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I was sitting by my window last night, and surfing the internet for some random article regarding women empowerment when I suddenly saw something that freaked the living daylights out of me.

“If Bill gates had not been donating half his wealth to charity all these years, he’d be the world’s ONLY trillionaire today!”

So much for being philanthropic, I contemplated. A string of fleeting thoughts started to run on my mind, like those whistle-stop Jet trains. I was a mixed bag of feelings.

If he is doing it, why not me? If ‘someone’ can do it, why not ‘everyone’? If I can do it, why can’t anyone else? Should I do it? Am I doing it? IT? What is ‘it’? And amidst this deluge of dubiety, the ‘I’ came into picture.

And let me tell you that the ‘I’ you’re imagining this minute isn’t the ‘I’ who’s writing this, but the ‘I’ who’s being told.


” AUNTIE: Good heavens! So many LEMONS down the drain! I told the maid not to leave them outside. What’s the purpose of the goddamn refrigerator then? # totally off the handle #

ME: So, there’s nothing we can do with these lemons? There are 20, auntie! How do you know they are spoilt?

AUNTIE: See the slight discoloration? It has turned a bit mushy, as well. That’s how you perceive it!

ME: Couldn’t you possibly make do with it? You could make us Lemonade, for all you know! # trying to stay optimistic #

AUNTIE: I’m not in the mood. It’s just 20 lemons, anyway. Who cares? Makes no difference!

# After a minute #

This is getting onto my nerves now. The maid hasn’t come. I have to go all the way down to throw this. Wait a second. You are free, aren’t you? Will you go discard them?

ME: Sure, auntie! ”

# I take the ‘Lemonned’ polythene Bag downstairs, to dump it in the Municipality Bin #

# Finish dumping it, and turn around to walk my way back#

# hear a faint sound and turn around again to witness what I’d deem a life changing experience for me #

‘HE’ was scurrying towards the bin! Tiny, fragile, and scrawny; his hollow-cheeked face revealed that he probably hadn’t eaten for days. I couldn’t help noticing his chapped lips either. God Forbid, but he had Cheilitis, maybe. His flaccid eyes seemed as if they had no room for happiness – so teeny they were. He appeared to me like the worst possible SKELETAL REMAINS OF THE ENTIRE HUMAN SPECIES.

And what ‘HE’ did next was shattering. He scuttled across to the bin, and picked up my ‘Lemonned’ bag. In less than a minute, he ripped open the bag, lacerated the lemons, and started squeezing them into his mouth. As the last few drops dripped down his mouth, I noticed his lips tweak upward into the most content smile in the world. His lips were no longer the parched ones I saw! His eyes were unforeseenly gleaming!

My heart beat so fast, that I could almost feel every single beat. The rhythm, the tune, the synchrony. I realize how similar Life is to the Human Heart. Speeds up at times when you least expect it would, and gives you a blow when you are not game for it. Probably, that’s why they everything in this universe is in harmony with the human race. Except the very thing that is meant to keep us united – HARMONY! Analogous to eating junk and knowingly deteriorating our health, why do we remain ignorant to our fellow beings when we were meant to transcend boundaries of all kind and eke out a living in concord?

My line of thinking diverged in a trice. And I went back to where I started (Cycle of Life! Inevitable Philosophy!)

Perhaps, ‘HE’ hadn’t eaten for days. I didn’t even dare to think of the last time he drank something. The last he smiled. The last someone thought of him as the ‘HE’ I did. OR wait? Was it the first time someone thought of him as the ‘HE’ they should? Or was it the first time someone thought of him as the ‘HE’ and did something about it?

YOU, my preoccupied friend, who wakes up at 6 am, goes to office, slogs his day off, comes back and sleeps by 10pm, to start the mundane schedule all over again –

YOU, my content friend, who shops with all her heart, hires a driver to carry the never-ending bags, and still cribs about not having clothes –

YOU, my blissful friend, who is so happy with everything about his life that he is unaffected by what is going on around him –

YOU, my ignorant friend, who has all the money in the world, and still does not give a damn about the people beneath him; and all of you who are to be included in the endless list of YOUs.

I’ve decided to talk to ‘YOU’ today.

There are millions of ‘HEs’ in our country. I saw one that day. I saw one today. I’ll see one tomorrow. But I’m hoping there comes a day when I won’t see a ‘HE’ anymore. If you’re picturing my ‘HE’ as a starved 15 year old boy, don’t hoodwink yourself. The multi-millionaire’s daughter in my class thinks my brother is the ‘HE’, my brother thinks my maid’s son is the ‘HE’, my maid’s son thinks an orphan is the ‘HE’. They all are right in their own way. All of us are entitled to different opinions, circumstances and beliefs and thus, have different perceptions of the ‘HE’ I’m talking of.

It’s complete alright – the bigger picture is that you to react and lend a helping hand to the ‘HE’ you know. I’m writing this today to make a difference to the ‘HE’ I met. You could do something that would affect more people out there. Or you could become a public speaker and motivate people to do so. Or you could take time out and spend your day with the ‘HE’ in your life. Or you could donate to an orphanage. Or if you see someone without a smile, give him one of yours! Just let the ORs go on.

All our ‘HEs’ demand different things. LOVE – MONEY – HOPE – MOTIVATION – FOOD – can be anything.

If a REJECTED LEMON made so much difference to me, a lot of things could make so much more difference to you. Just wake up from your reverie, and ACT!

HAPPY ‘HE’ing, dear ‘YOU’!

Lots of Love,

Your ‘I’.



Author: Vaishnavi Ray

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