Bhopal, Here I Come!

train from bhopal

 

Aaaaahh it’s a nice feeling, ain’t it? When you head home after some real routing at the hands of life. And now you have your hands full of the positives that life offered you and bad days are apparently over! This is my first trip in a long time when I’ll actually stay stress free at home. Let me not jinx it by saying it again and again but I’m a little light-headed these days. For the first time in a long time, I may feel the light and the wind battering my face and nod and say – Yes… this feels good!

It’s not the destination that I’m very excited about, not that I’m not excited about meeting my parents after 3 months, but I’m really excited about the journey. I may even not sleep tonight. I may read. Yes, I’ll read. The book will be decided at the railway platform. And that’s why I want to reach early. I want to carefully select a book and improve my reading skills. Care to suggest one to me anyone?

For any of my friends there reading this post, if you are in Bhopal, I’ll be there for a couple of days and may have a few leisure hours (give and take) to spend. Keep me posted!

For my readers, I may not blog at all or may just write a couple of short pieces. No serious effort will be made to post for I’ll unwind in the silence of those lazy weekend afternoons on a couch that’s made for a slouch like me. I may even write a review of the book I’ll read. Good things are on their way!

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My first successful job interview – The Bangalore Fiasco & Conclusion!

So my journey continues from –

https://viewsplash.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/my-first-successful-job-interview-to-char-minar-and-back/

In the morning when I failed to register my alarm on the phone, people around me woke me up.

Ok, a fresh day and a fresh start. I reached the center this time without getting a fool made of myself by any auto driver.

Now was the best part – they didn’t make us wait, in the batches of 20 odd people, we were given a written aptitude and English test. This being my forte, I cleared them without a hitch. Then came the first written technical exam and it turned out to be a cakewalk too. It was already 3:30 pm and the results were announced. I just never had been so sure about myself and knew that I’ll crack both of those tests – AND… I DID!

The next surprise in store was thrown at us and we were in shock of our lives then – we had to leave for Bangalore ‘coz the next 4 rounds of interviews were all scheduled to be held there. It was very hot in Chennai then (as usual), we wore all the sweated shirts and since I hadn’t brought anything except a pair of utilities and a pair of interview clothing, I now knew I could be in a tight corner later. I knew no one in Bangalore and was very lucky to have the phone number of a friend of mine. I called him up and he gladly invited me to spend my interview days at his place. It was the thrill of the unknown and we kept acting on instincts. We got tickets on a bus and started rolling at around 11:30 pm. That would be the last time I’ll ever see Chennai – got a bit nostalgic then!

We reached Bangalore on the morning of 19th December and it seemed so nice and cozy from inside the bus! The bus stopped at Magestic bus station and those who had been around the city anytime before at that time of the year, knew what they had to do after getting off the bus – COVER THEMSELVES WITH A BLANKET ‘COZ IT WAS FUCKING COLD!!!!

I didn’t know and so it was chills all over my body and spine which was yet to recover from my first journey, which you can read about here –

https://viewsplash.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/my-first-successful-job-interview-fool-fool-fool/

Some good soul, while I tried to get a hang of the cold, brought us tickets to our destinations and we boarded our respective buses. That was the first time ever that I sat in a public Volvo bus. A nice cozy experience – it could have been – had I got a seat but that was not to be. It was around 15 kms of journey again with a bag full of very ordinary items on my back, which then felt like a bag full of boulders! Unknown as that place was for me, I mistakenly got down a good 2 kms ahead of my destination for my fear of getting lost.

But after some running around, my friends got me to their flat and man it felt cozy just like every guys place does. I was given a place to sleep for a couple of hours and I slept. Woke up to the sweeper sweeping the floor and ran like a wind for Accenture – Bang 4, Marathalli. I was late by around 10 minutes but apparently, many of my people were yet to reach the place themselves, so that calmed me down significantly. I HATE BEING LATE!

I have to admit, I am quite good at group discussions (GD) and when I heard the first round at Bangalore was a GD, I couldn’t help but smile and concede that at least one more round is through. GD’s proved to be a huge filter and left a very few people who would appear for the next round of interviews. This was the only round that day and we were given the rest of the day off. I used it fully to prepare for interviews the next day and thanks to my room mates there, they provided for me. One more thing was to be done though. I had to buy a new shirt for the one I had been using for Accenture round of interviews was now DIRTY!

So I called my father, asked him for some money and got myself a new light orange shirt. I still remember, since it was bought on discount, it had a manufacturing defect and a hole near the seam of my chest pocket. But since that was the best that was available cheaply, I bought and slept content that I would rock the interviews the next day.

Next day morning, Accenture were kind enough to provide for our breakfasts and we started with the round of technical interviews. COBOL was the first and I got through it rather easily. CICS was next and this, I knew, was my Achilles heels.  As I have written on my first post, I was yet to cover my last module in my Mainframes training and CICS was the one left out. I could hardly answer any question at the start and the interviewer understood that I was very nervous. To get me comfortable, he started small talking and got me into the groove and in between he would shoot a technical question, and now I was answering. I came out an hour later from the interview room and was very nervous as I was very unsure. We were then made to wait in a room which incidentally was freezing cold. It seemed to be a sort of chamber where agents like James Bond are tortured. The fear of the unknowns wasn’t helping either.

After our lunch, came in a female with a lot of pink dots on her face and asked me to come out and took me to another room. She told me that this would be my HR interview as I had cleared all previous rounds. Now to settle everything into perspective, I am quite good with interviews that are NON-TECHNICAL. So this round too would be a cakewalk and since I knew there would be no salary negotiations, I wasn’t worried at all. The surprise was to come after this interview.

They told us that we were gonna have a practical exam and that we would have to write a code in COBOL to prove our coding skills. I did. It compiled the program fine and ran the job. But I forgot the most important part – HOW TO VIEW THE RESULT!!! As I sat there in front of my PC, my palms kept over the keyboard and my fingers were trembling with sweat pouring from my forehead. The invigilator saw that and asked me what happened. I told him the truth and he decided to help me with it. And VOILA – there was the result and it was correct!

I was the first one to be pushed out of the room once my exam was over and the invigilator was satisfied with the result. Nothing was said or told and we (a few others who had completed their test and were asked to wait) waited patiently at 7:30 pm. An hour passed and the HR came and announced the names of the ones who had been selected. Mine was FIRST!!!

It took me awhile to absorb the sensation that I would later come to know as HAPPINESS. For so long I had remained devoid of it that all of my positivity took awhile to wake up and charge me.

We were told to come the next day to collect our offer letters. As soon as I left the building for the night, I started running for something strange was burning inside me. I ran and ran and didn’t stop. Reached home and broke the news to my friends and one my seniors, threw a party that night. I didn’t know what I was going to do with all this happiness for it knew no bounds. It took a lot of effort to sleep that night for I couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive.

In the morning, we went to the Accenture building again and were given our offer letters. I caught my first bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad that evening and slept. The bus was overcrowded, and we reached Hyderabad, next day evening after our bus had had multiple tyre failures being overweight. For the first time I saw South Indian Dhaba’s and tasted food in one of them too. Thank God I had some money to spend on my food.

I had to leave my PG room, got my advance payment back, got a ticket reservation for next day morning train with the same money and went on to find a huge plastic bag to pack all my stuff in a closed market. Packed my PC and got ready for what I knew was gonna be a tough next day.

I woke up in the morning, picked up all my stuff, boarded an auto rickshaw and went to the Secunderabad station. Got all of my stuff booked to be taken in a good’s car and waited and boarded my train. This was not a reserved journey and I was travelling in a General class compartment and some jolly people let me have a share of their seat. I sat, ate, slept, then ate and slept again till I reached my home Bhopal.

The entire journey from Bhopal – Chennai – Hyderabad – Chennai – Bangalore – Hyderabad – Bhopal comprised of 3 train journeys, 3 bus journeys and countless hours of pain and restlessness and the part that I’ll remain most proud of – An offer letter from Accenture in my hands!!!

My first successful job interview – Fool Fool Fool!

I have so many of these memories when I have felt my heart would absolutely burst out of my chest and run away with fear – fear of losing!

I’ll keep writing them down – these memoirs – for my reference and to share my experiences with all of you beloved readers.

This is about my first successful job interview with Accenture and the story before it that eventually led me to it. Due to the length of this story, I’m gonna break it down into a few short ones for better readability.

This is my trip from Bhopal (my hometown) to Chennai (place of my first unsuccessful interview) but before going any further, let me remind my audience of

I am always home sick – have always been. One of those guys who’ll for example return home from work without any fuss every evening and stay there till apocalypse would set in or another freakin’ day arrives and I have to go to office again. And so during my training, I often used to run away to my home for some peace. Whether it helped or not, guess I’ll never know but it ensured that I remained tired enough to sleep better.

So, this one time after completing 4 out of the 5 modules included in my training, I again ran away to my hometown only to receive a phone call the next day while I was watching ‘Casino Royale’ late after noon. It asked me to return asap so I can attend an interview in Chennai with L&T. Since, the notice was quite short, I decided to hop on to the first available train and reach Chennai directly from Bhopal. The journey in an Indian train can get quite horrendous but nothing can beat this one. In a train overpacked with people and no reservations, were factors that would cause me enough grief to permanently hurt my back for the rest of my life. Sitting on the edge of someone elses side-upper berth with my legs placed across the aisle on the small stairs, I spent the entire journey sitting right there on that one spot so no one else could grab my place. After 22 hours of back-breaking journey, I woke up with a stiff upper back and felt a knot on my lower back that had settled in and wouldn’t go even after some running. Not having time to get rid of the pain, I decided to live with it for another day and forgot about it.

This was my first trip to Chennai and it was an aura of visually ‘different’ people. The station is a dead-end for all rail networks in South India or so it seemed from the way the platforms on the station have been built. Smell of fish greeted me on the platform when I got down and a language absolutely unknown but like many northerners, I too could see in many a peoples eyes that I was not from the crowd, not knowing whether I even belonged here. I think this is a feeling every traveller must get used to. Anyways, starting on my feet after frantically trying to get rid of the knot in my lower back, I got out of the station only to find myself surrounded by three-wheeler drivers (auto drivers) who simply didn’t speak Hindi or English. They failed to recognize it and appeared to have never heard of it and I felt miserable. From the broken conversations I had with around 5-6 drivers, I could make out they were talking about 15-16 kilometers of travel and one of them boldly came and asked me if I would be willing to pay Rs. 350 for him to drop me at the company’s premises. I had to agree!

We started and I started playing Snakes on my Nokia 3315. After around 45 minutes, we stopped and I looked out. I just couldn’t believe that we had travelled the distance in such short interval of time and after paying the amount to the driver, asked the guard  what was the distance between the station and company and he told me, it was around 8-9 kms. Ohhhhhh I was so angry then but I was the fool and had to accept the ditch face first.

Fool Fool Fool!

Happy Birthday Shrek – Love You!!!

My wife loves pets!

If I allow her, she may even turn our home into a zoo, quite literally! From birds to mice to cats to dogs to anything even remotely tamable, she would own each one of them if my salary ever permitted. Thank God, it doesn’t! As I just don’t quite share the same penchant for pets as she does.

But I love her and so a gift on her first birthday after our marriage was always on and to celebrate it, I decided to gift her a new pet. Now what would it be? A dog, a cat and a lot other species came to my mind but I stuck to dogs. Reason – they are easily controllable. I’d rather not have an animal around me that doesn’t listen to me if I call out its name and dogs were the best bet against them. Once tamed, they won’t bite or so I was told. Also, my wife hates the attitude thrown by some cats which I quickly learned when one of our friends got himself 2 cats. I also had to take care of the fact that life as a software engineer can be very busy and hence, not every pet will be able to survive with us.

I just casually asked her once, which dog would she like to own and she quietly replied – a Labrador. I thought – a good choice. They are the friendliest creatures on this planet and understand humans way better than most other species. They are good to kids, elders, are very playful and don’t bark much. I loved all these qualities and hence a Labrador, it would be. The color thankfully was up to me to decide and hence, I went for a peaceful faun. One rainy day I took a day off from my work (lied to my boss) and took my wife for a ride on my bike. Reached a market that I had found after a thorough research and got to the sought pet-shop. Sent my wife in who saw two ultra cute labrador brothers in a basket. Sleeping – one on top of another. Took both of them in our hands and looked at them and we got ourselves one that had the kindest face. I still say that he has the kindest face ever among all living beings but that’s just my view. We were on our way back with him in her hands, when she casually asked,”What should we name him?”. We discussed for about a kilometer or so when we came upon “Shrek” and there it was decided, for his ears were packed filled with dirt.

Being untrained and only 30 days old, he had to learn a lot about living with humans. So dirty he was, that we had to take him for bath to a close but very homely dog parlour. They had their own 2 dogs that they took care of and Shrek even though, was very scared to interact with both of them, would come to love them both after 3 visits. And he was so tired and sleepy after that hefty bath that he couldn’t even open his eyes with all his effort. Here are some pics from that day after his bath –

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Thankfully my wife those days wasn’t working and hence it proved easy for us to teach the little guy. No wonder, he was getting all the colors of my wife as he spent all of his days with her. There were also some dark times in the fellows starting days with us. Even though I loved him in my home, I hated him for shitting anywhere in the house as he took some time to get potty trained, eating anything, from anyone’s hands and tearing things apart – he even ate my laptop’s charger once while it was plugged in. And I will never forget the first time I hit him. The bugger just won’t stop crying. One right hand right below his neck and he slammed into the cupboard. That was the first time I cried for him too for I will never forgive myself for that dastardly act.

The only problem we have never faced from him was barking or howling unnecessarily. He is as quite as a whisper and sometimes it’s easy to lose him in the silence. He never barked. He played like hell but never barked. There was one time, which my wife would forever be jealous about – he was very small and was watching other kids play outside of our home all the while peeking from below our main iron gate and a football came flying towards him and hit the gate right above his head, we heard the loud thud – he was so scared, he ran and ran so fast and although he was forbidden to jump up onto our bed, he jumped and came and sat on my lap all the while looking back as if the ball would still be chasing him. I saw fear in his eyes and I then knew, how dependent he really was upon us and why he shall forever seek our shelter.

He is resilient but not brave like other dogs who can fight with other dogs. He is brave as in he can really sustain himself for a long time in adverse conditions and hence, he has survived our bitter times with us. There were days when he was a sole light in our dark days, always happy running around the house like not a thing in the world could bother him. And then there were bad days. There was one such instance of his bravery that highlights what I’m talking about. If anyone has ever owned a dog, they would know how difficult it is for dogs to control their potty behaviour. They have to take a shit if they feel the urge or they will do it anywhere. We had to travel from Bangalore to Delhi as we were relocating after some hard times. This guy had turned around six months old by then and had gotten big. Thankfully, it was only his size that had grown and not the weight else we would have had to go well beyond our budget and make him travel by air than by a train. Now to tell you guys the truth, Indian railways sucks with facilities for humans so we can totally understand how good it would be for pets. For pets these guys have a 2×4 cage, a dark one where the animal is supposed to be tied by a chain with his food, in the ticket inspectors room. The cage is never cleaned and while I was tying him in it, I felt a sudden urge to abandon all plans of travel itself as I couldn’t myself bear the smell emanating from it. He went in, stood there and barked. I think he knew whatever was going on wasn’t good. Now before going into the details of the travel, let me tell you he had been at the receiving end of an absolute horror of a day which was unbearably hot and he had been tied to a tree for around 3 hours with no food and no shit or piss as we were moving out of our house. We straight up carried him in our AC taxi where for the first time during his day, he slept. Coming back to the journey, the journey was supposed to take 27 hours to our home town Bhopal from where we would carry on to Delhi while Shrek would stay with mom and dad. The journey only had 6 stops on the way where at each stop I was supposed to feed him, each stop being 2-3 minutes each. That meant that he would be fed alright but won’t get to shit as he was taught very early not to shit where he sat. And he didn’t. He ate but didn’t poop. At Bhopal when his turn came to come out of the cage, the guy was sitting all frightened in the cage but jumped on me with so much love as soon as his chains came off. He was dirty but it didn’t matter to us then. I took him and he couldn’t have been any happier. We never anticipated such behaviour from him but learnt soon enough that he wouldn’t leave me. Thankfully, he was to be taken home then and given a bath and relieve himself to all ends. Mom and dad were so happy with the love they received from him, it didn’t take him any time to mingle with them. We were proud of him.

The same thing repeated again when we brought him to Delhi with us. The same train journey although very short 10 hour one and he was welcomed by a brand new home that was burning our human feet as if an oven in the Delhi summer. We were proud of him again when he learnt the very first day that he was not to spread dirt anywhere other than the roof. This was an untrained dog but he could converse with us almost akin to humans. This is our buddy when he was 6 months old –

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Another one of his most brilliant qualities is he loves water. He can bathe for several hours together and swim for another countless ones right after that. He swam the very first day he caught the sight of a pool. Thankfully the pool was made for pets and he showed us all his panache while pumping himself forward, rolling in the water. While all his friends only roamed around the pool looking at him, we could sense the jealousy in them. We were made proud again. Not something that happens to us very often.

We lovingly call him “Shreka” and he has so many other names and he somehow responds to all of them, something rather rare as I have heard most dogs only respond to names that either make a sound like their own or by their own name itself. But he can respond to us anytime.

He is happy with us. I can tell. My wife – she can tell. The way he jumps on our chests when we return home after our day of work is such a lovely adorable welcome, the tail wagging, a happy face, asking us to feed him so he can gain energy again to run up and down the house. He is amazingly fast for a labrador and loves skidding on our marble floor. Loves jumping and as soon as you touch the top of his head, he is bound to leap up to your chest to get a hug. The way he always peeks from the side of the stairs when we call him from the roof right at the start of his descent, all of it makes him so lovingly cute and we can never ever get tired of him. He does get me angry sometimes but that’s ok. As long as he is fine with me being angry at him, I can make do with the status of his master.

You are such a sweetheart Shrek. May you live with us for at least 20 years more!!!

Happy Birthday to you!

Here are his latest pictures – He is all grown up now to be 3 years old. And weighs a nice 36 kgs.

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Unforgettable past – Jabalpur

There’s a lot of your past you wish you could forget – like erased blank… swish… wiped off of your memory slate. Then there is your past that you just can’t forget. Not that it affects you but its a huge burden on your brain to carry and you wish you could just write it off onto your blog for good. The latter is what this post is about.

Cues:-

Summer vacations.

Trains.

Food.

Stations.

Forests.

Rails.

Rivers.

Toy cars.

A huge house.

Lots of people.

The compulsory siesta.

Playful evenings.

Watering.

Food.

Kulfi (Sweet Indian summer delicacy).

Rains.

A lot of people around will find these dots really easy to connect. I want to write it out ’cause I don’t want to retain them yet remember them forever – kind of memoir to myself – only for my personal use. These are recollections from (last) – a 13-year-old fat boy who diluted a relationship on a very bad note and will regret it forever for he never got say the final adieu.

His summer vacations would last for about 75 days as these were the hottest months in his part of the country. All he knew was it was time for indoor afternoons and fun & frolicking evenings with no homework, coolers, mangoes, lychees, lots of sleep, lots of cricket, ludo, carom, puzzle, TV, cartoons, video games. Just him and his brother enjoying and playing with each other. It was a time for all heavenly stuff. Things he never knew, he would love so much but that he would get berated off forever. These days often arrived after he had received his gift for his stand-out performances in school exams – HotWheel cars, cycle, carom board and many others like these. He would be very happy to board the train for that familiar destination. No matter how many times he had been there, it was always fresh for he knew no other world and these represented the only two worlds that he spent his childhood in.

You gotta give it to the place – Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India! Place which gave the world one of the most beautiful scenery in Bhedaghat on the river Narmada. A river bank located purely on marbles! It’s beautiful – the air itself is pure – rather was pure (just been to the place after 11 years and felt a bit let down).

Lets start off with the journey to the place. He couldn’t wait to get inside the train. To get the smell of puri-sabzi at the first station and to feel the wind on his face. To look at the train engines which according to him were a miracle that he could watch everyday on his drive to his school. The rails and the train itself were such a mystery for that small, young mind that he couldn’t (till he got Google) ever fathom how the trains even turned!! The sound of the wheels chugging below his feet, the smoke from the engine entering his nostrils (no matter how gross it would feel to others, he would forever relish that smoke), the sight of the trees passing him by at the speed of light, occasional huts, fields and rails cutting each other running along his train. And then would come the sight he still dreads – a bridge on the river Tawa. The bridge apparently had been labelled dangerous by Indian Railways standards and he would always feel that the train would fall off especially as the bridge had no rails on both the sides. Nothing but a very tall height to fall into. And in between this, a far away sight of a dam. He would always wonder what that dam would look like when in full flow. Never to be experienced though. A lot of stations would pass through for that young mind to remember but he would remember things that made a direct impact on his coming life. He would remember each bridge, each platform, each fort and the smell of each one of them distinctly fresh.

Once he started to near the destination, the air of anticipation would raise the anxiety in his heart for what new and novel would surprise him this time in his second world. Nothing, nothing ever. For nearly 9 years or more on a trot, he would see no significant change. The same route always led him to the same house. The same marketplace, the same buildings, the same under-bridge greeted him. A perfect example of sustainability and persistense.

The house which still stands tall and huge – it reflected the late 80’s Indian modernism. It has seen various colors – white, pink, green and at one instance, he could also remember yellow. Six rooms on the ground floor divided by a wall with 2 doors to connect the 2 sections built with 3 rooms each. The first floor, built quite late is a replica of the section below from the ground floor with rooms that were larger. But no matter what you did and where you were in the house, it always gave the same feel everywhere every single time (wish I had some pictures).

Their welcome was always the same – Nani (maternal grand-mother) would shower them with holy Ganga water and then the entry. Keep the luggage at the proper place and room. Then go about the chores in the house according to time you make an entry in it.

Coming to the chores, a typical day in that household would be something as follows:

Wake up… roll up your bed… place it at its proper place… brush the teeth and freshen up… then it was a choice to either sit with Nanaji (maternal grand-father) and Naniji or go upstairs and have tea with a younger group which included Mama (moms bro), Mami ( Mamas wife) and their children. It was a happening group and he would prefer spending time with anyone but would prefer a place where his mother would prefer to be. Then after a heavy breakfast would be time for a bath in the cold water in the Indian summer… somehow the water always suited him more than any place else. A very clean feel after a bath. Then was the time for indoor games played between all brothers and sisters. This would normally be the time women around would engage in their household works, men would leave for office and Nanaji would spend time reading the newspaper. Games would often include Boggle, ludo, carom and sometimes if the noon was cooler, some cricket as well. He would never forget the days when all of them brothers and sisters would play together in the small porch and the sisters would just cower into corners so they don’t have too get involved in the game. Fun times they would stay. The afternoons comprised of a mandatory siesta. No exceptions for anyone in the household. No sounds. No lights. He hated that period. For he could hardly wait for evenings that would include a heavy dose of cricket, dust, dirt. No matter who would play against him, he would have had to face the boys wrath with the bat. Then return home, for now would be the time for watering the garden and the plants using the water from the hand pumps. This was the best part of his days. The freedom that was allowed to him to perform this chore would be something he would sorely miss all through his life – but he didn’t know it then. All he knew was porch was hot and plants needed water. Water the plants. Then would be turn to get drenched in the same water. This was time to get wet. To get wild with and in water. Unforgettable freshness. Change and then would be the time for dinner. Supper supper supper… super super super… nothing could beat that food for it was his mother that would cook the rotis, dal, veggies and rice. This was normally the time when Mama would return home and after dinner, he would often buy us kulfis. This would also be the time when the entire family would come out into the porch and walk for a while all the while laughing at jokes cracked. In the mean time, the siblings would find time to swing in a swing. It was built to carry at max 4 people at a time, was sturdy and brought with it the feeling of a drowning night. An awesome day was over. Now was the time to show the mosquitoes the power of Baygon. Complete house would get a dose of it. Satisfied with the results, each member would bring their bed and would face absolutely no problem in laying down and sleeping but not before Mama would make his presence felt again. He would make each of the siblings kneel in line on the beds and make them repeat the mantra – La Ila… Il Lil La… Mohammed-e-Rasgullah. Fun it was and it would repeat 60 of the 75 days he would spend there.

He particularly waited for Sundays. They were usually the days when Mama would take them all for a swim in the river Narmada – Gwarighat. Back then, the way to the river was through a jungle, a sparsely populated area. Upon arrival they had to cross the river on a boat which was an absolutely out of the world feeling. To feel the river on his palms would heighten his anticipation of how water would feel like. It was truly amazing! Take off all your extra clothes, get down to your bare essentials and jump into the river. This was where he learnt to swim and he would forever respect the man who taught him to swim (Mama) and the river for letting him learn to swim in it. A good 2-3 hours of frolicking in the water would barely leave him with any energy and when out, they would all dress again and cross the river again on a boat. The sinking feeling of the separation from water would forever lure the boy. But life had to move on and to the next shop upstairs on the ghat. The shop where Mama would make each one of them indulge into Bhajiyas and laddus. He would then be totaled. Even with absolutely nothing left in his body to endure the remaining of the day, he would remain jubilant and never know that he was tired to shit pieces. The first foot on the bed when home, would cover his body with the most tantalizing freshness of a sleep so richly deserved (or thats what he thought).

There had to be days when he had to go and meet his father’s family members. It was normally a day worth of affair and spent peacefully. They were nothing special except for some cricket that he would get to play with his elder brothers.

He loved it and would forever love it. Those days would define his character for the rest of his life. He would learn a lot from those days but the best lesson was – hard work always tastes bitter but reaps sweet rewards.

The child has grown up to be 29 now but nothing would make him forget his longing for the water and he would still dream in red!