Machine thore hai jo button dabaye aur phurr se chal Diya, mehnat lagte hai isme babu.

Munni, reena sabki saadi dekhi hai babu. School se college tak, Ek baar mayakee Bhi le Gaye the Gupta Ji ki bete ko.

Abb to lagta hai pura janam ji liya, Abb wo baat nahi reh gaye duniya me. said Ramu.

I was sipping Chai and Smoking Bidi with Ramu, the Rikshaw puller. He is fifty-five now, still more active than urban code monkeys. He would drop us at our school in our early childhood. Our school was thirty minutes rickshaw ride.

Those days Rickshaw were the rulers of the streets. There were limited motorcycles and, the car was for riches. 

I would end up meeting Ramu on most of my home visits. My house is closer to the bus stop and also an unofficial stand for Rickshawalas. They would sit, talk, laugh and go merry among peers. 

This January, I met Ramu again. Same intoxicating smile with a smeared ash on his forehead. Just the mustache has gone haywire this time. It might be because of COVID. I hardly felt any social distancing or mask-wearing rule followed. 

Atul babu, naya saal ghar pe?

Haan Ramu. 

Is saal bhoj hoga ki nahi? Hum mar zainge. [His way of asking if I am getting married this year.]

Socha Nahi. Bidi doge Ramu?

Subeh subeh kahe?

Chai bhi piyenge. 

We went for a ride to a newly opened park on the other side of the city. We were visiting there for poori, jalebi, and sabji. 

Ramu had a lot of news for me.

  1. His both son and family are back in the village. 
  2. Younger grandson has opened a mobile repair shop. He got the training when he was in Delhi. 
  3.  His cows gave a few calves.
  4. His sons are renovating their house.

 He thanks Corona for uniting the family. Both sons want to stay at home and focus on agriculture. They are not interested in working in Delhi factories. 

I had no updates to share with him and, I could sense his annoyance.

After gulping poori, sabzi, and jalebi, I requested Ramu that I will walk back home by myself. The distance would not suffice for the amount I had eaten. I offered him some money, and like always, he went numb. He cried in happiness and said, “Apne Bachoo se kya paise Lena.” I hugged him and dropped some money in his pocket, and walked away.


Hero Banoge? Bhaiya star hai, screamed the guy sitting few seats away from me. I was returning home from south ex in a DTC bus. I wonder what made sardarji say this, was he intoxicated? I got down at the Punjabi Bagh club bus stand and walked towards Paschim vihar, not without gulping some paani poori near the Punja Bagh club.

I saw Sardarji, Mika waving at me. He mentioned his brother has worked in a few Balaji telefilms soap operas. These days he is in the business of casting young talents to television serials.

I offered him a plate and a few paani puris that he gladly accepted. We spoke for a while and walked towards Paschim vihar. There was no social network and, neither was the mobile phone a common entity.

We exchanged pleasantries and, he disappeared in the Galli of Madipur and, I continued my walk.

Did I miss a chance to work in a soap opera or, was I up for losing some money on the pretext of casting?


We are running on a treadmill. A lot of this blame goes to our parents and society. The level of expectations put on young shoulders by Indian parents is undoubtedly beyond the limits. 

There is a checklist made as we age. This system makes life miserable for women, a constant nudge of getting married and getting settled. Even the most educated and feminists cannot escape it. 

There have been awkward conversations like:

  •  You are going to die with your pets. 
  • Get married you are crossing 29th year, having a baby will be difficult. 

My question is simple, why do Indian parents have such controlling urges? Why can’t they let their kids live their life? Are women just baby-making machines? 


Bahar mat Jana(don’t go out), screamed my maasi. I was five years old then and, I had kajal smeared over my forehead as a protection toolkit from bad omen.

Those days killing of widows on the pretext of Dayan was common. It was a piece of daily news. Was it a way to get rid of old women from our society or, was it an easy way to get revenge on someone or their family?

A few years later, I asked my maasi why she made me stay indoors even in the daylight. She replied: Bahut Dayan hai yahan(There are too many witches in this village). She does not want anyone to know that she has a visitor, a young boy.

My maasi shared some stories and a few incidents which have made the existence of Dayan more real.

Last year for consecutive months, most newborns died within a few weeks of their birth. The village panchayat sent for a Tantrik who identified eight women as witches. The villagers punished them and, the death of newborns came down significantly.

My maasi always stayed away from her village during ten days of Durga Puja. She says those ten days are most active for the Dayans(witches). Their superpower can do anything like converting a tree into an Arial riding machine.

Many villagers saw women dancing in the Kabristaan holding a newborn corpse. They were more in action during moonless nights. Some villagers reported a loss of eyesight and voice because of Dayans.

I have not visited Maasi in twenty years. She visits us.


Most of us live miserable life. Some die from childhood to old age and work like a bonded slave. The quest for seeking meaning or purpose in life does not exist for us most.

We are running a battle called life, where all we are trying to stay afloat. The time we have is to figure out where will the next meal come, how to get a daughter married.

The quest for Roti, Kapra, and makaan are above everything else. We have no time for finding the meaning of our life.


I have been regularly running for over six years now. It has been more of a meditation for me and helps with clear thoughts. I am not a gym person and quit cycling as well after a morning riding accident.

I have been in on and off knee pain because of running. Last week I consulted a doctor and got to know about runner’s knee along with vitamin deficiency. It seems like I will be just walking for the next 6-8 months along with swimming.

This injury makes me realize the importance of technique. I have just been running all this while with a good pair of shoes. The more I am reading am realizing what all our body, the knee goes through when we run.


Can you lead with fear or putting guns on the head of your team? Isn’t a team is about working together for a common cause?

The modern world runs on money. People join and leave for better money. But how long can money subside over shitty work conditions or treated like a slave with a gun on the head?

I understand some of us are in dire need of money because of the liability and external expectations. But for how long will this life continue?

There will be a day when we end up quitting everything and thinking back about the time of our life and realizing what all we lost because of the rat race.

We have to define and lead our own short life.


Our desires have no limit. If we start writing a bucket list, most of us will end up filling a few hundred pages. It is good to have a bucket list. But what happens to us when these lists end up being unmet?

Does it make us love the world and people around us less?
Does it end up making us more pessimistic towards our life?

Is it worth living a life in pain, sorrow, or pessimism because of our unmet wants?


Many of us are contributing to society in our unique way. They don’t need limelight, hashtags, or fan following on a social media platform. They are just contributing.

Be it a hotelier, offering leftover food to shelter home, or school kid dancing on tunes for collecting charity. There are many more teaching kids for free.

Many of these faceless contributors to our society are making an impact. They are just contributing, silently without a face. They don’t care about the limelight but more about what keeps their ultimate purpose in life.

It doesn’t take a pond to feed one human.


We are all special in our tiny little world. Our world is our imagination, aspirations, and zeal of not giving up. When we start seeking within, questioning ourselves, that is when the magic happens.

We don’t need a self-help book or a therapist to tell us our purpose of existence.

Tesla dies poor; Van Gogh died in melancholy and, Beethoven produced a masterpiece being almost deaf.