Story #36: Dead Men Tell No Tales (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Hence the reason why I’m typing down this extract of my life so that someone somewhere can learn something from this collection of words. Maybe? Maybe not.

About telling tales. I’ve been brought up in a family where in the early stages of my life, my sister and I were showered with a lot of tales and stories from our grandfather. A story from him was not just an habitual occurrence but was an essential post dinner tradition. For a normal person it would be like having dessert. But the spectrum of his tales outranged all the tastes our taste buds could conceive. Well, time and technology took away those precious virtues. Time took away my grandfather and technology, his tradition.

Fast forward to this day where I’m about tell my first tale to a few people ironically with the help of technology. I don’t want to go overboard but I kind of feel like the prodigal son. ;p 

The significance of the title above is accomplished by now. So if anyone was expecting Jack Sparrow to be here, I’m sorry to disappoint you. 

Let’s Begin. 

What I am today is because of my mom.’

It’s 12:30 in the afternoon and a month has passed since my last class 12th exam. I’m currently chilling. ‘Chilling’ is defined as the act of scrolling through the news feed on your phone indifferently. Then I hear this, “Get Up!” There’s only one reply to that which is,”Mumma, 2 minutes please.” FYI: That reply is the gateway to eternal procrastination. A few moments later I hear this loud and clear, “GET UP FROM THE TOILET SEAT IT’S BEEN 20 MINUTES!” My heart skipped a beat (all the guys will relate to this). Before any preconceived notion could form in her shrewd brain I rushed out quickly. It was time to face the inevitable, the death stare. 

Then my mom asked me to go to the tailor to get her clothes altered and stuff. I never went there before in my life so obviously the answer was, “No, I’m tired.” There is one thing all our mothers say to get stuff done and that is, “No need of your help I’ll do it on my own.” That’s a guilt trip straight to hell. But first I had to go to the tailor. 

So I reach the market with a bag full of my mum’s clothes. Nobody is there at the tailor’s workstation. While I’m conjuring up curses in my head for the tailor a young boy comes up with a bag full of clothes. My initial thoughts were that his mum might have sent him too but those thoughts were substituted as soon as he took out the clothes, placed them on a stack and sat on the workstation. He asked me about the clothes and I conveyed him Mom’s orders. 

I saw a bag with a bunch of books and stationery beside him and I couldn’t help but ask him if he went to school. Apparently he did, but not very often. His attendance in the class was indirectly proportional to the work load he got here at this workstation which his father had made him on his 9’th birthday. I rarely empathize with people but at that point it hit me when i thought of stepping into his shoes. I asked him about if I could help with any of his studies thinking that he would be engaged his work and say no. But he left all of it in the middle, stood up and asked me to help him with math. Not at that moment but I asked him to visit me once his tailoring got over. (At this point of time, YOU, the reader might get bored with all the details. But every single one of it just had to happen in a sequence.) So I enter home and call out mom like I deserve a certificate of appreciation for the chore I did. Then I go back to ‘Chilling’. While I was scrolling I came across a sponsored ad by a company as part for their CSR about a short film making competition on a social issue. The instincts that were generated at that point were inviolable not to recognize. Never had I had butterflies in my stomach for just thinking about a project and how it would turn out to be. All I had was an instinct which gave me a string of hope to cling onto and a numerous number of practicalities to stoop me to the ground. But I decided to cling on. 

Later that evening he came with a textbook in one hand and a bag containing my mum’s altered clothes in the other. After studies were done I told him about the project to which he willingly accepted.

The next morning:

(AC/DC’s Back in Black playing in the background) 

We get to work. I didn’t trouble him in his working hours which were from 7:00 am to 7:00pm. We began at 4:00 in the morning and then after 7. The first experience of making a short film had an uncountable number of hurdles but during the process of filming none seemed to be like one, that’s the beauty of it. After 3 days of shooting and 2 days of editing our short film ‘Employed @ 9’ was uploaded to the company’s website.

One month later, I get back from vacation and I see a package from the company. In that is a letter and cheque in my name . Leave the cheque, once I read the letter I started jumping like if the primeval homo sapiens had just discovered fire. The amount of dopamine the was released in my brain that day has never ever been stimulated by any means till today. 

That was the initial domino falling to what I am today. And ‘what I am today is because of my mother’. No destiny bullshit, but if my mom hadn’t asked me to go to the tailor that day, instead of writing this tale I would probably be ‘chilling’ for another ‘2 minutes’ through my entire college life. 

Thank you, Mom.


This story was a treat to read. But as much as I loved reading it, for a long time I could not come with what to write here; or what I could take from it. But as I thought for sometime, it hit me.

Everything in our life is somehow, connected. It’s weird how we see our lives as an ongoing stream of random episodes, but in the long run, all these seemingly random episodes and occurances fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly, everything makes sense. So, it just goes on to make me believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason.

At the moment, someone might me experiencing the happiest or the saddest moment of their lives. While it may give one pain to be in a situation they are in currently, they were made to experience it because of some reason. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s true. Everything happens for a reason; pain, too is meant to teach us lessons happiness can never bring.

So, embrace everything life brings you, for in the long run, it will make you who you are. Most probably, like in this case, it will bring something good to you, something you will hold onto, for years to come. 

-:-

Any opinions, comments or ideas that you may want to put forward to the writer of this story can be mailed to me at ratti.priya5@gmail.com. Positive feedback and constructive criticism are more than welcome. 

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns.)

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Story #23: Faith In Humanity Prevails! (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

Life is a series of events. Some big, some small. Some really important and necessary, some not that significant. In between experiencing these events, life puts each and every one of us in certain circumstances which have the power to reach out to our core, the true us and change a part of it! 

I would like to share one such event of my life and here is how it goes.

I was on a drive with a newly made friend of mine, returning from work. We would go together and he would also drop me off everyday. It had been a week following the same routine. Everyday, when we crossed a signal, there would be quite a number of innocent faces on the other side of the car window, asking for some money. It was saddening how everytime both of us had to refuse to those helpless souls as we were aware of the business rackets that ran behind the innocent faces.

But today, something wasn’t going to remain the same anymore. As we were returning from work and arrived at the traffic signal, I saw him smiling. Soon, there were kids around the car again, but this time, something definitely was different, I could feel it! And then my thoughts were interrupted by him as he said – “Open that dashboard!” I was confused and I questioned him back instead of listening to him. He once again repeated his words and asked me to open it. As I opened the dashboard, I found a box of chocolates. There was a smile on both our faces. 

He rolled the window down and I distributed the chocolates and got those priceless smiles in return. Few more joined them- “didi mujhe bhi, mujhe bhi” (me too, me too!) was all I could hear!

That moment had a unique magic of innocence in it. It felt like they were little birds chirping near me. And my friend was just busy adoring the happiness on their faces, absorbing all that he could.

Another boy, probably a year or two younger than me, riding a scooty on a little distance came up to me and said with a great smile -“Didi, aap bohot ache ho!” (You’re a really nice person!) which really made me feel that a good deed does touch hearts. 

I’ve recently shifted to Delhi, stepping out of the “cocoon” of the constant love and warmth of my family. Back at my hometown I did not step out much out of my house except for going to school. Even though it sounds stupid, I was way too naive to face a different city all by myself; and over that, the place being Delhi. I was mentally prepared not to trust anyone too easily here. And in the hassle of being more cautious everytime, certain negativity had definitely got into me. But this was the incident that restored my faith. Faith that humanity prevails everywhere!


Our brains have become so accustomed to seeing and expecting negativity that we often presume most situations to have a bad result. This conditioning of our minds to look out for negatives leaves so little space for us to do something to change a situation. 

So when someone decides to be nice, it startles us; we bring our guards up. Because good deeds are so rare to find, the ones we do come across feel like a hoax. And I hate to admit how true this is. But it’s us who can change it.

Small good deeds everyday would make everything so better, wouldn’t they? Try making someone smile, give someone a compliment they weren’t expecting, do something for someone or maybe, like in this story, help someone who might need it the most. Your little actions could turn someone’s day around!

-:-

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns. If you’re interested, you can send me your story at ratti.priya5@gmail.com.)

Story #18: Little Things (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

I was told to share an experience that affected my life or changed me as a person. To be honest, it is not just one thing but a million little things that happen everyday that affect me as a person.

There are times when I take tension and panic even in trivial situations but when I step out of the house and see people sleeping on the road in this scorching heat, kids selling things at traffic lights to manage their meager means of survival , old and middle- aged men sitting at the stations having amputated arms or legs begging it makes me think how lucky I am to have a shelter over me, a meal three times a day and my body organs in place and a family.

There are times when I feel that I am useless and worthless with no personality and self confidence. But then I see people who have gone through various ordeals or are still experiencing problems way beyond my imagination but they have the guts and the will power to keep a calm face and smile through it. That gives me hope.

There are times when I complain to my father about my silly needs not being fulfilled but when I go out and see the cobbler, the tailor, the rag-picker, the tea seller, I see how difficult it is to survive and earn money and that makes me feel rueful about my past behavior.

There are times when I judge people based on their looks, dressing sense or the way they speak without knowing them but as I get to know about them further I realize my false pre-conceived notions .

These are the little things that I experience everyday which give me hope to live my life a little better.

Though I’m still waiting for the day when something happens that makes me change the way I feel about myself in a better way.

But till that happens I have these little things making me feel blessed and always encouraging me to follow the policy of helping others in any way that I can so that I can bring a little joy in their lives.


Sometimes, some things around us have the capacity to move us and change us, and bring back to life a feeling, this unknown sense of power and capability that had been lying dormant for a long time. At times, these things are huge and consequential to our lives; other times, they are little, almost too vulnerable of going unnoticed. All we need is an eye out to look for such things. 

The ones who see, really see like the person writing this story, feel. They empathize. The knowledge that someone, somewhere is way worse off, and has bigger problems to combat puts things in a lucid perspective. Just knowing how someone has it worse makes us appreciate our little lives so much; it makes us thankful for what we have.

So the ones among you who are like the writer of this story, I’m sure you could relate. For those who aren’t, see this as an opportunity to let the writer’s experiences influence you; maybe change you, too. Be thankful for what you have; your something might be someone’s everything. 

-:-

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns. If you’re interested, you can send me your story at ratti.priya5@gmail.com.)