Everyone wants to be a Frogman on Friday. One of my favorite quotes from the Teams, because it applies to everyone and every goal.

To use SEAL training as an example, 80-85 percent don’t see the third day of hell week, let alone the last day of training. It takes a lot of work to even show up for day one, but it doesn’t take much to end it. All you have to do is say “I quit”, ring the bell in the picture three times, and it’s over. There is paperwork later, but in essence, that is the end.

All SEAL training is really about is pushing people to their lowest point, and watching the decisions they make. When you are at your lowest point, tired, hungry, cold…do you give in and take the easy way out? During the most difficult portions of training, the instructors bring the bell with them, to make it that much more enticing and easy to quit. It sits right there, in plain sight, always ready for the next taker.

I have noticed that most people focus on the illusion of the shiny object, not the reality of what it takes to achieve it.

The amateur can only see the end state. The professional focuses on the fundamentals and incremental progress. If you think the “bell” doesn’t exist in your life, your eyes are closed. It is everywhere.

The only difference between the BUD/s bell and everywhere else, is that in BUD/s, when you ring it, the outcome is instantaneous. Laziness, procrastination, selfishness, lack of discipline, you fill in the blank…all small rings of the bell. The bell is everywhere, and it is always calling you. Ring it enough times and you will find yourself looking back filled with regret.

Everyone wants to be a Frogman on Friday, but you will never get there if you give in on Tuesday.

I know the sound of the bell haunts many men, don’t let the decisions you make when things get difficult end up haunting you.

So when I was a kid, I would race up to the top of the stairs as fast as I could, like it was some sort of silly game. Well, I must have been five or six at the time. I’m not sure, but I know I was very little. Somewhere along the way, a voice at the top of the stairs started to whisper to me. It would make bets with me, such as… “I bet you a penny you can’t make it to the top of the stairs.” I don’t really think there was a certain amount of time or anything. As I said, I was very little so I probably didn’t have any counting abilities anyway. Ha. I recall just sitting at the top of the stairs, having conversations with this voice, about the betting, of course. :p

Eventually the voice (it was like a whisper of a man’s voice, not my own voice in my head) started to bet me my life.

Instead of pennies, it’d say “I bet you your life you can’t make it up the stairs blah blah.”

As I got older it stopped. I never really thought about it at all. I never mentioned it to anyone… UNTIL one night I was sleeping over at my brother’s place (I was about eighteen, he was twenty-two) and we were talking about “spooky” stories. Out of nowhere I brought up the “voice at the top of the stairs” and my brother got all quiet and weird. Before I even mentioned the betting aspect, he said “Did it make bets with you?”

We both looked at eachother, horrified. It certainly was freaky after the fact. *shudder*

A lot of bad shit went down in my family at that period of time in my life, and my mother, a heavily religious lady, said there was a lot of “evil” in our lives at that time.

I don’t at all think our place was haunted, btw, it was built in the late 70’s and as I got older, I never experienced anything like that again.

There’s Something on The Stairs.

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?”

Richness answered, “No, I can’t. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you.”

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. “Vanity, please help me!”

“I can’t help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness also passed close by, so Love asked, “Sadness, let me go with you.”

“Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come, Love, I will take you.” It was an elder.

So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went his own way. Realizing how much she owed to the elder, Love asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?”

“It was Time,” Knowledge answered.

“Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?”

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is.”

Where it hit my head as i stood on the sidelines?

Why would i grab the ball in reflex? More then anything, why would R come to collect it?
‘Ball, please,’ she said, panting. I felt paralysed.
‘I said ball, please,’ she said. I had on to the ball for aan extra half second. I wanted to look at her a bit longer. I wanted to take a snapshot of her sweaty face and store it in my mind’s camera for life. I threw the ball at her. She caught it with ease and looked at me. She could tell from my throw that i knew the game.
‘ change your point shooter’, I said. For some reason, i had managed to speak in correct english this time.
‘What?’ she said. She surveyed me from top to bottom. I now wished i had worn better clothes. I had not changed out of my interview shirt ant pants, both of which the tailor back home had stitched too loose for me. I looked out of place on the basketball court. With my folder of certificates, i resembled a hero from those hindi films of the seventies- the one who could not find a job. I have a bihar state team T-shirt, I wanted to tell her. Of course, in the middle of a game, and as a first conversation, this a terrible idea.
‘your shooter is useless,’ i said.
The referee whisteled to commence the game. She turned away and forgot about me faster then her throw reached her team mamber. ‘here, pass it to me,’ R shouted as she reached the opposition basket. Her point shooter held the ball and looked around, confused. ‘I said here,’ R screamed so loudly that pigeons flew off the trees in the lawns. The point shooter passed the ball, R cought it and took a shot from well beyond the three-point line.
Whoosh! The ball went through the basket. The crow cheered. They already had a soft spot for R anyway.
The refree annouced a break at ten-minute mark. The college team led 12-5. R huddled with her team, figuring out their strategy for the next half. As her team meeting ended, she wiped her face and neck with a towel.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I forgot i had my own trail in less than an hour. I only wanted to figure out a way to talk to her a bit more. May be i could tell her she played well. I wondered how to tell har about my state-level game without coming across as a show-off, And, more then anything, how would i go beyond five words of english? She caught me staring. I wanted to kill myself. She continued to look directly at me, the towel still around her neck. Then she walked up to me. A shiver ran down my spine.
I didn’t mean to stare, i wanted to tell her. I wondered if she would scream at me like she had done during the match.
‘Thanks,’R said.
She had walked across the court to thank me?
She had breathing hard. My eyes were glued to hers.
Look away, rahul, i scolded myself and turned away.
‘That was a good tip,’ she said to my left profile.
‘Welcome….you…are….good,’ i said. Uttering each word was like lifting a brick.
‘Any other suggestion for the second half? We’re losing.’
‘yes’, i said, turning to face her again. I wanted to give her more tips, but couldn’t in english. ‘You speak hindi?’ i said.
She looked baffled. Nobody in st. Stephen’s had asked anyone that question.
‘well, yeah, of course,’she said.
‘okay’, i said, and explained in my language,’they have two strong players. Cover them tight. Dont fix formations for your players. Two of yours should move with them. You become the shooter. Of the other two, one is your defence, the other supports you.’
the wistle blew again.
‘Got to go,’ she said.’catch you later.’
the match started. The refree’s wistle, the sound of the player’s shoes as they run across the court, the shrieks, the yells and the cries of victory and defeat-few things in life match the excitment of a sports court. Basketball, underrated as it might be in this country, packs it all in half hour. I cannot understand why indians don’t play this game more. It doesn’t take too much space, doesn’t need much equipment and a big group can play it all at once.
‘Yes!’ she screamed as she scored a basket. The ball went in without touching the ring, making the most beautiful sound in a basketball game-the soft ‘chaak’ when only the net touches the ball. Sweat dripped off her face as she ran back to her side of the court.
The match ended 21-15. The newbies had lost, but still kept pace with the college team- a considerable achievement. R, however seemed disappointed. She wiped her face with a towel and picked up her blue nike kitbag. A few boys tried to make eye contact with her but she ignored them. I wanted to speak to her. Hawever,no boy from the dumraon(my home town) has ever had guts to approach a high-class girl from delhi. I wanted her to watch my game. There was nothing else i could impress her with. Coach piush went up to her. They became engrossed in a conversation. This was my chance.
Now my love life started, this is full of suspance and love and pain,


These 4 gents go out to play golf one sunny morning. One is detained in the clubhouse, and the other three are discussing their children while walking to the first tee.
“My son Kent,” says one, “has made quite a name for himself in the home-building industry. He began as a carpenter, but now owns his own design and construction firm. He’s so successful in fact, in the last year he was able to give a good friend a brand new home as a gift.”

The second man, no to be out done, tells how his son began his career as a car salesman, but now owns a multi-line dealership. “Norm’s so successful, in fact, in the last six months he gave his friend two brand new cars as a gift.”

The third man’s son, Greg, has worked his way up through a stock brokerage, and in the last few weeks has given a good friend a large stock portfolio as a gift.

As the fourth man arrives at the tee, another tells him that they have been discussing their progeny and asks what line his son is in.

“To tell the truth, I’m not very pleased with how my son turned out,” he replies. “For 15 years, Chico’s been a hairdresser, and I’ve just recently discovered he’s gay. However, on the bright side, he must be good at what he does because his last three boyfriends have given him a brand new house, two cars, and a big pile of stock certificates.”

I tell my father about the way
I collect small things
in the sacs of my heart—

thick juniper berries
apple cores that retain their shape
and the click of shells
that sound like an oven baking.

He presses the mole on my shoulder
that matches his shoulder,
proof that I was not found
at the bottom of the sea.

I also got his feet, far from
Cinderella’s dainty glass slippers—
and fingers, too wide for most

Cracker Jack wedding rings.
I read how some mammals never
forget their young—

their speckled spots, odd goat
cries, or birthmarks on curved
ivory tusks. There must be some
thread of magic there

cooling honey to stone—where
like recognizes like or how
a rib seeks its twin

Within me latitude widens, longitude lengthens;

Asia, Africa, Europe, are to the east–America is provided for in the
Banding the bulge of the earth winds the hot equator,
Curiously north and south turn the axis-ends;
Within me is the longest day–the sun wheels in slanting rings–it
does not set for months;
Stretch’d in due time within me the midnight sun just rises above the
horizon, and sinks again;
Within me zones, seas, cataracts, plants, volcanoes, groups, 20
Malaysia, Polynesia, and the great West Indian islands.

You smile with me when I am happy
You cry with me in my tears of vain
No one can really see my sorrow
You can feel all my pain
I am thankful to you for being so good
And changing my life this way touch wood
I am happy that I have a friend like you
Whose so special and one in few
You are the source who makes me smile
Not for a moment but every while
You are the reason why I call myself lucky
Lucky to have a wonderful friend like you!

Elizabeth it is in vain you say

‘Love not’ — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.

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