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Grains Of Sand-Chapter 1

Grains Of Sand-Chapter 1

4 mins 8.3K 4 mins 8.3K

This too will pass, they say, with the underlying assumption that life goes on. But do they have a saying when there is no life? There were many unanswered questions, and Ankit did not know where to find the answers. He stared through the window of his car thinking about life and death. It was the same, old Delhi – painted windows, drawn curtains, clothes hung in the balconies fluttering in the wind and people walking on the streets. All the people out there, lost in their own world, including the cabbie who hummed the Kishore Kumar song playing on FM, had one thing in common – the hope of waking up to the sun the next day. And he was always scared to wake up the next morning.

Diagnosed with cancer, he underwent many treatments, therapies, and surgeries. He was cured and rehabilitated. However, the seed of cancer was still there in his body. It could always come back. He was a living bomb about to explode anytime. And this time, if it came back, he would be dead in no matter of time.


He wanted to stay alone for a while, away from his friends and family, and Aunt Sandhya’s house was perfect. Aunt Sandhya did not know about cancer, and so she did not give him any special status. He was thankful to his mother for not sharing it with her. During the last visit, a regular check, his doctor told him that the chances of the cancer coming back were 60 percent and it could spread very fast. Since his body had already undergone chemo and other treatments, it might not endure next time. The doctor advised him to do certain tests every week or at least once a month. His mother allowed his stay at Delhi, far from their house at Mumbai only after making him swear to her that he will get his tests done regularly.

For the first two days, he slept, ate, and then slept again. Bored of eating, sleeping, and shitting; the third morning he went for jogging. He saw a board ‘Learn Yoga from Mini’ outside the community hall. The board was not there a year back when he had stayed at Aunt Sandhya’s house for project work.

The following morning he stepped inside the class to gather information about the program. He had read that yoga did wonders. In the class, everyone was sitting in deep meditation pose. There was something serene about the yoga instructor who was meditating deeply. He felt envious for a moment for the peace that was missing in his life. He lived in constant fear.

The yoga instructor opened her one eye as if she winked. She scanned him from head to toe and beckoned him with her head to come close to her. He followed her instructions and sat next to her. She signalled with her hands: what was he doing there?

He answered, ‘I want to …..’

Sshh. She commanded him to be silent. So he sat there until the meditation was over which was followed by a lecture on happiness that went on and on.

She not only talked with her mouth, but she talked with her hands, her face, her hair, her upper body, and legs too. She tied her hair into a high pony, and the pony swayed like a pendulum as she talked with bursting energy.

She instructed everyone to do a set of exercises and lectured again, about the class, the program. Why can’t she keep it brief? She was volunteering so she would not charge any fees. Ankit was ready to pay fees only if she would keep her mouth shut and be to the point.

Then the most unexpected thing happened. Dancing. In a yoga class? The music was loud. Zing, zing, zing, zingath…was the song. It was hilarious. Ankit realized most of Mini’s students were old people and fat housewives. What a torture it was! Their hips won’t move, legs won’t shake, and waist would not bend. Few flapped their hands, while few of them moved their shoulders and few of them just moved their heads.

Then the music stopped, and everyone stared at him. ‘New admissions have to dance on the first day.’ Mini announced, and the crowd cheered.

‘Today is not my first day.’ Ankit had already decided that he would not be joining.

‘You leave only after you shake a leg.’ Mini said and there was a cheer from the crowd.

Music played again in the background. zing.zing.zing.zinghat. And everyone’s jaw dropped as he performed the moonwalk on the song. He moved gracefully, twisting and turning, occasionally popping and locking followed by a swift twirl and a slow bend declaring that the show was over. Ankith was a professional dancer. He walked out never to return again.




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