Life comes a full circle for Rohit as he helps his village

When Life comes a Full Circle

Rohit was a first generation expat from his family. He went to USA for pursuing his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and then settled there. Rohit had everything that a typical well-settled expat Indian is expected to have – a green card, a home, a family and a job profile that anybody would be envious about – he was the VP of the New Product division.

Rohit was also the only child of his parents, who now lived in Pune. He religiously had his family vacations, so that his children could form a bond with their grandparents from both the sides. But such visits however well-planned only meant visits to his parents and his wife’s parents and that was the ‘family in India’ that their children knew about.

During one such India visit, Rohit’s father asked him “Do you remember our village home in Ratnagiri?” Rohit was a bit lost at the question initially, but then he recollected a few faint memories of an imposing wada with a huge orchard at the back. His far-away look was noted by his mother and she simply said, “You might not remember much as after your high school you were usually busy with studies and later you went to USA”. Rohit’s son Anish was listening to the conversation. He quickly checked up Ratnagiri on Google and announced “Dad this looks like a cool place, let’s go there while we are in India!”

And just like that in a discussion over dinner, the Dongre family planned their Ratnagiri visit.

“Okay let’s look up some hotels” said, Rohit. His father simply said, “I will be staying at the Wada, you guys can book yourself a hotel close by”. “Does someone even live there dad?” now Rohit was genuinely surprised!

Yup! My brothers and a few of your cousins do live there. We go there every year!

This got Rohit and his family, even more excited. There were apprehensions about meeting someone for the first time, there was also the fear of how Rohit’s children will take in the rural life! As far as Rohit remembered the wada was a pretty old place.

But there was hardly any time to think! Things moved so quickly that they were to leave in the next two days!

The first thing that hit Rohit when he visited his native place was the lush greenery, smiling faces and the quiet recognition that everyone showed. Rohit and his family were greeted with a lot of warmth and Rohit reconnected with a lot of his cousins, that he remembered playing with as a kid! In the next half an hour, all his new found cousins and their children were connected online, thanks to Facebook! Anish exclaimed “Let’s do an FB live! I want my US friends to know, I have so many cousins that we could make a baseball team!”

Knowing your roots and meeting so many who can be called family was an uplifting feeling. The fear about how his family would take in a village life, melted away!

After they freshened up, Rohit along with a cousin Raghav, decided to go around the village. It was surprising that the people seemed to recognize him; there was respect in their eyes, which didn’t seem to make sense. “I never came to the village, after middle school, yet why is there this warmth?” questioned Rohit to Raghav.

Raghav smiled and steered him towards a tall building in the square “This is the government school of our village, it was started after the efforts of our grandfather! Our grandfather was a qualified doctor, educated in Pune, yet he came back and worked all his life for the upliftment of our village! He was the first doctor in this whole region and was instrumental in starting many initiatives for the betterment of health, sanitation and education in our village and neighboring areas.”

The words got etched somewhere deep in Rohit. He didn’t know much about his grandfather’s work. They came once a year for around 10 days to the village. By then, grandfather had retired and Rohit was too small to understand what his social service or ‘work’ mean! He became curious to know more about the great man!

Over the next two days, Rohit and Anish got to know a lot about the great figure. They were amazed and humbled with the dedication and efforts put in! “Apart from sharing a surname, I wonder what else do I have common with this great man,” wondered Anish and Rohit just replied “Exactly my thoughts son!”

Next day, they were going to their village deity and watching at the lush paddy fields and huge mango orchards that lined both sides of the road. “I want to be a farmer! This is so beautiful” quipped Anish. “With most youngsters not wanting to be farmers or going to cities, I don’t know how long these green surroundings would survive” said a worried Raghav. This caught Rohit by surprise!

“Why was nobody interested in farming?”

“Everyone thinks there isn’t much dignity in being a farmer, plus with so many climatic changes, farming just doesn’t seem feasible, they don’t get labor to work and you never know if there will be any returns on investment! It is a tough life.”

The answer put Rohit in deep thought! We were losing the primary life sustaining business known to man! There was something wrong here! By the time they were returning back from the temple, Rohit had his light-bulb moment! He quickly made a few phone calls and started typing away feverishly on the laptop.

For the next two days, Rohit looked like a man possessed! He was making presentations, watching videos, creating models.

“Would you be able to introduce me to the govt. school management by any chance?” asked Rohit to Raghav, just as he was sitting down for dinner. “Yes sure! I am an honorary member there, will talk and set something up by tomorrow.” But what is this about, asked a curious Raghav?

Well, I am a mechanical engineer and my company is into making machines for farming. I connected with them about the problems here and they are interested in sharing knowledge with the school students as part of their social responsibility activity. We have a branch in Mumbai and we are thinking of having yearly projects in schools that will ignite their interest in science. This will have good cash prizes that students can use for higher education.

The conversation lit up Raghav’s and Anish’s eyes! After dinner, the three of them huddled together over the presentations and there were excited exchange of ideas late into the light.

A short story about life coming a full circle and finding purpose

In the next two days, some more phone calls later, the presentation was arranged. Rohit showcased how his team would be interested in introducing basics of mechanical learning and creating farming related tools as a vocational subject in the school. This would prepare the students for the year end competition. The competition would revolve around creating simple and cost-effective machines that would help farmers.

The vocational classes would happen via video calls and once a month, one of his team members from Mumbai, would come to access the situation and understand the on ground realities.

By the end of the presentations, Rohit could sense that the teachers and the management alike were interested in trying this new way of learning. Rohit did a small introduction with students, to understand their perspective and the result was amazing! As he showed them how a cost effective rice-cutting instrument could be made by the students, he saw the excitement in their curious eyes.

“This is just the beginning”, Rohit mused to himself. He had just ignited a hundred little flames!

Karva Chauth, a story of faith – #writebravely


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Karva-chauth a story of faith

She got up before sunrise and went  to meet her mom-in-law,

Hesitantly, her mom-in-law gave her the Sargi.

She had been fasting the whole day, like she did every year, but this year was different

While she went about her daily routine, her ears were glued to the radio set in the kitchen.

Every ring on the mobile, saw her rush towards the phone and a second later witness her crestfallen face.

She smiled as her toddler hugged her, but the worry lines never left her face,

She was decked up like a new bride, but the happiness was missing.

A look at her and her mother-in-law had no words,

She simply hugged her daughter-in-law who was now more than a daughter to her.

She prayed and begged in front of the Gods, but

This Air-force wife refused to lose hope

It had been more than 24 hours since the chopper crashed in the mountains, with no updates about the crew on board.

This Karva Chauth was more about faith than a ritual

My salute to the brave wives and families of  our armed forces.

Write Tribe

The pianist #FridayFotoFiction


Indian Bloggers

“Khwaab ho tum ya…” wafted through the air and reached his ears, as he sat down to read his morning newspaper. He stopped peering over the newspaper with a magnifying glass and started humming the music as his fingers involuntarily played an imaginary piano in the air. Eyes closed, a smile lingering on his lips, he was a serene picture to behold except for a small tear that rolled down the corner of his eye. Rustom missed his piano and a life as a musician in Hindi film industry.

In the new era, musicians were replaced by electronic music and computers. Regaled into the past, Rustom continued playing at events but once arthritis made his fingers painful and stiff, he had to let go. Today all that was left was albums of pictures from his heydeys and such mornings when an old classic transported Rustom to the bygone era.

Linking up this post to Tina and Mayuri for #FridayFotoFiction

 I want to take my Alexa Rank to the next level with My Friend Alexa

Tina Basu

Earth’s Deficit – #Tiniature

We recently crossed the Earth Overshoot Day, meaning that humans are pushing the planet to its ecological limit at an accelerated pace. We are consuming more of Earth’s resources than it can produce. My #Tiniature about this and what will happen if we continue to act rogue.

Have you given this a thought? Maybe other species will be required to take up the responsibility and find some solutions for it.

Man always prided himself in being the most intelligent of them all, but what if the God’s have realized their mistake and decided to evolve other species as well. If ‘MAN’ continues to act in the way he is now, maybe other species will be required to take up the responsibility and find some solutions for it and these solutions might not be to our liking!

Bride #FridayFotoFiction


Indian Bloggers

Forever Bride

It was a new day but with some old beginnings

As she peered out the window she noted that the garden needed tending. She examined her looks in the mirror and pushed a stray hair away. The lace dress was Jack’s favorite. He had picked it up himself and she still remembered the way he looked at her when she first wore it, she found herself blushing.

It’s considered a bad omen to see the brides in their wedding dress. She wondered if it had come true as she tried not to think about the day of their wedding five years back when Jack survived a terrible accident but with short term memory loss.

As she walked towards Jack with a posie in her hand, the love in his eyes made her realize that she might not have a happily ever after, but she will definitely live a lifelong romance.

I am writing this story as part of #FridayFotoPrompt by Mayuri and Tina. This week’s prompt was Bride

Tina Basu
Update – This piece won the #FridayFotoFiction! Yay!!

 

Tiniature – Life of a hacker


Indian Bloggers

 

Gayatri Gadre has started a series called #Tiniature that will run the whole of July! You write one tiny story everyday on Twitter. Though I joined in late, this is my entry for it. You can read what other’s wrote by following the #Tiniature on Twitter.

Ethical hacker tiny story

A tiny story about how the world just perceives what it sees and understands. There are many careers or interests that the larger public might not be aware of, however, that certainly doesn’t mean that those avenues are any less.

Do you know anyone who has chosen a path less trodden?

 

Zest for Life

Sushma was feeling confident as she walked in the office. She had nothing to lose and this was a chance she didn’t want to miss. By noon, she came out of the office with an offer letter clutched in her hand and a zeal for life. She reflected at the time in life when she had been depressed, realizing now just how wrong she had been.

Sushma had been a dedicated housewife for the past 30 years and she had been happy doing that. However once the children went off to study and she was left with the proverbial empty nest, a gloom took​ over. She felt like she was useless and her life had been non consequential. Her life seemed to be spiraling downwards.

One day she was asked for help in translation by her daughter. It was a small piece to be translated from Hindi to Marathi and she did a great job with it. Sushma was an army daughter and she had travelled extensively across India. She had been a zesty girl and loved to know more about the culture of the place. She also had a knack for languages. She had picked up 4 languages apart from Hindi and English. As she translated the piece for her daughter she rediscovered her love for languages.

Today, she had won a contract for translation of disaster management booklet, a project that would touch thousands of life. She had also discovered a zest for life.

Upset over not having your way

Annika was upset. She was always upset when she had to return. She always cried and threw a tantrum in a futile attempt to postpone her return. She was getting her way this time and she was going to put up a great act, Annika thought determined.

She sat in a huff at the end of her tantrum. Her granny smiled and came to her with a besan laddoo. Annika loved her granny’s laddoo’s but today she controlled her urge to lunge towards it hungrily. She had to act visibly upset if she wanted her way. “I don’t want to go back. Back to school, classes and tutions, I hate it there. Mum and Dad are busy. There are always rules and restrictions. I want to stay with you.” She said with tears in her eyes. Her granny kissed her on the forehead and tried explaining things to her.

Just then granny’s phone rang. She answered it and simply said “Meera, Annika has decided that she won’t be returning to you. So I suggest you get her name transferred in the town school and send some more clothes for her.” Annika squealed with joy for getting her way. She hugged her granny tight but before she could say anything her granny said “Annika, now that you are staying here you need to know, we have rules and restrictions here too. Also, there are no malls here and the schools are open on Saturday’s too. You will study for 2 hours daily as I can’t go and drop you at tuitions.” As her granny listed off things to do Annika suddenly realized that it was no different from home. “But granny you don’t make me do all this when I am here for vacations?” Granny simply said “They are called vacations for a reason darling.” Annika realized her mistake “I will go home granny and come back during next vacation,” she said with a mischievous grin spreading on her face.

Reluctant Leader

Image credit Pixabay

She wore a crisp white shirt and a pencil skirt. Her hair had been tied into a tight ponytail. She checked the time. She was ready early. The newspaper on the table caught her attention. The youngest and the most promising CEO of the billion dollar empire will meet with the shareholders today, it read.

She always wanted to make headlines, albeit in a different field. She had always been extremely emotional. She had always been poetic. She would get lost in the literary world and dreamed of being a published author. Her father was a businessman and a very good one at that. She had been good academically and when people enquired if she would be doing her MBA and joining him, her father teased that her mushy heart could never understand the shrewd, calculated world of business.

She was just one application away from fulfilling her dream. But a fateful accident changed everything. Her family was wiped out in the accident and she was saddled with the responsibility of running a business empire, of which she knew very little. It was a responsibility she had to fulfill. Her mushy heart took a backseat and her brain worked around numbers and strategy. She had taken complete charge of the business and quickly rose to be the most successful young businesswoman. The article hailed her as a great leader. She nodded with a sad smile correcting, a reluctant leader.

Positive

Meera quickly got ready. It was a beautiful morning and she had a job interview. She dressed up in a beautiful pastel salwar kameez and bowed to god before leaving the house. Her father, who was a tailor, wasn’t very happy. “Why do you keep giving job interviews? I sent you to school because you were adamant and it seemed to make your mother happy, but now looking for jobs is too much. Nobody is going to give you a job.” he argued. Meera’s mom brought out a small tiffin and pressed it in her hands. “Eat on time,” she said. Her father tried reasoning with her mother, and she said something that Meera didn’t see. With a positive feeling, Meera left house.

The day went by and she came home. Slowly as she entered the house, her mother rushed towards her. Her father was in the background, but his face gave away that he had been worried the whole day. Looking at her face, he blurted “They didn’t accept you right? I knew it! Beta, in this world where there are so many people who are unemployed, why would they hire a deaf girl? I didn’t want you getting disappointed.”

Meera held her father’s hand and produced a letter. “We hereby offer Meera Singh, the position of stewardess. Her positive outlook and bright personality is what made us hire her for our restaurant, the letter read. She had a big bright smile on her face.