The Blind That Can See 

I was a 34 year old brilliant pianist when I lost my sight due to a terrible accident. I had just begun earning fame and name for my talent which had been polished and honed through years and years of hard work, efforts and patience. 
It was all thrown away because a drunk person got behind the wheel. I turned very bitter and miserable after that. I barely ate, I was a cranky gentleman and the only one who gave me solace was my dog. 

Her name was Oakley. She was a golden retriever and would often comfort me when sobs would wrack my body on an endlessly dark day, when time would stretch on into an eternity.

A year later, I heard music. Someone was thumping the keys on the piano, but there was no lilt and no tune to the music. It was just a mindless thumping and I slowly but surely, recognised each key and each note. 

I made my way to the piano and heard Oakley’s excited bark and the thump of her paws as she banged them again and again on the piano. Maybe she felt that since I had been happy when I had been playing, I would be happy if she played for me. 

I pushed her off the stool and sat down on it myself. I tried playing a tune, but to no avail. I couldn’t find the right keys and try as I might, positioning my fingers didn’t help. 

I gave a groan of frustration as I hugged Oakley to me and cried. In her desperation to rid me of my anxiety, she started pawing the keys again. I felt calm and at peace as I let the notes wash over me like waves. She played for me every afternoon. After a while, I started holding her paw to understand where each key was. 

That’s the way I learnt to play again. By remembering the position of each key and each note, by holding Oakley’s paw as she led me through the dark, I learnt to play and to live. I pay homage to the dog. She gave me a reason to live for once more 

Today they call me -The Blind That Can See, because I am a privileged man that saw a way to get back his life, his music and his passion even when he was severely handicapped. 



Wait for the masterpiece 

I cringed as I entered my home, the sickly sweet smell of paint going up my nose. I stared aghast, at my room mate, who had apparently been “inspired” at 8 in the morning, to “create”. 

Today seemed to be one of those days.I made my way to the kitchen with the groceries as she merrily yelled that she had found the inspiration for a masterpiece. I shrugged non commitally at that.
She suddenly stopped what she was doing and sat me down. She asked me,rather fiercely, why I didn’t consider painting to be an essential skill. She then told me a philosophy. She told me that painting was life and life was painting. The blank canvas was a new life which was just beginning. 

Just like each different colour has its own significant value, each experience in life also has its own significant value. No two strokes are the same, because each is made in a different emotion, by a different hand, for a different cause, just the way each deed we do is meant for a different purpose. 

She said the mistakes we make in life, are like the wrong colours, the wrong strokes on a canvas which can spoil a masterpiece. However, if one can rectify the “mistake” by making a new colour or using the stroke for a unique line, then it adds an individualistic tone to the same painting. Similarly, the mistakes we make in life don’t spoil our whole canvas. They simply give it an originality which it would have lacked otherwise. 

At the end of the tether, when we look back, we can see our own canvas of life and we can see the masterpiece we have painted. The important thing is to WAIT for that masterpiece. Everything happens for a reason. Each stroke, each colour, each design, each mistake- they all have their own significance which unfurls only with time. 
The day they fall into place is the day we look back at our lives with an unbiased eye. That’s the day we see the masterpiece of our life which we have created. 

The first thing I decided when she had finished that rant? I needed painting classes. Immediately. 


I found my heaven 

I groaned softly as I got up from the hard bench, raising my head to look at the police officer who pushed my food in through the walls of the prison cell. 

I winced as I felt the dryness in my throat and licked my lips trying to moisten them. I swallowed my food with difficulty, my beard prickling my cheek. Each second I could hear the uproar and the shouting that was going on outside. 

I was pulled roughly to my feet and dragged out of my cell to the execution centre, where the eyes of the executioner bored into me. The officers tried to be impartial but they couldn’t prevent the gleam of triumph that entered their eyes at the fate that I was about to suffer. 
One of them whispered in my ear that I would finally pay the price for my crimes and the souls of his relatives would rest in peace. 

I raised my shaggy head to look at the crowd which broke into an uproar and spat at me, incensed with rage. I heard the cries of the mothers who had lost their children. I felt the silent anguish of the wives who grieved solemnly for their dead husbands. My chest heaved with the anguish, despair and pain of so many people which weighed me down. 

You know the fact that upset me the most? I hadn’t done the deed. I hadn’t killed all these people and I didn’t deserve their hatred. The one who was responsible for these dastardly crimes was my own younger brother, a man with family and children. It was not something casual for me. There are some crimes which cannot be reversed. I did not and would not support relentless consecutive murders to satisfy blood lust. Death was too easy for him. 

I had taken his crimes upon my head so that my death would teach him the price that had to be paid for wrong doing. With a smile on my lips and contentment in my heart, I headed towards the executioner, feeling peace as he pulled the rope. 

The darkness engulfed me and the frantic heart beats came to a still slowly as I found an ethereal world of goodness, righteousness and humanity. I had found my heaven. But it wasn’t on Earth. 


Flaws Can Be Beautiful 

I sat at  my desk, sighing as I removed my back pack from my shoulder. I tied back my hair and took out my books waiting for the first class to start. It had been a month since college had started and the lessons were as boring as ever. It didn’t help that my best friend and partner was absent. I would’ve snoozed in all the lectures like usual, if something interesting hadn’t happened. 

That’s when she walked in. All eyes were riveted on her as she walked through the door. I gasped when I saw that she was completely bald. The teacher introduced her as the new girl. Many boys snickered unkindly when they saw her. I heard “Baldy” being whispered throughout the class and felt sorry for the new entry.

She seemed totally oblivious to the fact. She sat beside me without a word. Then, the teacher called for the nominees who wanted to become class representatives. All the kids shrunk in their seats, because most of us knew that the CRs were only bullied and picked on by the back benchers. I was shocked when she decided to raise her hand and registered herself as a nominee. I didn’t say a word. 

The next day, there was a debate between the nominees where each tried to prove that he or she was the best for the post. The girl, who had already been christened as “Baldy” by the whole class, soon got her chance. She ignored the cat calls and derisive laughs which followed her on to the Dias. Confidence seemed to be emanating in waves from her. She soundly beat each and every one of the other nominees in a battle of wits. The snickers and chuckles slowly turned into gasps of admiration as they realized the true talent which this girl possessed. She was indeed an unusually quick and fast debater, who could think on her feet and snap questions at the other candidates which they could hardly answer. 

After a hands down surrender from the other candidates she took up the post of CR and retired gracefully, as an undefeated champion,  amidst a burst of applause. She became my close friend because I admired her for her self belief. She never thought that she was substandard and incompetent. That’s where the secret of her self esteem lay. I learnt that she had got cancer and lost most of her hair due to intensive chemotherapy. She thought that she was lucky to get another chance at life and intended to use it to the full. 

Till date, people call her Baldy, especially the people she met during college life, but it is more out of reverence and respect that the name stuck. I learnt a very valuable lesson that day. Either you can be a prey to your flaws or your flaws can be your prey. That’s the choice which determines the difference between chicken and champion.    If you pounce on your flaws at the right time, they cease to be your flaws and become your identity, one you can be proud of. The world will perceive you as you perceive yourself. Most people hear this statement. She took it to the next level by actually implementing it. To this day, I salute those who can make their flaws so beautiful that they become a significant  part of their personality and their strength, instead of a weakness. Like Baldy told me- “you can’t change what you are. You can change how you think about it” A statement  never sounded so true. 


Just Another Video Game 

I stood in my bedroom, surveying the unpacking that was going on post shifting. My parents had left for work early in the morning and I was feeling bored. My mother had told me that a wizened old gentleman lived next door who was to be disturbed only when needed. I heeded her advice and sat in my room, flicking through all the television channels, none of which managed to entertain me. 

That’s when I heard the definite sound of something falling and someone shrieking. I felt quite worried about the old gentleman next door and wondered if I should check on him. On grounds of humanity, I decided that such action was necessary. So I rang the bell and waited on the doorstep, feeling conspicuous and nervous.

Sure enough, the door was opened by a smiling wizened old gentleman who looked at me enquiringly to see what I wanted. I explained my reason for coming over. He laughed heartily and invited me inside. It was nothing like what you would expect a senior citizen’s house to look like. 

Rock music blared in one corner of the room, while a television set had a video game plugged into it. The old man told me to wait a second before picking up the controls and finishing what he started. He was amazingly quick and deft for his age. 

He made me some hot chocolate and invited me to play the games with him. I agreed enthusiastically. It took a lot of brains, guile and effort to beat him at his game. 

Soon after, we started talking. My ten year old self doesn’t remember much of that conversation but one philosophy he showed me still rests as an untouched memory in my brain. 

He told me that our generation had more perseverance and resilience than his generation had ever had. I thought that was impossible since we were so impatient and wanted quick solutions to all our problems. He gave me the simple example of a video game. If we don’t clear a particular level, we try it numerous times, in many different ways, never once losing hope, for we know, in our heart of hearts that we will find a way. Sure enough, we always do. 

I was shocked when I understood that even a toddler would relentlessly try again and again to win when playing a game. He told me that the secret to success lay in each and every one of our technosavy generation.He told me that disastrous results couldn’t stop us from trying. He told me that we just didn’t know how to use it. So, he simply gave me another perspective which changed my life. 

I had never looked at life this way. I had always seen my parents getting stressed over new projects or meeting certain deadlines etc. He taught me to treat life just like another video game. He told me to channel the perseverance I showed while playing them to my life and whatever held utmost importance at that point in time. 

That’s when I realised that the best teachers aren’t those who can teach you lessons. The best teachers are those who can teach you to teach yourself a way to live because after all, life is the biggest lesson! 

Today, I’m a big shot lawyer and permanently buried underneath timetables to follow, projects to complete, presentations to prepare and deadlines to meet. Yet, the happiness and exhilaration which my job brings me is more than anything else. Whenever I feel stressed, I clear my tables, close my eyes and think- “this is just another video game. I will find a way to win.” and hey presto! I always do. 

Long Lost Friendships 

Long lost friendships 
Today as I stand on the threshold,

Looking back at the life that I led,

I find certain regrets that are in my heart held,

The regrets of leaving behind all those that above my life I beheld.

I remember those lovely memories of laughs and capers I shared, 

In all those friendships that can never be repaired,

When time and space separated us all to the point of no return,

When I turned taciturn.

Those once familiar faces,

Now seem but part of certain phases, 

The life that we endured together, 

Sharing a friendship which we hoped would stay forever. 

All is not meant to be,

Just as this friendship wasn’t an everlasting ecstasy,

Today I light the fire,

To our friendship’s funeral pyre. 

We have mobiles but no contact,

We have Facebook but no chats,

We broke beyond belief

The day our friendship stopped giving us relief.

We simply became a burden on one another,

The sooner forgotten the better.

Funny thing we say keep in touch 

And when they call we say “bothering much?” 

We ran after lives and careers,

For the betterment of our futures, 

But an ounce away from death, 

I still can’t get them out of my head. 


Do you think you’re alive? 

I sighed into the darkness as another sleepless night prevailed upon me. The doctors said that it was depression. Apparently, I had all the symptoms-weariness, anger ,frustration and this sudden urge to pull the blinds and keep out the light. They gave me medication, patted me on the back and told me I would be fine. I never felt fine. 
I had retired two years back. Life had a monotonous and dreary tinge to it. Thus, I readily welcomed the idea of a school batch reunion as I figured it would lighten my mood. 


I smiled indulgently as I looked at all of my friends. We sat at a table,each one of us speaking about some funny encounter, cracking some funny jokes. I couldn’t help but feel a bit proud when I saw where I had got in life.

 I drove up to the restaurant in a Mercedes and all of them came in an Uber. They were still the same, standing where they were ten years back. I had retired as the CEO of a multinational company with enough money to sustain a whole generation after me. I didn’t have a family so the question did not arise. 

Suddenly, they began recounting some interesting instances which I couldn’t even remember. Apparently,  one day, they bunked class and went to a lake to see the rainbow. They played  football in the rain and drank hot tea afterwards. They talked about sleepover nights during which they would lie down on the roofs of the houses, staring at the stars and remarking on how funny the constellations looked. Once, they even  jumped into a lake, fully clothed, just to see if they would drown. 

These incidents and experiences sounded kind of fun and I anxiously enquired where I had been when all of this had happened. Funnily enough, they couldn’t remember. They said they had asked me once or twice to accompany them on their adventurous escapades but I always refused on account of work. 
They reminded me how I had refused to accompany them on a foreign holiday three years ago because as usual, I was too tied up with work. I had not even accompanied them on their Indian holidays, under the pretext that I had too much work to do. 

Today, they had also retired. They were not even half as well off as I was but the happiness and contentment on their faces irked me. 

They were living a comfortable enough life. They all had the basic comforts and their children were well settled. They couldn’t afford more than one holiday a year but there was so much to do at home that they never got bored. They were in touch with all of their old siblings and friends who kept popping over for a chat or a drink whenever they were in the vicinity. They led busy, happy lives and didn’t complain of sleepless nights or of depression. 

They had come together in an Uber cab because they thought that it would be so much nicer to travel together and spend that much more time with one another. They all knew what their friends had been up to. Their conversations showed that they had had previous contact and were very knowledgeable about everything that was going on in one another’s life. I was the only one who was clueless. They told me that they had fondly followed my progress and read all my articles. They proudly told their kids that I was their friend. They congratulated me on my success but at that moment,I felt nothing more than a miserable failure. 

That night,I couldn’t sleep. I don’t think that my depression was the cause. I kept thinking of their nice and busy lives,full of companionship and laughter. They had been intelligent enough to realise that money and success would not count beyond a particular point and it was not what would comfort one in old age. They had wisely taken the decision to keep up friendships and relationships which would lighten the burden of old age and make it an all the more pleasurable experience. They did not crave for spontaneous action or excitement. They only craved for the company and love of their family and friends. 

I,on the other hand,had missed the graduation of my only younger brother because of some important meeting. I had dismissed his unhappiness as over reacting. I infuriated him to such an extent that he broke all contact with me. I hadn’t bothered with anything else except earning as much as I could and reaching the level of success that I always aspired for. 

I felt small and inadequate. I was being forced to rethink my whole life. If I was depressed before, I was positively down in the dumps now. Every morning seemed a pain, an abyss of daylight which I shunned as much as I could. Every night brought with it the promise of sleeplessness and boredom which stretched on eerily.  

That’s when I met the boy next door. He was a ten year old kid, surprisingly bold and unaffected by my stern glances and short sighs of irritation. His parents had shifted to the apartment next door and were very busy with the job in hand. 
He was getting very bored and had decided that he needed someone to talk to. He did. He talked to me about football,school and how he hated math. He told me his whole family history and all the funny incidents that occurred because of him when he was a child. 

He elaborated the thrills of getting wet in the rain and having ice cream for breakfast on a Sunday morning. He was a happy,carefree,cheerful lad and I didn’t mind a bit even when he insisted that I pull back the curtains and open the windows to let the sunlight in. I was content to just lie back and listen to his rambling. 

Everyday,he would come home after school,to tell me all that had transpired at school. He would then take me out on a walk and take me to spots which held a special attraction for him. He would even drag me to the football games he played in the colony.

 I found myself taking a very vivid interest in these games and would cheer,as excited as any of them,when he scored a goal. He adopted me as his grandfather. He would give me a card every year on Grandfather’s Day. I didn’t even know such a day existed. When I asked him about it,he said it didn’t. He had named the day he met me as Grandfather’s day. 

He persuaded me to end the fight with my brother. According to him siblings were a gift of God to cherish and to embrace. Not everyone was fortunate enough to be blessed with such bonding familial ties. 
I listened to him. I found wisdom in the words and the thinking of a ten year old. Every morning,I would wake up with joy in my heart and a song on my lips. I started sleeping well because I was so tired after all the journeys I made with my new friend. My joy knew no bounds when I saw my brother on my doorstep some days later. I had tried talking to him, tried explaining how wrong I was. Life is too short to hear grudges against the people you love. 

As he embraced me,tears of joy ran down my cheeks as I realised that the rift had healed. We had become one family again. The doctors said I was miraculously cured of my depression. I was frequently in contact with my friends and my brother. My young friend gave me the spontaneity and the excitement I craved as he invented new games to play with me everyday. 

I was fortunate enough to have found my little ray of sunshine. In a way,I think I’m luckier than anybody else. Everybody lives only once. I lived my childhood twice -the second time through the eyes of this ten year old who had performed a feat which so many medicines and doctors could not. 

All I’m saying is,this is how it’s going to be all life long. Life can either be a savage beast hunting you down, where you have to outrun it to live, or it can be a pleasant journey where one sacrifices a few materialistic pleasures for contentment and satisfaction. 

You will have dreams,aspirations. You will want to chase them to carve out a good career and a comfortable future. After all,this time will never come back. 

Do so,by all means,but remember to laugh and play too. Remember to build your own small little world- your own little bubble of peace and tranquility where all is well. Find time to do what you want,to be with the people you love. 
For some it may be reading,for others listening to musics,for yet others watching a rainbow. Whatever it is,do it. Don’t wait for a proper time. The right time is now because this time will never come back. 

You don’t need to wait to feel happy. It’s your life. Feel free to call the shots. You’re the one who has to live through it all. Money can’t buy you peace,it can’t buy you contentment and it sure as hell cannot pull you out of depression. 

You have a busy life,a very tight schedule? That’s how it’s going to be for a very long time. Don’t let your happiness and joy take a back seat just for the sake of it. Time and tide wait for none. Make use of your time while it lasts. Today,the sun has risen on your time. Tomorrow,it will set. Do all you want and everything you love. 

Snatch those moments of happiness which you get for you will treasure them beyond anything else in the world! That’s what life is about isn’t it? I think it’s so much more about LIVING than BREATHING.