Once there lived a beaver named Barry Beaver. Barry was a very happy and self sufficient fellow. He was content with his daily routine, which included waking up, tending to the dam on the river which his ancestors had built, preparing meals and going to bed. He had a large family with a lot of cousins, aunts and uncles. Every night they would dine together, sing songs and retire to bed one after the other. Bed time was a family affair too, mind you. They would all sleep in the river holding hands with one another to make sure they don’t drift away.
Now, among all his cousins, Barry, was least adventurous (his cousins mercilessly reminded him that each day). The most adventurous thing he might’ve ever done was to climb on the other side of the dam all by himself. His mundane routine never ceased to excite him; he savoured every element of his day as if it was the last day on Earth. He was, as a matter of fact, the best in spotting irregularities and obscurities in the dam compared to all his cousins. This was the reason; all the elders in the family adored him and gave his examples to teach their kids. His cousins (out of sheer jealousy and frustration) would mock him, tease him and at times even bullied him. And this is where our story begins.
One day, just as Barry was going about his routine inspection, three of his cousins rounded him up. They were particularly mad about the part that Barry had discovered a cavity in the dam a couple of minutes after his eldest cousin had submitted his reports of inspection stating all was well. The elders had punished his cousin by making him spend the enter day fixing up the cavity all by himself. Enraged, they had decided it was time someone took charge and taught Barry a few life lessons.
“So, you think you can outsmart us, eh?” asked Barry’s eldest cousin.
“I merely do my duties. Had you done the needful, we wouldn’t have been having this conversation.” Wittily replied Barry and tried to push his way through to avoid any further altercation. How mistaken he was for his cousin simply grabbed his tail and tossed him back. Beyond this point no more words were exchanged, only blows.
That night, Barry stayed aloof from all the merry making. He remained in the shadows until everyone had slept before making his way to sleep. He did not wish anybody to find out he had been beaten up out of embarrassment and fear of elders intervening only to worsen the issue. Barry gently massaged his wounds as he drifted off to sleep (holding a low falling tree branch in water).
Barry would never remember the incidents that unfolded that night. His cousin had not done a good job filling up the cavity. A small rock the size of Barry’s head carried by the flowing river hit the cavity with great force. The cavity immediately gave way. The current grew stronger than the strength of the branch Barry was holding on to. The branch silently snapped carrying Barry through the hole.
Imagine Barry’s surprise when he woke up. Shock didn’t take much long to settle in as the baffled beaver looked all around. This must be one of his cousin’s jokes. It has got to be. After having frantically looked everywhere, a realisation dawned upon him. He was lost. But how? Could he have drifted away? Again how? The dam was intact. Or was it? Unending questions stressed exacerbated his anxiety.
By the time it was noon, Barry had calmed his mind; He had to think straight. He glanced at the river. Perhaps he could try following it back upstream. Yes, that seemed a good idea. He mustered himself up for a long trek upstream.
Barry walked on and on for until nightfall, however, nothing seemed familiar. Worn out, he decided to rest the night and continue his journey tomorrow. Afraid of drifting once more, he decided to dig himself a pit beside the tree and snuggle in. As he settled down to sleep, his worries returned. Will he find his home tomorrow? Would anyone have noticed his disappearance? Would they search for him or simply ignore his absence and move on? His head was racing with questions once again, each worse than the previous one. Eventually exhaustion left behind his worries and helped him drift asleep.
The next day, Barry woke with a start. There were loud banging noises and a constant commotion in the air. How did he manage to sleep so long, he never understood. Out of curiosity he carefully moved behind bushes towards the commotion. He must have reached a human habitat, for there were humans all around doing strange things. Some were shooting fires with loud noises a few were playing with perfectly round rocks (though they seemed quite light to be thrown around with such an ease). There were a few who were cooking on fire. It all smelled so good especially since Barry hadn’t had anything but berries on the way.
Cautiously Barry made his way towards unattended food. He had heard far too many tales of human atrocities towards beavers to attract any attention. He was successfully able to smuggle a few pieces of bread and some cooked animal. This feels so good! He thought. All his tensions of returning home forgotten, Barry sat reclined by a tree well covered by the bushes and savoured each bite. Food had never tasted so good before.
As he ate, he looked at the humans play. One thing in particular caught his attention; blue coloured blobs that floated in the air connected to a pillar with the help of a thin string. He saw one elderly human give two to an excited little girl. However, in the exchange of hands, one of the blobs flew away in the sky, higher and higher it drifted until only a speck was seen. Barry immediately was struck with an idea. He could go higher using those blobs and scan the ground for his home.
Leaving the food behind, Barry sneaked stealthily towards the blue blobs. He hid behind a red pillar to which the blobs were tied. He looked around to see if the coast was clear. He saw the same elderly man now talking with an elderly looking lady (who was carrying a baby in her arms).
“That’s not a problem at all ma’am, I will take these three balloons to your campsite for you.”
The elderly fellow plucked three blue balloons and left with the lady towards her campsite. Barry knew this was the moment. He hastily climbed the pillar and plucked a few balloons. He simply held them; they did not lift him in the air. Thinking fast, he plucked all of them and held on to them tightly. Slowly and steadily he began rising higher and higher into the sky. He looked in all directions for a hint of his home and lo and behold, there it was the tiny little dam just a few miles towards the mountains.
As though answering his request, the winds blew him in the direction to his home. Barry couldn’t be happier. He started releasing one balloon after the other as he flew closer to home. He was left with barely a few balloons when he began descending near the dam. The other beavers, which were searching for him, started pointing towards him in absolute awe. They were as shocked as they were relieved to see him drifting steadily towards them.
Barry’s eldest cousin ran towards him, as he landed, hugged him and began crying. “Forgive me cousin; it was my fault you were drifted away. I will never feign my duties ever again. I am so sorry.” Taken aback by the sudden change in the feelings, Barry immediately forgave him.
All the beavers surrounded Barry as he told his adventurous tale. Since then, nobody mocked Barry anymore. He had become a hero overnight. His cousins too improved their attitude towards him and he came to be known as ‘Balloon Beaver’.
A short story for the painting made by Ayushi Kapadia
A long time ago, a little boy planted a Tree sampling. He nurtured it with utmost care all his life. After him, his children and after them, their children.
The Tree thrived in their love. It grew taller and stronger by the day. The leaves on it grew so dense; they gave shade to the owner’s entire house.
The Tree it seemed had become centre of their love. The children would play around it; the older kids would even climb up in glee. The elders found peaceful refuge for their mundane activities under the Tree; they would sit beside it to read or to talk of many a thing.
However, one rainy morning, the youngest girl came up to the Tree to talk as she routinely did. She said, “This is probably the last time we are talking, you know. Maa says since Dadda has been called over by God to take care of his accounts, he won’t be coming back for a long long time. However, in the meantime, we have to shift to a smaller house, you know, since we are one member less. She also says we can’t take you there as it doesn’t have a backyard. Not yet at least. So goodbye, Tree. I will always love you.”
The Tree could not fathom what to make of it. Who will now take care of it? Will it ever find love and be happy again? The Tree sulked as the days grew into months and months into years.
The house had long been demolished and a road was being paved in its place. They wanted to chop off the Tree too, (the Tree had overheard one of the workers talk) but the governing body would not allow it. However, it didn’t matter to Tree. Being alone, unloved and unacknowledged was as good as being dead. Gloom had withered most of its leaves and weakened its strength too.
One fine day, the workers had erected a Lamp post beside the Tree. The post would sleep most of day and come to life at night. The post was a very jolly fellow. It would call out to cars passing by, asking for any news. But no car stayed long to reply back. However, this would not demean his spirit at all. He would try again with the next car.
The Tree observed this keenly despite its sullen state. Curiosity overpowered his gloom and it asked the Lamp post, “Nobody ever replies to you, doesn’t that make you sad? Doesn’t that make you feel unloved and pariah?” the Lamp post looked at the Tree just for a flicker and joyfully replied, “I live to grow, my friend. I believe tomorrow will be different.”
The Tree shook its branches with a note of resignation. The Tree knew it was a matter of time before the Lamp post would give up. However, the Lamp post continued its routine every night without a hint of hesitation.
One night after weeks and weeks of calling out, a car passed by and before the Lamp post could call out to it, the car yelled back, “two new buildings have been painted in the city.” The car had zoomed past before the post could say thanks. And so it began. All the cars the Lamp post had called out to, one after the other, on their return journey brought their news. Soon the Lamp post and the Tree had heard enough to map the entire city.
Utterly surprised, the Tree asked how the Lamp post mustered the courage to not give up when nothing favoured it. How did it grow the grit to pursue on without as much as a twitch of hesitation? The Lamp post answered, “It’s very simple, my friend. I believed there more to me than just lighting up the road. However, in order for me to grow, I needed to push myself beyond my limitations or in other words, beyond my comfort zone. Hence, I stretched myself and found out all I had about the city. I can now, not just light up the path for a few metres, I can also inform the cars of any news of the city ahead.
”But it’s not just me; the same is true for everybody. Yes, you too. There’s so much more to all of us than just the mundane reason we are comfortable living with. You, my friend, had become far too comfortable in your comfort zone. You stopped growing. That’s why, when you were thrown a challenge, you withered. You submitted yourself to eternal sadness. Why can’t you find a new purpose? A purpose to grow once again.”
The words struck the Tree like a bolt of lightning. The Tree vowed to turn things around and find a purpose to live (rather to grow). The Tree once again grew to its full strength and bore innumerable fruits on its branches. Today, the Tree and the Lamp post not only guide the travellers with news and suggestions but also provide fruits and shelter.
A short story written for Ayushi’s Bookmark “The Tree and the Lamp”
Once there lived a boy, mischievous and joyful,
Curiosity overpowered his fear for a living.
Sometimes they would lead to bountiful discoveries
Other times lead them to deep deep trouble.
When troubles would haunt him,
Run to his mother he would.
For she always knew the magic spell
That would push his troubles far far away.
What was that magic spell?
Cookies – freshly baked with love of course.
Nothing could bother him
As he munched on the warm and crisp biscuits.
Today, long forgotten is the carefree childhood.
His day begins with heavy tensions of what may happen.
His day progresses with pressures of pleasing bosses.
As night befalls, anxiety for the following day creeps in.
Mother sends him his favourite cookies routinely,
However, they lie stacked in the most ignored corner of his room.
If only he would nibble them, he would be transported,
Back to the days where was life celebrated.
Poem written for the oat cookies by For Goodness Cake (www.forgoodnesscake.co.in)
The sky glistened in the bright Sun after long winter nights.
Merry birds design the sky background animatedly—
Spring has arrived.
More product blogs written for Ayushi Shah’s paintings
The Sun hid behind the dark grey clouds,
Its subdued rays spoke of a defeated battle against the Thunder-Goddess.
The nimbus threatened with a raging cloudburst and frightening lights.
While everyone scattered back to their promising shelter,
Two souls immersed in love, stood strong under a flower.
No blinding lights no roaring thunder could intimidate them.
Thunder laughed at the challenge imposed,
She poured harder and harder with every second.
“You shall fear me!”, She announced with ego held high.
However, with every downpour that came came harder,
The mice embraced each other stronger.
Their soul was one despite being different.
Her ego was bruised,
And try harder she must.
Finally the Thunder registered a feigning victory.
The deluge swept away two mice bodies,
For their soul had departed.
The Thunder laughed at her pseudo-win,
Never knowing the souls were United stronger than ever.
Also See a gripping poetry on Tiger
I first stumbled upon the portal two months ago. At first, I did not realise what it was, not for at least four trips through it. I was very hesitant and scared to go in, however, when my father (who by the way has been using it for the past ten years) helped me understand its true identity and purpose, the world was never the same.
I could go to anywhere in the world via the portal be it Mumbai, New Delhi, Australia or USA. What is even more incredible is that in these two months, I have discovered the portal could also take me to just any place whether real or fictional (You just need to believe in yourself). I call these places Amazinglands. Only yesterday, I paid a visit to Hogwarts (to meet Harry Potter and Dumbledore) and Marvel (to meet Ironman).
It is not very difficult to operate the portal. Father says people do it every day without really knowing its true identity. All you have to do is summon it to you (It usually takes a couple of seconds to arrive). Once you enter the portal-gates, you press the destination button. It looks the same all the time, but the portal always takes you where you wish to go (I think it has a mind of its own too). Once your destination has arrived, the gates open magically and you must step out else you will be transported to a whole different place (once I got transported to Voldemort’s lair and my father had to come and rescue me from all the death-eaters).
The portal has been broken for a while now. It was probably Hulks doing. I sure hope it opens soon. The war has already begun in ancient Trolloc lands and it cannot be won unless I kill the head troll with my mystique sword.
-Elevators as seen by a four year old
Panting slightly, I walked in the coffee shop. My rain-water soaked sneakers making pug-marks as I trudged in. Profuse rains had strived real hard to put an end to most people’s work-day. Not mine.
I smirked as I collected my cup of brewing hot coffee from the server and made way towards a window seating overlooking the otherwise crowded street, now, devoid of any signs of life. Yes, the shrewd rains made very sure of that.
I put the coffee on the low level four legged wooden table and unzipped my waterproof bag to pull out my DSLR. Not caring about the mud-water marks my red canvas were making, I put my legs on the table as I reclined a little on my chair. I checked out, with immense pride, every photograph clicked today. Each one better than my best ever click. On your face, rains. Ha! Try harder next time.
We go back a long way, the two of us.
Our connection goes as back as my memory takes me;
It has stood the test of time immortal.
You taught me, then, to float paper boats
You teach me, now, to take refuge from burden called life.
I follow you to the core out and out,
For even now, amidst all the routinely hustle,
I sit by you sipping on a smoking hot coffee.
I lose myself in reminiscing memories of our past encounters
Each encounter so vivid and fresh as if it was just yesterday.
Start of new school year, new friends, fresh beginnings.
Your healing prowess is like none other,
You wash away unforgetful regrets and daunting failures.
Selfishly, I keep devouring from you, all the strength and wisdom
Yet you don’t account for these kindness, not even a penny.
Likes of you never was, never will be.
So pure, so sincere, so Godly.
Easy as it is to lose in you, I need to get back to my hustle.
I shall be back, again with my simmering coffee.
Until then, I bid adieu.
My wife, Ayushi, always wished to go to Cafe 145, Kala Ghoda ever since she first heard about it from a friend. And what better occasion than her own birthday! Thus bookings were made a week prior to the date.
On the day, upon arrival, the maitre D confirmed our bookings on his computer, mounted on a wooden reception podium just outside the entrance door, and directed us to our table. The place seemed bustling with youngsters in gleeful conversations catalysed by the 90s pop music, playing at just the right sound levels to have a conversation with your buddies as well as enjoy solitary drinking. The entire place was lit up in a dim orangish glow to enhance the mood in the restaurant perfect for romantic dinners.
We occupied a sofa across two circular garden tea tables made of marble or a similar stone. We were actually sitting in a room probably meant for private parties with a wall and a glass door separating us from the remaining restaurant. The music was a tad bit lower too in volume (no complains here since as a couple we prefer good conversations over dinner as opposed to music banging our eardrums out). On the far end of the room was a white projector screen pulled down to showcase the mesmerising episodes of Charlie Chaplin (and later Tom & Jerry). Childhood memories reminisced.
The room had three more seating, two of which were already occupied (the third one would be occupied by a group of foreigners in due course of time). Both the groups were enjoying a rich content based conversation. One of the groups was having a slightly serious debate regarding the popularity of Harry Potter series against that of Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, while the other was deciding who should win the Euro Cup 2016. We don’t mean to eavesdrop but the words flowing our way suggested a good deal about the kind of neighbours we have. And it seems a rich crowd (intellectually).
Once we were settled, the server presented to us the food and drinks menu. Mind you the menu was no typical menu you would see. The last handful of pages had people making the most wonderful doodles and writing the most beautiful messages in them. It was fun going through all the doodles. We literally had to tear out our eyes from the doodles and bring ourselves to the food. The most favourable part for ordering food was in the menu itself. 145 have conveniently marked dishes which are their Signature and ones that are healthy (Strangely though none overlapped). It saved us the hassle of initiating a conversation with our server and freeing him to serve us and our neighbours better. Perhaps this might also be one of the pushing reasons to the refined courtesy displayed by him (unfortunately, I didn’t catch his name).
Moving on, it was our first time at 145 and we were thrilled to try as many signature dishes as possible (we’re not exactly thinking ‘healthy’ here). We called for two refreshing mocktails namely Star Spark which is basically a refreshing blend of green apple and lime in Sprite and Tawny Passion, which is ‘subtly flavoured star anise with a blend of orange, lime and passion fruit’, to begin with. The drinks were served in simple jar bottles with a multicoloured straw twisted inside out. We couldn’t have called anything better to soothe our throats in this heat (monsoons had arrived just a day before, but it’s still quite hot and dehydrating).
For a fresh start to our meal, we ordered The Papaya Salad, which is a ‘spiced Thai salad with shredded raw Papaya, green beans and cherry tomatoes diced in lime and crushed peanuts’ along with a half potion (recommended by the server since it was just the two of us) of Animal Styled fries that were topped with cheese, caramelised onions, hot tomato sauce and a good spread of mayonnaise.
The food was served in awe inspiring presentations. The serving dish and bowls used gave out a rich impression. The Papaya Salad was highly juicy and crisp at the same time. It had a very fresh appeal right from the first bite. The flavours were well balance out. The blend of peanut powder simply enhanced the taste to another level. It was a perfect start to our meal. And as for the Fries, the mere quantity was intimidating even for a half portion. They were crisp, crunchy and warm as they should be. The sauces paved their way beautifully through them to amalgamate the sauciness and saltiness to an epitome level.
For the mains, we chose another Signature dish, Green Thai Curry. We wished to see how different can they experiment with the curry, since it has its own signature taste of elements. The curry was put in a dark coconut shaped and patterned bowl to highlight the role coconut has to play and the rice was served in a upside-turned-down-bowl fashion on the side. Without any hesitation we dug into the deliciousness of the Thai curry. Yummm is an understatement.
Lastly to end our meal, we chose to call for S’mores as dessert. A lovely mouth watering dessert comprising of brownie and marshmallows in alternate layers. The server promptly fired up the dessert using his fancy flambé torch to bring out the brownness on the marshmallow, making it soft and rubbery to dig in.
All in all Cafe 145 was an absolutely delightful experience. I am definitely coming back for more here and my wish list includes chocolate brownie with salted caramel filling, cookie dough pizza with Nutella ice cream and black forest waffle.
Here’s a gist of our experience
Time to serve: optimum
Quantity served: just perfect
Overall rating: A definite re-visit