Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Terrorism. So much has already been said, written and argued about in the past few days on the subject that I don’t think I would be able to add any more original lines. I feel terrible knowing that one fine day while walking down the road someone armed with an AK-47 can gun me down. It’s sad that human mind can be so twisted. Glued to the television, I prayed for things to calm down. However more than the terror incidents it’s the approach of most of us to the scene which disturbed me. I consider myself at a position where I have a bird’s eye view of the things that happened the last few weeks. And since I’m in that perspective of vision I wouldn’t know if Vilasrao and Ritesh Deshmukh going to Taj with Ram Gopal Verma was a mistake of the extent to which it was shown on the media. I didn’t know people couldn’t carry on with their lives because of an unfortunate and unexpected incident which killed hundreds. I mean if he had probably taken up the issue and sacrificed his life fighting for us, would we remember him? I have heard fellow mates degrading someone like Gandhiji, a father figure supposedly, of our country, but except for the Gandhi Jayanti that promises a holiday, I don’t think of him and I know most of us feel the same way, but yes, I wouldn’t badmouth him if my life depended on it. If I die tomorrow I would expect people close to me to mourn, I wouldn’t expect the whole city to stop living their lives... probably if a person I didn’t personally know would even think in his mind that what happened to me was unfair and say a prayer for me, genuinely, I think that would be enough. And another incident which was given much publicity was that of Major Sandeep’s dad shouting at the Kerala chief minister calling him a dog and ousting him from their house. Personally I believe that it is an act of utter ignorance. If someone turned from a mere village tailor into one of the most powerful political figures in South India today I think he would have done some good somewhere and he should be better than the rest of us in some ways at least, and abusing a leader is not taken. I completely understand that their loss is inconsolable but there are thousands who lay their lives on the borders protecting us, dying unnoticed, the loss of those families is not smaller. And so much crap has been shown on the media against the Government in the past few days that it feels like a waste to even watch television, I mean be honest to yourself, can u think of putting your whole life in something as competent and massive enough as politics, and if you can’t why ask people who are the Govt to take responsibility for the terror strikes. It’s not that they are super humans. They are just one of us put on the hot seat by all of us.
If being a citizen of the country
- I do not pay my taxes on time
- bribe to get licenses done outside the License authority through agencies
- being a rich businessman show myself to be economically backward to avoid taxes
- show myself as part of a socially backward community when I have enough and more money to pay my college, school fees and others
- claim to have a seat in government institutions because of the same when I can very well afford an equally good private institution and thus deprive the real needy of an opportunity to be well educated
- show my property to be worth less to avoid property tax and registration money
- bribe cops when I break rules
do all this and when I can’t even take the effort to vote even when most offices declare during election times a half day to encourage people to vote ,then I should very well just shut up and stop blaming the Govt. And well, if you are so fed up of everything why wait for others to take the good step forward, why don’t you go ahead and spend your entire life creating a political party for the good and well being of the following generations. Calling the Govt freaks and arguing and blaming the ruling parties is very easy cos you don’t even break a nail doing it.
Forget all this... how about another part of the story. How many of you who are in Mumbai went out of your houses to donate blood to the needy? Being a heavily populated city, the blood banks were exhausted as happens in the wake of such catastrophes, and people living even close by were not ready to come down to the hospitals because of the hulla outside. I being in Hyderabad at least cared to call the blood bank and ask if they needed my blood group, but I reached them too late because of the totally jammed network, and believe me if they had said yes, I would have taken the next train to Mumbai. Some NGOs had been there just before and they said they had enough stock but would get back to me if required. How many of you will care to think of the fate of those who became handicapped in the mishap. Would you do anything for them? Most of us will forget the incident and move on with our lives. And yes, if I can do anything against terrorism it is to move on with my life, not to be scared till death, be unafraid. And in times of need, be unafraid to help. The main aim of terrorism it to spark fear, fear to live. Our fight is against this fear. And yes, be a good citizen as far as you can help it. Instead of blaming each other and cribbing against the odds we must stand united and help each other in times of such crisis.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Some things I like about me:
1. I love conversation, as in am open to discussion about anything under the sun. I love to hear people talk and I love to talk. So that is a like a wonderful networking trait.
2. I don’t have inhibitions while conversing with strangers. I m very comfortable taking the first step to initiate a conversation. I have this motherly instinct which forces me to put people to ease.
3. I love to assimilate knowledge of all forms, good or bad. You need to have a thorough knowledge to be able to demarcate the good and bad. I don’t form opinions based on little knowledge, or others opinions. I form my own. I believe in constantly learning new things, crafts and skills, whatever there is.
4. I’m very approachable. I don’t give out bad or haughty vibes to people.
5. I’m impulsive, that’s not exactly a good thing but why it is good in my scenario is because, I don’t give a lot of thought to the consequences of an action so I do it, instead if I had reflected on them probably I wouldn’t have ended up doing a lot of things in my life.
6. I don’t live under false pretences. I don’t pretend to be innocent and naïve. You can read from my face when I like you and when I don’t. When I smile its genuine. When I cry it is too.
7. I would do anything for my friends and for people who are close to me. When I care it’s like the zenith and when I don’t, its plain I don’t.
8. I’m extremely adaptable. I somehow gel with most different kinds of human species.
Some things I don’t like much about me:
1. I hate it when people think they can talk anything to me. Every person should realize where his or her inquisitiveness can end.
2. I hate to be the first to initiate conversations. I can’t understand why people can’t talk when they want to. They don’t want to take the first step, it can involve a little effort , hence I have no choice but to do it myself, in most cases.
3. I hate C# , happens to be the stuff I have to constantly learn to complete my work satisfactorily. I also hate to learn cooking, every time the recipe seems to change and hence puts me in a confused state. I wish fairies and elves existed and they would agree to be my cook.
4. I don’t look around me, I don’t notice people. I forget names easily, dates even more so, especially birthdays.
5. I jump into everything happening around me, thus getting into a mess. Most of my college years have been spent in tangling and untangling myself from problems because of the same.
6. I hate most people around me. I like to pretend I like them.
7. I expect people to return my concerns, when it isn’t I don’t show it you, but it stays in my head, which is not a really good thing as I have realized from past experiences. It takes me years to forget when a friend hurts me.
8. I’ve been constantly put into environments where I had no choice but to be like the rest, and I did to be accepted, but that’s not me, it never was and never will be. But you won’t know.
Looking at both sides of the picture made me realize that I ‘m not so bad after all, I have some good traits which far outdo the rest, like I wouldn’t harm anyone…I don’t have claws and teeth to rip off people. :P
PJs aside, what I learnt from the above analysis is that it its most important to love yourself, collect your thoughts, analyze your actions, give yourself time. When you can’t do that every action you do in a day is nullified.
Whether someone likes you or not, if you do, you have won it all.
So love yourself like I do… And you’ll see how much fun life can be :P
Monday, November 3, 2008
I’ m one of them
I climbed up the mountains, swam the rivers, walked through the plains
I trod in search of an end …
Always wanting to reach the next turn, curious what shall come
But I did things differently …
I succumbed to fears, ambitions and wants
However wild … however unaccepted
I wasn’t afraid ... I never cared...
I met people, learnt from them and moved on
I committed my own mistakes and matured
Not from those of those around me
I shall satisfy my cravings
I shall do the same everyday
And then I‘ll reach the end someday
I‘ll grow old
But I‘ll be happy with my journey
I’ll be happy with the wrinkles on my face worn with sun, rains and storms
I‘ll be happy that I danced, cried, smiled, gorged, fell and rose
All for myself
And that shall make my life worthwhile
There was this time when I burnt myself on Diwali. This has quite an interesting story behind it. There was this kid, who used to stay above my apartment. The previous Holi, before this accident, while playing with the neighboring kids, I threw a balloon full of colored water on this kid’s head. It burst quite loudly and I panicked, but he was ok. And guess what, he decided to wait quite a long time to take the revenge. On Diwali, when I stepped out of my house, decked in a beautiful new lehenga, he threw a cracker on me. Luckily it burst before it touched my skin, falling on my shoulder just escaping my head, hence the injury was not all that bad, though it very well managed to put me out of my daily routine for almost two long weeks. I learnt that burns can be quite painful and kids can be quite smart and have a scar to prove it.
Another incident I remember quite well is the reason of another scar on my palm, my second identification mark in all legal documents. I had this habit of dancing around in the bathroom, when I was small. I would pour water on the walls, and after dancing for an hour, sometimes just wash my face and come out, claiming to have had a long bath with thorough scrubbing. My mother after being fooled many times finally saw through the trick and I had to drink milk with some sick tasting thing called ‘chyawanprash’ for almost a month as punishment. After this I decided to be a good girl and took proper bath, but my entertainment activities didn’t cease. And one fine day when I was busy singing some famous Bollywood song and putting steps to it, I slipped down and my hand pierced through the sticks of the broom which was kept at one corner. The broom, which was totally unexpected there, had been placed by the maid who just happened to clean the place before my entry. The pain was so fierce that my hand went totally numb for a few minutes. In panic, I broke away the sticks that I saw jutting out. Fearing the scolding, I bravely withstood the pain for an entire day. When in the night, the pain became totally unbearable, I ran to ma. She immediately took me to the doctor and two general operations later, and a few weeks of rest, I was finally fine but with a scar for a lifetime. Thus putting to rest my dancing spree in the bathroom.
It was teacher’s day. I was returning home from my teacher’s house. Me and my friends had gone to give cards and flowers to our math’s tuition teacher. She was my hero, the one who unwound the mystery of probability, sets, graphs and hundreds of other theories and axioms were made easy with the guidance of my favorite teacher. She was very happy to see us and gave us lots of sweets to eat. I was returning home, walking back alone after dropping my last friend home on the way. Suddenly I saw an insect flying near my face and I waved my hand to shoo it away. Just then, the insect came and sat on my lips. I brushed it away and felt sudden blinding pain. It was seriously shocking that there existed pain of that extent. I ran home, I was dizzy and somehow reached home. By the time, my lips had swollen to the size of a mango. And my mother got scared seeing me. She rushed me to the nearby clinic and the doctor said it was a wasp bite. Followed days of humiliation, with a swollen lip, I was looking like ‘hanuman ji ‘. I somehow convinced my mom, after lot of crying that I couldn’t go to school looking like that, but she forced me to attend my tuitions at least, to which I had to oblige. And so I attended tuition classes and thus became the laughing stock for a week. Thus ended my desire to be extra nice to teachers.
A more recent incident occurred quite by chance, I wasn’t being my usual wild self but extremely careless, another trait well known to all my dear friends. Ma was out shopping, and when I saw unclean dishes in the kitchen, remembering that the maid was on leave, I decided to help ma and surprise her. Sometimes these small helps can be accounted for later with forced treats. So off I set on work … and I was washing each dish with quite a bit of skill. There was this glass jar that I was washing and in an attempt to clean it thoroughly, I slipped my hand inside it, and however hard I tried, the hand didn’t budge. Finally in a moment of desperation, I hit the floor with my hand still inside the bottle. The bottle broke, piercing my wrist and cutting my vein, the floor was filled with blood and then I fainted. When my unsuspecting mother returned home, luckily she reached within five minutes of the accident, she was shocked to see me lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She immediately took me to the hospital. The doctors and everyone else including my parents thought that I attempted suicide. I was in bed for almost a week. The incident became quite a joke later in the family.
I have had it all .. fire, glass, slipping, falling down staircases, trees , fractures, being run over on the road, insect bites… almost everything. If there is a form of physical pain, I have experienced it. Although the pain is not fun, but the holiday guaranteed definitely is and all the pampering too.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I was lucky to be alive
I wriggled my toes
I was lucky to have feet
I held my fist tight
I was lucky to have hands
I looked around
I was lucky to be welcomed
I was fed and loved
I was lucky to have ma
I was clothed and cared
I was lucky to have pa
I went to the best school
I was lucky we had money
I learnt all I could
I was lucky I could understand
I earn for myself
I was lucky I got a decent job
But still I cry so often and sigh…
’Why does this always happen to me?’
Thank God I can ‘think’…
So as I write this today
I realize how lucky I have been…
Only people with comforts
Have time to ponder and poetize
Monday, October 20, 2008
Not many people I know, have found this book interesting. They say its dull. But its this simplicity, restrained slow-paced setting of the book that makes it unique. I don't have a penchant for fast paced thrillers, its not that I don't read them , but my first love remains literature. Also maybe because I don't have siblings of my own, I find the adhesion between the siblings in the book very fascinating. Their undying love touches you in ways unexplained. The plot revolves around two central characters, Maggie and Tom Tulliver, siblings. The setting is a picturesque mill on the river Floss near the village of St. Oggs, somewhere in the 1820s after the Napoleonic Wars.
Maggie is a wild young girl who her mother fears will never make an elegant lady nor a good wife. She is everything that a woman shouldn’t be, dark, clever and active. Maggie’s father is quite proud of his daughter's intelligence and buys her ample books to read. Maggie's greatest happiness is Tom's affection. Though Tom is less studious than Maggie , Mr. Tulliver sends Tom to have additional education rather than have him take over the mill. Maggie is heartbroken to be separated from Tom. What follows is a series of events that put to test the family love.
The bond that they share continues to grow through the novel. Tom's reserved , realistic nature clashes continuously with Maggie's idealism and zeal for intellectual experience.Various family crises, bankruptcy, loss of the mill, Mr. Tulliver's sudden death intensify Tom and Maggie's differences and accentuates their love. Tom enters business, leaving school to repay his father's debts and finally finds success and restores the family's estate. Meanwhile Maggie's giftedness is wasted in an impoverished home and social isolation. She enters a period of passionate spirituality in which she renews friendship with Philip Wakem, with whom she had developed acquaintance when he was a fellow student with Tom. Against the wishes of Tom, she secretly meets him and together they go for long solitary walks in the woods. Her thirst for love and a cultured existence is gratified in these visits. Their relationship is partially Maggie's sympathy for broken and abandoned human beings and partly her theoretical romantic desires. When Tom discovers their relationship, he forces Maggie to give up her love and with him all hopes of a beautiful emotionally satisfying life.
After some years, Lucy, her cousin, invites Maggie to stay with her for some time, during which she get close to Lucy's beau Stephen Guest. Stephen and Maggie' fierce attraction, gets them into an awkward situation where they decide to elope, almost accidently. Soon enough, nevertheless too late ,Maggie realizes her folly and pleads Stephen to send her back to her place which he unwillingly does. Tom denounces her and she lives like an outcast with an old family friend for some time. Lucy and Philip though saddened by the turn of events forgive her, and she is relieved from the guilt of doing the unpardonable. Maggie’s exile ends when the river floods, and she sets out in a boat through the horrid waters,looking for Tom, the two meet and embrace, the boat capsizes. Thus the Biblical epigraph 'In death they were not divided.'
The plot though moving and startlingly sad, its the description of pieces of childhood scenes that's most captivating. When she's not allowed to accompany father to pick up Tom from his academy ,as her mother combs her reluctant black crop of hair, Maggie runs out and dips her head in a water of basin, so that there would be no more chance of any curls that day. When one of her aunts happens to make a disapproving comment about her unbrushed hair, she impulsively cuts off her locks much to the dismay of her shocked mother, but something that was done initially to grant her freedom from everyday brushing, immediately brings shame and grief when Tom mocks at her calling her an idiot. Another very interesting scene is where she, upset with Tom for loving Lucy more, runs away from home to become a gypsy. All these small incidents help us to understand her love for freedom , from something she doesn’t know of, and ultimately why she turns into the woman she becomes later in the story.
The book is a relaxing and stimulating read, but then you need patience to grasp the beauty of the moving sketch Eliot brings to the canvas.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
when I was seven
It was wooden and yellow
with a mast and a white breezy sail
I would play with it everyday
dream that I would own one someday
a ship that would take me to places I had read about in books
I would find treasure in a lonely island
or maybe I would shipwreck and join the pirates
or better still live on the island and not have to go to school
like Tom and Huckleberry Finn
no homework and no cleaning up
just me on a beautiful island
I would eat coconuts and fish
and I would stock up food for the winters
and make a woodhouse on a tall tree
Wow what a life!
Some days back I found it again
lying in the storeroom
buried deep inside my toys
and then I dreamt the dream all over again
but this time I wasn't alone
I was with my love
The ship was now a yacht
and the island had people and shops
the woodhouse was a villa
and I would clean up and cook
I would wait for him to return from work
and then we would sit together and look
at each other
at dreams in those eyes
And then I would see the ship again longing to be shipwrecked on a lonely island..
longing to be alone together..
the dream never did stop
Friday, September 19, 2008
Very interesting indeed :)
But somehow I don't believe in arranged marriages. I don't believe I can share my life, my emotions with somebody I get to judge on the basis of talking to for a half hour something. Being a very closed person, though this might be quite a surprising thing to say to people who know me, I talk a lot about myself, even to strangers, but then I choose what to talk and how I want to appear to somebody. Cos I talk a lot, I don't become open right? I have been part of this ‘meeting the boy ritual’ and it only embarrassed me. I felt like I was giving a job interview and simultaneously conducting one. What can I get to know about someone in half an hour? When after years of being together sometimes I can't understand my friends completely, friends who are my lifelines, what can I possibly gauge in 30 minutes? What if he turns out to be a complete maniac? (ok…that was an exaggeration :D)
Arranged marriages are for people who are scared to take decisions, scared to fall in love, scared to take responsibility for their feelings and actions. Pardon me for the harsh reality, but this statement is irrefutable. It’s just not possible that at 20+ you've never had any feelings for anybody or haven't had someone who really cares about you, but of course it’s up to you what you choose to do about the same. It’s not that I think love marriages will work either...but I want to take responsibility for what I do in my life...most of all my marriage. M not ready to give away that one decision to anybody. When I get married one day, I know it’s going to be with someone I've known for a long time... someone who I really care about.
But yes commitment is something in your head, you can be in love, in marriage and still not be committed.
There’s something I feel strongly about marriage, and since you've brought up this topic here I'll mention it. If you've lived all your life letting your parents or whoever else it may be to take decisions for you, at least take this one yourself. It’s probably the last chance for you to do anything for yourself...you owe it you. Plunging into marriage for your parent's happiness (like many friends tell me) is the stupidest thing I've heard. I think every parent is just skeptic about their child's future and they have every right to be, but it’s your duty to make them realize that you know exactly what you are doing, and if you can do that, you'll be the happiest person alive and have the happiest parents too. But of course like Sawan says, if you think you are ready to take the decision not for anybody but yourself, whether arranged or in love, go ahead and do what’s best for you.
And yes, I don't know if you would understand this but it’s the nicest thing you can do to yourself by falling in love, and when it doesn't work out or leaves you hurt, don't lose hope in love. Love doesn't have to happen once or be the final one, be in love simply for the pleasure and the stability it brings to your life. Be in love for no other reason than your own happiness. There’s this book 'Message in a bottle' by Nicholas Sparks. It’s not about undying love, it’s about being able to love again and again, it’s one of the most touching books I've read. If you haven't yet, read the book and you'll know what I'm talking about, but then if you've been in love even once, you can relate to the experience the author draws.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I see myself happy and content forever
When I look at them
I see myself loved and pampered then
When I look in the mirror now
I see myself confused and disappointed
wondering how I reached here
wondering where to go...
knowing one path will give me your love and their hatred
where probably I'll lose myself forever
The other will let me remain me
I'll have everything and everybody like today
but without your love I'll suffocate
living for others... living just a life
I know what to do
and where it'll take me
I have known for a long time now
but somehow today when the choice is before me
I'm scared and alone
Perhaps this is a crossroad
and I'll be fine whichever way I go
but I'll always live in one thinking where the other would have led me
I'll still be alone in a different world
Friday, September 5, 2008
'Irfan?' she enquired hesitantly.
'Yeah that’s me. Gia? How you doing babe?' spoke the male voice from the other end.
' Uh..oh.. am fine. How are you?'
It is pretty embarrassing when someone remembers you and you don’t. You don’t know what to say, cos you are scared of people classifying you as a snob. Gia wasn’t a snob though.
' I’m doing great dear. So how’s shweta? Haven’t heard from you both a long time now.'
'Oh..shweta is good. She’s pretty busy nowadays. Even I don’t see much of her.'
So he knew shweta. Is this someone from college? Could be. Some junior maybe.
'Oh...right. That dance research should be taking the hell out of her. But well that’s what she always wanted to do, and am glad she is so involved.'
'Oh..yeah..so how have you been Irfan? And what are you doing now?'Uh..oh...mistake?
'Me...am doing the same that I have been doing for 2 years now. The reason why you got pissed off with me, remember?'
'Me..? I was pissed off with you?'
'Well...yeah.. I guess. At least that’s the idea I got when you suddenly started avoiding me. I thought you didn’t like me writing. I wasn’t able to give you much time babe. But I have missed you so much. I never thought you would call me ever.'
F*** how could she forget Irfan. This was not cool. How can you forget a boyfriend. Even though they had been together for only about three months, they had been pretty close. In the beginning, his writing a book had seemed like a novel idea, but as the days tagged along, she got frustrated with the apartment littered with papers crushed into balls, dirty coffee mugs, unwashed clothes, unpaid bills..the book always seemed to be on a higher priority level than everything else, even her, so she finally bid adieu. Well that’s what she told herself to escape the guilt of deserting him. Its strange how things that you find attractive and actually perk your interest , tend to become monotonous and irritating with time. It was the writer that wooed her and the writer she had left.
'So you finished the book?'
'Oh..yeah.. and it bombed big-time. The publishers were not ready to risk money on a book about animals. Human emotions sell. Animals don’t. Well I wasn’t to be convinced and kept trying. Anyways after a year I gave up the struggle and started writing for the newspaper. I cover page 3 events. Zero creativity but good bucks. So that’s how I’m right now.'
'Oh..that’s sad. But I’m glad you survived the battle though and finally decided to become practical.'
'Oh...was that a dig on me?'
'Hey...no..I was genuinely appreciating you yaar.'
'Oh..ok...so how have you been? Two years..long time.'
'Yea..I just switched jobs recently. I’m working with the Oberoi now. Hectic work. Decent pay. But there is lots to learn and am loving it.'
'That’s great. Oberois are one of the best in the country.'
'Yea...truly. They are one of the oldest too. I feel really lucky to be with them. I want to open my own restaurant someday. ' Cos that’s the reason why I ran away from you. Your career meant giving up mine. Irfan was not the kind of guy she ever expected to come up with a lot of capital, and with him writing books, she would forever be covering his dues.
‘Oh…that’s nice Gia. I’ll pray that your dreams come true.’
Now she had saved a lot of money. Probably three years down the line, she would be able make her dreams a reality. Choosing to become single had paid off. But today she had almost forgotten Irfan. Not that she chose to remember him.
'Ok then Irfan I have got to hang up. It was nice talking to you after so long. Try and keep in touch.'
'Sure. I will. Say hi to shweta for me will ya?'
There...it ended ,the conversation between two former lovers, now acquaintances. It would probably need another memory loss to get back and dial that number again. But that’s how we are, we move on. I often think about my schoolmates, neighbors, former friends, some are vague memories, some faces and others just names and wonder what they would be doing, where they would be, although if I meet any I would probably not know them at all. Sometimes I go on a dialing spree and call up all the numbers on my cell, just to find out how everyone is faring, which is like twice or thrice a year, but that’s it. There were people I remember I couldn’t bear not talking to, even for a day, but with time our dependency decreases. Today I feel I can probably live without another being. Being independent is definitely cool, like being single, but sometimes I feel a void inside me, as if there is nothing purposeful in what I do except for the materialistic goals. When you are small, you want to grow up and leave home, become independent. All your life you run away from people, not cos you don’t want to stop, but cos you don’t want to be behind. You think there will come a time when you can stop and revel in what you have achieved. But when you reach there, which is years later, the entire effort seems futile. The world is pretty small, they say. But large enough definitely, to lose your relatives, friends, even lovers in the crowd. We really have become really small.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Blame me not
My heart is innocent
My soul a wanderer
Forever in search of the unseen unfelt
Desires to be gratified
Dreams to be fulfilled
A discovery which never will happen
Of happiness? I have plenty...
At least I know there is no grief..
Then why don't I stop here with you
I want to stay but I can't... I can't..
There is something I have to find..
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I was travelling in a bus and like always I was standing at the front of the bus. The backside is generally full of men and any female with some brains, or given the option, would avoid the jungle. Before two stops to my place, a man somewhere in his middle thirties, entered the bus from the front door. I remember two aunties scolding him for coming from the front, and in the process of them squeezing away from him, I was pushed from my place next to him. I do not remember anything else about that journey. I got down from the bus at my stop. As soon as the bus moved away , the bus stop was really crowded, a girl came running towards me and took off her dupatta and put it on me. I was really shocked at the turn of events and scolded her. I thought she was a maniac. Then she whispered in my ear 'Your back is torn right through'.I was trying to comprehend the situation when I felt the sudden pain on my back. I asked her to accompany me to the nearby public restroom. It was only when I reached there that I realized what had happened. The man, I assume since according to me another woman would receive no sadistic pleasure at seeing my bare back, had cut right through my dress, also cutting my back at several places with a blade, tactfully though cos I never once felt anything. I was bleeding and very very frightened. The girl offered to accompany me home. Only when I reached home, and after hours of coaxing by parents, I was able to cry myself to sleep. I was 14 when this happened. The incident however lived with me for years. I used to keep searching for that lunatic. And for months, I never took the bus. I can never forget how helpless I felt that day.
It was Diwali. I was visiting the mall with dad, weekend shopping, looking forward to emptying dad's wallet. We were at a Levis store. I saw this really pretty girl wearing a scarf as a top,coming into the shop. Everyone at the store was staring at her. She walked into another section of the store and I entered a trial room. I was still struggling to fit into the one-size small jeans when I heard a scream. Then I heard somebody crying. And many voices shouting. I quickly put on my clothes and ran out ,heading towards the sounds. The girl had been wrapped in a shawl and was being taken to the restroom. I went behind her. Two guys had untied the scarf at the back and it had come off. Before anybody could understand the situation, they had made escape. She was crying, and me and two other girls tried to pacify her. She was an NRI from Australia. ' Everyone had told me not to come to India. I was the one bent upon visiting this hell.' We tried to explain to her that India is still very conservative and her dressing had caused the commotion. 'What kind of excuse is that for this kind of treatment? How can somebody undress me like that just cos I don’t dress like the gals out here?'. Me and dad dropped her back to the hotel she was put up in. And she took the next flight from Delhi back home. I remember discussing this incident with many people, and most of them blamed it on the girl's callous attitude.
I was seven then. I was home alone. Parents had gone to the nearby market after administering long lectures about not opening the door to strangers. I was playing with my dolls.The bell rang. I went to the door and saw bhaiyya. He was a distant relative. Since he was no stranger to me, he used to come over quite often, I opened the door and let him in. After playing for a while with me and my dolls, he asked me to sit on his lap. Before I could fathom the rest, he started kissing me. I was too small to resist or stop him. He kept telling me that he likes me a lot thus justifying him touching me. Just then the bell rang and after talking to my parents for some time, he left. I was too ashamed about what had happened and very scared. Although too small to realize the gravity of the situation I somehow understood that something wrong had happened. I burst out crying and midst continuous and patient questioning, I told my parents everything. I remember the helplessness I saw on my dad's face then. My dad and his friends beat up the guy and I never saw him again. However many years later the incident still haunts me. Although much older today,physical intimacy still leaves me in jitters.
There are many more incidents, most of which are too horrifying to be narrated here, the point however is that are females always to blame for what happens. I agree some girls dress provocatively, but is that reason enough to strip someone's pride in public. Why do I have to walk around wearing clothes that I'm not comfortable in just cos I don’t want to gather unwanted attention. Why should I dress for anybody but myself. Why as an individual I don’t have the basic right to decide on something as personal as my dressing. I have often come across people who gasp and comment when a girl wears unsuitable clothes according to them.I did four years of my college in a very reserved part of South India, where all girls would wear were salwars, mostly very conservative. Such incidents are not fewer there. Who then is to blame. How could a seven year old girl woo a man. The problem is not with the clothes you wear or the way you behave, although sometimes, agreed, that could be a factor, but mostly the guilty are sadists or psychos. All I have to say to people who blame the victims in most incidents is that when it happens to you, its never your fault. Eve-teasing is not a story, its very real and its all around you. As girls when it happens to you, stand up and speak for yourself, and when it happens to someone near who cant handle it, take the responsibility to do so for them. Parents and friends might often advise you to keep quite and not make a hue and cry in such incidences, but if you are hurt, react. If need be, raise your hand. And as men, if you can help someone in distress who you know requires help go ahead, be a man and never never encourage eve-teasing. The incidents are forgotten , but the fear never is.
Monday, August 25, 2008
And then our love eased them away..
And now the same love is causing the winds to blow again
This time stronger with our differences
But with time they will cease too
And then there will be only us..
With or without love..
Time and faith will tell
Thursday, August 7, 2008
We had been stationed there for quite some time now. Everyone was asking around what could
be wrong, knowing nobody had the answer, but still bent upon coming up with an imaginative
solution . 'Maybe there's been an accident' one of us claimed. Horrified, one aunty scolded her. 'Arre nahi beta shubh shubh bolo. Aisa kuch nahi hua hoga. Ho sakta hai ki signal ki koi problem ho.' All the elders nodded to that explanation. 'Par aunty, itni der tak thodi na aisi signal problem ho sakti hai. Kuch aur hi hai, pukka.' my senior justified her point.Being a fresher of course I had no say in what was going on, so I decided to keep mum. I have travelled all my life in trains, in fact I can arguably call trains my second home, my second most comfort zone after my own home. So it wasn’t much of a surprise to be stranded on a bridge like that for a few hours. It happens quite often, if not always with the Indian Railways, but probably that’s why it is said ' If you haven’t been on a train, then you haven’t seen anything of India'. I can’t agree more with the statement. Indian Railways typically signify all aspects of India.. the economic and cultural diversity being the most well personified. Its quite heart warming at times to see a well-to-do businessman and a laborer squeezing against each other for space on the seats. Aunty started distributing sweets to almost everyone sitting around. 'Lo beta, mere bete ki shaadi pukki hui hai. Aur woh bhi mere pasand ki ladki se. Aaajkal ke bachhon ka toh koi bharosa nahi rehta. Bhagvan ki kripa se mera beta aisa nahi nikla.' she launched into an unending description of how many girls in their locality had been eyeing her poor son and how she managed to ward them all off. This is another very interesting aspect of train journeys. In a day or two, people share so much of their personal lives and problems, sometimes staying in touch years after the journey commences, usually though never crossing paths again. But the entire process is however very captivating for an onlooker. You meet people from all walks of life, people whom otherwise you might have nothing to do with, but somehow the knowledge that you probably will never meet these souls again makes it safe to blurt out your feelings and opinions that under other circumstances wouldn't have been an easy thing to do. You learn so much and share so much more.
I remember once I had come across a man who had been in prison for faking his death to claim the insurance money. It was unbelievable how much we had in common, in terms of thoughts and interests. In another incident there was this scientist uncle from South Africa who told me , to my horror ,about a poison spitting-snake that spits directly into the eye and blinds you instantly. He had been very successful in scaring a 10 year old me and I was constantly haunted by those nightmares for a long time after. I also have a long time friend Gopal in the Kerala Express who is a pantry guy and would make sure I had no problems whatsoever in my journeys when I used to travel alone from college to home and back.
Now getting back to my story, we had been stranded for almost five hours .We were all losing out on our patience by now. One of the uncles got up and announced that he was going to enquire with the TC and almost instantly the train launched into action, to everyone's delight. The lights were turned off and all proceeded to sleep. I was hoping the train would pick up speed in the night ,we were five hours behind schedule, and I had just a weeks leave. However, to my dismay within thirty minutes, the train stopped again, in the middle of nowhere. It was pitch dark all around. We were all really pissed off by now and when after some fifteen minutes the TC appeared, we all pounced on him. 'Arre bhai, mujhe kuch bolne toh do.Humari baal baal jaan bachhi hai. Sab bhagvan ko shukriyah karo. Hum log jis pul par ruke hue the, woh abhi abhi toot ke gir gayi hai. Hum 10 minute aur wahan ruk jaate toh pata nahi kya hota.' Shocked ,we were all shaken out of our sleep. The whole coach was now in chaos, urgent discussions started on what could have happened and how lucky we were to be alive.Ours and the adjacent bogie had been completely on the bridge so we would have definitely plunged into the cold river, dragging possibly another three four bogies along with ours.
It was then that I thanked my P.T teacher in school for forcing me into learning diving, something I completely detested. I couldn't understand why I should be under water when I could be very well on it. Although in a deep cold river with strong flow, it wouldn't have really kept me alive, but its often under such circumstances that you realize the value of small skills which seem totally insignificant otherwise. Atheists turn believers. You are not old or young then, neither students, businessmen or daily laborers, you become mere humans. You begin to think of yourself as small pawns in the game of destiny. Its when you realize your love for your parents, the need to hug them, to express love physically, things which you stop doing when you enter your teens. When all good and bad memories of your life flash before you, in a moment, you learn so much more about yourself. When you realize that all your dreams and ambitions could have been washed away in those cruel waters, you are humbled by all means. After an hour or so however, the excitement cooled down and everyone slept off like nothing had happened. The next morning was a new one, the experiences of yesterday only a memory to be talked or written about at a later stage. There were a lot more journeys I took on the train succeeding the same, but every time the bundle of experiences never ceases to amaze me.
If you have time to spare and money to save a train journey is definitely the best bet. Its
amazing how much you will have to take back home.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Few acknowledge love, like Ajay who wudnt n cudnt stop lovin...as if his life depended on it. Der ws a problm tho. He loved evry gal. 'I havnt dumpd a gal in my entire life. Can u blive it? Poor me.' Yes he s being rly honest u ppl.D gals dumpd him, evrytime ,wen dey wud find out bot d odrs .N den der ws Deep who had Cupid's arrow permanently stuk thru his heart. Bt he ws d innocent,loved only one gal at a time. D gals always dumpd him. Y? Bcos he ws too nice. N too predictable. Roy loved trees,birds and animals. N cudnt bear d sight of one being exploited. Weird ideas, bt wel dats love too.Sana loved d guy nxt door. She cudnt stop tinkin bot him altho he ws goin out wid anodr gal.She wud spend days n nights cryin silent tears. Hemant ws hopelessly in love wid his math lecturer. It strtd wid a smal crush..bt nw he ws obsessd n she ws gtin married.Love hurts many.Love makes u do silly things.Bt love s love.Der s nodin even remotely lik it.My heart goes out to dose poor souls whose lives hav been constantly eluded of love.
Sum r consumed by crushes or if u happen to b somewhat 'cool' evn affairs in school. Bt college s wher d real romance begins. Wid d entry of freshers evry year,begins d love affairs dat wud rule d college gossip charts for d next four yrs , in rare cases love dat lasts a lifetime.D guys gang hangs outside d college gates often sittin or leanin on deir priced bikes wid pride,chests swelled in anticipation of al d gals to b joinin college dat day.D gals often nervous bt pretendin indifference,begin d painstaking task of walking thru dose closely guarded gates.Sometimes wid sucess, bt wen sum silly guys begin deir morning raga wid 'Tu cheez badi hai mast mast ...' types it bcomes humanely impossible for ne poor gal to supress herself. Containing her laugh, wen she smiles, hearts bloom.Thus paving d way for a one-sided romance wich wid constant hits n misses , for sum lucky few grows into real love, very often limited by time constraints.Sum however r happy indulgin in d war of eyes.Relaxing in d canteen, pretendin to b talking to a circle of friends wen eyes r forevr in a battle of words,furtive glances on d corridors...true, dese times r priceless.For some love begins n ends conveniently wid d excursions. Hang out, have fun n den well,forget, move on.N yes, create gossip.Bt oders revel in keeping deir secrets locked safely in deir hearts forever, often fazed by peer-ridicule,more often by fear of rejection.Dese locks r seldom broken aftr years by inquisitive spouses or curious children.
Bt poor r dose who nevr fall in love- in experiences,emotions n definitely adventure.In most Indian families, falling in love n choosin ur spouse by urself, is still a nightmare for d parents. So most obedient children avoid d less traveled path.Also d frend circle often puts a full stop to love. Or dey simply buckle under d academic n professional pressure n give up d easiest ting to giv up, love. Well, its quite late in deir lives dat dese poor guys realise wat dey had bin missin on. Some quite as soon as dey realise it, put an end to singleness. Oders wander around theatres,pubs,discs n d desperate evn at supermarkets to find deir special ones.Sometimes dey strike gold. Some simply grow old and by dis time, al d gud ones r taken. Dey wait for deir parents to find d right match, its only wen dey go spouse hunting dat dey realise d harsh reality of limited choices. Der had been so many varieties to pick from in college. Wat d hell ws i doing den?Perhaps i shud hav just lukd once at dat gal who kept eyein me in class. Or perhaps i shud hav askd out dat gorgeous projectmate.Hmm... too late bud. So if u hapen to b readin dis blog n realise bfor its too late...go fall in love. Dun plan to find nebody bt if u do,dun look away. If not d prize, d experience s definitely worth it.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
So der v wer, d four of us, gtin bored to death.D series wer approaching bt who has d faaltu time to study. N den u r not xpected to study on a weekend...are u.No.So dat option ws quickly put to rest.Even having a system in your room ws no relief. Hw many times can u possibly hear d same songs,watch d same movies,play d same games. Oh n us gals r not blessed wid d knowledge of understanding CS wid birth lik d guys. Der wrnt evn any new movies to b watchd in d city.Aftr a long unintrstd discussion bot wat s to be done we finaly decided on a fav subject.'Lets call d spirits' Anju suggested.'Oh yes' d oder three crooned. We had had many experiences of d same bfore bt only of watchin d procedure. D privelege of touching d coin once in a while wen d seniors got up to take a leak or had an imp fone call to make ws rare.So der v wer, trying to call d so called spirits.I had least hopes of seeing anythin worthwhile.
My room ws chosen for d deed ,it being d regular meeting point of our batchmates.All d oder rooms had seniors as wel.So mine ws d only juniors room. Tws d last on d first floor, to d left. Der wer big windows on two sides, since tws a corner room,a privelege therefore unavailable to d odr rooms. We chose a place on d floor,next to my bed and Anju strtd meticulously drawin a rectangle wid small grids on four sides.By d time tws done, I ws almost asleep. Shy shook me alive and wen i opened my eyes, d room ws pitch dark. Anju, Shy n Cher wer sitting on d floor around d rectangle wid a candle lit in between. The sun had amlost set n der ws a little moonlight streamin in thru d windows. Also d corridor lites had been switched on so dat sum 40 W bulblite came in thru d door edges. I quickly took my position on d floor. D small grids had been filled wid alphabets on three sides and numbers on one. Der ws a circle in d centre, a small one where d candle had been placed. Nw Anju tuk a one rupee coin, n tilted d candle so dat d hot wax wud fall on d coin, n den stuk it to d coin. Den d candle ws placed in d circle and a steel glass, mine, ws upturned on it. 'Come keep ur hands on d top'Shy urged. Reluctantly,me and Cher joined dem in keeping our finger tips on d top of d glass wich ws nw burning hot. Painfully, bearing d heat on our index fingers, v chanted'Good spirit passing by,pls come'.after wat seemed like eternity,i felt a tug on d glass. Shocked I opened my eyes. I saw d oders awestruck too.Only Anju ws calm, bt den she ws d brave one wen it came to handling spirits. We cud feel d coin strikin d bottom of d glass,pulling it out of d circle. I ws tryin to understand wedr tws for real or I ws imagining it.Anju ws in deep conversation wid d spirit.she enquired its whereabouts and den proceeded to ask questions bot our future. Most of d answrs it gave, by draggin itself on d letters,were haphazard. Anju sumhw had an xplanation to evrytin,she put togdr d jumbled letters to meaningful sentences. 'Wow,so dis rly wurks'I ws amazed.D converstaion went on for long. Shy enquired bot her love,marriage n wedr her parents wud consent to guy she chooses.Cher ws more intrestd
in knowin wedr she'll clear d cat.I had nodin particular to ask so I jus enquired bot random events in d future.Den Anju asked 'whos gona get placed first'. A T H I , d glass dragged itself on d letters.
I hurrayed and den ran out of d room,along d corridor, down d stairs,out of d hostel, to d mess,to pick up my glas of milk,for wich d warden had been impatiently brawling for ages. 'D milk s cold' I mumbled. She gave me one look in d eye n I turned around 'Its k. I like cold milk more.' She snatched d glass n tuk it to heat 'U gals dun let me sit down for a minute. Y cant u all come at d same time...'d AIR strtd. I picked up d steamin hot glass brimming wid milk,holding it on d eges,tugged my mobile n charger wid d odr hand, wich I had left for chargin in d mess dis aftrnoon, and den walkd towards d hostel building. Suddenly d whole place plunged into darknes. D power had gone off.I stood der wid d glas in one hand and mobile in d oder,decidin on d nxt course of action. First I thot of going back to d mess,den decided oderwise n switched on d torch of my cel n edged towards d building.As i climbd d last step of d stairs, I saw someone wid wild long curly hair open running towards me screaming. Shocked,I dropped my milk and ran down d stairs, d figure closely followin me,out of d hostel n den i saw tws Shy. Swearing at her,I asked bot d oder two. 'D spirit s still in der. Its not goin. We hav to go n help dem' she cried. All d courage dat I'd summoned , melted away wen I opened d door of my room,Shy at my toes. D poor two wer sitting on d floor, deir fingers on d glass chanting'good spirit,pls go'. D spirit refused to listen n d glass continued to move randomly across d letters,drivin us crazy.
In a moment of pure impulse, Shy shot forward, grabbed d glas n d candle,and threw it out of d window. 'Shit' screamed Anju. 'Stupid. D spirit wun go lik dat. Twil b in dis room'. D power came almost instantly. 'Tanx a ton. Nw i'll hav to change clothes in my room knwin a spirit s watchin me'. I swore. ' Wat if he s young n gud lukin' Shy retorted. 'Hmmm... dat wud b nice'. Evryone strtd laughin. 'anju, r u sure u dint drag d glass' Cher asked. 'No i dint. I swear'. Anju shook her head n pinched her throat. Der wsnt any furder speculation since evryone ws tired and we all
hopped on to d bed to sleep.
So der d spirit stayed wid us in d room,watchin us bathe,clothe,sleep n dream. But how d glas moved n wedr d spirit actually came ,still remains a mystery.D only ting wich tuk me by surprise ws d fact dat I ws actually d first to get placed in my batch. And wel der wer sum oder coincidences too. Coincidence or not, who knoes..
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
she ws in a hurry runnin down d staircase feelin guilty takin two stairs at a time.der had bin a fight at home.ma had sed lets go to d hospital bt she ws late.. der ws no way she cud keep him waitin any longer.d pain ws unbearable bt she had to go.
dey wer meetin for d first time. der had bin long intimate conversations on d fone. she had cin him frm far at a concert recently. he ws dancin away to d music. she wantd to hold him.der ws sumtin very pullin bot him.bt he ws btw his frnz. she cudnt talk to him. she jus gazed longinly.
nw ws d time she had bin waitin for, d meetin. she caught an auto. he ws calin. she din knoe wot to say.7 misd cals. finaly she cald him bak n sed m stuk in d block jus comin. he sed waitin s a gr8 feelin.. she kept mum. d auto halted at d busstop. she climbed out n cald him agin. der ws an array of buses . she cudnt c d odr side of d road. tws getin dark. den she saw him. she ran acros d road. he din seem angry.she ws releivd.dey smiled. wot hapnd he enquired. i fell down d stairs while runin to c u. he smiled agin. killer smile. d theatr mus b full nw he sed. v ll go chek neways. he tuk his bike.she sat behind him.tws nly bot 30 metres to d theatr.der wer a lot of vehicles parkd outside bt not a person to b seen. t had bin 45 mins since d show strtd. d gate ws closed. he parkd his bike. she waited. his stride evn dat ws sexy.he cald out to a man inside. he sed show strtd long bak u can go. v hav tickts he sed. gate opened. try goin up n talk to d man der. he mite let u in. he lukd at d watch den at her. wot do v do? can v go sumwer els? wot time do u hav to get bak? 9 9.30 she mumbled. lets go sum odr place. dey strtd walkin out. den she caught him by d hand. wer to? he din knoe eidr. lets go bak n try gtin inside she sed. dey ran bak. d man upstairs sed wait i ll b bak. he tuk d tickts. finaly dey entrd d balcony. der wer a lot of vacnt seats. he walkd to d back seats. she went in first. he sat next to her. d last line ws almost empty. tws cool. dark. romantic.purrfect.his hand ws touchin hers. his leg ws grazin hers.tws lik a dream. dey talkd.she din hear most of d tings...lost in d flin of bein wid him. his face lukd so cute. she wantd to touch him. crosd her hands to keep in control.can v forget evrytin n start anew? he askd. she sed yes. she held his hand for a minute promisin bt tuk bak immediately scard to hold a minute longer.she ws struglin to keep in senses. d effect of him near to her ws lik a drug sendin her to a high she nevr knew xisted. hw can i b so crazy? she wondred.
for almost 15 minutes she kept lukin at d screen knowin d movie ws gona end....decidin wedr to ask him to hold him or jus hold him lik dat. wudnt dat b weird? she din knoe. she kept thinkin. d movie ws over. he cald lets go.
assaulted by life
d blunders bluffed me
to a death
unknown to humanity
I plunge beneath
wicked love woos my soul
let me live
I cry n lo! I fall...
thru deceptions yet again
dis time d razors saw deep
dis time d INSIDES bleed
dis time I stop
hung btw d real n fake...
n here m forsaken
to live d dead's life...