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The new address

Almost two years back, when I first met the legend Khuswant Singh, he asked me weather I write? “I make a billion grammatical and spelling errors in one paragraph” was all I could say.

“Since you are aware of your mistakes, surely you can write one day” was his blessings.

I thought why not that one day could be today and here it is my first attempt.

The new address

The poor soul that I was, never wanted to grow. I was under the illusion that when I “grow” up, would only eat biscuits and read comics. In the same fervor , despite the fact that I was dating a beautiful girl in my JNU days where I was in her class as a “mate” was only thinking to take pictures till I breath my last.

Just to be with her, I somewhat completed my M.A in Sociology form JNU and thought that beyond that, it was the end of road to me. I wanted to date her for life and she announced that she would want to tie the knot with me but with a condition that I qualify the prestigious Civil Service. Poor me, I left JNU and shifted to a small stinking room in Kishan Garh near Vasant Kunj.

The room, the books, my bed on the floor and the smell of the dirty sever flowing just adjacent to my only window made me sick. I laughed, cried, shouted, fought, loved and also studied (sometimes begged to the almighty too...) so that I get a new address soon.

There was never enough money to buy food, forget about flowers. I slept on the dirty floor and during the rain, the street was filled with mud all around. Whether it was the furious face of my Jat landlord or the locality or the big bullies that made me want to change my address desperately , is hard to remember.

But, with the almost empty tank of petrol in my bike, the ever empty valet, a bleeding heart and hungry stomach, almost sexually frustrated, I made it.

The new address was in the heart of the city. It was a very posh locality. The neighbors were elite people, mostly silent. It was very calm indeed (as it appeared to be). There were flowers all around and the gardener made it a point that the flowers blossoms in all seasons. The streets were made of expensive stones, marble and granite. The lights in the evening was very warm and the visitors were rich and famous people, always bringing gifts. Flowers........ and more flowers!

The new address made me happy and life was in perfect harmony. It took me ten years to realize what it was, when an astral greeting card told me that my new address was actually a cemetery. After qualifying Civil Service in India, You are supposed to be dead and buried. It’s a crime to be alive amongst zombies and I am guilty as charged.

Now my life partner, the then girlfriend, and the mother of two kids missed the old address. What if I could have continued to just take pictures?

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About The Author


Shamim Akhtar

Public & Government Service

Delhi ,  INDIA

A solo wanderer, a biker and a photographer ! ... 

Half fed as a middle level Civil Servant with Government of Delhi 

Every thing expressed and to be expressed here is purely personal views.


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