Saturday, April 21, 2007

Candle in the wind

19 years before at Manori beach Mumbai

"Saab. Vada paav saab". The boy at the beach kept pestering Hiralal. When his trick failed to make any impact he harbored to his last resort "Sir....buy it for the kid. She will love it." He was referring to his 7 year old daughter. Hiralal gave him a cold stare which drove him away. Oblivious of all these happenings around, she was building her sand castle with the precision of an engineer. Irrespective of Vasthu or Feng Shui or anything she decided on doors, window and facade based on her moods and whims. She looked so engrossed in building it as if it was going to be some Indraprastha.

Children have a world of their own. They have fairies, devils, gods, and unicorns with wings and everything possible and impossible on earth. It's a child's beautiful unadulterated imagination and innocence that makes this world a better place to live. Try listening to the babble of a child...and you will understand the beautiful and simple truth. She was a very hyperactive kid and Hiralal had no idea how to keep her occupied. For the past 30 minutes, she was so engrossed in building that castle that she seemed to have forgotten his presence near her. He was not sure if he should be proud of it or be embarrassed for himself.

10 years before at her house in Borivali

She had never come across one person in her life who was so arrogant, self-confident, remarkable and yet down-to-earth as Howard Roark in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. She had read and re read the book thrice in these holidays and each time she read it, she felt closer to it. It looked as if Ayn rand was just standing beneath her and whispering it in her ears. She was right. A building is not just a piece of construction but also a way of our culture and civilization. It is a visual replica of a person who owns it and it is supposed to shout the owner's name from every brick. She now knew what she had to do in her life.

4 years before at Rizvi College, Bandra

"It is remarkable" beamed the professor.

He had not seen a thesis like that in years. While most of the final year thesis papers were either bland copies of Doctorate professor's impractical theory or just copied and pasted version of ancient architecture, she from nowhere had produced an amazingly wonderful idea. While everyone around were busy scampering for IT companies multi story structures with orange colored windows and blue colored glasses, she made a simple and practical design of a children's museum. As of to validate her point of this as an ideal structure, she had neat sketches of similar buildings in the west.

Without consulting her, the professor dispatched the design to the local authorities recommending to build a similar museum in the vacant plot allocated by the government. He knew that she was going to go places.

And one day..

She woke up and turned off the alarm on her right hand side. As always she was an early riser and she had not changed even now. It was the starting day of another week and another day. The sun was up and the weather looked bright. She made some coffee and sipped it trying to gather her chores for the day. As a planner that she was, she made a note of the key tasks that she had to complete today. She had to attend a seminar in the morning and prepare her notes on the same. She reminded herself to book "Harry Potter and Deathly gallows" in Amazon in the evening. It had been on her to-do list for maybe some long time. She had to finish it. Wonder how Rowling was going to end Harry's life.

As per schedule she arrived at class on time and got seated. Few more years and then she could get back to her home and pursue her dream. The dream. From her childhood she had wanted to be an architect like her father. She was proud that she was able to follow his footsteps and equipped to exceed them as well. She made a mental note to call her mom in the evening.

5 minutes later she lay in a pool of blood. One mad man had claimed 32 lives in a single act of cruelty. It was a massacre of 32 lives, 32 families and thousands of dreams and aspirations. A Black day for humanity.

19 years before at Manori beach Mumbai

Half an hour later she seemed satisfied. The building looked perfect. Her dad was happy and promised to buy her the favorite Vanilla Strawberry Ice cream. They walked hand in hand towards the railway station. She looked back and to her dismay saw that one Horse rider had run over her castle.

"Its ok Minal. Lets go" Her father Hiralal tried comforting her.

Unlike the other children of her age, she didn't cry. She started rebuilding the castle from the scratch. There was hope.....there was always hope left in this world.....

P.S: In loving memory of an unknown friend Minal Panchal.

45 comments:

prithz said...

That was a wonderful dedication and couldn't have been done better. The massacre was pathetic. The worst thing that i can ever imagine is the merciless loss of an innocent life!

Well done!

prithz said...

BTW, romba naal kazhuchu, me came first, curd rice with vethakozhambu aachum kodungo :D

Aparna said...

May Minal's soul rest in peace! That incident was so tragic.
Excellent post Harish!

Karthik B.S. said...

@ prithz

//romba naal kazhuchu, me came first, curd rice with vethakozhambu aachum kodungo :D //

dho da!

Karthik B.S. said...

there were many other people slained in that massacre too.

Karthik B.S. said...

infedility is the reason cited for that massacre by cho ramasamay.... err.. cho something... if that be the case he should have shot down ONLY his girlfriend. but what did 31 other innocent lives did??

brute said...

may her soul rest in peace,,

Vidya said...

You did a good job immortalizing Minal. I hope her family is awarded the strength required to get through this tragedy. May her soul rest in peace.

Vidya

Aditi said...

very touching and well written....

G3 said...

Awesome :-) [Vera vaarthaiyae varala idha padichappuram :-)]

G3 said...

May Minal's soul rest in peace!

Heidi Kris said...

Cannot be written any better! once again an Amazing post!

Hell's Angel said...

wonderful dedication.. better than the best.. may god show mercy on innocent ppl.. may her soul RIP..

Ganesh Ranganathan said...

You write wonderfully....

What happened in Virgina was awful...so many young student...what is awful that tragedies of magnitude 10 times are happening all over the world in Iraq, Africa, Lebanon..and no one seems to care...until it becomes personal

Suchitra said...

Sad. To tear down another person's dreams because yours were not fulfilled is pathetic.

Beautiful piece of writing, Harish!!

Story blog updated, btw!

Revathi said...

no words i say/write will do justice to this beautiful piece..i m not ashamed to say i m in tears!!
absolutely brilliant is all i can say and i m putting it mildly!!

May Minal's soul rest in peace!!

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Awesome! Chancey illa..But who is tht friwend? :P

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

But ipdi senti ellam epadi ungaluku? :O

Usha said...

maniratnam range-ku oru kadhaiya kondu poirukeenga :) well written.

Nivi said...

If there was ever a piece written straight from the heart .. it was this one..amazing tribute to Minal..May her family and the other bereaved families find the strength to get through this horrying phase.
Hats off harish!! You dedicated a post to them.

Nivi said...

Unlike the other children of her age, she didn't cry. She started rebuilding the castle from the scratch. There was hope.....there was always hope left in this world.....

Thats what we need to move on!!!

Vg said...

Excellent Post.. Hats-off..
Felt bad for the uncertainity of life at U.S

pria said...

A good dedication for those with angels:))

Dreamzz said...

wow! that was a wonderfull eulogy
..

Dreamzz said...

may god bless her soul, and more importnantly might he also give some sense to people.

Nithya said...

i am drained outta adjectives Harish and the dictionary keeps asking me to use the same words again and again "Excellent, Awesome, Amazing, Beautiful and Splendid"

May Minal's soul Rest in Peace

The last lines were absolutely beautiful..
And i feel so bad for not having read ur Tamil stories (read posts)..Damn, How I wish I could read Tamil a l'il faster and How i wish I could crack 'thooya Tamizh' :|

Arunkumar said...

ULTIMATE DEDICATION MAN !!!

Padma said...

i don't have any words to say... :)..
I are a very good story writer:).
May Minal's soul rest in peace.

SKM said...

Nanum romba varutha patten, polambinen. aana ippdi azhaga adhai sollanum nu thonalai. Adhudhaan Harish!You are gifted in writing, Harish.Idhukku mele yenna solla.

Deepa said...

Thats is so nice Hairsh. Now you should do one for the Coimbatore prof.

thepsychologic said...

I wish someone would do a documentary with this excellent script

Marutham said...

First - My deepest condolences to minal's family & friends .

Marutham said...

And yo BRO!! :O
These days you write very touchy posts..
Damn.. you are so good at it sweet BRO! :)

Marutham said...

AM lost - solradhuku vaarthaye ila :)
Toooooooooooooooooooooo good! :)
Loved the part where the girl goes back to rebuild her castle :) ...
Amazing writing skills... :)

Marutham said...

I wish people have some sense & responsibility.
What a stupid act was the shoot out ! & I wish people know the impact - pain they cause and act accordingly.

Hell awaits this moron! & Am sure people there would have busy days with this dumb guy!

mystery said...

great post harish..very touchy..may all thier souls rest in peace..

Lavs said...

Another good post! Though the subject is tragic, it does convey the emotions well. All we can do is hope and pray such incidents do not happen in future.

Mystic said...

Wow.. U were really good Harish! And the tragedy cannot be painted better!

adithya said...

Hey by faaar this was your best post ( thats my personal opinion though).. Loved the narration.. Simply great.. and more importantly I simply loved the stress on "Hope" .. after all thats what life is about isnt it!!

kuttichuvaru said...

well written buddy!! may her soul rest in peace!!

Santosh Jayamurugan said...

The feel was excellently portrayed...
May she have a place in heaven...

Harish said...

@All friends who commented here
I have tried my best to portray my heartfelt dedication to this massacre. One man's stupidity led to so many innocent lives being butchered.
The point that most of these students were going to start a new phase in their life and were going to serve their parents and their students, but were robbed of it in their life makes it even more difficult to digest.
May their souls rest in peace.

Anu said...

this truly made me feel the loss of Minal.....

U have portrayed somethin so beautifully which even the world media coudn't express....

Anu said...

The title is amazingly apt!!!

Harish said...

@Anu
Welcome Anu.
It was indeed sad event :(