I am a journalist and my life is very hectic as there is always a paucity of time in life to do other things. In fact, we often don’t have time to invest on our happiness and due to lack of time, I am not able to repair the minor issues in my house be it toilet flush or fridge or other basic things.
One day, a close friend gave me a surprise visit. I was pleased to see him after five years! We chatted for a while but then again, I had to rush for reporting. Life of a reporter is not easy. Most of the times you reach home at 1 am and the next morning you report to office at 8 am.
Well, coming back to my friend. I asked him to stay at home for a while and even he requested for the same because he had a flight to Lucknow in the evening. He didn’t belong to Delhi. I ordered food for him and promised to be back home at around 6 pm. I wanted to spend more time with him but it was an important day as Parliament Session was underway.
At 5 pm, my friend calls me-
Akshay: Yes, Arjun! I will be at home at sharp 6.
Arjun: Naah, I got to rush so I handed over the keys to your neighbors.
Akshay (Me): Why? What happened?
Arjun: Office work, will call you later.
And then he hangs up. I was today relieved on time since I requested for it. I went home straight seeking solace. When I entered home, it turned to out be completely neat. I was astonished looking at it wondering what had Arjun done. My toilet flush was working fine, my fridge was fine. There was some issue with television set and washing machine and that was also fixed.
Best part is the fixed things didn’t look as if money was put into it. It was fixed with some odd props. I immediately called my friend and told him that it wasn’t necessary and he was here to rest.
All he told me was Happy Engineers Day, friend! Arjun is an engineer. When I opened my closet, there was a surprise. It was a key remote. I called my friend again and asked him what’s this. “By this, you cal control all the electronic things of your house, sitting miles away,” Arjun said.
Arjun: I will call you back, working the new flyover being built.
All I wondered was, we always say how would life have been without friends/pets but, imagine how would life have been without engineering even so many computer functions wouldn’t have been available.
I am a former Brigadier of the Indian Army. As a retired person, I take care of my family, my house and myself. For me, it is always “Nation first”. This should be with every Indian.
My son Rakesh, a soldier of the Indian army, died last week in Siachen. There was a small article about him in the newspaper, a tweet from a news agency; some channels did pick it up but, the news was crushed by the ongoing investigation in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case. It is a case that grabbed eyeballs across the world as the actor of Bollywood (Hindi Cinema), died in the month of June under mysterious circumstances.
Family of Sushant Singh Raput, the actor who left for heavenly abode, is fighting hard for justice and so are people and the news channels. You see the top 10 news channels of India, all have one thing to discuss, that is Sushant’s case. In India, people treat filmstars, actors as above everyone else.
Way back in 2014, at Delhi Metro station, I was with my son and there came a big Bollywood actor. My concern was that everyone rushed to greet the Bollywood actor but, not even one person came to meet my soldier son, who was in Indian army uniform. My complaint to the youth is treat actors as only actors and not real heroes or even a hero.
They don't fight at the borders, they do not treat coronavirus patients. Posting a picture with flag on Independence day on Instagram is piece of cake but, celebrating Independence Day while guarding the borders of the country is real heroism.
When we boarded the Delhi Metro train, the youths were chatting, clicking selfies with the Bollywood actor but, no one paid attention to the jawan standing at the gate.It is really easy to write lines on Twitter for a military man martyred in the service of the country but the youths are failing to pay respect to the heroes. I am not saying youths should have offered a seat to my soldier son but I see CRPF jawas, BSF jawans and others standing at the train gate.
This hurts me because they are the ones keeping us safe and we can’t even give them comfort when they are not on duty. They give us comfort round the year and a filmstar takes away all the credit, why?
Yes, my nation did unite during Pulwama terror attack in which many jawans/soldiers were martyred but what about when one soldier dies, then people hardly pay respect or attention. If a youth follows a filmstar how would he/she consider a soldier successful?
I daily see on television that filmstars are successful, businessmen are successful but, according to people soldiers, who earn less then them, are unsuccessful. I feel so because no one talks about their success. Even I want Sushant to get justice but, what about farmers, soldiers who are dying on daily basis? When youths can’t offer a seat to a soldier, or regard them as heroes, how would he/she understand the meaning of life?
I am sorry but mentality of Indian youths is “Run for glory“. People will open, comment and salute on Rhea Chakraborty’s Instagram or Salman Khan’s but, how many youths have actually written a letter to a soldier, saluted or even clicked a selfie for Facebook? I know you don’t have the answer.
Justice for Sushant is a burning topics these days but how many tried to know soldiers/jawans killed at border, don’t include the border skirmish with China. You again don’t have the answer. People discuss about hardships an actor who was no part of industry faced. Do youths have any idea about the hardships of a soldier?
OPINION: The views offered by an author are imaginary and from the point of view of a soldier
I am a journalist and many other journalists like me crib about their extended work hours and thankless job. Despite all this, what is more excruciating is the low pay scale.
I often complained about my job to my family members, close friends and myself. I wish I had studied harder to become an engineer, doctor or IT professional. Apart from this, there was no spice in my life. Either I was doing field work, reporting for the entire day or doing desk job at home, with my window slightly open. This window was very important to me as whenever I did work from home, it gave me clean glance of the outside world from the 14th floor.
On one fine day, while writing news articles from my room, I heard some not outside my window. After a few seconds, there was someone knocking. At first, I was discombobulated thinking who could it be? When I opened the window, I found a painter right outside.
Me: What’s the matter?
The painter: Can i get a coffee?
“Are you mad?” I asked.
The painter: I really need one.
Me: Go away.
I shut the window and continued my boring office job. After about half an hour, again someone knocked on my window. I knew it was him and it was clear his urged for a cup of coffee will not die easily. I opened the window and…
The painter: Can i get some water please? It is difficult to carry up here in these tall towers. I knocked many windows but some refused, while other did not open the window.
Me: Sure, hold on for a while.
I gave him water, he thanked me and the chapter was over.
The next day, I was standing at the window, smoking a cigarette and gazing at the world outside which looked nothing short of a race. And again, I spotted the painter. This time I thought to confabulate with him. The conversation spot was a bit odd. He was in the air on 14th floor, while I was inside my house.
The painter told me many things about himself. While I cribbed about my job which gave me an air conditioned office, and a few other perks; his job had nothing. He didn’t even know if he would get work after the completion of this project. I asked him to look for another job but all he knew was painting walls with colors.
It was obviously risky. Where I was unhappy with my profile, the painter had no complaints from life. While I wished to own a BMW, all he wished for is a good peaceful sleep. There was so much to learn from him. I always thought that my experienced senior could teach me but, they could teach me only work, not
“Lessons of life”.
He had four days of work left here at my colony. Next day, I spotted him again and we both chatted for hours. I even gave him a coffee. By exchanging personal life notes, he got to know about my profession and requested me to highlight the hardships a painter faces. Honestly, I was thinking about it.
To attain glamour and money, we tend to ignore things and difficulties of others because frankly speaking, we are a world of mean people. His simplicity, tension free life made me wonder why can’t I be like him.
Our conversation for the day was finished and I promised to make lunch for him tomorrow. The next day, I spotted him at 9 am. He had to wrap up things quickly as it was his daughter’s birthday. I served him coffee and prepared lunch for both of us.
After lunch, I went straight to the market to grab a gift for his child. I always looked for expensive gifts but today, I looked for something with heart as my painter friend taught me the real value of life without actually teaching me.
I purchased a nice gift and was back home. I opened my window and spotted him painting the wall on the 12th floor. I told him: “Hey friend, coffee at 5 pm, my place”.
He smile and I turned back to do some household chores. I had taken only 4 steps and I heard loud noises from the window. At first, I didn’t pay attention but voices grew loud. I looked outside and saw my friend lying on the ground. All I could see clearly was blood. He was no more. An ambulance was here in no time. They took him away.
There was many thoughts going on in my mind, the lessons he gave, his smile, his everlasting happiness. There was so much to learn from him. I did not work for 5 days. On the 6th day, when I opened my laptop I heard some noise outside the window. There was another painter. He asked for water. I served him water and requested him to never knock my window again.
He might have thought I am rude but, my reasons were different. I closed the window which now might never open again.
I approached my editors with the idea of making a documentary on painters. All I got to hear was people want to listen about Obama, Trump, US elections, not a small-time painter. This is our fault because we only pay attention to glory and many such people die daily but who cares.
Some call her drama, some call her queen, while some say she is the “Drama Queen”. Bollywood actress #KanganaRanaut is known to be a pro-BJP supporter and never shies away to speak her heart out. Her recent comment “Mumbai turned into POK”, upset many while many even supported her but, not her statement.
Is Kangana’s Bollywood career over?
Kangana is a brilliant actress but she fought against everybody in the industry. Some even alleged that the #Panga actress chops off roles of her co-stars. Being a vociferous opponent of the Left and Congress, she gained immense support from the right-wing and Modi followers and by taking Panga with friends and colleagues from the industry, the actress is probably trying to enter the political arena.
It is not at all bad to support a leader or a political party but with the scenarios in sight, it seems politics is an inch away from her.
James is working on his book which will be completed in the next three days. He stays alone in a one bedroom apartment and after working daily for around eight hours, he gives time to himself and his thoughts. Now, James is done writing his book and he contacts publishers. After slogging for days, it is approved and the printing work begins. Thoughts of James are a bit old school. He did not release his venture on digital. Instead, he believes people still love to buy the hard cover. He waited for days but, not even one book was sold.
After three months, someone finally purchased the “Black book”. James was highly elated upon hearing this. Alone in life, he now believes his destiny is about to change. The next morning he gets up, picks up the newspaper and turns on radio news. He gets a shock of his life. The news on the radio was-
25-year-old Jessica died in her apartment. It is yet to be confirmed if it was a murder or suicide. On her chest was the Black book, say cops. They believe she must have been reading it before her death. What shocked James was that Jessica was the only one who purchased his book and she is no more. Innocent James was devastated with this news and felt connected to her in some way. He had no friend to share his feelings with, no family but after three days, he moved on.
It was a rainy morning. James decided to make himself a cup of coffee.
Again switches on the radio. James was enjoying his coffee and the rain. He suddenly gets a phone call from a shopkeeper.
Hello, is it Mr James?
James: Yes, it’s me.
Shopkeeper: Sir, I am calling from Brooklyn Book Store.
James: Okay. Yes, tell me.
Shopkeeper: Sir, I called to say that in last two days we sold around 10 copies of your book.
James: Oh, thank you. Thanks a lot. I am glad to hear that. Request you to keep me notified.
James was on cloud 9. He thought success would knock his doors slowly and steadily. He decided to treat himself with pizza. While enjoying the homemade pizza, he was listening classical songs on radio. All of a sudden there is a breaking news.
News on Radio: Good Afternoon! What looked like a good afternoon turned gloomy as ten people died in New York city just a while ago. The motive is not known yet but 10 in afternoon seems like crime is on the rise in this beautiful city. But, cops are drawing a conclusion. All the ten died under mysterious circumstances had one thing in common-“The Black Book” in their hand. Jessica, a 25-year-old girl, died few days ago and she also had Black Book in her hand. What is the story behind this book? Will the cops hunt for the author? News up next. President Barrack…
James turns off the radio. He is taken aback. He has no clue about the next step, his future. He is staring at the door that cops can enter anytime. He is sitting in the same position on the floor, did not move even once. It is 8 pm and he is still staring at the door. The clock now hits 9 pm and now, there is someone knocking on the door. He thinks cops are outside and he hides behind the couch. There are two cops standing outside.
They are calling out- Mr James, Mr James please open the door. After getting no response, cops try to break the door. They hunt for the author but he is nowhere to be found. Cops search the entire house but there is no one. There was no phone in the house, just a radio. One of the cop turns on the radio while trying to unravel the mystery and spots a Black Book. He holds it and there is again breaking news on the radio.
Radio News: Remember the author of the black book, Mr James? About ten people died in a span of one week and all had the black book. Well, there is another twist to this. As per our sources, Mr James died when he was a 8 year-old-kid.
Cops are flabbergasted. One of them opened the book and the first page read: “I died when I was 8”