In Fiction

Not a Goodbye


The city is in chaos like always. Lights flashing everywhere, loud horns stealing peace and people talking as they move on their tracks. Everybody has something to do. I don’t.

It is my last day in the city. Tomorrow, I am leaving for home. I will be leaving behind a lot in this city. Friends, new family, love and a lot of memories. I’m supposed to be happy, I am going home after all. But six months in this city have given me truckloads of memories that I am not entirely ready to give up on yet.

I am alone on this bridge. A flyover actually. This is a place where you can get the closest to the city’s chaos and yet find calmness in it. This is the place where you should come after a long tiring day. I sit on a little railing that runs along the footpath. There are a lot of people here. I see this group of four smoking, two girls eating ice cream and a few couples finding happiness in their own bubbles.

I feel overwhelmed. At lost about what to do. Tomorrow holds an entire new life for me and I have no idea what will happen. I feel like hiding. I feel like pausing the time continuum at this exact moment. Let the world be damned. There are things I am not ready to let go of, things I need to fix first, things that define what I shall become in life.

I close my eyes and try to pull myself away from everything around. I am not in the best place to do so but the winds that all these cars are leaving behind is helping. The lights, sounds and chatters starts to fade. I inhale loudly and after a minute, open my eyes.

Now I am not alone. She’s here.

She is sitting right beside me.

She smiles at me and a thousand butterflies come alive in my stomach. This ‘she’ always sends my emotions on an uphill journey. “Hi,” she says.

I don’t reply. I feel stuck. I wasn’t expecting her.

But she’s here.

I extend my hand impulsively towards her face. I touch her face softly; afraid she may disappear anytime now. Her soft skin graze along my rough fingers and it all feel real. She is really here. By my side. And smiling.

She looks beautiful. Always do. Today, she has a small line of kajal around her almond-shaped eyes. Her tiny crooked nose compliments her beautiful peach lips. And her smile? Don’t get me started on that.

“You came?” I manage to whisper. My heart already starting to ache by her presence.

“Yes, I have to say goodbye,” she replies. Coming closer to me, she slowly pulls me into her until we are hugging. It is a very tight hug. Both of us holds each other like it is last time. Maybe because it is.

Thanks to her short height, her head perfectly fits into my chest. I know she can feel my heartbeats. I remember a memory of us when I had said to her that my heart doesn’t beat like dhup-dhup-dhup but instead says her name with every beat. A smile automatically creeps into my face. I look down at her and she is smiling too. Maybe she also remembers.

I never knew I had the guts to do this but the next thing I do is pull her up and make our lips touch. Soft and firm, she kisses me back with all her love. Someone around us hoot but we do not care.

We keep kissing and in this time, I feel light. Burdens slowly fade away. Promises silently getting fulfilled. Two souls let go of pain and the bitter memories of a breakup that happened two weeks ago. Things look nice now.

“Is this your goodbye?” I say after we stop kissing.

A smile forms into her lips and it is at this moment that I realise everything will be alright. That her love is the antidote to everything bad in my life.

“Not a goodbye,” she whispers and I smile. She is here. She is here to stay.

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In featured Fiction

Everything will be all right

The date was 17th June 2014. Two major things happened with my love life that day. One, we completed a whopping three years of our relationship. Second, our relationship got a few extra words to precede it. On that day, after a train left the railway station, our story became a long distance relationship.

Her family was relocating to Rajasthan and they were taking away the jewel of my eyes with them.
Okay! It pained me. The fact that she was going away hurt me a lot. And the biggest doubt I had in mind was the uncertainty about the future of us. Would we survive? Amidst the doubt and the pain, I didn't even plan a proper anniversary gift for her. At nine in the morning, I drove to the railway station with just a rose in my hand.

As I parked my car in the station's parking space, I saw her walking inside the platform building. Like always, she looked absolutely amazing. I had the urge to run towards her, hug her and bid her a proper goodbye. But she was with her family and they didn't know anything about us.

'Dad will kill you if he comes to knows about us,' My girl had once warned me. Did I tell you that we are from different communities? She is a Marwari and I am an Assamese. In India, this is a big matter and I am sure her dad would kill me just for this reason.

I stayed inside the car and kept watching her. Feeling helpless, I switched on the hazard lights. The parking space was just in front of the entrance and I hoped she would notice my car. And she did. She turned back and her gaze stopped right at my car. I am sure I saw her lips curving into a smile.

But she went inside with her parents. I came out of my car and ran towards the station. I stopped at the entrance. Something told me that she would come back out and jump on me.

The jump part didn't happened, but she did come out. I was in smiles as she descended the stairs of the station building.

'Hie,' I greeted her.

'Let's go to the car.' She said. 'My parents can see us here,'

We went to the car. I opened the passenger side door for her and she sat down inside. I quickly moved to the other side and sat on the driver's seat. The memory of us going on long drives instantly hit me. We wouldn't be going on drives from now on.

'Where is my gift?' She asked me.

I got the rose from the back seat and handed it over to her. 'Sorry! That's all I could get.' I said.
'The rose is great, I can easily hide this.' She smiled. 'Love you,'

'Love you too,' I managed to say. It was starting to hurt now. I could see her leaving me after a few minutes.

'What's the matter, Shona?'

'Don't go.' I said. 'I can't live without you.'

'Stupid,' The beautiful smile in her face was still there. 'I am just changing my address. I am not leaving you. Listen to .....'

She couldn't complete her sentence as her phone rang up. It was her father and he wanted her to immediately summon near him. She dropped the call and made a face. 'I have to go,' she said. Yeah!
She didn't even complete her last soothing speech.

'I will give you something. Will you keep it safe until we meet again?' She asked.

'Sure,' I replied.

What she did next deleted all my sorrow. She moved her right hand to her chest, made a gesture as if she grabbed something and then she moved her hand towards me and acted as if she dropped something in my shirt pocket.

'That's my heart,' She said. 'Keep it safe.'

I smiled. The pain somehow went missing. This simple gesture from her was a promise that we would survive. That we would stay together forever. That she would always stay mine.

When she saw me smiling she moved her head towards me. I thought she was going to kiss me and therefore I bent nearer to her. She saw what I was doing and playfully slapped me and turned my face, until her lips were near my ears.

'This is not the end. This is a new beginning' She whispered and in blazing fast speed she was out of the car. I stayed inside. Frozen by her love and words.

I saw her walking towards the station. Her hair swayed with the wind. Her duppatta danced with her hair. Mid way, she looked back and waved at me. I waved back. And soon, she was out of my sight and inside the station.

I didn't even cry, like I initially thought I would. I was in fact smiling. She wasn't going away from me, I understood. She was only changing her address. And like she said, it was a new beginning. Not the end. I could look up to the future and see us together until death.


Inseparable


'Everything will be all right,' I told myself as my put the gear in reverse and pulled my car out of the parking lot. 'Love you forever dear,'

P.S - Till date, we are on. We survived.
__________
This post is a part of Look Up Stories written for Housing.com.
Image sourced from here.

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In Information

4 reasons why you should hire an interior designer for your home


     Home isn’t just a place where you retire to at the end of the day but also something that represents a lot about you, your tastes and ideas. Everyone dreams of having a home that is uniquely designed to their taste and style, while fitting into their budget. But, making or renovating a home is not easy. To start off with, everyone in your family will have a different set of ideas for the home/apartment’s interior design and you will need to create a look that incorporates all of their requirements. Once a look is decided, finding the right materials to get that look is a task on its own. Also, while a look may look perfectly fine for a particular room, the overall home may look uncoordinated.

With so much confusion and other tasks on your plate, designing and renovating your home can become a tedious task. That is why, people are starting to lean towards hiring the best interior designers and architects in India. Some of the advantages of hiring experts include:

1.      You get the best home/apartment interior design ideas:



Interior designers and architects are trained and experienced in this field. So, naturally, they will show you the best design ideas that come within your budget. Not only this, they understand how to incorporate you and your family’s ideas into their designs. This way, you end up with a more coordinated look for your home without compromising on your ideas.

2.      You can see how some of the designs have been implemented:


At times, it is difficult to visualise how a design will turn out to be when it is still in the planning phase. But, this problem can easily be solved when you hire a professional. That is because the expert may have done a similar design for a previous client and can share images of their work with you. This way, you not only understand the design better, but by seeing the professional’s previous work, you can also trust them more easily.

3.      You can learn from their experience:


At times, although a design looks perfect on paper, problems may come up when you start to implement it. Interior designers and architects have taken formal education in this industry, and may also have gained work experience for the same. Hence, they have theoretical and practical knowledge regarding how ideas can be executed effectively and efficiently.

4.      You can sit back and relax while someone else does the running for you:


When you hire a professional, you can now sit back and focus on other things rather than focusing solely on getting your home made in time. All you will need to do is keep an eye on how the work is progressing. Now, isn’t that convenient?

ID Prop is an online platform which provides its users information about the best interior designers and architects in India. Previous clients leave behind ratings and reviews, making it easier for you to make a choice regarding which professional to approach. Not only this, there are multiple home and apartment interior design ideas available online for users to browse from. Thanks to ID Prop, finding the right interior designer and architect for you couldn’t have been easier.

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In Other Stuff

Why RO water purifier is good for a healthy lifestyle?

Water is an absolute necessity for life. The water you drink plays a crucial role in leading a healthy lifestyle. While the water coming out of your tap may look clean to your naked eyes, in reality it may contain a lot of minute impurities. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use newer advance purifying systems like a RO water purifier.


A reverse osmosis water purifier comes with myriads of benefits for a healthy living.  The Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology that is used in water purifiers helps to improve taste, odor and the quality of water. While taste may be subjective but a chemical and impurity free water is naturally going to taste better to everyone. An RO purifier has the ability of treat water to make it fresher and thus more satisfying to drink. It also removes all kind of contaminants from water. The presence of certain chemicals in drinking water can be a matter of health and illness. The reverse osmosis technology removes harmful contaminants and elements like lead or arsenic from drinking water leading you to a healthier lifestyle.

RO water purifiers are easy to maintain and come with less moving parts. RO technology provides "better-than-bottled water" which is where it earns some brownie points. Livpure has put in some of the leading technologies into making their purifiers, which makes them the best RO water purifier in India. An 8-stage advanced system still stands out when compared to its competitors. Their wide range of purifiers offers some of the best services, which are appreciated all over India.

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In Entertainment Other Stuff

Zee Classic celebrates the best of ‘Musical Entertainer’ Nasir Hussain this January

Nasir Hussain is a name that echoes continuously in hearts of the fans of Iconic Indian cinemas. This legendary producer-director is best known as the founder of Indian masala films and has given the audience a lot of hit films. His vision and style paved the path for commercial Indian cinema as it stands today. A lot of evergreen movies like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Teesri Manzil, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar were in fact his creations. His formula of using great music with high impact drama along with star power catapulted his movies to major box-office success and won him the title of ‘Musical Entertainer’. 



Nasir Hussain always maintained that it was more interesting to show the process of the hero and heroine falling in love run through the film rather than have the hero and heroine in love and that is what makes his films special. His films made the process of boy wooing girl and winning her over a most enjoyable affair. For all the music lovers, you may recognise Nasir Hussain better, for he is the one whose songs are most remembered. Still guessing?  O Haseena Zulfonwali, O Mere Sona Re, Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko if not the original, the remixes will ring a bell. Adding to this list are, ‘Aye Mere Husafar’ or ‘Papa Kehte Hain!

Hussain has had a career that spans over five decades in which he has brought entertaining, dramatic and path breaking movies to the silver-screen. With several super hit films to his credit, Nasir Hussain had seldom created a movie that has failed to impress. To celebrate his journey in the industry, Zee Classic, with its proposition ‘Woh Zamana Kare Deewana’ feature, has curated over a month-long series of Nasir Hussain’s greatest hits under the banner ‘Nasir Hussain Film Festival’. This series will air every Sunday at 12 noon, beginning 7th January and plans to take viewers on a journey highlighting his long and illustrious career.

Here is what is on the menu:

‘Nasir Hussain Film Festival’
 Date
Time
Yaadon Ki Baarat
07-Jan
12 noon
Hum Kisise Kum Naheen
14-Jan
12 noon
Teesri Manzil
21-Jan
12 noon
Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai
28-Jan
12 noon
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
04-Feb
12 noon
Manzil Manzil 
11-Feb
12 noon

To entertain viewers with unheard stories of Nasir Hussian and enhance their movie-viewing experience, Zee Classic has also curated special features revolving around the life of the legendary filmmaker. It includes views of stalwarts of Indian cinema like Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, Juhi Chawla, Ayesha Jhulka, Prem Chopra, Dalip Tahil, and Lalit Pandit amongst others. These special features along with additional exclusive interviews will be showcased during the telecast of movies on Zee Classic.


Watch ‘Nasir Hussain Film Festival’ starting 7th January, every Sunday at 12 noon only on Zee Classic


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In Other Stuff

Go away old Gadgets


The government in my state has this policy that those High School students who pass out with a score of 60% or higher are to be awarded with a Personal Computer each. In 2009, my elder sister managed to bring home one of those computers. It was a bulky Wipro machine with a CRT monitor and loaded with the lowest specifications available at that time but it was the first computer at our home and therefore went on to become my new favourite electronic device. Over the years, I maxed out it’s internals but it still lagged far behind newer technologies. I loved that machine and because my sister had some emotional connection with it, selling it off was out of consideration. But by the year 2015, it became a dud, space-eating, decorative piece of award that only guests could gawk at. Both I and my sister upgraded to new laptop computers. It was finally time to let it go.

I began my search for customers by putting the machine up for sale on a few classified websites. I quoted it for a very low price of just Four Thousand rupees. But a week passed and nobody showed any interest. I decided to put it up for sale in Facebook then.


54 people liked the post and only 4 of them inboxed me asking for details. Turned out all four of them were only curious humans and not somebody in actual need of a computer. I wasn’t able to find any customers for my machine and had no option but to keep it. It blocked so much space in my room that I even considered disposing it off to a scrap yard. But that same week, a cousin of mine visited my home and just upon arriving enquired about me selling off the computer. He was thirteen years old then. Here’s how our conversation proceeded:

Cousin: It hurt my feelings that you are selling the computer.
Me: Why is that so?
Cousin: Where will I play GTA vice city now? What I will do when I visit you?
Me: Uh! You can play games on my laptop too brother.
Cousin: No, you don’t even let me play games on your laptop. You said it will burst if it gets too hot.

That was true. My laptop couldn’t game. It gets too hot if a game was launched in it. I had lied about it bursting off to flames to my little cousin to keep him away from it. Whenever he was in our home, he would sit down in front of the old computer and play his favourite game on it. Upon thinking about it, I realised that he was the sole user of my old machine and the only person who might find it useful. I decided it was better to pass it down to him than dumping it off in the scrap yard. I called up his parents and enquired if it was okay with them about their son getting a computer. They were okay with it provided I could convince their son not to stick to the computer all day long. I made my cousin promise that he would balance his studies, outdoor activities and computer games.

They next day, his dad came to pick up the machine. I wasn’t expecting any money as this was just meant as a hand-me-down from an elder brother to a young brother. But my uncle insisted that I take something and gave me two crisp thousand rupee notes. I silently put those into my shirt pocket.


It is not always the easiest task to find customers for your old gadgets. A dozen classified sites have emerged but the process of actually selling a device is still cumbersome. This is why, Cashify is here. It is the fastest and easiest way to sell old phones and laptops online instantly for cash. Use Diwali as an Excuse to #CleanupCashout with Cashify. You will get an Instant Quote, Assured Sale, Hassle free Doorstep Pickup and on spot payment for your old devices. Use the coupon code CLEANCASH” to get an additional 250 rupees on the price of your gadget.


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In Environment green Indoor Air Pollution Other Stuff

The Pollution Within | Everything you need to know about Indoor Air Pollution

If you are identify yourself with those people who wear a breathing mask whenever they go out to the streets or those who hold their nose when a diesel truck passes by them or those who avoid outdoors whenever possible, I am glad you are conscious about your health. But what if I tell you that all these things you do isn’t really going to protect you from the polluted air. You ask why? Because at the end of the day when you come home and undo every protective measure, believing your house to be insulated; you expose yourself to a different kind of danger --- a danger named Indoor Air Pollution.

Indoor Pollution is simply the existence of unwanted and harmful particles in the indoors. But the fact that those harmful particles are present in an enclosed area makes it five times more dangerous than normal air pollution. A polluted indoor space has the potential to give you about a dozen diseases which include the likes of acute lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cataracts, blindness, lung cancer, tuberculosis, premature births and low birth weight. The threat is real and here is a little fact to make you believe.
Yes! You read that right. 4.3 million is a lot of people and this number will keep on increasing if the world does not start fighting against it. Therefore let’s begin the fight now; let’s begin with being aware about it. It is very likely that your house contains a lot of products that pollutes your indoor air. The following are some of the pollutants that are considered harmful:


CAUSES AND SOURCES OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTION

  • Inadequate ventilation: This is a primary cause of indoor air pollution. Improper ventilation in closed rooms will suffocate the air and increase the concentration of pollutants in it. Contrary to the belief that closed ventilation protects the indoors from outdoor pollution, it is necessary to have proper circulation of air in order to send out certain indoor pollutants. 
  • Indoor Smoking: Tobacco and Cigarette is extremely dangerous to health. Smoking them indoors leads to the capture of its harmful smoke in the indoors and can affect respiratory systems of all the occupants of the house. 
  • Household Products: A lot of household products contribute to indoor air pollution. New carpets, adhesives and Air fresheners emit volatile organic compounds. Such chemicals are very harmful and are linked to cancer and heart diseases. Pesticides, cleansers, candles and incense sticks also release toxins throughout a house. 
  • Mould: Mould is a serious problem of indoor air pollution. Bacteria and varies viruses thrive in it and is the cause of various infections. 
  • Electrical Appliances: Heating equipment like fireplaces, heaters and especially gas stoves can produce carbon monoxide which is poisonous in nature. Air conditioners, if not cleaned timely also emits polluting gases. Compact fluorescent lights emit neurotoxins when they are broken.
  • Paint: Untreated paint on walls and furniture emits chemical fumes and can also emit volatile organic chemicals and methylene chloride as they dry. These are extremely harmful to humans.

SOLUTIONS TO INDOOR AIR POLLUTION:


  • Stay Clean: The best remedy against indoor air pollution is to maintain a clean interior space. Clean off dust from the indoors regularly and mop your floors with water. Additionally, clean your air conditioners, air ducts and chimneys timely. If your house is infected with mould, get it cleaned by professionals that use environment friendly products.
  • Eliminate Sources: Avoid the above mentioned sources wherever possible or choose to minimize/replace them. For example, you can DIY your own safe air freshener by mixing water and essential oils.
  • Keep out the smoke: Do not smoke inside the house. I suggest you quit smoking altogether but if you can’t, step out to the balcony at least. Additionally, minimize the use of candles and incense sticks.
  • Use advance Paint: Use treated paint that does not emit any gases. Or choose AsianPaints’ new Royale Atmos, a paint that not only looks good, but also helps purify air and improve the air quality inside your home.
  • Ventilate: Open your windows so that air circulation can take place. This will also help to maintain the humidity inside.
  • Use nature: Use certain plants to keep your house clean. Plant broad-leafed green plants around the house or place some inside. They add to the decor and keep the air clean too.
  • Use an air purifier: If you have some money to spare, then you can invest on an air purifier. The good ones are now available south of 30k rupees.

Indoor Air Pollution is a danger and it kills. But with proper steps and the will to live a healthier life, one can run out of its reach. Choose a cleaner life

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