Darr ke aage JEETHU Hai!

Jeethender Singh was my classmate since we were in class 1. We were childhood aquantainces, not really friends because we weren’t that close. He was fondly known as Jeethu. We didn’t know much about each other except that I always felt he was a nice quiet boy who hardly spoke to anyone. Most of the time when we were in a group he would only smile or contribute an occasional word or two to the conversation.But that didn’t stop me from having a healthy rivalry with him when it came to studies.He was damn hard working and so was I. If he stood 1st in one exam, I would beat him in the next. Both of us would enjoy the moment when our names were read out as the class toppers though he would do it more quietly than me.

But if there was one thing that I always beat him at was the elocution competition held in our school year after year. It was a big affair in our school and every year a few students who dared to go in front of the entire school and speak on a topic that was decided one day earlier. Once we got into high school, things were made even tougher because the topics were given on the spot!. Every year I would participate and be in the top 3 in my class. Jeethu participated too. Year after year he would go on stage and fumble for words while I would breeze through my topics. It’s not that he didn’t make the effort or wasn’t good at it. It was just that when the moment came he would freeze! He wouldn’t last on the stage for more than a few seconds.

Over the years, I had seen him grow with me and now we were in class 10. While I was bold and confident and always was up for a challenge, taking up leadership responsibilities, he was still quiet and shy but very hard working and determined. There was something about his silence that made you curious about him. We called him the silent assassin because he would stand 1st in class without making a hue and cry about it, he would go about his work quietly always.

Every time there was a public speaking competition, he would practice for hours all by himself in the corner of the classroom but somehow do miserably when he got on stage. I always wondered why he would want to make a fool of himself in front of the whole school when he knew that he couldn’t speak in front of an audience. But what I did admire about him was that even though his public speaking was ridiculed, he never gave up. And this year would be his last chance to speak in front of the school because we were now in class 10. I was all excited and very determined to do well and leave a lasting image in everyone’s minds

The day finally arrived. I had practiced on various topics to be prepared for whatever I get. Jeethu was called on stage. There was a box kept in front of him with various topics written in pieces on paper inside it. He picked one up and handed to the teacher. She read out the topic on the microphone “FEAR….Jeethu will speak about fear” she said in a deep voice. He went to the microphone with a grim expression on his face.

“G…G..Good morning respected students and my co teachers” he stuttered
The crowd burst into laughter. I could see a lot of back slapping and pointing of fingers going on in the audience. Jeethu looked around, beads of sweat trickling down his forehead onto his neck and soaking his shirt which was now turning transparent from white. I saw him hold his breath.

“S..Sorry …I mean, good morning my respected teachers and my friends. Fear is something I know a lot about. Since years you all have seen me come on stage in fear and leave without saying a word. That’s because fear has been a part and parcel of my life so far. Someone once told me that fear is a false evidence that appears real. But what if the evidence was real? What if something happened in front of your eyes which made you scared? When I was in class 1, I would wonder why I wouldn’t see my father around the house much but on the days that he did come, I would wake up and see him beat up my wailing mother. He would almost always smell of alcohol on those days. I would hide behind the door and watch the scene in horror all the while not making a sound lest he hear me and beat me up too. The only escape from that fear was school where I felt safe. When he was sober, I would go over to talk to him and he would ask me to shut up. I would not speak. My mother always told me to study hard and that if I did, someday I could give her a better life. So I studied very hard. When my father abused at home I would close my ears and read my books aloud so that I could drown out his voice and my fears along with it. I tried my best to stand 1st in class just for my mother. If my father saw me reading he would come and yell at me saying that I was wasting my time. If I tried telling him that I stood 1st in class he would ask me to shut up. I was scared to speak, at home, at school, with friends. Year after year I participated in these competitions just to somehow overcome my fear but always failed…..miserably. Today ironically the topic FEAR seems to have driven the fear out of me. I’m not bothered about winning this competition, I’m just happy that I manged to speak in front of all of you without running away after the first few words! Thank you “

The students were all stunned. Some of them didn’t realize that it was over as they were still soaking in his words. A small group started to clap which grew into rapturous applause. He had tears in his eyes, so did many in the audience. He had finally conquered his fears. We hugged and all he said was thank you……

Someone in the audience screamed ‘Darr ke aage jeethu hai” and everyone cheered!

Authors Notes:

This blog post is a submission to RISE ABOVE FEAR challenge by Mountain Dew in association with Indiblogger.

To visit their Facebook page click – https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a person living or dead is purely co-incidental.

Losing My Religion – Book Review



Title : Losing My Religion
Author : Vishwas Mudagal
Publisher : FingerPrint
Release : 2014
Pages : 350
Genre : Adventure

Losing My Religion is a tale of Rishi Rai, a gamer and entrepreneur and his adventurous journey after deciding to quit his ‘regular life.’

Spoiler Alert
Rishi Rai is a young, probably in his late twenties entrepreneur who dreams of revolutionizing the gaming industry and has already tasted great success and is a popular figure amongst the circle of hardcore gamers. He resides in namma Bengaluru .He devices a game which can’t be beaten and this very fact leads him to his downfall when in fact it should’ve taken him to the league of gaming legends. In a flash (which in fact is over a period of 3 years)he loses everything that he has created and his whole world is ripped apart.

That’s when he makes a life changing decision to leave everything behind and go on a road trip without a plan and without a time frame. And who would accompany him on this path breaking journey? Would it be his best friend or girl friend or his mother? No it would be an American junkie who went by the name Alex whom he met accidentally in the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The journey is a really an unusual one which starts from Rishi’s hometown in Bengaluru, proceeds north to Malana in the Himalayas, comes straight down to Om beach in Gokarna, an unexpected turn to the Kumbh Mela and ends in….any guesses?…..errrr the USA. Yeah you all guessed wrong. A little farfetched I know! Along the way Rishi discovers new things about these places, learns new things about himself and realizes what he really wants in life. He somehow discovers true love too!

The story is very young! The characters, the gaming lingo, the locations, the situations …… all are chosen to arouse interest in probably teenagers and early twenty somethings who haven’t yet traveled or who dream of a journey themselves without looking into the practicality. I found the very premise on which Rishi takes the journey very silly. It would be more believable if someone in their forties was portrayed this way. But somehow you would still relate to his character. His chemistry with Alex, the junkie is intriguing and at times hilarious. There are some sensuous descriptions of his escapades with his girlfriend too.

I found the choice of places laughable. Of the 4 locations in the story Malana is the best where the protagonists find themselves in delicate situations mainly because they are high on weed most of the times. Its fast paced and keeps the reader hooked even though at times not believable. Gokarna is nice too and those who have been to the shacks in OM Beach would relate to it. But Kumbh Mela was a let down and the part in the US was downright dismal. Somehow he salvages the story by giving it a great and unexpected ending.
All in all LMR is a good read. If you leave your brains behind, do not analyze every bit of the story, you will probably enjoy it more.
Rating : 6/10

In God we Trust!????

Rahul and Krish are both in the exam hall about to write their final BE exams. Both boys have been good friends & room mates all through the 4 years of their engineering lives. Rahul was always a hardworking student though somehow his efforts never translated into marks. Krish had been easy going, though scraping through every year somehow. But this time things were different. Krish had a lot of family problems in the run up to the exams & hence couldn’t prepare much. He feared the worst. Rahul had put in his usual efforts but he feared the worst too.

Both were now sitting at their respective tables waiting for the question papers to be distributed. Rahul looked over at Krish & gave him a quick thumbs up & mouthed an “All the best”. Krish did the same with a nervous smile. Rahul quickly prayed  “ Please God, let me remember all that I have studied & help me pass with flying colors.” Krish on the other hand who was deeply religious too folded his hands, closed his eyes looked down & prayed in silence “Dear God, I know what I am doing is wrong but I have no other choice. Please don’t let me get caught & please help me pass” He quickly checked his mobile phone hidden beneath a compartment in his desk & also the bluetooth headset in his ear which was not visible to anyone. The clock struck 9 & they all began writing.

Rahul tried remembering everything that he read over the past 3 months. Some of the answers came to him, some just wouldn’t. There was a formula that he had read at around 3AM five days back that he just could not recollect. He tried his best to go deep into the void of his mind to somehow remember it. On the other hand Krish wrote steadily through the answers being relayed to him by his friend through his headset.He softly dictated the questions & problems to his friend who sat at his hostel room desk & solved most of them and told him the solutions step by step. At the end of 3 hours both of them looked up to the heavens & said a quick “thank you” to their respective God’s.

A month later the results were out. Krish passed, Rahul failed by 4 marks.

If you think that this anecdote is fiction then God help you(if you are not an atheist, that is) Both the boys prayed. Both for different reasons but a common goal. Often we compare a believer with an atheist. How many times do we actually talk about people who pray for the wrong or right reasons? After all both are believers aren’t they? If Krish was wrong in cheating, was it right on God’s part to make him suffer family problems in the run up to the exams? Cheating can never be justified, its wrong but he still passed, didnt he? So what should Rahul do to succeed, study more or pray more?

So does God exist or not? The answer is – I don’t know. What I know is that I believe in God because that’s what has been taught to me by my parents. That belief is called faith. And this faith has worked for me. That same faith which atheists probably call luck when things go in their favour. Because of which I don’t judge those who don’t believe in God. There is ample reason out there in our world for one to lose his faith. What matters is that whether you are a believer or not, you do the right things in life. If fear of God makes you avoid evil, that’s great! But if you are an atheist who harms nobody, you are awesome too! So Live & let live!

To read more post on this topic, click hereFaith vs Fear

The Spellbinders : Chapter 3 – If Looks Could Kill!

Team: The Spellbinders

Here are the links to the previous chapters

Chapter 1 – Room number 4 by Ankita Singhal

Chapter 2 – Table number 4 by Bushra M

Chapter 3
March 23rd
Darius Daruwala walked into the 10,000 square foot Banquet Hall of the Trident at Nariman Point. Camera bulbs flashed as he walked in and the sea of people parted for him. His security guards encircled him, but he did not notice the effect he had on the rest of humanity, and why not? He was Darius Daruwala, THE Darius Daruwala. And they were all gathered in this banquet hall for the launch of Youth TV or Y TV as he wanted everyone to call it, the brand new channel of Darius Daruwala Television Network, DDTN. He glanced around to ensure that celebrities, media personalities and even the politicians that he had invited had cancelled their other engagements just to be there. They had.

Tall, slim & dashing, at the age of 48, DD as he was fondly called didn’t look a year over 30. His over priced tailored 3 piece suit, his well gelled straight hair with not a strand out of place all added to the look & aura of the man that was Darius Daruwaala. The shroud of mystery that seemed to surround him just added to his charisma. His success meant that he always walked the talk & did it in style!

He strolled slowly through the enormous hall of the Trident where just a while ago the guest of honor, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting had launched Y TV. Everyone seemed to want to be with him. Some shook his hand, some exchanged pleasantries and some said things which he did not bother to even listen. He always had that million dollar smile plastered on his face.

He scanned the crowd through the orange hue emanating from the enormous overhanging chandeliers, and spotted the woman he was looking for, the woman whom he expected to be present that day. Draped in a green chiffon saree with a sleeveless blouse and her trademark stilettos , Tara and her out of place husband whose name he could never remember were seated at a table. Tara was engaged in a conversation with a lady who looked like a photographer he found vaguely familiar and her husband looked detached, bored, as he sipped his scotch on the rocks. It had been long since he had spoken to her. Too long he thought as memories of the past came flooding back to him. The thought of her soft and supple skin brushing his hands seemed to light up a fire in his heart as well as his loins.

He was lost in memories when she approached him. He smiled. She blushed. He knew what his smile had done to her the last time. Up close Tara looked even more tantalizing. “Great job DD, another feather in your cap” she said. Her lips seemed more interesting the words that were uttered through them. He brushed her navel through the exposed part of her saree with his hand making it all look accidental. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath. “You came for me, didn’t you?” He asked without trying to hide his arrogance. “I came because I am from the media, DD” she said betraying no emotion at all. From the corner of his eyes he could see Shekhar’s gaze fixed on them. He knew exactly what was going on in Shekhar’s mind. And he enjoyed the fact that Shekhar was envious seeing his wife with him. He place a hand on the small of her back, touching her exposed skin above the skirt of her sari & steered her to the bar counter for a drink. She seemed to feel blessed just to be in his company. DD then casually placed his hand over her shoulder and watched Shekhar for his reaction. Shekhar immediately rose from his chair and walked straight to them adjusting his thin rimmed spectacles as if they were falling off due to the shiver his anger produced. He came upto Tara and said “Lets go, its late” She looked at him & replied in a calm tone “I need to discuss some business matters Shekhar, Ill join you later.” Shekhar was now both angry and insulted. He finished off his glass in one gulp and left the venue in rage. “Looks like he’s gonna kill someone tonight” laughed DD. Tara looked into the distance and did not react.

At exactly 11:33 PM DD made a call on his cellphone and said “Yeah meet me in the parking lot, Car Number MH 4135 ” He smiled. Some would have called it an evil grin.
Shekhar absently tugged on his French beard. Some called it a nervous habit. Others said that it meant he was in deep thought. He had been at his desk since the past 2 hours. The keyboard of his laptop seemed to mock at him. His unfinished book didn’t have a single new word added today. His mind kept going back to last night. He could still see the sparkle in Tara’s eyes while she spoke to DD, the easy way their steps fell into synchronicity as they walked to the bar, the shiver with excitement when DD placed his hands on her shoulder. He remembered that sparkle. It was the same sparkle that shone in Tara’s eyes during their college days, about 13 years ago.

He saw her enter the college campus. The hazel eyes, perfect cheek bones, long hair cascading over her milky white shoulders which dazzled through her sleeveless top. And her high heels, yes those long pointy heels prevented every guy in her college from approaching her lest she ram those weapons on one of them. She was beautiful and she knew it. She was short tempered, arrogant and everyone else knew it. Shekhar was in love with her but he was sure that she didn’t even know he existed. As if being 4 years her senior was not enough, him being an introvert, a writer didn’t help either. Her penchant for adventure and danger was known to all. Everyday he saw her hop onto a bike after college with a stranger from out of campus. So to Shekhar, his own love story seemed to be a clichéd bollywood movie script.

That was 13 years ago. What transpired later actually seemed to Shekhar like a bollywood movie. The stranger dumps the heroine and Shekhar was there at the right place and at the right time to pick up the pieces . Some called him her “rebound” guy. The rebound had lasted 11 years of marriage and a child but not the emotions. That sparkle in her eyes had disappeared until he saw it again when she spoke to Darius last night.

He saw Tara entering the living room. The clock on the table showed 12:32 PM. She had not come home last night and he was too angry to call her and ask about her whereabouts.

Tara entered his room. “Where the hell were you all night?” he yelled. “There was an incident last night after the party, I had to cover a story” she said looking tired. “And was that news story about you sleeping with someone?” He screamed.


Shekhar froze!

Both of them were too caught up in their misunderstanding to notice little Roohi who was standing in her night clothes at her bed room door listening to them.


Copyright: The Spellbinders

Copyright: The Spellbinders

TEAM MEMBERS – Ritu Lalit, Farida Rizwan, Sunita Rajwade, Bhavya Nandakumar, Ankita Singhal, Bushra M, Kunal Borah, Ankit Mahato, Deepa Dutta & Ryan Fernandes

Click to read Chapter 4 -The Flower That Never Bloomed by Kunal Borah

To know more about all the Authors of this story & for suggestions , Join us here

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Another Candle On the Wall

He stood there watching in the dark alley as she was surrounded by 4 men. He didn’t know who she was,nor did she. He saw one of them grab her by the arm & the other cover her mouth to prevent her from screaming. He could see her scared eyes pleading him to help her. He watched as they dragged her away. He watched till they were longer seen. He watched…..I cant help her he thought, I just cant. He watched.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lieRihanna

He woke up in a cold sweat. He screamed in pain as the words of the song seemed to burn a hole in his skull. It was almost as if her eyes were mocking at him now. He tried to keep himself strong. He dressed for work & walked on the street trying to tear away memories from last night. A familiar song seemed to be playing somewhere close by

Everyone considered him
The coward of the county
He’d never stood one single time
To prove the county wrong
His mama named him Tommy
But folks just called him yellowKenny Rogers

He felt everyone around him mocking him. He could still see those eyes. Those petrified eyes. He saw them again! Right in front of him in the newspaper. RAPED AND MURDERED it said. He couldn’t take it. He had done nothing last night coz he was scared.

I’m not a perfect person
There’s many things I wish I didn’t do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know
I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is youHoobastank

There were thousands around him at that moment. It was a day later. A portrait was placed at the far end of the gathering. He approached it with a candle. He saw those eyes again. He felt ashamed. He stood in front of her portrait & thought to himself

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did! Elton John

And then he looked around. He saw thousands of Candles. He saw even more people. Everyone looked sombre. He wondered what they would have done if they were in his place.

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another brick in the wallPink Floyd

He wondered if they were all another brick in the wall. And he wondered if should would just be another Candle on the wall.



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