A bit of choc - co - lat - te

Guys, this is a short write-up on my favorite movie "Forrest Gump". This is how I pay my tribute to it.

I love to remind myself of the words I heard in Forrest Gump "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get". The good part is, we get to choose the chocolates.

Last night, you might be having the time of your life with everyone you love. Today, maybe your best friend will leave you. At such times ,I love to think that life has called me and opened up a box of chocolates for me to choose from. Infact, the best chocolates are the bitter ones (as the Hershey's :)). So it pays;) to take a bitter one since the best relationships are those that stand the test of faith.

The act of Forrest starting his cross-country journey to discover the meaning of life is something that means a lot to me symbolically. Get up and go!! Forrest learns a lot in that journey. I have made it a point to take this to heart, this day as I enjoy my vacation at my home.

I love this scene in the movie as well which happens while Forrest is on the cross-country run.

Bumper sticker maker: You just ran through a big pile of dog shit.
Forrest Gump: It happens.
Bumper sticker maker: What, shit?
Forrest Gump: Sometimes.

"SHIT HAPPENS" -> this hit slogan makes me laugh, yet makes me aware of the fact of how to view life ;) Dont get any interesting ideas.

This conversation when Forrest describes a beautiful sunset to an ailing Jenny is also touching.

Forrest Gump: It was so beautiful.
Jenny: I wish I could've been there with you.
Forrest Gump: You were.

This is a timeless relationship. I love to experience one such relationship. It is as Forrest put it in his own words "We was like peas and carrots."

The end is quite touching as well.
"I don't know if we each have a destiny or if were just floating around accidental-like, on a breeze.", is a classic reflection of the wisdom that experience has moulded into Forrest's heart. It is more of a starting point in his journey to solve that question. Infact, the film's start in which a feather appears to be floating around in the breeze but yet lands 'by chance' at Forrest feet's reflects that very philosophy. The end is similar which goes to say that the process continues.

The light of Diwali

This year my Diwali plans to go to my hometown Chennai were unexpectedly cancelled because of the torrential rains. I was gloomy that I would not spend this Diwali with my parents. But, I would like to share a few things that I learnt from spending a quiet Diwali weekend at my flat. These realizations probably lit up a lot of diyas in my heart that may not have otherwise happened had I spent a usual Diwali.

Sitting at home, I let my mind be idle. I knew the age-old saying, "An idle mind is a devil's workshop". Yet, I somehow let it do what it could. This was the first time in one-and-a-half years of a software professional life that I totally let myself relax. A lot of thoughts floated about. I could see the various times in the recent year that I had been in a state of confusion of whether I am on the right track towards my dreams, infact, now the question arose, one that I had taken for granted earlier - what exactly were my dreams? Now that I tried to lay them down, I realized that I couldn't put down even a single focussed dream. I realized that I had been drifting from one dream to another not really focussing on any of them. Sometimes, it was to become a scientist in aerospace, sometimes to become a writer, sometimes to pursue higher studies and sometimes to become a millionaire :). (I think the devil caught up properly with me :))

I tried to focus harder on what I would really like. One side my mind was telling me this was a fruitless search that you have done many a time and not gained. Other side, a force that was telling me to have faith and try harder, for it does not make sense to simply let life push you along, and that it was the way of life to make people frequently stop and look down at their future. This second force was telling me that wise are the ones who realize this and constantly realign themselves back on track to their dreams.

This flow of thought also brought one more thing that I had overlooked in my pursuits to satisfy my mind - my family and friends. I realized that family and friends gave me more pleasure than my personal pursuits.

I realized that only if I intertwine and balance my pursuits with my social life would I really be able to get the drive and the support to pursue my dreams.

After nearly an hour of interrogation into myself, I was finally able to define my dreams in three words - Focus, Balance and Innovation. I realized that if I built my life around the above three entities I would really be a happy person. Infact, I smiled to myself since the three words abbreviated to FBI :).

I realized that this was a kind of meditation that I had just experienced - a kind of deep introspection into one's soul. I realized that I had not heard a single sound, nor noticed the passage of time or anything material in that span of time. It was like the whole universe had been inside my mind. I realized the gravity with which my mind had held me. It was simply refreshing and I got up energized like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Thanks God for enlightening up a confused soul this Diwali.

Guys, this blog will be much more active henceforth :)

A tribute to the auto-rickshaw drivers of Bangalore :)

What I really like about the auto drivers of Bangalore is their consistency. Let me give you examples that stand out.

It is sort of a rule in Bangalore that the first auto that a commuter asks should not accept the deal. I have seen it happen so many times that I am considering writing a theorem on this. :)

Next, every auto driver in Bangalore has straight line vision only. You can't stop an auto by waving your hand from the side of the road. You have to get directly into the path of the auto to intercept his straight line vision.

Another cool ability of the auto drivers is their skill to feign deaf when ask them to go to a location they aren't interested in. Infact, there is an ongoing research in the police ranks as to what interests the autodrivers. As the first result of this research, the police have put up boards to report any auto driver that refuses a customer.

Individual attention is another trait. If you ask a driver and he refuses, you must repeat the request to the next guy who was listening to you ask his friend. And invariably, he will also say 'no' !!

Of course, not to be-little them, they are probably the only drivers in the country who come exactly by the meter. That I must really applaud.

What amazes me about this image is that it is a painting. Really cool work. Infact, its better than a photo.  Posted by Hello

The Touch

I shared a special relationship with my grandmother. The interesting part of this relationship was that it wasn't apparent to anybody who saw us together. In fact, seeing us together itself was rare. Of all my cousins, I must have been the black sheep who hardly stayed at her place. Yet, we deeply loved each other. The only visible aspect of our bonding was the short speck of a kiss that both of us exchanged whenever I was to leave for home after my visit to her place.

She lived in one of the most busiest streets in Chennai. It was the heart of the electronic component market in the whole of India. It was a bustling place with continuous activity. People jostling in and out of shops. It was said that there was not a single electronic component that existed that could not be found in that street and its adjoining ones. In that very place, with shops on either side, was my grandmother's home. Nothing could make her part with that house since it was her standing memory of her husband who died nearly thirty years ago. It was the place I spent every weekend. A weekend would not feel complete without a visit to my grandmother's.

My grandfather died when their eldest son had just finished college. She was left all alone to raise eight boys. She had taken it as her mission to make sure everyone of the boys made it through the tough times and as I see my uncles today, I can see that she has more than achieved her goals. She always told me to never be afraid of the consequences of my actions. "Be true to yourself, then you'll never have to regret later".

She was a person who knew how to enjoy life to the fullest extent. Even when she was seventy-five, she used to have a cup of chukku coffee every evening , a medicinal coffee that had an invigorating flavor that used to rouse me out of even the deepest sleep, and read her favorite magazine in tamil. She used to dress very simply but neatly always, but whenever it was time to go for a function or somebody's house, out used to come a collection of pattu sarees, internationally known as kanchipuram silk sarees, from her wardrobe.

Even when she was diagnosed with some sort of stomach ulcer, she never changed her diet to a flat one. When the doctor told her she could no more have salt in her diet, she looked at him incredulously, as if saying, "Tell whatever you like but I am going to live the way I like" and she did. She never stopped salt from her diet.

Then, one day, she was taken very ill. In fact, she was deteriorating visibly for nearly a year by then. After that sudden illness, I went to see her at her house. She was lying down in her room. She sat up feebly when I went in. We just sat without saying anything for a time. It was one of the many times in her company that I felt sad for not choosing to be a doctor. She had infact wanted me to be a doctor as she saw the potential in me to be one. I was a bit of a pandu you see. A pandu in chennai college tamil is a guy who studies hard. I had asked her once why she badly wanted me to be one for which she had told me that her husband had died due to lack of proper medical care. She did not want anybody else to suffer the same fate. That day when I sat next to her, I realized how she would have felt. I felt a great longing to become an angel and blow her illness away, but there I was helpless, not able to do anything.

Shortly after that her condition deteriorated so badly that she had to be taken to the hospital. It was the beginning of a long tryst with the hospital atmosphere. It almost became a habit for me to go and see her every evening. All she could do was to bat her eyelids in recognition, but eyes can tell a lot. I could a zeal to return home in those feeble eyes. I used to sit quietly next to her bed with my hand on hers. I used to beg god to flow youthful energy from my hands to her fragile body. I understood why Silence is Golden.

It was in those tough days that I got the news that I had stood first in the entrance examinations for the state. I went to tell my grandmother about it. She always used to like to listen to news of my studies. I was shocked to learn that her condition was even worse. Now, she could hardly recognize anyone. I just held her hand for a while and looked into those wizen eyes. "Come on, amma. Make it out of here". Later, I was told by my aunt that I was the only person she had recognized that day.

I guess God wanted to test her to the limits. In my view, she had already had enough share of troubles. Why on earth should she suffer until the end? But I guess that God wanted her to make a greater impact when she was no more. And she did. Today, I am a much more mentally balanced guy only due to her. I am not afraid of failure due to her. I resolve to be cheerful even when troubled due to her. I am what I am today due to her. Never has a task that I started with her in mind gone into fray. Her remembrance helps me keep focussed on my purpose in life.

Thank you grandma. Thanks for being with me always.


It was a hot summer afternoon in Bangalore and yet it was raining cats and dogs. The scene inside Manipal hospital however was just like any other day. People rushing in and around labs and operating rooms. Anxious faces all around.

In the second floor, Anand's parents sat at the end of a long corridor. They had got the news yesterday that Anand had been injured in a road accident and had rushed from Chennai by bus. Now, with Anand in the operating room undergoing a head surgery, Anand's mother was crying inconsolably. Her husband could not voice any supporting words for her. He too sat there praying for Anand, his hands continuously fumbling the magazine that he held open. He had not read a single word despite staring at an article for a full hour. He hardly noticed the sounds of two school buses stopping in front of the hospital and the loud chatter of a lot of children.

The receptionist on the ground floor could not conceal her amazement at the marching line of young faces entering the building and going up the stairs. "Find out why these children have come immediately. We can't have this kind of commotion in the hospital", she said to a hospital ward boy nearby.

"Definitely madam", the ward boy said as he rushed to the stairs. He ran up the stairs and overtook the first child. He stopped her and asked whom she had come to meet. She innocently replied, "I have come to see Anand bhaiya".

"How do you know where he is in this hospital?", the ward boy asked her.

"Sister, can you come here please ...", the girl called out to someone who was walking up the stairs.

A nun who was almost on the second floor landing turned back in amazement and then rushed down the stairs. "Oh, where are you children?", she came rushing down. She came up to them. "Sister, are you the one leading this group of children?", the ward boy enquired.

"Yes, I am", she replied.

"Well Sister, whom are you going to meet?"

"I have brought them to see - Anand Kumar, who is currently in ICU in the second floor."

"Did you have to bring all of them? We cannot allow such a huge crowd."

"Well, they decided to boycott classes today if they were not brought to see him."

"Every one of them?", the ward boy asked.


"But we cannot allow so many people inside the hospital."

"Isn't it visiting hours now? And do you have a rule saying that a person cannot go and see a patient? I told you that each one of these children wants to see him personally."

The ward boy could not say anything. He went back to report to the receptionist.

Anand's father was surprised to see a long line of children walking up to the ICU room. He was even more surprised to see the first child come up to him. "Don't worry, uncle. Anand bhaiya will get well very soon. He has all our prayers."

Anand's father was dumbfounded. "All these children have come to meet Anand?", he wondered.

"Why do you all like Anand so much?", he asked her.

"Well, he taught me to paint a lot of flowers. He also taught me singing."

"Oh, that's nice", said Anand's mother speaking for the first time.

"Well, that's a small thing compared to what he has done for the other children. Although each child treasures her relationship with him.", the Sister spoke, "Hello, I am Sister Maria."

"Where do these children come from?", Anand's mother asked.

"They belong to St. Mary's Orphanage"

"I seem to know nothing of what Anand has done in his free time at Bangalore. Could you tell me more about it?"

"Yes, definitely. Has he been doing all this even without telling you? oh..."

"What happened? Any problem", Anand's father interrupted.

"No .. no problem.. I think I found the right person to tell you all about it." She got up and went near the stairs to the window where a girl was seated on the window sill. She was weeping and looking out into the road. She turned as the Sister called to her. "Sunita, how long have you been here? Did you meet Anand's parents?"

Sunita glanced at Anand's parents and gestured that she hadn't. "Come on, there's no problem. After all, he is your best friend."

The teacher brought Sunita and made her sit next to Anand's mother. Sunita kept looking down. Anand's mother gently lifted Sunita's face to look into the watery eyes of the girl.

"Sunita looks tired out. I don't want to bother her now to tell me all about this."

"By the by", Sister Maria asked. "How's Anand now?"

"Well, the doctor said that he has to undergo a head surgery. They have asked an expert surgeon to come from Mumbai. He arrived just now. He has gone to see Anand in the ICU. We are waiting for what he has to say."

She was interrupted by the arrival of the surgeon. All of them jumped up to meet him.

"Well, doctor?", Anand's father asked.

"A bad injury but I've seen people survive through worse. I think he will require all our prayers... ", that was when he saw the children, "have all these children come to meet Anand?.. Well, well.. then I think I don't think we need to believe in luck. I have asked them to immediately arrange for the operation in about 15 minutes."

"Doctor", Sunita interposed.


"You are definitely sure that nothing will happen to Anand?"

"Well, he has the best care and I too am a strong believer that the most crucial battles are fought in the mind.. Have complete faith and everything will turn out all right. Right, I am now going to conduct the operation. I will talk to you after the surgery. Sister, I think you can tell the children that they can see Anand tomorrow. Today, it will be tough I think."

"Don't you worry, Sir. They are all an understanding lot."

The operation took nearly three hours. Every-time the operation theatre doors opened, there was a sudden rise of expectations as to what had happened. The receptionist on the ground floor had to come up and make sure the children were still there. She had never known such a quiet and disciplined lot before.

Finally, the doctor came out.

"The operation was successful. He needs to be in ICU for a few days so that we can be sure that there are no after-effects. After-effects in head injury are extremely dangerous, but I think if he makes it through the first few days without problems he will be all right. Trust in God. Everything will be all right.". The doctor gave a thumbs up to the children. Immediately, he was engulfed in a wave of emotions. "Thank you Doctor." "Thank you"

Sister Maria came up to Anand's parents. "God has answered our prayers. I think I will leave with the children now. They are satisfied now I hope. I will come everyday and gather news of Anand's recovery for them. Dont' worry, all our prayers are with him whether we are here or not."


It was midnight. The children had left in the evening. Anand's mother was leaning on the couch. She was tired but yet she could not go to sleep. She looked down at Sunita who was lying on her lap.

Sunita spoke, "Aunty, I am not able to sleep at all."

"Well, I too am not sleepy. It is always the case when someone close to you is ill. I can see that Anand means a lot to you. He means a lot to me too. I don't seem to know about this particular aspect of his life that is unfolding itself rapidly in front of me. I mean - these chidren ... and you.....I think you are the one who knows how to help me assemble this jigsaw. Please tell me."

Sunita wiped her tears with her dupata, "Let me relive my treasured moments with Anand in my mind and recite along as I do so. Probably then I may be able to relax".

She then closed her eyes and started off.

"Well, both of us got to know each other as we were from the same college and we both work in Bangalore. I used to live alone in an apartment in the outskirts of Bangalore. Most of my communication with Anand was by mail and phone. I used to feel restless all evenings. Sometimes, I used to break down and cry. 

One day, we met in a restaurant on M. G. Road and I presented my dilemma to him only to find that he too was in the same state of mind. For both of us, work was fine but both of us felt that something was missing in our lives, something beyond our known interests in books, writing and music. As we were talking, suddenly Anand rushed out of the door and ran. Only then did I realize that a terrible accident had happened right in the road in front. I was sitting with my back to the road, so I did not notice anything in the restaurant. Anand rushed to the spot. A couple and their child on a motorcycle were hit by a speeding car. Unfortunately, the couple died on the spot. I still remember the scene where Anand sat stunned on the road with the child in his arms feeling the reality hit him - the child had become an orphan in an instant. But the worst was yet to come. We found that child had no relatives who were willing to take her. The couple had loved and married against the wishes of their parents. The child was admitted to St.Mary's orphanage.

Anand surprised me the next weekend by arriving at my apartment and asking me to go out with him. It was his first visit to my place and it was an unforgettable one. He had told me that he had bought a new car the other day. So I thought he was taking me for a ride in his car. But then we got into his car in complete silence. I noticed that we were going towards the centre of the city. He was silent all the time. I finally couldn't bear it so I asked him where we were going. He gave me a look that pleaded silence. I immediately quietened up. This was the first time in my life that I was sitting in a car with a friend in whom I had faith would take me anywhere for my good. He drove into St. Mary's Orphanage. 

When we got out, he spoke out for the first time 'I found a solution to your dilemma. It lies inside this building.'. I could not understand what exactly he meant by that. 'Come in', he said. The whole place was silent, I was bewildered. 'Where were all the children?', I thought. Anand went to the office and peeped in and said something which I didn't hear. In a few moments, a nun came out of the room. She introduced herself as Sister Maria. She then led the way down a long empty hall towards a room whose door was shut. It was a huge wooden door. She gave a rap on the door and went inside. Anand followed her, I followed suit. 

I gasped when I entered, since there were about a hundred children inside the room in age groups from five to fifteen. All their faces were on me as I entered. Sister Maria then announced 'Children, this is Sunita madam. She is going to teach you all drawing today.' She then came and thanked me for coming and gave a sheepish grin at Anand and went out closing the door. I was lost for words. I then looked pleadingly at Anand who was smiling. I whispered upto him with minimal movement of the lips 'Anand, you idiot. Why did you get me into this trouble? Besides, you know that I am horrible at drawing'. Anand looked at me with twinkling eyes and then faced the children. 'Hi all, your miss is very tensed today. So I will take the class and she will help me out.'

He turned to me, 'Happy now? That was just a little prank I played with the Sister's help.' 'Come on, just help me out in keeping this organized.' My tension suddenly vanished. Somehow, I felt a lot better working with him. That Sunday afternoon was the most memorable of my life. Sitting in the middle of bunch of laughter-laden beings is a very nice feeling. I was amazed at the way Anand worked his magic with the children. I just tottered behind him. I knew this was his answer to my dilemma and his as well. I never thanked him for that day but both of us knew that this was the right filling for the void in our lives.

From then on, every weekend, we would take classes for the children. We taught a variety of subjects, drawing, physics, biology, mathematics and music - my stronghold. Anand used to love my music classes. He would sit there mesmerized just as every other of the children. He constantly used to emphasize the fact that everyone should make an effort to become what they liked to be or at-least try to - and that is the thing that will satisfy their hearts. Slowly, some of the older children came up to him and told him what they liked to become - one wanted to become a chef, one a sailor and another a journalist. In fact, we were amazed that none of them wanted to become a software professional - the craze that we saw in our world then. Here were children who were listening to their hearts. Anand was very impressed with them. From then on, he used to spend his time collecting information for these kids on how to pursue their careers. The children trusted him a lot and would work hard on the assignments that he set them that would help them proceed towards their goals.

In fact, the boy who wanted to become a chef became one last month. He is now the chef of one of the best five star hotels here. Anand's training in English helped him clear his interview boldly. Lots of others are now keenly focussing on their interests too..."

 .... Sunita had drifted to sleep. Anand's mother caressed her temple.

Anand's mother smiled at her remembering what Sister Maria had told her before leaving, "Your son has brought a vigor into each of those children. I am so happy that all of them are now working hard towards their dreams. Anand has been a living example to me of how faith in someone can help bring out the best in them. You have been gifted with a wonderful son." She leaned back on the couch and closed her eyes.


About 7'O clock in the morning, the nurse came and announced that Anand was conscious now. "Do you want to see him for a short time?" Sunita leapt from the couch and ran towards the ICU. At the swing doors, she paused realizing that she had been too hasty. She shyly turned back. Anand's mother smiled and gave an understanding nod. Sunita turned and went into the ICU to see Anand.

She entered the ICU and the nurse pointed her to Anand's bed. She went and stood next to him. Anand was resting with his eyes closed. She sat next to him on the bed. Anand opened his eyes. There was a mischief in his eyes even at that moment. "Marry me.", he whispered. Sunita placed her head on his chest and gently hugged him muttering, "We already are! You nit-wit"

The raining had stopped. The sun ray's played magic on the drenched garden city. Birds came out of their nests to savor the warmth. Sitting outside the ICU, Anand's mother was resting on her husband's shoulders, she couldn't stop crying. "Anand has been impeccable in his choices".

My first attempt at a short story

The Governor

The applause at the amphitheatre was overwhelming. Colonel Mathew stood up to face his distinguished audience. The anchor on the stage announced "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Colonel Robert Mathew, Winner of this year's Peace Prize for his monumental work in campaigning for peace in the sub-continent.". The thunderous applause took nearly two minutes to die down. The colonel could discern the members of his former battalion in the audience. He gave a quick bow to them. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here today before you not because of what I did but because of human faith and compassion of the highest kind. It is the same faith that enabled me to garner the strength of my battalion members even when they were mortally wounded. It is the same faith that aided me in stopping the bloody civil war in my country.... It all began due to a particular incident .. one that I can never forget ... one that has been the cornerstone of my life for so many years and will go on to be..... Let me share it with you all... "

It was a cloudy day in February about forty years ago. The sun was totally engulfed by a massive mountain of snowy clouds. The few rays that somehow penetrated the barrier illuminated the courtyard of the prison. The moss grew like a fur coat over the high walls making it very slippery. The interior of the prison was quiet. One could hear the water dripping from the tap in the restroom. One could hear the flies that endlessly buzzed around the kitchen. Almost every inmate in the prison was assembled at the courtyard. Every eye was fixed on the boy who stood alone at the front of the gathering. He was a twenty year old. He was staring at the ground in silence. Behind him, the execution stage stood harrowingly with its noose as if waiting to gorge its next victim.

High above from a sheltered seating, the Governor watched the boy. The jail warden who was standing behind the Governor looked at his watch for the twentienth time in five minutes.

He grudged, "Why do the last few minutes always last a lifetime?". This was his the first execution since his five months at office. He wanted it to be done impeccably. He had reviewed all arrangements made to the most minute detail. "Nothing could possibly go wrong", he thought, "The boy would be hung in a few minutes and it would all be over".

The Governor stood silent and erect looking at the solemn congregation in the courtyard.

"What did you say was the boy's crime?", the Governor asked suddenly.

The warden was astonished. This was the second time in ten minutes that the Governor had asked the same question. He looked at his associate, and motioned to him to bring the file which contained the details about the boy.

The Governor turned around to face the warden and said "Could you read it aloud please".

The warden flipped open the file and started to read, "David, son of farmer, doing his electrical engineering, Crime ... Murdered his classmate who was outscoring him at academics in college ......".

"The details?", the Governor pressed on, "Read on..".

"Details ... Called his classmate, Ram to a desolate lake about sixty kilometers from Delhi. Drowned him in the lake after inviting him for a swim. Returned to the city soon after that and went to college the same day. Phoned the police and reported that his classmate was missing... probably as a ploy to take suspicion away from him. But the CBI found incriminating evidence that David had gone with Ram to the lake. David denied his involvement in the crime. Said that he did go to the lake by some instinct. Said he saw something wrong happening in his dream. He finally broke down after intensive interrogation . In a sporadic outburst, he accepted that he had killed him."

"Your opinion of him?", the Governor asked the warden.

"Well, in the five months at office, I have seen him as a sort of a revolutionary. He has raised many demands and brews up a lot of trouble by getting the unions to support it. One of his outrageous demands was to release the high-profile prisoners from the underground into the normal inmate quarters. He spent a lot of time in the underground quarters talking to the prisoners there. I guess they like him. Naturally, birds of a feather flock together. Do you know, the inmates intended to boycott this ceremony if the underground prisoners were not allowed to attend it. I did not want to start a massacre, so somehow I have managed it. You can see the high-profile prisoners on the left. Don't worry, security arrangements are much above normal standards .... I have found it extremely tough to handle his demands. Better off with him gone soon."

The Governor looked at the sober group on the left, one of the prisoners looked up into the Governor's eyes. The Governor thought he saw the reflection of a tear in those glassy eyes.

"Bring the boy here", the Governor ordered.


"I said, bring the boy here."

The boy was brought to the room. He looked at the Governor and gave a weak smile.

The Governor eyed the boy for a moment and then ordered, "Everybody leave the room, I want to talk with him alone.". Nobody moved, the Governor looked at the warden knowingly and then towards the door. The warden had no choice but to obey the orders.

"Everybody out! Come on!".
The doors closed leaving them alone.

About five minutes passed, the warden started to worry. He did not like the thought of the convict staying alone in the room with the Governor. Drops of sweat flowed down his throat right upto his stomach. Just then he heard a loud bang inside the room. Instantly, he undid the safety catch of his pistol and rushed towards the door, pushed it open and charged in with the guards just behind him.

He saw the governor on the floor, his chair had been knocked down. The convict sat calmly on another chair beside him. The guards seized him and took him back out into the courtyard.

Above, the warden kept telling the Governor "Sire, I warned you that he was a maniac."

"Set him free. I have pardoned him", the Governor said quietly, still a bit dazed from his fall.

"Sire? Did I hear you right? Set the maniac free? After all that he has done? I must ask ..."

"Are you the governor ? or am I?"

"Sorry Sire. Your orders will be carried out!"

Colonel Mathew paused to survey the audience, there was a gripping silence all around.

"That boy was me!"

Gasps went up in the audience.

"I know that you are all dumbfounded that a former convict is now the holder of the Peace Prize. I am not worried about losing this prize but what I do treasure is the everlasting revelation that I experienced that day. I shall cherish it throughout my life."

One of the reporters from the press section raised his hand.


"Sir, what exactly happened in those five minutes that you spent with the Governor?"

"Well,...He pulled up two chairs and arranged them facing each other. We sat facing each other. The first minute or so, the Governor and I just gazed into each other's eyes. Both tried to gather the thoughts of the other person. That silence brought back all that I had dreamt of doing in my life. The Governor seemed to be in sync with me. Gradually, the dreams faded way into the desperate situation that I was in at that moment. A burning anger was again growing within me, the same that had made me accept having committed the murder even though I never committed it.... At that precise moment, the Governor said, 'Anger blinds your dreams.... your dreams are big and they require a big heart.... Do you believe in yours dreams enough to avert what's coming ....'. A tense silence followed during which I saw my dreams again, this time with a stronger mental disposition that I would achieve them no matter what. Then, I looked at the Governor again and smiled. The Governor still waited 'Well?..'. I knew I was being tested by the Governor who was waiting for a strong answer to his question. That was the moment I kicked his chair and you know the rest...."

The reporter sat down. The colonel still remained on the podium. The audience shared the silence with him. Tears welled into the colonel's eyes. He continued "........... Infact, I got to relive that magical experience again several times in my life... when I lay wounded along with my battalion members surrounded by the enemy...... when I sat in my house with my family during the riots............ Faith in one's dreams is a power beyond anything you can imagine. Don't question it just believe in it. Thank you."