Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Whenever I write, I write to keep in mind readers who do not know me personally. However, there are a few readers who are my friends and close associates and who know me from my other varied activities. And they are always shocked at my writings! They cannot associate me and my writing together. I want to know, why are you that shocked at my writings?

Is it because you meet me as a conventional, conformist, rather demure kind of a girl so content at being indoors, happy with her cooking, her plants, her balcony. Very, very ordinary housewife, whose priority in life is her son’s life, her small domain of happiness, her home, which she decorates, and her small businesses which she doesn’t have any plans of making big.

And they they read my writings: My blog, Whiff of Tempest, Titir and Other Tales, and of course, Neil Must Die. It’s then when they get shocked. Rightly said my author friend: “It’s not a right thing to know a writer personally, because there will be something about the author’s personal life which you will not like. The author will be married a few times, or have had a few atrocious sexual rendezvous, which the reader will not be able to relate to. And in your case, your writings are so diametrically opposite from what you are.”

What I am? Wait! Do you know me at all?

Here is where I start laughing. It’s a writers’ prerogative that he/she choses to write or not write exactly the way he-she lives. I’m so sorry I don’t portray a personal life so colorful and bold like the way I feel or write. And moreover, it’s just one part of the iceberg that you see which indeed looks very, very conventional and a conformist. That’s what friends who have met me recently will say. But what about the nine parts that are under water? They are carefully hidden; the past layers buried deep inside; which inspire my writings. But, you see, the claws are invisible. It’s after innumerable rendezvous and several realizations that I have cemented the memories layer after layer in such a way, that even I cannot now dig up the graves. Conventional? Conformist? Me? Well, if you think that’s me, I have been successful.

But, this blog isn’t to share those memories. I am afraid, those layers will go to the grave with me. You can get a reflection of those layers of my life in my writings, my blog where I bear my soul, and my novels. But, no. Never a whiff of a mis-calculated betrayal. My life, my pain, my emotions, are only mine. I can share the realizations from them, but never the true memories. I do not care if readers are judging me, whether they find me homely or atrocious, whether I can, or am making any change in the society. I am truly an arrogant person and an anti-social at heart, and I’m glad when my friends cannot see that. It means I’ve been successful in hiding my true colors.

Do you really want to know about my life and my battles? I really don’t believe anyone would actually want to know anything about me. They have too much of their own and my life is no different than most. But it seems people’s curiosity never ceases, especially after they have read my writings.

It seems somehow readers cannot connect my face to my writings. I believe I have an innocent face, lead an apparent innocent life, within the four walls of my home, ensconced in the cradles of Canadian social security. One marriage, one child, a perfect family life. How does she write such bold articles?

In 1992, when I had just begun freelancing, and was reporting on the anti-social activities in and around a garbage dump area in Kolkata, an American journalist working with me told me: “Surprisingly you write very good English.”

I still haven’t figured out why was he so “surprised”.

In 1998, a renowned filmmaker and neighbor, who had just read my unpublished book, “Whiff of Tempest“, saw me talking with a neighbor about our common ‘maid’ problem; he took me aside and asked: “What did you talk to that woman for such a long time?”

In 2011, my husband’s friend and long-time family friend who had eaten so many dinners at my house, read my blog for the first time and was shocked. He later told me: “Kaberidi, you and your writing are completely two different personae.”

And it happened again: In 2017, an author friend who was reading my writing for the first time, after knowing me as a very homely person in Canada told me these words: “I would have considered you an ordinary person if I hadn’t read your blog.”

My question: God, do I really have such a really boring, dumb face?

Prospective answer: Dear God, thank you for giving me such a boring face, with which I can convincingly hide my years of life’s struggles and desperate decisions. With which I could run sting operations during my reporting days without raising any hackles.

…Thank you for the smile I still have, with which I can camouflage years of pain and sufferings. Thank you for giving me the strength not to discard everything that didn’t fit me, but repair them to fit to my needs.

…Thank you for giving me the strength to stack my battles in layers and layers of history, and not let it affect my present and future decisions.

…Thank you for giving me the strength to do a grocery list while writing a novel and letting me take orders for my catering business, The Hang-La, while editing for FinalDraft.

… Thank you for letting me come up with a punchy headline for the latest cover story for my in-house tangy magazine, Citrus, while watering my plants.

…Thank you for giving me the talent to write this blog while waiting for my client to take his food orders.

… Thank you God for letting me talk to you, when I know deep in my scientific and logical heart that you don’t exist.

I tell my readers:  Dearies, You are looking at only one part of the nine parts of me that are under water. And I choose to show you exactly what you can handle.

 

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Reduce your expenses. Work from home. Use online platforms. Use free ad sites. Use social media extensively and intelligently. Do not push sell. Wait for responses. Get rid of websites. Be honest. Build relationships. Give yourself time, time and time…
doing-paperwork
After reaching a certain age and entity in my life, I realized that I wasn’t finding any ONE single platform to put into effect whatever experience, skill sets and talents that I had acquired/polished over my lifetime in two countries. I wasn’t getting the appreciation or the value of my abilities.
….. So? Was I going to fade into the twilight yielding place to the new? Was I going to become complacent about my meaty lifestyle and retire?
… No! I wan’t going to give up on exploring new creative ideas and ventures, even if I have to do it all alone.
I wasn’t going to fade away into the twilight without sharing all that with the next generation, and there wasn’t any particular platform where I could bring it all on.
So I decided to use the internet in all its all strength. I decided to publish my ideas on several online platforms: Writing, editing, designing, creating newspapers, self-publishing, teaching editing, cooking and promoting Bengali cuisine, dancing and promoting Kathak internationally, promoting culture tours in India worldwide and writing my own books.
… After a while, I found websites too are passe. They only take up a lot of bandwidth and are costing me money. And no one is going into it. Free ad space is where people are. So I took advantage of free pages on social media and free ad sites to promote my ideas. They are also ‘businesses’ because unless people pay for your ideas they do not take them seriously.
So in a way, I had a chain of business which required zero investment.

I was thinking faster about my personal freedom and choice faster than the speed at which I was approaching 50. I realized I’ve had enough of reporting to my supervisors, trying to sell myself to be at their beck and call, trying to please everyone around myself, other than myself. I decided to finally crawl out of this slavery of being told what to do, and start telling others what they need to do.

It takes a long time; to be able to estimate yourself and set a price tag on yourself in actuality. To be able to emerge from the fear of ‘Monday’ and get self-motivated to do things at your own time and pace. You have been too long judged by others who have been setting  a price tag to you. As I was approaching 50 I suddenly had a feeling that the end was drawing near… that I was surely not going to live as long as I have.

I have so long only lived for others: my family, my job, my boss, money, for anything and anyone, but myself. Yes, earning is important. Loving is important. But not at the cost of sacrificing your dignity and soul so much that you have no answer to give to your soul.

I decided to start building a relationship with myself.
Luckily, by 50 I had a substantial (by my parameters) financial security, enough knowledge and experience to be able to stop being a slave to any-and-everyone, start living life at my own pace, earn moderately to support myself, do whatever I loved doing, and set the right price tag for my talents and experience. I determined exactly when I was going to stop chasing money just for money. Because I had reached all my dreams and had to rebuild some more to sustain me for the next few years of my lifetime. For that, I needed time in my hands, some leisure to build a relationship with myself, explore my dreams and ideas and them lay out the fare for the world to buy.
Thus, began my business ideas. And I began to chalk out a path how to increase flow of money.
How to do all that without any investments?
These are some basic tips.
1. Reduce your expenses
I started meditating extensively to understand what I really want and need in life. Separating myself from peer pressures, societal pressures and trend pressures. I realized my needs are very limited. I didn’t need more than 2-3 summer wear every year. For winter, in Canada you are covered from head to toe, so whatever winter wear I had was enough for the next 2-3 years and the new dresses I got during Durga Pujas were extraneous, but yes, I loved getting new clothes. I also realized I had very basic needs of home-cooked food and love to hang onto my old clothes. I realized there are so many things you buy only because your friend or neighbor has them or it is the fashion trend. Once you separate your own needs from these unnecessary ones, you become more confident and aware of your own identity. Reducing expenses builds up savings. So whatever money I didn’t spend, I saved.
2. Online shopping
I stopped going for shopping unless I needed something urgently. I started doing online shopping.  The good thing about online shopping is whenever you feel like buying something that you don’t really need, but wish for, you can just add it to your ‘Wish List’ to buy later. Later, you may not want to buy it at all. This curbs impulse purchase that we often do when we go out shopping. Online shopping also eliminates the travel expenses to and fro the malls.
3. Working from home
To set up your own business, working from home is the best and only option unless you have to REALLY go out and meet clients. You can give the address of your home as your business address and start using the benefits of the internet in the best possible way.
4. Explore free ads
Whenever I had an idea, I inserted a free ad on the free ad website about the kind of services I am offering, in Canada and India, and shared the idea with the right kind of groups on Facebook. I shared corporate business ideas on LinkedIn and softer ideas on Twitter. Believe me, most of my clients too are sitting on their computers, on their social media, looking through such ads. I have acquired the best and longest-lasting clients through these free ads.
5. Keep sharing ideas but don’t spam
This is where your creativity and understanding of human nature comes in. Keep sharing your ideas on the right public platforms, but keep a reasonable time gap between each ad. You don’t want your readers to spam you. Yet you don’t want them to forget or miss what you are doing, so you have to be regular, consistent but not come on too strong. You have to learn that pace yourself.
6. Self-discipline and self-motivation
People want to see how consistence you’ve been about your ideas. So you have to keep sharing ideas but not repeat them. Give them your ideas packaged in a new gift wrap every time.
And make a routine for yourself every work day. Set your own work days and work times and follow that rigidly. Also give yourself two days off from all this business, or else you’ll lose the energy. Self-motivation and self-discipline is the basis of doing business alone.
7. Interact with people who respond to your posts
Do not spam people if they are not responding. Your business will lose its respect. Communicate consistently with people who responds to you. Remember, people need a soft push to decide, not a hard one. Also it’s selfish just to reply to the responses you’ve got. Try interacting on their own posts too. This builds relationship. If you see a relationship is taking your business somewhere, it’s good. Or else, you may have to stop wasting your time.
8. Give a lot of time on the internet
How am I going to package my which business today, is my first thought of the day. After doing yoga and eating a healthy breakfast during the first hour of my day, and after meeting my family needs, (since I am a mom, a wife, a housewife, a daughter, a sister and a friend first), I begin to think how am I going to sell my business today in such a way that it won’t bother people, instead they will be excited and feel compelled to click on my link. For that, you have to understand the people in your social media and how they use the internet.
9. Websites are passe
I learned one thing clearly: Business is done with people, not with brands or websites. Also business involves another big factor: TRUST.
If you have people giving you orders based on the trust factor you’ve built over a period, you don’t need an expensive website to certify how good your business is. Word of mouth travels faster than light or sound. So believe in yourself, be honest, build trust and be truthful in your services. And it’ll be just a matter of time you’ll be overwhelmed by clients.
Websites only draw unproductive people who are not really serious about doing business with you. They just want to see a fantastic website. And you may want to eliminate people who judge a book by its cover.
10. Hire people on project/on-call basis
My publishing house has an international team of editors, designers and writers. But they are all on project/on-call basis. I draw out a contract stating the same right at the beginning. Hence, since the project is mostly funded by the self-publishing authors, I do not have to pay anything from my pocket. The business mostly depends on creative talents, efficiency of editing and designing, and honesty, honesty, honesty. My pool of editors and designers are extremely experienced and talented. I am proud to say that I’ve hired the best brains who can do a much, much better job than those operating by the name of editors in the market.
Hence, with self-discipline and self-motivation you can slowly give up your full-time job and immerse in your business from home. DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. Step out of your comfort zone slowly, but steadily. Only then can you release yourself from this slavery and the fear of Monday. You cannot even begin to imagine the kind of sense of freedom that your business will give you!
I can proudly say that I am running four businesses and one consultancy service absolutely with zero investment. Of course, by ‘zero’ I mean zero dollars. I needed a lot of investment of my time, intelligence, brains, honesty and some leg work. Rest comes to me automatically.  So whatever you earn, is yours completely.
Let me know what you think of this by commenting below.
Thanks.

Welcome to my blog!

I started connecting with people after I left them all. Before that I was a grumpy grouch, poring over the computer screen, making pages, running to office and running back home. After I left the country and settled in this peaceful land called Canada, and my basic survival needs were easily met, I relaxed and looked around. I found no one. I started panicking, and thanks to the internet, began to connect with friends, colleagues and enemies like never before.

Thankfully, behind the wall of the computer screen, I could be myself. My real self. Not hide behind a wall of grumpiness to protect myself from invisible hurt.

In this blog, I am posting stories of reality and laughter. Reality, which will hit you like cold water… which you won’t like; and laughter, which will put a smile to your face.

Some of these were published before the internet age. The yellowing newspaper clippings are all that I have of the articles which would have been soon lost if I didn’t start typing them furiously somewhere.

Very soon, I started having almost 200 visits on my blogs after each post. So I started writing more. My blog is also a mutiny against the staid media and publishing houses, which are hounded and bound by so many ethical/moral laws and word restraint before they publish something.

I am born free… therefore I write. 🙂
Enjoy!
(And please feel free to comment on anything)
Kaberi Chatterjee

Samarth Malik received the letter late evening. He was perplexed. The letter read, “From Mrs S. Misra, Konnagar, Hoogly, West Bengal.’’

Mrs. S. Misra? Who could it be? He tore open the letter. It read:

“Dear Mr Malik,

My late husband, Saurabh Misra was your friend. He died 12 years back. He has left a portion of his will in your name. I had been searching for your address all these years and have found it only recently. Kindly acknowledge receipt of this letter and let me know how soon can you come and accept your gift.

With sincere regards,

Mrs. Sabari Misra.’’

Samarth stood surprised for a long time. Saurabh Misra? Saurabh? In his last 41 years of his life he couldn’t recollect having met anybody by that name. A friend? He sat down on his armchair and began recollecting his college days. Saurabh… Saurabh… Who could it be who would leave a portion of his will in his name? He couldn’t remember.

He tried to remember his Naxalite days. Those days of fire — which he wanted to wipe off from his memory. There were no particular reasons for that. Only that his efforts had proved fruitless. Why only him, the entire movement had proved futile and the best of his mates were killed by the then ruling government.

He survived. There were reasons for that he didn’t want to remember.

Saurabh Misra…? Was he someone he associated during his Naxalite days? Or was he a colleague in his office?

He had emerged after his Naxalite days as a manager of an upcoming private organization. A well-settled organization, which gave him the launching pad for his soaring career in a multinational organization, of which he is a director now. He had built a plush home in the better parts of the city and with his wife and only daughter, had a chalked out a life that he was glad he had bargained for. He prided himself for taking the right decision at the right time.

Saurabh… a colleague? But a portion of will in his name? Strange! Or is he a distant cousin? No. He read the letter again. The lady mentioned that he was a friend.

Samarth decided to investigate the next day. His curiosity took the better of him and he was determined to find out what was this all about. He had been an active Naxalite once and had the grit of a leader. His name was still in the police books and if it were not for the police, his existence would have long been wiped off.

He had been saved at the nick of time. The police had opened fire when they had asked 17 of them to “Run! Run for your lives!!’’ on an open field. They had been promised freedom and were freed from the gloomy cells after a month of gruesome torture. His wrist was broken and his toenails were pulled off. His mates were in no better conditions. All of a sudden one day the Chief came and smiled at them, offering them freedom, at dawn. Thirty of them bundled in one cell; they looked at each other in disbelief.

The dawn came and 17 of them were pushed inside a van, and were driven off. The van reached an open field and they were asked to step down. And then the officer shouted, “Run! Now run for your lives while I count 10!’’

They ran! Samarth ran till his breath began to burst out from his lungs. He didn’t hear when the officer said “Ten!’’ and the three armed guards started firing. He saw his mates falling on the ground, one by one. And then something, a burning hot sensation entered his calf muscle and he fell. He staggered to get up, only falling back with the impact. Then suddenly an idea struck in his mind. He decided to stay motionless on the ground. He closed his eyes and bore the pain. The firing continued for another few seconds until there were no more running figures around. He waited breathlessly for the van to start its engine and drive off. A minute passed by and then two. He opened his eyes slightly to see the van and saw a pair of boots instead in front of his face. He instinctively looked up and saw the officer standing over him with a smiling face…

Konnagar was only a 20 minutes train ride from Calcutta. He reached the small, but busy town at 10:30 in the morning. He took a rickshaw and after several mistaken turns and bends, finally found the residence of Saurabh Misra.My husban'ds last gift

It was a small, one-storied yellow house. A short gate let to a wrought-iron enclosed balcony. He lifted the latch of the wrought-iron gate and clunked on it twice. And then again.

“Who is it?’’ A woman’s eyes peeped from above one of the springs of neat curtains that hung on the windows.

“I am… er… Samarth Mullick.’’

The woman’s eyes looked stoned for a second and then lit up with a smile.

“Oh yes, just a minute.’’

He heard the latch of the door being pulled down. And then he saw the woman come out.

She could barely be in her early 30s and her devastating beauty glowed from her white attire, while she was devoid of any external aid. A touch of helplessness in her eyes struck a node in Samarth’s heart and he wanted to suddenly be the benefactor of an unknown friend’s so lovely a widowed wife.

She smiled. And cupid worked ferociously in Samarth’s heart.

“Please come in. I have been waiting for you for days.’’ Her last words wrenched out from her heart and helpless eyes. Samarth thought about his dried-up wife.

“I am sorry,’’ he said. “I received your letter only yesterday.’’

“Oh! I posted it quite some time back,’’ she led him into the room.

The drawing room was neatly arranged. With frilled lacy covers on cabinets, supercilious sofas, cane stools and standing lamps, the room swanked in contrast to the woman’s vulnerable appearance. The fact that light had blinked out of the widow’s life ceased to walk in through the door into her interiors. She seemed a happy person inside; her garb of sanctity quietly camouflaging her bubbly youth. She was, as if, waiting for hope to re-enter her foyer.

Samarth sat down on one of the sofas.

“I am Sabari. That’s my husband.’’ She pointed with her eyes at a photograph just behind him.

He jerked his head around. And then he recognized him!

“Oh!’’ He was stunned. Too stunned to speak.

“Care for some juice?’’ She asked.

“Yes… okay…’’ he stuttered. “I wouldn’t mind.’’

“Just a minute,’’ she walked off inside.

Samarth looked at the photograph again. He was not mistaken. It was him! But then his name was… yes! Souvik… Souvik Sarkar.

The woman returned with a glass tumbler filled with an enticing chilled green juice. The tumbler was placed on a tray and covered with a lacy cover. He felt special.

“Please take this,’’ she said, “It’s made of fresh mangoes from my garden.’’

“Oh, thanks!’’ He raised the glass to drink the liquid in one gulp.

“Slowly,’’ she crooned and ended with a smile. “Drink it slowly. Or else you won’t enjoy the taste.’’

“Okay,’’ Samarth smiled. Was anybody else around in this house…?

He took one sip and kept the tumbler on the center table. Then he leant back and crossed his legs. “I don’t understand…’’ He tried to begin.

Suddenly Sabari’s expression changed to being somber. “My husband died in police firing. He was in the Naxalite movement.’’

Samarth nodded sadly, carefully heaving out a sigh of relief in small gasps. She went on.

“We were married for only three months. I was carrying his baby…’’

“Oh!’’ He bent forward and took a sip.

She looked out of the window sadly. “We were in love… we had just met in college. He didn’t want to marry me because he was into this movement.’’ Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Samarth shifted his legs nervously and took the tumbler in his hands. He was now trying to finish the liquid.

“…But I forced him. He had no parents and lived with his widowed aunty in this house.’’ She stopped and wiped her eyes with her sari.

“His aunty died a year back… I am all alone…’’ It was an inviting whisper and all Samarth could do was to shift in the sofa nervously. He felt restless.

“You…’’ he cleared his throat. “Your parents?’’

She smiled and looked at him. “They have disowned me ever since I married Saurabh. I will never go back to them.’’

“And…’’ he hesitated. “Your baby?’’

“Was born dead.’’ She looked up… and her eyes were made of stone.

He felt scared. He sipped on the liquid fast. His head was reeling. He was beginning to feel uncomfortable. He now wanted to get out of this house fast.

She went on. “You know how my husband died? He was fired, from behind his back. The police tipped one of his mates — this guy from his college. You know he was in the same movement.’’

“Oh…’’ He began feeling nauseated. He gulped down the liquid and finished it.

“Yes. The police tipped this friend of his with a grand job if he could kill him.’’

Samarth’s head started swaying!

She looked out of the window and tears started rolling down her eyes. “They were walking down this lane and my husband was discussing the next day’s plan with him. And then he fired him from behind, point blank.’’ She began weeping openly.

Samarth held the sofa handle and tried to get up. “I must go.’’ His head was swaying and his entire self was burning.

“Don’t go,’’ she pleaded in the same naïve voice. And then came forward and held his head. She began combing his hair with her fingers. “Relax, Samarth, relax… I need you…’’ She held his head on her flat stomach.

Samarth rested his head on her stomach and felt his orgasm reach the peak. He wanted to pull her down on the sofa and make ferocious love to her. He tried to lift his hands but couldn’t.

He looked up at her and she appeared blurred. “I don’t feel well.’’

She knelt down and began caressing his face, “Obviously you don’t. I know you are my husband’s killer. I have been waiting for you all my life. I have kept myself and this house beautiful ever since I learned that you were alive and so well…’’

His head staggered to fall. “I want to go home…’’ he could somehow blurt out. His whole self was burning.

“How can you go home, sweetheart?’’ She held up his wobbly head, holding his face. “I have mixed a deadly poison in your sherbet. You’ll be dead in a few minutes.’’

She held his limp head in her hands and then threw it with vengeance onto the sofa. His whole self fell, twitching slightly near his limbs — a white frothy liquid flowing out from his lips.

She stood up, “My husband’s last gift to you, sweetheart! Enjoy!’’

(This story is inspired from a short story I read when I was very young, can’t remember the source.)

(A short story from my third book and a compilation of original short stories, Whiff of Tempest)

I died today

Posted: July 25, 2013 in For a thought....
Tags: , , ,

I died today. A number of people have come to see me. I don’t know them much.

I died in my sleep. The doctor declared massive heart attack, and had left an hour earlier after pronouncing me dead and handing in the death certificate.

I look around. Most of the guests are wearing something white. It is a working day and some have driven miles direct from their work to pay their respects to me. Some came in short skirts and revealing blouses. Some probably picked up a Junior Chicken from McDonald’s or a Tim Horton’s coffee and bagel on their way. They had to. They would have to go back home and cook dinner and eat. They would become very hungry by then. Most of them are my husband’s friends and colleagues. The Service Ontario has been notified. I had donated a few organs and they would come to get the organs before the funeral.

My husband is completely disoriented today. Today is his salary day and I used to make a number of payments. Now he hasn’t a clue how I did that. He wanted to learn that so many times, but he was a slow learner, and I had lost patience. Now he will be delayed in his payments and his credit rating may fall. He may even get a few collection calls.

He is smiling a lot welcoming the guests, and then he is realizing he shouldn’t be smiling. Because the faces of the guests are quite stoic. Some are even hugging him and then he is starting to cry. He doesn’t know whether to smile or be normal and welcome guests. Or what kind of an expression he should maintain. I guess it happens to most of us. He is just flummoxed. The doctors tried hard, but left just a while back. I could not be resuscitated.

I glide over the strangers in my bedroom. I knew that. I knew I can glide. I had seen an over-dose of YouTube after-life experiences. I look across. My body is draped in a bed sheet. Thank god for that, since I am wearing not such a decent night-dress.

I glide across the living room. My son’s room. It is locked. I can knock. But I needn’t. So I glide through it. He is sitting on the floor with his head resting on the bed and his shirt wet with tears running down his eyes and throat. His eyes are closed. My baby! He is crying for ‘Mama’. I feel tears sting my own eyes. I want to hug him, hold his hands, but I don’t. Not because I don’t want to scare him, but because I want him to become stronger without me. How I wish he had found a nice little girl who would love him. But his “I don’t like girls” attitude shooed off all girls in his vicinity. I hope he finds one now. I sit beside him and rest my head (?) on the bed like him. I feel a surprising calm. Surprisingly, his tears too dry off. He looks at the sky, his jaws protruding, his eyes stronger!

My boy! Now I can leave him alone. I would have to anyway. This is a one-way ticket. I could never come back. Where would they take me? Heaven? Hell? Or back to Earth? I felt all my freedom of living was now going to end. Now I will be at the mercy of being analyzed what good or bad I did during my lifetime. Maybe I’ll meet God. I want to. I have quite a few things to ask him. I didn’t want to come back and face all these stupid things all over again.

But I was so calm and peaceful sitting here beside my fast-maturing boy, that I just wanted to sit here invisible all my life… err death. Can’t I just do that?

There was a furor outside. All formalities were over. They were taking my body away. My husband came to call my son. He nodded, “I’m coming”.

Then my atheist, 26-year-old Quantum Physicist son looked directly at my direction and spoke: “Ma I know you are here. You know what? I prayed to your God for your last wish. I prayed that you don’t have to be born again.”

(Reading so many short stories sent to me during the Tagore O’Henry contest inspired me to write my own. Not for any contest, just like that.)

(This is a work of fiction. Resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. :P)

EOM