Amazing people who make me go on n on n on:)

27 November, 2011

The Sleeping Volcano

This is what I wanted to say to a dear friend and myself... I hope it helps!

They say all that appears calm on surface has ripples below if it is not declared dead-a dormant volcano, the about-to-be-boiled tea in a pan, an electric socket that remains silent on the outside but has wires screwing each other within. We all live like colossal houses done up for the arrival of make-belief guests, cobble together to show it dandy, cover up with colourful fringes, spotlight focussed on the smiles and stacking away the unwanted and unseemly in some dark, deep alley or cellar. We stuff little nothings so tight in the wardrobe that when later we do want to sort things out, the door opens and everything tumbles down to greater disarray.

We must “appear” to be beautiful. But does that make us “feel” beautiful in the truest of sense or does that increase the pang of restlessness for all praise then becomes a mockery?

It is not easy to live a dual life and not uncomplicated to get rid of it once you acquire it thus-the constant struggle between how you are and how you want to be or what you have become and what you were. Or even in the present, you would find yourself sometimes to be two different persons-an oxymoron in a way that only you can perceive. It is when someone or some situation comes along that extracts you from a convenient environ dragging you to the risky hilt that awareness strikes in-it was a stagnant pond which you might have been impersonating.And then the mind fucking game begins of wanting to know which part of you is real and which you have fashioned to please those around you. You are made to mould in a certain way because that is how you are expected to behave whereas your contours refuse to take just about any shape.

You begin to churn within to meet you-battling to and fro between two extremes that somehow got created and the chasm therein sucking you so deep, that each endeavour made for a rising swings between the feelings of either ecstatic joy of a drug induced roller coaster emotional rush or just abysmal low of being painfully weary and drab.

You rummage around for answers, you spend time talking to what you think is you, you ask those who know you, you test yourself time and again hoping that where you stand at the end of the experiment would be the logically derived conclusion. But life isn’t all science and even all science does not have all answers. Some searches manifest themselves into invisible circles. You keep turning and tossing in your head as the jarring bafflement creates the cacophony that gets termed as your life.

And then there are days when the head gives you no answer so that you come to the conclusion-It is all in the head. You have no feelings or lack of it per se, it is the head that tells you and you could/should tell it back what you want to hear from it. But then again it is not the head that has the sense or ability to do it, for it is seldom used by the owner. It is the influences that fan its insecurities and harbour all irrationality.

And as if that damage does not suffice, ego comes in and strikes the death knell. What “I” think is right becomes supreme and care-a-damn sets in. What I want consumes what I need! All love is self-love, all actions are perpetrated to this very aim, and all feelings culminate in this sea that devours it all. We want us to be happy but we want us to also not to appear selfish-how ironical! Most of us live our lives in trying to strike a balance between the two and hence be trapped in the see-saw of emotions.

Often we continue to fight against arguments that are not in line with our own chain of thoughts or feelings. We seldom stop to evaluate what caused the resurgence of these thoughts in the first place. Are they really mine or did I gather them from people whom I think are mine along the route? And now that I have imbibed them so rigidly, are they worth creating a ruckus about? We would never know who/what is right and who/what is not!

One man’s heaven is another man’s hell. Then why not live freely off shackles of guilt? Why let little termites of doubt eat you? Why not do that which gives you pleasure, irrespective of how many accusing fingers stand against you? Let ‘you’ be that where ‘you’ is happiest. The ultimate decision to be taken is to please others or to please myself-and there will always be a contradiction in both these polarities. You cannot do both no matter how Herculean your attempt or how noble your intentions.

So then how do we know who we are? What is our purpose? Whom should we please? I am known by the relations that move along with me, but they are not me. I am needed by the services I render, but that again cannot define me. I am my interests and my likes, but they are transient and ebb and flow over, yet I remain.

So if I go on this struggle of finding myself, am I being too selfish, too philosophical, too foolish? Am I going against the intrinsic fabric of human nature to accept what we get and live in it to our very best? I am burning within to break my limitations but then my limits end there where some else’s intolerance begins. I want to find me and ask it what it really wants and who it really is. I want to be able to then not question my own actions or have to think over my own decisions for I would know me beyond my name.

Right now, I know someone who knows little but then the journey has just begun and I must not fear and I must not run. I must accept all facets and neither curb one or encourage the other. I must remember it has to be fun. I must learn to fight so that I do not lose me in the crowd. I must survive. I must understand my needs and confront the doubts. I must not give in or give up and must not imbibe or disperse. I should not flow along and yet go with the flow....

And in case you find her before I do, would you please help introduce me to me?

19 November, 2011

The Day with the Magnate

My husband is into garment business-retail and wholesale and the entire big joint family has a few reputed brands and their distributorship under their growing bellies’ belts. For all you know if you are wearing good branded clothing and living in the NCR, it might have somehow channelized through the Arora Parivaar or someone we know closely we aren’t really THAT big but then so aren’t the bulls if you look at them standing next to the elephants as against the dogs. Oho just thinking a random fact #1 here: if A=B and B=C and thereby A=C, does that mean if I touch my husband and my husband touches a jacket and that jacket is touched by a shopkeeper to whom it is sent and then you touch it to buy it, would this imply that I touched you? Issssshhhh...uncalled-for display of my mathematical and calculative genius should be kept aside for some other time.

So when it was heard that Mr Nitin Kasliwal, the owner of S Kumar’s and Reid N Taylors, is coming to town for some business expansion meetings and would be visiting the house for lunch, it was not just another day in the household, heaving with arrangements to dazzle the business magnate, who basically lives in London now, going to and fro nationally when required.

Now being the most chotti bahu not in terms of size or gray matter of course, I do not care have much idea about all that’s happening at the top levels, unless rumour/gossip/news trickles down to me through some kind route. I just heard the oldies talking about how well read and very intelligent THE man is and among the ladies the vine was abuzz about how charming and humble is his wife, Jyoti. They spoke of how varied are his interests and we should open our mouths only if we had something witty to say. Instantly I decided to shut my gap for I kinda have this love-hate relationship with trouble and did not want to be the bread burner with the oven that provides us with our bread and butter. Troubles love to hate me.

So I sat in a corner lounge all dressed up while the rest of the jing bang of some thirty people of the ‘just’ family, ran to and fro making arrangements from laying matching napkin rings on the dining table, right down to keeping scented door mats on the threshold. I resigned to the corner with my thoughts but then troubles go round and strike at the corners first it seems.

The brakes of the long car came to a screeching halt as a pig came right in front of the car from nowhere. But I love these street animals-if it weren’t for them my daughter would never sit put in the car while we commute. We were told that their chartered plane had landed some half an hour ago and the wait had caused a few yawns in some and circulation of scandalous bitching amongst the rest of those waiting. The brakes rang loud like an annoying alarm clock, making you jump at your feet like you do when the realization sets in early morning that you have grossly overslept. Settling the creases on the clothes and managing to place the hair strategically at just the right slant on our foreheads, the pretty ladies ventured to the door while the men sought to please and welcome. Mr Kasliwal is known to be a tad particular about stuff and easy to get offended if things are not to perfection. As for me, this was the materializing of my childhood dream of watching the President’s salutation first hand on Republic Day at the Rashtrapati Bhawan-only in this case there were no trumpets and salaami of bandooks. If I didn’t know better, I might as well look around the milieu with my Ms Homes invisible hat on, snooping for some hidden terrorists all set to attack. Ufff....basically saying there was solemnity and formal seriousness like I have never seen before.

We all smiled-they at us, we at them and the servants at each other-it is not every day they saw their masters as submissive as now. The man did have an impressive and towering personality and strides of someone who’s walked half the world and owned some of it. All the tayajis and chachajis and the bhaiyyas were definitely at the “attention/tension” mode and that made my “stand-at-ease” also restless. The general round of introductions followed as the king’s feast was laid and all the bhabhis got down to serving and coaxing the guests to eat. Random fact#2: Now we are much defamed for over-feeding using statements that are dipped in just the right amount of cajoling and emotional blackmail and facial expressions that are so distressed at your refusal that you feel like an executioner. This happens so much that my father lives in mortal fear of being invited to our house for dinner. He gives up on food since morning for he knows his drink would be refilled before it reached the bottom and plate reloaded before he opens his mouth to say ‘no’.

Anyways, when my turn came going through the chronological order, almost like saving the best for last, Mr Kasliwal, THE tycoon stopped before me and smiled, “So you are Suruchi?”

Have you ever seen a magic show on stage in which a magician cuts a woman into pieces and then shows her moving in different boxes kept at a distance? I had the exactly same expression. And have you seen a parent whose ten years old child has peed in his pants and dropped the cake just as the party is nearing its zenith of being termed as ‘the party of the year’? That was my husband’s expression and a little less aghast but definitely concerned reflections were marked on the faces of the others. Now wtf had I done?

“Ji”, I managed to speak out and my lips alternating in doing a dance between rising into a smile and drooping with anxiety and hands almost shivering in such a timid handshake I could have been mistaken for a bunny. And in the next minute, without any warning, he hugged me with a roaring laughter. Now have you seen the expression on the face of a highly placed Incomes Tax official who has broken an expensive vase in some defaulter’s house and knows that they can’t do a fuck about it? Now that was MY expression. I was being embraced by a random stranger in front of everyone in the family and my super-conservative husband when it comes to this and no one could do a fuck about it.

But what he said in the next instant was even more earth-shattering.
“I am a big fan of your blog posts...”
Oh my gaaaaaaaaaawd! (Ekdum woh Janice from F.R.I.E.N.D.S waala OMG here was reverberating in my mind)
“You read my blog?” yes, we suck sometimes in asking the obvious and appearing totally dumb, just at the moment we have been complimented for our wit #God couldn’t find another moment to show me personification of irony.
“Of course I do, in fact just the other day I showed the ‘virginity’ post to my son, teasing him with queries if he went through the same and we laughed about it, didn’t we Jyoti?”
And all eyes now moved from him at one end to Jyoti at the other, like they do in a tennis match. And Jyoti just beamed with such sweet smiles that were it words, it would sound as the sweetest compliment.

“I am so honoured, thank you. I never realized...”
“Oh but not your fault, I never comment and when I do, I use the anonymous feature. It is not easy to do all this with my real profile. Haven’t you noticed all that showering of my complete adulation in so many recent posts as “anonymous”?
“Oh my god, the one with whom I enter into mindless banter. I am so sorry. I just didn’t think...”
And he burst into a boisterous laughter again.
“It’s not your fault. How would you know who I was?

He turned now to my father-in-law’s eldest brother, who was as alien to the entire subject at hand as “Whill you do phrandsheep by me?”-kinda people are to English. “Mr Arora, you have a gem of a writer in your family? Itna talent hain Kanpur jaise sheher mein, it is amazing!” And eyes back to me again, “I thought you looked familiar when I saw you with everyone as I entered, but never did I think that the Suruchi Arora I have been reading so voraciously from a few months would belong to this family.”

By now I had gotten used to the sudden tilt of the spotlight bulb on my proud little head and I was smiling almost comfortably. I had to almost physically stop my finger from rising against them all in an accusing posture. So you people, who thought I spend useless hours on the computer and ‘what blogging-shlogging she does, we only know of water logging’ kinda retorts-here was a mooh tod jawab! I did not know or care how he stumbled upon my blog, all I knew and wanted to know was how much he loved my posts. He was no longer the feared Mr Kasliwal-he was transformed into just another fan and me as the Blog Goddess on the altar that I often placed myself on.

My husband also butt in now, “Oh she writes amazingly well! She even has 250 followers now...” Shhh, abhi celebrity bani nahi ki autograph and photograph greedy log ki line lag gaye! Ya right, as though you read Mr Parmeshwar of Pati variety and as though you would have ever known how many, had I not hammered it about a 50 times into your too-dipped-in-work head, as soon as the figure turned to 250!

“I know Mr Gautam and you are a very lucky man. I hope you know that. In fact just the other day, I mentioned your wife and her absolutely riot writing to Anil...”
Anil who I thought-Anil his secretary, Anil Kumble, Anil Kapoor may be...
Looking at our blank expressions, he clarified, “Anil Ambaniiii and he was very interested in knowing more....”

And just at that precise moment, my glory-shory could not be digested by jealous onlookers and I was visibly and actually being shaken. “Get up Suruchi, the guests have come...” Now that was my husband, doing rightly what he always does in the real world-check me out of my reverie. I had sauntered again into my imagination world and brought back just at the climax-you know how you ‘get turned on to the hilt and then are told-we’ll do it tomorrow’ kinda expression spread on my face as Mr Kasliwal and his wife came, did a “Namaste” to me, ate and chatted with the others and left just like that-without any screech of car brakes, without any happy coincidence and without making me go anywhere near that Blog Goddess altar again! Sigh!

P.S.1 The moral of this story is that being anonymous can be injurious to everyone’s health. So all those who come here, read and go away without doing any cho-cha in the comment box with your name, you realize how years of therapy may be needed to get me to overcome this mind fuck.
P.S.2 Not all the absurd always happens with me-sometimes I attract it by my power of imagination.
P.S.3 If this post ever reaches Mr Kasliwal by some cruel game of fate, please remember to be sporting about it-mere bread and butter ka sawaal hain! And also you should read the Virginity post along with the others, maybe even recommend them to Anil.
P.S. 4 Sorry to put you through such a long post that turned out to be a phoos pataka-damp squib in the end. I guess it is my answer to God-what goes around, comes around!    

14 November, 2011

If I were God...

~First of all, saying words like “Hey Bhagwan! Oh God! Sweet Mother of Lord!” without really meaning to remember me would be considered blasphemous. And phrases like “Bhagwan ki liye mujhe chodh do/ Bhagwan se daro/ Bhagwan, khush to tum bahut hoge aaj” should be rephrased...really, I am tired of hearing them through ages, aren’t you guys tired of mouthing them? And those who still don’t learn and say “Bhagwan sab dekh raha hain...” dude, I have better things to do than see your all, all the bloody time.

~I would introduce three new levels of kissing my temple’s threshold, for those who must-the feet kissing for the old-fashioned, the flying kiss for the hoity-toity and the French kiss for the very desirable by my standards, as means to show their devotion towards me.

~All newly born would enter the world tiny as they do but within half an hour of delivery they would become two and half years old and ready to go to school.

~I would remove the stupid virginity ensuring tissue from the female body so that no one judges or dreads.

~There would be a rationing system for getting sex, so that it is ensured just one person is not getting too much of it beware Salman Khan, leaving the others with too less in defence of my fairness, we must think of Bobby Darling too. The reservation or quota system here would also automatically solve the problem of scandals of the likes of Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen and also sex crimes.

~I would mix laughing gas in the air in small doses everywhere-I hate sulky faces and most of all my own.

~Millions of unemployed youth would be recruited in my team of angels that would globe trot to rid all menace gnawing human existence-employment ki employment and deployment ka deployment say hello to the greatest God ever-I should rule for a golden jubilee at least! And besides even God needs some time off from humans to pursue her extra-curricular activities!

~It would be criminal to say "Oh my God! Oh my God!" while you are having sex-humans, stop confusing me with calls for help, where you do not want a threesome. 

~There would be world-wide poll systems, to pass rules in favour or against a motion and emotion. So all that you’d have to do for it, is start a page on Facebook and get as many likes as is humanly possible. For example-Do you want Rakhi Saawant gagged forever? Do you want Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi married? Should actors be in solitary confinement for movies like Bodyguard and Ra-One, where they only see the re-runs of what they vomited produced? Now, you get the drift-it is the rule of the people, for the people and by the people.

~I would create trees that satiate all hunger, rivers that quench all thirst and relationships that curb all urge.

~It would be illegal to come to my temple on a thunderous, stormy night and make the entire bells ring on their own and then bitch about how life’s been a bitch to you...Really, if your wife/husband would not lend their ear to hear all that, what makes you think I would?

~But there would be definitely be dial-a-god service so that you don’t have to randomly look up in the air and say things that you sit back and wonder if anyone heard. Of course the epic ‘Aap kataar mein hain-kripya line pe bane rahen...’ may have to be introduced eventually herein for morons who get free-dialling and sms packages.

~I would make you pay for your goodness or sins in this very birth-I do not understand how my predecessors on this thrown could come up with such a sucky concept of ‘paying in this birth for the sins committed in the previous life cycle’ syndrome. It is hardly rectifying because they also built in memory loss in the system along side, so that people would not suffer without knowing why and raise blaming fingers at yours truly.

~And for the above, there would also be a reward and punishment system based on an automatically updated Identification Card-so for every sin that you commit, a favourite activity gets ticked off the list. Say if you cheated someone at work, the system erases one week of mind-blowing sex from your life span-the intensity of all actions would be varying depending upon the frequency.

~I would redesign the human body to include more organs for pleasure-just a couple of them here and there can be boring. I would also redefine the functions of the heart-Excuse me Mr Heart, just shut the fuck up and only pump blood, what you were meant to do!

~I would revamp also the outfits of those living with magic wands on this side of the heaven-I mean gawdy gold chunks covering the better part of female goddesses and also male ones, for crying out loud making them so sissy is just not done-diamonds would be not just women’s but also goddesses’ best friends. Besides how on earth can you expect rapid action from me if I would have to struggle in my sari and 100kgs gold weight in addition to my own, to reach to you in your do-or-die situation. So expect something shorter and sexier sponsorships invited from label houses for fringe benefits.
~Pleasure would be made as the compulsory outcome for both involved in every sexual encounter.

~I would finish off with the institution of marriage-it is outdated and based on the assumption that there is a janam-janam ka saath, when it actually happens only in movies that man created.

~There would be an Automatic Realization System in-built in human bodies that would help an individual identify his hidden talents and vocation. It would save many years of burning the midnight oil in pursuing a goddamn career in something that you suck I don’t mean the whores here btw
~All couples would be given the prerogative to decide who between the two should bear the child-this because of some insensitive pricks who feel women do no earth-shattering task by producing kids and some very sensitive angels who want to share their wife’s pains.

~I would provide beauty in every eye of the beholder.

~I would relocate heaven and hell on earth and make God, that is moi visible and it would be mandatory for devotees to read her blogs and comment with profuse praise to express their shraddha, so as to be directed for a free one week plush stay in heaven or be burnt in hell till they do not do so.

So I’ll let you start with the last part first and also pray that the current Gods do not feel too insecure and at least appoint me on trial basis for a while for a better world-for you and for me and the entire human race.


08 November, 2011

Dear World-gasping-at-my-being-a-virgin-still

(Prelogue-This post comes a little too late for the Discussion on ‘Virginity’ done on the Darlings of Venus blog page all of last month. What can I say, when a woman’s got to go, she’s got to go on an inspiration derived writing spree of course! Everyone (mostly women) expressed their views on virginity being preferred due to fear of society ka stigma or saving themselves for the perfect chu...chum. Another option asked there was-Is virginity also an outcome of lack of opportunity? Everyone went boo hoo saying ‘Whaaaaaaaaat opportunity!’ Anyone and everyone's having sex! Begging to differ-Cut here to the dilemma a 25 year old virgin boy in this open letter)

Dear World-gasping-at-my-being-a-virgin-still,
If anyone asks me this one more time, I would either bang the first girl I see on the road or tell them to sit on my middle finger and spin: “Haaaaw, you are still a virgin? What happened-or rather did not?” as though I have contracted a fatal disease and they must console me with every atom in their frigging being! And there are so many other things in the world to count-Kim Kardashian’s days being wedded, Manmohan’s days being silent, population exploding to 6 billion-why the fuck keep a count of how many times I’ve got or not got laid?

It’s not like anyone wants to remain a virgin by choice-if they say they do, they are all lying through their dripping noses that are aching to be in better places. So ladies and gentlemen, virgins and the wantons, hold on to your dirty underwears, for let me bring in some enlightenment: We all are waiting to lose our flower/to get the ribbon cut with a grand inauguration/to blow us from a bud to a bloom/to throw the balls rolling into the holes-however you may want to put it. I mean really, you want to say you watch all that making out in movies, see a stunner with curves or catch a peek of the peaks when she’s bending suggestively and you do not have your own little porn tales flashing in your mind? Phuleeeze, if you say so, I say you should also say you are the Queen of England and we’d believe you just as much.

We have all the logistics worked out in the brain-they just need to be mapped right on the body; though that is as tough as the fucking task itself, especially as the first timers. I mean it is not like you walk down the shopping aisle and pick up a piece that you’d want to be served in bed that night and everyone lives happily ever after; or like bungee jumping-once you come to the brink and say you are scared, they let you turn around and leave without a snigger.

We are as nervous about the first time as the girls-two hoots to machoism! I mean sometimes I feel I just might stumble at the point of the bra unhooking itself. It confounds me as voodoo sometimes: How do you girls do it by putting just two fingers behind your back and ta-da come the hooks all surrendering to lead the gaping mouth-er to the gates of heaven? Prior to my kinky dreams, in the horror-tainted ones, I picture myself with both hands trying to open the damn things so desperately and earnestly that they leave the barely-there lacey cloth and have me cupping them instead. I can also so imagine that if I do that to your Victoria Secrets then it’s no secret that I won’t get laid post that, would I? So you see we do have our own little struggles to overcome that no one cares a flying fig for.

First we don’t find the right girl yes fairer sex, please don't raise that eyebrow we too have this thingy about giving our flower to the perfect gardener who would make it grow like a baby-no puns intended. When we find her we have the dinosauric task of making her spot us without thinking we are morons or sleaze bags. I mean too less complimenting and you freak us, too much and you freak out! Aren’t we concentrating on the wrong F word here? Anyways, somehow begins the painful task please don’t ask where of being friendly without staring at her assets or being stared at our own giving uncalled-for standing ovations please remember this is THE first time a girl has managed to come so close in our physical radius-unexpected and uncontrollable disasters are just waiting to happen. Once we go past this unharmed, comes the risk of proposing-she may accept or reject! If she does, the fear of her imagining a long term commitment and walking down the aisle prevents us from getting a quick hard-on for a short while. If she does not, the fear of the news getting out and our market value sinking even below the poverty line, ensures the same drooping reaction. And then you say a girl’s life is tough!

After passing all these Herculean dilemmas, especially of deciding when it is not too soon to float the idea-even if someday she does coyly agree to go all the way-where the fuck is the space to fuck? At home there is mother, who did not choose to pursue a career because she wanted to raise her laal-gopal with all her attention. Lesson learnt: At-home mothers can be a pain in the arse cause of tension for libido driven youngsters. Even if she is not there, baba ki liye maids or watchmen or grandparents are acting as watch dogs and all activities of who all entered, giggled, gasped and when they existed are duly reported to the High Command-and by enter and exit, I do not yet imply the activities that are so taking shape in your dirty mind.

So doing at home is out of question unless you are doing it all by yourself but that does not make us non-virgins, does it? For if it does, I wonder if any boy ever actually would lose his ‘flower’ to a girl! Friends' places are also abounding with mommies or grannies and if not the “friend” is either too excited or suffering from a loose stomach of the mouth, so you don’t want to take chances. That leaves us with office canteens-naah, making women and food compete even on a super horny day, is not such a good idea; cafe houses-ya right! If we so much as even touch each others' hands there, the next table aunty makes such a misery drawn face as though the coffee boy put salt in her coffee instead of sugar. Then you tell me about parks-have you seen the parks these days? My god, the oldies rush in to hog all the strategic spots to practise the weird positions of yoga-no one cares a damn about our positions. And if by chance there is a vacant spot where you decide to take a breather, in comes a dog to poop.

And please do not give me names of hotels-first they would check out our item as though it is janta ka maal. Then they ask us for Identity cards-holy shit! What if they trace me back and blackmail me...what if there are cameras hidden in the sleazy rooms and someday when dad would be Googling for adventure sports, up flashes my video of making out in the wildest of ways!

I feel like such an outcast when my friends brag about their conquests-damn the service families, I’ll make sure I marry a working girl so that my son does not suffer like I do. Why did I have to be so unlucky to spend a quarter of my life minus actual sex? Someone and somePLACE is made for me too! I will not rest till I manage to go where no (virgin) man has gone before. So long friends, enjoy the mating, hope you all get laid to your hearts and bodies’ content and wish for me that I do not die a virgin*falling on my knees to pray for the same before breaking into sobs*

Yours sincerely, 
Someone who's wondering if Virgin is a female word and what would be its male form.

05 November, 2011

The End!

All her life or whatever of it she could remember, Pranita had waited for her daughter’s distress to come to the brink. But today when her limp body lay so unresponsively in her arms, a peaceful pallor dispersing on the mute face, the hapless mother could sense the tears rolling down her own cheeks but a complete numbness within. She had thought she would be strong to face this whenever it would inevitably come-but what strength can tower a crumbling edifice? They say a peaceful death of a suffering soul is God’s way of justice-it conquers all. Why did it make Pranita feel shackled still and cheated yet again?

Her little baby was standing at the heaven’s edge that knew no bodies nor minds and the sufferings thereby created by the web of earthly life. She was now a soul that would no longer be stared at by the world that oscillated between crudely calling her ‘handicapped, retarded or paagal’ and more sophisticatedly ‘mentally challenged’. Her little Sonya, all of sixteen by years on the calendar and barely two by growth of mind, had passed to the oblivion, to the land of no return and today Pranita held her the tightest, like she had never before. 

She remembered the days when she had to, to calm the almost violent little body, rudely stirred by helplessness or fear. Sonya was born a beautiful, pink child to Pranita and Subodh after three years of their love marriage. She was troublesome and less responsive than most children but nothing that the doctors did not term “normal”. It would be difficult to pin down the exact moment in time when she traversed the “abnormal” genre. Some say it was the overdose of antibiotics by a "qualified" doctor that sealed the fate of the vulnerable child, others blame it on wrong vaccination and some more ‘enlightened’ ones raise fingers at the fact that her mother did not stretch out flat on her bed during the dreaded solar eclipse.

By the time Sonya became three what was just a speculation-a nagging fear, became an incorrigible verity that she was a “special” child. An epilepsy attack at the age of five worsened whatever minuscule evidence of progress was triggered, leaving her left side in paralysis and pushing her into a semi-coma for almost a year, frustrating the child who just lay staring at the ceiling. Thereafter she was out of school and cramped within the four walls as her physical deformity became more evident and her actions unsuitable for public bearing.

Pranita recalled every excruciating torment that she had faced in the last sixteen years-it was as though life had been churned out from her in slow doses. She had been used to of a fast-paced corporate vivacity and waiting for her toddler to grow up quickly so she could return to the mainstream and gather the remnants of her sagging career as a journo. Little did she know that the light of her life would remain at two forever-never would she tell if she wanted to pee and sometimes roam in her panties soiled with shit, soon making Pranita’s life one. The rounds to parlours and late night parties had slowly distorted into a series of doctor visits, getting check-up reports and medication and worst of all-controlling a girl who had the strength of a teenager and whims of an infant. She could barely leave the home or allow the doors to be left open for fear of the outsides coming in.

Pranita unwittingly felt the scar on her forehead again-a brutal cut made by the sharp edges of a flower vase that Sonya had hurled at her because she she was being made to get up after bed wetting. It was not just a blemish on her physical being but a pain that perhaps reached up till her entrails and gnawed every impulse, every instinct. It would never fade and disappear.

With teenage on the threshold had come newer problems-the girl began her periods and howled at the sight of blood. The doctors brought in more injections, poked into her plump frame, so that the monthly cycles were curbed. Her now persistent screams would reverberate through the almost dead corners of their flat, making even the neighbours shudder. Friends had trickled their associations, acquaintances made sure they remained just that and the relatively strangers could not help but wag their tongues and warn others to stay away from the “evil” house.

But Pranita had held strong-looked into the eyes of every stare she received and played dumb to every taunt that filtered through to her ears. Gossip vines were even abuzz that Subodh had a mistress in another town for which he remained on tours for two thirds of a month. He had been empathetic at first-after all it was his sperm that upshot it all. But such is the terrible countenance of diseases that it makes chickens of even the strongest. Before long statements like, “I can’t bear to see this, it breaks my heart” floated in the air and he would walk out to get a breather-the breathers that soon seemed to be found only outdoors and which slowly choked Pranita for often she felt the walls closing in and no one even to hold her hand. The father-the protector, the guardian had shown how spineless he was, taking the easy route out to let the mother wear the pants, not bothering if they constrained her spirits.

Pranita wiped the tears from her eyes that had just flashbacked the whole of her torture. Was it an hour or more since she held the dead body of what was once her life? She lifted Sonya with all the strength she could muster in her own fragile frame and rested her on the bed. In the almost ominous silence of the room, Pranita viewed herself in the mirror opposite the master-bed. Could she recognize the object staring back at her for she did not feel like a person anymore? What happened to her beauty that was once her pride? When was the last time she gazed at the mirror for so long? And those trickling strands of white hair around her forehead, did they develop this morning, born when Sonya stabbed her nurse’s arm with the scissors while the poor woman only tried to inject her with the medications? Oh boy, how the nurse had ran out for her dear life, the third one, in this quarter!

Pranita removed the vial and the injections from the side table and threw them in the dustbin. Those things looked ugly whether they were wrapped in polythenes signifying their purity or discarded in the bin with tainted, twisted tips. The doctor had given those with extremely specific instructions- “Not more than 5 ml to calm her down and only in emergencies, Pranita. Anything more and it could be fatal.” Pranita had injected 5 ml down Sonya’s body-not once, but thrice, emptying all the three emergency packs and kissed Sonya as she became drowsy and then went to sleep. She had held her tightly to her breast feeling the heart beat fainting as the minutes passed and soon there was no sound-none what so ever, reverberating in her ears or mind. Silence so strong that if it were a sword it could pierce through the air slicing it irrevocably!

Now that the action was done the reaction took over like greedy hounds chomping the limelight-Have I done it for her or have I done it for me? Did I want her to be released from her mind numbing fears or was I placating my own soul jarred by the cacophony of her perpetual screams? While she lived like the dead each hour, her mother died like the living each day! Am I fit to be called a mother-was I ever?  She picked up her mobile to call Subodh, in a meeting yet again at 11 pm, to tell him that Sonya's ailment finally got the better of her. She was removing the garbs of responsibility but little did she know that garbs of guilt were waiting on the aisle to wrap her tight-had perhaps already become her second skin! Were the noises finally over or have they only just begun?

P.S. This is a work of fiction based on the case facts of a brave young woman whose daughter is undergoing such a sad condition by a cruel twist of fate. It is absolutely shuddering for me to think what she goes through each hour and every day. Let’s pray that no mother should face such such an endless pain ever.
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