How saying ‘good morning’ saved my life..

boy running in the hallway
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I can bet the most loving place to get back the old memories is our school. We have so many memories associated with it. Happy moments, sad moments, having the first crush, having fear of being caught by teachers, pride moment when we achieved something and what not.
It is rightly said that school is the second home to a child. Today after many years  post marriage, I happened to pass from the same city in which I went to school. I was feeling excited and nostalgic after seeing my school after 15 long years and visited it.
Once again I went to the same class, touched the benches, scribbled on the blackboard and was trying to find the changes made in the structure of the classes. I could figure out myself sitting in the last bench corner and gazing out of the window. I could recollect the names of some of my classmates and most of my teachers.
I remember how I and my friend vaishali used to make plans as to how we would exit from the building in case of fire. How we used to call our teachers by different names in their absence, how we used to make excuses for not doing homework and how we managed to eat something in between the periods without letting the teacher know, how we used to bunk classes or sometimes school on the pretext of illness….
Among them, one experience was such which I cannot forget for my lifetime and I was sharing the same with my husband.
It so happened that mom and dad greeted me every morning as I woke up since the very beginning and so it was a habit with me to say ‘good morning’ to the first person I met every morning irrespective of the fact whether  I knew them or not.
As a child, I was too much punctual … rather my parents were too much punctual and always sent me to school before time. 10 mins earlier than the usual time. That was the time I really felt how lucky people all adults were! They didn’t have to go to school, no homework, nothing at all and most important they could sleep till late in the morning. Now after growing up, I realised, I was wrong!
As per my habit, I used to greet the watchmen a very good morning every day and while leaving the school I used to say ‘ goodbye uncle, see you tomorrow’. It had become my daily routine and if ever I was absent someday then immediately the other day uncle would inquire about it.
One day, I don’t know how but the school bell rang and the school was over. I had gone upstairs in the computer room and before I could pack my things and leave- the doors were closed. I was engrossed in my work and could not hear the bell as I was sitting all alone in the computer room in a free period doing my project.
After some time I realised that I was all alone in the school and at that time we didn’t even have mobile phones to connect. I started shouting for help and started crying. After almost 1 hour someone opened the door and I saw it was our watchmen uncle. I literally hugged him and wept. Later he came to drop me to my house as my parents were already in tension searching for me. No one ever thought that I could be locked in the school.
Later my parents thanked the watchmen uncle and asked him as to how he came to know that I was locked inside the premises because it was impossible that he could have heard my cries.
His reply surprised my parents and they felt really happy about what they taught me.
The watchmen uncle said,
” Daily hundreds of children come to school and they leave but only a few of them greet me in the morning and while they leave. Your daughter is one of them. She greeted me in the morning but not while leaving, That’s why I thought that it has never happened so in the past few years. Something is definitely wrong. So I went inside the building to check and found your daughter. You have taught your daughter to be humble, love and respect all people around you irrespective of their status. She made me realise that I AM SOMEONE…..”
Try to have an impact on the people who cross your path every day, you never know what tomorrow will bring!
Archana Prabhune..

 

 

 

The perfect ‘date’

 

 

 

bed empty equipments floor
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Since childhood, I was always fascinated by the world of medicine. Usually, people do not like to go to hospitals and visit doctors but I was totally opposite.
I loved the smell in the hospitals. I loved the people in the white coats. I always made it a point to visit hospital on pretext of any reason. Sometimes I would just make an excuse of bad health the other times I would literally hurt myself to get dressing done by the doctor.
As I grew up, my mom would often scold me for searching google for searching the news in advancement of medicines. That had become my favourite time pass and I possibly did collect all the information which I could get online about various dreadful diseases.
I sometimes did secretly wish if I could get the disease of Cancer so that I can spend a lot more time in the hospital with the doctors all around me and with all types of medical equipment all around my body. Injections, medicines, X-ray machines…. all drew me crazy. I was obsessed with the idea of being in hospital all the time.
Later as I grew up , I came to know that I could study medicine and go to hospital regularly as a doctor rather than a patient. I started studying desperately for my exams to become a doctor and have those golden words ‘Dr.’ before my name. Much later did I realise that becoming a doctor was my childhood dream.
As luck would have it, I very easily entered the final year of M.B.B.S exam and one last paper was remaining for me to become a doctor. But on the very day of exam something very unusual happened and I could no longer hold the pen in my hands to write nor could I think clearly.
As such too I knew much about the diseases so seeing the symptoms which I was having I was worried about the dreadful disease in which muscles grow weak day by day and finally you need a life support system to live. I myself did blood tests  and the other tests required to confirm the same and was very sad to know that my diagnosis was very correct. I had very few time to live now. Whatever I wished as a child, God granted it to me in adulthood when I was just about to become a doctor. Now either the disease would kill me or the treatment  and I always preferred the latter.
But I did not lose hopes and kept on searching for alternative treatment. The treatment was risky and had not been yet tried on any patients but I wanted to give it a try. So I got admitted in a hospital. My father was amazed to see the glitter in my eyes on reaching the hospital. The only difference is that if things had worked out well I could have entered as a doctor but now I was a patient fighting to live.
I would often have all the surgery books besides my bed and go on reading them all day long. The doctor attending me somehow came to know how much interested I was in the field of medicine.
Days passed by and we both became close friends. The more close we came the more he felt scared to treat me because in his heart he was not sure whether the treatment will work.  It did work in the beginning but the disease did relapse and it was even worse and only he knew it that I needed the immediate surgery else I would die. I could see the fear of my death in his eyes. The success rate of the surgery was very low.
One evening he went home early and later came nicely dressed in the hospital. He came to me and made me sit on a wheelchair. Later he took me to the terrace garden where only two of us were present. Instead of a nice dress, I was just wearing the loosely fitted hospital robe with Saline attached to my hands. My hands had all been swollen due to the constant needle pricks.
Instead of perfume, I was just smelling of medicines, Surgical spirit and the sprays. I was looking very pale and a weak but glitter in my eyes was always there. I was on the seventh cloud when he gifted me his grandma’s necklace saying that he always wished to gift it to his ‘would be’ life partner.
Unlike a perfect date, we just had a plane table in front of us, where files of various complex unsolved cases, laptop, stethoscope and a white coat were lying.
On the white coat was my name as “Dr. Priya Shah”. I touched those letters and tears welled up my eyes. I  just didn’t feel like leaving the stethoscope aside even for a moment.
We discussed many cases and I really felt nice to offer my opinion to him that too as a doctor. That white coat around my arms and the stethoscope around my neck made me feel like heaven and that was perhaps the best date I ever had! Most romantic date, I would say! Probably life would never give me a chance to become a doctor but my friend understood every unsaid word of mine and fulfilled my wish while I was alive.
Life was extremely unsure but I lived and loved someone in those little moments and I shall always be grateful to God for that! That was perhaps the best unforgettable date I ever had… It does not truly matter whether we have long life what matters is how we live in those short moments!
Archana Prabhune..

 

 

 

The ” race ” to win.

boy running on pathway
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It was Monday and I was rushing for office. Mondays are usually really difficult after a week break but somehow I packed my tiffin, took my bag and got ready to go to the office. 
 
As a child, I remember my mom used to do things for me and she was always worried to send me to school in time whereas I was least bothered. Those were the days of innocence and just PLAY and FUN — free from all tensions.
 
My father would often ask my mom not to keep nagging me and let me take the responsibility myself. My mom would listen to it with a dumb ear. As if my mom was preparing me for some race. 
 
Every day she would ask me to do things hurriedly just to be on time and during the time of exams she always asked me to study hard so that I am not left behind in grades by my friends. 
 
From the very childhood, it was deeply rooted in my mind that it is not just enough to be there on time but it is also essential to win the race if one wants to survive.
 
I grew up with the same thought process. Today when I was going to the office, I had started much in advance just to reach there in time and was pretty sure of that. We needed to punch the card after we reached the office for our daily attendance. I was always the first person to do that.
 
That day, I saw one of my colleagues was also accompanying me on the same road and he too was heading for the office. He was a little bit ahead of me.
 
From childhood, I had been taught the importance of ” winning the race” so sub-consciously I started driving a little fast.  After 2 minutes I was at par with my colleague and my heart was beating really fast now.
 
I quickly speed up my car and overtook him. What an immense joy I felt after doing it. I felt that one more time I had won the race. 
 
But after a few minutes, I realised that I had come far and missed the turn to office whereas my colleague wasn’t fast and took the proper turn. He reached the office on time whereas I was late.
 
Is it not the same with us in life too?
 
Often in the desire to come first always we often forget where our real destination is and keep on moving to the places where we don’t really wish to go!
 
Think over it.
 
I learnt an important lesson from it and decided to enjoy each and every moment of life. Life is not a race to be won but a journey to be enjoyed and cherished. 
 
Archana Prabhune..

 

The “BUSY” Ant..

black ants
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 I was feeling lonely, depressed and sitting alone just doing nothing at all. Just gazing out of the window and a soft sad song was playing in the background. But I was not in the mood to listen to it either.
Sometimes you miss someone so much that you simply don’t feel like doing anything at all. No music, no reading, no activity, no long rides and no attempts to divert your mind work.
Even alcohol does not work because after having it you miss the person even more. Rather than the physical pain the emotional pain kills a person.
23 long years had passed since I had lost my ‘only’ friend. I always blamed myself for her demise and never ever wished to make any friend thereafter.
But then someone came into my life like a ray of hope. At first, I resisted accepting that I was once again going to fall in love with someone but time made me do so.
But my ray of hope was short-lived. It was not a ray of hope, it was a rainbow… Soon my new friend got TOO BUSY, she had own family, aspirations and dreams.
I kept on waiting for her call, a message – but all I got was a ” busy status”. Although in her what’s app status she had mentioned ” available”, she was always busy.
I tried a lot many times in all possible ways to tell her as to how miserable I felt if we did not communicate,  but she never understood it. All she felt was that she was only a call away.
It was true that she was just a call away and never ever denied to talk with me whenever I called her but then… I could sense from her voice that she was busy with something else. The love in her texts, the concern in her voice was all lost somewhere.
She had time for everything except me. Out of the 24 hours available it was difficult for her to give me just 1 minute even. Often she would drop a message on what’s app and log off not even waiting for me to revert back.
She knew that I waited for her ” good morning” messages every single day but at times she would just log in and log off what’s app without even caring for me. All she said was love does not always need expression. Her messages made each day special and without her message each day was like HELL.
At times I would get angry, hurt myself the other times I would simply cry! She occupied my mind for 24 hours even at night I used to dream about her and utter her name. she always used to say that ” I LOVE EXTREMES” and it was true! I stopped using what’s app because she was not there….Everything in my life began with her and ended with her only!
I used to record her all calls so that whenever I missed her, I would listen to it. It was music for my soul.
Slowly everything changed and I had to accept that I was all alone once again. There were bound to be few calls, no what’s app chats nothing at all left in the relationship anymore which showed that we loved one another.
There was just a series of misunderstandings between us. Although we loved each other but failed to communicate. Rather she never desperately felt a need for it and I always felt that it was needed to make a relationship last forever!
So, I decided to sit in a lawn and have a cup of tea. Tea was one thing which never left me and it was my 2 am friend. That evening, I was just sipping a hot cup of tea with her thoughts in my mind when I saw a long line of ants. I saw that however busy they were in their own work still they would meet the ant coming from other direction and touch their heads with one another. Later they got engrossed in their own work.
I smiled a bit seeing how they took out the time from their busy lives just to say hello to one another. Little insects, even they knew that it was necessary to stay in touch which we humans seldom understand and accept.
I don’t know why tears rolled up my eyes seeing their love for one another. But I really don’t know what was going on in my mind. I took a small thin stick and tried to break their line. I tried to break it once and twice but every time they would go and assemble together again.
Somehow the pain that my best friend didn’t love me the way I wanted kept on hurting me. So I took the thin stick and separated one ant from the group. I picked it up delicately and kept it on my table. I was watching its efforts to go back and I was making desperate attempts not to allow it to go.
Still, somehow it managed to climb down. I was furious this time and picked it up. Later I made a big circle boundary with the help of water on the table which was dry inside and kept it in the inner core. The ant was trying desperately to go out from all the sides but it could not and I was feeling happy. I don’t know why.
ant trapped in the circle
I was really sad to see that the other ants kept themselves busy and did not even bother to look for the missing ant. Sometimes I would presume myself as the trapped ant. It was a mind game. But I was feeling a bit relaxed.
Slowly but consistently the trapped ant was making more efforts to go out. I felt that no one cared for her and her group did not even feel her absence. Neither her presence nor her absence made any difference to anybody.
Slowly I made up my mind that the   I /ant has to die! I kept on narrowing the circle filling it with a little more water each time and watching the ant struggle to go back to her friends.
All her legs were wet and the ant could barely walk now. I dried it a little bit and again it began to struggle to go out. It did not give up till the last moment. I silently kept on watching it’s struggle.
 But if I could not get my loved one back in my life, why should I allow it to????
Finally, I filled up  circle with full  water and watched the little ant die.
I wiped my eyes with a tissue paper and with the same tissue wiped the table on which lay the dead ant. My mind went blank. Emotionally I was dead now even though physically I was living!
Later I uttered,
No one is always busy,
 
It’s just a question of priorities,
 
If someone seriously wants to be with you,
 
They will never find excuses,
 
rather they will make efforts.
 
It takes less than a minute to let someone know that you miss them…
 
And ” IF” someone really loves you, they won’t miss a chance to express it…
 
YOUR presence never mattered to them….
 
Your absence never will!
Archana Prabhune..

How I stopped expecting “I LOVE YOU”

people girl design happy
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I used to quarrel a lot with my sister that she did not love me the way I wanted rather she never expressed it the way I wished. She was a totally positive girl with a pure heart and she loved me too but I sometimes mistrust her. Rather I  trusted her but her failure to acknowledge her love for me made me go mad.
One fine day she did not call me or chat with me for five consecutive days and I was feeling depressed, lonely and felt that she has deleted me from her life.
She always had an excuse that she was pretty busy with one or another thing and if I ever compared my love for her and that of her love for her husband she would casually reply that ” both are different” or else that ” we both aren’t finding any time together these days” and the matter would end here. I could never stretch it beyond that point.
My point was only that if she really missed me, loved me she should at least express it sometime. ….. not always…
Anyways I could never convince her in this regard and from her point of view she was pretty correct. I expected a lot from her even without knowing whether she felt it with the same intensity or not. Maybe she never ever felt like expressing it. Maybe she never felt it the way I did.
One fine day I was too much irritated sitting idle, thinking of her and my friend guessed that something was wrong with my mood.
He immediately took me out for a long drive and we sat in a cafe having tea. I was not in a mood to talk with him even … I narrated my problem to him and he asked me to accompany him to a place.
We went to a far off place which was too green and a small canal nearby. Surroundings made me even sadder. Because this was the place which was too close to my heart and whenever my sister visited us, we would surely go to that place. It made me feel nostalgic.
Then we went to a dense area covered with trees and he showed me short weed which grew there. He asked how it was possible that it grew there and sustained without sunlight?
I said that it must be getting a little bit of sunlight which might be just sufficient for it to grow. God has plans for everyone.
Later he told me… ” aren’t you the same as the little weed? You too are getting your desired quota of love from your sister but the problem is you go on asking for more. God knows how much is ‘just needed’ for you to carry on. why do you ask for more and remain unhappy yourself and make your sister unhappy too???”
I was speechless after hearing it. I henceforth promised myself that I won’t ask for any more proofs from her that she loved me and will keep in touch with her no matter whether she is able to make it or not. At least it will keep her happy. 
Although secretly in my heart I sometimes do wish that she should express her love for me but now on I won’t beg for it and LET HER REMAIN HAPPY!
Archana Prabhune…

The unwanted puppy

black and white puppy
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As a child, I always wanted to have a dog as my pet but mother always rejected it and she had her own special reasons for it apart from the ones which relate to taking care of the dog. I knew she loved me and would not mind if I brought a street dog and try to tame it. But she was correct in her own ways.
Once I was playing outside and found a newspaper advertisement for the sale of puppies. I immediately asked my mother to dial the number and inquire about the price. My mom was hesitant but looking to my long demand for the puppy she called up.
She had already inquired about the price and all of the puppies were priced somewhere between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. Hence she deliberately told me that she just had a budget of Rs 800 and we would buy a puppy only if we get it at that price.
Still, we went to see the puppies. I was too much happy to see the puppies. There were in total 7 puppies to be sold but only 6 were shown to us. I asked the owner about the 7th puppy. He told me that it was not appropriate for me and hence he didn’t show it to me.
This made me more curious about the 7th puppy. What was so ” inappropriate” about it? I just wanted to know. So I pressed hard on the thing that I won’t buy any puppy unless I see the 7th one.
As such too the owner did not agree to bargain and it was impossible to get a puppy for Rs 800.
At last a lady came out with the 7th puppy. It was dark black in colour and was limping. I immediately inquired about its price and the owner told me that he would give it to me just for Rs 100. My mom did not wish to take one more liability home so she did not agree. And we both went home.
At night, I could not sleep properly. The thought of my black beauty who limped never left my mind and I decided to purchase it from my pocket money. I found that I had just Rs 30 in my pocket money.
With those Rs 30, I went to the owner and told him that I wanted to purchase the limping puppy but I had just part of the money and I would remit the balance money as an when I get it.
The owner was happy and told me that I could keep it for free. He did not need money for that puppy as it could not run like others.
 I was a bit disappointed now and said, ‘I don’t want you to give the puppy to me free of cost. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I’ll pay full price. In fact, I’ll give you  Rs 30 now, and Rs 70 a month  later’
 He asked me that was money the only consideration why I had shortlisted the limping puppy?
He thought that I could manage only ‘that much’ with all the money I had and therefore I was eager to have it. But the case was different.
To his surprise, I reached down and rolled up my pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. I looked up at the  owner and softly replied, ‘Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!’”
My mom had to accept me because I was her child but the little puppy deserved love inspite of the problems it had. It deserved understanding, care, and unconditional acceptance.
He was in tears after he came to know as to why I had selected ” the black limping dog”.
We always need someone who cares for us and understands us.
Who could better value and understand a limping puppy rather than a boy who himself had a crippled leg supported by a metal brace???
Archana Prabhune..

Little lessons – life taught me!

person holding brown chick during daytime
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My Grandmother was typically old-fashioned lady with her own absurd and old ideas but she was my best buddy in times of need. A hug from her made my day bright and I forgot what I was going through. she had her own ways of teaching me the priceless things which no one else would ever tell me.
 
One day I was fed up and it had been almost 14 years since I got married. I left my in-laws’ place and started complaining her about how many difficulties I was facing and how disgusted I felt at times. 
 
My parents immediately took my side and said I was right in behaving in a certain way. Their acceptance for my behaviour or accepting my irritation towards my in-laws made me happy. I felt that at least someone on the earth really ‘ understands me’.
 
But my grandmother did not say anything. she simply kept quiet and asked me to talk to her the next morning.
 
The next morning, I expected her to hug me and console me as I was fuming with anger. But she did not utter a word. She stood in the kitchen and was busy cooking something.
 
I thought that she was not interested in my affairs so I was leaving but she called me up again and kept three different pots of water for boiling on the gas burner.
 
When the water started boiling, she added Potato to one pot, an egg to the other and tea leaves to the last one.
 
I was patiently but angrily seeing all this. After all, was done, she removed it from the gas burner and asked me what it was.
 
As such my mind was not in control so I rudely replied POTATOES, EGG and TEA.. what else could we get, we had just kept that on the gas burner… I was about to leave when she asked me to have a cup of tea.
 
I sipped the tea and felt relieved. Later she asked me to touch the potato. I could feel that it had turned soft, which was quite hard before boiling.
 
Then she asked me to touch the egg. The egg’s outer shell had become hard and when I broke it, I found it was boiled inside.
 
The tea leaves had already blended themselves into a fine cup to tea which I had already drunk.
 
I thought that the party was over. My grandma stopped me and gave me an important lesson.
 
She told that all three, the potato, the egg, and tea leaves faced same boiling water—- the adversity but each one reacted differently.
 
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
 
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
 
However, the tea leaves were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
 
‘Which are you,’ she asked me. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or  tea leaves?’        
 
This was an eye-opener for me and I realised that it is me who decides how to react or respond to situations.
 
Archana Prabhune..