think so. But you can definitely buy diamonds with the expense of studying outside. 

Many people talk only about what they studied in the US or the UK. They won’t tell you how they paid their tuition fee. “What are you doing in the UK, Kaushik?” “Ah! MS! The US not the UK!” they say. They won’t tell you how many drinks they served to the customer as a bartender. They won’t tell you how many windshields they have wiped to be able to buy the flight ticket home. Their struggle is real, and their pain is genuine. Just because a parent’s uncle died of cancer, they decided to donate their kid to health services. They had the kid brainwashed from school and pushed towards medicine. 

While you sit here watching TV and telling your neighbours and relatives that your son is studying ‘Doctor’ in the US, he is cleaning pukes out of bar tables! Congratulations, It’s a bartender! The destined doctor you gave birth to had to see a hard life in a place that is not home because of your little fantasy. You could have instead donated your sperm if you wanted to help people medically! Maybe give something once in a while to hospitals? No! You had to have a kid that does what you can not!

Somewhere after realising that he actually wants to become a dancer, your son has already spent half of his life satisfying your doctor-doctor fantasy. You dream of your son becoming a top surgeon, buying you a car and a luxury villa. It is not wrong to imagine such things. But why doesn’t it strike to you that your kid has the mind to have some dreams too? What if he/she is dreaming of singing on a stage? What if she wants to be a stripper? That surely is a possibility!

Have a kid, if you want a kid, or your condom broke! Your dead uncle is dead. People who want to become an engineer will become an engineer. People who want to treat your madness will become a therapist. Just because you can’t fix your flat tyre, don’t have kids and make them a mechanic.

my best cousin

Those were good old days of childhood. When we used to stay in our hometown, We were in a joint family. We were a group of cousins staying, studying and playing together. There was a small canal which was in the backyard of our house.

When the rains were heavy, we used to make paper boats and let them race. I was studious among all and in a small way, I was a nerd. When all of my cousins were playing with paper boats, I used to sit far away from them.

One day when all of my other cousins made fun of me because I couldn’t make paper boats. I went back to home, and I was sitting quietly in the corner without eating food then my mother asked her(my best cousin) to call me for dinner.she came to me when she found out that I was crying she ran towards me and pulled my hand shouting “what happened “
I replied “I don’t know how to make a paper boat “
she laughed and said “really? “and continued her laughter I started crying loudly. She closed my mouth with her hand. My eyes were flowing and staring continuously to her. she asked “what do you want to stop crying “.I replied, “I want a paper boat.” she said, “come to me after school tomorrow.”

Next day once I reached home after school, I ran to her screaming “paper boat “. She said, let all others go first we will join them later. I asked ” where is my paper boat ” she said “just shut your mouth do as i say “. As she was elder to me, I stayed quiet. After a few minutes, she gave a box and told me to carry for her. I brought to the canal with a lot of dullness.She said,” open the box”. I opened it and when I saw it. I was utterly stunned. There was a big paper boat which was beautifully handcrafted.
My cousins surrounded me and started asking ” whose boat it is” then she irrelevantly replied “Its his” by pointing towards me.I couldn’t say anything at that moment because i was enjoying the attention of all. That’s the foundation of our friendship.

From there, we became so close to each other. We used to play together. She used to share everything with me whatever she bought to eat.

After some years we moved to the city. I cried a lot when I used to miss her. But in the summer holidays, I used to go to my hometown always had a great time with my cousins. Year after year, our bond grew up stronger.
Either it may be my heartbreak moments or emotional breakdown moments she was there. All I need was to call her. There will be one person whose call can pause the pain in your heart right, for me, that’s her.

Its been 8 hours she got married. When I sleep on the terrace all, I could recollect this beautiful tale. All I can wish her is a beautiful life ahead.

Dear Suhana,
I wish you a great marriage life. Thank you for   the love and Most importantly lots  of love for   PAPERBOAT.

Scared Heart That Never Left The Closet.

Goutham is a simple kid with big curious eyes and a heartful smile. He is a very pampered child and an angel to the family. He is a very active kid who loves playing with his cat. It is the summer vacation, and Goutham couldn’t go out as it was scorching. Goutham is petting the cat, and his mom walks to him, kisses him, and says, ” You are turning 7 tomorrow! It just feels like you were born yesterday. Thanks for choosing me as your mother and your dad your father. We love you so much. Your dad is on the way, he is getting you some cool cloths.” After hearing this, Goutham is very excited and is staring at the entrance door for his father’s arrival. In the evening around 5, his father comes with a bag. Gotham’s eyes glow at the site of his father. His father enters the home, sees Goutham with his cute surprised eyes, kisses him, and goes in. Goutham runs behind is the father. His father keeps the bag on a table and starts unpacking things.

 Goutham imagines that some magician is unraveling stuff from the magic basket. There were chocolates, biscuits, and many more party items. Goutham’s face glows like a moon in the sky, but his eyes are searching for his fancy dress. Finally, the dress comes out, and it is a suit. Goutham’s eyes were like glowing stars. The dress was beyond his imagination, and it was beyond perfect for him. He hugs his dad, kisses him, and they all go to have dinner. After dinner, the house members decorate the house with color papers, flowers, etc. There is a big “Happy Birthday” banner with Goutham’s precious smile. It is absolutely stunning, and Goutham loved it. It is late at night, and Goutham was not able to sleep as he is very excited for the next day. Gotham’s father comes to him, and here is how their conversation goes:

Dad: Dear! Why are you not sleeping? And did you like the decorations and your dress?

Goutham: I’m excited about tomorrow, and I liked them very much.

Dad: As you are not sleepy, let me show you something. 

Dad finds a paper, comes to Gotham, and starts folding it.

Goutham: Dad, it looks so cool! What are you making?

Dad:  I’m making a paper boat. A fantastic paper boat you can play with when monsoons start.

Goutham: Dad, it looks incredible, please teach me how to do it.

Dad takes Goutham on his lap and teaches him, and as usual, his eyes are sparkling brighter than Sirius A (The most shining star in the night sky). They complete the paper boat, and Goutham is very happy with the outcome. Goutham carefully places them in his closet and gives a good night kiss to his dad. Before sleeping, Goutham says, “Dad one day I’m going to a buy a real boat which is as good as our paper boat, and we all can go one a fun trip around the world. I will sit between you and mom” Dad gets emotional, hugs his son, and waves him goodnight. 

Finally, the big day has arrived. Everything is ready for the evening party. As it was the summer holidays, many guests attended the party, and one of them is Goutham’s uncle Jagan, who is a manager in the Biggest M.N.C. All the guests arrived at the party, and there are laughs, happiness, dances, singing, and many more lovely moments. Goutham is enjoying each and every sight of the party. Finally, the moment has come to cut the cake, Goutham’s eyes sparkle as he is blowing the candles. He gave the first piece to his mother, then father, and it went on till Goutham’s face was like a chubby baby elephant. The sight is very adorable. The guests have dinner, and they all went home. It is one of the happiest days in Goutham’s life. Little did Goutham knew that it might be his last.

The next day evening, Goutham has to go to his Uncle Jagan’s house, as his parents are going on a business trip for a couple of days. Goutham is happy as he loves his aunt so much. Goutham is dropped at Jagan’s house, kissed his parents, and waves goodbye. Goutham enters the house, and his aunt hugs him, feeds him dinner, and as it is late, they go to bed early. The next day Jagan takes leave as he has a headache, Goutham’s aunt gives instructions to Jagan on how to take care of Goutham and leaves for work. Goutham sits with his uncle and is playing with his toys. Goutham’s uncle says, “its time to take a bath Goutham, lets go.” Jagan prepares the bathtub with lukewarm water and undresses Goutham and keeps him in the tub.

Now Jagan undresses and enters the tub and starts touching Goutham repeatedly. Goutham is not aware of what is happening with him, he looks around with the eyes of help but couldn’t find a ray of hope. Then Jagan starts kissing Goutham vigorously, it is so extreme that Goutham is breathless. Gotham’s lips start to bleed, and Goutham starts crying in pain, but there are no ears to listen to that. After some time, Jagan stands up and starts exploiting the upper part of Goutham’s body sexually like a monster. Goutham has no clue on what is happening with him. Then Jagan exploits Goutham’s lower half of the body, and Goutham starts bleeding. Even at that sight, Jagan’s monster instinct didn’t stop. He starts hitting the child and has a maniac smile on the face. Jagan warned Goutham that if he going to tell his parents about this, Jagan is going to kill them.

Goutham has no clue that he was sexually abused. The injuries were faked by Jagan saying Goutham hurt himself while playing. After a couple of days, Goutham’s parents come back to pick him up. He is not the same active kid anymore, he is alone most of the time, not the same who used to hug his father or sleep in his mother’s lap. He is suffering from huge Trauma. Summer holidays are complete, and schools reopened. In school, Goutham is standing up involuntarily due to pain. His teachers are always questioning him on the same. He became weaker in studies and sports. The abuse didn’t stop either, it became so worse that Jagan used to bring his friends to abuse Goutham. Goutham tried to convey this to his mom by saying that he is bleeding, Goutham’s mom thought it is due to the heavy consumption of mangoes and stopped him from eating them.

The monsoon has passed, and the paper boat never left the closet, in the same way, that Trauma never left Goutham. Goutham was assaulted for 10 years. Every day he was assaulted, his cat used to come to him and lick all his tears and cuddle with him. The only support the Goutham got is his cat. One day, when Jagan came to assault Goutham, Goutham gathered all the courage he could with the support from his cat. Goutham kicked him and shouted, “NO!” From that day, he was not assaulted.

Even today, Goutham is suffering from Trauma. He gets scared when a person suddenly comes from his back. He cannot talk freely to people, especially strangers, and has very low self-esteem.

According to W.H.O. ( World Health Organisation) Nearly 3 in 4 children – or 300 million children – aged 2–4 years regularly suffer physical punishment and/or psychological violence at the hands of parents and caregivers. One in 5 women and 1 in 13 men report having been sexually abused as a child aged 0-17 years. 120 million girls and young women under 20 years of age have suffered some form of forced sexual contact. I mean, what is wrong with people? It is depressing and very worrisome. 

In the end, If you are a parent and if your kid is giving any sort of signals on a particular person, please assure them that you are with them, you will take serious action against the person and take action as well. If you faced sexual abuse as a child or any kind of abuse, my friend, we are all with you. It is not your fault. We are here for you with our open arms to console you and share your pain.

Let us all unite to preserve the innocence of a child and strive hard and make sure a child carries no trauma.

Links For Reference:

W.H.O. on Child maltreatment:

The rain of nostalgia

Now an adult, there she stood;
Looking out of the window;
She was reminiscing her childhood.
It was a rainy day;
She could smell the wet mud;
It was now like the memories could flood.

Having a competition of paper boats in the rainwater;
That’s when I saw a child in my father;
He would always let me win;
After all his only prize was my smile;
For which he could always go the extra mile.

Potato & onion fritters;
They were the patent of the monsoon;
With family giggles & teasing;
That’s how the evenings were in June.

Standing at the window;
It was like nostalgia had taken a blow;
That’s when I realized;
It’s so fast that we grow.
So amidst the fast-moving life;
Stop & let the nostalgia take you on a drive;
Because it’s the best way to learn & revive.

The Shattered Dreams Of Creativity!

From the first single-celled organism to the fully formed adult human, from the amino acids (building blocks of life) to fully developed immune system and a brain, we humans always differentiated from other species with the power of thinking and creativity. We invented fire to keep us warm, to cook and give us light. We discovered many things to make ourselves more and more comfortable and cope with the environment. 

The modern age humans discover new things from the initial inventions. As the human brain evolved, we needed more things and became very creative. From the Bronze age to Iron age, there was a radical change in how the modern mind sees the elements and make them look beautiful and sophisticated. From surviving to living, we have had a tremendous journey. If you think how did we become such creative, the answer that rounds up the procedure is “curiosity”. Being curious is what made humans creative. 

Coming to the current generation, most of the people lack creativity. According to the recent survey from CROP ( one of the biggest polling firm in the world), 78% of the world population on an average is not creative. They just do the things and get out of it. On a counterpoint, in a survey conducted by HBR ( Harvard Business Review), only 24% of the people are curious about their work. As you can see, the numbers match very close. As people are losing creativity, they are becoming decidedly less creative. So what is killing the curiosity? I believe there are 3 stages where curiosity is killed.

  1. Childhood: The most curious people on the globe are children. Their mind is always curious and has a lot of interest to learn things. Most of the adults get irritated when kids ask different types of questions about the same thing. Imagine a scenario, a mother and a kid are walking home. There is a small mud pond, the kid mind is so curious that it wants to jump in that and have fun. The mother stops the kid from doing it. We do not let kids try simple things and make them curious. In that way, we are killing their curiosity in turn, killing creativity.
  2. Schooling and College: A school is a place where we should preserve the child’s curiosity and innocence to learn. They must be taught ways on how to be creative and how to learn things interestingly. But are children learning that in school? They are just determining to get good grades. They are never grasping things. Parents force their children to get good grades. They monitor them 24/7, literally prohibiting them from doing different things or being creative. Once the school hours are done, extra classes and tuition are killing the interest of child forever. The schools nowadays are literally taking in children and making robots out of them. 
  3. Working For an Organisation: 70% of the curiosity is killed during Schooling, the rest 30% is sucked by working for an organisation to earn a living. We are literally working on the same thing created by someone. If you are working for an MNC, it gets worse. The rules are set there, you can never move out of it, and they will never change it. It is like they want you to work like programmed robots. The companies might pay well, but creativity is being sucked out. At this point, people will have no interests or no hobbies. They just wake up, go to the office, work, come home and sleep, and the cycle continues. Forget creativity; it adds extra pressure on individuals to keep up with the ridiculous goals they get. At this point, curiosity completely dies. Imagine a person without curiosity. It’s bizarre and unexplainable.

In the end, if we keep teaching the kids what to think instead of how to think, we don’t need a robot uprising. The kids will turn into robots, and I can assure you, you won’t find any difference. 

Links of reference: 

CROP on creativity:

HRB on curiosity:

The Phone Call

By – Olivia Saha

It all started in the class of 5B,
where we met each other for the first time, and you said let’s sit together.
We chose the 3rd bench, not to close to the teacher’s eyes.
But, soon, the seating arrangement was changed, and we were sitting apart on to two sides.
Children being children, the whole class shifted back to their old seats as soon as the 1st period got over.
Now for the next 7 periods, we would be sitting together.
The Maggie in your tiffin was my favourite, and the sandwich in mine was yours.
And we used to wait for each other outside the washroom doors.
We were given the tag of “Talkative” because of our endless talks,
The talks that would continue even after we reached home after school.
Those days our after school talks used to happen over landlines,
And we never missed calling each other before the next day at school begins.
Who knew the bond will become so strong?
We were BEST FRIENDS by then!
We grew, we laughed, we cried together.
We were sure this bond was meant to be forever!
With time we parted our ways for our careers,
I left Kolkata, and got so busy that those calls nearly faded away,
which was surely wrong.
But, even if we called once in a while,
The string of our friendship was still STRONG!
After so many years, I was coming to Kolkata for a very long time.
The first priority was to meet you, hug you and talk endlessly this time!
But life has its own ways!
One morning I got a PHONE CALL, it was from one of my childhood friends.
The first thing I thought was, may you two were together.
I picked up the phone happily, but the news I got made me shattered.
I couldn’t have thought of it in my worst nightmares ever!
“You were NO MORE”
My heart ached like someone pierced it and torn it into a thousand pieces.
What could have gone wrong?
Why God took you away?
This “Why” will remain with me my entire life along with our memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
The thing that makes my heart heavy is that I couldn’t see you for one last time!

  • In memory of my childhood best friend.