If you can prevent yourself from bursting in to a loud laugh, and control the urge to make fun of me so badly, I have something to confess here, and that’s nothing but my uncontrollable love for fluffy and lovable soft toys, especially those medium and huge sized ones that are so cute and huggable, and never fail to induce a huge amount of positivity an pleasantness in to the person who owns one of them, or even watch them sitting next to one another on the glass shelves of those beautiful toy shops.
Although I have more than one stuffed toys, I sleep with a softy and plush teddy bear that I’ve not named yet, not because I don’t have any, but to enjoy the freedom to call him all those cute names that I know. He is my best friend, and by far the only one worthy of sleeping beside me, curling softly to my belly. If you see me speaking him while I am in my room, or when am back from the office, asking him how they are feeling and how his day went, you wouldn’t take even a second to call me downright crazy, but can never succeed in taking away my liking for stuffed toys. Sadly my friends and the rest of the world can hardly understand this, or are rather very much prejudiced about this love of mine, the reason why most of them call me child-like and silly. So I’ve never dragged him out of my hostel room, and always want him to comfortably remain in the privacy of my bed. He has seen me crying myself to sleep, waking up happily, shouting and howling crazily, staying up all night reading or chatting with people, and doing all sorts of nutty stuffs that no one else in my life would have even imagined in their wildest dreams.
I know I am well past the age where I could have had a huge number of soft toys around me, to play with them, to hug tightly while I sleep, to kiss them on their soft and tender cheeks, to talk to them when I am all alone, to tell them stories that I have heard, or to give them those adorable names like Pinku and Tinku. Still those lovely looking teddy bears, Winnie The Poohs, and large Penguins that sit hand in hand on the shelves of the toy stores always keep draw me towards them as I pass-by, extending their tender little hand through the glass window, welcoming me to befriend with them. I turn behind and smile at them helplessly, saying I am past that phase of life when I would have run towards them and grabbed them the very next moment. If I forcefully turn my eyes away from looking at them, I feel as if I keep hearing their sobs asking why I unkindly avoided them and walked away.
There is a really big toy shop just a few meters away from our bus stop, with glass panes on the first and second floor, where soft toys are kept neatly arranged one after the other, like sweetie little babies sitting next to one another, and smiling adorably at the passersby.
Soft, cuddly, and every smiling, softy toys make me happy like no one else can. I love being in their company, as they are always there for me whenever I need them, hugging me tightly, taking away all my sorrows and anxiety, and in return giving me immense happiness that no one else can offer. And above all, they never let me down or harshly judge me like the rest of the cold and cruel world. But given that I am in my thirties, as I said, my fondness for soft toys has always been a reason for constant laugh and ridicule, as people around call me crazy for loving the company of soft toys. However, I continue to keep giving deaf ears to all those who call me childish, as I have more than one good reasons to love my soft toys. Being alone in my room most of the times, they are the ones who keep me happy forever, the reason why I keep calling them the most wonderful friends on earth. More than the beauty of their softy faces and adorable little eyes, they are the absolutely trustworthy confidants and the ever-ready-to-listen friends that I have every had so far in this busy and fast paced world where no one, not even some of my best friends, can take out ample time for me.
He was sleeping like a kid, resting his head on her bosom, but Jack suddenly woke up from sleep, wondering if he had overslept yet again. Lying motionless on his bed, he looked at his watch and muttered, “It’s kind of too early!”. It was just six in the morning and sun rays were just beginning to peek through the olive trees outside his room. “Why did I wake up so early?” He couldn’t help but wonder why and how he woke up suddenly from deep sleep, as there was about one more hour to hear the blaring noise of his earsplitting alarm. Snuggling cozily into his pillow, he was about to sleep for an hour more, as he felt he wasn’t fully awake. But sleep was gone! To surprise him more was the unusual kind of freshness that he felt, which made him whistle one of his favorite songs, the one that he has sung many times while in college, especially to woo Debbie, his then girlfriend and now wife of two years. He felt unusually happy and excited for the day, but had no specific reasons to mention. “Is the day special; an important one in my life which I can’t remember?” Although he kept asking this to himself several times, he couldn’t find anything special about the day.
Looking besides him, he saw Debbie sleeping peacefully, hugging him tightly. Is she smiling in sleep? For a moment, he felt as if he saw an adorable smile on her face. Planting a tender kiss on her forehead, he left the bed and reached near the window pane. The morning was as beautiful as his wonderful wife, he thought. Being busy with his night shifts and back to back meetings the whole night, for more than a month, he had almost forgotten the last time he enjoyed the beauty of a pleasant morning, as he used to hit the bed by early morning and used to sleep till late noon. The busy schedules finally got over the day before, and now, he is back to his ‘normal’ days.
By the time he was at the dining room, after a refreshing bath, he saw Debbie near the table, ready to serve him a scrumptious breakfast. She was looking so beautiful that he couldn’t take her eyes off her for a few minutes. “Is today a special day?” he asked her while sitting close to her for the breakfast. As always, she just smiled adorably, but her blue eyes kept telling him that the day is indeed very special and he is forgetting something important about it. He kept wondering what it could be, but nothing came in to his mind. Cursing his workload and tensions, he managed to finish his breakfast and reached for the car key and his bag. It was time to leave for the office and he hugged her as usual. She smiled and gave him a peck on his cheek, but again Jack felt he was missing something that he should have remembered.
Even after reaching the office on time, he was still in dilemma, as he was almost sure that he has forgotten something about the day, something he should have remembered, but didn’t know what it was. It was almost ten in the morning when Nick, his brother, called him asking for suggestions to help him select a gift for Debbie, his beautiful sister-in-law. Yes, that rang the bell in his mind! “Oh! My god! It’s Debbie’s birthday today, and I completely forgot that!”
Jack almost slumped into the chair, placing his head on his palm. Forgetting Debbie’s birthday was something he had never done before! His sorrow started mounting when he thought about the moments he had spent with her in the morning, without wishing his dear one or giving her a memorable gift. He badly wanted to talk to her, to say sorry to her for what he had done.
After a couple of rings and anxious wait, he heard Debbie’s lovely voice. “Debbie, I am so sorry that I completely forgot your birthday. I didn’t wish you. I didn’t get you any gift. I am so sorry darling. I am extremely sorry for what has happened.” He really wanted to meet her and tell her how bad he feels for not remembering her birthday and how blessed he is to have her in life. “No problem. When I have you in my life, to love and support me unconditionally, what more do I need. No matter if you forget my birthday or our anniversary, I know you will never forget to stop loving me crazily. I love you Jack.” Saying this she hung the call, and tears rolled down his eyes. Thanking god again for having her in his life, he went back to work, so that he could finish them as fast as possible and get back home to celebrate Debbie’s birthday.
This is my first attempt to write something entirely different from the usual writing style of mine. This post is based on a prompt that I was provided by one of my colleagues. It’s a picture that I have uploaded right here, in the middle of the post. I was asked to write a post based on the picture, and here is what I wrote. Hope you have liked the post. Please send me your genuine comments and suggestions.
Ask me about my birthday plans for this year, or about those bygone birthdays, and I would give you a shock of a lifetime. Do you know why? I don’t celebrate birthdays! If I say I haven’t celebrated my birthday yet, not even once in all these adventurous thirty three years, I am sure you all will have just one reply to say, and that’s I am a liar, a shameless, bloody liar who’s badly craving for your sympathy by portraying myself as a woman who was deprived of the entire happiness that she should have received in all these years. But believe me or not, I haven’t celebrated my birthday even once in all these years. Though birthday celebrations where never forbidden at my home, December 22nd, the day I came in to this world, often went-by just like the other days of the year. It was not because no one was really interested in celebrating my ‘beginning’, but birthday celebrations just didn’t happen, instead I was made to understand that one should never splurge money on trivial things, instead on something useful and genuine. Right from childhood, I was ‘well trained’ to not ask for grand birthday parties and expensive gifts. Being not used to any kind of birthday treats, I never had anything to crib about and never did it ever, at any point of my life. There were no cake cuttings, no new dresses, and no elaborate parties and no gifts from anyone. In short, every birthday of mine went by just like other usual days and I didn’t have any complaints about not having memorable birthdays and attractive birthday presents. As everyone around was so tied-up in their own worlds, busy with their own works, I forced myself focus on mine too and moved on, instead of ranting about why I was not wished or why I didn’t have colorful dresses or memorable birthday parties like most of my classmates.
I am really not in to spending money on birthday parties or dresses. I’ve never asked my parents why I didn’t have them, nor did they try explaining why they arrange anything for me all these years. Not having flamboyant dresses and exciting birthday parties are not things that I have regretted at any point of my life. May be because I’ve never known how it would be like if I had them each year, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I enjoy my birthdays now. Do you want to know why? As I grew up and started becoming self depended, birthdays were those days of the year when I made sure to do at least one charity work, mostly in the form of donations to cancer centres and orphanages, or even to the temple nearby our home, so that they can feed some of the poor people, mostly children, old men and women, who are often found begging in front of the temple. Those little acts of kindness give lots of happiness and satisfaction, much more than how I would have felt amid grand parties and a flood of birthday presents. Rather than feeding the well-off with a scrumptious birthday lunch, I prefer feeding the poor and needy every year, not because I want people to go gaga over my broadmindedness and kindness, but because it gives me a lot of happiness to see their innocent and contented smiles. More than the glitz of a pair of gold earnings, an expensive dress or an advanced mobile phone, the best gift that I prefer on my birthday is the smile that I can bring on the face of a needy, by lending a helping hand. For this reason, I am happy that my dad and mom never tried spending money on my birthdays or never threw lavish parties for me, made me feel that birthdays are those must-celebrated days of the year. It has helped me get contented with normal birthdays, so that I can generously donate something every year and help at least one of those needy people out there, perhaps the best possible way in which I can celebrate my birthday.
I was reading an online news paper today and came across this news report that said there’s a new movie coming up, a biopic, based on the life and tragic death of Diana, the Princess of Wales, the most photographed woman of her time, the person whose life was always the most chosen topic of discussion, in the media as well as among people around the world.
I still remember that fateful day, an August 31st, which took her away with it. As usual I was away for morning tuition classes and came back by almost 8 am when dad told me about the tragic news that was continuously getting flashed on BBC. It was hard to believe, but was true; Diana, one of the most beautiful, iconic, woman in the world, was no more! It took some time for the reality to sink in properly, and I sat glued to the television, even without having breakfast, to know what actually happened to the most iconic woman in the world. Slowly, the reporters started giving details on the car crash, and it was more than shocking. I couldn’t hear the graphic explanations more and switched off the television soon. Although the day went off as usual, I was sad, terribly sad about the death of someone that I had never seen in my life. Years passed by, and it’s about sixteen years since she left the world that hardly bothered to give her the privacy that every human would want.
Since her death, so much has been written, spoken and cinematized about Diana, the People’s Princess, with everyone claiming their works to be genuine and authentically written. I’ve read a few of them; books and articles, where people have left no stones unturned to write, speak, and discuss stories about her life – childhood, teenage, marriage, children, relationships, charity works, and may other things, only to meanly celebrate sufferings, rejections, heartbreaks and betrayals in their own way, only to create spicier versions of her life and make money out of them.
Some of them went a step further and celebrated even her death, that fatal car crash that abruptly took her away. Want to know why I said this? Just Google her name and you can see endless articles about her death; writings that are grounded with absolutely no authenticity, written only for the sake of fame and money. What’s more nauseating are some of the photoshopped images of her, claiming to have been taken right after the car crash. People are sick! Really sick! Lady Diana is not here to give justifications or proof of authenticity to whatever has been written and spoken about her over these years. She’s not here to ask for privacy or to beg to let her live her live, or even to urge them to stop speculating about her and her life, which I think is the biggest relief and happiness of all those writers, speakers, and movie makers out there who keep ‘fiercely’ stating their own views about her life and death.
People have always made her life and even her death a good business to make money, and yet ferociously keep saying about their love for the dead Princess; someone who was always chased by the media in the entire world, someone who badly looked for privacy to enjoy a normal and happy life like others, and sadly didn’t get it during her entire life, and even after death. All the books and movies based on her life minted a huge amount of money, making the writers, publishers, and movie makers rich and famous overnight. But I really wonder if anyone had actually tried understanding what she was and what she had been through, in all the thirty six years that she lived on this earth.
People still keep selling her story for vested interests and the world keenly reads it with excitement of watching another peppery Hollywood movie. Books after books, biopics after biopcs, people keep portraying her in the way they want, writing and visualizing her life in the way they want, and not in the way she lived.
She’ll be back soon! Yes, Lady Diana Spencer, whom I adored the most, about whom I read a lot, is going to be back through another biopic that will be released sometime soon. So here arrives yet another version of her life and yet another breach of privacy!
Throughout her life, she kept running away from the scurrilous media, craving for privacy and a normal like everyone of us, paid for it with her own life, and still they are not ready to leave her, not ready to spare her even after death!
I won’t call myself a voracious reader and writer, but I was an avid reader long back, during college days. I used to keep track of every new book that reaches the shelves in the English section, and always made sure to read them as soon as possible. My love for reading was one of the main reasons that prompted me choose English Literature for Post Graduate studies, and I was constantly ridiculed by everyone for taking this decision, which they all felt was foolish and childish.
Although I graduated in Chemistry, I had always felt that it was not my forte. I never loved Chemistry as much as I loved Literature and writing, and always carried in mind a little bit of regret for choosing Chemistry for my graduate studies. It was a kind of momentary decision that should not have made. I was told that Literature is a subject meant for the laziest and low scoring group of students who fail to get admission for the other ‘elite’ subjects. I was made to believe that Literature won’t help me get a successful career, and foolishly believed what I was told. But I was wrong, and by the time I realized this, the damage had been done. Chemistry and Maths classes bored me to death during the entire three years, always making me feel that I was listening to Greek, Latin, or some other unknown language. I never had any genuine interest in the subject and mechanically mugged up pages and pages of notes and even those Maths problems, without even bothering to understand them all. The result: I performed disastrously in all three years and my scores were terribly low. There were a lot of people around me to keep blaming me, calling me a lazy idiot, but not even one of them bothered to know why I scored low. Had anyone talked to me about the reason why I couldn’t do well, I would have at least tried telling how much I hate the subject and how badly I wanted to get out of the whole mess. But it didn’t happen in all the three years and I just managed to ‘escape’ from the Chemistry debacle with average marks to make me eligible for P.G admission.
It was time for P.G admission and everyone chose Chemistry and its various branches, but I played safely this time and chose Literature. Again, I was surrounded by a hell of comments and suggestions from everyone, who kept ridiculing me saying Literature would ruin my career plans. One of my aunts teased me saying I would never get a job if I choose Literature. In spite of all these ridicules, I chose literature as I knew that it’s my forte, it’s in my genes!
I won’t say that I was superb in all the two years of post graduate studies, but did pretty well, and went on to do a P. Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. The best part of post graduate studies was that I had the opportunity to read a lot of books, something that I had always wanted to do.
After spending a few years of my career as a teacher, now I have found my niche, and I am extremely happy with my career in Content Writing and SEO.
As I said, I used to be an avid reader in college, but kind of lost that passion once I left the college. Although I used to read a couple of books in between my hectic work, I was no more fervently in to reading, as I used to be. Call me lazy, and I may perhaps not disagree as I know I have become a bit lazy now. Even after having a successful blog and pretty fine writing skills my reading hardly improved. So, I badly wanted to bring back the avid reader in me, and landed up in the public library close to my hostel yesterday. The decision was half self-made and half motivated by one of my dear colleagues. Even after being in the city for almost 5 years, living close to the library, I never bothered to visit the place even once, the reason why I was a bit ashamed and guilty as I climbed the steps. But as the saying goes, better late than never! So I went in and got myself a membership and a good book.
I am not sure if I would be able to bring back the ardent reader in me, but will definitely try best to do that.