Blurry Faces of the city

Blurry Faces of the city is a series of illustrations of the people who are living around us but are rarely noticed and acknowledged in mainstream. I have attempted to see their lives and struggles as they go through the ordeals to keep themselves and their dependents alive – in hope for a better tomorrow.

Please don’t hesitate to share your opinions, thoughts and feedbacks by going at sanjeevkumarpandey’s blog.

-Sanjeev Kumar Pandey | author, sanjeevkumarpandey’s blog

The ice-cream seller

A Friday night, somewhere in Noida.

Clock is about to strike 11 pm. We came out of a restaurant and started walking on the eastbound road alongside a now-slept market. On the road there are auto-rickshaws lined up with their drivers wandering around looking for passengers. Some auto-rickshaws are rushing down the road and some others slowing down to ask if we are intended to go somewhere. Some of them would try to guess the place we are likely to go and shout – ‘So and so much money for blah-blah place… Get in!’ We would answer some and ignore others. I know it is their daily practice so it hardly makes a difference what we really say. Deal is – are we getting into it or not? Actual listening would start only after either we nod to a fixed amount or the meter is down – which would be rare thing to happen so mostly for us and for most of the commuters it is the first one.

Amidst this, a police car came and from it a policeman wearing a washed away shade of standard-brown-police-uniform shouted on the owners of the roadside food stalls to close the business. Meanwhile a companion of the theirs, a motorcycle-ridden policeman, patrols the adjacent alleys and then signaled one of the stalls to bring food to the police car.

This must have been a routine for these stall owners and the patrolling party too.

We kept walking towards the end of this market where there is a traffic signal – mostly ignored by all during this time of the night. Just before the signal, around a corner standing in ebony skin was a thin boy of age around 17 with his ice-cream trolley.

He had his skeleton prominently visible. All the features of it – the cheek bones, eye-ball sockets, collar-bones, elbows. His head appeared large though – due to unkempt hairs those fashioned a brownish color owing to dust gathered in them.

One can easily be startled by an ‘apparently unprecedented’ form of living being when least expecting. Not even in figment of imagination I would have thought this structure of bones, flesh and blood.

So I reacted, – “What are you doing on this side of the road!? There are no restaurants or anything luring for people to crowd around!”

“Cars stop here sir.”, came a reply riding on a voice that was sure of itself but also a little sad. “They buy from me. I am here for those customers.”, he added sounding defending his ground.

“Why not move a little closer to the market behind the bus stand?”, I said almost rhetorically.

“There is already a trolley on the northern corner. Two of us can’t sell together, we have to cover larger area, plus we have to follow a strategy of being visible at a certain place in continuation of positions – a series of trolleys placed at a certain distance from each other would form such a chain that would induce the ‘desire’ by repetitive stimulous to vision and mind”, he spoke in authoritative and compelled voice while narrating his sales plan.

He was getting into it. I’d drawn him into a conversation now. Earlier it was merely asking and answering. By this time, I had understood that he could talk more freely now. His body language suggested that he was at ease and the cover of defense that mind had created was gone.

I could see him more clearly now, for now he didn’t feel embarrassed, or offended, when I ‘stared’ at him.

Those eyes could not have been more alert and skin did not wear wrinkles and a nice bath would have had brought-out a smooth chocolaty tone instead of grainy and dusty brown one.

Teeth were surprisingly white against the common notion about tobacco eating mouths and surely one would have been able to count all the ribs if he’d took off his yellow-brown shirt.

He probably read my thoughts for he spoke suddenly, “I’ll put on some weight once my worries are over sir.”

I looked at him in awe and he went on with his story of leaving his village in Buxar (Bihar)and coming to Delhi to work in a factory that produced packaging items.

There came a mention of his father and his eyes lit up, his hands clutched the pushing-bar of his trolley harder as if they were the hands of his father whom he probably has longed to grab and cry, sharing his ordeals. It became ‘necessary’ to talk about something else to do away with the emotional overwhelm.

“So which ice-cream do you like?”, I made an attempt to change the subject but came no reply from the him. I felt a little embarassed to ask such a stupid question after a heavymoment. I, however, threw away that feeling and asked another question.

Ice-Cream-Wallahs-at-night.jpg

“When do you start your sale?” I asked, while pretending to read from the items’-chart hanging from the top of the trolley.

“From afternoon 3.”, he glanced at that menu chart and looked away on the road to our right.

“And when will you go home?”, I continued.

“I am waiting for some friends, the other trolley manning men, who would be going with me. It is risking life and property to travel alone on these roads due to some anti-social elements who will strip you of everything and wouldn’t hesitate to put a knife into you, so we go in groups.”, he said gravely while his forehead frowned.

The timing of this response could not have been worst, so to lighten the air I asked, “For how much did you sell today?

“Not much – only 1200 Rupees. Usually I make 2000-2500.”

“I understand that that money goes to the company. What do you get?”

“16% of my sales amount.”

“So you get it monthly?”

“I wouldn’t survive on monthly salary if it is this less! I keep my 16% every day… and I don’t like ice-cream sir.”

His friends arrived and he left with them; talking while waving hands animatedly. Sharing stories from the day. Sharing their common worries and pacifying what’s there to pacify.

Youth the future!

If you are still in your youth,
Let me talk to you;
Your youth is an important period
In your life;
When you have to start
Setting up the pillars of the edifice
Of your life;
Don’t waste your youth!
If you waste your youth,
You waste your life;
And if you lay a solid foundation
For your life in your youth
You will have a successful
And enjoyable life;
Take time to think about your life;
Which direction to follow;
What your destination will be;
And how you will get there;
As soon as that is done,
Let your journey begin.
I believe in the you, youth;
You are the future of the world.

Daily Prompt
Youth

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/youth/

The Book God Owes Me

1-Books“Oh you do enjoy reading as I do!”, I exclaimed.
“Yes! Yes! Indeed. I am the one people call book-worm!”, she reached for the coffee and took a sip of it.
“Coffee here is famous?”
“Yes, as they say so unless it is not so true!” I laughed on my own half-cooked joke and she pretended.
“So what did you read last? And since how long this obsession is from?”, I looked away from the beggar boy outside the glass to her only to find her staring at the same boy.
I coughed to get her attention back.

“I’m sorry what did you ask?”, she reacted embarrassed. “Sorry, I got carried away with the view outside. It’s a beautiful weather, isn’t it? Looks like it’d be raining again.”
“Yes I guess it is. How would you go back if it starts raining?”, I asked.
“I would go with my girlfriend. She’d come to pick me; lives around here, you see.”, she explained.
“Oh great! That would save me from the trouble.”, I said and followed a combined half-laugh.

I knew she was lying and it would be me dropping her once rain started.

“You didn’t tell me, what did you ask me about?”, she broke my thoughts.
“I probably asked a wrong question earlier, let me rephrase myself.” (Smile) “What are you reading currently?”
“Nothing as of now but I read Arvind Adiga last..”, she started to speak.
“No way! The White Tiger! That’s my favourite!”, I interrupted overjoyed.
“No doubt it would be; beautifully written it is”, She continued. “But I am now wondering what would be my next pick.”, she finished her coffee and put down the cup.
“As this one was amazing, I can settle for no less for next one.” She said while wiping her lips with tissue.
“And I can’t settle for anything less than them.” I thought in my sub-conscious.

“It’s not too hard. Here, take this.”, I stretched my newly purchased copy of ‘The Kite Runner’ towards her.
“Khalid Hussainy! Why, this should be the one. Yes!” She took it from me and flipped it front and back a couple of times before putting it down on table while still clutching it from bottom.
“You have a great sense in these things. I must admit, I am impressed.”, she smiled with carefree air for the first time.
“Thanks, that’s what everyone tells me.”, I took the compliment as I consider it my right. I am always good at taking comments and compliments reasonably well than most.
“Oh nice! See? I knew you are good!”, she sported her heart-aching smile again. One would do anything to see that again and again.
“Thank you. I know I am.” , I didn’t try to be modest as I consider it a very common and unyielding practice.
“Well, so I guess I would just buy this one now.”, she said.
“No. Why, you can keep this.”, I pushed the book that was now resting on the table, towards her.
“Oh no! No! Please I’ll get a new one plus I have to go to the store anyway today for my sister’s daughter.”, she said while pushing it back towards me.

I put a finger from the other side to stop her sliding it.
“No. I’m sure you’d have to go there but please keep this, I insist.”, I literally insisted and said it literally.
“Oh what are you going to do then?”
“I’ve another copy of it.”, I lied and I guess she knew it too but didn’t press the matter any further.

She left without her girlfriend coming to pick her as it didn’t rain and I paid the bills before getting out half an hour later when it actually started to.

I looked up and raised an eyebrow in question, “Now who needs the weather?”

-By sanjeevkumarpandey @https://sanjeevkumarpandey.wordpress.com

 

#books-2, #dating, #faith, #india, #situations, #story, #writers, #youth

We are all Different

Matured

Self assured

Talking too much

With not enough to say

He loves everyday

Helps every stray

Gives so much

It’s his passion

Let him stay

 

Unsure

Insecure

Caring too much

Pretending not to care at all

Everyone seems a fool

She knows she’s not cool

Seeing no point

Its her life

Let her rule.

 

Decent

Content

Quite happy

More than a little bored

She has her hoard

earns decent reward

She’s at peace

It’s her routine

Let her be lord

 

Alone

Unknown

Fighting different battles

Life: An intricate dance

Of abusing their chance

Pass one another, no glance

They’re lost

Unlead, help

Them from their trance!

Bitter pill sweet poison

IMG_0025 sharmishtha 17.2.16 sm (1)By Guest Author Sharmishtha Basu
Listening to elders and seniors is a lesson you have been taught since childhood. This is what you should do. Everyone says so. This includes the wise and the shrewd; and they are right. When you are a kid, you really don’t know much about life; but you think you know a lot. At this age, it is good to blindly obey your elders unless, of course, they are asking you to jump off a cliff. In such a case, you need to first ask why!

As a young person, it is possible to meet elders who will try to manipulate you to do something wrong. You may fall into their trap, but if it is not something that is downright immoral, it may not do you much harm; and you should be able to get over the damage in later years.

However, children usually will not meet many potentially harmful adults if they are brought up in a normal family. A kid’s life mostly includes his parents, family, teachers and family friends. If the parents are cautious, much harm won’t be done on their children. If they are not, sooner or later the children will end up in big trouble. This may continue till they leave school. It is mostly in the later years of school that they are able to identify those adults who try to manipulate or misguide them.

That is the time you should start assessing the effects of their acts before following their guidelines blindly, after mid-teens it is wise to be a little judgmental when it comes to long-term things like your career or other serious issues. Because by that time you would have discovered that not all human beings are benevolent, irrespective of their age or their relationship with you. If you blindly follow them you are doomed. So be a bit judgmental when you are growing up.

When you are in your youth, you have already joined those who are grown up; so, listen to elders. You should be able to differentiate between good and bad, the bitter pill and sweet poison; if not you may only learn after you have swallowed a few!
Sharmishtha Basu is author, who is right now fully engrossed with her twin zines- Agnishatdal and Agnijaat. She loves to write about life and experiences and is honoured to be a part of a fantastic site like “Success Inspirer”.
You can check her out at daintypetals.wordpress.com or write to her at sermistabasu@gmail.com or sharmishthabasu@hotmail.com

#advice, #children, #guest-author, #guest-post, #kids, #youth

Start now

I tell young people ‘Don’t wait to start tomorrow. Start now. Tomorrow might be too late.’

Many young people are waiting for what I do not know before they take responsibility for their lives. No one reading this can be too young to start taking decisions on what direction they want their life to take.

Start now. Start where you are to shape your life to your taste. Decide now what you want to become. After that, decide the steps you believe will take you there. As soon as you have done this, begin to follow these steps.

If you think you are too young, and must wait to grow older before you decide what you will become and start pursuing it, you may soon find that you have wasted many precious years.

The earlier you take responsibility for your own life, the better for you. Therefore, if you have not started, start now to take your own decisions.

Seek help, of course; and listen to others especially your parents, teachers, spiritual and other advisers; but at the end of the day, be the one who takes the final decision. Be the architect of your life.

A talk to youth

I have been invited to talk to youths. I shall talk to them about the need to take responsibility for their lives. It’s a subject I am passionate about. The main thing I’ll tell them shall be not to wait for anyone to take them to where they want to go. To count on themselves. They will seek and accept good advice when need be; but must take full responsibility for their lives.

This goes for you as well. If you sit and wait for someone to find you brilliant and lift you to where you want to go, you may wait all your life. You have to take a decision on where you want to go, how you want to go there, and set out to go.

Are you aware that you have to take full responsibility for your life? That it is not another person to lift you to where you want to go?

Youth Forum Challenge

Every week, on Saturdays, the Youths of the world come together and express their views on a post that the Youth of the Week has published.

The Youth of the week is nominated every Tuesday in a post by the host on the host site. Check every Tuesday to know who has been nominated from among the participants.

The Youth of the Week writes a Youth Post of the Week on a topic proposed by the host or another topic of their choice.

The link to this post is sent to the host who calls on all the youths participating to read, like and comment on the post. Participants are required to read the Youth Post of the Week

This challenge is for young people from 18 to 35.

Register by giving your name and the url of your blog. This activity will begin as soon as 40 youths register to participate.

Embrace!

Years, like a spring roll on;
And none can hold them back;
Youth, in like manner, slides off;
And space it creates for age;
The throne age gradually takes;
As body decays; and mind weakens;
None of these can anyone hold back.
For, in this world in which we live,
There are things we can change;
And things we cannot change;
Things we can hold back,
And things we must let go;
Among them is youth we must let it go!
And age we must embrace.