Saturday, 4 September 2021

Mobile Stores in Varanasi

Mobile stores are abundant near Sigra in my city Varanasi. I don't want to present an essay on the title I gave to this story. Because I want to ask a question. 

I visited some mobile shops at sigra region today as I needed a new phone of course. But I only analysed the prices and planned to buy later. 

I talked to some very interesting guys and to my surprise I found one of my childhood friend there, working in one of the mobile stores. 

We were delighted and talked at length. He offered me tea, milk one, over boiled and earthen pot served. He talked over the tea about Indian economy and Indian polity as if the media waited for his suggestions about how to grow market and boom economy.

Talking to those urban guys working in urban stores in urban areas felt kind of pilgrimage. Those stores, interiorly decorated by foreign phone companies, the work guys in uniforms or some in sharp casuals, lighting, tiles, glasses and air could swing anyone's mood and transform their inner attitudes to question their normal living. 

Though these epiphanies might not manifest to other cool living popular people (demanding and criticising everything God gave them); but it is likely a revelation for us poor people living in a ghetto, constitutionally characterised minority (Other Backward Class), who are not even qualified to be called as bourgeois. 

We earn though, we earn and we live well, we school and we entertain ourselves with TV and internet hence, we go to mobile stores to buy a phone. A smart phone around Rs. 20,000/-. But we won't call us middle class. 

Most of the Indian population is like me. Pray, earn, eat, entertain, love, sleep, freshen up and repeat. Pray just to earn, earn just to eat, eat just to live and love just that your loved ones don't run away or rebel. For us freshen up just means cleaning and not enjoyment, relaxation or calmness. 

Though normal Indian population is poor, they are the most religious and devoted yet none of their daily life activities is Zen in nature or follows it. 

I earn more than those guys in  those mobile stores, and have a bigger house or a house as contrary to some of them who don't have.Then why I look dull and unbathed, worked and drained, a patient and someone on break from his series of punishments while those guys looked really sharp, were well dressed and smelled good too. Their voices were clear and unwavering with language filled with posh words pleasing and motivating. I don't have an affinity for boys and this is not a romantic article. 

I am poor. But there are poorer. And they work in those mobile stores which are no less high class window shops of London. 

There in those mobile stores at Sigra, Varanasi, they did not look particular poorer but something else. From rich and big families, highly educated and philosophically advance. People, you wanna be friends with, hangout with them and travel. Why? 

Perhap, the manufacturers wanted them to be that, fake high class bartenders of phones. A marketing strategy. 

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Daily Struggle

That's right. I realize that only when I see my mother working, daily struggle.

When we were young we knew no problems. We thought our lives are so blissful. But when we are here all grown up, we see that it's not like that. Not at all. Why?

It's because now it's our turn to face the daily struggle. Earlier when we were young, our mother and father did everything. They absorbed all the problems in them so that we should see only brighter, greener and creamier.

Daily struggle... Keeps us busy. Takes us far from our loved one's. Snatches the free time, moments and memories yet to be made from us.

Daily struggle...  Puts tears in our eyes and longings in our loved ones who sit in the dark and wait for us.

Daily struggle... Chains us. Limits us. Takes our imaginations and makes us dumb. To forget dreams and look up.

Daily struggle... Same as our daily bread, breath and bath may brings prosperity and balance in our domestic life but it's a sacrifice of sort in itself.

                            -- Arshad Usmani

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


How important is human life?

How death can be measured, the duration of the occurrence of death or duration of the process of the death. That how long death occurs in a person before he is a corpse?

If a person underwent extreme torture, unlimited tortures but still not died and got cured totally. Was it death or its part? Perhaps 'measurement of death' can give the answer?

We can identify death. But how to identify death?

Is death is a disease? A sudden occurring disease like heart attack or a long, bleak and enduring one like cancer and AIDS.

Death is not sudden to everyone. In some it starts occurring hours before or days before. Different durations and intervals in different people. 

Great Stories You Haven't read: The Trimmed Lamp by O. Henry

We usually pick anything to read which is famous and is on everybodies' tongue. But there are still a great deal of things which have been forgotten and archived. And hardly anyone refers them to you. Like this short story by O. Henry- The Trimmed Lamp. Lets guess how you know O. Henry, maybe by some of his few famous stories like, The Gift of Maggi and Red Ransom Thief. OK now note this in your mind that O. Henry is as much known for his good stories as much he is known for his excellent, complex, moving, and motivating writing skill. His every sentence seems to inform and inspire. So now you'll see why this story you should read despite of it being not popular. Here are a few lines from the story which will make you stop reading between them and ponder for a while and say 'O My...'

1. Of course there are two sides to the question. Let us look at the other. We often hear "shop-girls" spoken of. No such persons exist. There are girls who work in shops. They make their living that way. But why turn their occupation into an adjective? Let us be fair. We do not refer to the girls who live on Fifth Avenue as "marriage-girls."

2. I do not suppose that many look upon a great department store as an educational institution. But the one in which Nancy worked was something like that to her. She was surrounded by beautiful things that breathed of taste and refinement. If you live in an atmosphere of luxury, luxury is yours whether your money pays for it, or another's. The people she served were mostly women whose dress, manners, and position in the social world were quoted as criterions. From them Nancy began to take toll—the best from each according to her view. From one she would copy and practice a gesture, from another an eloquent lifting of an eyebrow, from others, a manner of walking, of carrying a purse, of smiling, of greeting a friend, of addressing "inferiors in station." From her best beloved model, Mrs. Van Alstyne Fisher, she made requisition for that excellent thing, a soft, low voice as clear as silver and as perfect in articulation as the notes of a thrush. Suffused in the aura of this high social refinement and good breeding, it was impossible for her to escape a deeper effect of it. As good habits are said to be better than good principles, so, perhaps, good manners are better than good habits. The teachings of your parents may not keep alive your New England conscience; but if you sit on a straight-back chair and repeat the words "prisms and pilgrims" forty times the devil will flee from you. And when Nancy spoke in the Van Alstyne Fisher tones she felt the thrill of noblesse oblige to her very bones. There was another source of learning in the great departmental school. Whenever you see three or four shop-girls gather in a bunch and jingle their wire bracelets as an accompaniment to apparently frivolous conversation, do not think that they are there for the purpose of criticizing the way Ethel does her back hair. The meeting may lack the dignity of the deliberative bodies of man; but it has all the importance of the occasion on which Eve and her first daughter first put their heads together to make Adam understand his proper place in the household. It is Woman's Conference for Common Defense and Exchange of Strategical Theories of Attack and Repulse upon and against the World, which is a Stage, and Man, its Audience who Persists in Throwing Bouquets Thereupon. Woman, the most helpless of the young of any animal—with the fawn's grace but without its fleetness; with the bird's beauty but without its power of flight; with the honey-bee's burden of sweetness but without its—Oh, let's drop that simile—some of us may have been stung. During this council of war they pass weapons one to another, and exchange stratagems that each has devised and formulated out of the tactics of life. "I says to 'im," says Sadie, "ain't you the fresh thing! Who do you suppose I am, to be addressing such a remark to me? And what do you think he says back to me?" The heads, brown, black, flaxen, red, and yellow bob together; the answer is given; and the parry to the thrust is decided upon, to be used by each thereafter in passages-at-arms with the common enemy, man. Thus Nancy learned the art of defense; and to women successful defense means victory. The curriculum of a department store is a wide one. Perhaps no other college could have fitted her as well for her life's ambition—the drawing of a matrimonial prize. Her station in the store was a favored one. The music room was near enough for her to hear and become familiar with the works of the best composers—at least to acquire the familiarity that passed for appreciation in the social world in which she was vaguely trying to set a tentative and aspiring foot. She absorbed the educating influence of art wares, of costly and dainty fabrics, of adornments that are almost culture to women.

3. and (He) wooed her across the counter with a King Cophetua air.

4. These high ideas, if not ideals—Nancy continued to cultivate on $8. per week. She bivouacked on the trail of the great unknown "catch," eating her dry bread and tightening her belt day by day. On her face was the faint, soldierly, sweet, grim smile of the preordained man-hunter. The store was her forest; and many times she raised her rifle at game that seemed broad-antlered and big; but always some deep unerring instinct—perhaps of the huntress, perhaps of the woman—made her hold her fire and take up the trail again.

5. To Nancy's superior taste the flavor of these ready-made pleasures was sometimes a little bitter: but she was young; and youth is a gourmand, when it cannot be a gourmet.

6. But, another lesson she learned, perhaps unconsciously. Her standard of values began to shift and change. Sometimes the dollar-mark grew blurred in her mind's eye, and shaped itself into letters that spelled such words as "truth" and "honor" and now and then just "kindness." Let us make a likeness of one who hunts the moose or elk in some mighty wood. He sees a little dell, mossy and embowered, where a rill trickles, babbling to him of rest and comfort. At these times the spear of Nimrod himself grows blunt. So, Nancy wondered sometimes if Persian lamb was always quoted at its market value by the hearts that it covered.

7. And then Lou looked, and saw that something better than prosperity had descended upon Nancy—something that shone brighter than gems in her eyes and redder than a rose in her cheeks, and that danced like electricity anxious to be loosed from the tip of her tongue.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

My Moments

It was a free day and I and Arhan were like where to and we finally hung here. This place was like So much peaceful and kinda feeling as we were in Goa. We had some exotic variants  of pastas then concluded  with some jasmine  tea. It proved  to be a perfect Sunday outing.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Afterlife On Earth

I feel as if I'm in exile. The world around me looks like a post-apocalypse. Sky is spreading black. My face pale. I am looking for water, searchong for it everywhere. None drop I got to satisfy me. I felt very dry. The desert around me seemed less dry. The bare rocks everywhere, emitted heat energies which made my eyes swollen. I couldn't sit or lie down anywhere.

Suddenly I saw a big tall pole- abandoned. Wires all messed around it especially on top. Dah, I am not the only one wrecked here. Ah, the wind was stroking like a sand-paper. Too rough, too posh. All of a sudden I felt something behind me and turned, "Ah, a comrade!"

He came near me and we embraced each other. So warm. At last God gave me hope to live. But soon his embrace grew tighter and tighter. I felt like I was being strangled. In the blurring heat I can see his whole face, his teeth. He is not a man, not now, but he was before. Now he is just A WALKING DEAD. I opened my mouth and said, "Stop comrade, I'm not a man!"

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Brighten Like a Moon

Millions of stars in the sky,
But who stares them
Rise and shine all the night,
Still can't remove the darkness.

One lonely moon comes
Spreading its rays
Cooling everyone's eyes
Fills every mind with elixir. 

This world is very big,
Filled with humans
Everyone's a little star
Become a moon and brighten.

                 ---Translated By
                      Arshad Usmani
                     (From hindi primary school poem-
                       'Ban Ke Chand Karo Ujiyara')