The red light dilemma – Part 2

While waiting for a red light to turn red, I got irritated. It wasn’t the wait that irritated me, it was the person right behind me. Even though he was able to see that the light is red, and I am waiting for it to turn green, he was honking constantly. When he honked a couple of times, I thought he will stop in a while and understand that I am not going to break the signal, but then he kept honking, and after a while, I got so sick, that I broke the signal and moved away from him.

I wasn’t happy. Rather angry and irked. I don’t see any rational behind him doing that. It wasn’t that he was carrying a patient and needed to reach a hospital or somewhere. Neither it was an ambulance or a police vehicle. It was a normal car. He was a normal guy. Why the urgency then? I am sure if I’d have asked him that, he wouldn’t be able to answer it. But then, it was better to move out of his way then to get hit by his car.

Have you ever been in this kind of a situation? If yes, then what will you do in such circumstances? Would you give up waiting and move on, or would you avoid his horns and wait for the light to turn green? Will his willingness to bring his vehicle very close to your make any difference? To me it did. I was afraid that he might hit my bike from behind which I didn’t want.

Will you get down and confront him about it? I know it can be extreme, but the thought did cross my mind. However, being hundreds of mile away from my family, in a state where I have no one, except few friends, I decided not to take my chances.

Let me know your thoughts about what you might have done in such a case.

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The red light dilemma

It was the 4th signal that was red. I did break the earlier three, but decided to stop on this one. There were people who were breaking it in front of me, but I stopped. Soon, people started stopping and waited for the signal to turn green. A small step that I took changed the way things were happening. A very small step changed the behavior of people around me.

I am not very sure why this happened. I’ve tried to look at it from various angles, and this is my conclusion:

When I broke the signals, there was no one there. Other drivers, who broke the signal in front of me, also saw that there was no one who was waiting for light to turn green, and just like me assumed that it is safe to break the signal.

When I decided to wait for the light to go green, then everyone who was passing by was able to see that there’s someone who’s following traffic rules. And felt obliged to wait and follow the rules. Maybe, if I saw someone waiting on the earlier red lights, I would have waited too.

The important question is, why did I stop at the signal? The roads were still empty, and crossing was still as easy as it was on the previous signals. The main reason I stopped was this thought, this curiosity to see what will happen if I will follow the signal. Will people look at me and stop, or will they still break the signal, calling me an idiot. The former was true, and I felt good about it.

We keep on hearing, ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world’, but we always wait for someone else to be that change. We always want someone else to do the right thing and then we might follow them. We always want someone else to take the risk of being considered stupid, or face criticism. We never try to take first step, and we blame the society and government and everyone around for the problems that we face.

Maybe we need to learn to take that first step. Maybe we need to be brave and be ready to be called stupid and to face the criticism. Maybe we need to learn that small steps turn into big ones, and can define what we want to do. What I did was very small thing and I do not see how it will affect the society as a whole, but there are a lot of other things for which we can take small steps and make the difference.

Are you ready to take such a small step to make this society or country a better place? Or do you want to be on the sidelines, and wait for someone else to take the first step? The choice is yours, it always is.

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He wrote it down.

In Others' Words...

Our intention was to dance on his grave.


My beautiful cousin, who I’d not seen in 35 years, and I set out to dance on our grandfather’s grave. Our first dilemma was, of course, song choice. You have to have the right song. We bandied a few song titles about, Alanis Morrisette was a front runner.


We drove to the town where he lived, and where he is buried. We drove to the town where we were abused. Driving down the picturesque New England roads, I felt a little faint. Mary felt a little barfy. We pulled into a store parking lot, and Mary spent some quality time behind a dumpster, hurling. It happens.

We weren’t entirely sure where the cemetery was, so we pulled into a police station to ask for directions. I said, jokingly, We should go in and file a police report. Mary said, What would…

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I see you.

I Speak Awanthi

Crawling on flesh worn-to-the-bone, bloodied, falling,

I see you.

Can’t look at yourself in the mirror because you’re sure

that the wrongness of the wrong was all you.

I see you.

Arguing with god in the secret room in your mind while you

wear an atheist’s robes, I see you.

Believing the people who tell you that you can’t love who you love,

I see you.

Falling through the hole in the floor convinced you’re going to dissolve into the earth’s core,

I see you.

Startling yourself as you speak out loud, because yours is the first human voice you’ve heard in days,

I see you.

Sobbing over the grave of your cat, he was all you had, and this pain has cracked your soul,

I see you.

Looking away from the powerful gaze of the stranger in the cafe because you’re sure it’s not you he’s looking at,

I see…

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Letting you go

Somethings are personal and are supposed to be that way. I did request you to make it right, but you had to push me. And now, you’re gone. I pushed you away, out of my life, whether you like it or you don’t….

It was a normal conversation between two friends, normal teasing and stuff, then you made it personal. You attacked my decisions, called me a coward, even though I’m doing all I can. What you failed to see is what I’ve done is far more than you ever dared to do. I talked to both the families, and they are at a mutual agreement. Whereas, you decided to stay quiet and let your guy marry someone else.

What were you expecting me to do? To be quiet, to listen to it all, just like that. No, I am not that kind of a guy. I retaliated. Put you in your place. Told you what you needed to hear to back off. What did I get in return? You saying I’m not a good person…

Hell yes, I’m not. I’ve never been. This is me. This is what I’ve been for all of the 8 years you’ve known me. I am honest to a fault, and I hurt you. Very true. I tried not to, but you pushed too far, and burnt yourself in the process. No one asked you to do it, it was your stupid decision, just like every single time when I decided to let it go because you’re way too important for me.

You said the whole group feels this way. To hell with that. Your group left me long ago and as I said, except for a few of you, I don’t bother about others. I did bother about you though. But you’re just not worth it.

I wasn’t the only one at fault. It was both of us. I said sorry, you didn’t. I tolerated. Expected things to be fine,but you had to cross the line when things were not fine between us.

That picture wasn’t the main issue. Issue was that you put it up on Facebook. Yes, it affects me. No matter how slight the implication is, it affects me and everything I’ve worked hard for in years. I requested you to take it down, you didn’t. Rather argued about why I even got that pic clicked if I don’t want it on Facebook. I got irritated. Your childishness was screwing my life, I don’t take that lightly. I asked you not to interfere with my personal life, you asked me never to talk to you again.

I’ve unfriended you from Facebook, blocked you from WhatsApp. This is a first. But if you can’t learn how to keep your nose where it belongs, if you fail to understand that some part of my life is off limits even for you, then its  best that we stay out of each others way, rather than hurting each other, every now and then…

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The distance

There you are, a hundred miles away from me. Missing me. Hurting. Alone. Here I am. Hundred miles away from you. Missing you. Hurting. Alone.

Isn’t it odd, that to make our drams come true, we’ve to leave our loved ones alone? To make them happy, we have to put them through so much pain and sadness. We tell them that it’s for the benefit of us and them, but is it really true? Is it really needed?

I know why I am here. You do too. And I don’t need to explain it to you. You’re smart enough and understand it. Still there is an emptiness, a void, that can’t be filled. An ache, that will not heal easily. I need you, because happiness makes sense only when it’s shared with you. You need me, because the same it true for you.

You’re going through a lot of things; a lot more than we anticipated. And I’m sorry that I’m not with you during this tough time. I just want you to know, that even after this distance between us, I love you, in the same way. And I’ll always do that. There is nothing that can change the way I love you. I just want you to know, that , I’m not happy here without you either. Every time your voice  breaks on the phone, every tear that you drop, hurts me. I may not be the reason for your pain, but I am not able to help you either. This guilt is eating me. And I’ll try my best to make it up to you.

Just be strong love, because you mean my world to me. And whatever I am doing, I’m doing it for both of us.

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Sibling Moment

Sibling Moment.

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