Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Rant.

Can I live in isolation?

Away from all these people who expect me to be the super woman,wife,daughter and sister. Who want me to there for them when they need me and then cast me aside whenever they feel like it.

There are so many people in the world who are secure in their parents love but not the 'lucky me' because my own father loves his dear son to perfection and so his wife and children are in eternal protection of the scion of the family. Enjoying the comforts and luxuries while both do nothing to earn, why should they deign to work?? 

I have no right to his wealth since I chose to marry on my own. I am no longer his responsibility. But I am responsible to them. I am called upon only when the services of a chauffeur or a man-Friday is needed. Another occasion for me being called up are family functions where daughters should be present otherwise questions will be asked. Then there is the brother who turns up only when he needs money and these days he doesn't even need that. His wife tops them all with so much respect and love that she gives me and my child when we do turn up at the parents' house (an event that sets her heart on fire) that I rue the day I was born in this house.

The husband needs you only to cook, clean and have the house in order. Sexual satisfaction is a service for me and obligation for him. How can I be such a slut, asking for sex?  And I don't earn (all my services in the house being unpaid) so I don't have any rights to raise my voice or objection, forget being asked for an opinion. Taking a cue the mother-in-law behaves as if I don't exist. She talks only to her faithful and loyal son and her affection and services are reserved for her own dear daughter. Both conveniently forget that I chucked up a promising career twice for the family's sake, specifically when his father was diagnosed as terminally ill. For three months I nursed him, visited the hospitals with him, tried to bring him peace of mind and broke my back and a re-surging career in the process while his own wife turned her back and slept when he was moaning in pain. 

Now when I have taken up writing- a passion long suppressed- all I do is "sit with the laptop and do facebooking" (if there's such a term??). Meeting friends is taboo because he can't keep any and I then automatically lose the right to have any.  Reading books or listening to music is foreign to his being and thus a wasteful indulgence. Culture?-what bird is that?? 

Wearing good clothes and putting on make-up is an indication that I am probably going to meet up with an ex-boyfriend (The slut that I am). Shopping for branded clothes is like asking for a imagine what would asking for one entail. 

Yes I am ranting... because these are complaints you can't take to the police.

The modern urban fathers, brothers and husbands have taken up these means to harass and discriminate against their daughters,sisters and wives. Can anyone tell me how to fight this subtle torture which gnaws at you and you cant even cry out in pain?

All I have realised is that I should have never sacrificed my career. Now I will not give up writing and once I get independent- Ill rent a cottage, pile it with books, clothes, music, films and live there with these inanimate things which won't suck my life out of my being.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Eternal Heaven

We have one form in this world, 
Another in the next. 
To us belongs an eternal heaven, 
The endless delight of you and I. ~Rumi

Lying in the cold and a little damp bed all alone, Anjali was too lost even to wipe the hot tears streaming down her face wetting her pillow.
The night was getting colder by the minute. It was usually the case in late September in this beautiful city by the foothills. The nights got cooler and less humid as winter approached. Cold, dry and dull weather was approaching fast. Her moods were getting colder too, just like her empty bed.
She hated winter; it brought in shorter days, loads of bulky dull clothes, dry skin and parched lips. Saraansh hated it even more . Otherwise disciplined and punctual, he just wouldn't move out of the bed on a Sunday in such weather
This winter was especially going to be cruel. Bright sunshine, vivid colours and the happiness of summer was to be sorely missed and the prospect of loneliness was gnawing at the fringes of her existence.
It had been as morose a day as was the night and Anjali couldn’t get past the depressing ache in her chest. A dull continuous physical pain was all that she could feel. She felt as if her heart had been ripped away and all that was left was an empty hole with frayed edges of skin. She had been like this once before too and Saraansh had appeared at her doorstep like an angel of love and care.
An orphan raised in a convent he was a humble young man. Plain looking with simple tastes, he appeared to be a simple down to earth boy when they were together in the management institute. He was studious, hard working and smart. He achieved corporate success in a very short span. It was a lonely life for him though- no family, very few friends and colleagues. He had taken up voluntary work with 'Prayas' an NGO which held workshops in remote and disturbed areas to educate children who couldn't attend regular school.
Anjali on the other hand was a vivacious girl. She had a wonderful parents and had led a comfortable almost decadent life. She was good at academics and ambitious. She worked hard and landed a well paying job. An attractive girl, she always had male attention which she enjoyed. A big gang of friends kept her social life busy and she lived it up to the hilt on her own terms.

They both had kept in touch over phone and internet; it was impossible not to these days.

Some years hence her life was in turmoil. She had had a torrid affair with her boss ignoring the fact that he was married. She got pregnant and he had left her in the lurch after a showdown when his wife had found out. The selfish bastard did not even own up to being the father. The grapevine was abuzz with rumours of all kind and it was destructive in such a small city. Her parents would have been shocked beyond belief but she couldn't gather the courage confide in them.

One day she was sitting all alone when Saraansh called. She sounded so upset that he decided to come over. That day was the turning point of both their lives. She poured out her anguish to him and he absorbed it all in his gentle, loving spirit.

 “You want the child?” he asked softly. “No” she replied.  “Think it over for sometime”, he said, “No” she repeated. Next day they visited the abortion clinic. He made no moral judgement and never brought up the incident again.

What he did instead was to take care of her, guide her gently towards her previous self and support her professionally. They had developed a bond now. She realised that he loved her and she had also started to depend on him emotionally. They both needed each other but she was now seeing life in different light with him. She had become calm and content and was now more inclined to helping people in need with her money, time and compassion.

That August, he decided to join the group which was volunteering in the Naxalite area. He train was to leave in the morning, so they were having dinner together. Across the kitchen counter when they were washing the dishes he simply put the plate down and came near her.

He took the towel out of her hand and said solemnly, “I want you to know that I will always be there for you but in case something happens to me be there at my funeral.”  She laughed aloud and told him not be melodramatic. Later she made him promise that he will come back to her. He repeated solemnly, “I’ll always be here.”

Today, two months later, she was imploring him to show up. But how could he? 
Killed in a shootout at the tribal school where he was teaching as a part of the workshop, he came back in a wooden box.

She received the news as the next of kin and like a zombie saw to the funeral arrangements. Many people whose lives he had touched during his lifetime attended. People came up to console her but it was no help. Silent tears had become her companions since then. 

On an evening that they had spent together, he had put a lovely film number on repeat on the little FM radio player she had gifted him on his birthday. He suddenly said “I love this song. It describes us. This is ‘our song’. Whenever you hear this just know that I am thinking of you!”

Later on they developed a habit of using Hindi film songs to describe their feelings. For the last one month now she was listening for a song that would tell her that her Saraansh was here with her.

Tonight she cried out in anguish “You had promised that you’ll be here always. Where are you now?” She outstretched her arms and suddenly she felt a tug. She opened her eyes and there he was. Standing at the foot of her bed, he pulled her up and embraced her in a warm tight hug banishing the damp and cold. He kissed her wet eyes and said, “I am here, right by your side always. I never left.”

The morning light was filling up the room and she looked outside. It was a clear day, warm with the sunshine streaming through the tall tree branches outside her window. She made his favourite ginger tea and switched on the fm player. Music echoed in the room. Suddenly she smiled “Our Song”, she thought aloud, “So it was not a dream”.

She immediately called up at Prayas and signed up for the next workshop.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Day of Love

The Day of Love

Today is the day of love
The city is painted shades of red

Flowers and heart shape balloons
Dot the roads and cars
Pretty girls with excited faces
Wait with bated breath

I wait too….

I have an eternal wait 
A wait to the End
So I can take to task
Both God and you,
Who connived together,
To leave me alone here
Weighted with a wait
That doesn’t let me soar

Today is the day of love,
for me It’s another day gone.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On love

Valentines  Day is around the corner. The markets and the media are going crazy over Rose day, propose day, chocolate day, teddy day and many more. The poor consumers - in this case - young boys and girls getting conned by this magnificent marketing racket in which the ultimate gain is of all these companies which sell the various gifts and cards.

Red and pink flowers are selling like no other time of the year. Teddy bears and soft toys are moving off the shelves where they otherwise remain seated through out the season. Cards and gifts galleries are overflowing   with articles of no practical use.

Its sweet to celebrate love and even a day designated  for it is a great idea. We did it too, we also brought a card, a nice gift and met our dates on 14th Feb. Some even threw in a pack of chocolate also but the euphoria was limited to just that day. In the last fifteen years the Valentine Day has expanded into a the Valentine week. Its laughable.

A very simple ploy by the gifts and cards companies has revolutionised the market for them. I think the budget of the young people must be of the same magnitude as that of the corporates houses on Diwali. And God save those who have to satisfy more than one girlfriend or boyfriend.It must be such stress to keep up with the crowd! Getting the days right first of all. The week calendar would have to be noted down carefully...

February 7   : Rose Day
February 8   : Propose Day
February 9   : Chocolate DayFebruary 10 : Teddy Day
February 12 : Kiss Day
February 13 : Hug Day
February 11 : Promise Day
February 14 : Valentine Day

Then getting an appropriate present along with the appropriate couplet on probably a nice big card each day! What a pleasant exercise!!Do they then get to express the real, genuine feelings - if they harbour any in the first place. I wonder if the genuine flow of feeling even surfaces in this sea of commercialisation. 

A sweet gesture, a nice present and spending time together used to be our aim when we met our love on the coveted day. Love was the overflowing item not gifts and pockets.

A quiet dinner and a nice gift will suffice this year too. I hope my valentine doesnt expect me to give him a rose bouquet, a chocolate hamper, propose with jewellery, and a teddy would be definitely ridiculous!!!!

A promise of ever lasting love and mutual love and lots of kisses and hugs can be given anyday of the year without the frills attached. 

One Valentine day is enough as the day of love!!