Bachelorhood – Good Neighbors

A bachelor’s perspective on the benefits and troubles of having good neighbors.

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As bachelors, we stay either inside our house too much, or outside it most of the times. But we do not care anything about around the house. Sometimes, we don’t even bother to see what’s going on in the opposite house, unless there’s a potential subject of interest for us. 😉

We go through the painful trouble of finding a suitable place to stay, meet several crooked and disturbed minds on the way, that we no longer care about anyone but us in the new society. And that’s how they call us ‘bachelors’… Not the marital status.

But sometimes, when Mr. Fate is very generous upon you, he will shower you with really great neighbors. And that is another heaven altogether on Earth, if you are gifted the company of amazing neighbors. But there are both benefits and troubles of having good neighbors, and we don’t wanna let them know about any of the two.

Neighbors Chat (too much)

Neighbors are basically for socializing, for not letting us get bored and for keeping us company in difficult and needy times. They are our last resort on weekends when all of our friends have ditched us for others.

But sometimes, we bachelors just do not want any of that. We just want to be left alone, not cared for and ignored both virtually and physically. But that is not possible when you have good neighbors. They will come and talk to you no matter what. You may have come home after a long, tiresome day, or late at night, or with a date (the worst case), but they would want to talk to you. And that will go on and on, unless you find a way to stop that.

Neighbors Talk (to your mom too)

Neighbors have all the senses given by God. So, they see, hear, smell, understand and even talk. They will talk internally with other neighbors, and also with your mom. (Yes, they have a direct line connection with your mother.)

They will keep a sharp watch at your house, to save you from probable perils of the society. But in that process, they sometimes watch too much, things that we bachelors don’t want anyone to see.

And yes, they remember, very well. They will remember what days you came late, what days you brought over your friends, what days you didn’t come home at all. Well, this helps, if you forget to note your daily time sheet, you can ask them, not otherwise.

But when all is noted, they blabber it all out in front of your mother, pressing the matter when someone of opposite gender had turned up at your house – forget what relation.

And forget about giving your mum a surprise… She already knows.

Neighbors Share (occasionally)

Staying in a neighborhood is great as our family just expands beyond the walls of our home. We live together and share all of the great moments with everyone to increase their intensity exponentially.

When there’s a birthday, people will pull over from all around to wish them. People will share any new (or rare) dish prepared at their home. And that is the heaven for us bachelors – we just love when someone gives us food.

But at times, we have more than one good neighbors, and they all want to share. And then, that increases our work – we have to remember which plate was of which neighbour, we have to fix dates for them so that they do not clash, we have to even manage our hangouts with their dates. And sometimes, we just do not want it from them as we don’t like it. But can we say that to them? No… Just gracefully accept it and throw it all away.

Neighbors Help (and interfere)

Neighbors are great as they are our first place to go-to when we need some help. And as a bachelor, we often face difficulties in our day-to-day lives. That time, their help is all we need.

But at times, help is often misunderstood. Help is generally initiated by one who needs it and then acted upon by one to whom it was asked. But being good neighbors, they sometimes act upon help themselves, without being initiated by us.

They help us with their opinions and their contacts, which we may not be willing to accept or approve. But being good neighbors, we cannot just decline their offer. We have to mend our ways and include their help in our work, without their help helping us.

Neighbors Expect (unreasonably at times)

Being good neighbors, they do good things with us, they take care of us and be there when we have a dire need of someone. In return, you be good to them. You respect the elderly, you play with the ones of your age and take care of the younger ones.

In doing that, neighbors build a blueprint of your behavior and expect you to be like that all the time. Once in a while, you would move out of that behavior which you did just as a return for them being good, they will not like you anymore. They might even get offended. They might even stop being good to you.

So working with good neighbors is a tough job, heavy expectations to meet, especially when you try to be something you’re not. (Obviously, that’s the reason they are good to you… We never show who we are to the older generation, as they won’t like it that way.)

P.s.: It is definitely good to have good neighbors around your home. But it is like marriage. The benefits often weigh more than the problems. For some at least…

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So much on my plate!

Another episode with my (fictional) grandpa (i.e., myself) where I’m worried about how to fit in all the variety of dishes available at a dinner party buffet in my single, limited spaced plate…

… …

I was on an unknown dinner party with people my family knew. I hated to meet those people as none of them really cared about my presence but still all of then would definitely ask me a series of question, almost predictable series, which I hate to answer.

So, I skipped through all the introduction and socializing hush-bush, and directly went for the reason I went there – dinner. I don’t really remember the occasion for which party was organized.

I was skipping through the tiles, jumping on the pattern, while ignoring all the people I’d bump into. I had hoped that they would just ignore me, consider me a psycho and would avoid talking to me. And till now, it had worked.

But then, my own Grandpa came to me and expressed a desire to talk.

Over the dinner, we talked about random topics from my life and he gave me advices in each one of them. I don’t actually remember any of those as they were not practical. They required me to be active, strong minded and willing to perform in my life, which was exactly the opposite kinda guy of what the school had made out of me.

The dinner was being served by the caterers and often a well-dressed waiter would come up and serve my plate with things that I didn’t want. Before I could say anything, he would just throw it all onto my plate. And then I’d be left staring at those things, thinking where to hide all this stash…

My Grandpa said “What happened, son? You look weird today… Not liking the food, are we?”

Me: *Shaking my head* “Nah… Nothing… No problem. I’m… I’m fine.”

“You don’t look like that, definitely…” And Grandpa resumed his dinner.

After a while, another waiter came and put things in my plate, and it was too late when I noticed that. He had already left.

“Would you mind? I hope not…” Grandpa said while putting a few bites from his plate to mine.

I shouted “No! I DO mind! My plate’s already full and you pushing things off your plate to me! No way I’m gonna complete this plate!”

Grandpa simply smiled.

I couldn’t bear it any longer and asked “Come on… Speak!”

Grandpa spoke with a bigger smile “Why is your plate full?”

“Because that waiter is serving out things without first confirming with me…”

“No.” Grandpa snapped in between.

“Yes! You look… Just in a minute. He’ll come back and put things in my plate without asking me anything! He’s just…” I tried to explain myself, rather poorly.

“You can always say ‘NO’… But for that you’d require to pay attention for his arrival” Grandpa explained.

He went on “Look son… In life, we are often bombarded with work, responsibilities and expectations. And sometimes, we feel that we are being pounded at from all the directions and that we cannot take it any longer. We wanna quit, we wanna leave the plate half-eaten. But that’s when you should understand – we can always foresee those servings and can always be ready to say NO to them.”

I looked at him, mouth half-opened. He found way of giving me life advice even at this diner!!

“But what if I couldn’t foresee the serving, and am left with extra food on my plate?” having a habit to argue at every point, I gave a poor defensive tilt.

Grandpa looked at me for a while and said “Is your plate really full then?”

Our dinner was complete, mine was a mess, but I had better things to do. I had to think upon my conversation with Grandpa, first of all understand what he meant by that last remark, and then use it in my daily life, where I always think that I am being barraged by tasks and that my plate is always full.

P.s.: Do tell if you happen to understand my grandpa’s advice…

When God met a Kid

God was unable to solve a simple problem in his world, which had now grown in to a big issue. Just then, a Kid gave him an innocent view, which God strongly felt as the need of the time.

… …

God was frustrated with the way Humans had messed up with the world that he had created with such craft and devotion. God thought that the cruel face of deaths and despair of innocent creatures will somehow touch the humane in humans, but even when it did, humans couldn’t do anything to stop the mess.

Oceans were polluted, rivers dried up, species got extinct, but people were fighting over issues made by themselves. Humans turned into savage beings, didn’t care for anything, anyone but themselves, their things and their desires. Human wants had turned into inhuman impulses.

He sat at a deserted riverside, sad, thinking over the whole architecture of his creations – wondering what went wrong. The place was devoid of humans, and anyway no human soul could see God now, as those souls were not pure anymore.

A kid came running towards the riverbed chasing a squirrel. The squirrel quickly climbed up the tree beside the riverbed. Kid got angry at the squirrel and threw a stone at it, missed it. Then he sat at the riverside, sad and crying.

God’s heart was still God’s, and He couldn’t see a kid crying like that. So he changed his appearance to a man and went beside the kid. He asked the kid about his problem, to which the kid replied, taking out a nut from his pocket- “I am t-… I am trying to give this n- n- nut to that s- squirrel… but she j- just doesn’t stop! Why doesn’t it t- t- trust me? Am I that bad?!”

God smiled at the innocence of the boy.

“Look kid. The squirrel might have had a bad experience with some other person before. That’s why she is afraid to trust you. She might be thinking that you will hurt it and so she’s running away from you. That doesn’t make you bad. Rather, your intention to give the squirrel food is what makes you a good boy!” God said patting the boy’s back.

Boy took a while to stop crying. And then said “But I don’t want to hurt it. My mom says that if I hurt someone, God will hurt me back. And will help that squirrel. Doesn’t squirrel know that?”

God said “It is true that God helps good souls. But still that doesn’t mean that good souls won’t get hurt. Sometimes, God takes time to help someone.”

Boy’s face turned inquisitive and said “But in that time, the bad guy would have done bad things. What’s the point of helping after bad things have happened?”

“Sometimes, bad things ought to happen to allow good things to happen.” God said smartly.

Boy couldn’t understand that, so he just shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t get that. Instead, why just not allow bad things to happen.”

God said “Not everything is in God’s hands. We as people need to change for making things right.”

Boy said “I would just advice God to restart the world and make things right this time. Put only good things in people’s mind, and devoid their abilities to do bad. When I am not able to do something, I also just restart with my work, with a fresh look at it.”

Saying that the boy went on with his little world… But God sat there thinking about restarting the world. Is that the solution to his problem? Rebuilding the world, while destroying the current world? Is that acceptable? Or just the need of the time?

Solo Travel Diaries – Bus Driver’s Whistle

This time, when I was traveling alone, going back to my parent’s place, my two forms of writing mixed up. I had another almost while waiting for the Bus driver to whistle.

… …

My bus was to arrive in about an hour. I have had my dinner and it was an overnight run, so I was desperately waiting for my bus to arrive. Nothing exciting was expected from this travel, as usual. It was supposed to be one of those travels that I don’t write about, that I hardly even remember. Guess I was wrong about that.

The bus-stand was about a few meters away from the waiting area. And for informing the fellow travelers about a bus’s arrival, the driver used to blow a sharp, loud whistle. The fascinating thing about it was that people in the waiting area always knew whether the bus driver’s whistle was for their bus or not. Or so it seemed. Or maybe the buses were all strategically timed that no two buses coincide on a single time, making a whistle unique for that time.

I was wondering about all this as I had nothing better to do. My phone was about to die and I had to keep it at rest for it to live up till the morning when I will reach my destination.

I was humming a song, or a tune, I don’t really remember. But I remember that instant when a bus driver’s whistle made me look towards the exit of the sitting area and then quickly back to the wall infront of me, as if I had seen a ghost.

She was dressed in peach-colored some-kind-of-top and the legendary blue jeans. And yet I felt a blurry outline around her persona, I saw a live-portrait of her. Her hair was rolled up hurriedly, a bodkin was visible. And she was wearing no makeup at all. Yet she managed to portray such an eye-candy.

I looked away as soon as I looked at her, and she had already caught me looking at her in that 2 seconds of time-line. I stared at the wall opposite to me, and continued with my humming, which had increased its pace to several beats up the bar.

Every time such a situation happens with me, me and some stranger, either I fart words so bad that the other person runs away or I don’t do anything at all. And I wished this time wouldn’t be so. I prayed…

With almost impossible turn of events, she came up and sat beside me. I figured that all other unoccupied seats had some weirdo sitting on the next seat. And I looked a good guy on my first impression, to be honest.

I didn’t want her choice to be proved wrong. So I didn’t do anything impulsive or stupid. Really, I did nothing. I casually sat there, and just sat there. She was listening to some sort of music and was deleting multiple pics from her phone. I came to know it afterwards that my humming had stopped somewhere in the middle of this chaos.

But then somehow I found that in proving her decision to be right, I was just letting go of this opportunity. I liked her and wanted to know more of her. And if I do not speak, I won’t ever find out if I had a chance.

So I started rehearsing our conversation in my head, several iterations, several scenarios practiced. I gathered up my courage and straightened up my posture to bring out my voice which had gone deep down my guts, and was hidden somewhere in my intestines.

The bus driver’s whistle blew, a bus’s arrival was announced. Everyone around me got up and went towards the stand. I watched her go as she gathered her luggage and glided towards the bus.

A fly flew inside my mouth and I choked on my open mouth, ready to speak “Hi”. I coughed continuously till I had the damn fly out of my food pipe and got up clumsily to see her climb the bus. Even if I ran, I didn’t stand a chance to reach there in time, if I ran that is, hypothetically.

Next in half an hour or so, my bus arrived and I got the usual boring seat beside a fellow who snored all the way to my stop. I couldn’t dare to sleep and see the whole episode of my failure all over again. So I decided to stay up, watch through the window, the objects fly by me, in a blink of the eye, like the opportunities in my life.

This time, my solo travel diary was almost an epitome of me being a loser, well, almost a loser.

My Friend, Loneliness

An essay on my friend, loneliness, who cares for me enough that it agrees to lets me go, and whom I love enough to not accept to let go.

… …

Our favorite topic for essay writing as a child used to be ‘My Best Friend’. No other topic used to appeal us that much as this particular topic, as we could just write what we felt instead of searching for words. We used to write all the things we could remember about that one person, nonetheless that might be a very few things to remember at that time.

As a child, I did not have that privilege of having a best friend. Whenever such a topic was tossed at me, I used to choose other options instead. And the word barely made any sense to me. Even now, I do not understand the superlative degree assigned to it. ‘Best’ means better than ‘better’, and even better than ‘good’. Superlative degree implies that it tends to stay highest in the category. But then superlative also means ‘exaggeration’, which made me wonder – is ‘Best friend’ an overinflated relation in our life?

Anyway, leaving the language disarray aside, in my childhood, I used to write this essay on my friend, Loneliness.

Loneliness has been the only constant thing in my life since childhood. It has been there with me in good times and in bad times. It tried to sneak away from the back door once or twice, allowing someone to swoop in into my life. But somehow in the end, things always led us to be together. And to be honest, I liked being with it.

Unlike my endeavors with other ‘Best friends’, our relationship has stayed intact after having sailed through the tough times that any relationship passes through. It allowed me to reorganize my life after the mayhem the storm left. It stayed, holding hands with me, when I needed it the most.

Apart from the mutual feeling of belongingness for each other, we shared a lot of common things – me and loneliness. It had two faces – one where it spread gloom and dismay wherever it went, and the other where it spread the light of hope and jump-started the brain to work towards betterment. I had similar bipolar symptoms. I used to be utmost boring at times, converting even the most happening event an excuse of melancholy And at times, the spark in me could light up a dull and regretful talk into a happening, fun ride.

We were great together. And I had always found peace while being with it. But recently, I thing something has jinxed our relationship. The sparking part of our relationship has dried out and we spend most of our time in quiet. Something’s not right about it, something’s missing – it keeps on saying to me. It keeps on looking outside the window, waiting for something to happen. And I wonder what wrong did I do to it, what mistake did I make, how did I hurt it, that even the loneliness is seeking to leave me!

I asked it what could I do to make it feel better, to bring back the spark between us, just like the good-old-times. But it doesn’t answer my question. It never did. It has always been like that, keeping to itself, peaceful. But somehow, things had always worked out between us. We both used to communicate despite our persistent silence. But now, I speak and I wish it spoke back to me. I wish it would tell me the reason before the final moment of dismay.

As this is how it has always been. This is how my life always turns up after a long story, not a happy ending. And I have always marked it as a beginning of another chapter instead of an end of the story. But without my best friend, without loneliness, and without anyone else being there for my support, I wonder how things will turn out…

The Looping Sun

A fictional world, which is flat and without gravity Center. And the sun revolves the world, not around it but inside it.

… …

There was a world which was a sphere, but there were no galaxies and no universe outside the sphere. Yet its size was unfathomable. It was spread across a huge distance of soil, solid ground, which was surrounded by a large bowl of water. The water bowl formed the lower hemisphere of the globe, and the upper hemisphere was nothing but sky. All of it was confined in a big, round, sphere, which was the world in its totality.

There was a moving source of light, the only one. People used to call it ‘The Sun’. And it moved around the outer boundary of the sphere, in the sky all day, until it finally sank at the edge of the water bowl, spreading its shine inside the water world.

The Sun wasn’t biased to any of the two worlds – the sky world and the water world. It divided its time equally between the sky and the water bowl, thereby giving both the worlds the benefit of embracing its light.

It would rise from the water world, slowly spreading its light across the sky, brightening up the sky with its yellowish-orange light. The world would wake up to welcome the Sun and its glory. The day would begin for the world to write another page of the story.

As the evening came closer, the Sun would start to pull together its light, slowly approaching towards the edge of the water bowl. When it has gathered all of its light in its hands, the Sun will start to sink inside the water bowl. That would be the time when only light in the sky world would be around the submersing Sun. Slowly the Sun would soon be gone, and the sky world would be left in darkness, only till the time the Sun rises again the next day from the other end of the bowl.

Then it would rise and spread its light inside the water bowl, illuminating the water world with now its bluish-green light, the time when elsewhere it is night but inside the water world, it is called sunrise. For the whole day, it had enlightened the world while burning on the semi-circular path at the edge of the sky. And now, it would swirl inside the water world, releasing crystalline light while moving on its semi-circular path, scooping the bottom of the bowl.

This was the world, where both the half-worlds inside the spherical world stayed in peace, each lightened by the same lucent source for an equal time. The creatures residing in both the worlds were totally different, yet they shared the qualities of life, living, sharing, and loving and giving. The cyclical task of the Sun will continue till the end of time, as they say. At the end of time, the bowl of life will break into nothingness, spilling the water world out of the bowl and drowning the sky world into emptiness. The Sun will let go of its light, and slowly will turn into a blank spot in the world, where things live in the death forever.

But that is at the end of the time. And the time had just begun. There were a lot of days before one could face the end of the time. Till then, the Sun will continue to serve both the worlds, painting the sky with bright colors and whirling the water with shiny crystal-bubbles.

I was not the part of any one particular world. I moved too, behind the Sun, watching it, trailing it, both when it rose high in the sky, and when it sank to the depths of the water bowl. I loved watching Sun from my world, and wondered if someday, it would take me with it on its journey traveling round both the worlds… I’m darkness.

The Bird – Missing Someone

A series of stories of a bird who leaves his parents’ nest and moves on to live his life in his own way.

After leaving the house of his parents, the bird had set foot in the world of opportunities, which could both help him fly high or dump him right on the ground. While juggling his world with arranging his new nest and the new life, the bird feels the need of a companion, for the first time.

… …

Previous posts under this series:

The Bird – Finding a Nest

He had just returned from his morning flight. He loved flying over the town in the morning, just when the first ray of light touched the highest trees on the ground. All other birds would wake up after the sun was up enough to splash its sunlight on the ground. By that time, he used to make his trip.

He felt something he couldn’t explain in words, when the morning cold breeze and the new-born sunlight used to touch his feathers. He would just close his eyes, spread his wings fully apart and just go with the wind. And when he reached the end of his town, he would open his eyes and see the naked beauty of the sun, no buildings or man-made aesthetics to blur its beauty.

He cleaned his nest with a flap of his huge wings and settled back the twigs for the next night. Soon it will be time for going for the morning ritual – food, work, food, work and food, before it would be time for taking rest again. He watched other birds in the nearby nests. They had started to wake up.

He loved watching them wake up. It was half the reason for his early rise from his sleep. The birds around his nest used to wake each other up. Those staying alone used to show off their place and strength, in order to attract females and keep other males at bay. While some notorious ones used to invade other’s privacy by flying into other’s marked spaces. And it was just seconds that a fight would start between the owner and the encroacher.

But he didn’t like watching all that. He enjoyed watching the couples wake-up. It was an amazing sight, funny sometimes, and adorable too. One of them would wake-up and slowly caress, gently stroke the other’s head with its beak. The other would slowly open its eyes and the first thing it will see in the morning would be the his love in the eyes of its loved one. And then they would entwine themselves in the rickety ride of beak-lock, entangling their beaks and pushing each other up and down.

Gross! It used to be his first reaction to such acts of other birds. Rumbling inside other’s beak without the morning gargle! But then he felt something else too watching them. His heart used to slow down watching the scene. And a strange crunch would start out of nowhere in his stomach. Probably, he missed all this in his life.

During the day, he would think about how his life would be like if he also had a companion in his life. His early months after he left the house of his parents were hard. And he felt this dire need of being with someone. But he always pushed away those feelings thinking that he had to make his life first, and this was only temporary reaction of his mind upon leaving his parents. But then, those thoughts never stopped after more than a year from that time now.

He had met several people on his way to this town, before he finally settled at his current space in the corner of the balcony of an abandoned man-house. But none of them made him feel weak at heart. None of them were compatible to him. And he moved on easily from all the occasional beak-locks and making out times with some, he didn’t care enough to remember. But he was waiting for someone whom he would never let go. And that made him feel incomplete everyday.

In the evening, when he would return from his long flight of searching for food, having fought several fights with some annoying birds on the way, and finding his purpose of life, living his dreams, he would see the sunset, alone. He would sit on the chimney of the house, and watch the sun burn the last rays of light. He would extend his wings to touch the light as it would slowly rise towards the sky, leaving the ground to embrace the darkness and wait for another day, another morning when they will meet again. Although the sunset is always beautiful, he would feel low at heart having to watch it without someone by his side.

At night, he would arrange his extra twigs to form a structure of another bird, a portion around his side, and would close his eyes, letting his feathers feel the touch of another warm being, imaginary companion by his side. It was the only time during the day, other than the morning escapes, when he would actually smile without a reason…

After-all, the truth was harsh and he knew it. Life wasn’t all generous all the time. He understood he had to accept how things were in his case. Due to his nature, no one was ever gonna be with him forever. He wouldn’t let that happen…