The tale of the Orange Candy

This story lied dormant in the depths of my mind (OK, I recall it every now and then when I worry about my newborn’s school admissions in another 3 years.) when a friend mentioned this.

This happened when I was 3 years old. Like most set of parents who wish the best for their children and want them to get very good education, my parents started taking me on my dad’s Hero Honda CD100 around the city and to different schools for their admissions process. In one such school, I was asked for my name. And being the child protégé that peaked at 3 and went downhill since then, I took a cue from the rest of the kids around there and styled my name in a way that gave the parents the headache of running around to update my name in the birth records.
We eventually ended up in a school which was considered the absolute best in the city at that time. The headmaster at this school invited us in, asked aboutour background, and then put a huge bowl of orange candy in front of me. I wonder if this person had supernatural powers because orange flavour is my favourite and I grabbed the two handfuls.

15 minutes later, they came back to us and said I wouldn’t be granted a seat in that school because I wasn’t mature enough to realize I couldn’t grab candy just like that.

This set in motion a chain of events that changed our lives forever. We sought admission in another school. They were setting up their LKG to 12th campus in the outskirts of the city, we shifted there and built a house so that I could live in walking distance from the school, I ended up studying there till 12th, secured a gold medal(which in hindsight meant nothing) etc.

So the moral of the story is that whenever you find orange candy, grab a handful.

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The Other Side of the Simpler Times

Those were simpler times. Or so it is told today. Many years ago, at a time when a pencil in one hand and an audio cassette in the other made complete sense, this happened.

My grandmother needed medicines to stay alive. A survivor of a double cardiac arrest, she needed them more than food. The medicines basket was the first thing to be grabbed whenever she had to go somewhere. And just one time, she forgot. Farewells can be hard. They force you to be not you. So she forgot her medicines basket. She didn’t realize this until it was almost time for her train to leave. There was no way for someone to take it to the railway station in time. There were simpler times. The news had to reach us at home through a landline. Without the mobile phones or the ability to call up the neighbourhood auto-driver or a cab, and at a time when the only way to get a ride was either to walk to the nearest auto stand or hail one by waving your hand at one passing by, and feeling embarrassed for not realizing that there were already some people in it, we were stranded. The only way was for someone to travel with the medicines following the train, or take a bus. The medicines had to reach its destination in the morning. These were simpler times when you couldn’t send the pic of the prescription on of the messaging services. My uncle decided to travel. He had to book tickets at a booking office, rush home to fetch the medicines, and rush back to catch the bus.

The only thing that made this ordeal simple was that these were simpler times with not a lot of traffic on the roads.

By the Pain I see in Others

  • To not be able to understand the cause of someone’s pain.
  • To be blinded by your own miseries. 
  • To not care about what someone else is going through. 
  • To not be able to provide caring words.
  • To run away because you have weight on your shoulders. 
  • To be concerned about someone you don’t know and will not see again. 

The tree with no roots

  • To be living off a backpack in a place that should be called home.
  • To not have the materials needed to work on a hobby.
  • To not be able to see family while being so close to them.
  • To make plans only to have them marred by misfortune.
  • To try and look at the future, only to see bleakness.
  • To wait for a storm to blow you away to a place far away. Where there may be a chance for roots to hold on tight.
  • To hold on tight to that hope that the wait would be worth it.

So positively negative

The optimist has been replaced by a pessimist. For someone who always expected the best, he always expects the worst and hopes for something which is just a notch above the worst. He’s the opposite of Midas. What he touches turns to misfortune. Every time he feels he has things under control, he’s swept off his feet and all effort goes into barely standing steady. All gains lost.  The inevitable restart from scratch and the frustration of not being at the level where he had to drift from the path. There are no heroes in his story. No perfect endings. No constant peace of mind. Just the interludes between one misery and the next. And the path to inevitable burnout.