Sunday, August 30, 2015
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
That lingering perfume
The whiff of your shampoo
The clanging of bangles when you leave the room
Every morning after a bath
When you come and kiss me
I can smell your soap and feel your hand on me
During breakfast while eating eggs
When you look at me, I know you do
I know there is love but there is more pity
The stink of helplessness and the odour of incapacity
Does your scent cover it or can you still smell it
Is that why you bought the perfume
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
There was a time when love was sublime. Today people make updates about it in Facebook, and Twitter.
Whenever someone talks about the overreaching effects of social networking, the main culprit is said to be the absence of real relations. I wonder if this is always true. The reason is that when I was working in Bangalore, I had very few friends, did not go out that often and everyday I felt the need of making more friends. But I never used Facebook. Not that frequently. Felt it was meant for voyeurs and used it sparingly, afraid to become one myself.
Today, as I am in the midst of company, and very interesting company at that, more than 480 students to talk to, I find myself drawn more and more towards Facebook. Every day, I open the home page to see what people; barely 10 meters away from me are doing, and ask them the sometimes cryptic status messages that they upload.
It is a mystery to me as to why I have willingly given up the mystery that used to define life, and why do I want everyone to comment on it? When I take a picture, why do I evaluate its worth by whether or not it can go up on Facebook.
I decided to give up using Facebook as often, not because I realized these things, but because I realized that I was using it too much, I was getting addicted to it. I had an obsessive compulsive desire to check the home page and comment and like and share. Thank God that is gone. I had my share of withdrawal symptoms and headaches and strong desire to go back, but now I seem to have recovered. I do not know, if I can sustain this once I am back on Facebook, because I will be, the advantages just cannot be ignored.
Really wish to start Facebookers Anonymous, but hope and pray there are not enough people who wish to join me. I hope most people aren’t afflicted and have their self-control intact.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
She sat in the train, lucky to find a window seat. She would now not have to talk to her co-passengers as she pretended to read her “English, August” and stare out of the window periodically. She moved her Rail Neer closer to where she was sitting to make herself more confortable. Just a couple more stations and she would reach Tatanagar, her home for the next two years.
She wasn’t scared, but she was still surprised. At her good luck in converting the call for XLRI, at her friends, who were so supportive, at the air around her which was becoming less foggy with every passing day. Was it a fluke? Maybe there was a calculation error. Was the quality of students so bad that they had to take someone like her in?? At least I gave one correct answer in the interview, AITUC was a trade union. And did the IT industry have any labor laws applicable to them? Her interview wasn’t her finest moment. She had read about the menace of relative grading and her friends had tried to update her about the boys from Delhi. She wondered if she’ll ever make good friends like before. Everyone had some word of advice for her and she had never had so much information crammed into her head.
As she stared out of the window, reminiscing about her past, a scene popped into her head. A little girl of 7 was playing with a crocodile made of paper with a string tied around its neck. She took the string and was walking, with the paper crocodile following her around, meekly. Her mother hadn’t objected to her buying it the last night at the fair, after all, it was only 5 rupees worth, and they could afford it.
The little girl was now running round and round with the string in her hand laughing. She suddenly looked back at the crocodile and saw the crocodile following her. Fear coursed through her as she started screaming to her mother about her fear, the crocodile which now looked fierce. The same fear caused her to keep running as she kept looking back and saw the beast following her. The faster she ran, the faster it came at her.
Her mother had by now heard her. She kept shouting at her daughter to stop running , it was something she had bought herself and that if she only stopped the crocodile would stop too. She did not intervene physically though, wanting her daughter to learn the lesson herself.
Finally, the little girl stopped running. She either heard what her mother said, or might’ve thought of it herself, but she threw away the crocodile and stood at a distance watching it, and then slowly approached it, as if it could spring to life any moment. She had played with it for many more days after that.
“Kharab se kharab chai le lo… Kharab chai”
She turned from the window to the marketing gimmick for tea and then smiled at her 7 year self. All fears were like that paper crocodile. Something that was made of paper, something that was scary only because she blew them up in her head, something which she could always take care of herself.
She got up, took her suitcase and got down at the platform called Tatanagar, knowing, this was just another paper crocodile.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
He knew he was going to hell anyway. His teacher Miss Shirley Perriera had already informed the class what was a sin and what constituted as punishment for it. "Listen children, if you are bad kids, your mummy and daddy will not be happy. Would you like it? Remember if they are angry or sad, its because you have not done your homework or have been bad in some way. So always try to keep them happy. They are the reason for your existence. And if you still make them angry then you will go to hell. But if you are are good boys and girls then they will be happy and the starts will shine for you." " But Miss, dont stars shine always? They keep shining whether we are good or bad. They wouldnt burn up all thier hydrogen just because we didnt sleep at the time our parents asked us to" , asked Anita in her infinite wisdom and innocence, her head crammed with Encyclopedia Britannica which her parents read every night before she went to bed. "Oh honey, but they do...everything happens for a reason. Stars - what reason do they have to burn? They do not give us heat or light like the sun. They dont give us tides like the moon. They shine to show appreciation. Remember kids, nothing happens for no reason at all!"
Yes, he must be the reason his parents were yelling at each other now. Both had drank several glasses from the bottle whose name he was not allowed to know but the stench of which he couldnt forget. It came back to him, sometimes early morning in the bus when other kids were nodding off, sometimes while calculating seven times eight or sometimes during lunch, when he ate the same sandwich his maid for him every day. On his way back home , in the school bus, when other kids were playing dumb charades, he would sit stonily knowing he was going back to the place where everything went wrong because of him.
And now his mother was screaming abuses at his father. She poured the liquid from one hand and the bitterness flowed out of her mouth. Hurling abuses at the man whom once she loved so much that she left her own father heart broken when she eloped, at the same face which she once found boyishly handsome, now looked infidel.Treachery in the eyes of her husband blinded her maternity. Irritated by her son's desire for comfort at such a time, she flung his hand away and heard a small yelp. Guilt flooded her and in an attempt to make him go away from this precinct of hatred, she said "GO. Go from here. It is all because of you. Are you happy now? Its past your bedtime. Dont make me even more worried. As it is I have too much to worry about. JUST GO, I SAID!" The last line said a little louder when she heard the nine year old voice say "But Ma, what did I...?"
Did the nine year old feet then go to see if the stars were shining now? Did he notice the black sky and think that it was because he was being a bad boy again? Did he hear his mother suddenly wail "Look at the bloody sky, no stars! I have such a dull life.I wonder whose fault it is." The last line said is a whisper, almost to herself, did it reach nine year old ears? Did he start berating himelf in his nine year old head? He knew his mother wanted to see the stars. Did he know he had to make a sacrifice for the stars to shine? Did he know what to do to give his mother a moment of distraction from it all. He somehow knew that all troubles would end if only the stars came out.Did his hands wobble when he used them to make himself stand on the ledge?
Hearing a loud thud, the still bickering couple rushed to the balcony. Momentarily distracted by the unusually bright sky with numerous stars, they then stared at the ground in blind horror.
Stars dont shine for no reason at all.