Friend as Zafu

“I am really sad because of all the difficulties I am facing in my life. I am not getting promoted, my salary doesn’t justify the hard work I put in my work, I need to buy a home which I can’t now and sometimes I feel like my life has no motive,” He told his friend.

“You know you should thank God for capabilities you have and you can always find other options to get what you want, sometimes time doesn’t work according to our effort, but that doesn’t mean that we get anxious and stop trying. Also when you feel that you don’t have a motive in life, try to help those who don’t have the education to find work, who can’t afford a place to buy on rent even and who don’t have food to eat,” his friend said.

This is just a piece of fiction but I think  if every friend, parent, teacher, boss will act as zafu, helping his/her friend/colleague/child in realizing the importance of their life by showing them the facets of positivity when they would need it most then stress, depression and suicide like terms will be rarely heard.

Thought of the day :

Whenever you feel that you are the most unhappy person on earth, look around yourself and you will find people who have many more reasons of grief than you, but still, they manage to smile and look forward.


Meri Dastaan Sunana by Zakir Khan

Mera sab bura bhi kahna par accha bhi sab batana,

Mai jab jau is duniya se to meri dastaan sunana.

Ye bhi batana ki kaise samundar jeetne se phle mai hazaaro baar choti choti nadiyo se hara tha.

Wo ghar wo zameen dikhana,koi magroor jo khe to shuruwat meri jarur batana.

Batana safar ki dushwariya meri, taki koi jo meri jaisi zameen se aaye,

uske liye nadi ki jhaar humesha choti hi rahe aur samunder jitne khwab unki aankho se kabhi jaye nhi.

Par unse meri galtiya bhi mat chupana, koi puche to bta dena ki kis darje ka nakara tha mai.

Kah dena jhootha tha main,batana kaise jaroorat pe kaam na aa saka ,vaade to kiye par nibha na saka;

intekaam saare pure kiye par kuch ishq adhure rahne diye.

Bta dena sabko ki main matlabi bada tha, har bade makaam pe tanha hi khada tha.

Mera sab bura bhi kahna, accha bhi sab btana;

Main jab jau is duniya se to meri dastaan sunana.



By Stand up comedian Zakir Khan

I saw a video in which Zakir memorised his struggling days at, ‘Mehfil of Spoken 2017.’ He recited the aforementioned poetic lines, mentioning his desire of remaining alive in the heart of people after leaving this world, and it intrigued me.

For people those who can’t understand  Hindi, I would apologize for not translating the depth of his emotions.

Eddie and Patty

She opened her bleary eyes when the cat, all seven pounds of squirming flesh, climbed onto her belly. Squinting into the sunlight streaming in from the open window, she discovered that she was now the weary possessor of a pounding headache, and at some point, had managed to lose both a tooth and a spouse. She thought about the moment when Richard asked her to send Patty to her parent’s home and she refused. What if I would have agreed with Richard?? Am I also responsible for his condition? 

Goa is a dream destination for most of the people to visit at least once in a lifetime, but for the residents, it’s a daily routine as it was Eddie Steward who was working there in the SBI bank. She was single and a beauty with a brain whose best friend was her sweet little Patty more than any human. Patty was a beautiful white kitten who mostly used to remain clad in furry jackets enhancing her beauty, especially the royal blue jacket on her shining body hairs could give the painting goals to any artist. Whenever Eddie used to be free she takes Patty along to enjoy the tranquillity on beaches of North Goa. This was her every weekend plan until her parents who were living in South Goa called to tell about the suitable match they found for her and asked her to come home on a weekend as they had arranged a meeting.

“Ma, why did you arrange without asking me? I don’t want to meet anyone.”

“Eddie, we are listening to that from last two years but now we can’t wait anymore, how long you want to take? You have already crossed your age.”

“Why don’t you understand that I am not ready for marriage yet ??”

“And why don’t you understand, what we are going through.”

After this Eddie couldn’t say a word thinking that she might have the right to decide for her life, but she has no right of hurting her parents.

Eddie wasn’t single since she graduated the college seven years ago. She had someone in her life whom she loved so intense that when she had her break up she decided that she won’t marry. Though Ansh wasn’t a Christian lad, however, it didn’t matter to her and she decided to follow her heart until he left her broke. The day he realized that his feelings weren’t that serious for her to bound himself in a commitment. Her parents were strict about the rule, they made for their princess that she has to keep the honor of the family by getting married to a Christian boy which she knew very well but her heart didn’t.

Since the last four years, she became an introvert who wouldn’t like to socialize much with humans after getting stumbled and then she met Patty. She used to grumble with her most of the time when she had the urge to talk. When Eddie’s mother informed her about the arranged meeting, suddenly she started feeling butterflies in her stomach. Now she had been alone with Patty since so long, that a fear of incompatibility started haunting her. But she had no choice left now.

On Saturday, it was shiny beautiful morning where the sun was bathing the beaches with its colorful rays but for Eddie, it was kind of an examination day where she had no interest in breathing the beauty around, and she was nervous too. After reaching home as per her mother’s instructions, she wore sky blue silk sari wrapping tightly around her fair body, which enhanced her beauty. She wanted to tie her hairs but her mother didn’t let her. After some time, the boy and his family reached.  His name was Richard Thomas, working in the five-star hotel and was perfectly apt for a tall, dark and handsome statement. After some time the parents of both parties asked Richard and Eddie to spend some time alone. Though Eddie was quite reluctant to talk; a question in her mind was nagging her whether she would be able to keep her Patty along or not. Richard gave a start to their conversation by asking her likes and dislikes but instead of replying him, she asked him a question, whether he like pets or not, especially cats. Richard was so intrigued by Eddie’s personality that he didn’t want to take the chance by saying no. This gave Eddie a reason to nod her acceptance, though she was still doubtful  due to the love she had buried  in the graveyard of the nightmare, she faced in her past, after which she had decided that she won’t fall in love again.

After her daughter gave nod, Eddie’s mother was quite overwhelmed. On Sunday morning, she went to the church for thanking Jesus. Their marriage had been fixed for a date which was after three months and shopping was started. Eddie bought an elegant white gown for herself while Richard bought Turquoise blue colored Tuxedo and the day came when they both took the oath in front of Jesus.

The wedding happened but nobody asked Patty whether she wanted to share her partner or not and this became a reason for her resentment especially towards Richard as he was the one who came in between. Eddie and Richard started living in Eddie’s house as it was suitable for three of them. Whenever both of them used to lock themselves in the room, Patty started yowling in such high volume that Eddie couldn’t stop herself from coming out. For the starters, Richard tried to understand the situation, but soon he started getting annoyed. He once asked Eddie for going out without Patty so that the duo may get some crucial time to spend. When they came back, as the door opened a foul smell get stacked to their nose, after maundering here and there, they got to know it was the poop which Patty did all around. Eddie became worried about Patty because she knew that Patty knows her place of doing shit. She took her to the doctor and everything was normal. He just advised Eddie for not leaving Patty alone which made Richard resentful. It was becoming difficult for Eddie to keep a balance between her spouse and her cat because neither Patty was ready for extending her hand of friendship to Richard nor he was.

One weekend on a bright Sunday morning when the sun was over the head Richard and Eddie got awake only to find that Patty was nowhere around. They both started searching her and when they didn’t find her anywhere, Eddie asked Richard to search on the terrace. After going to the terrace, Richard found her hanging with the grill on another side. He asked her to come back but she didn’t. As he bent forward to bring her back, his foot slipped and he lost his balance but by that time Patty came back. When Eddie came on the terrace she saw her husband lying in a pool of blood on the balcony of the first floor. She called the ambulance and took him immediately to the hospital. The doctors asked her to fill the forms so that they may take him to ICU as his situation was critical. This was the first time when Eddie was furious with Patty pleading her guilty for the whole incident. After three hours of operation when doctors came out, they repeated their words about a critical situation. By that time Eddie informed her and Richard’s parents about the accident. When they came and asked about the reason, she had no idea what she should tell. She just told them when this happened, she wasn’t there. During the night, Eddie’s parents asked her to go home and relax for some time. Though she was reluctant to go; however, the thought of some alone time to think that how all this happened, made her agreed to go.

As she reached home, Eddie sat quietly for some time thinking about the series of incidents, which started happening just after her wedding. While Patty came to her with a look of guilt in her sea green eyes, Eddie ignored her. In these years when Eddie and Patty were all together, Patty knew how to cheer Eddie but today she was unable to do so. As Eddie stood up to throw Patty aside, her leg tangled in the carpet and she fell straight on the table striking her face on its edge losing her valuable teeth which fell on the floor. She got swelling on her face and some scratches on her hands and legs. Eddie thought if she will tell her parents about it at the current situation they will become more tensed, which filled her eyes with tears and while continuously sobbing for some time, she slept. She opened her bleary eyes when the cat, all seven pounds of squirming flesh, climbed onto her belly. Squinting into the sunlight streaming in from the open window, she discovered that she was now the weary possessor of a pounding headache, and at some point, had managed to lose both a tooth and a spouse. She thought about the moment when Richard asked her to send Patty to her parent’s home and she refused. What if, she would have agreed with Richard? Is she also responsible for his agony?  

As soon as she realized that she had been out of this world from long hours, she checked her cell phone. There were twenty miss calls in her phone quivering her body with the thought that what might have happened. She called her mother back and jumped in joy when she heard that Richard is out of danger and soon will be awake. She went to the hospital leaving Patty aside in her home. By the time, Richard came back in his senses and started asking for Eddie. Till the time Eddie came, his parents tried to check the reason of accident with him but he told them that as he was looking down from the grill of terrace, his foot slipped and somehow, he lost his balance and he doesn’t remember anything beyond. When Eddie came, she entered directly in the room and hugged Richard tightly, whispered sorry in his ears with tears in her eyes. In return, Richard replied with a kiss on her cheek. Richard’s parents left the room to let them spend their time.

While wetting the shoulder of Richard’s clothes with her tears, Eddie told Richard that she has decided that she will not keep Patty along with them anymore after all these problems, but what Richard has said, startled Eddie’s eardrums,

“She is the one, who was with you before I came in your life. So don’t let her go, because you won’t remain happy without her.

© Payal Tyagi

This story I wrote for  Twinkle Khanna in Write India season 2 contest but could not submit it on time and the positive part is, this is the first time when could I write such a long story of more than 1500 words depicting the foibles of human condition through fictitious characters.

Thanks in advance  for stopping by and taking out your time to read  🙂

Disclaimer: There is no copyright on the above image used.

Depression #JustTalk



Last year we heard about major sensational cases of Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide and Jia Khan’s case, who were not just the ordinary girls but the girls who made their name in the Indian TV industry and get failed in love life, so they gave up. Did they have the right to give up their life for a person who just came three to four years back, without even thinking about their parents who came in life much before that? Or I would rather ask wasn’t their life precious to ruin it for a chauvinist who didn’t understand their value and took them for granted and the answer is,’Yes, it was.’

Here I will narrate a real incident to enlighten on how nihilism of depression could turn bright as the shiny ray of the sun when it rises. I have a friend named Anu (fictional name) who was in love with a  boy named  Arun(fictional name) and they were happy in their relation till one year. They both were studying till that time in different colleges. Arun was very much possessive for her and eventually in one way or the other he got her disconnected from her friends. Even he hacked her social media accounts for some time to blackmail her. He just became her world & because of his dominating nature, she used to do whatever he asked her to do, like a slave. He used to assault her in public, but she couldn’t break her relation because she was not having any trustworthy friend at that time around her on whom she could rely. After a year both of them completed their college and got placed. Even after being in such a complicated relationship Anu wanted to marry with Arun. She was placed in a marketing company, and her schedule was hectic. Arun was also employed in reputed MNC and he started harassing her mentally, for working late at night and asked her to search for a better job profile; marketing was not a reputed field as per him. He started judging on her skills. Anu belonged to a middle-class family, who could hardly afford her education due to which she had the pressure of responsibility. She tried to search a new job, but all efforts were in vain. Gradually the fights between Anu and Arun increased. To lessen the turmoil in their relationship, finally, she resigned thinking that this will strengthen the bond of their relationship. A week after she resigned, Arun revealed that he wants to break up the relation as he is with another girl from last one month. Her life was wholly shaken as she was jobless and heartbroken at the same time and none of us was with her. This led her into depression.

However, within the fortnight, she found a new job but she could not come out of her depression. People around her in the hostel made her the topic of gossips. But she strived to live. She used cry hard in nights. The new job became her worst nightmare as she was entangled in the politics played by colleagues. On this sinking ship, her only lifeboat was her parents, due to which she couldn’t think of any drastic step to get rid of her life. Eventually, the eerie phase ended, and she got an amazing opportunity to step up her career after which she never turned back. After a few years, she found her Mr.Perfect. 

Now, when we met at my home, she told about this incident while having sips of her tea. Her story is an inspiration for every ordinary person going through some mental trauma. Our life is precious. Some phase of life may be hell but there is always a ray of hope. Suicide should not be counted as suicide, it is a murder which is provoked by some other person whom we loved most, society and family relatives, due to which a person never come back home, even if he/she wants tooPeople need to come forward and share their depression stories to lessen the burden of their heart and mind and Deepika Padukone (Bollywood Actress)started the process last year, though her story and struggle is different, But thanks to her for being such a great inspiration. As we all have a responsibility towards our society, so please understand that and don’t accentuate the people who are already facing difficulty in their education, personal life or anything else. We should try to make people laugh, not cry. Nothing is better than inspiring a person to live his/her life on own conditions.

“Don’t give the remote of your life to others. You should only be the in-charge of it.”

That Trip to Kashmir!

Have you ever been to Kashmir? Well, Kashmir is a glorious crown of India which attracts people to come and create some special moments for them. When the first snowfall gets starts in winter, which slowly converts in a thick layer of the blanket over mountains, it becomes fascinating. During that time, the first ray of sun in the morning gives the pleasure of tranquility. So here starts my exciting story of the memorable trip.

In January 2006 while I had already started graduation, my father surprised us with air tickets of Kashmir, making us realize the fact that,

“Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set.”

because we (me and my mother )were really terrified due to the terrible environment of violence in Kashmir we had seen in movies and used to frequently read in news but were left with no other option instead of packing our bags because he was not ready to cancel them at any cost. And in all this hustle bustle of fear and adventure, finally, the day came when we left for Delhi to depart.

We reached two hours before our flight time for security check-in and after finishing it, we were again left with one more hour to wait for boarding. My father sat on the bench with a newspaper in boarding lounge which was enough for him to spend leisure till the flight staff called us. My younger brother was enthusiastic for traveling to a new place, so he was sorting out his queries regarding new location by talking to Mom. Only I was left who had nothing to do, except roaming here and there because that time I wasn’t interested in reading even. When I came back to sit on the bench with my family, I slightly noticed the young handsome guy with greenish eyeballs was sitting opposite to us, reading the newspaper with his glances on me. After some time when the boarding started, we moved towards the flight and grabbed our seats as per the allotment. We three were in one row, while my father sat in the opposite row. Coincidentally that same handsome guy got the seat in our opposite row. So amidst both of us was the aisle. Till now after so many years of that trip, I had never seen so many seats remaining vacant especially in Jet Airways flight. However, on this trip, lots of seats were vacant. As soon as we settled down, my Mom took out candies from her purse and distributed among us, my bro gave them to my father who was on the window seat of the opposite row, out of which he gave few to that guy. He liked the friendly nature of my Dad and accepted candies. Astonishingly when the flight was ready to take-off, Dad asked me if I want that window seat, as he could grab another window seat( for which he had already confirmed from Air Hostess due to vacancy) and also he didn’t know that he is going to give an opportunity to that guy to start conversation with me, otherwise, no father will do that ….. he..he

I was watching out of the window, when unexpectedly I heard a voice asking, ”Hello, If you don’t mind can we talk ?” Hesitatingly, because my parents were around us and he was a stranger firstly I was reluctant, but as there was nothing to worry about and even I was getting bored, I nodded my head in agreement, ”Yeah tell me “.And from here our one hour fifteen minutes journey started.

He: Hi, my name is Sameer, Sameer Shah and yours???

Me: Payal

He: Is this your first trip to Kashmir??

Me: Yes

He: Oh!! I belong to Srinagar only.

Me: OK, that’s great!

He: Well I am in the third year of M.B.B.S and doing it from Nagpur, and you??

Me: I am in the first year of my graduation in Biotechnology.

He: Oh wow! It is having a good scope, nowadays(grinning)!

Me: Yeah, but not much in India. Well, I have a question in mind, as you belong to Srinagar, how do you people manage to live, when there is such a terrifying environment of riots, and conflicts?? I am getting goosebumps while going there as a tourist even.

He: Giggled, though my parents sent me outside Kashmir for studies, due to such a horrendous environment only, so that I may concentrate on studies, forgetting everything. But for us, these bomb blasts and firings are like crackers bursting on festivals. It’s my hometown and yet heaven, so I can’t leave coming to this place, to my family. However, it is very much safe for tourists.

Me: Startled by what he told, but impressed by his spirit. So who all are there in your family??

He: Mine is a nuclear family with my father, mother & my younger sister Shama.

Me: OK !! Giggled (while looking outside the window).

He: Well, I found your father’s nature very friendly, as I have never seen anyone asking for anything to a stranger in flight.

Me: Yeah, he is! (grinned with a dilemma in thoughts, whether he is really impressed or just embarrassing me)

He: So where you all will be staying in Srinagar??

Me: In some hotel, whose name I don’t know.

He: Why don’t you people stay at our home. We will show your family all the popular places around.

Me: Well that would be our pleasure. But for this, you need to ask my father( which I was sure, he will never allow) because he has planned the whole trip( while staring outside from the window, as I knew my brother and mother were rolling their eyeballs on me making me weird. Might be I could stop this conversation in between, but I didn’t want that because I found him gentle and genuine.

He: I brought three boxes of oranges from Nagpur, I always bring them for my family, whenever I come for vacations, so would you like to take one??

Me: No, Thanks. We already have lots of baggage with us.

He: OK!

Me: Another question popped in my head and I somehow asked without giving a second thought, ”Surely you would be having any girlfriend?”

He: Guffawed!! How you are so sure??

Me: No I mean, you are a medical student with good looks, caring for strangers even, so what else any girl would desire for?

He: Ha…ha even I can ask you the same question, as you are beautiful, so do you have a boyfriend? Anyways I don’t have, because I don’t have time for it with hell burden of medical books.

Me: (with dancing heart, as I was complimented).No, I don’t have. So whenever you will look for, what will be your type?

He: Though I have not set any type, but want a girl with a beautiful heart much more than her looks.

Me: (Can’t say whether the line was to impress or he really believes that, but I was impressed)Oh!! If you really think so, I must say you have a beautiful spirit.

He: Thanks! Yes, I really believe so.

Me: (Srinagar was about to come as mountains covered with layers of ice became visible)Again I started looking outside the window to enjoy the beauty of nature and the landscape seemed like a black & white sketch drawn on extreme canvas with sharp black graphite pencil. While I was totally adrift in the scenic beauty, again I heard his voice.

He: This time outside temperature would be in minus, so keep yourself covered with multiple sweaters and an overcoat. In the summertime, it turns up into the green.

Me: Ok! (simply nodded)

He: Take my number as I will be here for ten days, in case you need any help…9259……

Me: I didn’t hear him intentionally.

He: Do you have any mail id, so that sometimes I may send you the message, just as a friend?

Me: No.

He: (with a shock)Seriously I can’t believe that, how is it possible? You must be lying.

Me: But this is true. I am sorry.

He: I am really impressed !!

Was he or he interpreted me as a fool?? (dilemma…    )

Anyways in a few minutes, we were about to land in Srinagar as per the instructions of the flight captain.

He: Hopefully will catch you somewhere in Srinagar (grinned)

Me: Let’s see!!

And the flight landed………

Me:  Take care. Bye( felt quite sad because I didn’t realize how that one hour fifteen minutes had spent so fast, but anyways I had to move)

He: Bye. You too.

While we got down from flight, my father attacked me with bullets of questions……Why I was talking to him? What we were talking about? Did we exchanged numbers….and I exclaimed a big NO!!

Somehow my Mom supported me with her interruption, ”It’s fine if she was talking, she was talking in front of us and I have confidence in her”.

We arrived at the airport and reached to belt at which our luggage was loaded. While we were collecting our bags, unexpectedly Sameer came to my father and asked, ”Uncle would you like to come with us and stay at our home” ? which my father softly refused with acknowledgment of his pre-bookings of hotels etc and he left the place with a gesture of final bye.

Though I couldn’t believe that how a person can be so modest, his last humble expression had earned a lot of respect for him in my heart. I don’t know what would have happened if I had taken his number, but the turn at which I left it is unforgettable, as an alluring memoir and this trip had changed my opinion about Kashmir too. We roamed on streets of Kashmir, around Dal lake even on 26th January and there was nothing to worry about. Few of the Kashmiri locals offered us Kahwa(Kashmiri green tea flavored with cardamom and saffron) on Shikara and while we wandered around. With all my experience I have made an opinion that it’s not actually the local residents who are earning money by simple living, creating problems in Kashmir, but the separatists who don’t count themselves as Indians and the militants of other countries who have made prominence in Kashmir now.