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TELL ME A STORY BOOK BY RAVINDER SINGH PDF

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Please visit k3entertainment (k3entertainment), till now the best site to download any book, comics, magazine in pdf for free. No advertisement, no pop up. Tell Me a Story_ Inspiring, Tou - Ravinder Singh - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) PENGUIN METRO READS TELL ME A STORY Ravinder Singh is the bestselling But did Ravin's story really end on the last page of that book?. Ravinder Singh is the bestselling author of I Too Had a Love Story, Can Love Happen Twice?, Like It Happened Yesterday and Your Dreams Are Mine Now.


Tell Me A Story Book By Ravinder Singh Pdf

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To download more free e-books visit our website. ravinder singh best books, ravinder singh books pdf free download, ravinder singh contact, ravinder singh latest Touch the Sky: The inspiring stories of women from across India who are . Ravinder Singh is the bestselling author of I Too Had a Love Story, Can Love Happen Download provided by [email protected], join us to get more books without a . Results 1 - 9 of 9 download ravinder singh Books at zetom.info Shop amongst 9 popular books, including Will You Still Love Me?, Tell Me a Story and more from.

The final round of the inter-hostel football tournament was an engaging match between Nehru and R. Both the teams were in no position to give up. With their Messis and Cr7s they attacked but that day celebrated the existence of only one Neuer, whose struggle gifted this team with some stunning saves. Our Neuer, Labdhyo, stood proudly on the ground as his worthy striker, Rupak, managed to score a goal for his team around the seventieth minute.

The opponents got into a complete attacking mode after that but Labdhyo had planned his defence well as a captain. He fiercely guarded his post and did not let a single shot enter the net.

Finally, after the ninetieth minute, the stadium broke out in huge applause. Captain Labdhyo! His smile was brighter than his fluorescent jersey. Surrounded by his team mates and friends, he had defeated pain to have the last laugh. It was his day. He, the captain, had managed to give his team the victory they deserved.

I could not help myself from running up to him and giving him a hug. You did it, Labdhyo, I said with tears in my eyes. He smiled. Thank you. That is a completely different event! Labdhyo exclaimed.

How are you sure we will be in the same team? We will download you back no matter what! Rweeto said with alacrity. This time, we will name our team, Ruud Re-awakening. When did this brat come, aJd? Labdhyo teased. In the afternoon, I replied. He didnt want to miss your game. Labdhyo, like always, ignored the praise. Instead, taking his phone from me, he dialled a number.

Hello, this is Labdhyo Mukherjee, he said. I have been diagnosed with several injuries on my leg and a slipped disc, a few months back. I would like to make an appointment with the physiotherapist. And I saw the real Batman in front of me! Take it from me. That passenger could wind up in the seat next to you. The longer the flight, the greater the chance of this happening. I boarded a flight after spending four days in the biting cold of Delhi. I settled down in my seat, removed my shoes, and switched on my Kindle.

My toes felt free and began to breathe again. Sighing deeply, I rested my head on the window pane and looked outside. The fog was descending on the city.

The flight was full.

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It was time to get out of the winter and go home. The pilot announced, We are waiting for one more passenger, then we will be on our way to Mumbai. After his announcement ended, a lone figure appeared at the front end of the airplane. A harried girl with a small suitcase and two bags hanging from either side of her thin body.

She clutched her mobile phone in her left hand. Her shawl kept slipping off her shoulder. She walked in, completely unaware of impatient pairs of eyes staring at her. God is my witness, I muttered. Lo and behold, the steward guided her to the empty seat, next to me! The passengers on the aisle and window seat always silently wish that the middle seat remains unoccupied so that it can be used as a side table to dump books, phones, and so on.

But we were not so lucky. She took forever to settle down in her seat. She put her carry-on and a shopping bag on her lap and looked for the seatbelt. I was getting annoyed as she occupied all the space and her stuff spilled over to my side.

Her last-minute shopping must have delayed her, I thought. You are sitting on your seatbelt, I said. I am sorry. She got up holding all her stuff in both her hands. I retrieved her seatbelt. She fumbled with the belt but couldnt get it right. She was flying for the first time!

I fastened her seatbelt and noticed she clutched an additional boarding pass in hand. Where are you going? I asked. Tiruchirappalli, she said, looking at me. Her narrow eyes behind her glasses were moist and red. What time is that flight? She looked at her boarding pass, 5. Will there be a place at the Mumbai airport to charge my mobile phone?

Yes, of course.

RAVINDER SINGH

Dont worry, you have six hours to kill, enough time to charge your mobile phone, I smiled. She could have taken a direct flight from Delhi to Trichy. She could have easily avoided spending six sleepless hours at the Mumbai airport. She was really clueless. She didnt catch the sarcasm in my voice.

I ended the conversation and returned to my reading. Soon I could hear sobs. She had covered her face with her hands and her body was shaking. She was crying. What is wrong? She removed her hands and looked at me with teary eyes. Oh dear. Suddenly, the fumbling and clumsy young woman disappeared and a little, sad and vulnerable girl tugged at me, a complete stranger.

Such was her helplessness. I am so, so sorry. This is really sad but dont worry. He will be all right. I let her cry. Her sadness and fear were personal. While she cried, I looked at the tiny lights on the ground outside the window. We were gaining altitude as the aircraft made a turn and found its course. Sadness turns strangers into friends. For the next hour she told me her story. Her name was Lisa and she lived in Tiruchirappalli with her older sister, mother and father.

Her family had a history of lung disease. In her words Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She was a nurse and worked in one of the hospitals in Delhi. She had been looking forward to her first break to visit her family during the Easter holidays. She had bought a new shirt for her father last Sunday. Lisa was the baby of the family and her father missed her a lot.

He would call her up several times a day. Her father would have his lunch and call her to check if she had had hers.

He would do the same after tea and dinner as well. I noticed a sad smile on her face when she talked about her father. This afternoon, I received a call on my mobile phone and saw Daddy calling. I took the call and said, Daddy, I had lunch. Lisa recalled. But the voice was her neighbours. And her father was not well. He was waiting for the ambulance to take him to the hospital. Lisa narrated the sequence of the days events, My mother had gone to the market and my father was alone in the house.

She cried again. I gently touched the back of her hand with my fingertips. Why didnt you consider working in your hometown? Hospitals in my town dont pay well. I came to Delhi six months ago to earn money so that I could pay for my fathers treatment. I noticed that she kept taking her mobile phone out of her purse to check if there were any messages from home. She didnt know that mobile phones do not work at 35, feet above the ground.

I didnt feel like telling her this fact. Facts sometimes damage hope. The airhostess came by with the food trolley and parked it next to our seat. Lisa declined the supper, but I was hungry. I ate quickly and asked the airhostess for some hot water in my cup. I added sugar and slipped a tea bag in it. I gently forced Lisa to have the tea. She held the cup in both her hands and looked at me, Are you a Father? She wanted to know if I was Catholic like her and if I was a priest.

It was a perfect after-dinner conversation. The passenger in front of me had reclined his seat and almost put his head on my lap. The cabin lights were turned off. The plane began descent to Mumbai. I love to take a night flight to Mumbai. From above, the city looks like a gorgeously lit-up planet. The plane landed, taxied and parked. I grabbed her suitcase while she carried the shopping bag and other stuff.

I had my bag checked in, so we waited for it. When you are not in a hurry, your bag will arrive in the first lot. My bag was the first to come. I snatched it off the carousel and looked for Lisa.

Tell Me a Story_ Inspiring, Tou - Ravinder Singh

She was standing near a pillar amidst her bags, talking on the phone and crying. She had cupped her mouth. This cry was different.

Instantly, I knew. I stood next to her watching her cry.

She looked at me and shook her head. Every relationship, whether its eleven minutes long or seven years old, creates its own language with words, looks, gestures and half-finished sentences. Lisa, I am so sorry. Its really very tragic, I said. I offered to take her home and bring her back on time to catch her flight. She said she was fine and would wait at the airport. I looked for the airline staff to check if there were any flights earlier that she could take.

There were none. I talked with two women staff members and shared Lisas situation. They offered to take her to the departure lounge through a side door meant only for the employees. I went back to Lisa and gave my phone number just in case she needed any help. I asked if I could pray for her. She nodded her head out of politeness. I prayed and when I opened my eyes I saw two women staff members standing with us with their eyes closed.

They escorted Lisa to the door. As she walked away, I noticed her shopping bag. It was a well-known mens clothing brand. Her father needed a new shirt. People were coming to see him. Why is your hand stretched out? I am waiting for the bombs to fall. Come back in at once. I take one last look at the starlit sky, and follow Ma dutifully into the underground bunker.

My dream of seeing bombs falling out of the sky like pretty raindrops, remains unfulfilled. Overhead, one can hear a high-pitched whine. The planes are coming. Ma hurries and quickly pushes me down into the bunker. The year was We lived in Ambala, a town on the PunjabHaryana border.

I had just turned three. My dad was an officer in the Indian Army and our home was a whitewashed army bungalow, situated alongside several others, in a quiet lane in the Ambala Cantonment. A front garden with a large jamun tree dominating the grassy patch and a backyard with a chicken coop was my world then. I spent my days on the makeshift wooden swing tied to the jamun tree, or feeding the little chicks in the coop. My mother tells me that I would sometimes wander out of the backyard and into the mustard fields beyond, causing much worry; I dont have any recollection of doing so.

I do recall my third birthday though. My mother had made a cake in the shape of a doll and we had a small party with my friends from the neighbourhood, under the jamun tree. The memory is one of peace and tranquillity. All that changed in December. In retaliation for what they called unnecessary interference in our national matters, Pakistan launched air strikes against India.

Our prime minister declared war and a massive operation was launched. Tremors were felt nationwide, and Ambala was in the middle of it all. It was close to the armys Western Command centre, and chosen by the Pakistanis as a strategic target for air strikes; overnight, the sleepy town became a mystified participant in this juggernaut called war.

Last night, Baba went away. Ma did not know that I was awake, my eyes open as I lay in the baby cot. I saw him wear his uniform and his shoes.

He even stepped up to my cot and looked at me. I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep. Then he went away. Ma told us the next morning that Baba had gone to war. Didi and Dada asked her a lot of questions.

They were excited but Ma looked worriedlike when Dada does not come home on time. I wondered, why? Baba will fight and win. Good people always do, like Hansel and Gretel burning the bad witch and living happily ever after with their dad.

The next morning the Cantonment was a bed of frenetic activity. Trenches were being dug up in the lane in front of our house, and sandbags and barbed wire was being set in preparation for a sentry post. A team from our station workshop arrived home to build an underground bunker in the backyard. All the houses were to have bunkers, and we were to immediately retreat to these when the air attack siren went on.

The uncles from Babas office came with big spades and other paraphernalia. They picked up our chicken coops and lined them along the backyard wall. The chicks were cheeping loudly, so I gave them some corn. Then I stood there and watched the uncles dig. Ma had told me not to disturb them. Soon they had dug a big hole in the ground. Ma told us that they were making a bunker for us to live in.

Right now it looked like a big chicken coop. Then Ma called me in for lunch and a nap. When I went out in the evening, the hole was gone! There was grass there instead. I asked Didi where the hole was, and she laughed. Then she took my hand and led me to the grass. It seemed to be covered by a tent-like cloth. Didi flipped up the edge of the cloth.

Ooh, there were secret steps going down! We climbed down and saw a big room. Ma and Sukhbir bhaiya followed us. They were carrying mattresses, pillows, blankets and a lantern, even!

Ma, are we going to live here? That night, as the air siren went off at 9 p. In accordance with strict wartime regulations, all lights were put out so that the raiding bombers would not be able to sight their targetspresumably the army headquarters and the ammunition depots.

We got up immediately after we finished our dinner and made our way to the underground bunker. We kids were quite excited as was the dog.

She could smell adventure a mile away. Settling in with biscuits and a big flask of tea, the dog sprawling across our tummies, I almost felt grown-up. For my pre-teen siblings, growing up on a fare of commando comics and Biggles, this was probably a dream come true.

The excitement, tinged with apprehension, was palpable in the tiny room. Meanwhile, the planes kept coming. We would hear a distinct whirr as the bombers flew in. This would be followed by distant sounds of explosions as their bombs found hapless targets on the ground. I awoke suddenly, not knowing where I was. In the feeble moonlight shining through the entrance of the bunker, I could see sleeping bodies all around me. In fact, there was one on top of me, letting out little canine snores.

Pushing the dog away, I got up and stumbled over the others to reach the steps leading to the top. I slowly climbed these and stepped out into the moonlit night. There were no lights anywhere, except in the sky where a thousand stars twinkled.

A few red dots could be seen in the dark horizon. They were moving steadily, coming closer. Maybe they were coming to drop bombs. In eager anticipation I stretched out my arms, wishing them to fall out of the sky and into my tiny, waiting hands. What are you doing here? Seeing Ma at the bunker steps, I told her without turning, I am waiting for the bombs to fall.

Ma seemed to stand still; then she shook herself, ran out and dragged me into the bunker. Get inside at once, she said. I could not help but sense an underlying tone in her voice, one that I had never heard before. Was it fear? Like what I felt when my brother told me ghost stories in secret? Anyway, I dutifully followed her into the bunker, the dog jumping up to lick my hand in a happy welcome.

The morning after would bring news of bomb hits in the town. The air strikes were ceaseless and as the evening approached, a strange kind of tension would build up within our small family. We would sit around the big radio in the living room and hear nightly updates on the war. My mother heard this with particular concentration, her brow furrowed, her hands furiously working on her knitting. There were cheers when we took new ground and silence when we lost.

More troops were called up as the Indian Army mounted its offensive. Today, Sukhbir bhaiya did not come home. I waited and waited, sitting on my swing. Maybe he was angry because I laughed at him yesterday. Bhaiya, why are you knitting? Baby, I am knitting a sweater; for the soldiers who are fighting the war. Silly Bhaiya! Only Ma and aunties knit. Men dont knit.

They fight, didnt you know that? I giggled. Bhaiya smiled but he looked sad. Ma, why has Bhaiya not come today? He has been called to fight the war, with Baba and the other uncles. See, I was right! I told him yesterday that men fight, they dont knit. Ma, when will he return? Sukhbir was our batman, my dads man Friday and a willing partner in my three-yearold exploits.

He would pluck jamuns for me, sit cross-legged so that I could line up my dolls on his lap, and then sing lullabies. He would push my swing so high that I could almost touch the leaves of the jamun tree. So his departure made a big difference to my small universe. I had no one to play with anymore.

My mother had no time for me as she busied herself with the other army wives in a massive knitting operation. In a race against time, the ladies knitted a large number of sweaters, caps and mufflers for our soldiers battling the bitter north Indian winter.

With the schools shut for the winter holidays, the children in the lane had all the time to play and their games took on a distinct war flavour. Red Indians, commandos and the expected India vs Pakistan war games were replayed with equivalent passion on the grassy knoll at the end of the lane.

I was not allowed to go out those days, but standing at the gate would give me a birds-eye view to all that went on. I press my nose to the cold bars of the gate and peep to the right.

I can see the jeep and the children standing around it. Didis red ribbons are visible from afar. An uncle in uniform, pretty much like Babas, stands talking to them.

They are pointing here and there. I wish I was allowed to go out and join them. The group now walks closer up to our front gate. There, there,says Dada urgently, we were playing there, and the beggar walked up to us with our ball. Why are you bachchas inside that trench? What is this for anyway? Is it a drain? And what did you boys tell him? We said that it was a trench for our soldiers to protect us from the Pakistanis, Dadas friend pipes in.

I can see Dada giving him a fierce stare, almost willing him to be quiet. Well, if you see him again, please tell your mother and ask her to call me at the station headquarters, the uncle says, his tone gentler now. The espionage scare was one that I recall clearly.

Suddenly, we had begun to see many beggars in the lane. Dirty, raggedy chaps who sat in the shade of the bungalow walls; in stark contrast to the whitewashed orderliness of the Army Cantonment. One of them had spoken to the children, asking them about the trenches. Then, the officer came one day and questioned the children. It turned out that the beggars may have been Pakistani spies, trying to uncover important security information. This was a strategy adopted at both ends, the Indian Army having done similar cloak-and-dagger stuff in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, prior to the war.

In fact when I grew older, I was told that one of my fathers colleaguesa tall, smart gentlemanworked as a cobbler for many months in Dacca, collecting crucial espionage information. In any case, it was additional fodder for the imaginative minds of the children.

And then the war ended. With the declaration of a ceasefire, the warfare came to a sudden stop. Troops and officers started returning home. We would see the olive green jeeps, rolling down our lane, dropping off familiar faces at each gate.

My Dad was one of these. My mother lay down her knitting and started smiling again, my siblings got ready to go to school once more, and Ambala got its lights back. Today Sukhbir bhaiya came back.

He picked me up and swung me high. He even got some barfi for me. I am really happy to see him back. He has promised to play with me and the dolls later on, after he finishes polishing Babas shoes. I cant wait! My tiny existence was back to its mundane routine.

With the bunker bricked up, we could move the chicken coops back to where they belonged and I could go out for a walk in the lane with my ayah once more. However, something had changed within us. Our family became more closely knitthe experience of war seeming to have been a splash of cold water on our hitherto idyllic existence. I think my parents and siblings would reassess their lifes priorities, whilst I was just happy about Sukhbir bhaiya coming back.

As an adult, I have had occasion to go back to Ambala and have re-visited the lane of my childhood, a couple of times. The house still stands, worse for wear after forty years.

The garden and the jamun tree seem smaller, seen through adult eyesthe lane narrower and unpaved. The little grassy knoll at the end of the lane still remains and I see children playing on it, as I used to, many years ago. The serene surroundings belie the tension and excitement that had swept us all up, many years ago. It is almost as if the war never happened.

My father came back. Your uncle has left an ugly place and is on his way to a much more beautiful and serene one.

So many years I have lived. All those medicines. The gods were smiling in the dark. I was sitting idle. I remember I had silently prayed for her. I felt sorry for him. That evening my uncle was cremated.

I would be pulled out immediately. She was broken to the last bit. I continued. She then somehow gathered herself and said. She nodded. Nobody has to grieve. He took a bath. I have seen enough. He is at peace now. It did not matter whether that someone was a fourteen-year-old. She mumbled to herself after a few minutes. He talked to nobody.

I knew if anybody found me sitting with her. I crawled up to her bed and sat beside her. I promise. The lamp in the small wooden temple was still unlit. Her voice was reduced to a whisper filled with tremors. Whenever we go. My mother came and sat beside me.

He will be flying with the birds. Let him rest now. He has just completed a long tiresome journey. She said again. She had drifted away to some place far from this world it seemed. What more does He want me to see? And when you have to go.

I had learnt a lesson that evening. If you have come. Finding positivity in something as dark as death is perhaps the biggest inspiration a human being can achieve. She knew she would never see her son walking towards her with a smile. But every time she looked away.

But what we choose to see more brightly is that it is also the beginning of a long endless rest. She knew all the pain had ended. The end should not be on a bed full of regrets.

Is it just an end? Or is there more after the end? I tried to say something meaningful. Her eyes showed a collage of myriad emotions. It was a strange look. I had found my grandmother weeping secretly on numerous occasions. Death has no explanation. It must be a moment of the most peaceful smile and the heaviest sigh of relief. Many a times I had noticed her staring at the framed photograph on the wall. He will be. Find a place in the hearts of not only your loved ones. Even if the death is untimely.

A soft smile slowly quivered on her trembling lips. I replied. I never meant to say anything that would tease out her tears instead of easing her heart. She was free from the unbearable suffering that she had gone through. Because it is only death that can inspire life like nothing else. Why do we fear darkness? Why can we not carry lights? Instead of fearing death. I was a child. Bursting bulbs. My mother had made sure that my sister and I locked all the windows before we sat for our routine after-dinner study.

The emergency light charger had gone for repairing and with all the windows closed. Taken aback by the suddenness. It did feel a bit strange since. The complete darkness was only broken occasionally by little man-made bonfires near sleeping beggars on cold barren roads.

Mohan Gurung. Frequent loadshedding. It was then that all three of us. Our chain had to grope our way back to the kitchen. It was a blessing though. Papa had gone for his monthly business tour. But sometimes. The last liquor shops were being shut by shaky hands. So I was secretly quite happy when all of a sudden the lights went off that night. Nearly twenty years back. In those days. As the little flicker of fire appeared. There had been a robbery in the neighbourhood recently.

Trees swayed to it. A chilly wind was howling outside. Thanks to my dear sister. But her expression confused me. And we came out a little to look at her. The apparition was a woman. Our eyes wide open. Was she giving us assurance or asking for it? A knock again. She was an adivasi. Our watchman. Mohan Gurung was shouting at a crouching figure in the dark.

Instead of going to the door. An apparition. She looked filthy. Ma shoved me behind her. But slowly. Seeing her nervous. My sister and I were struggling for a good view from behind her. Thank God. I could not tell. Without a warning. Then again. Then again a knock. Drained out of all emotions. Someone was knocking on the main door. Kaise ghus aayi idhar? How did you enter? My mother was standing at our door. A minute passed.

This time. I saw her. Ma and I both waited to listen. Her sari. Who could it be there at this hour?

What was that idiot watchman doing? Now what do we do? As expected. With the single candle gone. How many days had she not bathed? Mohan was shouting at her non-stop. But she was visible. She cringed back in the light. I could hear doors being opened upstairs. He then raised his big lantern to see her clearly.

The stench around her was awful. She kept shrinking into herself as his decibels increased. Sharma Chachi. She dropped her head into her folded knees. Her hands were shaking miserably. The watchman. Sudden warmth. As carefully. Her tear-stained face showed she wanted to say something.

Hugging herself more tightly. Just inform the police! The hapless creature kept her head as lowered as possible. Sharma Chacha. People like these! Nothing else! I noticed. Who knows. I had never seen my mother like this before! And I definitely loved what I saw. Sharma Chacha had come down. Sharma Chacha was impatient. The poor woman. Her shivering body. All of a sudden. The food. She called Sharma Chachi and said something I could not hear. What was taking this woman so long?

Ignoring the sarcasm-filled mumbles. I realized. Her look had more disdain than before. Only Ma was still unsure. Many said they were thinking the same thing.

Not even from the women standing there. Her village was near Khunti. They were cold. Whenever a good idea comes. Had my mother lost her senses? The men were muttering angrily in their breaths. With no one other than an old. But I saw Chachi cringe and wrinkle her nose as she looked at the woman from head to toe. The air was heavy with agitated emotions. Tears trickled down as in a broken voice. A few days back. Her dry straw-like flowing hair. It was.

I finally understood minutes later when the woman had to finally get up. The portion of the sari behind her was almost blackened by old blood marks. She had been roaming on the roads ever since. Her husband had thrown her out some time back. Ma handed her the rotis and a bowl of hot milk. Mohan had been sent some time back to catch a cycle rickshaw. Mohan gave directions at the top of his voice. At first we ignored her and turned back. Ma and I had gone to download vegetables at the market.

She had obediently followed whatever they said. He could be heard stopping and trying to convince the passing rickshaws. Quite characteristically. Like the seasons of nature. Ma finally did her last act of humanity by giving her an old sari. I was too young to read eyes at that time. She had been unwilling to stand. As we all waited with bated breath. As we strolled on with half-empty bags. We were all good people. A cycle rickshaw had come. But when she left.

It was months after that night. It was a Friday evening. What only mattered was that we were kind enough not to have handed her over to the police. It was almost midnight when the rickshaw finally pulled out of our gate. You want something. So many questions were bubbling up inside us. She was wearing a colourful printed synthetic sari.

I come here weekly. Where did she stay now? Was she earning well enough? Was she well? Was she happy? But all we saw was her smile when she turned around to see us again.

They helped me start earning. I will give you for free! I have to go. And that smile said it all. You gave me roti? Was I scared to hear the syllables of anguish from a man who had played football at u levels for his district but could not take up the game as a profession because of career constraints and his strong principle of not polluting his love and passion by making it a way to gain financial stability? I have seen Labdhyo play since our college days at Jadavpur University.

I wondered. Known as Neuer among his friends. Football has always been his first love and at twenty-eight. I expected an outburst. I was not sure what to do. I dared not look at him. Labdhyo gingerly got off the bed. Match starts at five. My eyes were blurred by the dates of the upcoming tournaments.

Had I become deaf? Was I too scared to hear the cry of a heartbroken man. I was not aware of his intentions. Apart from that he was also the captain of the Nehru Hall Football Team. I had not been able to gather my strength and ask about his decisions. I reached out to collect the biometry reports. I collected the change after a tip and dragged myself to the ground. Throughout the match. But what could be done?

The game must go on. Come if you want. Labdhyo pretended to not hear. Knowing about his health condition. I was unusually silent on the days that followed for I was torn between friendship and duty. I will sue him for bringing in a nagging parrot from Kolkata. Labdhyo and I had been pretty good friends but he would never pay any heed to my repeated utterings of.

As promised to him. With more than four players injured and a very weak defence. Labdhyo was perhaps the only one in the team who stayed on the ground throughout. I anticipated this was coming. We had just a few days left in our hands.

I knew every move Labdhyo was making was detrimental to his health. Ruud Shock. I said. You really think you can play for Ruud Shock? But I was left with no option. Sipping on my cold coffee at Sahara. The ninety-minute-long final match ended with extra time. I understand you are extremely passionate about the game. His best friends. I had stopped bringing up the topic of his health altogether. I have seen so many human beings in love. The broken shell forgot all the pain as he jumped to catch the ball.

They were beating drums of anxiety and the boisterous music of tension which consumed my enthusiasm for the upcoming tournaments. In the days that followed. His every gesture. I could see a blazing fire in him. When he stood on the field. Perhaps both. For everyone who is dedicated to his or her passion. The X-ray report. They say pain is just a mere breeze when you walk on the path of love. I restrained from expressing any further anxieties. I dared not to bug him with any more questions.

It was true for Labdhyo. I watched him play for his department where he captained the team. Nil and others. Batman has been my most favourite hero since my childhood.

I was seeing one in front of me. It was not the cup. I wanted them to win. Even at twenty-eight. Painkillers allay the physical pain and a victory intensifies the drive to carry on.

They could not do without him. The defeats were not pulling him down. Labdhyo struggled on. He exerted himself more by practising for penalty shoot-outs as the inter-hostel tournament approached.

Throughout these months. Because he is a hero without any magical power. Even though I would speak little with them I sensed we were all on the same boat. His eyes spoke of his love for the game. I saw a broken warrior fighting with the same spirit I had first seen him display.

His swollen right leg spoke of the pain he was enduring. I knew it was coming. He is driven by passion and intellect. Nehru Hall was filled with just two words. I looked at him with awe as he brought victories to his hostel.

Being a struggling writer myself. The love refuelled the waning energy. I knew what it takes to be passionate about something. It reminded me of a few lines from the acclaimed Bengali writer. Ignoring the setbacks. The victories pushed him to soak up the pain.

Pather Dabi. I have always admired him. One might not be lucky enough to be born as a Kryptonian or as an siteian princess but dedication. The inter-hostel tournament was the last of the football tournaments for the winter. There were very few like him who were professional players when they were young but had not taken up the game as a career. Much to our dismay. He was proud of his team and he appreciated the way everyone played. I would like to make an appointment with the physiotherapist.

The final round of the inter-hostel football tournament was an engaging match between Nehru and R. Both the teams were in no position to give up. That is why perhaps God has endowed upon you all the responsibilities and burden of this world. He smiled. He fiercely guarded his post and did not let a single shot enter the net.

The opponents got into a complete attacking mode after that but Labdhyo had planned his defence well as a captain. I could not help myself from running up to him and giving him a hug. His smile was brighter than his fluorescent jersey. With their Messis and Cr7s they attacked but that day celebrated the existence of only one Neuer.

Surrounded by his team mates and friends. Our Neuer. It was his day. The fog was descending on the city. I retrieved her seatbelt. I was getting annoyed as she occupied all the space and her stuff spilled over to my side. I settled down in my seat. I boarded a flight after spending four days in the biting cold of Delhi. Lo and behold. The flight was full. The longer the flight.

But we were not so lucky. She clutched her mobile phone in her left hand. Take it from me. She was flying for the first time! I fastened her seatbelt and noticed she clutched an additional boarding pass in hand. The passengers on the aisle and window seat always silently wish that the middle seat remains unoccupied so that it can be used as a side table to dump books.

She walked in. Sighing deeply. A harried girl with a small suitcase and two bags hanging from either side of her thin body. I rested my head on the window pane and looked outside.

Her shawl kept slipping off her shoulder. The pilot announced. My toes felt free and began to breathe again. That passenger could wind up in the seat next to you. She took forever to settle down in her seat.

It was time to get out of the winter and go home. Her narrow eyes behind her glasses were moist and red. Will there be a place at the Mumbai airport to charge my mobile phone? Her last-minute shopping must have delayed her. I thought.

She put her carry-on and a shopping bag on her lap and looked for the seatbelt. He would call her up several times a day. She could have taken a direct flight from Delhi to Trichy. Her name was Lisa and she lived in Tiruchirappalli with her older sister.

I had lunch. She had bought a new shirt for her father last Sunday. Sadness turns strangers into friends. Her father would have his lunch and call her to check if she had had hers.

I looked at the tiny lights on the ground outside the window. I ended the conversation and returned to my reading. Lisa was the baby of the family and her father missed her a lot. Such was her helplessness. He was waiting for the ambulance to take him to the hospital.

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She was a nurse and worked in one of the hospitals in Delhi. Her sadness and fear were personal. Soon I could hear sobs. He will be all right. She could have easily avoided spending six sleepless hours at the Mumbai airport. She had been looking forward to her first break to visit her family during the Easter holidays.

I noticed a sad smile on her face when she talked about her father. She had covered her face with her hands and her body was shaking. She was really clueless. I took the call and said. While she cried. For the next hour she told me her story. And her father was not well. We were gaining altitude as the aircraft made a turn and found its course. He would do the same after tea and dinner as well. I gently touched the back of her hand with my fingertips. Her family had a history of lung disease.

I offered to take her home and bring her back on time to catch her flight. She looked at me and shook her head. She had cupped her mouth. I looked for the airline staff to check if there were any flights earlier that she could take. I asked if I could pray for her.

I stood next to her watching her cry. There were none. This cry was different. She said she was fine and would wait at the airport. Facts sometimes damage hope. She was standing near a pillar amidst her bags. Her father needed a new shirt.

I prayed and when I opened my eyes I saw two women staff members standing with us with their eyes closed. I knew. The cabin lights were turned off. I said I was not. I went back to Lisa and gave my phone number just in case she needed any help.

The plane landed. People were coming to see him. She held the cup in both her hands and looked at me. Every relationship. They offered to take her to the departure lounge through a side door meant only for the employees. My bag was the first to come. I added sugar and slipped a tea bag in it. She nodded her head out of politeness. I noticed her shopping bag. I snatched it off the carousel and looked for Lisa. I am so sorry. As she walked away. I had my bag checked in. I grabbed her suitcase while she carried the shopping bag and other stuff.

I gently forced Lisa to have the tea. I love to take a night flight to Mumbai. The passenger in front of me had reclined his seat and almost put his head on my lap.

I ate quickly and asked the airhostess for some hot water in my cup. They escorted Lisa to the door. From above. When you are not in a hurry. Lisa declined the supper. The plane began descent to Mumbai. The airhostess came by with the food trolley and parked it next to our seat. Come back in at once. I do recall my third birthday though. Ma hurries and quickly pushes me down into the bunker. We lived in Ambala.

Trenches were being dug up in the lane in front of our house. Ma told us the next morning that Baba had gone to war. My mother tells me that I would sometimes wander out of the backyard and into the mustard fields beyond. Ma did not know that I was awake. Our prime minister declared war and a massive operation was launched.

The year was Tremors were felt nationwide. I had just turned three. Baba went away. Baba will fight and win. The next morning the Cantonment was a bed of frenetic activity.

Didi and Dada asked her a lot of questions. My dad was an officer in the Indian Army and our home was a whitewashed army bungalow. Good people always do.

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My mother had made a cake in the shape of a doll and we had a small party with my friends from the neighbourhood. My dream of seeing bombs falling out of the sky like pretty raindrops. Last night. He even stepped up to my cot and looked at me. Why is your hand stretched out? All that changed in December. The memory is one of peace and tranquillity. I spent my days on the makeshift wooden swing tied to the jamun tree. I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep. They were excited but Ma looked worried—like when Dada does not come home on time.

Then he went away. I saw him wear his uniform and his shoes. Pakistan launched air strikes against India. The planes are coming. A front garden with a large jamun tree dominating the grassy patch and a backyard with a chicken coop was my world then. This would be followed by distant sounds of explosions as their bombs found hapless targets on the ground.

Ma and Sukhbir bhaiya followed us. I asked Didi where the hole was. There were no lights anywhere. Then Ma called me in for lunch and a nap. A team from our station workshop arrived home to build an underground bunker in the backyard.

In the feeble moonlight shining through the entrance of the bunker. I could see sleeping bodies all around me. Didi flipped up the edge of the cloth. They were moving steadily. Then she took my hand and led me to the grass. The chicks were cheeping loudly. We climbed down and saw a big room. I almost felt grown-up. Settling in with biscuits and a big flask of tea. She could smell adventure a mile away. We kids were quite excited as was the dog. Ambala plunged into darkness. Maybe they were coming to drop bombs.

Pushing the dog away. Ma told us that they were making a bunker for us to live in. I awoke suddenly. In eager anticipation I stretched out my arms.

When I went out in the evening. I slowly climbed these and stepped out into the moonlit night. Right now it looked like a big chicken coop.

They were carrying mattresses. Then I stood there and watched the uncles dig. The excitement. We would hear a distinct whirr as the bombers flew in. There was grass there instead. I got up and stumbled over the others to reach the steps leading to the top.

For my pre-teen siblings. Ma had told me not to disturb them. A few red dots could be seen in the dark horizon. In accordance with strict wartime regulations. It seemed to be covered by a tent-like cloth. Soon they had dug a big hole in the ground. All the houses were to have bunkers. They picked up our chicken coops and lined them along the backyard wall.

We got up immediately after we finished our dinner and made our way to the underground bunker. The morning after would bring news of bomb hits in the town. I am knitting a sweater. Maybe he was angry because I laughed at him yesterday. Was it fear? Like what I felt when my brother told me ghost stories in secret?

I waited and waited. He would pluck jamuns for me. There were cheers when we took new ground and silence when we lost. My mother had no time for me as she busied herself with the other army wives in a massive knitting operation. I told her without turning. We would sit around the big radio in the living room and hear nightly updates on the war.Within you will find all….

Perhaps both. Early morning. Within me I could feel all the emotions that humanity would have endured when Nicholas Copernicus had first proved that the earth was indeed spherical and not flat!

We would sit around the big radio in the living room and hear nightly updates on the war. I settled down in my seat.