"Honesty was, is and will be the best policy!"

They always say honesty is the best policy. These words somehow got imbibed in me from the moment I started making sense and walking on my own. I am excluding the numerous times I speak nonsense for now 😛 . My honesty sometimes doesn’t help me but I don’t bother. They say straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first which holds true to some extent as I faced the music for being too honest at many junctures in my life. My honest words , opinions and acts have hurt many folks since my childhood but I always stick to honesty like an iron sticks to magnet due to its benefits in the long run. The fruits of honesty will ripe late but are definitely tasty 🙂 I will rather shut my mouth than being dishonest if the situation doesn’t demand being honest. 

Image source:“here”

Given below is an anecdote from my child hood where honesty definitely paid off.

I used to write the yearly UNO (United Nations Organisation) and UNICEF tests every year which were conducted at the school. It was a national level exam and frankly I don’t remember why we wrote them or what good the percentile or grades did but it was definitely a feel good factor if we top in the test and toppers were even given gold medals. It was tempting to come in to the notice of teachers. That particular year when I was in fifth standard our exam got postponed due to some other unit test on the same day. No one in the class prepared for the UNO exam that year due to the unit tests and some other district level competition. Naturally I had a flare to participate in the elocution and essay writing contests. We were clueless as to how to prepare for the UNO exam which will be just a day after the last unit test. When we were having an ice candy just after the long bell, a brilliant idea flashed in my friend Meera’s brain.
Meera suddenly shouted, “Afshan. The exam got over in Sunshine public school. You know that right?”
Me: “Yep. So what?”
Meera : ” So what what ? Tube-light, let’s go and collect the question paper. I don’t think they would have sent two different papers to different schools. The paper is same for all schools. Am I right Shilpa?” she inquired with one more class mate.
Shilpa: “Oh wow! You are a genius Meera. Why didn’t I get this idea? Let’s go to Sruthi’s place and collect the paper.” She shouted enthusiastically.
Sruthi was our old friend who studied in Sunshine school. I was in dilemma. Other than the fact that Kofi Annan was the seventh secretary General of UNO I knew nothing. I was tempted to go too but was scared by the mere thought as it would be cheating. Every one voted for collecting the paper. I weakly mumbled, “O.K.” and felt shameful even before I did the act.
Me: “But what if we get caught? What if someone sees us?”
Meera: “You get scared a lot Afshan. Why will we inform anyone about this. Its our top secret. Don’t miss this chance. Even last year our scores were not great. Just imagine sister Philomena appreciating us in front of all.” She said in a singsong way. Philomena sister was every one’s favourite and every one tried every minute to get in to her good books.
I remained mute. I wanted to be a silent spectator and reap the benefits of the act.  In no time we all went to Shruti’s house and she happily handed over the question paper to us. We all rushed back home and I was huffing and panting and continuously checking the surroundings as I felt some cop might appear and arrest us.
“Arey . Relax Afshan. Don’t be a spoil sport. Chill. Just prepare by using the paper and happily write the exam. These are not academic exams for God’s sake,” chimed everyone.
Me:  “It’s not about the kind of exam. I am just scared as what we are doing is not right.” I again muttered with half confidence.
Everybody yawned and said my fears will land even them in trouble so they requested me to cool down. The next two hours went in marking the answers for the subjective, objective questions, essays, and so on so forth.
As we started preparing for the exam just after having Bournvita and snacks offered by mom who was oblivious to this my brother entered my room. He realized that something fishy is going on and cornered me to ask the details.
To avoid the tension which is to the brim I said everything to him. He was angry as I was also a part of the culprit gang. I hastily tried to bribe him.
Me: “Please take the paper and prepare for the exam. It’s the same paper for all.”
He: “Never. Whatever I write, I will write using my knowledge.”
That reply came as a tight slap across my face. I fell silent. He left the room and prepared for the exam in the traditional way, going through the chapters one by one and skipping few things just by a hunch and sometimes writing down the things which he had to revise.
I was always a good student. I was a topper in my class but why did I do this act? Is it due to friends or the urge to top in a safe and smooth way? I didn’t have answers to this but the damage was already done. I already knew the paper hence I couldn’t concentrate on the rest of the book. I just by-hearted what all I had to and went to the exam hall the next day. I couldn’t meet my brother’s eyes before leaving for the exam. Thankfully he did not disclose it to mum, dad.
Exam got over and I finally let out a sigh of relief. Strangely I was not feeling good about my performance. In fact I felt it was below average. There was no feeling of accomplishment. My friends were happy though and my brother was beaming. I heard him telling his friends that he felt paper was easy. I was jealous and irritated by this. He didn’t give a single glance at the stolen question paper. Weird! That was the single word I could mouth at that time.
After a week or so we got the results and you all would be puzzled to know that I scored 80% and my brother scored 91%. He got national level 4th rank and was given a medal. All my friends got around 75-80%. I became stern. I did not understand how that was possible. I finally realized that my brother gave elaborate answers to each question with the knowledge he had and we just vomited what all we by-hearted and came out of the exam hall faster than everyone else. My brother’s victory added more fire to my agony. I told him what I was feeling. He suggested me to narrate everything to mom, dad to feel better. I did it without delay. They were calm and appreciated me for being honest and suggested that next time if I feel like doing something of that sort I should remember my brother’s 91%.
The next day I was feeling too guilty when I saw sister Philomena. I requested her to talk to me after recess and told her everything. I didn’t give each and every detail to her but just said that we were playing with Sunshine school pupils and accidentally got hold of the paper. Yes I had to lie so that my friends escaped the punishment. She was a kind soul. She smiled and appreciated me for my honesty and said that it would remain our little secret. She said that as we purposely didn’t do it its fine. I was dying inside as I had to lie.
That day I learnt a big thing that honesty will definitely pay off in the long run and the fruits of honesty are sweeter than the fruits of lies, guilt and dishonesty. I for sure felt better after narrating it to the concerned people. A burden got lifted off my heart. My brother appreciated me too and from that day he was and still is my biggest inspiration. Being honest to yourself and having a clean and clear conscience will surely help you any day 🙂
I end this article with beautiful quotes I read!

No legacy is so rich as honesty.
William Shakespeare 

Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.

Richard Bach 

Image source :“here”

I used to have the below lines pasted on my cup-board during my school days. These are my most favorite lines till date.

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

― Kent M. KeithThe Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

I am sharing my Do RIght Stories at BlogAdda.com in association with Tata Capital.


The daffodil Love….

My post is picked by Blogadda.com as the “WOW” post for the week:)

Visit “this”link to read more posts 

Tring Tring.. The phone rang…rather Grrrr grr, the phone vibrated as Preeti keeps it in silent mode most of the time. She some how doesn’t like the sound of the phone ringing. May be as all are used to just messaging and chit chatting over FB Preeti got unused to the phone call. Phone call is like a telegram to her if the regular calls from parents and one or two close friends are excluded. A phone call always is some thing related to work or if there is some urgent news and most of the times it is from airtel customer care or a person requesting to get an ICICI credit card or a distance MBA degree. Even after the repeated refusals they keep trying to lure you by calling you from different numbers.

On that fine morning the phone rang and Preeti answered with the same monotony in her voice.

image source:“here”

Preeti: “Hello. Who’s this?”

On the other side : “Don’t you recognize my voice?”

Preeti: “Nope. Sorry!”

“No need to be sorry. Actually I should be sorry for not being in touch!”

Preeti: “Who is this?”

“Aah. I want you to figure out yourself.”

Preeti: “Listen mister. I don’t have time to figure out some fake call. Bye!”

“Wowoow . Hold on. You haven’t changed han ? Why are you in such a hurry? Let me just talk for a while.”

“Listen. I hate stalkers like you. I absolutely loathe prank calls.”

“But this is not a prank call. You know me.”

“Sorry but I can’t recognize you. Are you from school ?

“I wish I was in school too with you but alas, I was not lucky enough!”

“Who the hell is this ? “

“Keep guessing. I will call again tomorrow.”

Saying so the stranger ended the call.

Preeti was puzzled through out the day. She wanted to get it out of her head but his voice kept coming back in echos. “Who could that be ? How should I crack it? ” she thought continuously . Her ego stopped her from calling him back. Later in the evening she got sms.

It read : “Did you figure out who am I ? Don’t try much. There is a surprise for you tomorrow!”

Preeti spent a sleepless night thinking about the stranger guy. She thought of informing her friends as she already read about too many phone crimes but then changed her mind. She thought if she senses harm she will then inform some one.

Next day as she was getting ready for office the calling bell rang. She was startled as she actually was expecting her phone to ring. For the first time in her life she kept the phone in ringing mode as she didn’t want to miss the call.

She opened the door. The DHL courier person delivered a huge package and a daffodils bouquet with an envelope tucked neatly between the petals.

She was scared to open the package but she opened it anyway. There was a lovely sky blue colored top, a SRK poster and an old notebook in the packet. She hastily opened the envelope to read the letter.

Dear Preeti,

I know you are exasperating as of now. Don’t worry. I am not a criminal. I will not cause any harm to you. I am hoping sky blue is still your favorite color. I know how much mesmerized you were in college after reading the daffodils poem by William Wordsworth and loved daffodils since then . Poetry is in your blood. Weren’t you a huge fan of Robert Frost and Shakespeare? Thats your favorite notebook in school in which you scribbled your own poems and also your favorite poems of various poets. Sorry for stealing it from you. I am sure it is your treasured possession. Hope you would be excited to have it in your hands again. Last but not the least I am sure that SRK’s dimple in the poster would already have brought smiles on your face! If you haven’t still figured out who I am then wait for my phone call.

Image courtesy:“here”

Love and wishes
Guess me ? 😉

Preeti ruffled through the pages of note book. Indeed it was hers. She was jumping in joy. It could be none other than Ritvik who used to sit in the same bench and was her great fan. In the graduation days she laughed at his proposals and love poems thinking its just the teenage infatuation but her joy has no limits today as the very thought that Ritvik remembered her all these years is over whelming.

With emotions and hormones gushing through her she opened the call register to call him back when the bell rang again.

5′ 10″ tall and confident Ritvik  stood infront of her wearing a broad smile. Preeti instantly recognized his striking features and hugged him as she fell short of words!

——————————– THE BEGINNING———————————————
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

"The day I touched Himalayas" – Drive to Rohtang Pass!

Last summer we traveled to Manali by road and then to “Rohtang Pass”. Our day 2 in the itinerary was to visit Rohtang pass. We spent a good 6hrs on the road to cover a mere 52kms which should take less than 2hrs! The trip increased our patience, controlled our temperament, taught us to cooperate with each other and reminded God and gave the stark realization that the godly places are always tough to reach! The below one is the most classic shot on the way. Don’t you feel like living in that house along with grazing horses and cattle?

As we started taking turns on the zigzag road it started getting hazy and foggy. It was the month of July, the best time to visit Rohtang pass as during winter all the roads will be blocked with ice chunks which are 5ft in depth.Check the snaky traffic line. Not sure how many corn and tea breaks we took. Nothing passed the time and we were exhausted as we were stuck at the spot below for a good 2 and 1/2 hours. Finally the traffic moved slowly after a total halt of 3 and 1/2 hrs.

The day was both sunny and icy which troubled my sinuses. Many people puked on the way. I was later told it is called “acute mountain sickness”.
After too many people falling sick in our jeep and an unnerving traffic jam it felt worth it when we touched the ice.
We had piping hot ginger tea which was a relief. Where ever you go you can find solace in Maggi which is like the staple food of hill stations.

Some people wanted to go to bathrooms and I avoided them for the reasons best known to us. They were just booths covered with some wooden planks and there was no water available. The below pic is my most favorite.
Lastly my pic with my favorite travel partner – Harnoor from Chandigarh who made me smile all the way with her silly jokes. She was a relief whenever the journey seemed endless. Among other partners there were Harnoor’s parents, 3 fiery, feisty girls who worked in Delhi and Gurgaon, who were very cooperative and offered us the middle and front seats as the back seat of the jeep made us sick! Half of the clan fell sick and I just wanted the trip of that day to end but in the return journey we again faced a traffic-jam though it was not a prolonged one!

Thus our trip ended and even if the journey was stressful I can never ever forget this first time Himalaya experience in my life. I dedicate the below poem to this journey.

Sometimes road is smooth sometimes with friction.
Sometimes Life is real sometimes with fiction!
Road has many milestones to cross.
Life has many phases to pass!!
Road shows us mirages at times.
Life shows us dreams and dimes! 
Road ends with destination.
Life ends with re-incarnation!

A chance to win a trip to Michelin Pilot Experience at BlogAdda.com

“This is my entry for “Travel That Moved me” contest, in support of “Rang de”, conducted by “desi Traveler” .
For more info on the contest please click here

Learning from the "Chaos"

There is chaos every where. Where ever you go , what ever you do, you can’t stay shielded from chaos. It will attack you in one way or the other. What surprises me most is not the chaos finding its way, it is how thick and mum people stay when it attacks! The basic identity of Indians , well most of them is to “get used to” anything and every thing . In an “old” post I mentioned the heavy rents and advance payments in Bangalore. It is the standard here . Every one follows the norm. No one questions or objects . If you object you will be outcasted with the statement “You are the only one who has problem with this !”  This is a very common statement which is bombarded at me every day. The below are few scenarios !

I live in an apartment in the 4th floor . It is  new and pretty comfortable one with a good view early in the morning and full moon view in the nights which is dreamy. We moved only with the hope that lift/elevator will be ready in 10 days as per the owner’s promise. It has been 2 and 1/2 months now and only the machine is installed. MEN are STILL AT WORK and God knows when it will be ready. I objected and questioned the broker who apologized and said it is the supplier’s mistake. Owner is not to be blamed. I took the supplier’s number and called him. He said he is not the one to be blamed. He did not get the full payment and hence the supply is delayed . I was sandwiched between the supplier and the owner! I was not sure whom to trust. My mom had to visit me and she cannot easily climb stairs. Hulk entered in me and I called up the owner all-set revising the conversation I was about to have. The man who stands tall at 6′ 3 almost shouted at me saying I am reacting a lot and if I have so much problem I should vacate the house. God knows how loud I sounded in phone after that. The maid became a statue and her daughter almost ran out of the house looking at my Hulk aka Kaali(Goddess Kaali) avtar. If only I was a real hulk I would have smashed the owner’s office !! *sigh*


I gave him left right and center and we didn’t pay rent for the last month and obviously we are not paying maintenance since we moved in. He understood the severity of reaction and apologized . Why does every one wait for the situation to become fierce? I fail to understand. Why should I always have to shout in a booming voice to make people understand the intensity of situation!? My friend suggested filing RTI (Right to Information Act) . I am still thinking on it !

Every thing is heavily priced these days . The movies in multiplexes , clothes and other products in  malls ,furniture , groceries,  petrol, rate card of autowalas, every damn expenditure seems expensive. Even the salary of the maid makes me shudder every month. There are too many reasons for this economy imbalance. Not digging in to them but in a nut shell “Rich get richer. Poor get poorer” and the middle class folks like us always try surviving in the flood of richness by saving our asses from getting burnt by Richie Richs’ and the demands of the poor folks. I really am not sure whose condition is more pitiable. The laborers and servants who demand heavy salaries due to day to day rising economy or “we” who have to bend to their demands and needs! There are even maids who purchased houses in Bangalore- I mean just imagine it is in Bangalore!!

Anyway, the chaos doesn’t end here. Each and every dawn starts with chaos and ends in chaos. Chaos is like a daily ritual in my life. I have to go out. I have to bargain with the taxi or auto driver. I have to argue and make my point that so and so  area is not too far. Why should I pay 10 rupees extra on meter ?! 😦 I go to restaurant and my eyes pop out when I look at the VAT ! I mean seriously man it is too pricey. Once I was treating my friends with pizza at Dominos. The actual bill was some 700-800. Along with VAT it was 1000+ . I shouted even there. I asked to show the rules which decide this. No one had a proper answer and no one had patience to ask and know the facts . We all are bloody used to all this!

Few like me who want to bring change fight , lose their cool and try their level best . Some times even if I come across one or two sensible people who are empathetic and not pathetic it makes me immensely happy. For instance I went to a restaurant called Bhagini Paradise few weeks back . I am planning to actually defame them on every possible site. Its a long pending task. He served us heavily priced starters and was so lazy that he forgot about main course even after taking the order as if his ass was on fire. We waited and waited and as my anger clock ticked at the threshold point I bombed the waiter questioning him ,” The restaurant is totally empty then what was the reason for the delay?“. He gave all weird reasons and guess what he took more revenge on us by supplying the lemon soda before lunch and all the six of us were totally starving. Our eyes were transfixed to the kitchen door but there was no sign of food. He was taking his own sweet time. That was the limit . After a wait of an hour we bombed the manager. He was scared. We didn’t pay for the lemon soda as no one sipped it. I promised him a horrible feed back in-spite of his apology and came out.  Bhagini paradise’s site- http://www.zomato.com/bangalore/bhagini-paradise-marathahalli . My request to all Bangaloreans is to never visit this place !

We then went to Ammi’s biryani outlet. It is quite famous in Bangalore. A small take away with limited seating arrangement but their service was prompt and biryani delicious. He has only biryani and not even veg salad or some thing to garnish . Its a true village style biryani which I loved ! We just mentioned that it would be good if there were onions and lemon . He got them from vegetable vendor and in five min came back with a plate filled with neatly sliced onions and lemon. I felt like just giving a standing ovation after the horrible Bhagini experience. There are very less people who don’t create chaos and make us feel comfortable. The below is their face book page
https://www.facebook.com/AmmisBiryani. It definitely hit me that second that its not always about look and feel of the place!

“Frustrated girl at work”

Chaos is in the day to day chores, at work place while dealing with the boss or a head strong onsite
manager or a team mate who is non co- operative , when a boy friend never understands your needs , a girl friend who just uses you to flaunt you and you come handy as an ATM card and a  security guard , when you are in a bad/failed marriage, when you don’t marry your lover, when you are rejected what you deserve,when you are eve teased, when some one continuously honks in a traffic-jammed road, when you come across highly impatient folks around you , when you answer to nosy people , when you mumble and resist your grumble while talking to boasty people, so on so forth. To that matter chaos is every where around you. It has engulfed you like those electro-magnetic signals which are generated from all electronic devices.

My only advice is please don’t resist the chaos. React when you have to. Shut up and bounce when you need to but never stop the pursuit to make a situation better one and if you happen to be in Bangalore tasting Ammi’s biryani is must 🙂

I am sharing what ‘I Saw and I Learnt‘ at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in.

Thanks for the opportunity 🙂 Do share your views!

PS: I don’t own the images. Image sources:  “Hulk”  and “Frustrated girl at work”

"Silence speaks volumes!"

“The silence is unusual. I last spoke to Mayank leisurely only when I left Hyderabad. Mayank , the macho man of the floor, the hottest manager a team can ever get is either too busy or too lazy. Why is he not responding to my calls or emails? I never felt that living a 500kms apart and working in different locations means maintaining a long distance relation ship,” thought Richa when she opened her message inbox in phone for the 100th time hoping to get a message from Mayank.

She furiously threw the phone on to the desk.

Ravi : “Ohoooo ! Whats wrong with you ? You seem to be really pissed off ?”

Me : “No. I am ok.”

Six months back

Mayank joined the new team as manager. All girls had their eyes transfixed on him. He is a hunk who hits gym every day so as not to get a pot belly or a bumpy buttock in the sedentary IT life. Richa was also attracted to him like every body else. He too gave green signal to Richa by flirting with her and he never missed a chance to talk to her or have coffee and lunch with her.

Slowly they became a hit pair of the office. The love birds always were seen together.

Mayank even went to smoking zone with Richa. She had tea and he smoked away to glory which is his stress buster. That was the only habit in him which Richa dislikes in him but she felt it some how added to his sex appeal. In short she cannot hate anything linked to Mayank.

They dated for four months and Richa was head over heels on Mayank. Mayank had a Casanova life style. When you are in Rome be a Roman was his life’s motto but as they say love is blind. It is not only blind but deaf and dumb too many a times. Richa got a temporary transfer to Bangalore from Hyderabad. Mayank got bored of Richa in four months  and was trying hard to find an easy way to come out of the relation ship. Richa’s transfer came like a blessing in disguise. He bid farewell to her and got busy with new muses and a new woman in no time.

Richa was emotional about Mayank from day 1. She wanted their relation to bloom. She left no stone unturned to make it work. She sent gifts to Mayank just to tell him that she remembered him every minute. She tried to call , sms, whats app and even mail. She started feeling that she is getting clingy. Even her forward mails are not acknowledged like before.

Present day

Richa was lost in her never ending thoughts. “What does it take for a man to like a woman ? How do we sustain a relation? Why did Mayank ditch me all of a sudden? Am I that bad?”

A meeting request popped on her laptop halting her thoughts. She had no interest to open it but job is the only deviation she has now and she cannot ignore it. She opened to read and her eyes twinkled. A meeting was planned by their delivery manager where teams from all the delivery units are supposed to meet in Bangalore. Right now their project is distributed in Hyderabad , Bangalore , Pune and Chennai. The initial excitement died in seconds when she realized that she last spoke to Mayank for just five minutes one month back when he abruptly disconnected saying he had a meeting!

On the day of the meeting every one gathered in the conference room. Mayank smiled warmly at Richa as if nothing happened between them. Richa managed to fake a smile. She felt her head may burst due to thousand questions it is holding. Mayank sat facing Richa. She couldn’t resist and looked at Mayank with eyes filled with angst , confusion and agony. Mayank got a bit conscious and bent his head. The silence of the conference room made no difference to them as the silence between them over powered every thing else! The presentation started and lasted for an hour or more .After the boring statistics and mile stones  were discussed they all dispersed for a short tea break.

Richa went to get her daily cuppa of lemon tea. Even if she was sobbing from inside she kept a brave face and exchanged pleasantries with every one. Mayank came to the vending machine just when Richa was about to leave.

Mayank : ” Err. Richa. how are you?”

Richa : “More than good!”

Mayank : “Actually I wanted to say sorry for not lifting your calls. I was busy and…”

Richa raised her hand to end his narration.

Richa : “Thats O.K.  When you say nothing at all I understand what you are trying to say more than those times when you said so many things!”

Mayank was speechless.

Richa : “Its alright Mayank Shah. It was nice meeting you and all the best.”

Richa boldly shook his hands and left the place leaving a flabbergasted Mayank behind.

That evening Richa cried to her hearts content when she narrated it all to her best friend Pallavi. Pallavi listened patiently with out jumping to conclusions or giving any free advise. She is the best agony aunt Richa has. A person with whom she can be herself. After four rounds of coffee she gained some sanity back. They just sat in silence on the steps near the porch and watched the beautiful Bangalore rain. After half an hour Pallavi spoke first.

“I have two tickets for Shankar Mahadevan’s concert. Interested?”

Richa nodded and smiled broad as she sensed she cannot waste her days in gloom!

Silence is haunting and it feels like you are groping in the dark some times and some times silence is the best conversation two friends can have. LISTEN and SILENT are made of same alphabets. You can listen to your friend the best only when you stay silent 🙂

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

A real life episode!

I recently went to a neighbor’s house along with my mom and brother. They stay in the 5th floor of our old apartment . We used to stay in the 2nd floor. They became friends during morning walks. An old lady who is a sweet and impressive person, her sister whom she calls choti and her husband Mr. Patel used to come regularly for the walks. Choti and the elder lady are very lovable. Mr.Patel recently had a by-pass surgery done. We planned to visit him once he got discharged. They always say few good things which only experienced people can say and give good advice as well. It is never boring to listen to their unending conversation even if it is repetitive at times. They always narrate their anecdotes from yester-years when they were of my age and how Mr.Patel struggled to gain name and fame in his business. He wanted to be a successful entrepreneur. His head is still full of ideas at the age of 75 +. He started his career at a consultancy. He wanted to establish his own factory which sells spare parts of transformers and other electric appliances. My brother who did his MBA listens to him so keenly that he doesn’t pay attention to anything else. He sat beside him with sparkling eyes and a thoughtful face and we sat opposite to him listening to his past that particular day. 
Mr.Patel started at some industry as a sales adviser. He was initially doing some sales and finance related work. I don’t exactly remember what his cadre was!On one fine morning neatly tucked in a white collared dress he went to give his interview in a famous firm in Gujarat. Being in Gujarat from 10-15 years he was habituated to the food, climate, people and everything there. After having some dhokla in breakfast he went at sharp 9 to the office for interview and was waiting for his number. He was called inside.

Interviewer: “So your marks sheets seem impressive .Where do you stay?”

Patel: “I am staying here in Ahmedabad from 10years. My native place is near Lucknow.”

I: “Oh great! You have done school and graduation from Gujarat totally?” he said with a flashing bright smile.

P: “Yes I am very much from here. My roots are in Uttar Pradesh but I am born and brought up in Gujarat!”

I:  “Yes your name says so. Glad to meet you Mr. Patel!”

P: “Pardon!?”

I: “Nothing. You can join from tomorrow if it works for you Mr. Patel .What pay are you expecting?”

P:  “Thanks a lot sir! I never thought this would be that easy!”

I: “You have wonderful grades and good past experience. Why wouldn’t it be easy?”

After some negotiations on salary he departed to fill some induction forms and to complete some formalities. After some 15 minutes interviewer who also will be his future boss called him hurriedly inside after checking all his documents!

I: “Err! What’s your first name?!”

P: “Its Hasan sir”!

I: “Oh! You are a Muslim!” He almost shouted with oh shit expression on his face.

P: “Hmm. Yeah! Why .What happened”? 
I: “No nothing! But you have Patel as surname and in your signature you wrote as Hasan S. Patel Does S mean Shaikh!? Your full name is Hasan Shaikh patel!???!?” the interviewer again questioned him with the same bewildered expression.

P: “Yeah! Is there some problem?”

I: “No. No problem at all. You can join from tomorrow like we decided. I was under the impression that you are a Gujarati.” he told with a tinge of disappointment in his voice.

Hasan : “Well. No .I stay here since my birth. That is what I meant and I am a Muslim.”

 Mr. Patel or Hasan Patel joined office the very next day. Soon he became a very close friend to his boss Jignesh Patel. They used to go to each other’s homes and enjoy  Lucknowi and Gujarati cuisines on weekends. Hasan was more like a brother to Jignesh . He gave suggestions when needed and many a times solved his personal problems. Jignesh always used to tell him that he can only say thanks to god  for creating confusion on the day of the interview 🙂

After few years Hasan left the company to pursue his dream. He materialized the plan he had from long. He wanted to have his own firm which makes the spare parts of transformers. His dream finally came true. Every thing was going well. Jignesh was still close to Hasan and his new factory by God’s grace was flourishing.

When every thing was happening like he planned a dreadful day dawned on him in 1992 . The memories of the day send a shiver  in his spine till date. During the Ayodhya- Babri religious conflicts his factory was destroyed. (after the Babri Mosque demolition on 6 December 1992.) His factory was totally burnt over night. He was not able to save even a single equipment by the time he reached the place. He felt ruined. He was absolutely depressed and shattered. He tried hard to not lose courage. Though he left the thought of starting a firm again as his financial condition was weak he was able to get a decent job and earn again. Jignesh used to tell always ,”How I wish those bloody riots got confused just like me that you are a Patel and not sheikh!”

He financially supported Hasan and Hasan was succesful in his career. Due to horrible consequences of attacks and after becoming financially low he never was able to implement the idea of business again . His kids also warned him not to hastily take any adventurous step as the situation was sensitive! So it was one of the chapters of his life.  A very important chapter where he was about to rise in his career! One more similar company rose in that time the name of which is EMCO Ltd which makes transformers! If Hasan’s  finances cooperated with him he would have started all over again but his dream was destroyed by some one else. Hasan tried and failed as an entrepreneur but he succeeded in life and raised three wonderful kids and was able to stand back on his feet pretty faster. His wife was his back bone and his friends including Jignesh lent their perennial support to him!

 Jignesh and Hasan realised that “a name and religion lead to nothing but conflicts” and became close friends .I am not sure when the whole country would realize it .We have many such examples of people getting close keeping aside the good for nothing reasons like region , religion , state , caste, creed and so on. There are many factors in India based on which we can differentiate people! I read some where that GOD is very big so he is distributed among many religions and castes .It is not taught in any religion to fight against the other!
Image courtesy : http://www.fmh-child.org/unity.gif

Praying and hoping peace will replace the desire to cut off the other in to pieces I end this story!

Below is the image of a Muslim woman carrying his son dressed as  “Lord Krishna” to a school function.

Image courtesy : “here”
I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with BlogAdda.com

To the "IRON" woman I know!

mom N bhayya
She works like a robot which is given 100 commands in stretch but still has energy and time in the whole day, to allot for each and every person near and dear to her. She sacrifices her needs and desires just to satisfy the same near and dear’s wishes. In the “To-do” memos she jots down the top five are always

1.) That jewelry or that watch I always loved.
2.) The dress or the suit which suits my brother most.
3.) To make chicken biryani and gulab jamuns over the weekend when I will be visiting home .
4.)To get all the formal shirts of her man pressed and to get his master health checkup done which is pending from over a month 
5.) To offer prayers for our well- being , our health , our prosperity and happiness. 
 mom and dad “elated” by looking at their first baby in cradle!!

After that top 5 if there is still time and energy left to get some of her wishes fulfilled she ignores it as she is busily cross checking if we have got what all we need, if we are happy with what we have, if there is something troubling me, if we are all set to do something we wanted to from long and if we are well prepared to do it or not so on so forth.Sometimes I feel she nags and bugs us a lot! I let out a sigh saying,” Mom, don’t you get tired at this age? Why don’t you just take a break (and give us a break).She then says, “I am not lazy! I am ultra-busy so do I have time and can spend my energy in doing  what all I want to and letting you all know what all you have to.
I never emphasized on the above thing but when I started staying away from her, I realized what she was telling! After I got a home to myself, I mean after getting married I realized how tough it is to manage a house and I was shell shocked to listen to a new me who was sounding like my mom 🙂 

Recently when she visited me for 10 days, I told her the same that I am sounding like her. I told this to her on one fine sunny morning as my brother and she who were busily engaged in some conversation were not approaching the breakfast table and I got extremely angry as the breakfast I made was getting cold! I shouted at them, “Can you please come and eat? My work will be done and I can go fill the water bottles “. This exactly is what my mom says whenever we laze around.
Me with my Brother exploring the fields near the Quarters we used to live!

When my work got a bit increased every day, like preparing lunch for 4-5 people instead of 2, cleaning vessels as maid took an unplanned leave, cleaning the house and all other monotonous tasks which you got to do and there is no other go and all the kitchen resources which you have to replenish all the time just oozed my energy out! I was frustrated within 3 days. My mom was my savior again. My husband is an expert cook and more patient than me but as he was also keeping busy it’s my mom who saved me as always. In spite of her arthritis and the 24*7 medication she was using, the only thing which worried her the most was that I WAS DOING ALL THE TASKS in maid’s absence and even if I warned meekly not to work she cleaned the kitchen, mopped the platform, cooked for the day and asked me to rest for a while. I felt ashamed as she had to work here too because of me and I was so dependent on her. As soon as I see her I don’t feel like working, I don’t feel like lifting my lazy bones and walking till kitchen to take my tea cup. I become lazy and happy. I am like that smiling baby cuckoo which lazes around when it is fed full stomach when Mama cuckoo is cooing around! I helped her a bit but mostly she alone managed all the tasks. Not only managing but she had set all things in my room, cleared the mess and made it a well-organized and clean place. I felt so bright and wonderful when I saw the change!
In spite of me being so lousy when it comes to maintaining home and doing things on time she was so impressed and jubilant on seeing my progress that she said that being a grownup woman I can handle all house hold things. She also told she never dreamt that I will cook and serve the way I was doing [which according to me is just mediocre. You can say I am just managing to live]. She says I AM A RESPONSIBLE lady now. Well I don’t know how much of that is true and how much is out of her immense love towards me.

Even if her joints were not cooperating with her, she brought all her energy out to make that Éclairs cake, my favorite curry and chicken on the day she was leaving. I didn’t understand what to tell her. I was crying when I first left her. I really don’t know if I am a grown up lady but I was fighting back tears and actually trying to give an assuring smile to her that I would be fine when she was leaving.

Once mom, dad left and house got vacant there was a kind of lacuna in my stomach too. I was deadly silent. My husband planned a movie to night but it couldn’t brighten my spirits. My spirits were more dampened when I saw her struggling to climb down the stairs or do works quickly like before. We can never stop aging but whenever I see her patience, spirit to do works, the way she manages small and big tasks I pray to GOD for her good health and I feel ashamed that even if I am fit and fine I cannot be half good as she is.Even in that short span of 10 days there were moments when I showed my anger and frustration on her but she was silent and nodded as if she understands me and damn! She understands me like no one else! She is my bestestgirl friend with whom I shared “almost all” my thoughts, secrets, envies, ambitions, intentions (good/bad) and everything under the sky. 
We love U MOM!

My mom is an unpaid entrepreneur at home who expects love and a hug as remuneration. I became a better person only due to her. No one influenced me like her. Her enthusiasm and optimism are contagious. She sure is inspiring. This post is for you mom, for all the moments which made my days brighter and load lighter! You are the best. A day is less to recognize your efforts and measure your love but still advance HAPPY MOTHERS DAY  

I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with BlogAdda.com.
Thank You Blogadda for this opportunity 🙂