Wednesday, 20 April 2016


It was 3p.m in the afternoon. Karthick was sitting alone in his bedroom watching his favorite actor’s movie on T.V. 

He had had enough. He was a complete loser in everything he ventured into. Despair and frustration had driven him to the limits of his endurance. 

Looking back at his life, he realized he had not always been like this. There was once a time when he had been more successful. He had been a bright student at school and college and had done very well in his first job. He had been happily married and had a loving wife and a beautiful daughter who meant the world to him. Life couldn’t have been more satisfying and fulfilling. And then, one fine day, everything he valued in his life was snatched away from him in an instant. On that fateful Friday evening, he was in a bad mood owing to a bad day at office. He, along with his wife and his 2 year old daughter were travelling to his mother’s house for a vacation. He was in the driver seat talking to his friend through mobile phone. He ignored the repeated warnings his wife had given him. As fate would have it, a momentary lack of concentration resulted in the car skidding off the road and crashing with the divider. His wife was killed instantly while he and his daughter somehow managed to survive.

After that incident, life was living hell for him. His guilt had become an all-consuming creature living within him and had managed to snuff out every bit of joy and happiness in his life. His despair had grown to huge proportions that he felt he could not live with it anymore. He could not forgive himself for his wife’s death, no matter how hard he tried. Finally, unable to bear the burden any longer, he had decided to end his own life. 

Now that he had made his decision, he felt a sense of calm descend on him. He felt much lighter and his mind was at peace at last. He sat on his bed and looked at the pills that he had bought from the chemist that evening. Those were the angels that would take him to the world beyond. He could not wait to meet his wife there. He slowly took the pills and counted them. Ten of  them. They should do the job. He fetched a glass of water and placed it next to the pills. He was ready... His wife was waiting… He had to go… He took the pills and washed them down with the glass of water. In a few moments, the room started to spin and he could not hold himself steady. Everything was dull and hazy. It was as if everything around him had turned to water and the entire world was in a stupor. Amidst the haze, he heard a loud wail somewhere close. It must be his daughter in the adjoining room. He tried to get up and console his daughter but could not move a muscle in his body. Moments passed… The crying continued, but this time a little farther…He felt darkness surround him and comfort him like his long-dead mother. The crying stopped. There was a blissful silence and a peaceful void everywhere. He was home at last.

The orphaned daughter continued crying …

The movie ended.

Karthick felt bad for the daughter.. He was thankful that he had not resorted to any such ways, though he was almost tempted at one stage after cancer had cruelly snatched his wife from him at an young age. His daughter, Sarah, was the only reason he lived on. He knew his wife would never forgive him if he left Sarah alone.

He knew, “Suicide is never an option!”  

Click here to read all my short stories.

Monday, 11 April 2016

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban - Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

Malala Yousafzai

This is that kind of book that makes you look back at your own life and think, "Gosh! How many things have I taken for granted!" This book is a complete eye-opener for me and has been written with brutal honesty exposing the dark reality of basic human rights suppression in some places. The story of Malala serves as a reminder for everyone, reminding us the amount of work that is yet to be done to ensure a better life for most people in the world.

Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Prize winner, has absolutely stunned the entire world with her audacity to stand up to her rights and this book brings out all the struggles and hardships that she had had to endure in order to get her much desired education. It also provides insights into the happenings at terror-hit regions and I must say I was shocked on learning that there are some people in the same world that I live in, who are not allowed to go to school or walk in the streets freely.

The way Malala revisits the fatal day when she was shot and her subsequent recuperation is sure to bring tears to anyone. Another unsung hero in Malala's life, which I came to know after reading the book, is her father. Her father had been completely supportive of Malala's efforts from the very beginning and it was him who sowed the seeds of the need for education in the minds of her daughter. His struggles to provide good education to his community members is what led Malala to understand the value of education.

Regarding the book, it is beautifully written, making sure that even a common man can understand and appreciate the life of Malala. It is a simple, yet from the heart tale of the girl who rose above all hurdles to get what is rightfully hers. After reading this book, I searched for Malala's speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and I must say, I was completely bowled. For a 17 year old girl, to have such clarity of thinking and a visionary perspective is completely unheard of. This girl is going places.

A must read for everyone - it will change the way you look at things you have in your life!


Read more about Malala Yousafzai here.
Buy the book here.
Watch Malala's Nobel Peace Prize Speech here.


“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”

“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow." Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” 

“I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don't be afraid — if you are afraid, you can't move forward.”

Find more quotes here.

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