Saturday, July 30, 2011

This one’s for you Motss..a memoir

Well…now this is something I have been longing to give you since…umm.. you were born and was brought home wrapped in a soft cloth...but I pulled myself waiting to create more of good memories and re-relishing those moments of joy. And I guess it’s time as I have no idea when we shall meet next to cherish the childhood, teenage and youthfulness we had secretly enjoyed together. Yesterday night I had this weird dream that both of us were traveling towards our respective destinations in the same train but separate coaches. When suddenly the coaches had to demagnatised to move forward in different directions. There we meet in the middle of the time to bid goodbye…as if…we won’t see each other again…we had tears and didn’t say anything! Strange! Isn’t it?

The dream poured energy and words into me to write the letter that had been longing to be penned down.

Do you remember how I stared at the little you when you were first brought home? You were the first baby I saw in my till then life and how exciting it was for me to touch your tiny fingers and soft nails. “When will she grow up,” I asked your Mom. “It will take years,” she said. “But how?” I queried again. “Like this?,” I asked lifting my toes above, she nodded. “Why doesn’t she open her eyes?” “Can I take her upstairs?” (Our beautiful home where we lived together) I didn’t know then that you were going to be revengeful for my sticky questions after a few years time. You grew up to a very loud, hypersensitive, infantile duck who loved to dance, act and cry all the time, the crying sound that was loud enough to cross all borders of our long walled home only to reach to my classroom in the nearby school. “Oh! Guddu is crying again.” I thought while sharpening my pencil. I used to call you Guddu, shifting to Ankita and finally to Motss making you feel more loved.

And suddenly I hear my teacher looking for girl called ‘Tina’ . I froze! “How on Earth does she know my nick name?” I wondered and decided not to respond to the teacher. Actually I felt really shy thinking that classmates would tease me with my nick name. But after the ceaseless announcements I moused out the class to give myself a shocking surprise! It was you with red little sniffing nose holding your Mom’s hand. “She wanted to see you and play with you?” “Whatt!” I screamed to myself. I felt so embarrassed (after all even I was a kid then) taking you towards the play ground in mid of my class. Thatt was your first revenge.

When we changed the school you joined then singing group and I made you realise how terrible you sing and after years of non-stop crying your throat cleared itself to a rejuvenated voice now. Yes, you sing pretty well now..still out of accent but better (wink) and your beautiful expression-full dance will be missed for sure dear. Dare you not forget how you entangled my lovely new water bottle with yours and threw it out of the school bus to break it into two under the tyres? I wanted to kill you then, but your face was already dead with horror. Lol you were afraid of me still you wanted to be with me. Thatt was your second revenge.

Remember our first and only fight when we shouted at each other standing in the balcony? Am glad it never happened again otherwise my hands would have got bloodied. The vocational library of ours where we used to rent books for free! Courtesy to the grandest Pa of your’s. Still we managed enough cash to catch a rickshaw and tumble down to the nearby restaurant and have the first party together. Our new year parties arranged for each member of the family in a way inspired you to manage elegant events in future.

I still don’t know why you changed your means of communication to school from bus to autorickshaw. Thatt was your third revenge. Bus stop was so much fun ya. And auto rickshaw..don’t forget once you had fallen down after your water bottle did from the rick, we shouted, “bhaiya ladki gir gai, ladki gir gai” and what was that! I saw you walking towards the bus with the conductor holding your hand. You were carried to school by bus.

I won’t detail about the ‘suno suno tring tring tring’ era and the ‘Kammo’ dance we did everyday without fail in our vacations. But the ball dance on ‘ek ladki bheegi bhagi si’ has been best of all. You almost break my bones while dancing. And oh! The painting classes we used to go every Saturday and Sunday reminds me of the dog that almost hugged you down on the street and the anti-mosquito ointment you used to apply right after entering the classes (lol, most sensitive kid turned into the most defective piece of the family) I never told you about how choked I felt with laughter when you carried that weird multicoloured umbrella clipped on top of your head messing up all your hair, it looked funny really. Then our commonly shared hobby of stickers and cards collection was a perfect partnership wasn’t it? And your boogie-woogie dance classes made every kid in the colony drool over you.Do I need to mention about you falling every now and then from anywhere and everywhere you go. Don’t know how much you remember; hope these memories would give a knock.

Before we entered into our well-heeled life, it was Jagjeet singh who accompanied both of us in our dreamy teenage, we were crazy for him, remember? Am sorry for those sleepy late nights when I always slept leaving you on your own to finish the movie of my choice. But am not sorry for your teary sniffs and whimpers you exhaled while watching an emotional movie. Hmpf you used to take it all personally and fill the handkerchief with mucous.

Then came the times of never turning back and we walked ahead in our career. Though we couldn’t make many memories after that but the important times of need were shared. I am truly thankful for being beside me at the time of Bhaiya and my wedding, will always remember this. But surely we have a beautiful life ahead to explore more fun together. So what if we are married, we shall plan out vacations with our misters, alright?

I used to talk about you to my friends saying that you were my better half, there was always this thread of concerned love that tied us regardless of the far away location. Though there were people in the surrounding who took us as foibles, but we maintained it secretly. Our intensity of care and share we shared made people jealous but somehow it bruised me a bit extra to tolerate and I very very reluctantly withdrew myself to a certain level. But writing is something no one can stop me from and I can write an epic on our tightfistedness. I seldom express but you are fondly loved by me, my tears said this when you were married off and Abhi wiped my face after we returned home. Thatt was your last revenge.

Well there’s something I want to confess that I myself realized very late is that I never wanted to share you with anyone. May be because I never had a younger sister and we were more of like sises. That was the reason I never liked you going to neighborhood friend to play and that was also the reason I never liked many other things that are unexplainable for me here. But now I can see you well secured in the hands of a gentleman whose eyes are filled with true love. Yuvraj, if you ever read this, I have to say just one thing, “She is precious and a very good human being, be with her is all what she would ask you for.”

I cherish those days with weepy eyes knowing that they won’t come back ever again, nor do we have enough videos and photographs to keep it safe. Confiding everything here in written, I guess will take us to the long lost journey after we have walked past a long path to future of post marriage, youthlessness, wrinkled, bald/ snowy hair (lol) and more experienced.

You will be always loved, God Bless!!

And yeah! how could I forget Happy Friendship's Day dear!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Malice towards N(one)

As a child I didn’t have any clue I have been reading and laughing on jokes of the matchless, exceptional, incomparable and one of the most contentious writer in the history of Indian authors.
I assumed Khushwant Singh to be another Jaspal Bhatti cracking jokes after jokes in his books. But as clueless as I was about the epics being written by this fearless writer on most ticklish and sensitive issues of Women and Sex, Pakistan, Hindus and Muslims, India and its Politicians, Indian History, Death, Eunuchs and some more of Women and Sex.

Amidst his innumerable books, I have till now flipped just a few of them and I already feel I have known him quite closely. Perhaps some very minute characteristics of him have been telepathically communicated into me while reading his joke books. Since childhood I never missed anything written on, about or by Khushwant with a prospect of reading something funny, oblivious to the fact that I aspire to be a Journalist or a writer or a dedicated reader of his sincere books. In fact when I first read his first book ‘Train to Pakistan’ I scribbled in my diary about how at times his thoughts match to that of mine.

Nevertheless Khushwant Singh has been densely criticised and often referred as ‘nasty old man’ for his bold and promiscuous writings. Many of my friends rather most of them hate him and never touch his books calling him insane while I as a teenager postponed reading him imagining his books to be too serious for my age (although that was true). It’s not that I condemn people’s criticism because Khushwant really gets nasty many times and writes daringly on the most hidden curiosity of human mind that they always deny facing even to their conscience!

I take him quite realistically, considering his explicit writing as his inquisitive fascination on several subjects and belongingness towards the nation. Apparently that’s the reason Pakistan, Partition, Muslims, Sikh, Death and Dead, Unapproachable, mysterious and secretive characters, Ghosts and Eunuchs have been his major area of concern. Of course Khushwant remains incomplete if I don’t mention something that he has been disapproved most, even now in the age of 97. How could we forget the diversity in age and class in women, their femininity and their nationality that always appealed him more to first experience and pen them down later in his books? Try to think privately with just yourself; don’t you feel an impression of a mischievous child in that old nasty man? Weird enough to be intrusive, to annoy, irritate, stand to rebukes of readers; Yet research and opine on the topics only he is interested in.

Well, I would call this old nasty man of 97 years ‘a true Sardar’ and alternatively ‘a true writer’. Really. He chose his own style of freedom in his thoughts, works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and short stories, even as a tourist guide and in unfolding the beauty of women and their characteristics. He wrote what he was not asked for but what he felt is wanted..that should be the spirit of a writer. C’mon you can’t deny he is still one of the most incompetent authors in the country.

Read him once and you would know the quality of knowledge he has to serve, his vocabulary and perfect usage of words would convince you to believe, he is a man of wisdom, just that he writes bluntly doesn’t take his intelligence away.
Although he is 95+ now, and suffering from "a declining body, impaired vision, impaired hearing and soon, no doubt, mental degeneration", Khushwant's output, both written and spoken, remains uninterrupted.

The man who persistently had ‘malice towards none’, now with ‘death at his doorstep’ rests peacefully on his armchair with a realisation that there are still many who has ‘malice towards one’….

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Melodic Communiqué

Childhood/ School:

- The sound of wind when I first learnt about the word breeze
- The sound of allah-ho-akbar early in morning @ 5.10 that woke me up to dress for school
- … of trucks moving on early winter mornings made me think how people start working from the wee hours of the day (just like me :)
- … of those footsteps of the neighbour’s guard who would steal flowers from my garden, I used to listen him walking, from the loo
- … of my school bus’ horn honking from a range of 200 meters at 6.15 am
- … of fart in a silent class
- … of rough chalk running on the blackboard to create immense irritation to ears
- …of Principal’s stick on disobeyed hands accompanied with an echo sound ‘Why don’t you Talk in English’
- … of dusters banging the desks ordering ‘Keep Quiet’
-… of those 10 statue bells smacked by the peon to control the chaotic movements and sounds made after lunch followed by pin drop silence.
- … of that sabziwali calling out everyone and the little me sneaked out from my old home in Civil Lines that got replaced with a posh society without any street vendors
- …of that unripe little mango mistakenly dropped down while plucking from the tree to make a thump on neighbour’s tin sheet in those naughty summer afternoons
- … of the pages of a book flipping by the winds at the time of evening terrace studying

Adolescence/ Profession/ Post engagement:

- The sound of the peon in our media institute calling from the classroom’s window to the hostel’s room ‘Sir agaya’
- The sound of the insect on a lonely night on the top of the hostel’s terrace
- … of Richa’s bold voice waking me up ‘Tina chal khadi ho ja’
- …of the boss calling out your name in front of the staff giving you goose bumps
- … of chat message that popped up always at the wrong time when boss is around
- … of typing, printing and murmuring in a newspaper office
- … of the train crossing by from nearby lane @ 3 am registering its presence
- … of the guard’s whistles forcing me to keep awake @ 3.15 am
- … of the chirp made by the birds sitting outside my window asking to be fed
- … of my phone ringing after a long wait for two little words ‘Love Morning’
- … of my sister’s old Luna that I wanted to be silenced with a scooty
- … of kids howling in the society on a holiday eve
- … of the cat under my bed in labour pain
- … of that old fan mocking from above when I used to rest in my father’s office
- … of chaiwala in an overcrowded compartment of a train
- … of silence while meditating with a group of 25000 people

Post Wedding:
- The sound of his snores on first night…
- The sound of the pressure cooker’s whistles calling me to put it off knob
- … of the alarming wake-up alarms of really early mornings
- … of the out stationed husband over the phone who’s half asleep
- … of the FM blaring from the father-in-law’s room
- … of silence in the empty summer afternoons
- …of half hanging newspapers stuck on the glass slider of a new house waiting for curtains
- … of the doorbell and continuous scary knocks, when I am unwilling to open the door in a lonely flat.
- …of the elevator reaching my bedroom tearing all the doors and window panes

- The sound of my father scolding someone that threatens the victim to pee in his pants
- The sound of my dad’s vehicle that always told me about his arrival and that I have to switch to the study table
- … of the mild shivering cries of the new born baby at my home
- … of my brother’s limping footsteps he took before getting bedridden
- … of that scream just before bhai used to go into fits
- … of his coughing I heard on his last day while leaving for office
- … of my mom’s sobs over the phone after bhai was gone
- … of my father’s rare laugh

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Clearly Cluttered!

At first I thought it's a writer's block again, but I draft a post almost daily on different topics and the moment I try adding more words to a post, there're other things that arrests my mind. They say, we should also be written. I decided to wait and write this first.

I have experienced and heard about writer's block but I don't know what term is it for what am experiencing now..may be Writer's Fix...? I don't know. It's like I have so much to write about, so much to share, but the output is a drafted incomplete post longing to get published. Though my diary gets updated almost every 3rd day, am stiffly reading books of various genre, am not watching much of movies lately, am travelling a lot to observe and experiment more about things and people, that way I must have so much to write on. But still going no where.

What's it called?? Is there a specified term?

Well, I think writer's block is better than the current situation, atleast there you are on a break to spend time with blankness, here you feel so clearly cluttered that you know what you want to write i.e on various topics at the same time but then you end up with nothing solid to be served!
This makes me feel so incomplete and full of guilt. Every morning before opening the laptop I decide to finish atleast one post, I open the document, re-read it, think, write 2-3 lines and close it suddenly to write on yet another new topic.

And see, now on the spur of the moment I believe I have got the solution to this mind says, the only way to come out of it is, in stead of starting with something new, finish writing the ones that are facing the pause and then start afresh :)

Alright then, am back to finish writing!!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The ‘F’ word, just too much of it…

A Page From My Diary...

“Oh! He’s my best friend”, “C’mon Mom she’s a great friend, I won’t stand a word against her”, I have heard it a lot and they define it as “A friend is someone who cares, loves, annoys, makes you feel happy, blabber about anything on Earth just to make you feel comfortable and just so much he does that, that kind of bookish friend hasn’t encountered me yet!! I mean, why you believe so much in friendship that you sometimes forget that, the one whom you call your friend could change his apparel any moment.
I really haven’t met such a person till date for whom I could sigh like that. I believe I have almost crossed the considered age to make experiments on new friends now. In fact I very strongly don’t feel the need to have one, because then comes that burden of sharing, caring, bitching, shopping, exclude the feeling of unconditional friendship. And you know what, I have lived them all already, now no more, can’t afford it. Because with the entire sharing caring thing comes another bunch of complementary stuff called cribbing and complaining. Atleast I have had a kind of bitter experience in all those relationships I named as friendship. Possibly that’s why this word always turns me off.

But I have been thinking on it since quite a long time. Why does everyone almost everyone around me believes in it so much, in spite of getting betrayed, hurt, insulted, ignored a number of times. Do they still want to try or continue experimenting? Or they are just too afraid to walk without a mate?
I have heard people saying, he’s my true friend, have heard myself saying, “he could be my true friend”, I have heard them saying for me, “she’s a true friend”, dude I don’t have a clue about what it is! This word ‘true friend’ somehow annoys me, irritates me, sounds fictitious, fabricated and bookish and I pungently feel there’s nothing called a true friend. I have always been surrounded with people, mostly good ones, whom I tagged as friends and unthinkingly traveled on the same path of fiction. Assuming them as people I could confide upon, whom I could call at midnight and ask for help, who would realize what the matter is, just with a glance of my face, but all of it was worthless and simply my imagination. At one point of time most of them failed turning me to an atheist to friendship.
I know this post would cheese off many people but for a while just try to analyse this term friend and ask yourself with closed eyes who’s that friendly angel of your life whom you truly want just for yourself, not to freak out with or for the world to show off. The one who’s always there for you, anyone? For some of you, there could be some, well in that case I would say, am just unlucky hmm? My experience says that real or true friendship is history now. Lately, it’s like, call them for a movie or a beer, they pop up from anywhere they would be, but call them when in need, the replies you would get would remind you of this post. Just try it.

They say friendship is an art, an easy one to know, understand and follow while I really am poor in arts, I find it hard to decipher. Could be a problem with me too! But telling you out of the experiences of the people who shared with me their grievances (mistakenly imagining me as their friend) have walked through the same path as I did.

So, I hereby swear to eliminate the word ‘friendship’ from the glossary of my life because I have been dragging it since years now and the increased weight has become too heavy to carry. And this is for the people whom I am close to or the ones, who are close to me, “Am not trying to be frosty or getting you off the hook, just spare me with that ‘f’ word, I don’t believe in it anymore. Hope you understand, and if you don’t, even that doesn’t matter anymore J”

Cheers to the unfriendly me, a Friend For-never!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Spitter’s Saga

Yaaak Thooo…HolyDove! Make way for the red shower to reach it’s goal..Thhumpp! and it sticks to the wall forever. You ask what?? Well, something that’s beyond Government’s Unique Identification Number or Voter Id card. Something that identifies Indians as Indians. Something that is national passion and favourite pastime. And that ‘something’ is ‘Spitting’. The nation has an ancient fondness for something called paan -- a betel leaf wrapped around a varying mix of areca nuts, cardamom, lime paste, tobacco and other flavours and after it is chewed, there are two places it could go, down or out!.

Art of Spitting

Armed with a mouth full of saliva mixed in discharges from the respiratory passages, they leisurely shoot it on all the walls, may it be walls of post offices, railway stations, bus stands, streets, adjoining walls of some residential/office building, bazaars and why not the hidden wall behind the elevator? If you haven’t noticed it yet then do it next time you climb an elevator and press a button before exit so that it explores some other floors while you check the copper-stained-walls-behind-the-elevator that have been rusted from the infected saliva of spitters. The guthkas and paans are to be blamed that lure these innocent people who are in a habit of constantly chewing paan and after few minutes just like the itch needs to be scratched, the spit also has to be smacked out.

I paused for about seven minutes when I first saw it, wondering how they actually do it! And how on earth could the ‘impossible to reach’ part of the wall i.e between the two floors could ever be stained. Possibly the elevator constructers were too pissed with the contractor and they retaliated by decorating the walls with grime, I concluded the thought to leave. Or it could be the job of spit-haters who love to part with our bodily fluids and ‘thoo’ it on the walls, I thought again later.

Recently a columnist explained the whole concept as the biological make-up that enables them (the spit-haters) to produce so much of stuff that seem to be forever having to get rid of and expel it from the body lest they fall sick and die. It’s funny that the spit is not only crimson or blood red but also transparent and green! Don’t ask how. You must have seen the streets and public toilets patched with thick cough like phlegm ridiculing at you as if you have been commanded to wipe them off with naked hands.

These Do No Good Too

Nevertheless the ‘Do Not Spit Here’ sign post do no good, rather, itself gets bathed with the sputum yet stands still in a (S)pitiable condition. If spitters are at the bus stand, they will spit at the stand while they are waiting, on the steps of the bus while boarding, and through the window on the road while riding. The auto-rickshaw-wallah will slow down while spitting, the taxi driver will poke out his head and spit in the air, the truck driver won’t even look while spitting. (Seems like there is some big spitting marathon going on in the country and everyone’s in.)

“A tourist friend of mine from Netherland initially got horrified to misunderstand the red spit as blood and got impatient to know why so many people suffer from almost the same disease and still be unnoticed. But soon it dawned on her that the terracotta haze is nothing but a filthy, unhealthy, smutty and stinking habit that many Indians acquire, Isnt’t it petulant?” asked Akanksha, a bank employee irritably.

How About this

It won’t be surprising if Indians approach the International Olympic Committee with a proposal to introduce a new sport ‘the Spitathlon’. Since most Indians practice the sport, it is sure to get huge viewership and fans. Millions of tobacco companies would sponsor and zillons of money would flow in. Doubtlessly for Indians to become world champs.

“Though my teeth are stained and my mouth smells but I make sure to get rid of the first juice of paan that is dangerous for health so I spit,” comforted Jagpal, a businessman. But Where? Where do you spit? “Ah! That’s not a worry, there are many places.” he winked. Okhay!!

This Would Do!

In China and Dubai, chewing and spitting paan, especially in public places, is prohibited. Dare you suggest that we take the same approach here in this country, soon some bleeding heart liberal sena attacks on you and declare it a person’s human right to spit on the pavement.

Let’s start a secret campaign of saying ‘yukk’ to the people spitting around. Make ickiest face looking at the blob of gob spitted by them. If this doesn’t work, maximum we could do is to make sconces like brackets on the walls with a door to cover. Two motives are fulfilled here, one the spit is out as usual on the wall second the wall still looks clean and beautiful. Atleast the distemper and paint expenses would be limited to four walls of the sconce. Spitters beware, all of this is a flabby ‘something’ to annoy the people but once they vow to stop you, the maroon infected sputum would go down, not out.

CAUTION: Effects of chewing paan are very similar to that of chewing tobacco. Many people think that chewing paan is safer than smoking tobacco. But studies have shown that instead of being safer, they are equally, if not more detrimental to one's health. This is because, paan with betel nut and the other spices is kept in your mouth for minutes at a time, causing more harmful chemicals to enter your body than when you smoke - you just shift your lung problems to your mouth.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

On Amrita Pritam, For Amrita Pritam, Because of Amrita Pritam

Very lately I finished a book in Hindi (well yes, I tried my eyes on Hindi for a change), it's called 'Paanch Baras Lambi Sadak' by Amruta Pritam. Oh! quite a heavy one for someone who keep oneself distant from the deep thoughts, solitude and being too sensitive.
It carries a few short stories and a long story too, called 'Yatri'. Each story gives an idea on how drastically life twists itself within a span of five years and how, for some it's a long time while for others it's not the case. 'Yatri' on teh other hand was bit dragging and extremely saddistic to handle, but I read it patiently.
It proved a bit heavy to me for the reason I simply couldn't absorb the idea of someone writing so very well. I mean that's what I would call a perfect writer, Amrita Pritam had the ability to connect each and every word and thing she wrote, knew exactly what she wanted to express further, skilled to pour life into the dead and non living things. It took quite a long time for me to finish a book of just 180-200 pages because unlike other usual books, it forced me meditate it! Sink in. Within.
It surely weren't the stories in particular that swayed my thoughts but the pensiveness of the author left me hysterically wondering could it be possible for a human being to think of something so sublime! And then I find my eyebrows raised with a thought 'it's just the first book of Amrita Pritam that I have read, what would happen if I read further?' The writer's soul within me says that her writing has a capability to deject a good writer and elevate an aspiring writer. And I decided to be an aspiring one. May be forever. May be till I finish reading all her books. May be till the day I become a writer like her.
I was experiencing a block recently, it wasn't the writer's block exactly but yes, something near to it because I knew I wanted to write but the cause was missing. Thankfully, it's over now. Amrita Pritam definitely added fuel to the tank of words, though she is all about Hindi, the language which is absolutely alien to me when it comes to writing, but her style of writing is brisk, sausy, novel, unused and fresh forever. Really believe it or not she was an awesome woman of thoughts and words.
Her writing is are isolated? Not liking it? Read her, you will love your solitude and would want to be there forever. If you aren't isolated because you are afraid of it, that fear will go off once you read her, because you will start loving it. And if you aren't isolated at all for no reason, you should want to have a cozy corner in life where you could read her heartfully. The latter one goes with me!

So guys don't miss a chance to read her at least once if you want to try some serious reading or writing for that matter.
And as for now I am back to my very own shelf of books backlogging since ages, namely: 'At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks (more than half done) and 'Wuthering Heights a classic' (just started) and many more. They feel ignored, therefore, after a brief attention to them, I would be back to Amrita Pritam's Biography called 'Rasidi Ticket'. Yeah, I have already got it with me, courtesy to my friend Raj.