Posted in Product Blogs, Scribbles, Short stories

The Tree and the Lamp

Tree and the Lamp Bookmark by Ayushi Kapadia
Tree and the Lamp Bookmark 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”

Posted in Food & Travel, Poetry, Product Blogs

Cookies

Oat cookies by For Goodness Cake
Oat cookies by For Goodness Cake

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.

~~

If only…..

Poem written for the oat cookies by For Goodness Cake (www.forgoodnesscake.co.in)

Posted in Product Blogs, Scribbles

Muddy Shoes

Muddy Shoes painted by Shaila Shah
Muddy Shoes painted by Shaila Shah

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.

Posted in Scribbles

First Flight

How many of us remember our first experience travelling in a plane? For most of us, we were kids not more than 5 or 8 years of age. Very recently, I had the fortunate encounter of seeing someone live the experience for the very first time.

The incident happened when I was travelling from Ahmedabad to Mumbai via a low cost airlines. The airlines was scheduled at 23:55 hours. Now the person in question was a girl in her early twenties accompanied by her husband who seemed to have had a bit of experience in flight travel. They were seated one row ahead of me. For the convenience of reading let us name them ‘Geeta’ and ‘Rohit’.

As Geeta occupied her seat, she immediately caught my attention because her gestures and expressions show her enthralled with excitement but her behaviour was timid enough to keep her excitement low for the fear of being judged. Rohit on the other hand had his chest puffed up with pride and a slight tinge of arrogance of being in possession of eternal knowledge.

When the aircraft began taxing towards the runway, Rohit takes a slight recline in seat, puts his hand up and behind his head. Geeta on the other hand has one hand gripping the armrest and the other grip a smartphone ready for any status updates or pictures.

Rohit: “Just wait until it’s high up in the air, your ears will go absolutely numb.”
Geeta: “Yeah I know, Radha told me to carry cotton.”

When the flight engines picked up the vigor for takeoff, Rohit leaned forward slightly, his elbow now brought front to lay on the armrest, using his index finger, pointing at the nearest window.

Rohit (slightly unsure): “see now, I think, we are going to fly.”
Geeta (feeling the thunderous engines roar) just tightens her grip and looks outside with deep enthusiasm

When the aircraft picked up speed, Rohit (now pretty sure): “see I told you. I know it all.”

The moment the flight pulled off the ground Geeta shrieked with excitement as she felt the momemtary weightlessness.
Rohit goes back in his reclining mode and boringly suggested clicking a photo to send home.

Geeta: “It’s too dark, I can’t see anything. I’ll turn on flash.”

Before he could intervene, she had already clicked a picture disturbing the entire line of passengers sitting adjacent to them.

Feeling slight embarrassment, Rohit chided her for being so naive in flight, but not wanting to curb her excitement, he quickly directed her attention to the retreating lights of the city of Ahmedabad. She could no longer hide her awe. She now had thrill written all over her.

When the flight reached a stable height and seatbelt sign went off, Rohit took no time to show off his bravery by pulling off the seatbelt but gestured her to keep it on for her safety.

Rohit probably had planned Geeta’s experience very well because, just when the novelty of the thrill was wearing off, He directed her attention to the panel of buttons overhead. He pressed the attendant button and immediately the stewardess came around.

Rohit: “Some water for me and her.” (In an undertone to the stewardess) “It’s free right.”
Stewardess: “Yes, Sir.”

Rohit impressed her yet again by showing how the airline staff was the slave to his command.

When the other stewards began rolling the merchandise tray for the aisles nearest the cockpit, Geeta quite naturally began eyeing the tray curiously from afar. She tried loosening her seat belt enough to allow her to raise herself slightly to see the all the delightful stuff.

When the steward came in closer, she immediately started pointing and asking if she could keep a few things. Rohit nervously looked at the steward in the hope that he would refuse. To his disappointment, he said “It will cost Rs. 3250/-, Ma’am.”

Now my curiosity was piqued. Rohit is cornered. Will he now spend the amount to keep up his esteem high?

Very smartly he told the steward that he will think and let him know. And once the steward moved forwarsd, Rohit turned to the Geeta and said “You shouldn’t buy stuff here. It’s too over priced and inferior in quality. Our sharmajee can get us a good deal. He has lot many contacts.” Amazing is the word I will use to describe the way he got around the situation.

When the pilot announced we would be landing in sometime, Rohit began his stylised commentary once again, “Mumbai is actually a group of islands joined together. Atleast twenty to thirty of them. Virar,  Nalasopara, Gateway, Borivali,  all islands. They are joined by putting all the cement and sands in water. Mumbai was very different when I had first come to work here. You are lucky you will be landing from air directly.

Geeta: “It’s all because of you. You have no idea how much I ve wanted to see Mumbai.”

As the plane began taking slight dips in height in order to land, Rohit wasted no time in directing her attention to the window, not wanting her to miss the mumbai lights as the flight flew closer and closer.

Rohit: “Hold my arm properly. Landing doesn’t always happen safely. So many times the wheels come off or get punctured or one of the wings breaks due to wrong landing angle.”

Geeta ( terrified) grasps his arm with both her arms and sits tight.

Upon disembarkation, Rohit puffs up his chest even more with pride at having got his wife safely through a thrilling experience called ‘Aeroplane