A rational truth… 

Translation: 

Yesterday, as i was writing on the greatness  of human beings, I was distracted by the noise outside. I went out to take stock. I saw men barking and each other and some dogs were busy having a sweet slumber. 

(Krishna Chandar)



Hospital window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by th! e window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Author Unknown…

The Last Cab ride…

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers.”

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

A true story by Kent Nerburn

Can You Tell A Story?

So I have been giving a lot of thought on writing a short-story these days. When I come to think of it – it looks like a wandering maze where I feel like I’m lost forever but I never give up. Like every other writer in the world, I, too, wish to write my autobiography someday and it should be a bestseller while I’m on some hospital bed in my sixties. A book of my life, so to speak. I’m just waiting for the right time to do so, because the older I get and more I read, better gets my maturity and writing skills. There is no denying in the giant white and empty pages are the biggest enemy of a writer. So I keep writing the book of my life in my mind, every time of the day. On the go, so to speak.

Memory is a funny thing. When you’re in a scene, you don’t really pay no attention to the details or the importance of that moment. The idea of having to remember those details for you will have to write a book on them never linger about. All you think about is yourself. I believe inside of every human being lives a writer. Like in every village there is a crafted farmer who knows the causes and effects of farming and whole village relies on him in time of ploughing. Writing is like playing music on the keyboard. If you are pressing your fingers on the write nodes, the sound and the rhythm soothe your heart and soul. Isn’t that an art? Yes, I think it is. If you can turn a deserted land into some green fruit-bearing paradise then YES you can turn a blank white paper into a book of your life.

So maybe when I turn forty someday, I’ll apply a long leave if I’m working for someone or I’ll just retire for that matter, book a holiday, lightly pack my needful belongings and leave to stay somewhere very quiet. Where the silence hit you like the wind blows on a wide highway. On a lonely island or by the beach I’ll make the fire, watch the fire, keeping the unwritten pages of the book of my life, I’ll remember my days. I have to be careful of what to mention and what not to, as there is no secret that can never leave anyone’s heart. For there is some sorrow in every life. I’ll definitely find it challenging to write a book whose end is still unknown. It’s like writing a story and leaving the ending unwritten. I will jolt my mind to remember the promises that were made and the promises those were broken. Words of anger and fury, love and kindness and the words I was supposed to weep at and laugh at. Suddenly I would remember to add a chapter of secrets. I will be a little scared to reveal everything in that chapter and risk everything that I may possess. But I’m sure somehow I’ll be fearless and go ahead.

Next chapter would be on love and my ink would never dry on that chapter. I will watch the fire again and picture her face and write about it and about how I built the castle out of lies and broken the precious and tender hearts. I’ll write about the chances that I had for once and twice but I was too naïve to understand. I’m sure I’ll cry while doing that chapter. And I will make sure I don’t forget to mention the page where we estranged. Although the pages are numbered in advance but still no one can read till the end, for there is no end to be written in the book of my life.

Then I’d probably move to the chapter on family and friends and some tales of my childhood in it. The quarrels that never could reach to a verdict but the battles that I lost. I will also include some fiction in the book of my life. I would write about the things which I wanted to happen or have but I couldn’t. I will think about adding a chapter on politicians but I would quickly skip that part and move on to the chapter on God. This chapter, I could never have been able to understand. I’ll look in the sky and see stars shimmering and moon if possible. I will praise God in my heart but I won’t be able to write much about it. In the enigma of writing when I’ll get tired and look up, I’ll see the sky turning dark blue again and the sun rising from within the sea. The fire long finished but I would be too busy to realize it. I would be glad that I didn’t set the sea on fire.

When I was a little boy my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind since then. He told me that all the good things in life are free. I always doubted his wisdom over this advice because he would also give me money to buy things which were also good. Deep inside, I knew that he meant a great deal more than that but I couldn’t figure it out and got carried away with the gigantic flow of life.

On the first day of my training I reached the office earlier and ushered myself in a room on the 25th floor of Menara TA one. The nameplate of the blue door of that room reads “DA Vinci”. I told myself chances are that this room may be decorated with the paintings of Mr. Vinci, at least Mona Lisa but I was wrong and there was nothing of that sort. Later that day I realized that those nameplates were used to inspire. When the training session began, I saw people from different countries, races, religions and mind-sets and it reminded me of the meetings that United Nations used to have to discuss the problems of the world. We weren’t trying to save the world, but the tiny confusions and difficulties of people that could mean the world to them.On a rainy afternoon, when the clouds were roaring and hovering o

ver the city of Kuala Lumpur, my phone rang and I was distracted from the misty view of the city covered in half darkness and half bright from the balcony of my 29th floor house. Soon as I answered the phone a busy, rushing yet caring female voice spoke on the phone and congratulated me that I’ve secured the job was interviewed for last week. I listened to her further instructions, hung up the phone and gazed back to the view with a triumphant smile on my face. A moment ago, I was looking at the same view trying to look for the signs of melancholy and nostalgia, thinking over the mistakes of my life and now I was just looking at it with composure and comfort.

I have called to the customer care plenty of times in my life and I was curious to know how the things go on the other side of the customer care. Our technical training took place on the huge and magnificent 20th floor of the same building and it was the floor where all the magic happened. One day, I came earlier and decided to observe the floor. I strolled around the floor staring at people without offending them. I saw people wired up in their headsets speaking to the computer screen and moving their hands and arms about as they were having the video conversation with their folks – or as if the caller will look at their gestures and will understand what they were trying to convey. I saw people stretching their bodies, yawning and relaxing. I saw people rushing and running around for answers like in the emergency wards in the hospitals.  I saw people chattering, smiling, laughing, chattering, helping, sharing food, sipping coffee – I saw people coming in less happy, going back happier. I realized that to the world we may be a customer care line but somewhere in the ancient dictionaries of the world we meant a lot more than that. They call it customer care; we call it Mobile Help Desk (MHD).

I was not long before I joined the floor and got accustomed to every emotion in the world under one roof. During my first week most of the people were making presentations and were so excited about it. I came to know that they were the nominees in the Annual Contact Center Awards. I came to me that I’m working with some of the best in the business in the whole country and this feeling, itself, was good enough to make me proud. Assistant managers, Duty managers, support staff were engaged to achieve their best. I became conscious of that fact that everyone is trying to fight their way through; that this department has people with knowledge, skills, wits and passion but I knew that there is always a little room to grow. I understood that customer care is very difficult job at times and although we, as a team and more like a family, made it look very easy but our emotions were challenged each day. Every day inside this building we came, worked, learnt, laughed – everyday outside this building in this same world; babies were born, people got married, divorced, died, people were hired, fired, homes were bought, expensive cars were leased, tears were shed, harsh words were spoken, fear, dread, resentment, jealousy, frustration and rage came and went out like the clouds in the sky and unaware of all this, we worked and laughed.

One of the most important elements of a call center employee is the Time Keeping. I have seen people writing big fat books about how to manage time I have seen my professors lecturing about time keeping but coming to this place – it completely changed my way of thinking about time keeping. In this place we beat time each day. It is quite amazing and at the same time surprising that how a few numbers can contain all of the time? And how a few numbers can time us out? Not in here. Here we beat time every day very convincingly.

 It may sound a little fancy but it is a fact that we work right opposite this giant engineering robot known to world as Twin-Towers. People from all over the world travel to see this infrastructural example and they have to hold their heads high and bend their waists back to make their sights reach at the top. It is different and easy for us – as easy as looking out from the window of our pantry at almost each floor. It is a general phenomenon that a good view off the window brings a lot of good ideas and refreshes the mind and soul. A Lot of agents, when they are upset, come up to the pantry and stare at this huge motherly tower. Sometimes when it is raining, the washed and faded view gives you the serenity and peacefulness of mind and you seem to forget all of your worries. When it is sunny the blazing rays of sun reflect with the silver body of these towers and enlighten our heart and soul and an unknown force takes place inside of us and provides us an immense power to fight against our worries. Standing at the top having an urban view makes you feel like you are the king – on the top of the world and you can make everything possible.

 “Almost every warrior in this battlefield is equipped with the weapons of knowledge, care, support and selflessness – and that we all soldiers join together to make an unbeatable and invincible workforce” said one of our brisk team leaders and I was quite engulfed with this idea of his. People call us on our hotline because they have issues and we help them to solve their issues but they don’t know us, they don’t know how we look like and stuff. Like in those superhero movies when a superhero transforms into his superhero uniform in the night and fights against the evil so that the people can sleep fearlessly. So in contrast of what Navin said, the Resolution team would be our backup team, when we are out of rounds or we are reloading, they are there to back us up – and out AMs are our medipacks. When we make mistakes, or we are hit, they bandage us, heal us, treat us, train us and make sure we are ready to go in again. So in this contrast, on the closure of MHD I think of us have won this battle and conquered. Now we will dig the flag of our success at this point and we will move forward to another check post and prepare our weapons to fight yet another battle of knowledge; for life is a never ending process of learning and moving forward.

My motive of joining here was to learn quickly, leave everybody behind and step the ladder of success in no time. I came here with the dream of achieving the impossible, achieving the knowledge, fame, being needed by the people, gaining power, making decisions and making people acknowledging my wits. But I ended up finding love, family, care, friendship and support. Now I know what my father meant when he said all the good things in life are free. Indeed.

Random Click…!

As funny as it may seem, but working on Saturday morning brings you a lot of free time to do more of your personal stuff. I believe people are either traveling or sleeping. (I work in an airline company). I came across this “stats” section and wasn’t really disappointed by noticing that only half a dozen people visited my blog from last week or so. Random clicks took me to the place where I could see views by country and I realized that in past one year I have only 1 view(s) from Pakistan ( the country I belong), and many from Malaysia ( the country where I live and work in) and then from United and the rest of the world. I think either I don’t have enough to make people read what I write, or I am long forgotten by my friends back home. Now that it matters, but just this thought came across my mind.

So I came across with this online web-based cum downloadable application called Ginger which is an onlineproofreading service. I was quite thrilled by this phenomenon and decided to write more than usual. The downloadable application automatically installs the Chrome, IE, Office extensions and hooks up with them. Once it’s installed completely, it would take care of the spellings, grammar and punctuations anywhere you write on your PC. It is a free software and I believe this would help millions of writers like myself who are great readers but just not perfect writers. So go and Ginger it!

Free downloadable from http://www.gingersoftware.com/