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!