Library

My soul is a library that screams out me.
Within its caring, loving shelves,
It holds the story that is me.
There are books old and yellowing;
There are books unwritten, waiting to be opened;
There are books I read over for old time’s sake.
These hold stories unspoken,
The things they make me.
Would you read through me
Or would you leave the pages half read?
Oh, but hold these books with tender hands,
For they hold treasures within;
These books hold memories,
They hold people in them.
Some people are simply sentences,
Others own complete books.
They all make me, shape me;
Their inky marks adore my soul.
Would you roam into the darkest corners of my library?
Would you blow the dust off and read?
I sure am writing you down, my friend,
But my dear, would you write down me?

Strangers In The Night…

It was a cold December evening in the year 1942.

Fredrick Garland was sitting in his armchair in front of the fire, reading a letter. He folded the little piece of paper and shrank back into his armchair. A tear after tear fell from his eyes.

“Not again!” he murmured. Then he cried his heart out.

Even after crying for almost an hour, Fredrick was still overwhelmed with a feeling of desolation. This state of restlessness forced him to come out of his house and take a walk to sort out his thoughts, even though it had started to snow

He had not gone far from his house when he saw a man, a woman and a little boy closely hurdled together and shivering badly in the snow. Their clothing was insufficient for the freezing cold night like that. Some instinct forced him to talk to them and soon he found himself offering them shelter for the night.

“It is very cold tonight. Come, you can spend the night in my house. I have a room vacant you can sleep there. If you stay out in this weather, you will surely die of cold.” They destitute family looked terrified at this suggestion and immediately declined the offer. But Fredrick wouldn’t give up. At last they had to give in and follow Fredrick into his house. He served them hot food and made them sit in front of the fire. He arranged their beds and sent them off to sleep.

“Good night!” he said and went to his own room.

Late in the night the little boy, Charlie overheard his parents talking…

“Oh Henry what is to become of us? They are after us like mad dogs!! They’ll kill us!”

“Yes Liza dear, those cruel animals are hungry for blood. They will not spare anyone. They will kill all of our kinds.”

“It is not us that I am worried about… it’s our little Charlie here. Sure a small kid! What has HE done to them??”

Henry patted his son and said, “My poor boy. Just your bad luck, you were born in our house.”

“Henry, I am scared! What will happen to us!! We’ll die!! Oh Lord!!”

Charlie closed his eyes. He didn’t want to hear more. He had heard them talk like that before. He had heard them mention a man named Hitler and the Nazis. He knew that Hitler and the Nazis wanted to kill them. But who they were and why were they after them, his parents never told him. He was so utterly confused.

‘Fred uncle is a good man.’ He thought, ‘I will ask him in the morning to save us’. Then he slept soundly.

In the morning he found Fred in the kitchen. He didn’t notice his eyes were red. He went up to him and hugged him. Glancing his innocent eyes into his red ones and said, “Fred, will you save us? Please save us. Mamma and pa are very scared.”

Fred frowned a bit. “Save you? But my dear Charlie”, he said patting Charlie’s hair, “Save you from whom? Are you in danger?”

“I don’t know. But my parents talk about some Hitler wanting to kill us. They never tell me a thing!”

“Hitler! O Jesus! You are Jews!! That’s why you were scared to come with me?”

Henry and Liza were standing at the door. Henry said, “O please good sir. Please don’t turn us over to Hitler. He will kill us. You don’t know how cruel and stone-hearted he is! You are an Aryan. He loves you and your kind. Please, for the sake of this little boy, don’t… “

Liza also joined in, “We will leave just now and will never show you our faces again. Hitler’s very cruel. He is hungry for Jew blood. Please spare us.”

Till now Fredrick had been listening quietly. Now he spoke,” You think I will give you up to the Nazis? I hate them just as much as you do… perhaps more.”

He felt silent for a moment. He went to the cupboard and took out the letter he had been reading last night and showed it to Henry. “Look at this”, he said, Henry opened the letter…

We are in danger. They have found out our hideout. They’ll take us any day. The Lockharts are dead and now is our turn.

Fred, you are an awesome friend. I don’t know what would have I been without you, my dear friend.

Lots of love

Mr. and Mrs. Frank

Henry folded the letter and look up at Fred. Fred continued.

“I, the Lockharts and the Franks have been friends since our college days. But after college we settled in different parts of Germany. The Lockharts and the Franks were Jews, while me a bloody ‘Aryan’. We were the bestest of friends…Lockharts were killed a month ago and now the Franks…” He paused for a moment, tears in his eyes. “Well… do you still think that I will not help you?” he added with a smile.

A few months had passed. The Jew family lived in the shed in Fred’s backyard. They never went out and remained quite. By now Fred and the Jew family had grow very close. They were living happily.

But their happiness was short-lived. The neighbors grew suspicious and began talking about Fredrick.

“Did you see the amount of groceries Fredrick buys these days?”

“Yes. His groceries can easily feed four or five people!

“He seldom comes out of his house. He has broken all the ties with us.”

“I smell a rat! Don’t mind me, but don’t you think he is hiding something…. Or someone?”

The neighbors felt something fishy.

One day there was a loud banging on Fredrick’s door. He opened and found a group of hefty Nazi officials. They dragged him out. “Where are they?” they barked, “You have been hiding them. Where are they?”

He was beaten up badly but he didn’t speak. “Speak! Or I’ll kill you!!” But Fredrick’s lips remained sealed.

Two Nazis ran in to search the house after a few minutes they were out, dragging the Jews with them.

Charlie ran and hugged Fred. “Uncle you are bleeding!”

Then Fred noticed that he was bleeding profusely. Henry, knowing their death was near, said, “Fred Thanks for these lovely last months of our lives. They have been great.”

Then they were pushed into the Nazi vans… off to the gas chambers.

Two Nazis stayed behind to take Fredrick to the jail. Fred noticed quite a crowd had assembled. “Come on you!” one of the Nazi barked and kicked Fred in his stomach. “We don’t have time to waste.”

But Fred’s mind was somewhere else. He did something none present would have expected.

“I am coming friends… We’ll surely meet now… All these years we never met but now we’ll meet in heavens. I’m coming my dear Lockharts and Franks… I’ll meet you too- Henry, Liza and little Charlie” he murmured.

Then he pulled out the gun from the waist of the Nazi who kicked him. Before the Nazis could react, he shot himself.

He died on the spot.

Are a House and a Home DIFFERENT???

The Sun rose from behind the buildings. It sent a ray through Prashansa’s window as if saying,” Prashansa, it’s time for school. Wake up.”

 “Ah,Good Morning Sun!”said Prashansa, as she began to get ready for school.

 Prashansa was a friendly and bright girl. She was  outspoken and had a soft side for animals. She had a kind nature and loved to study and read books. She belonged to a middle class family but was contented with whatever she got.

After having breakfast she started for school. That day her class teacher, Mrs. Kapoor arrived in the class early. Everyone got a hint that today she was going to give them a big surprise. Rahul, Prashansa’s classmate stood up and asked,”Excuse me ma’am, sorry to interrupt, but is something special today? I mean, you came early.”

“Yes students, we are having a new student today.” she told them,” Come in Sanjana. You will find your new classmates great.”

A girl walked in majestically. She had beautiful black hair tied loosely with a ribbon. Behind her came an armed man dressed in black with a walkie-talkie. ‘He might be her bodyguard!’, thought Prashansa, ‘but why would she need one? Is she a celebrity or what?’

 The girl told her ‘bodyguard’ off.

“Hi friends,” she said with poise and self assurance, ” I am Sanjana Gupta. My mother Ritika Arora is a famous actress and my father, Rajveer Gupta is a successful businessman. So, you can see I have a bodyguard.”

” Huh! Such attitude lies in her. Why come to our school when your parents are so hi-fi personalities. Go to America, or England or somewhere else instead.” whispered Anjali.

 She was seated next to Prashansa. Everyone would gather round her desk and ask her weird questions about her parents. She would answer them with patience. But she was proved very poor in the fields of studies and sports. She used to run away from sports and never wanted to even enter the playgrounds. ” They make me feel sweaty, dirty and tired. I hate sports.” she would say to Prashansa.

Once Sanjana invited Prashansa to her birthday party celebrations. She even asked her to stay for a sleepover. “Only a few of my great friends get an opportunity to be a part of the sleepovers.”she told Prashansa.

An excited Prashansa returned home. Her mother asked the reason for her peculiar behaviour. She told her mother about her conversation with Sanjana. “Humm..” said her mother thoughtfully, “So you are going to the birthday party of  Sanjana Gupta, the daughter of Ritika Arora, the star. You know, my dear, Ritika was my classmate when we were students. Her father Rahul Arora was the King of Bollywood at that time. She was really stubborn.”

“But mom, Sanjana is not at all stubborn. And she will be sad if I don’t go there. Besides she has a kind nature and loves animals” Prashansa tried to tell her mother. “Yes dear, I have never tried to stop you from going there. But I just wanted to tell you that you may not be comfortable there.” her mother said.”Why would I not be comfortable there, mom? They have so many servants” Prashansa asked. She got the answer,”Oh dear, after all a house and a home are not same. We live in a home, whereas Sanjana and her family live in a house. You are used to living in a home. You won’t be able to adjust there.”

“Won’t be ale to ADJUST! Come on mom! What do you want to say?” Prashansa was a bit irritated.   Her mother said softly,” Maybe you will come to know what I mean on the right day, that is, on Sanjana’s birthday. So don’t worry just know. OK, dear.”

The right time,thought Prashansa, What does mom want to say! She decided to stay silent and not argue with her mother. She wanted to wait for the ‘RIGHT’ moment, whatever or whenever it was.

She bought a beautiful vase and a jewelry box for Sanjana. She also made her a pretty card. She sat in the car beside her mother. She had kept her night-dress for the sleepover.And of course, how could she forget her AUTOGRAPH BOOK!!! She wanted to have Sanjana’s mother’s autograph!

As she was getting down for the car her mother called,” I wish you may understand the meaning of a house and a home today. Bye dear”

Prashansa bid her goodbye and went in the house. A servant received her at the door and took her inside to a big hall.

Wow! What a place! Does Sanjana live here? she thought.

She found Sanjana busy with some of her friends who also included some of Prashansa’s classmates. Prashansa gave Sanjana her gifts and looked around for her parents. When asked Sanjana replied,” Oh, my parents! Well, mom had an important shooting to do for her upcoming film and my father had to go to Germany for a business meeting . They will be back by tomorrow.” Prashansa was astonished. How could they, she thought, How could they leave their daughter alone on THIS special day of her life!

When Prashansa saw Sanjana cutting her birthday cake all alone, her eyes became wet. Prashansa remembered her birthdays when her parents were there when she cut the cake, when she opened her presents and when she enjoyed the last moments of the day. But Sanjana did not have any of these happiness.

When the party ended, much more shocks awaited Prashansa. She thought that now was the time she loved the most, opening of presents. Would Sanjana like my gifts? What would be the other presents she got? Such thoughts emerged in Prashansa’s mind.

But what happened was extraordinary. When they entered Sanjana’s room, they found so many gifts lying here and there. Prashansa figured her gift in the sea of gifts and wanted that Sanjana would open her gift the first. But what’s that? Sanjana told her servants to take those ‘nonsense gifts’ away and open them. She ordered them to keep the gifts in their proper place. Prashansa watched the scene wide-eyed and open-mouthed. She saw her gift and many others being carried away by the servants.

She did not want to stay there even a second more. She wanted to go home. ” Sanjana, I am not feeling well, she lied, I want to go home. Please can I call my mother?” ” Sure” was the answer. Prashana was even more bewildered. Sanjana didn’t even ask that what had happened to her. She seemed the least bother. Before Prashansa could gather herself, Sanjana was back with a return gift and then handing it to her, she ran to her friends and started to play!

Prashansa called her mother who arrived soon. As soon as Prashansa was in the car, she started to cry. When they were far from Sanjana’s house, Prashansa threw the unopened returned gift out of the window. She told her mother about the party on the way.  Her mother smiled and said,” Well my dear, I think you now know the difference between a HOUSE and a HOME?”

“Yes mom” was the answer.

A JOURNEY TO THE MOON

      

 

 

I loved the sight.It was so dreamlike that I thought I am sleeping, but I was not. It was the most beautiful thing in this whole universe. A rose garden was also nothing in front of it.  The stars twinkled in glee. I was indeed in love with it. It was the moon!!!! The cool breeze blowing made the atmosphere happy. The clouds flying past it made it a even a greater sight. It smiled as if knowing that I was watching it. 🙂 🙂 I could feel the contentment of my heart as I saw it. ..

Just then I was a little taken aback to see a house FLYING and speeding towards our house!!!!!It landed just in front of me. Then an astronaut came out and took of her helmet. Oh! so this was a SPACECRAFT!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 She smiled at me and I smiled in return. She asked me if  I would like to join her on a voyage to the moon. How could I refuse this golden oportuanity!!!! I went in the Spacecraft with her and Found another Astronaut there. He was a man and he told me that his name is Rohan. I was glad to meet both of them  The woman who was called Rani, told me that I would need to wear a space suit if I wanted to go with them in Space. She  gave me a golden spacesuit to wear. They both said that I looked very smart in it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Rohan switched the engine and Rani soon started the countdown…..10….9…8….7…6….5….4…3…2….1……BLAST OFF!!!!

Up we went in the space!:) 🙂 🙂

 Rani gave me a camera with which I would click photos. We landed on the moon after about an hour. I ran out as soon as the engine stopped. All my life I had always been looking up in the sky to see either the moon or the sun. Today I was looking up to see my dear home planet EARTH !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was looking at Earth just the way perhaps God looks at Earth 🙂 🙂 🙂

We all clicked photos of the diffrent planets that we could see, I picked up a moon rock as I wanted to carry it back with me to Earth.I was having a lot of fun. Just then Rani called out for me as it was the time we should return back to the earth. Rani and Rohan entered the  flying house  and I said that I am coming after clicking this photo of the view of earth from the moon. As I was returning to the  flying house, suddenly I fell down and landed in a crater on the moon surface. 😦 😦 😦  

I started to cry. Rohan and Rani rushed to help me. I stopped crying and looked around I saw that I had fallen from my bed and my mother and father were standing trying to help me up. !!!!!!

I got up I told them that I am all right and they returned to their room. I looked at the clock. It was 12:00 in the night. I thought that I must have been dreaming all this while and felt very sad that I had not actually travelled to the moon and back 😦 😦 😦

 But just then I saw there was a small rock lying on the floor where i had fallen down from the bed. WHAT?????!!! was it the same Moon rock that i had picked up fron the surface of the moon???

I was totally bewildered.

So was it a dream …………….. or was it not?  What do you think? Post your comments for everybody to know your thought