- Read all the classics
- Help someone in a truly remarkable and life changing way
- Attend an Opera
- Witness a Ghost
- Have a Near Death Experience, only to value life more than I do now
- Reunite with old friends
- Get very inspired
- Star in a Movie or a Play
- Learn Accents
- Try Stand up comedy
- Acquire a Phd. in any language, or maybe Psychology or Philosophy
- Be able to make the life of an invalid(s) better
- Learn sign language
- Shave my head
- Discover certain mysteries of life
- Make my rating in Scrabble in the 2000s
- Get amazingly good at other smart games like Chess and Go
- Be part of something big, world-changing
- Write alot
- And have readers for my writing
- Volunteer alot for Librivox or Recordings for the Blind
- Make amends
- Change for the good
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
It so happened that one time, he had to leave town on some work commitment. He'd never been to Gringers before. It was a quaint village in the outskirts of Palajoy. He returned to the motel, crestfallen due to the happenings of the day. Having nothing to do, and feeling low, he went out to the reception desk and enquired about a bookshop. It was a very old motel. The furnishings and the walls looked like something out of history. The receptionist, a sallow old man, told him tonelessly about a library at the back. Angelo entered keenly, marvelling at the size of the library. It was small. There were eight rows in all, all crammed together and Angelo crept in gingerly onto to the first row, hoping to find an interesting book. He was particularly interested in fiction and history. The library fascinated him. The books looked old and tattered, not, you would think, from overuse, but from sheer neglect on the part of the motel caretakers. There were cobwebs all over. Angelo felt bad that a library should be kept so negligently and moving on he stumbled over some books he overlooked on the floor. He picked them all up and arranged them neatly on the empty shelf above. He wanted to find a book that would distract him from his present self-pitying mood. And so, it was out of luck and a twist of fate that he spotted the "Book of Names." It was a relatively odd-shaped book, ancient looking and sodden. It was an object unlike anything he'd ever seen. It had a quality about it which suggested that it was something out of the ordinary. Eagerly he flipped it open. It was definitely queer. All it contained were names. Columns everywhere written in an old worldly font, full of names. The first page had the words "1910-2010" scrawled in a neat hand. What was stranger was the fact that most of the names he read were of people who had made it big in the musical industry. He was born in 1946. He flipped the pages, growing more and more curious as to its meaning. As he advanced to the further pages he wondered whether the book was a compilation of all those people who did and would become musically renowned all over the world. And then it struck him. He knew instinctively at once the purpose for which he had been presented with this book. HE would use the Book of Names to find the people in the book and make them the big stars that destined them to become so. He had been chosen. He now had purpose. And so he set off on a journey to locate all those undiscovered talents and make them the stars they were destined to be.
Angelo read the first name. It was that of one Alexia Matthews. He searched the name, and after a surprisingly short amount of time, he found her. As though guided by some invisible force, he took the train to Alexia's home in Dimlash feeling sure about what he was about to do, or make rather. She didn't seem alarmed when she opened the door of her quaint flat. Alexia was a middle aged single parent who worked at hotels playing her piano to pay her bills. There was a point of time in her life when she felt special as playing the piano came almost naturally to her when she was a young girl. But that was before she got pregnant at nineteen, before she fell for Ben, her estranged husband. Since then, she just got through life mechanically, looking after Betty her 11 year old daughter. She was a plain Jane; nothing outstandingly striking about her appearance. Except for her talent, Angelo thought, that he was certain about. They got around to talking in her study, and eventually Alexia even obliged to play for him. Angelo asked her impromptu whether she would like to become a professional player. Soon, Alexia started to be known as the modern Mozart.
After that, there was nothing stopping Angelo. He became one of the most trusted and famous music directors in the world. He was known to have a magical eye to spot talent. All his stars came from mediocre backgrounds; from stay-at-home moms, to college kids to office workers, Angelo had discovered them all, made them realize their true calling and transformed them into the musical stars they were meant to be. No one knew about the book of names. It was his secret to his and all his discoveries' success. Angelo wondered often about the book. About its origin, about its writer. Such true predictions but no such luck as to find how it was to come into being. He attributed this sudden change of his life to this book. It was a God-given purpose to which he would remain ever grateful. He felt responsible about his protégé’s. He felt inclined to protect them and nurture them.
And now after 9 years of unprecedented career achievements and the emotional gratification of successfully recognising and popularising eighteen people's musical talents, he felt like retiring. So he decided to go on a cruise across the Ranisi Ocean. The year was 1994; the beginning years of pop culture. He was forty-eight, single, successful and rich as they come. Perfect catch, you would think. But Angelo didn't feel like most eligible bachelor around. He felt like his days of love were long past him. He'd been divorced years ago; Edna left him for another man, a more responsible one, in her words. He was reduced to caring father figure/mentoring kind of man. Angelo had no family of his own. He lost his parents when he was young, and his only other relative Aunt Beatrice was long dead. Angelo was blissfully alone excepting his protégés which he loved dearly. And so when he did meet Rosalie on the ship it didn't occur to him that she may become very important to him soon. Rosalie was a shy and petite Russian lady of 26, on her honeymoon with her arrange married husband. Rosalie was from a poor family; it was a miracle when someone as rich as Bakhu proposed to marry her. Her parents were only too eager to get her married off. The newlyweds didn't communicate much and soon Rosalie resignedly accepted her destiny. Little did she know that Angelo intended something else for her. The day they first met, Angelo sensed that there was something unique about her. Curiously he checked the Book of Names and it did not surprise him that her name was there in that neat scrawled font.
Angelo resolved that Rosalie would be his last after which for some reason he felt he could retire permanently without feeling the need to set off on more talent searching journeys. Theirs was an amiable relationship. But was it only friendship? Weren't they a little too comfortable in each other's presence? Didn't he feel just a little extra glad to be alive when they laughed together on the deck? He knew what he was feeling. But did she feel the same too? Wasn't there that flicker of something else in her eye when she glanced at him? This was a feeling unlike any other. Angelo felt the need to protect her so. So vulnerable and dainty and small she looked to him. She too felt safe and happy with him. Angelo brought it up one day. Not the love thing, but her talent. He asked her if she enjoyed music during dinner in the banquet hall. Alexia's symphony was playing soothingly in the background. Angelo felt like it was a good sign. She looked at him, that same shy look, and smiled a smile Angelo had seen several times before to not notice. She nodded and told him in her sweet quiet way, that she loved singing, and back home she would spend considerable time etching notes together and singing to her little siblings. Angelo was pleased. He coaxed her into performing in front of all the passengers. Bakhu sat transfixed, unbelieving and marvelling at the beauty of his wife's hidden masterpiece of a voice. He'd been brooding the past few days. He loved Rosalie from day one but soon after they married he realised that he could never truly have her. And now that Angelo the great came into the picture, he knew he was fighting a lost battle. It was very willingly then that Bakhu let go of his wife. Angelo and Rosalie wedded happily, finally realising their love for each other. Rosalie went on to become Angelo’s biggest star. She was worldly renowned and looked up to.
They now in a great mansion of 59 bedrooms in Pollywood and Angelo have an enormous library there too. They have two teenage girls, and Rosalie, now forty-two years old lives a contented life with Angelo and the girls. The year is 2010, the last year of names in the book of names, and sure enough both Rose and Emily Desilva's name is scrawled in the list of names. Angelo is looking at the Book of Names this morning. He's old and wrinkled now at sixty-four, sitting at the large luxuriant armchair smiling reminiscently and flipping the pages back to 1994, he lingers his finger on his wife's name and twirling it down name by name he sees "Angelo Desilva" written there in that familiar neat hand. There are tears in his eyes. Tears of regret? Tears of joy? He doesn't know. But there are tears now. And then he says a silent prayer in his heart for his daughters. And for Rosalie, his sweet love Rosalie.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Imagine being the richest man in the world. Then imagine being the unhappiest. Will Bates was one such man; richest and unhappiest man in the world. Being the founder of Macrohard; a multi-billion dollar software company, and the brainchild of the modern computer generation, Will Bates had created history. As much as he was filthy rich, he was also very charitable. He and his wife Rebecca of 22 years, had established a world renowned NGO, generated billions through charity work, eradicated several diseases, among other great world changing achievements.
However, Will Bates was unhappy. He had everything, but he felt unworthy of it all. It was not as if he’d never been happy. It was a phase he was going through, a mid-life crisis if you may. It was at this point in his life that he started doing some serious introspection about his life and himself. He wondered if it was destiny that made him “Will Bates”. He wanted to play with his destiny; challenge the forces that brought him to the position in the world he was given.
Will Bates had come with his family on his ship, for the summer, voyaging this time in the Atlantic. He was sitting on the deck, sipping wine when his thoughts were distracted when Amy, his eleven year old, walked onto the deck clutching a cheque book, her expression inquisitive. Her father said to her, “Please, hand it over, you shan’t be walking around the ship with that “. Amy returned her new found discovery reluctantly and ran downstairs to the kitchen below, hoping to find something more interesting to fidget with.
Suddenly, the idea struck Will Bates, looking at his cheque book. “That’s it! All I have to do is, just write out a cheque and put it in the bottle!” he thought. He wrote out a bearer’s cheque for “Sixty-Two Billion Dollars only”, rolled it up, put it in the wine bottle, sealed it, and flung it across the calm waters. He felt childish doing the action but at the same time he felt exhilarated. He pondered, “If someone shall discover my cheque I will know I’m not meant to be ‘richest man in the world’”. The uncertainty of the cheque ever being chanced upon, gave him a heady feeling. He felt it was a bleak risk that he would wake up absolutely broke one day. Coupled with being tipsy from all the wine, he got up and went to his room feeling slightly glum.
Fifty-six days later, all property of Will Bates had been transferred to one Bermudan fisherwoman, Miss Jahquae Wilkinson. Will Bates, supremely astonished at this twist of fate, which he secretly never expected, died of cardiac arrest.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Those Bells. It was always those bells that made me think of her and of those times when we were free. Free to be whatever we wanted to be. It was GREEN and it had a wonderful tinkling sound. Reminiscent of the sound of Christmas and toy trains.
We were four when we became friends. I was playing in the yard of our preschool. The big boys were bullying me. I had the fanciest shovels, you see. She was always the strong, protective one. She saved me then and countless times after that. Always put me first. More like a big sister than a best friend.
Shelly saved me a seat in the cafeteria in middle school, fought with other kids over my seat in the bus. So brave and so good-hearted she was.
Yes, WAS. My Shelly is no more. We were in high school when she WENT. No, she didn’t leave the country, she didn’t leave me. She could never leave me. We were inseparable, the two of us.
She was there when my parents died. She was there when I couldn’t understand the big words in school. And then quite suddenly, in the midst of our high school prom preparations, Shelly started suffering; slowly and silently. It began with the fainting, then her absence in school. I wouldn’t see her for days and whenever I would try to contact her she would be unavailable.
One day I rode on my bicycle which she taught me to ride, to her house. Her mother opened the door slightly ajar. She looked positively distraught. She didn’t have to say anything. I could see the pain in her appearance. I ran inside towards Shelly’s room. And there she was, my brave Shelly.
Shelly became so weak, so sad and so different. I couldn’t bear it. Watching her fall apart was like looking at a part of me being shred to pieces. I couldn’t bear to see her so fragile.
For eighteen months she struggled. She was barely alive. She passed away on Christmas night. After we opened our gifts, after she gave me those priceless green dumbbells. I could feel it that night, a part of me withering, dying.
And before she passed, she looked at me. I saw her round pale face, those bright violet eyes; those knowing eyes, that same warmth even in death. And in that one look I knew, she being my biggest strength would never leave me.
Those bells, it was always those bells that made me remember Shelly. My sweet, strong, brave Shelly.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Today's the day I'll put my foot down.
Today's the day I'll finally do what must be done.
Now is the time.
The only time.
I'll listen to the songs I've had for so long but have never heard.
I'll listen to you and you and all of you and all you'll have to say.
I'll listen to me.
I'll do what I think I should do and do it today and not wait for the time I'll not want to do any of the things I wanted it to do before anymore.
I'll make those calls.
I'll get up early.
I'll speak my mind.
I'll be honest and real and only smile when it's genuine.
I'll be more on my toes.
I'll stick to what I need to do and not distract myself or let other things distract me.
I'll not like anyone for sometime.
I'll be more obedient.
I'll not raise my voice.
I'll not be lazy.
I'll read more.
I'll not waste so much time on the computer.
I'll read the paper everyday.
I'll help around the house more.
I'll learn how to cook seriously.
I'll run in the park every morning.
I'll take care of my diet and pamper myself like a proper girl should.
I'll be more attentive about people around me.
I'll dance when I want to.
I'll dress up more often.
I will because I can and I must because I should and if I don't then who would?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
A wallet without a picture.
It's the same sky we're under.
But we're not going to be the same tomorrow.
The sun is sure.
We are not.
It's the same face we see in our mirrors our whole lives.
That face seems to us different everyday.
Our difficult minds.
Our fragile hearts.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real ! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act,— act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.