Hemantkumar Jain's Stories

Business of Religion

Religion is my business. No no, I am no God Man, Nor am I a phony religious hard-liner or extremist. I supply materials and artifacts for religious processions and rallies. Be it posters or banners or pamphlets. I was also renting walking sticks for old people but then they using them as lathis for hitting other people. The most recent addition to my offerings are pocket-friendly pouches (in size and price) of easy-t0-throw stones for pelting at police and public alike. They have been a rage recently. Never thought that religion could be such a lucrative business..

The Ghost who Walks the House `

I walk through the empty house. Like a ghost of yesterday. But still breathing. Everyone is gone. I am all alone. The sons got jobs in the city and took their families with them (only wife and kids that is, that's what they consider family these days). I see them once a year. The daughter was married to a wealthy family in another village; they don’t allow her to visit us often. If i were to die today, no one will know. A real Ghost, I will be. But what difference will it make?.

Foreigner in my Land

I was the centre of attraction. I had their undivided attention. I was the highlight of the day for them. They looked at me with wonder. I looked at them with equal wonder. While I wondered about their clothing, their accessories and even their covered faces; I am sure they had similar thoughts about me. Not just the villages, I faced the same in the cities too. For them, I was the ‘foreigner’. For me, they were too. Little did they know, I was very much Indian. Just that I looked different. After all, I was from North East. .

Guilt Strategy

He: How’s this possible? We were careful. She: I don’t know. I am equally surprised. He: I know you are not cheating on me but… She: (shooting daggers with her eyes) He: OK OK Relax. I trust you. But ... (long pause), we should abort it. You know the situation. She: (continues to shoot daggers and looks away into horizon) She: (thinking to herself) “Thanks hubby dear. I don’t want this one either. My upcoming promotion will suffer and I can’t afford that. But now, you will forever be in guilt and I’ll never let you forget it. .

The Unfair Advantage

I see things differently. I see things which most people don't. I have an unobstructed view of the world while the average person’s view is blocked … by other people. I aim higher and reach higher than most people. I also walk and run faster than others so I reach my goal and destination faster. I look down upon people while they look up to me. Quite literally. I rise above the rest of humanity. I am 6 ft 9 inch tall. (Now see the pic and read again :) .

Superstition

Her mother died in childbirth. And it did not rain that year. She was under-nourished. No one fed her properly nor took care of her. She was considered lucky, because she survived … and also inauspicious since she caused her mother’s death. Strangers looked at her and thought ‘cute’ while those who knew her looked the other way. I am sure you are feeling sure I am talking about the girl but then… am I? What makes you think we do such things to humans only? Unfortunately we do not spare the lovely animals also from our stupid superstitions. .

Just One

“I am NOT addicted to Tea. All I have is one cutting chai that fuels me for the entire day. Often days. My Doc says I am addicted. What non sense. That one glass is calling out to me. My first since morning. How can they call it addiction? I just have one cup after all.” The hospital attendant watched the patient with tired eyes. They made fun of him and called him ‘Ghajini’ and he never quite understood why ‘Ghajini’ was a patient at all. All he did was drink tea all the time … just like himself..

Chance Encounter

He had almost not seen her. It was only when he neared the bamboo shed that he saw her near the light searching for something. He offered to help but she just looked at him with those deep lovely eyes, did not say a word. He looked around and found a pendant lying half covered with a scrap of paper. He saw the expected joy in her eyes. What he did not expect was the spontaneous kiss she gave him on his lips. Ten years since the night. He still visits the place for another chance encounter with her. .

Hidden in Plain Sight

Looks can be very deceptive. Nothing is what it seems to be in this world. Big machines do little while the little gadgets do a lot. Living beings seem to be active while non-living perceived to be devoid of any activity. I am hiding in plain sight observing people. I am a silent observer and most people don’t notice me. No. I am not that guy in the picture or the idol of his god on his shoulder. I am that old battered Truck in background. Hidden in plain sight. I am a Decepticon. I wait for judgement day..

The Protector

The mighty protect the meek but there are times when they need protection too. The strong care for the weak but there are times when they will need the care too. Lord Ganesha protects all, but with the onset of monsoon in the middle of monsoon, he needs the protection from rains too. The Mother cares for her children all her life. But age takes its toll and there is a time when she needs her children to take care of her too. The Nurturer needs nurturing too … .

Daily Survival

I am an auto-rickshaw driver. My earning every day is barely enough to sustain my family and hence I have no savings. A single day of not running my auto can mean no food at home at night. I have no holidays and I can’t afford to fall sick. No one consults me before calling a strike, they don’t care about me. I am neither part of politics nor a voice of the union. All I want to do is earn a modest living. I am an auto-rickshaw driver. I am a human too. Just like You. .

Head Spinner

My head is spinning - watching her go round and round. Existence is so complex. I ask myself "why am I here?" and my head hurts thinking about my mission. It was an unfortunate moment when I pulled the short finger for this arduous task of analyzing 'Dance'. So now I am trying to figure out why do these earthlings dance? For people from our planet, this thing called dance is an alien concept and try as much as I do, with each passing day, the confusion deepens for me. Mind Boggling it is. .

Custom Made Soul Mate

Marriages are made in heaven but right here on earth, we dream of the tall, dark and handsome; ignoring the rest. Unfortunately, the actual life partner you end up finding is often miles away from the ‘tall, fair, handsome and rich” fantasy. It's only when we find our soul-mate that we realise that these fantasies are pretty much meaningless and the real thing is altogether different and curiously, it comes in a very different packaging of ‘short, stout and pretty much average looking”. What we should remember is that our soul-mate is custom-made for us by HIM.

The Miracle

What’s with people? What they think is a result of facts filtered through their perceptions driven by belief systems and stereotyped personalities ingrained into their tiny puny heads as part of what is called cultural upbringing (phew) Let’s take the simple ‘performance’ of levitation for example. I perform it wearing modern clothes like shirts-trousers and I am called a ‘street magician’ All I have to do is grow a beard and wear saffron robes; Voila!!! I will now be hailed as a ‘baba’ and the act becomes a miracle giving me a huge mindless fan following..

Poof

Yeah Yeah, I have heard that a countless times - Smoking Kills. Believe me, I know it. They even say smoking is a slow poison but then I am in no great hurry. What they don’t realize is that the smoke helps me. It helps me drown myself and disappear. After all, I am a genie and a genie is supposed to disappear in a wisp or cloud of smoke. It would be so undramatic to disappear just like that. So here go smoke rings and there I go … Poof !! .

Being Selfish

My arthritis slows me down. I watch the kids moving at an eager pace and my husband keeping up. I lag behind wondering how life changed. My husband is ‘alive’ again with kids around. They have brought a fresh breath of energy and will-to-live in him. Life is meaningful again. Had it not been for the fatal accident in US which took away my son and his wife, we would have seen our grand–children grow in photos, on mobile phones and meeting them once in 2-3 years. Am I being selfish, in being thankful for the accident? .

Now he could fly

It looked real. Technology be damned. With his limited resources and budget, he couldn't probably get a completely functional one but surely it was a beautiful one. It looked real. He hated the sympathetic look on people's faces when they saw his amputated leg that he lost in the freak accident. He wanted to see admiration and not sympathy-laced-admiration. For god's sake, he was a sportsman and not a circus performer. Now he could fly. With his new prosthetic leg, the attention would be on his acrobatics with the bicycle and not his absent leg..

The Last Fight

This was his last fight. Just before the fight, they had announced that he was going to Mumbai, land of Bollywood, as he was destined for greater things. He was now excited as he had been preparing for this day for a very long time. The cock fights had been his only sport for several years now as he lived in the camps located in the middle of nowhere. He began to pack, as the citizens of Mumbai continued to party and sleep, unaware of the suicide bomber who received his assignment..

Flashes

I opened my eyes to find myself on a strange bed by the window. Scanning the room, I realized it was a hospital and I remembered my accident. I could see the lightning flashes outside the window but could not hear the thunder. I let out a silent scream concluding that I had lost my hearing. I would never hear my Natasha again. That’s when the nurse came in and pulled the curtain saying, “Sorry about the construction work outside and the flickering flashes of the welding works. I hope the curtains help you sleep”. .

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