Friday, August 19, 2011

She and I

She: Hey, what’s up? Why aren’t you in Ramlila ground by now?

I: Nope, I am not supporting the bill, just the fundamental rights of a citizen to protest. The bill has many issues as well, what I support is the enthusiasm of people to eradicate corruption.

She: Yes, to people power!

I: There is this nice quote by Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

“It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons.”

She: We really have a knack of bringing the house down on ourselves.

I: I am not in my best of moods today... a bit introspective actually, but otherwise okay.

She: Nobody is in a fair and square mood. I think there is a churn on the whole even I have been looking for a quiet corner....

I lit a candle entire night next to my bedside...maybe for semblance of hope and peace.

I: Yes, me too, really feel like being quiet and sit in a corner.

She: I put it [candle] inside a meshed stone case... so it threw patterns on the wall... was really nice how one tiny candle can light up and make such a difference.

I: That’s really a beautiful thought!

She: Got some orchids and a pick rose. Flowers make amazing difference.

I: Yes I do agree, I love to buy flowers as well. It’s such a selfless way of giving for someone's satisfaction.

She: So...books...flowers...a candle...some essence in a diffuser...

I: Paradiso!

She: There is so much to learn from a flower and a tree for that matter. Totally selfless. Anti-man...we keep spewing wants, desires, take...take... take...

I: Yes, that’s the root cause of everything. It’s the 'I' that governs all of us. But even if it is the 'I', the 'I' needs to have some integrity.

She: Absolutely, ego is a very clever thing. This I disguises itself...

I: Yes and it is so difficult to kill this ego... to reach up to someone and tell that person that you were wrong and ask for forgiveness gets hindered by this ego only... or even tell someone about how you feel about that person. Everything boils down to ego, because we fear to get hurt, but it is our ego that is actually getting hurt and not really us if we look at it from another perspective.

She: Absolutely and this ahamkara is the root of all dis-balances... all diseases... So the way out for health and wellness is actually penetrating this sense of self through seeking and giving forgiveness. Forgiveness is so intricately linked with healing. That's all that's there to it. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. It is this baggage we carry that ultimately crushes us.

So an inner evolution of the spirit is required as much as what Anna is doing on the outside. We won’t stand the nonsense of the 'I". Easier said than done... but, what the heck... let’s start!

I: That’s what is required, somewhere one needs to start, start by cleansing ourselves before even thinking of doing anything for the society or the world per se. How integral we are is what needs to be seen and then look at the evils in the society. And anyways if all of us live an integral life, it would become a utopian society and therefore no need for any law or policing.

She: Bang on! We are the micro of the macro. Change within... is change without. There is an ideal within us that needs to soar. Poets and writers have it...the ordinary struggling man needs to feel it and reach out.

I: It’s all karmic cycle, we achieve as much and then a bit more through our efforts and then the cycle begins again of birth and rebirth till we are able to see the immense energy that surrounds us, which is our ultimate goal to be reached, where no one can accompany us, but only us and our soul with complete nothingness.

I don’t know if this makes sense or not, but that’s how I feel these days...

(Her phone rang and she went off to answer it... the talk may resume some other day...)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Valentine’s Day

I love the feel of ice cold raindrops falling on my already numb cold face. It does not pain, instead it makes me believe that I am alive, that the pain has not yet killed me. My resilience is measured by the amount of time I hold my face towards the sky. I was winning, when suddenly my maid’s screams broke my reverie and I dashed towards my room.

Shanti pointed towards a dirty boxers moving on its own and we screamed in unison. Suddenly, a mouse emerged from the boxers and scooted towards the cupboard. I laughed at my stupidity and scolded Shanti for her foolishness. She was abashed and ran off to the kitchen screaming, “Saab and his dirty laundries, I am telling you memsaab I will get a heart attack someday.”

I laughed wearily and stared at the boxers crumpled at the corner where the mouse had abandoned it. It has been a week since Raj has left, a week since I have entered our bedroom, a week since I had a tearless night and a week since I had lost his smell in the house. I can’t deal with it today as well, today of all the days, the day when it all started.

We were college sweethearts, a perfect couple, even our names synced up well. I so thanked my parents for naming me Simran. Love blossomed like the flowers of spring, taking us to a new high of cloud nine romances. Marriage followed and soon problems flourished like the weeds in a garden. I realized I had married a different man, a man of fineries, a man who loves a good life, good wine, good dopes, good girls, good beatings and every other vice that is good.

Nobody believed me and some still don’t. My in-laws and parents disowned me for spreading rumors. My friends hated me for being a bitch. I, however, stood my ground. He had to go and had to go, no matter what people said. It’s been a week since I threw him out of the house and his dirty boxers are the reminder of how dirty my life had been.

Shanti broke my reverie again.

Memsaab, it’s ok, forgive saab, men are like that. All are the same. A woman needs the security of a man in her life. You cannot live all alone.”

I gave her a dry smile. How would she know what education does to an independent woman.

She gave me a concerned look, but did not push the matter further.

“There aren’t any onions at home, do you want your omelet without onions,” asked Shanti.

“No, I am going out and would get a kilo, wait till I come back.”

Memsaab, take the umbrella along, you will get drenched,” screamed Shanti after me. But, I was already on the road by then, mingling my tears with the raindrops on my face. Rain they say is a perfect place to hide your tears!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh darling…

Sudha is one of those many women in this world who are repeatedly being abused and tortured by their husbands on a daily-basis.

Every day without fail Suresh beats her up and then violates her battered body on the 7 feet by 5 feet bed. Thereafter, he lights up a Wills Classic and smokes sitting on the rocking chair kept at the extreme corner of the room, from where he could see Sudha silently dabbing her eyes to wipe the tears. It’s a daily routine that has now become so integral to Sudha’s life that she now perversely wait for the evening, to be tortured, to be battered, to be left alone to cry.

Today was no different. The moment Suresh entered his den he took his shoes off and started beating Sudha black and blue. Today was also different. The moment Sudha was being beaten she did not crouch from Suresh, instead willfully entertained his blows.

Today was no different. After being satisfied with the bodily inflictions Suresh was getting ready for the second half of the torture. Today was also different. Instead of trying to run, Sudha stood at the edge of the bed waiting for the worst to get over.

But, today indeed was different. Suresh instead of being on the bed was crouching on the floor, clutching his left-hand side chest and sweating profusely. His struggle lasted for exactly 1 minute and 21 seconds.

Sudha walked slowly to the rocking chair kept at the extreme corner of the room, lit up a Wills Classic and sat on the chair from where she could see the lifeless body of Suresh. Her lips were twisted in an evil grin as something rolled off from her saree pallu, a packet of white powder labeled arsenic…

Friday, February 4, 2011

Love in the 90s

Shweta and Nisha were born within a month of each other. Not from the same mother you silly, but mothers staying in immediate neighborhood. But they were more than sisters, they grew up together, fought together, played together and when it was the time to fall in love, well they fell in love at the same time but thankfully separate boys.

It’s a weird time, when the hormones finally kick in and the same boys you had so violently fought with during your childhood become suddenly the point of attraction! Something similar happened to these two as well. Shweta developed a huge crush on a guy, who once ran behind her with a stick because she jumped on the hood of his dad’s car. As for Nisha, her crushes changed as frequently as her school uniform. It was so allegorical because she studied in a school that did not have any uniform! Her crushes ranged from local goons to handsome hunks, but for reasons unknown she settled for a stammering, curly-haired boy.

Well, now that the matter of boys is settled let the story progress. As the title suggests, this is a love story of the 90s, the awkward 90s, the last lull before the huge euphoria of the 2000s. Computers and mobile phones had still not taken over people’s lives. The boring ring of landline echoed in most houses and the bi-weekly Chitrahaar was the famed entertainment dosage. So, love predictably was old-fashioned as well. These two despite their huge crushes could never muster enough courage to tell these guys how they felt about them. It was after all the guy’s prerogative to make the first move.

So, they kept waiting for them day-after-day, without any success. They decided time has come to give some subtle hints and therefore started stalking them, timing their badminton outings at the time when these two came for their football practices, going out in the evening on some or the other pretences to stroll outside the club house where these two played table-tennis and pushing their siblings to be friends with the nieces or nephews of their die-hard crushes.

Predictably, the reactions were good. Who after all resent such attentions? These two also duly reciprocated, only by stalking them back. So it was a tune of the cheesy song, ‘Jaan Tere Naam’ that played every time Nisha had to venture out her house, or the intense stares and funny one-liners every time Shweta crossed his path.

Love was in the air, and so were examinations. 10th Boards in the 90s were enough to give anyone nightmares and so suddenly love was thrown out of the windows and the sleepless nights spent thinking about their dream boys were taken over by sleepless nights cramming for examinations.

Life was completely changed during those exams, as if life itself took those exams in turn. It was for the first time ever Nisha felt deceived by her own best friend. Shweta copied all the diligent notes that Nisha had made throughout the year but refused to help Nisha with her Maths lessons, stating she hardly had time to study for herself leave alone helping anyone else. Nisha was hurt and that was her first lesson in betrayal. The second was coming soon enough, when she learnt her curly-haired crush was no longer interested in her.

Shweta’s scored ensured her a better school, with better choices in guys and she moved on to higher goals without the competition from her once-best friend.

Thus, the love stories that could have been were so cruelly crushed by the ruthless education system of the 90s!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Break ke baad…

Is this how it ends, some unpaid credit card bills, some shared passwords, some broken dreams and a foul smell that reek every part of the body that ‘all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten’.

Thoughts after thoughts keep swirling in my head just like the fan which is spinning overhead. Why am I not thinking usual things? Why am I not cursing him, blaming him for leaving me shattered and shaken? Why am I taking it so lightly? Why am I not asking myself again and again, “What was I thinking”? Are these not the logical questions one asks after a break-up?

And the weirdest part is that I am not howling and crying my heart out. In fact, I haven’t even shed a single tear. Guess, even the tears have decided to betray me. And now I feel there is something seriously wrong with me, as even the superbly saddened voice of Kishore singing Kiska Rasta Dekhe failed to bring tears into my eyes. Am I suffering from some kind of disease which has robbed me of my ability to cry or the pain has numbed me so much that I am just not capable of feeling any emotions any more.

I guess it’s again just me, just like the way it had been in so many previous instances.

Well, enough of whining, enough of self-blame, enough of feeling weird and stupid. I am anyways late and cannot afford to laze around more. After all, my friends are waiting outside to celebrate my ‘break-up’ party!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I will always love you Grampa

Neha comes to the park every evening holding her grandfather’s right hand. She loves the birds and the little puppy that chases them away. She giggles and claps loudly the moment the puppy starts chasing his own tail. Everybody loves and admires her. Some peck her cheeks and some pull them. She bears with the one who pecks her but she has no patience for the later lot. But, what can even the people do, she is a plump 3-year old toddler, with dimpled cheeks and speaks with a slight lisp. Simply lovable!

However, something is wrong today. Neha is not so happy, she didn’t even laugh at the puppy or the birds. She even tolerated with the uncle who pinched her cheeks hard. She just sat beside her grandfather on the bench, who was busy musing about his mundane life.

Suddenly Neha said, "Grampa, why didn’t you take me in your arms the first time you saw me?”

The question stumped grandfather completely. How did she know about that, must be his good-for-nothing daughter who visited yesterday, with her equally gossiping daughter.

Anyways, he has to answer Neha. So he simply said, “Oh! You were so small, I didn’t want to hurt you baby”.

He knew it was a complete lie. He was expecting a boy, someone who would take the lineage forward, not a girl. And when Neha was born, he was so dejected that he refused to even touch her.

He looked at Neha. She was staring at him, with hundreds of questions swarming in those dark black eyes. He just couldn’t look at her anymore.

After a few moments, Neha said, “I know grampa, how you were feeling, it’s the same as I felt when dad got me my Lucy and not a Barbie. I hated Lucy because I thought she was the reason why I didn’t get my Barbie. If Lucy didn’t exist, I would have gotten Barbie. But, when I got to know her, I started loving her so much that now she is my favorite doll. You must have felt the same grampa. But, now you know me and love me so much.”

Then looking straight into the teary eyes of her grandfather, she said in her little voice, “I will always love you grampa.”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I dream of SRK

Love hurts like hell even after years. You may love him for years but the yearning makes the pain manifold. It’s a crushing feeling which drowns you without any water and you get so suffocated that you wish to die rather than just existing. It’s one of those oxymoronic extremes where you are killed by the very life essence that you are so much dependent on. So, how to escape such a situation? Well, there is no escape. You just have to bear with it. Unless, he comes by, drags you by your hand and pulls you in his arms. But, some things in life are just too dreamy and this is one such!

God, I am still dreaming about him. I just can’t afford to do so. I have to finish washing, cooking, sweeping, dusting. You, get the picture, basically the daily mundane household work, for which I am not even paid for. But, whom am I kidding? After all, my husband is no SRK and I don’t live in Mannat. And how could I even think of marrying someone like SRK. I am in fact lucky to be married at all. No sacchi, I am touching 30 and just a graduate. I never had a real career or anything, just some random jobs for a few thousands. I am not that pretty as well, of average height, and a little plump. But thank God, I have a fair complexion otherwise even Satish would have rejected me!

My parents started to look for guys when I was 20 and see it took them a decade to find a match for me. So many sittings, so many guys, not even a single one liked me. I was completely dejected and depressed. All my friends got married one-by-one. Matters became worse when even my parents started cursing, “It’s all her ill-luck, she was never one of those auspicious kinds you see”. I prayed hard, kept all sort of fasts, visited umpteen number of temples and showed my horoscope to babajis. But, nothing fruitful happened, all of them said, I am a manglik and so the difficulties.

Well! I even got married to a tree to get rid of my dosh. And that I think is what eventually worked for me. We got the proposal from Satish, a 40-year-old computer operator from Mumbai. I jumped at the proposal and gave my nod the instant they said yes to the marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I was not that desperate to get married, but I was desperate enough to visit Mumbai, the land of dreams, the land that houses Mannat, the house of my dream man, SRK!

I may not have aspirations in life, but I do have some desires and the desire to meet SRK had been the strongest of them all. I was in 12th standard when Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge released and I was instantly in love with him. I wanted a Raj in my life, who would come and sweep me off my feet. I eagerly waited for him to come by. There was in fact a Raj in my college, smart, handsome and arrogant. All the girls loved him, but what was important to me was that I didn’t even exist for him!

Alas, my Raj did not even turn up in the hundred guys who rejected me. And so here I am, sitting in my one-room apartment, dreaming about what life could have been if Raj would have been real and mine!

Good lord, one can’t even dream. That worthless husband of mine found this precise moment only to call me for reminding to book the cooking gas!

Anyways, I fulfill my trite responsibilities and finally am free to do what has become a daily routine for the past six months. I am blessed that my best friend gifted me a DVD player and a set of all the SRK movies. I watch him every day, wishing that some day he would come by and rescue me in his arms. Some things in life as I said are just too dreamy and this is one such! Wiping the lone tear in my eyes, I wait for the DVD to start playing. Today, its time for Dil to Pagal Hai.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A twisted love story…

Life in limbo is like your body floating in mid air and brain blissfully unaware of all emotions. It’s like being etherized before an operation, numbing all the pain. I love to be in this state, but am afraid that too much of limbo may turn me comatose.

But, hell who cares, I am already a vegetable, ready to be cut. My only wish is cut me up nicely, put a nice little dressing and serve me as a part of the salad. That way, I would finally get to be close to some hot tomatoes or smooth olives.

Oh! Lord, does this how every looser in this world fantasize? Or, is it just me, the greatest looser of them all?

I think I should turn a bit, my back is hurting now. I turn and the squeaky sound of the bed screams to me to get up. I hate that sound. Need to fix it asap. I have this compulsive disorder to have everything in order, be it the clothes, shoes, socks or even my toe nails, except my life. Soon without any real use it would become ‘out of order’.

So, what’s my big purpose in life? To hook up with the most beautiful girl in this world, to have equally beautiful kids, to have a triple digit salary, a big fat house, a flashy car. Oh! Well, those are for mere mortals, and I am above them all. I am God, no, better, I am a Greek God, with a hot body and a perfect face. So, now what do I want? An ugly wife, equally ugly kids and a pittance for a living, so that I can curse my ill-luck with all the might in the world. But, that would also mean doing something, right.

Fine, I give up, no one can survive without doing anything, be it a looser or a Greek God. So what do I do? I know. I will wait for her, wait till she finally decides to come through that door I have shut firmly on everyone. Will I let her enter?

Well, I will decide about that based on what she would be wearing that day!