Monday, April 26, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My name is Gauhar Khan

Congratulations to Vikram Sampath. I was pleased to see this article on The Hindu. I met Vikram sometime back and had the privilege to attend his talk on the book he was writing and his research on music.

Congratulations to Vikram once again. You can have a look at Vikram's site too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Leaf

This is a short story which I wanted to write :-)

Its summer in Cardiff and the temperature is soothing. Lots of students in the campus as a new year is going to start in the university. There are a lot of freshmen and they are excited about their prospective college life.

At the gates of the university, though, there is a couple who is parting for the first time to move ahead with their respective careers. George is a tall and handsome guy with short hairs. Vanessa, who is parallel pretty and beautiful is staring at her guy with gloomy eyes.

"Vanessa, it’s time. I have to leave. The train will leave in next one hour."

Vanessa sobs, "Ok!"

They feel like kissing each other but then George leaves. Vanessa turns to the university doors with a heavy heart.

Vanessa gets into the university and finds her classroom. The class has started and the professor walks in to give the lecture. Everybody is excited and exuberant about the new beginning in their lives. Vanessa has taken a back seat and is thinking about a life without George. Suddenly, the professor asks her introduction. She hesitates but calmly tells about her to the class. Nobody notices her grief and she gets back to her seat.

Then, Vanessa takes out a small diary from the leather bag she has. This is the diary which contains all good and touching memories of her life. She has been writing it since she met George.

"September 23, 1981. It is Wednesday. I feel like writing something. I turned 15 today. We had lots of fun with all my friends coming for the party. New neighbors had come and we invited them for the party too. I met this guy, George, who is the son of Mr. Graham, our new neighbor. He is very nice and I was really impressed by his dimples."

Vanessa thinks, "Only this much! George is much more than that." She chuckles.

She skims through a few pages which talk about how she and George became very good friends over a period of time.

Suddenly, she stops at one page.

"February 14, 1983. Monday. Valentine's day. I'm having butterflies in my stomach. Who will be the lucky guy?

"Will he?"

She turns over.

"George gifted me a rose today. He didn't say a thing. Just that gift. What does it mean? I don't know. In next few months, our high school will complete. Would he?"

Vanessa thinks, "Phew! All kinds of apprehensions were in my mind. I never knew what to do."

Abruptly, she closes the diary and she starts thinking about the past. She is controlling her emotions and tears are hanging in her delicate eyes. The bell rings and the class is over. She didn't even listen to what the professor had to say.

While coming out of the university that day, Vanessa gets into an illusion that George is waiting for her outside the gates, but not to be.

On the other side, George, who never showed his feelings, is on his way to Royal Military Academy. Though with a heavy heart, he decides to come over it and move on with the life he is going to face in the future.

Time passes by and both of them get involved in their careers. But somewhere, deep down in their hearts, they had so many feelings for each other. Both of them got lot of proposals from different guys and girls, but none accepted. There was something which always stopped them from doing so.

After the life in Academy, George moved on to join the Army. Vanessa started working as an apprentice to Mr. John Colt who was an acclaimed artist in Nottingham. Although she used to more lithograph, Vanessa became an expert in oil on canvas. John always maintained that Vanessa would go on to become one of the greatest artists of all times. This was because she had an uncanny ability with colors. George thought of calling Vanessa but always resisted his emotions. Something in him was always reluctant. Poor Vanessa, she kept waiting for George.

George's parents passed away in an accident and now he was all alone in this world. The only thing he had was a picture of Vanessa in his wallet with her Cardiff address written behind it.

Time never waits for anyone.

It is 1990 and Gulf War has broken out in the Persian Gulf. UK is supporting the US in the war and UK forces have joined hands with them. The war is going on and lots of casualties have been reported on both sides. It so happened, that George lost both his arms in the war and has to be returned to England. People wanted to contact any of his relatives but no one knew anything about his kin. The attendants check his belongings and find Vanessa's picture and address. They immediately try to contact at the given address and find out that she has already moved to Nottingham. Somehow, they manage some correspondence with her and intimate her about George.

After so many years, she hears a name which re-ignites something which was lost in her heart. They tell her about his condition. She is shocked, "Oh dear! I'll reach there as soon as possible."

Vanessa reaches the army hospital in London and finds helpless George unconscious on the bed. She starts crying immediately looking at her amputated hands. She sits down beside him and is sobbing even harder. "George! How long I waited for you. Why didn't you come? And when we meet today, life has played such a deadly game with you." She just can't stop crying. George regains his consciousness and sees Vanessa sitting beside him.

"Oh! Are you Vanessa?". "Yes dear! I'm."

"You shouldn't have come here and watch me in such a condition. Why did you come?", George himself cries for the first time in his life.

"No George. You are the best friend I have. I should have never left you."

"Me too."

Both are crying as the hospital attendants look on.

Vanessa takes George with him to her place in Nottingham. Now she has her own studio and she makes paintings for galleries and also auctions them.

George, "Vanessa, it is grateful of you to give me support. But I feel dejected. I can't do anything. I'm just a burden on you. I can only offer you my compensation from the military as gratitude."

Vanessa, "What!!! You are insulting our friendship. Friends never help each other; it is implicit in the word friendship."

George keeps mum. He feels ashamed of himself.

"George! Please don't feel that you are a burden on me. You are my best friend. I would suggest you can learn something in life and make a living.

I can teach you what I know. But would you?"

"What?? How can I learn? I don't have hands."

"George. You can. You have the will power. If you want you can learn other things too. But I can teach you only what I know."

George thinks over and over and over again. He decides to learn art.

"Vanessa, but how will I draw?"

"You'll. I'll teach you to draw with your legs and mouth. Nothing is impossible George. One must have the will power."

"But Vanessa, I have never ever held a painting brush."

"You'll"

As time passes by, Vanessa starts to train George to draw and paint. His learning is slow but effective.

The next exhibition and auction of Vanessa's paintings is unveiled in London two months later. George had made something which he had not shown to Vanessa and told her that he'll show it to her on the exhibit day. The exhibition opened up and George's creation was kept at one of the corners. It was veiled with a translucent covering. George and Vanessa walk towards it and Vanessa slowly unveils it.

"Fabulous!", Vanessa screams. All the eyes are on that particular painting now.

The painting is of a beautiful banyan tree with the sign of the heart in the form of a leaf which is held by two hands hanging from one of the branches. Below it is written,

"To the greatest motivator of all times whose love knows no boundaries."

Anand Bora

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