The Boy Whom I Loved

“Why don’t you get married” asked she suddenly. I was not prepared for this question from a total stranger yet I fumbled through an answer to put down the lid on the old lady who was grilling me on the subject which I thought people have forgotten. She seemed a jolly old lady who dared ask me about my single status and seemed satisfied with whatever answer I offered and so I asked her the story of her love and marriage. She gave me a tricky answer which I could not comprehend. She said “though I never married the person I loved but I lived with him all my life.” She laughed mischievously as I gazed at her in my stupor. Old lady is entertaining me with stories I thought. Before she rolled out another bouncer “and you know his wife too approved of our love and never complained my living with him.” “Have you seen titanic” I asked. She winked in affirmation and said “do I remind you of Rose in her old age”?.
I smiled as that was what I was thinking,
“My story is similar only the setting is different” she said getting up to leave as she saw my friend coming.
“Your granny is simply great” I said to my friend when she showed up. “She is not my granny she is my grandfather’s girlfriend whom he did not marry” came another bombshell. The old lady was indeed in love with my friend’s grandfather when the country was going through the cruel period of the partition. They were drifted apart by cruel tide of time which spared no one in those difficult times. They ultimately met again when the dirty dust of bloodshed and violence had settled. But by that time her grandfather was married and settled with two kids. Her grandmother also a victim of the pitiless rioting preferred to have her home than live with the guilt of thrusting a hapless lover of her husband in the ruthless world. Such was the time and so deep was the love that though my friends grandparents have passed away she lived with the family loved and revered as any granny in a family.
“And you know why she is here?” my friend asked. I shaked my head to indicate ignorance. “You know my brother and his wife were heading for a divorce. “But theirs is a love marriage isn’t it “I intervened “as if love marriage is some guarantee for happy marriage” she protested. “ But now this old lady has settled the issue by citing example of her love for my grandfather and importantly my grandmother’s tolerance”. she continued “for years I did not know her exact relation to our family but never was she despised by my grandmother they lived like best friends always.”
“It is sad that we the present generation which has every comfort and security keep forgetting the good things and harp on bad things to draw daggers on the boy or the girl whom we love while this old lady in her late eighties still relates stories of her love and charms us with her love life.” my friend said moodily as the old lady came with cups of hot tea to relate another story.

JOINT FAMILY

In time of test,’ family is the best.’ All the hurdles of the day are eased at the end of the day when you are back with your family.
‘Joint’ means tied together. A joint family with number of members definitely sounds more secure. We can find many solutions or many helping hands. One would definitely be in less danger if one’s own kith and kin are fun to be with.
But many times members of a joint family never really speak their minds to one another. They maintain an atmosphere of unreality. Each one lives in an atmosphere of suppressed ill-feeling. ‘Unity in diversity’ if maintained then a joint family may succeed. Having individual independence in one’s own private decision making, finances, entertainment etc and by maintaining all round unity, can help survive a joint family.
Just like India is a country with different languages, caste & religion, so also a joint family has people with different ideas & behavioral habits. If one respects & recognizes each other’s views as well as tolerate or each other’s behavior & thinking, then the fruits of a joint family can surely be enjoyed.
The strength of a man is portrayed by his capacity to adjust to the different minds and situations in a joint family. If he can adjust to the ifs & buts at home, then he can surely adjust with his outside world. Truly speaking our public affections begin in our families. No cold relation can be zealous citizen. Blood relations may be thicker but they can be nastier too. If members of a family do not open up, then a joint family may become a home of all social evils and a hell for the children in particular. A selfless member who volunteers to shoulder the joint pack selflessly may at the end find himself reading a story to a sleepy child.

Of family, love, life and tea drinking legacy

I woke up to a beautiful day, unlike the past couple of days when the sun did not wake up at all and the rains were having a ball. Not really a rain girl, I would rather laze in my warm settee than to enjoy the rhetoric of the rains.

It was early in the morning and the sun was already looking so beautiful. Series of memories visited me and made me unusually nostalgic. I handled my white and gold rim ceramic cup just filled with semi fuming Darjeeling tea with little milk and sugar. I like it with milk, I always have. Over the years, my taste for tea has changed, grown and have substantiated me. I have been a tea drinker ever since my late teens. My grandma, an addict and a beautiful heart, was the first to rise and make her and the family the first cup of tea. She only used to get going after her first cup. I, essentially being her flower child, used to love the little sips that would made me feel like her, more than anything else. Tea got me to its clings, literally, much later. I would love the masala chai loaded with sugar and milk. That was a phase which had its lovely moments. As I grew up, I found tea more enigmatic. The flavors are variant, distinctive and appealing.

Grandma left the legacy of tea drinking to me. In my family, now, it’s only my father and I, who relish the idea of morning and evening teas, teas for different occasions and weathers. We love everything that is good tea and how it is served. I believe in that the flavor changes or enhances with the right kind of serving containers. So, I stress on the right kind of cups for a different kinds of teas. My mother hardly drinks tea but has specializes on the art of making it on my insistence. I am picky when it comes to tea. My sisters and their family are occasional tea drinkers – something I appreciate. But when they are visiting us, I manage to tempt them to some relishing cups of tea. The idea of having it all together is really alluring and great fun. We serve it with lots of cookies, Indian snacks, love and gossips.

Things have changed over the years, we have metamorphosed, father has gone more bald, I have had my first grey hair sneaking out every now and then and grandma is no more. But our love for good tea is one good constant factor that has still gotten us all together to the morning tea table over a beautiful tea drinking ritual.

As a Child

As a child I always loved to go to office like my dad. Life sounded so happy for my father according to me, with no teacher homework etc. ‘Do what you like’ was the life of my dad. The bus ride to school was exciting, but how I wished it was to a picnic and not to school. The drawing class-wow! Awesome periods in which I never missed, my mother, grandmother, aunts & my wonderful toys. Then the number-work class followed by science class bought back home-sickness writing numbers and number names brought tears to my eyes and learning the spellings of animals and plants brought big sobs.
The morning milk was so boring. I wished I could have some cool drinks. The lunch bell brought back smiles. Eating with friends was fun- sharing food with each other. I loved playing hide & seek after lunch. I recollect when one day I was hiding behind the wall of our school building trying hard not to be spotted. The bell rang but I did not hear. I was hiding wondering how I was not being spotted while at the same time feeling happy that I had won. Fifteen minutes passed, I became aware of my loneliness. I slowly came out of my hiding only to find out silence everywhere. I rushed to the class. The social studies teacher had started the monotonous history lecture. She just loved to punish me by asking to write the lesson- British Rule in India 3 times. Then was our computer class. I loved it. Fascinated with the thought of learning without holding pen, pencil, eraser etc, the computer sounded a great wonder for me. The school bell rang; my face glittered to go home. The teacher had filled up the complaint column. My promises to my mother that I would not repeat my mistakes again were another routine to my mom. Sundays were the best. Everyone has a holiday spending some good time with my grandmother, aunts & mom watching my favourite shows on tv, but Sunday night beats the trumpet of Monday morning oh! Oh! No how long.

One moment in time

I lived all my days, for that one moment in time
No past no future, in that instance
Felt the world around me sublime

All seemed so clear to me and yet I was blind
Wanted no past no future in that instance
A knot was getting tied there, never to unwind

In your arms I lay trustingly when you kissed my forehead
Felt no past no future in that instance
For me only for me this is, my every being pleaded

In the life that I live, such moments I want to steal
With no past no future in that instance
Time would just stop and the days would turn surreal

Sigh! We walked our separate ways, now memories drop by as gentle dew
There was no past no future in that instance
So never mind the ending dear, love, with you it did ensue

One Husband Several Wives and One Wife Several Husbands

“History repeats itself” is no vain statement and it surely does if what has been reported  in the newspapers the  other day is true. The repetition  here has  a small twist, that’s all.

Some years back, probably in Nineties, a man claiming to be an NRI married many young women, stayed with them for a day or two, looted their jewellery and vanished out of sight.

His modus operandi was like this.  He would advertise in  the newspapers that he was on a short leave from USA /UK,  and was looking for a working woman kind of  bride.  There was craze in that era to go abroad, especially USA and  settle down there for a long spell. Many young women like nurses, teachers, clerical staffs, secretaries and  even some junior executives  responded. Our hero chose one who had a good income, went for bride seeing along with a middle aged woman, who he claimed as his elder sister; taking a woman with  him, added  credibility to his game.

After some serious interrogation, he approved of the candidate and fixed the marriage date which was just 4  or 5 days away;  he must go  through the wedding ritual fast  before his leave expired. Oh, was the bride happy?  And the parents were thrilled too.  The man demanded no dowry but the bride may be sent with her personal jewellery and clothes. No parents could have asked for more.

The marriage ceremony was kept very simple.  The wedded couple had their first night in a hotel in the bridal attire. The bride couldn’t spend the night wearing her full   jewellery.  She took them out and kept them in the cupboard or dressing table.  During the night our hero collected them and vanished before it was  dawn. You can imagine the plight of the bride.

In another case, he rang up the bride-to-be and asked her to buy an air ticket, both ways, to  New Delhi.  He would be back on the following day, well in time for the wedding.  That was the last the parents heard of him.  He converted the ticket into cash and disappeared.

He succeeded in seven cases  using different duping methods and the eighth turned out  to be his Waterloo.

During a social party one young thing proudly announced that she was getting married to an NRI, who was on a short leave in India and showed his photograph to the hostess. “How is it?  He is marrying me five days from today….”  conveyed the hostess.  Becoming suspicious, the hostess laid a trap for him.  “Where are you living Mister Suresh?” she asked of him on his contact number.  He gave the address of a hotel.  On checking back, there was no one there by that name. On further probe, they discovered that he was a  part time clerk from a nearby city.

The police nabbed him and took him to court on a case of cheating.  He along  with his paramour got 8 years in jail.

And now comes a similar case but this time the villain is a  woman.

One Manimegala from Pollachi,South India, joined a computer centre, run by a differently abled man. Manimegala made him fall in love with her and  after a few weeks she indicated to him obliquely that she was interested in marrying a differently abled man and give him a comfortable home life.  Rathinakumar fell for her sweet talk and proposed to her.

Even before the marriage Manimegala had  tranferred  his 10 cents land in her two brother’s names.

After the marriage in November 2011, she continued to extract money and valuables  from Rathinakumar and left him one fine morning.

Perplexed at the turn of events, Rathinakumar begged her to come back to him. Strangely, the family members of the girl threatened to finish him off.

Following this development, Rathinakumar lodged a  police complaint.  Preliminary investigations revealed that   Manimegala had conned several men in  this manner.  Her first marriage was with one Sathish Kumar from Tirupur some years back.  He was dumped in due course after she had robbed him of valuables and money. It’s not known how many more men she married and threw out  before she set her eyes upon the poor  computer centre owner.

The police are now collecting more information to find out how many husbands she had  lured and deceived.

Unshed tears

Like dark clouds they strain,
On the verge of blue sky,
Vying to rush and drain,
The sea of her cheerless eye,
To show strength to world around,
With great effort she smiles,
For her child she holds the ground,
To protect from vile and guiles,
You left me alone she says,
To the one that parted ways,
Her heart for one thing craves,
As rough weather she braves,
Haven , where without fear,
She can let go that unshed tear.

Matters of the heart-\-break

Are you in love with some person? Deeply in love? How free have you been with him/her physically?  If you have been  only hugging and kissing, this article is meant for you.  If you have gone beyond that or below the waistline, don’t read it.

The modern generation know all about safe sex, the safe period, protected sex, condoms etc. Wonder if they enquire about her safe days from the girl concerned.  Where would be the time for it anyway? The decision itself would be spontaneous and urgent and the darned  act would finish before you  count ten !

The other day I saw on the net a Western pair, aged around 24 years, who  had been having sex regularly like any married couple practising  the technique of  ‘withdrawal’.  It seems to have worked out for them  well for 4 years and they have not decided to get married. I have a horrible feeling  that  they would never get married at all.  In all probability, they may  marry  someone else.  Why? You may ask. They need new pastures, the earlier one having been explored and eaten up. I only  hope the Indian adventurers don’t resort to the  “withdrawal technology.”

One  very  knowledgeable  youngster asked seriously some days back,  “What’s the harm?  It’s only natural, isn’t it? We know how to protect ourselves from STD and undesirable pregnancy etc?”

“Well said, boy,” I complimented him.  “But do you know the consequences? STD and pregnancy  are not the only issues, remember?”

He cocked up his ears to what I had to say.

In India, dear young man, one falls in love so that it leads to the marriage altar.  A maiden dreams of it from week one.  She may not think of casual sex at all. But she may give in, if you insist on it all   because she  loves you a lot and doesn’t want to displease you in any  manner nor lose you on account of a denial.

“OK.  That’s fine,” he remarked interrupting me.

“It’s not fine,  dear fellow.  Firstly, you will feel very guilty about it since you have done something  wrong and against  our culture. Let’s say you care two hoots for the culture. Next, you are likely to  lose all interest in her because you have tasted her pre maturely.”

Some young men may even start hating the sight  of that girl; she would suddenly look ugly in your eyes; and possibly you may even dub her as a lose character who could surrender to anyone asking for sex..  The most important development could be, “There is nothing to look forward to in her thereafter.” And you part ways.

The affected college scholar scratched his chin. “Y…e…s sort of …”  On a closer cross examination he confessed that he had abandoned his No.1 but since he belonged to a group of 4,  he was having an eye on another.

“Have you tasted her too?”

“Not yet, Sir.”

“Do you love No. 2?

“No, not really.  But I did love No.1 very deeply.  Really loved her, Sir.  Dreamt of her as my future wife….”

“What happened then?  You have kicked her out of your heart now , haven’t you?” After several minutes of silence, he accepted  that he had.

This is what will happen if you try out your fun sex. You would lose all  interest in her.  Is it fair on the girl?  Won’t she carry this guilt in her mind assuming she gets married to another person?  A ‘guilty past’ may lead to quarrels, disagreements, arguments and an unhappy end as well.

I have personal knowledge of a few cases. What if the girl gets pregnant? Her future is gone for ever. And the  culprit would, more often than not,  refuse to marry her on some excuse or the other.  The poor girl delivers the baby. I heard several stories of this kind in a Cheshire home where unmarried girls  surrender their unwanted baby. Will such unfortunate females stand the chance of marriage ever again?  Surely not.  Every gent inIndiawants a pure virgin and nothing less.

Despite the pre-marital thing, some stick to their resolve and get married. But then their marriage never lasts. To quote a case: These two were deeply in love for about 18 months and were due to be married shortly. “Why not?  After all we are getting married, aren’t we?”  asked the male partner. The girl reluctantly agreed.  After they went through it, the man had a change of heart; he didn’t want her any longer;  there was nothing to discover in her any more. He avoided her and married someone else.

In another case, [which unfortunately took place in my own family !], though they got married all right after some 2 years of courting, and one abortion,  the marriage didn’t succeed; my sister couldn’t conceive and  the union ended in permanent separation.  Don’t you think but for the pre marital sex and the  badly done abortion, their marriage would have clicked with a couple of children?

All these failures are  due to  ‘one mistake’, one simple mistake committed at an emotional moment when they had lost control over their passion. If only they hadn’t succumbed  to this temptation of  trial sex, they would have been a happy couple with healthy children.

So, keep away from this practice, children.  Remember, “To delay is to increase the pleasure.”  So, hold on until you tie the nuptial knot. You will then enjoy not only your ‘wedding night’ but also have a long lasting and solid  married life.

There is one more thing. The modern day children are very knowledgeable and bold as well.  It’s possible your own daughter would one day ask you how you met her father. “Were you in love with him? For how long? Did you have sex with him before marriage?”  You cannot lie to your own flesh and blood. Wouldn’t you avoid cutting a sorry figure in front of your own daughter.

So keep yourself under control and pure  so that you become a role model to your own children.

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who really are you

You find more happiness in my pains

Than in your own happiness

You await my sad moment to be happy

You highs do not seem to amuse you anymore

You find solace in my humiliation

You stalk me instead of contemplating your life

You smile when I cry

You hate it when I laugh

Who really are you

Who are you?

 

The Female to Male Ratio

It is the Creator God who decides on the sex of the baby being formed in a mother’s womb. The parents have no control over it at all. And God maintains a perfect balance between female foetus and male foetus.  It is always on 1 to 1 basis.  He does not  allow any imbalance in their numbers.

It is God’s plan that the earthlings should not  live alone but live as a pair.  In other words, every human being must get married. That’s why He produced Eve and gave her to Adam.  Adam never asked for a companion.  He didn’t even know anything about a woman and what she would look like.  When God presented a beautiful creature before him, he became curious and started comparing his features with Eve’s.  She became his wife straightway in the garden of Eden.

But, we hear that in some  countries the female to male ratio is terribly one sided. For instance in China there are only 858 females for every 1000 males and in India 914: 1000.  Who was responsible for this imbalance? The people. In Indian villages, a female baby is put to death immediately on birth.  Some village panchayats have laid down  such a diktat. Their reason   is:  Only a male child would perpetuate the family’s name and help it multiply. A girl child would migrate to some other family after marriage for good!

The  thinking in China too is similar. So, they  resort to female infanticide.  Since one can verify the sex of an unborn child,  it is easy to destroy a female foetus right in the womb. The problem became more serious from 1980 when China had  decreed the  one child norm. “The only child must be a male child,” the parents say.

And so we see the demographic  mismatch in these two countries.

Arranged marriage seems to be the norm in China just as it is in India.  Love marriage is also in vogue in India but is getting less and less popular. In such a scenario, how do marriages materialise?

In China it is usually  the woman who picks out her husband. Men being  greater  in number, every young man would keep his fingers crossed hoping that some girl would show a selecting finger at him. Women in general are well educated in China  and naturally they would want a man of good qualifications.

A similar situation will come about in India too.  Instead of  ‘bride seeing’  it is going to be  ‘groom seeing’ henceforth. How will a girl choose her husband in the seeing function?  By the looks or qualification or family status or the Man’s financial status?  It’s possible that software engineers or other engineers may cross examine the  young man and harass him with questions like in a job interview.   The  SW engineer knows exactly what she wants and she would not settle for anyone less  than a post graduate engineer  who had secured his degree fromUSA.   For others, the consideration may be financial security and so a Man’s income and earning capacity would matter a lot.

‘Not so good looking’ girls also will stand a very good chance. A Man who has been rejected by several girls may opt for this specimen.  What matters in the circumstances is, a  woman’s physique and a healthy body and  shape   and her looks wouldn’t count much at all.

In such a situation, some men would have to remain single and die as bachelors while all the  young women  would stand married, happily married.  It’s highly  possible that there may be no divorce at all.  That would be an extraordinary India  then indeed!

Woman anywhere…

I could have sworn

that a tear had run down

I knew she was strong

but how long could she

hold on?

A mother of two

a boy & a girl

a wife so devoted

a woman who cared.

Now,she remains all

alone

her womb is empty

so is her heart & soul.

For is there any life left

for a widow or a mother

who loses her kids

to death?

But she is strong,

she held on…

How to avoid a Divorce

Suguna fell deeply in love with  Mukesh when she had gone to New Delhi on a college project work.. The love  was so overpowering Suguna felt that she could not live without Mukesh  even for a minute.  Immediately after her BA final examination, she forced her parents to marry her off  to Mukesh.

They got divorced exactly eight months later.Why?

Suguna  was a Tamilian from head to toe and from morning till evening  seven days a week. Whereas Mukesh was born and bred in New Delhi and had never moved out of the Capital in all his life.

Suguna found everything new and strange in her New Delhi home.  She couldn’t stand the sight of chappatis, parotas  and dhal  at the dining table nor every  house routine the whole day.

She was a Christian and  Mukesh, a staunch Hindu.

As days passed by, they couldn’t see eye to eye on any issue at all  and found no agreement on many things in their daily life.  Mukesh’s parents expected a different kind of behaviour from their daughter- in-law but Suguna’s thinking and conduct was like any Tamilian maiden’s. She was worshiping a different God, a foreign God for that matter which her in-laws didn’t quite approve of.

The only thing common between the young couple was the language; Suguna spoke both Hindi and English.  The deep love they had developed  for each other had waned out by the day and did not count for anything  after two weeks into the married life.

Suguna found no course of action appropriate  except to part ways through a divorce..  She was back in her Chennai home exactly 8 months after her marriage,  with all her dreams of a happy home fully shattered. She was a broken soul too with complete  aversion to live with a man ever again!

What went wrong with this young couple? A deep analysis is needed to be  a  lesson for those believers in mixed marriage.

National integration,  culture merging, the concept of  one God, one religion etc are all right in theory but don’t work in practice.  Any marriage would call for adjustment between the husband and wife. One has to give in  and accept some changes in the interest of joint living.  But if one has to adjust more than ten percent, such an union is bound to break.  In Suguna’s and Mukesh’s case, 90% adjustment  was necessary which was impossible to achieve.  Indeed they were better off divorced than married !

You should never rush into marriage. Suguna had done precisely that and without understanding  the life style and beliefs  of her future husband and the compatibility factors between them. Like beauty,  the pre marriage  love is also only skin deep. It is not  a propeller shaft to ferry you through the whole voyage. All the other factors take over, after you had tied the nuptial knot. Unless your foundation is strong, no marriage will be happy and durable.

In this couple’s case, the foundation was very flimsy and therefore  crumbled at the slightest shake. What constitute  a strong foundation?

According to my thinking, the ingredients of a strong foundation are: common food habit, similar bringing up culture, the social status of the wife should be equal or lower than that of the husband’s, common religious belief and financial soundness of the husband.. Once these factors match, the super structure will rise up fast and the building will become complete and strong.  Despite these parameters agreeing, adjustment of some kind would be necessary hut if that adjustment is  more than 10%  the marriage  won’t work  out.

I for one do not encourage inter region or inter caste marriage.  Marry in your own social circle and social surroundings.  Your union then will grow and won’t crumble at any degree of  disturbance.  The word ‘Divorce’ won’t be  found in your vocabulary  any longer and in fact you won’t even know its spelling.

Happy birthday my girl!

The hand pulling rickshaw puller

Struggled his feet through the

Hot and burning stone street

The lady sat fat with lot of extra shopping weight

Her right hand never stopped feeding her mouth

She ate as if there would be no tomorrow

And the puller pulled like there would be no tomorrow

His feet all bare and rough

The soles tough, distracting the stones

The sun was merciless

He eyed a bunch of young people

Gorging on the colored drinks

Two children playing with ice cubes

The lady still munching the snacks

The puller rode like a horse now

He can’t waste any time

He has to meet his little girl

Who’s been waiting since forever

He needs 20 rupees more

To buy her a birthday gift

The gift she’s been wanting since last year

The puller got the fat lady down safely to her house

Took  the money, sidelined the rickshaw

He went to an ever old, shabby shoe shop

Shopped for a couple of chappals

Bought his choice and came home

Wearing the sandals in blue straps

His girl gave him a big hug and a tearful kiss

He finally made her day.

 

 

Crossroads… !

Jiya felt out of the world; finally, everything was moving in the way she always wanted. She forever liked Krish – loved him to be precise, but perhaps the power that is known as almighty had some other plans. They became voyagers of two different streams, diverging from each other. Her destined path kept her at bay, until one day when he was back in her life.

7 years elapsed before he was back – however, things were different as he was married by then. One fine day Jiya surprisingly received a friend request from Krish on a social network site, which she accepted gleefully. He remained like any other friend in Jiya’s friend-list mostly benign, until one day he made his first move when both of them were online at the same time, and from then it all started to roll back. Both lived in two different cities, so they decided to meet when Krish was supposed to visit Delhi for the next time, which was the hometown for both of them and where Jiya was settled.

The time came soon and they met. After the meeting however, Jiya realised that he was a changed man. He was not the same crazy guy whom she loved even though they spent ample intimate moments. She found him to be more matured yet somewhere deep in her heart Jiya still felt that the crazy guy she loved was still alive, buried somewhere beneath the debris of his mellowness.

Two years elapsed like that, by then chatting was notably replaced by calls that they made to each other. They again came closer to each other by each passing day. Jiya however still missed the passion that made her fall for Krish, 7 years back. Soon however everything changed.

One day when Jiya was online and he suddenly pinged her, they resumed their chatting and it almost became a routine to be online at a particular time. Jiya felt happy this time, everything was falling into place, everything was happening in the way she always wanted. Krish started showing his feelings; all his craziness and passion was back. They got very much involved when one day he asked her to send him some of the videos that she recorded on self, where she spoke intimately about him. The file size was huge and she was not being able to send through mail despite persistent effort. That was when all of a sudden Krish called her. She took the call and said, “Sweetie tell me how to minimize these clips?” Krish however to her surprise replied, “What videos?” Jiya replied, “I am asking you about the video you asked me to send. The size of the clip is big and I am not being able to compress it”. Krish replied, “I have no clue about what you are talking! I am calling you almost after a month!” Jiya was surprised on hearing that. She said, “Hey, stop joking na! We have been chatting regularly over a month now for hours everyday and you asked some of my video that I had recorded for you!” Krish however almost gave an impression that he knew nothing about what she was talking. He then asked about the chat id of the person whom Jiya was talking to. Jiya replied, “It is kriish4u and spelt it K – R – double I, S, H”. To her astonishment Krish promptly said, “No, that’s not my id. My id is krish4u. I don’t have that extra I in my id; you must have been chatting to someone else”. Jiya became numb; she disconnected the call and was dumbstruck unable to move or react.

After couple of days when she cooled down, she started to think over the whole episode. Something bothered her from within; she kept on asking herself that how come some other guy with a similar id knew so much about their relation. Suddenly in a flash, she recalled that the guy on chat said her a few things which happened when she met Krish in Delhi and those were such incidents which were impossible for a third person even to guess! Her head started to spin and within seconds the world around her became dark as she fainted.

She regained her consciousness almost after 10 min.  She then knew what was wrong; she stood up on her trembling legs, walked slowly to her bedroom, booted her laptop, and started mailing Krish.

Krish, I am shattered after all that has happened. I guess now it is tougher for me to start from scratch yet again, as you will always remind me of my mistakes. I am sure that I know who that other guy is. Who could know about all those secrets and intimate hours we shared last time when we met in Delhi? It cannot be such a big coincident that you both share such similar ids. I frankly do not know why you came back into my life and why you did all this to me! I am just ruined. This relationship is over now; perhaps that will not even bother you but it is for sure that never in my life I can trust anyone as deeply as I had trusted you. Because you have taught me the biggest lesson of my life – trust is meant to be broken!

new girl in the city

Chennai had been a mere touch & go place for me all these years. Random visits seldom prolonged. A place etched in memory in vague imprints of dust, soot and heat. So then when I shifted to Chennai after marriage, I had no qualms about this city. May 2011 welcomed me to Chennai with the harshest of heat waves I could imagine. Sun simmered throughout the next two months and I cursed this city. By August I began my getting acquainted with the city tours. I would walk out with my wallet and my cell phone, purely depending on the people around to get me anywhere. Autos proved to be a rather expensive indulgence in my routine meanderings; hence I resorted to the domestic train service & buses. After sometime, when the dust and soot and heat seemed to settle down, I began to see this city and its people for what they really are. What astonished me was come rain or sunshine ( I mean intense sun stroking ones) one would never find an umbrella on the rise. Often I had stood out as the odd person out with an umbrella. Anywhere, everywhere garbage strewed and I would walk well into the middle of the road to avoid the stench and the dirt. But I also found plump stray dogs and cattle who fed on this left over. That might sound repulsing, but my point is the city takes care of every being.
I also had a fair share of tiny encounters with kind-heartedness. The people here are so down to earth and helpful .Often a lost me had been re-directed and helped by kind hearted souls. I also found the attitude towards women here to be impressive compared to where I come from. Kerala has always been notorious for how women are treated. Hence Chennai is a breath of fresh air. Simple acts of kindness that one seldom notices like a blind man feeding a stray puppy, a shopkeeper sitting and feeding a beggar, incentives that you get on purchases from the flower women or the small shops around your house….all these makes Chennai a place devoid of every negative adjective attached to a metro. There is always a festive mood with crowds rushing for purchases and people blaring music at some nook & corner of the road. Love for music and bright colors and flowers again make this city more endearing.
Or perhaps, Chennai is endearing because here is my home that I share with my husband. After all love makes everything beautiful ?

The boy whom I loved

“Why don’t you get married” asked she suddenly. I was not prepared for this question from a total stranger yet I fumbled through an answer to put down the lid on the old lady who was grilling me on the subject which I thought people have forgotten. She seemed a jolly old lady who dared ask me about my single status and seemed satisfied with whatever answer I offered and so I asked her the story of her love and marriage. She gave me a tricky answer which I could not comprehend. She said “Though I never married the person I loved but I lived with him all my life.” She laughed mischievously as I gazed at her in my stupor. Old lady is entertaining me with stories I thought. Before she rolled out another bouncer “and you know his wife too approved of our love and never complained my living with him.” “Have you seen Titanic” I asked. She winked in affirmation and said “Do I remind you of Rose in her old age”?
I smiled as that was what I was thinking!
“My story is similar only the setting is different,” she said getting up to leave as she saw my friend coming.
“Your granny is simply great,” I said to my friend when she showed up. “She is not my granny she is my grandfather’s girlfriend whom he did not marry,” came another bombshell. The old lady was indeed in love with my friend’s grandfather when the country was going through the cruel period of the partition. They were drifted apart by cruel tide of time which spared no one in those difficult times. They ultimately met again when the dirty dust of bloodshed and violence had settled. But by that time her grandfather was married and settled with two kids. Her grandmother also a victim of the pitiless rioting preferred to have her home than live with the guilt of thrusting a hapless lover of her husband in the ruthless world. Such was the time and so deep was the love that though my friend’s grandparents have passed away she lived with the family loved and revered as any granny in a family.
“And you know why she is here?” my friend asked. I shook my head to indicate ignorance. “You know my brother and his wife were heading for a divorce.” “But theirs is a love marriage, isn’t it?” I intervened “As if love marriage is some guarantee for happy marriage,” she protested. “ But now this old lady has settled the issue by citing example of her love for my grandfather and importantly my grandmother’s tolerance”. She continued “For years I did not know her exact relation to our family but never was she despised by my grandmother and they lived like best friends always.”
“It is sad that we the present generation which has every comfort and security keep forgetting the good things and harp on bad things to draw daggers on the boy or the girl whom we love while this old lady in her late eighties still relates stories of her love and charms us with her love life.” my friend said moodily as the old lady came with cups of hot tea to relate another story.

Wives indeed deserve a day of honour, don’t they?

Wives indeed deserve a day of  honour , don’t they?

Yes, why not?

Don’t we observe as of now all kinds of days – Valentine’s day, Children’s day, Teachers’ day, Mother’s day, Father’s day.  Why is ‘wife’ missing from the  above list? What has she done  to  be deprived of this honour?  She is a mother all right but her primary role as wife should not be forgotten. It would appear that the world has indeed forgotten her.

Till recent time, one  officer  by the name  S. Narayanan, the  Administrative officer of a Marriage Hall in Chennai,India used to celebrate what could be called “Couples’ day”.  He hired a marriage hall and   invited all the married couple to gather there for some fun and frolic.   Men of different age groups and from all walks of life dressed like grooms along with their  proud spouse  came to this particular hall for the ceremony.  Some grooms were in their 70’s and their wives  appeared  as coy  as they were on their wedding day years ago. This was done on 30 August.  In the year 2008, nearly  1008  couples  attended the ceremony  and the practice seems to have died down in the last two years or so.  Why, I  wonder?

True, a wife’s day could be commemorated inside one’s own home also but a public show has its own charm. Several people get to see you.  You become a  cynosure of all eyes and a role model for youngsters.  Your own children will go ga ga adoring and blessing you with gifts and kisses.  Won’t that be a grand nostalgia?

Many Indians celebrate the sixtieth year  wedding day. On attaining the age of 60 by the father, the children would get their parents married  for the second time at a home ceremony.  In the Indian language it is called ‘Sashtiaboorthi’. This is a great occasion, isn’t it?  The children conducting  the wedding  ceremony and  making their parents recollect  their good old wedding day years back !  So, why not observe a “Wife’s day” to honour the mother?

An Indian  wife,  is a real Home maker in the literal sense.  She shoulders the entire burden of the family while letting her  husband  have a  life free of any worries.  She is truly a God given gift to a man and this annual function would reflect the men folk’s  gratitude for her.

90% of the Indian wives are absolute home makers.  Their sole  job is to administer the home, bear children and rear them up  and  also be a companion to her husband. They do accept  that the  husband is the head of the house and she is his assistant.

The other 10% happen to be working women – full working women bringing in a pay packet sometime  larger than the husband’s. The latest trend shows that the Divorce rate is high  in the homes of working women who seem to have developed an ego that they are no less in competence and status and could command a voice in the home running possibly not admitting that the husband is the head.  This is the starting point of domestic disharmony and invariably leads to the break up of the marriage.  I wonder if in such homes, the husband would  ever be willing to observe the Wife’s day and thank the lady for all her devotion to him !

I suggest 30 December   be celebrated as “Wife’s day” the world over henceforth.  I don’t think even the Western nations have reserved a day in  honour of the wife.  Isn’t it high time they did it? Accordingly, will everyone kindly gear up for 30 December this year?

While it may not be necessary to gather at a  particular place in large numbers, the day could be observed and rejoiced at  inside every home where the wife cum mother is honoured  profusely by the husband and treated with gifts and tributes.  It’s my wish that 30 December be accepted as the “Wife’s day” the world over and the Lady of the Home be showered  with  love and respect.

In some social clubs, they observe a day called “Husband’s night” whereof it is the wives who would be at the service of men including serving drinks and taking the hubby for a dance and so on ..  A very good notion of applauding the husbands.  But then, why don’t we have “Wives night” in these clubs. My friend rebukes me and tells , “Don’t be stupid, man.  Don’t we look after the ladies well and ensure they are comfortable during all  the club evenings?”  True.  Come to think of it, every club evening is a “Wife’s night”.

But, a “Wife’s day” is  much more significant.  It’s an annual  day of thanksgiving by the husband  and  by the husband alone unlike  “Mother’s day” when she is venerated by both the husband and children.

 

——-

 

Answer me, God!

One incident took away almost everything from my world. Aayush, my younger son was only 4 months old then; I could have never heard the word “mamma” from him  neither would I knew how well my elder son, Aryan could sing or how handsome he looks in his all white cricketing attire. It all happened little more than a year back but it is still so vivid in my mind as if it happened just a week before. I am writing this on the eve of my birthday, thanks to the saviour for he gave me an opportunity to celebrate my birthday this year with my family.

We met with a  road accident when we were coming back from Pondicherry to Chennai after spending a superb holiday. Our red car, as Aryan recalls, “Papa’s red car fell and broke into pieces so papa bought a big black car.” Our car was rammed by a xylo from behind and the world became darkness to me.

When I was back to my senses, a month had passed and I was still in the hospital with a severe head injury. The worst thing that happened during this accident was that I suffered from retrograde amnesia and lost my last one-year memory. Due to that, I even forgot my younger son, since he was only 4 months then. Still, I keep on urging everyone individually, not to disclose this to him when he grows up. He will be very hurt when he will know his mother did not remember him. Many more things happened in that one-month period when I was in the hospital, but I was simply clueless.

Finally, one day I was released from the hospital, still on a prescription to continue my high dose medicines for an indefinite time. One day I was just lying in my bed, and found my aunt’s digital camera. She came down from Kolkata during those wretched days to help us. I took the camera and started browsing the pics in it. I saw the first pic, and then the second and then as I pressed the next button, the third pic came up. I stared at the picture blankly. It was Aayush’s pic, with one of his leg wrapped with a white plaster. I immediately ran to my hubby to enquire further. He didn’t hide a bit and told me Aayush fractured his leg during the accident. If that was not all, the fracture got detected after a couple of days when the leg started to swell. Poor Aayush underwent a massive pain for those two days.  In addition, my elder son, Aryan who was only 3 and half years then, broke his left collarbone and was in trauma since he was the only one who saw the whole thing. I became numb and only my tears, which do not follow any rules, continued to roll down my cheek. He also said that every night both the kids kept on crying. The younger one tried to pronounce “mamma” and kept on crying and the elder one, kept on asking everyone when his mother will come back to him.

For better care, my hubby sent me to my mothers place to Kolkata after a few days post my return from the hospital. During that stay, I would ask my mother about all that happened when I was not in my senses. She would always start her narration with Anirban, my hubby, how he took care of me. He was badly injured too in the accident, 21 stitches in his head and with a broken shoulder, still he spent all the nights in the hospital sitting next to me. His routine was somewhat like this; he joined his office few days after the accident – he would go to his office in the morning, return by 5 pm, then feed and make Aryan sleep (He was not allowing anyone to feed him and making him sleep).  After Aryan slept, hubby would have his dinner and go to the hospital with my dinner. He would feed me and then used to sit the whole night awake next to my bed and the next day morning again the routine continued…. I always love my hubby a lot but after hearing all this from my mother, that love increased manifolds and the respect I had for him increased too. He too was badly injured and required proper rest after the accident, but due to his commitments then he did not get any rest and now he is suffering from the side effects. 6 months after the accident, he started getting tremendous back pain, for which he still have sleepless nights. After a check up from the doctor, we came to know during the accident, he badly hurt his back, if he would have taken proper rest then after the accident, now he would not suffer from the side affects. I am very lucky to have him as my best half; he showed me what life is and where happiness lies.

I had no clue what my parents went through as i am their only daughter. Few months back when I was visiting  my aunt, the topic reappeared. She disclosed that my mother kept fasting because I could not eat properly when I was in the hospital. She used to tell, “I will leave my fasting only when my daughter starts eating normal diet.” ‘Hat’s off to you maa, you have shown me what mothers are for and thanks baba for your support.I know you too went through a lot of pain !”

A year flew by but the stigma of the incidence is still crystal-clear in my mind. Very frequently, I get the memories flushing my mind and I always ask with moist eyes – ‘why it was me and my family, who had to experience such a horrible fate.’ This is the only question that I have for Him, the power known as God!

It was the spring of one year

It was the spring of one year
A spring so untimely, yet so pretty
There was no rain
Yet everything seemed fresh
The same old sun shone upon the earth
Yet everything seemed brighter
The winds that blew were no different
Yet they carried the fragrance of headiness
The waves that washed over our feet had touched millions
Yet they were special as they united our steps
Spring was around us as we stood upon the rocks
In the light of the setting sun
The cool spring air that ruffled your hair
As we walked back home
The spring that had come and gone for centuries before us
But had never seemed so close to heart

It was the spring of one year
That was destined to be so short-lived
The winds no longer brought with them your fragrance
The sun shone, but I could not see your face in its light
The waves still lapped at my feet, but now they walked alone
The sun set in the horizon, but there was only one person on the rocks
A spring, that would be followed by a winter endless

Springs, that came and went
Would come and go for time eternal
Springs, that brought with them new experiences
New people, new places
Springs, that would never again be so unique
Springs, that would never again be treasured

The Story Writer

Shashi was a boy, who like all other boys went to school. But, unlike most boys, he was not allowed to decide for his own future. It was his father who decided what he will study, where he will study and how he will study. And also what he will not study, where he will not study and how he will not study. So, when the boy grew up to be a man, he found himself confronted with a world where he had to make his own decisions of which he had no experience. He tried to compensate for his lack by making such decisions that were not the obvious ones, decisions that created the greatest impact and gave him an enormous sense of responsibility in exercising them. Thus when friends invited him for picnics, he decided not to join. When an opportunity came for him to go abroad to study, he decided not to go. When he was offered a job, he decided not to take it. When there was talk of his marriage, he decided not to marry.

The one thing that Shashi loved doing was writing – writing stories. Fiction. In his stories he used to make his characters act rationally by making wise decisions for them. His characters went out to picnics with friends, went abroad to study, took up jobs and even married. He decided for them with as much responsibility as if they inhabited the real world and not the imaginary one that he has created.

Then one day Shashi fell in love – for the second time. His first love was writing stories but his second was a woman he met at a poetry reading session. She was a foreigner on a visit and they became friends. They kept their acquaintanceship over Orkut, Facebook and Twitter for a number of years. One day he expressed his love for her in a matter of fact way in a message to her. She confirmed love from her side too hoping for a consummation of their love and living their lives together. Some more time passed by soon. Then one day she asked Shashi exasperatedly,

“Don’t you want to marry me?”

He replied, “Yes. But I can’t. Long time back I decided not to marry.”

“Why?”

“Because then I did not love anyone.”

“But now you do.”

“I can’t reverse my decision. It is my responsibility to bear the consequences of the decision I have exercised.”

“But…”

“But I love you.”

The woman vanished from the virtual world from then on. The friendship froze.

Years later Shashi again saw the woman at a literary festival. She was now the companion of a famous writer known for his grumpiness. He stood at the end of the queue to get his copy signed. When he came forward the woman was surprised to see him. He in turn surprised the famous writer by inviting his companion for coffee. The famous writer accompanied them to the café. They had their introduction along with the coffee. It was then that Shashi made his pronouncement, “I want to marry you,” to the astonishment of both the listeners present. The famous writer coughed and the woman looked at him askance. So he added, “Because I still love you.”

She mumbled, “Why…”

He interrupted her, “I decided to override my earlier decision.”

He did not wait for her reply and left instantly. This time it was Shashi who disappeared from the virtual world – perhaps into his imaginary world, the world of his stories.