My Meow Mooos

Life, Leverage and Limits

​Talk in the dark

I could have said NO that very moment,
But I chose to say YES.


It makes a lot of sense now.
Some people vanish,

Some of them die,

Some are reborn

And some are rebooted.
If this is the way life will turn some day,

Then why not stay positive!
I spent some time thinking 

After that moment of agreement,

Scribbled some unknown words

Over that ruined page

And fthyshehxbdjdisnjakz
I am still that confused,

But happy that I chose YES.

Ask me again …

And you will get the same response.
             © Amaresh Swain

The Last Cry

“Behind every successful man, there must have been a woman who had believed in his talent and had known the potential of a FREE man.”

He wrote this and concluded the manuscript of his book. Then he stood by the window for the whole night, trying to muster the courage to read it to himself. His endeavour to assure himself that he had written the truth was weakening with every iteration of those lines. He couldn’t convince himself anymore that he had still retained all his characteristics. He couldn’t see any of his own colors coming out of his reflection. Finally, he gave in.

He mutilated the pages that were screaming; strangled the throat of those words; suffocated the diary with a plastic bag; fastened a nylon rope around it; and laughed out loudly. He felt so himself… much like a strangled voice; a stifled expression; a smothered soul; or a caged bird.

That laugh slowly turned into a cry that he was hiding inside and nurturing a revolt. He tried to cry it out and make the heart lighter, but it was only tear running down his chicks and an open mouth… he had forgotten his voice by then. Silence took over his emotions and the night was behaving like she didn’t know anything.

©Amaresh Swain

Diary of a soldier

All borders abandon;
All religions scrap;
All sights vanish;
When it gets dark.
Thoughts prevail, and the dreams,
To live one morning more.
And to those blasts,
One more scream.
Heads roll,
Triumphs count;
Silence makes sense while none is around.
I starve for days, I do not sleep for nights;
I still serve those lazy cowards;
And for them, I fight.
I see fireworks from guns in Diwali,
Colors in blasts and blood in Holi,
Sacrificing my soul on Mahram,
Slaying the enemy on ‘Eid,
Praying for peace on X-mass,
But all I see is colorless.
I see only wars,
I see only hatred,
But life is colorful they say;
They call this fire red, brick or orange,
They call this snow white,
They call these uniforms brown, dark and green,
But the only thing I see,
The only color I recognize,
Is that the ash is grey.
© Amaresh Swain

The Quintessential Query

Bring back the queen of jealousness,

I intend to embrace again;

I want to interrogate that false promise of the cloud.

I want to pave those paths undiscovered yet,

I want to kill that other self of mine and feel proud.

The star that was born with

So much innate elegance and glory,

Why he is shackled in this incessant drudgery.

And then some more unnoticed wrath of life;

Why is the silence so prevalent when there is a query.

Bring forth those false kings of the shallow wit,

Who credited to themselves the insipidness of the common man.

Those whose names have been inscribed in history;

Those God-likes, but have been no-human.

I want to ask these questions of grief and pain,

Why is there perpetual poverty in the man who blessed,

And eternal hunger for the man who is blessed.

Why can’t we get it the other way again?

© Amaresh Swain

Stopped by that one step.

They say the feeling during snow fall is heavenly; not for me. The weather has been bad since morning. I have been having a very bad day on the foot path. No one has come out from the morning; I couldn’t beg. I haven’t had a loaf of bread from morning. I am going to lose hope if it continues for one more hour. My body is freezing. It’s difficult to move my legs. I have pulled some carton boxes from the dust bin of a nearby store and am trying to cover myself as much as possible, adjusting my body under the outer staircases of the shop to save myself from the snow fall. There is no one to help me. I have been lonely lately.

I am not aware of my father; Never heard of him. As far as I remember, my mother was saying that we were not from this place. My family was nomadic and had moved here after my birth. The reason behind moving here was the nearby market where we could beg and get something to eat. For first few days, the local people didn’t like us. They would look down upon us and try to send us away; sometimes by threatening, sometimes by informing local police. After escaping few attacks and surviving with struggle, my family decided to have a safer place to stay. There was a garbage dump in the locality. Due to the foul smell, no one used to visit that place except the garbage dumper truck from the municipality. We moved there to live under an old tent left by someone. I grew there. One morning I was very hungry. My mom had gone to find work. I went to the nearby market thinking that some kind hearted person would give me something to eat. When I came back, I found my life in a toss. There was a gathering and people were shouting. My mother was lying on the road. No one helped her with fast aid or tried to take her to the doctor. A car had hit her and run over her after she fell down. She was bleeding heavily. I cried loudly and dragged some people to help. No one bothered to help me. I was small. I couldn’t do it myself. My mother succumbed to death in front of me. I cried for the whole day and the night following that. When I came back the next morning, my relatives were not at the tent. They had moved to some other location. I was alone and didn’t feel like staying in that large tent. No one was there to take care of me. I moved to the market building, in the hope of getting some food to eat and a veranda to sleep. It’s painful for an orphan to survive in this society of cruel people.

Since my mother has passed away, I have been very afraid of the road. So, I keep off the road. I have been ousted by the shopkeepers many times, but I don’t know any other place where I can get food. No matter how far I travel every day, I am stopped by that one step: “If I forgot the way back, what will happen to me?” and “what if I go very far and do not find any other market place where I can beg and have no energy to come back? Will I die like my mother?”.

It’s late night. I am starving. From under the staircase, I could see only one escape. The building on the opposite side of the road was huge. There was an watchman standing and guarding that gate. He was also freezing. I thought he must understand my pain and let me inside for a warmer place. That hope added little energy to my legs. I crossed the road carefully and reached him. His eyes were following my each step while I was crossing the road, as if I am there to steal something from his master. He was getting ready to beat me when I decided not to go any further and stepped back. I came to the shop verandah and waited there. A big car came after sometime. They stopped by the dust bin of the shop and threw something wrapped in a plastic cover. I was happy with the thought that I would take the food as soon as they leave the place. I did so. I grabbed the cover and tore with me teeth. I had no time to open it slowly. To my disappointment, I found something slimy foul smelling thing; crap. I cried loudly for long, in disgust, at the insane people and their behavior towards the less privileged. Someone inside the closed warm room on the other side of the road would be rebuking me for my loud voice outside, as it must be disturbing his sleep. Gradually my voice went down with tiredness, pain and hunger. I hobbled into the carton again and slept hungry.

Do you still think puppies are cute? I have a bitter life. I do not want to be called a cute puppy from far. I need food and care to survive.

© Amaresh Swain

Farewell of a common man

The day dreamer’s blank page

Is filled with the scribbles.

Not understandable but intellectual it seems;

Sleeping on the carpet,

Smelling the dust and room freshener,

Waking up to the hustle bustle, he grins.


Counting the two over head tube lights

Through the perforated frame in the ceiling;

Or listening to the shush of the Air conditioning vent,

Reading numerous times those sign boards for  Exit;

Thinking of leaving every moment, but never, in time, he went.


Papers of importance pinned to the desk

Have never been read so far,

While leaving for a last time,

He glanced through it for hours.


Remembered the ergonomics,

Exercised for 2 minutes,

Had tour of the floor,

And felt it’s time to go;

And with the last letter on his table,

Another common man left us quietly so.

Mix, veg, soup…

It started like this.

I was on call with my boss. She asked to prepare a deck for the customer meet on Monday. I was imagining my weekend as the deck would take a day to prepare. It was looking like the class room in my high school and my boss as my teacher. I started,

“Once upon a time, not sure if long back, there was a king in the kingdom of Abotacasa. The king had 17 wives and all were very unique in their characteristics. The king had collected them by different means, from his world tour. All of them were par excellence and were proud, arrogant and snobbish because of their talent. They were always involved in some conspiracy against each other to become closer to the king. None of them was able to have to a good time with the king, as the others would play a spoil sport. The Minister became worried after observing this for years. He warned the king that if the same continued, there would be a day when his majesty would be old, with no heir to take the reign. The king called for the pundits to discuss this matter. All the intellects failed to suggest a sustainable solution. The minister then suggested to pass a rule that whoever woke up first in the morning would be with the king for the whole day and others can’t come outside the room.”

Then I thought isn’t it boring? Shall I go for the king’s story in such an advanced age? Who will read that? I encountered this problem which has been there with me from the days  I was being considered a kid. The problem of stopping in between and then proceeding in another direction. For example, I do not know what I am drawing until I put the pencil down. At some point of the time, there will be quirky lateral tweak that will knock and request politely to allow a late entry and most of times, my tender heart will say YES to it. I observed that every time I type a key on my laptop, the water inside the bottle kept on the table had some vibrations. Then with the small ripples, this idea came. I suggested the king to present each of his queens a smart phone so that they would get on hike as they got a gang. The king became happy and married another queen and lived happily ever after.

Then it came to my mind, “why the king? why don’t I write my story?” I promptly prepared for that. I remembered as much as I could and tried to figure out where to start. I took a paper and a pen to note down the facts and figures; like how many times I followed her, what dates did we meet, what we ate together, what places we visited together, what things we shared, and so on. Then I remembered the fights, the understanding, misunderstanding and miss-understanding moments. Nothing sounded like I was in love ever. When it was mine, it was not love; we were just friends. When it became love, I had no stories; because we fell in love just like that. When I had stories, it was not mine; she had fallen in love with someone else and was sharing the stories with me. That’s my love story.

Oh! Where is my boss? I am at home and my brother has got this new super-bike. I am alone with no one to help with my work. I have to go now. I have to pay my electricity bill, call the laundry guy, prepare the deck my boss has asked for, pack something for lunch and then go to my MBA coaching classes. I hate these weekends. God, don’t give me weekends. Sorry, sorry, I take back my prayer. Please give me some peaceful weekends. I was on my knees and pleading with my fingers crossed. God slapped me tight and told, “Oye! Pagal! It’s not weekend. Wake up and get ready for the office” – it was my idiot roommate.

© Amaresh Swain

Busy with Work

It was a cool Friday morning. I was so excited. It was my first day at work. I was about to meet her after finishing a part of my work. I called her to confirm if she is available. I went there as planned and reached in time. I had a gift for her, in my hand, perfectly packed and addressed. As she works in an MNC, I had to wait outside her office campus. I called her after reaching. She didn’t pick up. I tried after 2 minutes. She picked up and told that she was in a meeting, in a nonchalant voice. It didn’t sound like she cares; neither for me nor for the gift. After waiting for 5 minutes, I called back. She told me that she will get free in 5 minutes and will be right there. A smile appeared in my face. The sun was high and it gradually started being unbearable. Waiting is one of the toughest tasks to anyone. I still waited with the gift and a smile on face. She called me again and again in intervals, keeping me waiting outside, but didn’t come in next 1 hour. I was hungry and frustrated. I called for a last time and what I was feeling was clearly evident from my voice. She mentioned that she couldn’t come as she was very busy and had lots of work pending. I hanged up the call without a next word, kept the gift inside my bag, and started back. She called back and asked to come to her home the next day and texted me the address. I was expecting a “sorry” at least; but nothing as such happened. Still I made my mind to go to her home, as it was nearby.

The next morning, I started little earlier than my work hour and reached her address. She must be getting ready for office that time. As I was sure about the address, I didn’t call her. When I reached, it was a surprise for me. The watchman told that lift is not for outsiders. I had to take the staircases to reach the 4th floor. I used half of the energy I had started my day with. I reached on the floor and rang the doorbell. She was sleeping. I was not aware that Saturday is holiday for her. After repeated ringing, she opened the door half asleep. I wished her good morning and handed over the gift with a big smile. She looked happy and said a forced “thank you”. Before I could tell anything more, she banged the door on my face and went back to sleep. I think a smile would have made my day.

I felt bad that I waited for her the previous day. After I left her office, I had 30 more packages to deliver.  As I was late and unsure if I would be able to do it, I shared few packages to my brother and his college friend. They made it by night. While climbing down those 64 staircases, I was thinking, “She said she was busy, she had lot of work pending. How was it different from my situation? I also had lot of pending work; I had meetings with several people; I had critical deliveries by end of the day which could affect my career. When I make sure that their packages are delivered in time at the right place, don’t they have the responsibility to respect my job as a courier boy?”

I decided to forget the moment, marked a tick against the list and called the next customer; with a smile.

© Amaresh Swain

The Choice

She was upset. I handed over the chocolate box. While her upset mind was dragging behind, the uncontrollable hands came forward to open the wrapper. She looked into it. There were two bars of chocolate in the big box; equally alluring and lavish to inveigle anyone into doing the mistake. One named worries and the other was smile. She was so upset that her mind wouldn’t care to decide which one to take. She blindly chose the smile. She was looking at me while having the smile and I was thinking that we always have a choice.

© Amaresh Swain

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