Category Archives: Life Stories

Dogs and Spirits

For those of you who have read my previous posts, ‘The Demonic Animal’ and ‘Demonic face on the wall,’ I have yet another story to share with you. I’m sure most of you must have heard that dogs have a 6th sense. In India, there is a saying that when you hear dogs howl in the middle of the night, it means spirits are roaming about. If you have watched Indian horror movies, you will notice that the main item that will make your spine tremble from top to bottom is the howling of dogs.

This incident happened to me recently, I would say a week. The place I’m staying right now is more like a men’s hostel. In each room, they are at least two to three people staying together. For some, they preferred to take a whole room for themselves. Like me for example, I rented a whole room for myself. That’s because of my previous experiences. My other roommates never respected me. They used to come late at night while I’m in a deep sleep or at times when their cell phone rang, they preferred to answer the call with me inside the room fast asleep rather than going outside and answering it. Those were the type of roommates I had. That’s the main reason why I chose to rent a room for myself rather than sharing it with someone else. It’s a bit expensive, but I have all the freedom I need. So I guess it’s worth it.

A month ago, this new person (Mr. X) took a whole room for himself. He was a very strange fellow. He never used to come out of his room; he had no friends, and nobody in the hostel knows a thing about him. The worst of all, not even his name. But in time, we all managed to keep him out of our heads. At times, I used to see some of the guys asking him if he would like to join us for an evening walk. He never accepted any of our invitations. He just shook his head and walked back into his room. We won’t see him for the whole day after that.

But a week ago, his whole life changed. Just last week at three in the morning, while the entire hostel was fast asleep, I heard the most horrifying scream. I jumped out of my bed with my heart in my mouth. I could only imagine this would be the way a human would scream if he encountered death face to face.

I didn’t come out of my room until I heard voices of other people outside the corridor. I slowly opened the door and saw people running. I came out slowly. Once I was outside, I could see people trying to break open the door where Mr. X was staying. I wasn’t even sure if it was him screaming. No one could recognize his voice. It sounded more like an animal howling.

At last, they managed to break open the door. We saw the strangest thing ever. Mr. X was lying on his bed. He had his hands covering his eyes and he was screaming like a mad man. Some of the guys went over to him and tried to talk some sense into him. I was standing outside his room watching all this happening. Mr.X kept repeating that he was going to die and that this man with red eyes is going to kill him with a knife. The people next to him tried their best to convince him that, nobody was going to kill him and he only had a nightmare. I noticed he was sweating so much. Someone sprinkled water on his face, and he slowly opened his eyes. He was breathing heavily, and he looked so pale that he looked more like a corpse that came out of a zombie movie. It took nearly 40 minutes for him to calm down. Some of the guys tried to change the subject. Some even said jokes. He slowly got his senses back.

A friend of mine who was staying in a separate room told him to join him for a small walk outside, just to get some fresh air. Surprisingly, he nodded his head and got up to go out. I too thought of accompanying them, not because I wanted to keep his mind at ease, but I too needed some fresh air. We three went out. The whole street looked like a ghost town. Not a soul outside. It was quiet except for the breeze and the leaves scraping against each other. The moon was so bright that night.

My friend was in the middle; I was walking on his left side, and Mr. X was walking on the right side. While we were walking down this particular lane, I had this bad feeling. It was more like fear. I had no idea for being scared for no reason. But I knew something was not right.

Suddenly out of nowhere, from the shadows, at least 6 to 8 dogs circled us. We all just froze. It took me some time to realize that these dogs were only looking at Mr.X and not us. My friend and I tried to shoo them away, but they would not even budge. We decided to move away slowly but the dogs would growl, and it looked like they would pounce on us any moment.

We three just stood there for like a minute, and suddenly all hell broke loose. The dogs started to bark furiously. It was like they would tear us all apart any second. But my friend and I noticed that the dogs weren’t barking at us but only at Rahul. And what’s worse, something didn’t look right with Rahul. We couldn’t see his eyes properly. We couldn’t see the iris, just the white part. We could see his teeth, and he was biting it down hard.

Now here’s the scary part. The dogs weren’t just barking at Mr.X only. They were barking at someone else standing at his right side. I turned around thinking there was someone behind us but the whole street was empty. At times few of the dogs would jump back like as if someone was trying to shoo them away. I was rooted to the road and trembling with fear. We stood there motionless for like a minute and then my friend suddenly turned around and ran for his life. Seeing him running away made me turn around and run. I never ran so hard in my life since I finished high school. My friend was running in front of me, and I was running right behind him.

We didn’t even stop to help Mr. X or turn back to see if the dogs were following us or if they were tearing him apart. We didn’t stop till we reached our rooms. I ran into my room, locked the door and put all the lights on in my room. I jumped onto my bed and covered myself with my sheet. I was trembling so much. In the distance, I could still hear the dogs barking.

For a whole 10 minutes, I was just staring at nothing and slowly fell asleep. At ten in the morning, I woke up and somehow managed to refresh myself and got ready for office. While I was walking down the corridor, I put my head closer to the door to see if I could hear him inside but nothing.

I just hoped he was ok. Felt guilty for leaving him there all to himself. But you couldn’t blame me. Just imagine, you see dogs surrounding a group of people and barking at only one. And what’s worse, barking at someone you couldn’t see but they could. Someone that made the dogs jump back, as if, someone was trying to hit them or shoo them away. The way Mr. X looked at that moment also freaked me out. I watch horror movies and the movies like Exorcist and Evil Dead did freak me out a lot. Mr. X looked like he was possessed. Forgive me if I’m saying it wrong. I just don’t know how to say it. That was the best way I could describe how everything looked.

I walked to the bus stand trying to get rid of the whole thought. My day at work didn’t go well. At night while returning to the hostel, I noticed Mr. X’s door was wide open. I didn’t want him to see me, so I started to walk fast. But as I crossed his room, I managed to have a quick glance inside. He was sitting on his bed crisscrossed and stared at the wall in front of him. I’m glad at least he made it back to his room. I never spoke to him again, and he was back in his world, stuck in his room with the door shut most of the time.

I believe these facts now. Dogs do see things that we humans can’t. They do have a sixth sense. They could see spirits.

A Beautiful Story

Here is a story or rather a true story that happened a few days back. My uncle was having a party at his place since it was his daughter’s birthday. By the time I reached his place, there were already a lot of guests. A lot of kids running and screaming around out of joy and excitement, the ladies were at the dining hall pouring out their thoughts all at once, and the men were in the living room with drinks on the table and trying to bring up a topic. As for me, I just sat at the corner and wished lightning struck me and I would have a reason to leave early.

I hate parties. A lot of people shout, drink and go insane; ladies are like blah, blah and blah; we have to hire animal trainers to whip the kids just to keep their mouth shut and the worse thing about parties is the cleaning. Guests don’t care what they do to your stuff. They don’t care about what their children are doing; they worry a lot about their empty glasses and gossips.

There was this particular couple I found interesting. The moment this couple arrived at the party, they were quiet. At times I noticed the lady looked tensed and she would whisper something to her husband. After everyone had finished having their cake, my uncle went over to the couple and asked where their daughter was? They said she went to the hospital to see a friend of hers who met with an accident. But she was supposed to reach a long time back, and her parents were worried. They tried calling her cell, but she wasn’t answering it.

When dinner was about to be served, the door bell rang. One of my uncle’s friends opened the door. I don’t know the reason for the sudden silence in the room and the scream from the lady whose daughter was late, but I moved closer to the door to get a better look and was surprised. Well can’t say surprised, maybe it was shocking. It was the lady’s daughter alright. But she was completely bald. She entered the room smiling while everybody’s mouth was wide open. I later understood she had long hair that reaches all the way down to her waist and a silky one at that too. After an extended 1-minute pause, everyone started laughing. She looked cute but still she looked weird.

Her parents who were shocked at the sudden transformation asked her why she shaved her head bald. She smiled at them and said,

” While I was with my friend at the hospital, I noticed next to my friend’s bed there was another girl on the other side of the room. Out of curiosity, I asked my friend if she knew her story? Her friend replied that she had cancer. She was young, pale, bald and yet behind those weak eyes and pale skin I knew she was so beautiful if it wasn’t for that cancer. I wished from the bottom of heart that I could do something to help her. But I knew the only thing I could do for her is pray. I went over to her bed and started to talk to her. She was happy to talk to me.

After a long talk, she touched my hair and said she had never seen a beautiful hair like mine before. That’s when I asked her if she wanted my hair. She just stared at me. I asked her again, do you want it? I can give you my hair. She said no. But I forced her. I told her that I could grow my hair back again. In the end, she accepted my offer. So I went over to the beauty parlor and told them to cut my hair off completely since I want to make it into a wig. After they had finished cutting my hair, they gave me directions to a place where they make wigs. So I went over to that wig maker and the guy there said it would take a week to make a wig out of my hair. So once their done making it, I’m going to give it to her. ”

After she had narrated her story, everybody in the room was silent. Or should I say embarrassed because they laughed at her? As for me, I was tempted to get married to this kind-hearted lady who went to the extent of cutting her hair which she took care of for years. Her parents were proud of her. Her mom gave her a big tight hug and her dad patted her on the shoulder. In the end, we all knew who got rewarded. The smile she gave to that little girl who has cancer was the biggest reward anyone could get.

Mobile Phone – Dead without it

The first mobile I ever had was Nokia 7610. My dad bought it for me when I was in Saudi Arabia. I got it after I finished my grade 12th. I only wished he could have bought it earlier while I was still in school. I could have shown off in front of my friends. But after my 12th results were declared (which wasn’t very nice to talk about) my dad said I was not worthy enough to have an excellent cell phone. With the marks I had he said I was eligible to carry the world’s first mobile ever created by man. So he took it from me and started using it for himself. Damn sad!

O well! Once I entered college, my mom bought me a cell phone. It didn’t have much, but it was worth it. She got me a Nokia 1600, and it was worth Rs. 2K. It was a brilliant phone. It didn’t have a camera or music player or anything funky, but when it comes to calling someone or receiving/sending messages, this cell is so comfortable and strong. I needn’t have to cradle it like a baby. It fell from my hands many times, and it still worked beautifully.

That was four years ago. And now I’m working, and with my salary, I bought a new cell phone. Samsung Galaxy 3. It’s a PC on your palm, and it runs on Android 2.1 (upgradable). I can surf the net, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It has a 3.2 MP camera, and the picture quality is mind blowing, and the music player totally rocks. It took me some time to choose this phone but with a lot of research I found out that is this right cell phone for me and sure enough, it was. But still, it has one drawback. It’s very delicate. If ever it hits the ground just once you can kiss your Galaxy 3 goodbye. I don’t even put it in my pocket. I’m scared if I knock it somewhere or if I sit down the screen might crack. And a guy like me who sacrifices a lot for technology rather than humans, it sure is a scary thing to take care of.

It’s been two weeks since I bought this cell and there is not even a scratch or even my finger print on the screen (I clean it 24×7) Yes, that’s right. Fingerprints! But I have to admit this cell is sure a headache and a blessing. Ever since I bought this mobile phone everybody here in my office had their eyes on it. I just bought it for Rs. 12K and it has everything in it that a cell phone would have for 20K. It helped me a lot when it comes to surfing the net and organizing stuff. The Android market provides brilliant applications.

For those of you who need a cell phone between 10K– 15K, then the Samsung Galaxy 3 is the right cell phone for you.

Travel Experience in a train from Kochi to Chennai

I booked a return ticket from Kerala to Chennai on October 10th, 2010. This ticket was on waiting list 15 Class 3A. By January 1st it was RAC 6. RAC means I have a berth available. But two persons have to share the same berth. So basically I have to sit through the whole journey or each of us has to take turns to sleeping.

Well, I guess that’s much better rather than having no seat at all. 3A is air conditioned, comfortable lighting, and good seats. But just imagine when you can see others sleeping with comfy blankets over them, and you have to sit the whole time.

My train was supposed to arrive at 5:30 pm but instead it arrived at 6:15 pm. There was a slight problem thou. I couldn’t find the compartment I was supposed to be in. I mean, when I checked the net it shows RB55. So at first I thought RB meant the name of a compartment. But it meant right berth. The train was about to leave. So I just entered a SL 12 compartment. Within 2 minutes the train started to move.

Once inside I had to walk all the way to SL 1. I was asking people inside if they knew where RB compartment was and all of them said there is no such thing as RB compartment. When I reached SL 3, I passed a coolie (a coolie is a helper who helps passengers with their languages). I asked him for directions, and he said it’s not RB but 3A. RB meant right berth, and it’s after SL 1. Whew! That’s a relief. Thought I would have to walk all the way to the end.

When I opened the door to the 3A compartment, I saw the TT collecting tickets from the passengers. I showed him my ticket, and he said your ticket is RAC. I nodded my head and tried to give him the same expression Puss In Boots gave to Shrek. Hoping at least by seeing my cute face he will give me a whole berth to myself. That didn’t work. He happily showed me my berth and told me this is where you will be sitting, and the other passenger will be joining me soon. Damn!

At the next stop the passenger arrived and sat next to me. Soon we both started to chat. He was working in some IT company fixing PC chips or something like that. A waiter comes and takes our order. I ordered Chapatti and Egg curry. By about 8:30 pm the other guy sharing my berth and I had our dinner. While having our dinner, the TT comes and says there is an extra berth available. So that means I get to have the whole berth for myself. I could sleep. That’s luck.

After dinner, the IT guy chose to shift to his new berth, and I arranged my berth and slept like a log till the next day. Once the train reached Chennai, I felt a bit down that my life is back to the same routine. Have to get up every day at 7:30 am and walk for 5 minutes to the bus stand. Wait for an empty bus. Reach office by 9 am. Back to my room by 8 pm. Have dinner and watch a movie on my laptop at the same time and then to bed. DAMN!

Well, I was glad I celebrated Christmas with my family and for the first time in our new house.

Happy New Year! 🙂

THE DEMONIC ANIMAL

To all those who read my Previous story – Demonic face on the wall, I would like to say that my story doesn’t end there.

That demon followed us to our new apartment.

The apartment we moved into was beautiful and spacious. My family and I were happy to get away from our old apartment. My dad always came home from work with a big smile on his face and almost every day he came home with a big bar of chocolate. My mom got an interview call from the school where my sisters and I were studying in, and within a week she got a job as an English Teacher. Now with my mom also earning, it has become easier for my dad. Before when my dad was the only bread earner in the family, it was kind of tough for him to feed all of us. I mean it’s not that we were poor but at that time my dad could afford to take us to a restaurant only once in a month, and at times when my sisters or I fall sick then it was tough for my dad to use the money for any entertainment purposes.

Sorry, I never mentioned this before, but I am a Christian (Roman Catholic). The reason why I never mentioned this to you was that at that time my family and I never used to pray much. We believed in God, but we used to pray rarely. But this time we needed him by our side at all times.

My new apartment had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge kitchen and dining room and a huge living room. My parents had the master bedroom for themselves, and my sisters and I used the other bedroom. There were three beds for each of us. All the three beds were attached, and on one side of the room, we had an altar with the picture of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and a small lamp with a small cross inside emitting an orange light. It gives out a little light but enough to distinguish the big cupboards from the small drawers. Even with the altar in our apartment, me and my family still prayed rarely. Right at the foot of our beds, there is a small portable clothes holder. I don’t know what you call it, but it’s something that everyone uses to dry their clothes if they don’t have a place to hang wet clothes outside. People use this mostly in apartments.

Everything seems to go well, but one day my dad came home angry. He didn’t want to talk to anybody, and he didn’t have his dinner, he just went directly to bed. The next day my mom asked the reason for him to be so angry. And my dad said he doesn’t know why. My mom was the first to realize that whatever has happened to us at the old apartment was going on again. My sisters and I started to fall sick again. My dad lost his job, and that made it worst. Things began to go upside down again. My mom was the one who became more depressed. She was the only one in the whole family who doesn’t seem to be affected by sickness or any other horrible feelings. But she understood that something was not right. And that’s where again my sisters and I found out the reason.

It was bed time. My parents went to bed. My sisters as usual and I were talking stories. The light was off, and only the small lamp with the cross inside was lit. At about 1 am we were still wide awake. That night was so different from other nights. This is the first time my sisters and I couldn’t sleep. And for no reason we became scared. I don’t know why. At about 1:15 am the small lamp with the cross inside suddenly went off. I have no words to say how my sisters and I felt that night.

The whole room was entirely black. In about 5 min we were able to adjust our eyes in the dark. And that is when we saw it. We froze. I want to scream. I can’t turn my head sideways; I can’t even move my body. I’m sure my sisters felt the same way. Something was jumping from the foot of our bed over the clothes holder and on to the other side. It was black. Even in the dark room and with a little light coming out of the window, we could still see that black thing. It looked more like a furry animal. It was just jumping from the foot of our bed and over the clothes holder and back again. If we see a person jump up and down with his hands high up in the air, you can tell the man is happy. That was the same way we could feel that thing was jumping out of joy. For about 5 min we could see this creature jumping. And this suddenly it just vanished. We didn’t move at all from our beds. I wanted to run to my parent’s bedroom. For once in all my life I felt that being with them is the safest place I could be. But I couldn’t get up. My sisters and I fell asleep at last out of fear.

Next morning my mother came to our room to wake us up and saw all 3 of us are hugging each other in our sleep and we were completely covered with the blanket. My youngest sister was sweating so much that even with the a/c on. She was running a high temperature. My mother woke us up and saw that we were so pale and our eyes were so red. My sisters started to cry. We told her everything what happened during the night. My mother called my dad. He was freaked out after he heard what we said to him. My mom kept mumbling to herself. She kept saying,”It has followed us here. It has followed us here”.

My dad didn’t go to office that day. My mother, my sisters and I didn’t go to school. We were so scared to do anything. The room was so silent. My mother suddenly stood up and told us that there is one solution. PRAY. My mother took us all in front of the altar and that is when my parents noticed the lamp with the cross in it was not on. My dad tried to fix it but it wouldn’t work. We started to pray the rosary.

That night my sisters and I slept in my parents’ bedroom. For a week we prayed without fail. We began to pray every morning when we woke up, before having lunch, at 5 pm and night before going to bed we say the rosary. Suddenly a week later after the incident the lamp with the cross inside suddenly lit up. And my mother suddenly jumped up with joy and said we are all safe now. And yes we were. After that, everything came back to normal. My dad was happy with the way he was at first. We never felt sick again. We continued to pray always. It has been the same way, a happy family for the past 15 years now.

At times I used to think if all these problems we faced were because of that old apartment. I don’t know. But maybe if we would have prayed, our problems would have been solved when we were in our old apartment. I couldn’t say. All I know is that my family is saved because we allowed God to be close to us. We never saw anything horrible again for the past 15 years. And I’m glad about the way things are now. We’re so happy.

Demonic face on the wall

I don’t remember how old I was but I think I was in the 4rd grade. So I guess I was really young at that time. The story I’m about to tell you is real and the only one who were able to witness this were my two little sisters.

The apartment me and my family were staying was about 25 to 30 years old. It was on the 5th floor. That was our first apartment. There was always something odd about that apartment. Most of the time my dad and mom used to get angry for no reasons at all and me and my little sisters used to fall ill most of the days.

Here is one incident that happened to my mom when I, my dad and my sisters went to meet some relations of ours because my granddad passed away recently.  My mom stayed back for she said she wasn’t feeling well. After the visit my dad drove us back to the apartment and when we climbed up the stairs to out apartment, I saw my mom standing outside the main door and trembling. My dad asked her what happened and she said she had a feeling that dad (granddad) was inside our apartment. My dad’s first words were, “What rubbish”. When he opened the main door I admit I did see the reaction on my dad’s face. He turned white. I didn’t realize this at first but it suddenly occurred to me that I can get some bad smell coming out of my apartment. It was the very same stinky smell of my granddad. My granddad was always smelly. But this smell was not mistakable. It was him and he was in my apartment. My parents were a bit freaked out but within a week we completely let that memory out of our heads.

Now here is the worst part of my nightmare. Few months later I was returning home from school. While I was climbing the stairs I can get the smell of something burning. The smell was so strong that it was hard for me to breathe properly. Each step I took towards my apartment the smell grew stronger and stronger.  As I reached the main door I realized the smell was coming from there.  My dad opened the door for me and I could see him covered with ash.  My two little sisters came running to me and said that the AC blew up in flames.  I was excited and disappointed that I wasn’t there to witness the incident.   My sisters pulled me to the bedroom and that is when I noticed right under the AC there was a huge round black patch. My sisters were pouring out words on how my dad put out the fire. The reason how the fire occurred was because there was a short circuit and the wire blew out in flames. My dad said he will apply paint on the black patch as soon as possible. But he never did it. And that is when I realized that it wasn’t just me and my family staying in that apartment.  We had an uninvited guest staying with us and we never knew that.   I and my parents realized this only after my two little sisters who were sick at that time revealed that there was someone with us.

A Few days after the fire incident, my youngest sister fell ill with high temperature. My dad was at work and I, my mom and my two little sisters were at home. My little sister was on my mother’s lap in the bedroom where the fire broke out. I and my other sister were in the living room watching cartoons. For some reason I wanted to go to the bedroom. I don’t remember what I wanted to take from there but I remember going there and that is when I noticed my mother was scared and she was trying to calm my little sister down.  My sister was so scared.  She was looking at the place where the black patch was and she was crying and shivering violently.  I looked at what she was seeing and I didn’t at first noticed it properly but after staring at the black patch for a few seconds I realized what it was. It was not just a black patch. It was a face. It had eyes and a mouth. The mouth was wide open. It was like it was laughing out loudly. My other sister after hearing my little sister crying out loud she too came into the bedroom and froze. She too had noticed the face. But there was something else I couldn’t see that my two little sisters were seeing. From their point of view the face was moving and laughing like as if it was enjoying the way me and my family were suffering.

When my dad came back from work my mother told him what happened. He was totally freaked out after he stared at the black patch and noticed it was a hideous face. We had a small can of paint and my mother started painting over the face until not even the slightest part of it can be seen. It took some time for me and family to settle over this. My little sisters were affected the most.  They started seeing nightmares.

Within a month we shifted to a new and better place. I noticed a lot of difference in my family. My dad and mom where always laughing and playing with us whenever they had free time. I and my sisters never used to fall sick like the way we used to before.  Everything was going on great for us.

Months later we got news from friends who were our neighbors at our previous apartment where we used to stay before.  They said after we left the whole apartment was repainted. A new family moved in. Our neighbors said that they were a joyful and happy family. But within four months that family was devastated. The husband started to shout every time for no reasons. Their kids started to fall sick every time just like the way it happened to me and my family.  That couple got divorced a few days later and they left the apartment.

After that another family took the apartment. And a month later while they were on a vacation, fire broke out and the whole apartment was burned down. We later got the news that the fire broke out from the same area where the black patch was.

While I entered college and my sisters were in the high school, I remembered this incident and I asked them about this. They grew nervous and said they remembered it well. They both said the hideous face was laughing out loud. They said they could hear a man laughing. I remember I couldn’t hear the face laughing but all I know was there was a face there. I started going through the net to see if anybody else as witnessed such an incident.  Many stories I have read are all different and new. So I thought of putting this incident on the net in case somebody else has faced the same situation.

Two down & Seven to go

This incident happened to my cousin brother during my school days. He was elder to me but still at that time I learned to swim in just a day. Back there in Riyadh, My uncle’s son invited me and my sisters to go swimming with them. The swimming pool belongs to my uncle’s company, so we had all the privacy. To go swimming is like a dream come true if you are anywhere in Saudi Arabia, at least for my sisters. I and my sisters went for the first time and we had lots of fun. The whole swimming pool just for us!

I didn’t know how to swim at that time and I badly wanted to learn swimming. So I watched the way how my uncle was swimming and after a lot of tries I could swim. I don’t know how to float on water but I can swim without stopping and I try to swim near the platform in case I get tired.

Two days later my uncle invited my cousins to join us. It was their first time to. We were all exited. I was eager to jump into the pool. As soon as we reached there we put on our swim suits and jumped into the pool. In 30 minutes I was able to perfect myself.

As for my cousins, it’s their first time in a swimming pool. My cousin brother started to practice swimming with us all. I remember him asking me this question when he saw me swimming well,” How did you learn swimming so fast?”

I replied,” I just saw how my uncle was swimming and imitated his moves.”

My uncle’s son can swim to and after some time he said lets all go to the deeper side of the pool and swim to the end. I was ready but my cousin who still hasn’t learned to swim properly was doubtful. But still my friend told him it’s ok and that all he has to do is paddle his legs and hands. I wasn’t so sure about this and warned my cousin that it’s risky. Well I didn’t have to say that twice. He was already standing with my friend at the platform of the deepest part of the pool ready to jump.

READY, SET, GO

And in they jumped both my friend and my cousin brother together. I saw that both were swimming to the other side of the pool and I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and dived into the water and started swimming to the other side. The pool was really long and I couldn’t reach the other side of the pool. But somehow I managed to reach the part of the pool where I could stand. And that’s where the nightmare began.

I opened my eyes expecting to see both my friend and my cousin brother to be somewhere ahead of me. But they weren’t. From behind I heard some kind of choking noise and someone hitting the water hard. I turned around and saw my cousin brother drowning. He was trying to reach the platform but he was too far to reach it. Because of that he caught hold of my friend and both started going down. Both were on the deepest side of the pool but if I stretch out my hand I could reach my friend. But for my cousin brother I could do nothing. I was too horrified. Suddenly my friend managed to push my cousin brother somewhere close to the platform and somebody from there managed to get to him and pulled him out of water. As for my friend, I was standing at the edge and I managed to pull him towards me.

I looked over to over my cousin and saw him sitting on the platform coughing badly. After sometime he stood up still shivering out of fright and walked to the men’s changing room. I was still dazed from what happened. I was glad that he was ok. After a few minutes we all got out of the water silently. Nobody spoke a word.

And that incident was – One down and Eight to go.

The American Toilet Paper

I don’t remember how old I was. Maybe I was in grade 2nd or 3rd. But I know I was too young to do most things on my own without the help of my parents. Back in Riyadh, me and my family used to go to the American Embassy for Mass. There weren’t any churches in Saudi Arabia, so we had to go to the embassy since that is the only place in Saudi Arabia where no one can catch us practicing our religion.

As usual one day me and my family went for mass. Everything went on smoothly. The choir sang well. The priest gave a wonderful speech that I found boring (maybe I was too young to understand) and my parents found the speech very interesting. I saw everyone taking the host and took a sip of the wine from the cup (In US, the people gets the host from the priest and another person holds a cup with wine. All those who wants to have the host with wine can take a sip from the cup and this practice is not there in India).

“The mass has ended. You may all go in peace”. These were the last words spoken by the priest and then I guess I never wanted to go for a mass in an American Embassy or anything that relates to the Americans for just one reason.

I’m going to tell you what that reason is if you promise to keep my age or height or whatever it is in your mind before I tell you my reason. I mentioned before that I was too young to do most things on my own. So I was just a little boy and I need my mother by my side at all times.

Well, here goes…….

The American way

As soon as the mass ended I wanted to go to the rest room badly. That’s not a problem isn’t it? It’s a nature of a human being to dispose of whatever their eaten.  There’s a rest room in every home, in every work place and it was easy to find the rest room.

HAAAAAAA!!! The best part of the American restrooms is that, they are so shinny, neat and don’t stink like our Indian restrooms and it’s air conditioned. I took all my time and my mother from the other side of the door was screaming at me to come out.

Once I was done I looked for a hose pipe. Ok… That’s not there. I looked for a bucket… Ok… that too wasn’t there. I looked for a bloody tap….. What the… Where is the… O my God…. How the hell was I going to wash? There was this fear in me as if I was sitting on a time bomb that was going to blow up any minute. Which bloody restroom that doesn’t have a hose pipe or a bucket or at least a tap? I started to scream for my mother. She got so scared and came running to the door and asked what happened? I told her the reason. I not sure if I heard it properly but I think my mother was laughing with her hands covering her mouth. She said she will get a bucket and a mug for me.

GOD bless mothers

I was inside a room that was the size of a telephone booth and it looked like hours since she finally showed up. She got a bucket with water and a mug. I was so happy to see a bucket with water inside it.

I was so glad once I opened the door and got out. I kept repeating these words, “Thank you ma. You saved me”.

The little believer

Once inside the car I asked my mother,” Where did you get the bucket from”.

She said this as a joke and I believed her,” I ran to the Indian embassy and asked the ambassador for a bucket of water and he gave it to me”.

The Indian Embassy is like almost 45 minutes to reach from the American Embassy if I am to go by car. I think after five years or so I still remembered this unfortunate incident and I asked my mom did you actually go to the Indian embassy and asked the ambassador for a bucket of water.

She just laughed and laughed…

The Road Runner

Grade 11th – 3rd term

Location: Class room

 

I had my accountancy text book open in front of me which is the size of the New Testament and Old Testament combined together. I removed my accountancy record book from my bag and this book almost reached from the tip of my fingers to the elbow. With neither the text book nor my record book fitting on my desk I think I should have the teacher’s desk to fit these two books.

In the middle of the class my P.Ed (Physical Education) teacher came in an asked my accountancy teacher if he takes few minutes of her time. My accountancy teacher happily gave him the permission. I think she was glad to get a few minutes rest. A teacher trying to take care of 30 students in a class wasn’t a joke.

My P.Ed teacher told us that a sports selection is going to take place and all those who are interested can give their names. Those who are selected can go for the nationals in Jubail (Saudi Arabia). Well to start with, I haven’t been in any of the sports activities that took place in my school for the past 5 years and I have no clue whether I could even cross the finish line without stopping to get my strength back. I enrolled. At least if they call me for practice I could skip these boring classes. Sweet! My P.Ed teacher told to all those who gave their names should be there at the football field by 5 pm.

The football field

 

At 1:30 pm the last class was over and I went home thinking to myself will I ever get selected for the nationals. I’ve heard of other guys who were so fast that you just got to blink once and there they are at the finish line. I wasn’t good at anything. So what if I just give it a try. At least I tried. That was enough for me. I tried……..

At 4:50 my dad dropped me in front of my school and I started walking towards the football field. I froze. What on earth? The whole ground were filled with students. Most of them were taller than me. Most of them were warming up. And I just stood and stared as if I was seeing the enemy getting ready for battle. Why on earth did I ever get myself into this mess? Waste of time. Damn.

My P.Ed teacher blew his whistle and said all those interested in 100 meters race please go to the starting line. Yup! I’m here miles away from home.  I have nowhere to go if I turn back now. What the hell… Just go and be done with it.

I went to the starting point and got myself ready. I turned to my left and noticed there were at least 40 of us at the starting line ready to race. All of them were taller than me. Some of them were well built. And I stood there like a dead scarecrow waiting for the crows to peck my flesh out.

I waited for my P.Ed teacher to blow the whistle. I was breathing hard and staring at the finish line which looked like as if it’s going to take me a whole day to reach.

This is the first time after five years I will be running on the track. All these weird thoughts kept coming to my head. It was more like a whisper. Voices……..

“Ryan, forget it. It’s no use. You are just going to fall half way down the track begging for someone to give you a glass of water”.

Snap out of it idiot. I took a deep breath and……

P.Ed teacher: On your mark.

Me: Come on.

P.Ed teacher: Get set.

Me: God please.

P.Ed teacher: GOOOOOO

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and ran. I heard hundreds of shoes scratching against the tarred ground. I ran…. I could feel the breeze on my face…. I felt so light. I opened my eyes half way down the track expecting the other runners to be close to the finish line. What the hell… Where was everybody? Where are the other runners? I was still running and suddenly from somewhere in the crowd someone shouted, “Go Ryan, Go”. Everyone was screaming. While still running I turned back and saw the rest of the runner’s way behind. What on earth is going on? Everybody started shouting my name. I don’t know how but suddenly I felt a gush of strength flowing into my body and I ran towards the finish line with every bit of strength I had in me. I crossed the finish line. Wow! My P.Ed teacher shouted, “11 seconds. A new record”.  Wow! Everybody surrounded me and was clapping, congratulating me and…. Wow! I was out of breath, I was like….Wow!

My P.Ed teacher then said out loud again,” All those who wish to go for 200 meters. Go to the starting line.” I went to the starting line with my head up, smiling. Everyone was like;” You can do it, Ryan”.

Heard the whistle and ran as if there were dogs chasing me. Half way again I noticed I was in the lead. Yeah! I’m the man now. Everybody was cheering. That maybe gave me more strength. I ran and crossed the finish line.

I was selected for the nationals in Jubail and I never knew I had this talent in me, this speed. I told this to my parents I was selected for the nationals and they were so happy.

The annual sports week

The next day it was my annual sports week. When I reached school as usual the next day, it was so different. Guys who I never even heard of or seen before were all wishing me good luck. I think the whole school knows about me now. Someone told me my seniors are really nervous. My house captain saw me from a distance and he went on a full throttle and gave me a big hug and said,” The topaz (yellow) house is counting on you bro.” He then started shouting so loud, I guess even the school bell couldn’t ring that loud. He shouted at the other houses, boasting,” Hey, the road runner is here. You guys are dead.” He started laughing. The whole topaz house started shouting out my name. I never felt so lively. I felt I was somebody at last.

The whole school came out to watch. The whole staffs were present to. The first race was the 100 meters. Here I go. I jogged to the starting line. There were a total of 10 runners going to run along with me. All of us with just one mission, that is reach the finish line before others could.

Sir: On your mark.

Me: Here goes.

Sir: Get set

Me: (Looked at my legs) don’t put me down boys.

Sir: GOOOOOOO

I ran liked never before. Everybody was screaming. All of them started shouting,” Road Runner, Road Runner …” I broke my previous record. 10.98 seconds. I won a first prize. The other houses started getting really nervous. My house captain was shouting orders like mad. He suddenly felt he should encourage the house much more.

The next race was the 200 meters. The same chanting from the crowd.

Sir: On your mark.

Me: Bring it on.

Sir: Get set.

Me: (Looking down on my legs again) let’s do it again.

Sir: GOOOOOO.

We all started at same time. But at the turn I lost my grip a bit. I was so close to the guy in front of me. Well, I reached second place. The timing for me was 14.99 seconds and the guy who won first place got 14.97 seconds. No probs. Still my house was in the lead. The other activities like the long jump, disc throw and high jump went out well for the topaz house. The last race is yet to come. The 4×100 relay race.

I was beginning to get tired. But out of happiness I wanted to run and make my team proud of me.

They called my name to get ready and head to one of the four corners of the field. I will be the last one to get the baton from my team mate and then I should sprint to the finish.

I heard the whistle. It has begun. The first two ran slow. But somehow the third runner made up. Damn, all the three teams got the baton and started running. I got the baton and ran full throttle towards the finish line. I passed the first house and did my best to pass the other two houses. I couldn’t. They were in the lead. Anyway we got the third place.

The Certificates

They called my name three times to go on stage to get my certificates. I was declared one of the fastest runners in school. I got 1st place for 100 meters, 2nd place for 200 meters and 3rd place for 4×100 relay.

The Proud Ones

After all the racket was over, I went out of the school and saw my mom waiting for me and for my dad to come. My mom saw me and smiled. She said, “Everybody in the staff room was talking about the way you ran today.” She was proud of me. We waited for my dad to come. He usually goes over to Girls section which in some other location and then he comes over to the Boys section to pick me and my mom. When my dad arrived, I saw my sisters smiling at me. When we got in the car, my sisters started chattering like monkeys. “Bro. we heard you are one of the fastest runners in school. Everybody in the girl’s section was talking about you.” I was surprised to hear how fast the news reached the girls section. Whatever, the girls were all talking about me. That’s more than enough. Hehe… I turned my head to the left to see my dad. I had a smile on his face. He was happy with me. He didn’t have to say that loud. I just knew it.

Waiting for the Nationals

The next day I was called to be on the football field everyday from 4pm to 6pm. My P.Ed teacher wanted all those who were selected to get ready for the nationals. During the practice I got a fatigue on my right leg and we had only 5 days left for us to go to Jubail for the nationals. I was really disappointed that I had to get this injury at this time. Damn. This slowed me down a lot. Five days went really fast and I was ready to go.

To Jubail……….

To be continued….