Posts Tagged ‘life’

77088-20120920110901-lbIt was the fourth time that her phone rang. She stared at the screen, it was mother again.

She was only 10 when her parents had decided for her – Emily would go to boarding school for rest of her life. It was hard for her to understand the reasons behind. She had cried whole night, cursing her parents. She had assumed that her parents did not love her anymore.

She stared at the screen again. It was 11:00pm. Parents would not call her now. She switched off the phone and threw it inside the side drawer – among her hair clips, rosemary and candies.

Ms. Johnson had greeted her with open arms that day – ensuring that Emily meets the best of people and love the school. She was offered front seat near the window at class, Ms Johnson arranged for extra candies during break for her and also took her out for stroll during late evenings to watch rabbits behind the school.

She looked herself in the mirror; she was grown up adolescent now. She tried smiling hard, but her face seemed cold without emotion.

It had been 6 years now that Emily had made home away from home.

School did not allow phone calls during weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays were meant to be Emily’s best days in the week. She would get up early, visit church and would wait near the only phone on her floor at the corner of the building. Every weekend, her mother would call her sharp at 10:00am. It had become a ritual for her. After a hearty conversation with mommy dear, Emily would play with her best friend Carrie for an hour and would slurp delicious lunch at Ms Johnson’s house. Evenings were spent painting and completing pending home works. After dinner, Emily would again watch the phone till 9:30pm when her father would call. Everything had been routine.

Among the clumsy pool of 36 beds, she had got the 5th bed beside the window. After every 2 months, the settings changed, to ensure every girl gets a bed near the window- the only place where the fans looked bit effective.

She changed herself in the pink night dress, which she had brought herself last year from the Christmas money. She admired the settings for the last time and started packing her bags.

In 6 years, not even once had she been called back home. During vacations, her parents would come down to meet her, often carrying unnecessary gifts. Father would send ‘extra money’ after her 3rd year in the school, giving excuses she never understood. Sometimes, mother would talk about a little girl named Julie whom she disliked for no reasons. Everything was bizarre for her- her family, Julie and her ‘forced family vacations’.

She collected memoirs gifted by her friends on her 15th birthday, she then swept the ‘tiny wax animals’ on the table top she had brought from the Zoo; she also folded the bed sheets in neat rectangular shapes to fit the only truck she had.

After 3 hours of hard work, everything she had accumulated in 6 years was packed in a truck and 3 bags. She gave the final look to her bed and window with nostalgia and bid adieu.

Last weekend, she had not received any call from her parents but a letter explaining her things she did not know till now. Problems in marital life of her parents had compelled them to send her to boarding. During her 2nd year away from home, they had applied for a divorce to end daily remorse. Soon after the first summon from court, parents had realize the dreadful end of their love marriage. Mother had cried in father’s arm, recalling the happier times and missing Emily. That is when Julie had happened to them. They had then reconsidered their divorce appeal.

However, after Julie turned one, things got worse yet again. Both had their own reasons to get out of the marriage they had nurtured for 18 years. Mother was fed up of father and his emotionless life and father would complain of her demanding nature.

The letter they had written was a request more than the information. Divorce was at its final stage and before applying for custody, both wanted to know the decision of Emily -whom would she choose to stay with?

Mother had specified categorically that Julie had been the only hope when Emily was not around and she was too small to live without her.

 But nowhere did the letter mention- who wanted Emily to stay with them?

She was called before the jury in the witness box. She could see her mother sitting next to a girl in blue stripped frock, caressing her curls with her fingers and crying occasionally. She also saw her father sitting at the far end of the court, looking drunk, he seemed staring and conversing something to his feet.

Emily handed a letter to the jury and looked at the floor, trying to avoid stares if any. She was now confident of what she wanted.

‘Dear Mom and Dad, I have always seen you together and would love to see you guys like that. I want to imagine this as a nightmare I had because I did not do my daily prayers last night. I want to imagine this as a stupid game you guys play with me when I am angry at you.

Mother, I don’t like the little creature Julie, she is luckier than me to have you around but I don’t want to complain. Father, I don’t like to see you absent minded when you visit me.

I can’t choose one of you. You both are willing to let me go to the other one. I would rather assume my life intact by your divorce and return to my dear Hostel, where I have got a family which still awaits me.

All the best, do see me during vacations like always (if possible)

Emily’

She received message from Ms Johnson – ‘When do I see you?’ and she replied ‘TONIGHT’.

She left the court without a word, her eyes unable to see anything because of the extra water. No one stopped her, and she did not wait.

Once she was out of the court, she dumped her phone and walked slowly towards her only home.

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And then I realized, experiments are the best way to learn and have fun!

Being a market researcher, it is very irritating to see people envying you because of your frequent (read weekly) travel. The pain behind these travels are unknown to them, we fly early morning and return the same day under the darkest shade of night. If we are lucky, then we get to stay in lavish hotel rooms just to admire the antiques in the dreams and catch next day air traveler.

Alas! These travels make me feel tired and often, repellent towards the word ‘travel’!

I feel the same most of the times, but other times, I am just normal human being – who dreams to travel leisurely savoring nature and talking to birds (fancy dreams you know)

Last month, after travelling to 5 cities in 15 days around the country, I was bogged up to the core. I wanted to run away, from the world and from my own self. I wanted to have a good break, where I get sleep without being disturbed by untimely phone calls.

With the basics in mind clear, I searched for all ‘high altitude places’ (Because phone networks don’t work there- HURRAY!). But I knew, even though I would settle down for any place, my companions would have their own choices and timelines. I did not want to undergo adjustments – Remember, I was already exasperated.

I decided to enroll for a women only travel group – a chance to explore new people (which I do quite often but because of work) and get ‘away’ with management skills needed to convince friends.

The first ad that day on Facebook while still figuring out my trip ideas was of JUGNI – offering a weekend getaway to PARASHAR LAKE.

This is what Parashar Lake looks like  :)

This is what Parashar Lake looks like 🙂

Jugni is women only travel group run by two young minds Nitesh and Rohit. Started recently, the Jugnoos (that’s what they call themselves) have brilliant innovative ideas to keep girls engaged and offer them enticing trips.

For me, the idea of having a weekend with new people (and in budget) was a good deal – and a calculated risk also I think.

I had my apprehensions, think excitement of what would it be like travelling with entirely new clan.

We were supposed to meet on Friday night at the bus stop. When I reached, first girl I met made me confident of my decision. She was travelling alone (too), had reasons like me (too) and was ‘nice’ (like me too). I met others also, some first time solo-travellers, others travelling second time with Jugni and rest with friends. In all we were good group of 15 people, from different background! (The trip surely was proving a jackpot)

Next two days were among the best days of my life, and I am sure, for other Jugnis (that’s what we call ourselves now) too.

From sustaining to learning to loving to meeting- the trip had it all. We hopped through rocks to climb to no man’s land, just to realize that map was read all wrong.

The love bites from leeches to unwashed dirty peaches, the trek within the clouds holding hands to the joy of reaching the lake finally (after the labyrinth), from cocooning self in sleeping bags to hearing loud roars of clouds above us, from warming around the bonfire to singing melodiously (I doubt this melodious word here) with other travelers around, we did it all.

The trip proved a gift in disguise, letting me explore myself in better way. It also enabled me to get out of my shell and become confident of travelling and enjoying alone. Even though I had wonderful people around, I did get time to relish my own company.

After 2 days of ‘unexpected’ fun and humor, I was not very sure of ending the trip. We did bid goodbyes to each other, but only to promise to meet soon.

The rajma chawal as the meal to the tasteless omelettes, the Mandi secret to the bus adventure, the Babloo stories to truck ride back home, and the endless clicks to personal gigs- I miss it all.

Some snapshots from the memory lane

Some snapshots from the memory lane

Special Thanks to team Jugni, who made this trip memorable with their humour and glamour.

Thanks Rohit for being a help when I was shit tired to carry my bag pack to the top, for being a ‘PAHADO K DEVTA’ to run among mountains like a pro and for being sensible and caring organizer.

Thanks to the handsome boy Nitesh too, who kept us gripped with his endless jokes and scripts, who made sure to do his after sales ‘just right’ and who also ensured we all get our share of fun ‘wherever’.

With more love, looking forward to join you guys again for wonderful travel stories!

P.S: Girls, you can join them on Facebook here

 

I always thought of making my world a fairy land, with little white fairies around – like they show in cartoon channels, always ready to solve your problems and give you that smile for the day. I wanted to be happy always.

Though life is not what you dream of. I grew up to learn, inspite of working so hard to achieve the ultimate goal of happiness and satisfaction, we lose ourselves in sub-important stuffs like position, power, society etc. We become rich, intelligent and all- but we still don’t become happy.

Aren’t we all meant to live happily and enjoy the rare experience bestowed on us by our dear Lord?

Well, I think we all know the answers ourselves yet tend to ignore every time.

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So with all the odds, I decided to pursue my dream – to make the place around me a happy place. I started following small initiatives to spread happiness, and trust – they are wonder gems.

I realized, one does not actually need anything to spread happiness- it is completely free and hurdle less. Not only does it make people around you happy, but it also touches your heart and takes you towards happiness and contentment.

So, here I am sharing my simple 5 step guide to spread happiness around:

  • Be kind towards yourselves – remember, charity begins at home – you cannot give something which you don’t have. Indulge in things you love, eat without watching weight, pamper yourself with those expensive things you thought you will buy someday, gift yourself on occasions, travel, read- do whatever you think is right for you, not what others think is right thing for you to do.

 

  • Be polite and wear the most important accessory – SMILE – this is the best method that can make your day and of others. Don’t wait for reasons to smile, just do it. Think of good things in your life, recall that rowdy moments with your friends, smile on the stupidity you did once– JUST SMILE AND BE NICE TO ANY ONE YOU MEET – and see what happens.

 

  • Shower compliments, surprise and be a HERO – Don’t save your feelings for later, shower them genuinely. If you think the girl in red dress looks pretty, go and tell her. If you think the boss whom you never liked took your side today, show your gratitude. It is always better than gossiping. Surprise someone with a small gift, may be a rose or chocolate, or hug and kind words. Be a hero to someone, help a complete stranger in lifting those heavy bags or standing with her against wrong, offer your seat, pay someone for his coffee in this cold and you will see how happy you will feel within yourself.

 

  • Make an effort, get addicted to positivity and fun – try to channelize your energy towards positivity, think what best can happen to you. Have hope, believe in good karmas and think well. Show people the funny side of their problems, crack jokes often and drink humour doses. Our thoughts and action are like flower seeds, they spread around. It is our choice whether to spread sadness or happiness.

 

  • Try to be an attentive listener and passionate talker – This sounds easy, yet difficult to master by most. Listen to what people are telling you, show empathy and trust, this can change your whole views and vice versa. Talk like you really want to tell them, don’t just pretend talking. Share your problems, your opinions- what you feel about things, discuss about life and passion. This will make two people happy!

 

These are easy, aren’t they? And there is no more need of time devotion, money spending or commitments. All we have to do is EEEEEEEEE with our two little red lips and make happiness contagious indeed.

 

P.S: tell us your idea of spreading HAPPINESS in the comments 🙂

She woke up with the sound of a vehicle at a distant. It was already morning; Sun had been right above her head, shining with its maximum strength. She looked around. Nutella box seemed half eaten; she could smell rotten eggs beneath her and there was some sticky paste her hand had caught.

Disgusted, she tried getting up to get away with the mess. Night had been long, too long for her to remember. She recalled some parts of it. She recollected the fragments to build a story. While her mind still struggled to come back with a sensible story, her body seemed to have already lost the strength. She tried getting up again, but every try made the case even worse. Her body no longer supported her.

The night had been dark. She was coming back from her daily work when someone had tried to follow her. She had fastened her steps, often looking at the back to get a view of the follower, also to check the distance between them. Everything had continued till she had reached the road bustled with people. There were no footsteps that followed her, there was no more fear of being followed and there were people around to help her.

She had walked rather confidently, passing the decorated shops, excusing the crowd and appreciating the lanterns put along the road. Everything seemed beautiful and serene. Everyone seemed happy and busy.

After few turns and houses, she had reached the cross road. She had been just a lane away from home. Delighted, she had ignored the absence of vehicles or people around. She had been happy, she was almost home.

After like hundredth trial, she could still not roll or move her body. Yes, her hands did function and so did her legs, but the rest of the body, it seemed she had lost her control over it. She cried rather aloud, trying to attract passersby, if any, to help her out. No one was around, or perhaps, did not seem to care for her anymore.

Footsteps which she had ignored were still there. They had followed her through the dark, walking along her without any noise. They had planned meticulously when she had been busy observing the street and way. They had increased in numbers while she still walked all alone.

Strangers, four to five of them had dragged her from the cross road towards the left. The street where no one lived or at least, no one whom she knew lived. She had tried to shout to ask for help, though a hand on mouth had made it harder for her to breathe even. They had ripped off her clothes and had pulled off her hair. She had imagined herself bald, crying and pleading mercy. They had shown no emotions. It seemed, they had become mechanical to perform the activity. One among them had also suggested rape, to which other four had denied; possibly they had lost interest to seek pleasure from a bald beaten lady.

She laid half covered with the torn blue skirt her mother had gifted her last new year.  She was still breathing, at times, hearing them say. They had called someone to inform the happening, definitely not cops. They had then searched her purse violently and had shown disappointment.  They had kicked her hard in bowel before leaving, letting her shriek for the last time.

She had assumed herself dead, until this morning, when she had opened her eyes again.

She could hear someone speak near, perhaps a woman enquiring about a girl. Could it be mother, she thought. She tried shouting, though all she could hear was her own cry.

The woman came closer to her to have a look, she seemed old and worried. She was not her mother. In spite of being clueless, woman offered her a hand. She tried reaching to her, but her hands seemed shrunk by the incidents of the night. Woman, almost smiling then, picked her up in her arms.

What? Had she entered into a world of giants? Or had she reduced to a miniature being? She had debated within herself for long.

She was struggling, with her own questions and with the tight hold of the woman. It was suffocating her. She wept with all her strength, trying to grab some attention of mother-like woman.

She could now understand that she was no longer a woman but a newly born child who needs care.

She had understood her fate last night, when she was beaten and harassed by men at the cross road, trying to find something meaningful out of her. She now knew she no longer had lived after the moonlight, her eyes witnessing the last predicament. She had been born again to some parents she did not know, who had abandoned her in garbage bin for quite long.

She now knew, whatever the fate was, one never dies… they only shift places and bid good byes

“The night when I had said my last good bye, I did not know I will never die…

Over the night I was not a woman but small, who only cried and could not even roll”

Wednesday Mo(u)rnings

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

windowIt again was a Wednesday. She sat beside the only window in the house and observed the passerby on the road. Some walked with Umbrella, big enough to hide them under its shade. Some seemed to nod frequently; to someone somewhere she did not know. Few she saw, wore strange clothes she never have seen. While the rest, stood forever for the bus at the stop in front of her house.

It was already 2:00 in the noon; she still watched the street with full attention. The clock told her that it was time for food. Food, yes she thought. Her stomach was supposed to be hungry by that time. She checked her bowel, it looked full. It seemed, her bowel had instructed not to eat more. Her food timings were fixed. She hesitated. She stood from the window and decided to roam around the room to make space for food. It was important.

She opened the door to welcome the maid. Dressed in blue blouse and white skirt, an early teenage girl stood with a tray smelling food. She smiled at her and took the tray. The girl had been the second known person she had seen since last Wednesday.

She decided to spend the evening at the window again. It was soothing she thought. She could glance and smile at people she did not know. She could comment on the clothes she could not wear. And she could be happy, without mourning.

A knock at the door in late evening interrupted her free flowing thoughts. It was not dinner time yet. She suspiciously walked towards the door. She knew, it was not even time for her visitors. After all, it was a Wednesday. She checked the calendar again, yes- it was a Wednesday.

She was only 16 when she was locked in the house which was now her home. She was excited then. She had liked the colorful walls and the soft bed she was given. She had admired the jewelries and saris she wore. She had often taken pride in her changed fortune. But things were different now.

She opened the door. To her amaze, he stood there drenched. It was not raining. She thought for a while, before letting him in.

She had been working for 8 years now, killing her dreams every day. Post a year of training and fancies, she was forced into work. Her work responsibilities were tremendous. She was supposed to sell herself, every part of her, to some brutal buyers. She was supposed to be available 24*7, for the buyers had their demands. Often, she was supposed to dress inappropriately and dance in front of spectators, in order to attract a rich suitable buyer for a night.

 Only Wednesdays were days, she ever got for herself. She would have a lavish bathe, trying to wash away the week long exhaustion. She would sleep for hours, to feel fresh from 6 days of sleep deprived state.  She would stare from the window, imagining herself in the crowd and fading away.

She locked the doors again. He smirked at her, his eyes dipped in self-pride. She excused herself to prepare herself to serve.

Wednesdays had never been easy with her. It had made her realized about her lost fortune. It had confronted her with her own realities. She would often hide the mirror, which reflected her beauty, with a cloth. She would often cover herself full with a bed sheet, to look good. And she would often scratch herself, to feel renewed.

She searched for the mirror under the sofa. She could hear him tapping impatiently. She knew he had little time for her. She tried putting kohl in hurry and fastened her skirt.  She also decided to wear her blouse lower than usual to make it easy for him. Hair tied up as a bun, she coated her lips with red strawberry flavour.  She was ready. Before she left, she glanced in the mirror again and tried smiling rather seductively.

She had realized that her Wednesdays were no different. It never had changed her status. She stood the same worker, showcasing herself naked to different people every day to earn. She had told the man who had locked her, to bring her buyers on Wednesdays also. They had argued over it. Man had been adamant on giving her rest though she forced him to send at least one buyer for the day.

He unzipped hurriedly to start his job. She laid thinking. All the preparation she had done to attract him had been of no use. He was focused on what he wanted. It was her body and not her. Even her fellow workers could replace her easily. She looked at the clock. The time was over.

“My work started defining me, not my dreams… a good fortune I thought I had, tuned into a life with sour cream

Not do I see any laughing evenings and sunshine mornings, all my days are now Wednesday Mo(u)rnings”

 

After all- it is the truth, accept it’, he said calmly.

It was a fine weekend like always until he declared his depart. His favourite strawberry cake baked for the evening get together rest untouched over the table top. Supper wasn’t prepared by the mother and father kept packing-unpacking his stuffs. They both knew their son no longer needed them or their objects.

He looked away dismissing the pleading eyes. He did not want to hear their request or to see them crying. He was adamant on not changing his well-thought decision. He had been fighting for it since long, seeking permissions from different governmental bodies and authorities. After a year of hard work and sweat, he had been awarded with what he thought he deserved.

They stood motionless. It seemed that the emotions were dead in the scorching heat of the day, eyes appeared reluctant to give away the truth and heart had given up on its hope for life.  They looked at each other, devoid of words.

Son busied himself in arranging the documents. He had planned it well. The list was already in place- things that he owned and things he would like his parents to have for the rest of their lives. A cupboard was also dedicated to the ‘important and legal papers’ for their easy reference. He had instructed his relatives to be nice with the poor souls. He knew it would be hard for his parents without him, though he had believed it would be definitely better than the present.

It was 1 pm of the noon. None of the two hurt lives had dared to speak to each other. Father had involved himself in his vegetable garden- digging and correcting the position of the eggplants sown. Mother devoted herself to the lord, murmuring hymns with tightly closed eyes.

Son was done with his last work.

He collected himself strong and started to walk past the rooms, the small temple where his mother sat, the garden where he had grown and the father who had been his only friend. Parents seemed ignorant of his good bye.

He walked, tears trembling frantically down his cheeks. It was harder than he had anticipated.

The main gate croaked, disturbing the lost minds of the parents. They looked out, his shadow still seemed moving. Mother hurried towards father for help, laden with grief.

They had been struggling to ‘keep the positivity’. Ever since their son had been diagnosed with Cancer, they had put their time and money to make him fit – again. Doctor had been hopeful. The three had fought together till the time their son had decided to quit. Quit the game of life and surrender self to death. The time has not yet come, but son was willing to be early.

It had been a year ago when son had decided for an assisted suicide. He had requested them to end his sufferings. Cancer had bought him all – the pain, the guilt and the hopelessness. Watching his parents running after him at an old age had left him ‘with this choice’. He had seen the loans taken for his medication. He had seen them wide awake during dark nights. He had seen them dying for him every moment. He could not take it any longer.

They ran after him to stop him for the last time. They ran to the best of their effort, weeping and calling out for him with a resigned mind and helpless heart. ‘

If only they could bargain few more hours with him, they thought, they would have loved him little more. If only they could stop him for a while, they thought, they could regain his lost hope. If only they could hug him tight, they thought, they could change it all.

But he was gone too far this time – not to return at all.

 “We were sure that we will protect him, from all the evils… and believed we ruled his life (and death)… But o Thy, you proved us wrong… He opted for the Hard Choice…Why so soon?”

 

‘I waited for so long, to discover myself strong…I left the weak behind, walked the aisle proud…the new came rushing, welcomed me warm… who cares the old, they are just the past’

She checked herself again in the mirror. It was perfect she thought. The brows were in place, red paint on lips suited the attire and the kohl gave an exception look. She smiled, being a girl was awesome.

It was a time to say goodbye to the past and live the present.

It had been hard to break the societal norms, to make a decision against the convention and train self for the upcoming challenges.

She had been preparing herself strong for it, mentally as well physically. She had gone for shopping to buy short skirts, tees and accessories. Not only had she spent days getting ready in the parlour, she had also watched help videos on you tube. After a quarter of life wasted in some-random-unavoidable things, she was now confident of her dreams and life ahead.

She stepped out the house in the hope of a warm welcome. After all, girls had always been the preferred ones, she had confirmed herself. Swinging her bottom hard, she started walking down the road to meet her friends from the past life.

So the girl between us is here’, Yasbir chuckled as she entered the club door

She waved and began to speak in recently acquired tone, ‘I plan to enroll myself for a college. Then maybe get settled soon before it’s too late’

At the end, you will only be here darling’, taunted Hoshi

You guys are mean… and off course jealous’, she snapped at the gang

She knew, even though her friends were her life, they belonged to the dark past. The life she had chosen to lead did not make any sense to them. Keeping past alive in the present was the only mistake she could do to herself, she thought.

I am leaving’, she declared and left. She could hear their giggle behind. She could hear the apprehensions her friends had. But that did not make her worry. She had already started implementing her decision.

She had been a free bird, under the protection of her friends. They had been teasers together, fighters often and family always. Never had she realized, being girl alone was a dangerous affair.

The eyes started following her everywhere. It concentrated at the assets she owned. She was unaware of the daily assault she was going through. She thought it was being friendly. New friends made no effort to protect her or educate her; they themselves discussed her vitals behind her back.

Her skirts were too short, she often ignored. The red lip colour shone in the dark, she did not pay heed. Her blouse lacked sleeves, she thought it was fashion. She was content and happy with her present life. Full of attention, friends, love and opportunity which her past life lacked. She got drifted with the flow, becoming a sought after girl day-by-day.

One day, while sipping her coffee at her house with new found friends Pradeep and Ketan, she sensed their hands over her lap. It was not a friendly gesture and squeezing made it uneasy for her. She opposed her friends fearing. Ketan closed the door behind. Pradeep smiled and started tearing her clothes. She shouted, yelled but all in vain. They threw her like a ball between each other. Both spent rest half an hour, enjoying her and her helplessness. She was left crying later.

Being eunuch for 25 years had been expensive for her. Her friends mocked her at school…her siblings had disown her existence… and her parents had left her, fearing society…

She had been taken by the eunuchs at a younger age… she had enjoyed the freedom of expressions then…loved the company of fellow eunuchs Hoshi and Yasbir… and did not fear the unknown…

Choosing one of the either genders had become a mandate for her to prove her identity. She had gone under knife to become a girl, as she thought they were privileged souls.

She cried her heart out, cursing the decisions she made. She shouted for the ones who did not raped like men and got raped like women. She now knew transgenders had been nicer to her unlike men and women. She missed her past.

And her present –IT WAS DARKER THAN THE FORGOTTEN PAST

 

 ‘I left past and embraced present…Present kicked me hard and left me in ashes…Ah, my dark existence’