In this tavern I’ve been drinking for years.
Red, blue, and sometimes orange.
Sometimes it’s faith that I drink.
But never blood.
Wherever you are, whoever you are – rich, poor; young, old; lady, or gentleman – one thing you are going to confront soon is that this year too has ended.
The calendar will change: the date, month, and year will change. But if we look at it another way, nothing is actually going to change. The days will be same, you’ll be the same person, and the things will be same – at least they won’t change because the year has changed. Then why do we celebrate the New Year, or why do we even have new years?
In this technologically burdened life, we are busier than ever. In this race of staying connected, we have been slowly departing from our own self. We are losing the connect with our soul; I feel this, and maybe you also feel so, sometimes.
So isn’t it wonderful that we have events – because that is what they have merely remained now, events – like New Year, Christmas, Holi, and Diwali that remind us that there is more to life?
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
~ T.S. Eliot
2015, for me, had been a great year, unlike 2012 which was a bad year. If you compare the calendars, these both years were same, but 2015 was a great year because the lessons of the previous years made me a better person. They taught me to consider each day a blessing and not overthink about the past or the future.
So to rephrase, things aren’t going to change, mostly. The days will be same, the months will be same, and the events will also be the same. But what will change is you. In the new year, you’ll be a better person, a better human. And that is what really matters in the end.
So, be prepared. You are about to change. Aren’t you?
A philosopher friend always preaches: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are but how you see yourself.’ If you ask me, I would rather chirp only after consulting the wife.
Nonetheless, I see myself as a brave, bold man. Yes, I do. When I look into a mirror, my biceps and triceps grow out to octaceps, and my protruding belly doesn’t resemble a piglet’s, as my friends often remark, rather it is a multi-packed assortment – way ahead of a gym instructor’s six-packs.
However, last month I had a very peculiar experience. No, not that I had to part with a hefty sum of my hard-earned money, but a sweet, intelligent lady outwitted my smartness, and cracked my pride. The only fact that still haunts me is that I had never known her before I received that phone call. But what an angel she was! I tell you!
If you trust my sense of judgement, she was 5’6’’; had long, black hair; pointed nose, and wore an extra large Bindi. And she had that slurry, deep voice that could make a man yearn for a mug of whiskey.
And she had that slurry, deep voice that could make a man yearn for a mug of whiskey.
I picked up the unknown number.
‘How are you, Sirrr?’
O, that rise and fall of the syllables! I thought it was someone I’ve intimately known in the past, but I couldn’t remember.
‘Who is this?’
‘Sirrrr, this is Sheila.’ [The identity of the caller has been intentionally revealed because there is nought a chance that Sheila would sue me.]
‘From the I See.You See.We all See bank.’ She added.
‘Ha…Hi….Hi, miss Sheila. What a fine day!’ I responded excitedly. For that lady, I tell you, had greatly stirred me by then.
‘Sirr, I just checked in the system and your credit card has been blocked. All right sir?’
‘Funk!!! When did that happen?
‘Let me check the system, sir. Can I put you on hold for a minute?’
‘Sure, sure, miss Sheila!’
And then a soothing symphony was played while the butcher sharpened her axe.
The line came alive after quick two minutes.
‘Ya, sir. Was it last Wednesday you bought something worth 5000 at Toys & more?’
‘And then you paid 1535 at the Ghazal Bar?’
‘Right, right. So what do I do now?’
‘Ok, Sir. I’ll help you out.’ she added. ‘Tell me the number on the front of your card.’
‘Hold on!’ I immediately ran and fetched the credit card, for lovely miss Sheila. ‘Yes note it…’
‘Thank you, sir.’ She remarked. ‘You are kind!’
‘Mmmm… ya, ya!’
‘Now the three digit on the back of your card, sir’
‘But I’m not supposed to give it to anyone…?’
‘But you surely can give it to the bank na, sir?’
‘O, ya, ya. Note it….’
And a flurry of messages flooded my cell phone.
‘Wait! Sheila! Why’s money getting deducted from my card?’
‘It’s normal sir. I told you, there is some error in your card. Don’t worry, the amount will be reverted within next 72 hours.’
Then, two three transactions later, lovely Miss Sheila started laughing heartily. And then the line went dead.
I have been calling that unknown number since, but it is still switched off.
I’m confident it is cell operator’s fault.
We’ve all been through it, and we remember it as one of the most cherished part of our life – the time when our teenage gives way to adulthood, the time when we try to live out our whimsies. This is a phase out of which none of us comes out clean. But then, as adults, we all term it as ‘experiences.’
It is 1990 and Raghu & Aadi, both teenagers, are high on life. One day Raghu starts getting mysterious blank calls, an ordeal of which brings him in touch with Shalini – a girl from his coaching who has also been getting similar calls. Before they could find out the culprit, they find themselves deep in love. And then the story takes you through the fun and anxiety of being a teenager.
Eighteen the end of innocence is a story of each one of us.
Eighteen the end of innocence is a story of each one of us. I’m sure there is some part of you in there. I found mine in Raghu & Aadi.
For me, the book was intriguing and a page turner. Keeping in view his audience, the author has intelligently kept the language simple and sentences short. One can easily finish it in a single sitting.
My only grouse with the book is proofreading. Between the pages, I felt that the book requires more editing. I found problems with the language like exclamation marks not doing their job, dead adjectives, and sometimes the punctuation was not right. I feel better editing could have led the book to another league.
I highly recommend the book to the lovers of YA Fiction. I think they would not want to miss this compelling read.
My rating: ★★☆☆☆