Saturday, February 27, 2016


Five years ago, I wrote a love letter. To the most beautiful woman I know. Now, I write another letter. To the most beautiful girl I will ever know. My life is constantly changing from “good” to “great” to “couldn’t be any better”. And that is because of these ladies in my life. As the little one continues to grow at break neck speed, I have decided to just sit down and assimilate all the love and beauty around me and imagine how she will be and what she will say and do as every other day goes by. And as my mind always likes fantasizing things, let me push the fast forward button and see where we go.

First of all, whenever you read this, DON’T LAUGH. Though I can’t wait for you to look at this letter and give me the look. I know you are right now busy drinking up your milk but soon time will slow down and you will stop outgrowing your clothes faster than I get my next haircut. There will be several such moments where time will stand still for us to cherish each other. And I look forward to them oh so eagerly. But for now, here is me, just wondering and imagining things on your behalf. Don’t worry… your time will come soon. Allow me to humor you for now!

This is a random letter with no rhyme or reason, no end or purpose. It is just an outpour of my mind and heart. It is all the things that I want you to do in life and all the things that I want for you from life. You will be surrounded by so many wonderful people and you will meet many such more. And make no mistake you will face a lot of tough circumstances and people as well but I am sure you will be strong enough to come off unscathed. I want you to take everything in your stride and march along and not for once turn back circumspectly. For I have always got your back.

I don’t want you to be the best in everything. I don’t want you to try either. I want you to figure out what you like to do, what makes you happy, what satiates your inner hunger, what burns your fire, what compels you to wake up every morning with a big smile on your face. I want you to find it and give it your best. I want you to fail. I want you to fall. And I want you to get right back up. I want you to dream. However simple, trivial, complex, weird, lovely your dream is, try your best to live it. Hold on to people who encourage you to achieve that dream and egg on others to achieve theirs. Life will be simple but happy.

I want you to explore music. If you have your mother’s genes, you might become a star one day. If you have mine, well, don’t worry. I will build a bigger bathroom in our house. And probably get you drums. Not related in any way to the bathroom, in case you are wondering. You are a smart girl. I am sure you will get it.

I want you to learn lots of languages. If I had a chance to pick, I would at least do: Tamil, English, Hindi, Mandarin, Spanish and French. With the first five, you will be able to speak with almost everyone in this world. The last one is just for fun.  And then I want you to travel the world. With us. Alone. With someone else. However you want. Just be a wanderlust for a while. Soak in all the fresh air, the diverse cultures, scenic pastures, breathtaking vistas and most importantly the enlightening human interactions. That will teach you a lot more than classrooms and books will ever do. Now I know what you are thinking… you little devil. You are still going to school by the way. You are allowed to bunk the occasional class and go to movies with us.

I want you to find your love. A man or woman who will love you more than me. Err… let me rephrase that… who will try to love you more than me. Don’t go looking for it. But if you find it, don’t let it go. You will know when it is for real. Or if you want to go it alone, you will have an old man and woman giving you company as far as life lets us to.
I want you to enjoy the little pleasures of life. I want you to walk with me in pouring rain and then enjoy some delicious ice cream. I want you to finish yours faster and fight with me for a bite of mine. I want you to play with us in the snow, hurl snow balls with a cute ferocity and then sit by the window sipping your mother’s refreshing tea.

I want you to try your hand at cooking. I want you to forget to add salt and look at me with a sheepish grin. I want you to add too much spice and wonder if I am crying out of joy or of the chili. And then I want you to perfect the art and cook delicious delicacies for me. And if you want to sleep in one day, don’t worry. I will get you breakfast in bed with some hot filter coffee.

I want you to be humble. I want you to be bold. I want you to be gentle. I want you to be strong. I want you to be kind. I want you to be expressive. I want you to be passionate. I want you to be level headed. I want you to be rational. I want you to be eccentric. I want you to love. I want you to be loved. I want you to be creative. I want you to be happy. I want you to be: you.

I can go on, but hey, this is not my last letter to you.

Parents more often than not, tend to dream through the eyes of their children. They try to correct their life’s failings or accentuate their life’s successes through the burdened shoulders of their kids. I am most certainly aware of that fallacy and have no intentions of committing that mistake. If we eliminate “Expectations” from life and from others, we will be a lot saner and happier. And so will others.

So by no means, this letter is a “to do” list for you. By the way, I have always hated those. This is just a jobless father fantasizing about some lovely moments for and with his daughter. I won’t be sad if you didn’t do the things that are in this letter. I am sure you will figure out other cool things to do and your dad and mom will be there with you or watching from a distance.

Friday, February 19, 2016


The other day I met up with our good old friend, Mr.C'mon man. He was a little miffed with the fact that I had featured Cheeky Chuck and ignored him for a while. It took a while to convince him that there was nothing like that and asked him if he had any funny tales to tell. He immediately filled me in with a hilarious encounter with a reporter who had recently stumped him with a tough question about the flamboyant (yeah right...) Republican Presidential Candidates. 

Who are they you ask? Who else I ask! Ted Cruz and Donald Trump! The top cartoons right now in American politics (among several others if I may add). 

So do you think you can solve Mr. C'mon man's conundrum?

Sunday, February 7, 2016


This post has been selected for BlogAdda's Spicy Saturday Picks

It is a frosty afternoon. I am numb though. I try opening my eyes. They are glued to each other. There is a lot of buzz around me. I muster all my strength and my left eyelid flickers. I can’t see anything. Blurry objects dance their way across kindling my curiosity. I try to listen intently. The sounds make no sense to me but they are amusing. Fun and frolic fills the air around me. Something important must have happened. But I feel reluctant to get up. I pop my head out. My bed seems too small for me. I feel drowsy. I am bored. My eyes fade away slowly as instinct brings the curtain down for the day.

I wake up again, this time my eyes cooperating a little faster. I have no idea how long it has been. I don’t seem to care. I hear a few voices around. No more celebrations though. Guess it is just another day. I smell something really good. It is a new feeling and I seem to like it. I exercise it until I get bored of that. Food is ready. I have not been a big fan of it until now. I take a nibble. Something is different. It tastes different. It tastes better. I flush it down my throat vigorously. I look around with curiosity. Lots of things have changed. I devour the views. Lots of inanimate objects made to look meaningful. I don’t understand their purpose. I look outside. Lots of animate objects wandering aimlessly! This kindles my interest.  

I walk outside. I feel the sun pinch me mischievously. I amble around and let my feet lead me. It may seem ironical but it feels very natural. I discover a garden. I meander aimlessly along inhaling all the freshness and beauty it has to offer. What a jackpot. Breathtaking color, brimming life, unparalleled magnificence, poignant tranquility! Heaven does exist. A rabbit looks at me curiously. After a little hide and seek, it tip toes towards me. We have a long distance conversation for a moment only to be interrupted by a sprightly squirrel which bisects us on its way to a lilac tree. The rabbit leaves me for the squirrel. The sun seems to have gone for a nap. Clouds engulf the sky and wet me. I seem to enjoy it. I walk past the rustling leaves towards a sprawling orchid tree. Rain seems to have stopped but there are water droplets hanging on desperately fighting a losing battle against gravity. I observe one such beauty which is slipping down from a branch. On its way down it magically clings on to a leaflet. But unfortunately the leaflet lets it go and it slides down a breakneck speed. But it is miraculously caught by a black skimmer that transports it seamlessly to the nearby lake. A poetic journey comes to an end. I am tired. I see a bench. A fluffy dog is resting on it. It scoots in, inviting me for some banter.

I have lost my carefree abandon. Monotony has engulfed me. I feel suffocation. I seek adventure. The dog gives me company. I enter a jungle. I don’t know what lies ahead. The dog does. Still it follows me.  I hear a roar. The dog leads me to safety behind a tree. I see a majestic lion. I am not afraid. Yet! I yearn to be him one day. I am hungry. My lips haven’t felt the cool touch of water in days. I collapse under the shade of a tree. The dog eggs me along. I refuse to budge. A deer stops by. It pities my plight and leads us to a river nearby. I thank her profusely as the dog barks its gratitude. The dog grabs a fish out of the running water and proudly displays its catch. I make fire and dinner is served. The deer opts for some fresh grass instead. Life is good. For now!

I like the forest. I decide to make this my new home. I cut a maple tree; gather some wood to build a small house. A sparrow is left homeless. I make the house pretty, the dog gets its own room, the deer visits often. Life treads along smoothly. One day I get a surprise visitor: the rabbit from the garden. I am happy to see him. He is not afraid of me anymore. Somehow that bothers me. Life is peaceful. The four of us tread the jungle in the day, swing by the river for some food and then hang out in our house during nights. Winter arrives. The biting cold freezes my spine. I don’t get out of the bed. Hunger scorches me. The dog is not around. The rabbit gives me company. I look at him. Evil intentions take over. Suddenly the rabbit looks delicious. I was not wrong. It tastes delicious. Guilt knocks the door. I don’t answer. I see the dog staring right at me, a fish between its teeth. I look away.

The winter runs deep. Light rarely penetrates into the house. I rarely permeate out of the house. The dog still brings me fish and the deer still visits. Coldness is not just in the air outside; it is between us as well. I decide to step out to feel the icy mist on my skin. I see the lion lying rather timidly at a distance. I shiver from the inside and outside. But I hold my ground. I see a jackal sitting next to the lion. I wonder why. Days are darker. Nights are lonely. I see the lion and jackal regularly at night. Food seems to elude them and the winter is not kind. They don’t intimidate me anymore. The jackal approaches me. I grab a stick. It grabs my attention. I say yes.

The deer has been tied to the lonely oak tree outside my house. It looks at me with teary eyes. I look at my feet. They are dirty. The lion feasts on the deer. The jackal scavenges the remains. He is generous enough to leave me some. I sit next to the deer’s corpse. A tear starts to trickle. I wipe it clean. A vulture looks to pick up the remains. I drive her away. I take a bite of the deer’s leg. I feel ashamed. I gobble up what’s left of it. The dog cringes. I burp.

Winter is finally over. The sun is a little more generous. Life is not. My communion with the lion and jackal continues. The dog rarely leaves the room. I don’t know why he hasn’t left me yet. He does not bring me fish anymore though. I never liked fish anyways. The lion dies. The jackal has promised to find another one. I don’t seem to care. I feel asphyxiated. The presence of the dog haunts me. He will never leave me. I should.
I have walked several miles without looking back. I can’t see the jungle anymore. I miss the dog. The deer haunts me. I decide to rest. I see something green. A park, maybe! There is a small bench. I decide to lie down. It is too small. I crouch. I close my eyes. The rabbit smiles! The deer smirks! The dog weeps! I open my eyes. I smell rotten earth. I feel cold. I feel numb. I hear a gong. Will the dog forgive me?

                                                                                                              - A SHORT STORY BY RAJ

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