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

29 December, 2012

Dear People in Power

Dear People in Power (for I feel quite Powerless),

I have been quiet from a while on something that is conspicuously gnawing at my fabric, as the modesty, life and aspirations of a young girl have been slithered and sacrificed at the altar like goats slaughtered to please the deities of ancient times. I noticed but turned away as gory details of a gruesome crime flashed across my screen via Twitter, Facebook and messages. A coward’s attempt to close the eyes to feel that a problem does not exist-a lame mechanism of self defence! I gave up on the newspapers and the news a while back. Some people chose not to be a part of certain things or speak, for in words they live and words allow the realization to sink in. But sometimes peace that you seek creates a chaos within.

I have a three years old daughter. She smiles with impish beauty, she prances about in her loveliness, she dramatises every situation with her adorable whims and looks like a divine flower that I embrace at every possible opportunity. She attracts attention and people with her non-chalant allure. When I look at her now, I fear. I think of the parents who painstakingly brought up that twenty three year old for so many years. I think of how she would be just as precious, weaving just as many dreams in her parents’ eyes, being just as much solace to their weary minds, meandering in the worldly cares. How she must have been a responsible adult, working towards some goals! How one moment of a decision taken, turned her life irrevocably to death! It matters little perhaps to them whether the daughter's rapists are hanged or life imprisoned, their own life is now like an every minute death.

I shudder within. I cannot be around my bundle of joy 24*7. Someday she would move out of my domain and watchful range, into a world that is unknown. She would tread to live her own experiences and face the wolves with hidden agendas. Would I be able to make her brave enough? Even if I did, would I be able to ensure she is safe enough and her strength not tested beyond the limits of endurance like happened with this young girl who succumbed to death for no fault of her own?

What must be passing through her mind in her last moments? “I wish we had not taken that bus? What if we had got a little more delayed and that bus just passed by? I wish there were more people on board? I wish one of them would have listened to my pleas and be moved by my helpless cries of pain...” My mind goes numb thinking how God allows a young girl to face what she did.

As I took a shower today, the news of her death could not cleanse me off the muck that is leaving me disgusted. Flashes of a girl who wants to live because like all of us, she had just one life too, kept playing on my mind. How a hand that must be wanting to reach out just fell on the side of the bed, giving up! The thought every time chokes me till I have to breathe deeply to be able to breathe again.

Rapes have been occurring in this country since forever. Something a woman protects and treasures, her body, is just snatched away by brutes, without her consent, by greedy, lust driven men who know no gentleness but cruel force. A man cannot imagine how this could scar her body and a woman who has just experienced happy, consensual sex cannot imagine how it kills the mind. But then one can’t either imagine the brutality here of the savage minds that did not get satisfaction enough by ripping apart her body and had to insert a rod through her to satiate some beastly urges. How can civilization turn so grim and such an oxymoron? What can be done to such deranged minds? How can someone even possibly think of giving them a fair trial?

A part of me has always wished for super powers. Today I wish I had some by which I could pick up these hard-nosed characters from the protective government walls, strip them off all clothes and put them up in some open ground, allowing the hungry and enraged common man to do with them in front of one and all, whatever they like. Sadist it may be, I want to watch as angry men, women and children alike, come forward with knives, belts, stones, acid bottles and whatever else in their hands, to do these scavengers. I don’t want to think of them in terms of somebody’s sons or fathers at the moment, for they never can really be.

How would a private death sentence serve as a deterrent to an uneducated, unread man on the street, who gives in to his baser instinct any time he sees a woman he can latch on, to derive momentary bodily pleasure? These men don’t read the newspapers, they don’t know of what MIGHT happen to them if they are caught. They just know there’s a helpless woman out there and they CAN get away. Such people form the crux of these repulsive crimes. The punishment needs to be just as brutal and public so that it makes news just as the protests are. Everyone should talk about it. So that even someone like me (who gave up on reading newspapers because they only spoke of how little girls as old as a few years are raped) knows just as well as the milkman who comes to deliver milk at my house and watches my daughter with supposed doting eyes playing in the compound. I don’t trust any man, neither should you.

I agree with women when they say “Don’t tell us what to wear, tell boys not to take them off our bodies”. Totally accepted, but then can we honestly expect a government officer at each street corner at each hour of the day to ensure some letchy eyes do not get away with stripping us of our dignity? We cannot compare ourselves to the Western countries and expect the same amount of securities just because we are being educated in the same way or being flooded with brands in our markets. We must remember that till a decade back, this nation still had women covered up and men on the street possessed eyes that were adapted to watching the same. I am not justifying the rapists, I am trying to explain to you their psyche.

In the recent times, the almost-elite who have easy and ample access to skin show in movies, advertisements, porn, etc, also have reasonable sex education and exposure to girls they meet at social dos. The lot that gets provoked to hideousness often constitutes the sweat-drenched, grubby man on the street, who perhaps has all the clippings in his cheap mobile but looks at these clean women from far, waiting to catch one in a vulnerable moment.

I am not saying that rapes and molestations do not occur in richer or other stratas of the society or with three year olds, the burkha clad or the sixty years ones. But then we need to understand and work on the deranged mentality of some who get excited seeing flesh for they are not used to it. We need to warn the girls to be careful. Yes, it is totally their fault and not ours if someone eyes us with vulgarity in his vision but we must not forget caution.

It would take a while for mentalities to change even if awareness spreads and laws are passed. Till then, the girls must not expect to be protected but learn to protect themselves not just with weapons but with sensibility. I have witnessed how it's being upheld that all girls must carry pepper sprays or knives in bags. I was recently travelling by train with my family when a group of marriage revellers had some twenty year olds indulging in merry making. Suddenly one of the girls, who lost in a battle of words with one of the guys, decided to make the score even and used the pepper spray in her bag to ward him off. The entire coach within a few minutes was coughing and we had to rush out to catch breath. My daughter vomited and an asthmatic aged man had almost hit an emergency point just because a young girl wanted to prove some whims. That spray could have come in the hands of a child too.

Don’t mindlessly suggest solutions. Don’t limit but do set borders. Don’t mock the efforts of the government to shut off discotheques post 1a.m. Whatever can be done must be done to first ensure order. Once established there can be organisation. Individuals can only express their wrath, it is the government body that can act. Provoke them to act, not to suppress. Speak against corrupt leaders but check yourself too when as men you crack lewd jokes or as women allow men to objectify you. And I so wonder about the politicians-not satisfied with filling their corrupt pockets, how do they manage to live with such guilty consciences of having the power and yet do nothing?

Delhi boasts of the infrastructure but not structuring of minds yet. It is a city reeking in show-off, youngsters willing to seek attention at all costs and people moving at too fast a pace of life and morals to catch up. Teach your daughters to dress according to the time and place. Till we can’t really be safe, at least we can try not to be sorry. It’s NOT the skirts that get girls raped. But we won’t let them use it as an excuse to let go of those who do it. I will wear skirts but I will also be responsible enough to see if it is not attracting the wrong attention at the wrong time and place.

It is not the time to point fingers but time to join hands. As women accept awareness, caution and sense; as men accept respect and responsibility of being the stronger sex (at least physically) and protect. It’s a sad state of affairs if we have to fear for our girls every time we have to have them away from our eyes even for a few hours. We must talk of abuse at whatever level we face at the hands of men-at schools, colleges, workplaces, etc. Every time we let go, we let them believe they can get away with it. It only makes them more confident. Speak out. Reach out.

Here’s hoping against hope, things will change and during our lifetimes so that we live to see it happening. I pray her death does not go waste and this case serves as an example for generations to come.

Just Another Common Voice. 

16 December, 2012

My New Grown-Up Drug.

Once upon a time, I read books, dedicatedly, painstakingly, like a pilgrim at the threshold of his pilgrimage. Books consumed me, as I would devour page after page, lost in translation. Then along came people-with speaking faces and myriad feelings, with mincing grudges and obsessions, with overriding affections and affectations, with intense emotions and motions. Their moving hands, the receptive ears, beholding the tingled skin, the eager or hesitant mouths which round and widen, taking shapes of smiles and frowns, as words flowed out of them effortlessly and sometimes, post great deliberation!
Yes, I had found the more grown-up drug.

Faces can beam and rot you know, taking from blossoms. Not due to age, but experiences. It’s not about ‘Does the face make you swoon?’ It’s more about ‘Does it make you smile?’ Faces tell stories, they are an index of our minds, of all that is otherwise latent and sublime. Not eyes, they just need an empathetic heart. Have you noticed someone getting goose bumps on their skin post something you said? Yes, priceless! Sensual pleasures are just not restricted to bed-they can be derived by receptive senses, anywhere and anytime.

The voices, ah! You see most by listening. You could travel up and down an entire scale of passions with the voice that perhaps could personify character itself-the way it ranges from sometimes jingling with excitement like a fresh water spring to soft whispers, like falling into a bed of cotton caressing you with gentle taps till within. Voices don’t lie, people do. Voices entice, beckon, ensnare-like little magical spells that are woven by their mere echo on a person’s hearing. Eargasms, anyone? A soft, passion-smeared whisper in the ear can often be equivalent to the adrenalin rush received by wild searching fingers on the body, the chill down the spine.

I began to study people as though with a voracious starvation, live little lives and learn little lessons. They come wrapped in bundles of expectations and a cartload of disappointments, helping them evolve every minute. Sometimes they live, at other times let-live. Real, breathing, heaving, sighing human beings-they brought along with them hitherto untold stories, of lives they’ve led in bodies and mind. They respond to touch, whether or not there is any skin contact and they embody drama that we only hear of, for like they say, truth is stranger than fiction.

Words are potent, as books prove. However, when they emanate from voices separated from us by miles, generations and no relations, they just touch or instruct us. But when they stem from a person we know and look up to, how quickly they take, to not just touching but clinging and mingling in our very fabric. Words become you. They fill the empty specs, some voids that need to reverberate with some words, magnetically searching each other in the noises of the world. Romance, you ask? Well, yes, to a certain extent. For when he fills your mouth with his words, it is also a kiss or something like that.

I took to people-fascinated by the realms of lives unravelling layer by layer into a common man’s grand saga. How like a bud someone slowly opens to you and how like the petals then slowly encompass you within an embrace of trust! I took to being a co-passenger with some, lighting their path with whatever wispily shone within my own horizon, lending a listening ear to a mouth that craved to be heard, or just giving the complacent pleasure of the knowledge that someone’s there to care.

It’s a more long term gratification that a book could compete to concede. They say you live lives with books-fall in unadulterated love, climb lofty, indomitable mountains, dive into the alluring depths of oceans, conquer countries, travel path-breaking journeys and the likes. Human experience is all that and more.

Reach out to people. Be interested in their stories than in relating your own woes. For in un-knotting someone else’s tangles, you derive solutions for your own. Get outside of books, get into people. Find those worth drenching in, for such are the showers of communicating with brilliant minds that leave you wet in ecstasy of an unheard kinds. Books could help you search your soul, people could end your search for the soul mate.

As I write, I look wistfully at three freshly bought books lying beckoning on my writing table. The scent of a new paperback how like the scent of a man, tends to sneak in your insides to pull from within. Perhaps, I would return to my old love again. Or perhaps, there’d someday be someone to read to me the same. A cold winter evening, a balmy fire place, hands curling onto a simmering coffee mug and a huge bean bag wanting for us to give it shape. Come, let’s glow in this fire and as I sit looking at you mesmerized, read to me from a book and then from a life!

15 July, 2012

What if your life had a past too?

This happened some four months ago during my visit to Jaipur with friends although I chose to remain quiet and ignore it till today until evidence came knocking me off my feet this morning. I am not superstitious and I stay at an arm’s distance from anyone who believes in irrationally of horoscopes, planetary predictions and past life regression. But then what I have experienced makes me rethink my entire surmise.

In March, my husband and I along with another couple and our kids took a four days trip to Jaipur and Ajmer. On the second day we decided to hire a hotel cab and visit the famous Amber Fort. It was all marvellously exhilarating to see history drenched walls and chambers and walk through the royal whims and fancies. However, all the mirth became a little dimmed when I became conscious of someone staring at me. No, this was not a situation where a street loafer checks you out. Here was a typical ripened Rajasthani man, with the signatory big and excessively greying moustache, the head covered in a red turban, adorning a white kurta pajama along with the jutees completing the look-the kinds you see or rather un-see merging in the backdrop of some filmy moments on screen.

I noticed him first outside the huge gates of the inner fort area and looked past him thinking it to be the curiosity for visitors. But then as sharp as my sensory perceptions have always been, I soon realized I was being followed by a very intent pair of eyes. He stopped when I did, pretended to look around and then walked on while he saw us strut. After a while I became very uncomfortable more so with the idea that we had two little girls with us and the world is becoming weirder.

My husband was duly informed and he gave him a stern look. The stranger seemed to have backed off, when shortly we spotted him again almost running after our car as it left for the hotel. The matter ended for me then but for him had just begun.

The next morning I became aware of him outside our hotel premises while we left for the sight-seeing and again after two hours when we returned-juxtaposed there like a pole. I generally would not have recognized him had he not got that same peculiar stare that he brutally and unsparingly showered me with. Something was wrong. He didn’t seem like an old man in heat or greed. I spoke to my husband and we got the man called inside although we thought it safe to meet him in the lobby itself.

What he said thereafter left us totally befuddled. At the very onset he showed us a picture to get what he desired-our riveted attention and jaws dropping. Within the frame was he and a woman in her twenties that anybody would agree to, was me. Only I didn’t know the man, had never been to this part of the world before and why would I get clicked with him in a traditionally Rajasthani outfit?
The picture was of his daughter’s. He then narrated a tale which I would relate to you, minus the historical and religious names that he had mouthed but I can’t seem to remember now however much I jog my memory. His daughter’s name was Ajeeta, a wonderful girl born in a humble family-cheerful, outgoing and rarely intelligent for someone brought up by his almost poor means. He had a set of six camels that he supplied to the Fort, to earn his livelihood-a kind of family business he explained.

Ajeeta was married at the age of twenty one and allowed to study by her husband who was in the police force, due to her love for learning. She became a professor of Economics at Rajasthan University. However, she could not bear children despite many years of attempting for it. It was then that they went to a local tantrik to seek for some ‘cure’ while he opened skeletons from the past instead. He said that Ajeeta’s soul was cursed. It was a set of seven souls, conjoined at the origin and bearing the same fate and face as I did, that followed a predefined circle of life till death.

He lost me as soon as he brought in the tantrik stuff but my husband and the couple with us were intrigued. I left to put my daughter to sleep, while he narrated more. About half an hour later, my husband returned to the room very concerned and his face death pale. I almost regretted getting the old man inside to talk-a complete waste of the afternoon over gibberish and hallucinations of a lunatic.

He made me sit on the bed before explaining more. Apparently Ajeeta and I had many similarities. She had near death experiences at the age of 18 and 25. The man had asked if I did too. My husband knew of an accident that I had at the age of 25 when our driver almost rammed into a lorry with me getting severe injuries on the left side of the body. He asked me if something had happened at the age of 18. I told him I had severe jaundice that lasted for almost two months but laughed it off as a coincidence.

What about being over intelligent and the love for learning, he asked. So now, did I have the copyright on that, I reasoned. He was getting exasperated for he wanted to convince me and yet not, to keep me away from the fears that had gripped his being.

He: “He asked if you have a big birth mark on your right thigh. Please, tell me this is a coincidence too. He reasserted that this set of souls cannot bear children, Suruchi. He said when he saw you with our daughter that it was the only perplexing factor. He begged me to tell him if the daughter really is ours. Can you still disagree? When I told him we have adopted her after years of turmoil for being unable to have our own, I cannot tell you whether there was reassurance more on his face or pain....”

Me: “But so what even if all of this was true. Does it affect our lives? Okay, there may be seven women of my face walking about the earth right now, with extra ordinary intelligence, leg birth marks and no children and near death experiences, so what?”

I was losing my mind here because I often get into these disagreements with him when like his mother he gives way too much importance to astrology and planetary influence and stuff that I consider as total hogwash.

He: “Had it been just that I would not have bothered so much. There’s more. It seems that Ajeeta died three years ago of a mysterious fever at the age of 32. The souls transfixed to your face and destiny come a full circle after completing thirty two years. We are just four months away from reaching yours. And since everything else has come true, what if....”

And his voice faded and he broke down like a little child. Although I still did not believe it was possible yet I chose not to laugh at it this time. How do you handle a grown up man, crying with unshakable belief that he was going to lose the only love of his life, the mother of his child in a few months? He was almost convinced that this would happen. I was wondering why all the drama has been destined in my life only although this peculiar epiphany really took the cake.

I became silent too, I know not because of seeing him like that or subconsciously realizing that death was as real as life and probably lurking around some corner for more significant instances were quoted to prove the similarities of our lives. I now had questions of my own circling and churning my mind.

What would a random stranger gain out of creating such a story anyway? How would he know exact details of my life? And most importantly, what was his motive behind telling it all to me? My husband then related that I was the last link of that chain and the other six have already succumbed to the same fate through the ages. The tantrik had foretold him that I would come. He was the envoy of sorts of this foreboding and....

And just then my daughter awoke and began to cry. We abruptly ended the conversation there and the same evening left for Pushkar. Although every one lightened up soon but the conscious effort of it was straining the natural enjoyment that we would have otherwise had on this trip. The matter was never brought up again until this morning.

Being a lazy Sunday and while everyone still being engulfed in the comforting arms of sleep, I sauntered outside the room, my eyes falling upon the silent newspaper as though beckoning me. After ages and after a severe bout of boredom, I picked it up. On the fifth page my eyes fell on the face of a dead, aged Rajasthani man with a peaceful pallor spread on his countenance. The report said that within minutes he had died of a mysterious fever on the road side outside the Kanpur Central station. It was reported that he carried a picture of his daughter and asked the people around if they had seen her. He also seemed to be saying repeatedly “They are coming, they are coming...”

I folded the newspaper with a sick dread swallowing up my heart.
For a long while I was lost in a reverie or perhaps blank in my mind.

And in the backdrop crooned actress Rakhi’s voice in some movie as she hammed a line again and again, “Mere Karan Arjun aayenge....mere Karan Arjun aayenge”. I got up and switched off the television. What crap lady! At least my story above is more believable than yours. I sipped my coffee and waited for husband to get up and tell him how he married me and wasted my life in Kanpur. I should be writing scripts in Bollywood! *Sigh*

 P.S. Just so you know and see above, I really did go to Jaipur :p

24 June, 2012

Rain on Me.

I am looking out of the French window of my closing-in room onto the gaping skies above-somewhere a long overcast stretch and then in intermittent smudge-a cotton fluff, streaked as though with lighter shades of black. Shades of black? Who could have thought! But alas, there’s always something intriguing happening only in between the two extremes-the black and white, the dark and the light, the day and the night! I look at the vacant seat beside me, pull my feet closer and then talk to myself and talk to the rain, attempting to whip the mundane.

They won’t fathom who only see the scorched patches on earth, not live with parched scraps within. I rummage around thirstily for rain to dim the Sun’s splendour and steal his silent thunder right from under his fiery nose, to hurl it across the corners of my earth like manna. Show him the brawn, for you don’t silently do your charge, you bloody well make sure everyone stands up and notices. Impede them in their paths if you must but not let anyone go untouched.

I have yet to cry in the rain like Chaplin did but having done that, standing in the washroom shower and watching the ease of the pain-I can barely imagine how purging you would be once in.

Am I looking at you or are the skies showing me, me? Turning from serene to stirred, from white to grey, from anger dipped bawls to action that follows-not just the thundering cloud, are we, but the bursting ones too? So ominously full of yourself one minute and then the next-howling, shedding endless tears, fearing the loss of how you were. Yes, rains fill you with delusions sometimes.

The clouds roar with blood-curdling rage and watchful, keen eyes, scrunch and look out, enthused and then waiting again to hear you transform into a gentle pitter patter on the roof tops. You are soothing to the eyes and ears, rousing all senses like new love that promises to douse in pleasure knowing it will eventually seep slowly into faded impressions.

How synonymous are emotions with your showers!
For some romance is evoked as though the water trickles down to their souls and pacifies the burning heat of heart aches, anger, jealousy and the likes. You raise dead passions for others-who remember being kissed in the rain and also those who pine for it.  That would be so life altering-a milestone that you may just want to settle at with bag and baggage. For a handful of fortunate others love is unwarily infused, when they share an umbrella or realize, how arrestingly mesmeric someone looks when water dribbles down the forehead or plays with wet hair.

You flow in love and like a nimble leaf floating along on your quivering ascend, the loved ones are carried through, effortlessly and naturally. You bleed into desires deeper than the earth and ooze out emotions wider than oceans. Yes, rains are mush and so much. Romance and rain are the eternal couple playing hide and seek, till they embrace and weep.

But then again, for some you stir the melancholy-the same showers become screams of wrath as the lonely heart feels the clouds mock his solitude. To look into the rain alone can sometimes be the toughest call.

I sit here by my window, letting the breeze pass through me. Watching the harsh sunshine simmer into a pleasing dullness that lightens, for in the offing would be dispersed layers of stubborn dust, cathartic washing away and eventual little pools of water gathering around, inviting my feet to jump onto them with childish abandon! The smell of wet mud wafting through the air, giving an ethereal feel to earthly life as we know it!

I waited for the storm to pass, I stood firm before the daunting winds. I waited for the skies to clear, for maybe because I was hoping for someone to walk in. Perhaps I was only waiting to throw my umbrella away and dance in the rain, even minus my dancing shoes. The springing of heart would give birth to the rhythm in my feet and lead me to where I should be. The clinging of my clothes would be a new feeling-I like the clinging maybe.

Would you please wash away my sanity-I ache to be insane?
Would you please balm my wounds, I pine to ease the pain?
What tears do to the eyes and mind, you cleanse the body and soul.
Come, drip, soak, drench and flood me!

17 June, 2012

The only thing sure about Love is-you'll fall again!

She found him in the flocking milieu, a face in the crowd yet one in millions. Their eyes embraced each other clinching, even before the rest of their senses could fathom why every pore in their being was joggled beyond restrain. The dance of passion was set in motion as their steps coordinated and love induced nimble bodies waltzed onto a nameless music. The accord emanating from each movement, the amalgam radiating with every posture! The intertwining of limbs not proof enough of how in their minds they were clung and wrapped.

The music played on and they did too till the beats became recurring, the sound seemed proverbial and the harmony predictable. The fervent steps were no longer animated and began to get weary and slowed down. They held on unyielding, not letting the fading music come between them, as though by being indifferent they could be oblivious.

Soon the moving record lost the rhythm and drew closer to a standstill. They did not budge, hung-over on the synchrony they had so reached. Doesn’t happen every day-two feet knowing exactly where the other is headed so as to stride along and not be directed by the other. So the drowning someone held on to the straw till the spot lights were shut off and darkness enveloped them. It was time to go-the centre stage, hitherto their field, suddenly seemed too vast and deserted-hauntingly mocking at the lonesome twosome to leave.

They parted and moved on. Faces going back to being faces in the crowd! They tried to call out and reach with an extended hand but perhaps the spaces in between became too big, too far. The unmitigated fire was now just a few simmering sparks before the coal pieces were charred to nothingness. But before the thwarted hand could reach back somebody held it tenderly and a warm prologue followed. A new overture, a beckoning gaze an unknown domain, was it time to play again?

But weren’t you burning? The scars of the one who left-weren’t the wounds open? Yes, they were but the stranger brought a balm of sweet whispers that echoed and stirred the insides again to soothe them. The hands held in a friendly grasp soon became a firm clasp, like little children laughing, engrossing and tumbling over each other while building sand castles on the sea side.

Yes, this was forever. The breeze playing impishly with their hair, the waves softly splashing a cooling wetness and awakening new-fangled desires, the hot skin gearing to burn with sensations that came without being touched. Was it love? Drenched in the sunlight, it seemed to have dispelled the darkness-the little castle they built vouched for things to come-a future together. Yes, we’ve found the one. And while he dusted the sand off her glistening body, they were ready for an encore.

How sweet was love again! How unimaginable the sense, it left the hungry body with! How charged it made one of a passion that can engulf all reason and pragmatism-knowing only surrender and wanting only completion! The love boat had found the anchor-the storms were at rest, the resistance failed at the test. Surely the bodies gave in, too overpowering-the thrill of the novel, the curiosity of the mysterious and the satiation of being lost in a utopia of stirred sentiments.

Till the waves grew tired of being placid and the breeze could not contain being stationary no more. The sand castle that stood sturdy slowly began to quiver as the agitated and restless grains decided to change paths again or go back to their origin. And the water that was wetting till now, took the form of an awakening-a rude splash begetting them back to reality.

The heat of the sun threatened to tan, the waves came too ominously to break upon the unfaultable shore and the rains followed. The castle was now a sloshed mass of nothingness as they rushed in to seek shelter. Relegating to different and distant corners, perhaps one took to dry up too long, perhaps the other wanted to remain wet, the seeking eyes didn’t get the glimpse they craved for and tears welled. Ah, the pain of seeing something gradually relegate to a backdrop which had instantly formed your fore and core! Another broken heart-would it not tear you apart?

And just then someone extended a piece of cloth-tears are not enough to do away the pain. Perhaps brushing them away with a handkerchief would? You look up-a beaming face, a concerned voice, a gentle pat and a fascinated someone-it was time to try to smile once more. Perhaps what was the end was really the commencement-THE beginning? Enough of stories that have a beginning and no middle and then an end!

The only thing sure about love is-that you will fall again!

12 June, 2012

When Shahrukh miffed me...

In the year 1995: I was on the threshold of Standard 11th and on the verge of spilling out of my charged up frame like peas from a pod, in view of a class trip being planned for us. It was time to break the shackles of a hitherto secured life even though they were more in our heads than on our wrists or being. In a convent discipline with perpetually panic stricken and easily scandalised nuns, no out-station school trips beyond Lucknow from good old Kanpur, had ever materialized, the fears being-what if the horrendous wolves of the horny world pounced on little goslings out of St. Mary’s? Little did they know many of these goslings moonlighted as prey hunting little vixens/tigresses whenever away from the prying eyes.

So, this was a dream come true-never mind if they were taking us to one of the lesser known hills. Everyone got permission-except good old me yes, even the oil-drenched, plaited with ribbon haired, far-from-chick chick. Ironically, just then either mid-life crisis hit or my mother’s lack of action in the sack erupted in this hideous outpouring or my dear sire had a split personality attack-but Amrish Puri’s character from that year’s just released Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge vehemently entered all his pours. Damn, I always knew he secretly wanted to be an actor, like me, but Amrish Puri, really!

Papa’s unfaltering “NO” echoed through the walls of my home and my little but massively dreamy, broken heart. “Keh diya na, bas, keh diya” was HIS original dialogue that Salman bhai later copied, tch!

I begged like Simran to let me go-a bunch of my friends came over making the cutest and saddest puppy faces with justifications like “Uncle, Suruchi ke bina hum sab bore ho jaayenge”. But not one hair vibrated in his staunch moustaches in pity. Me: Bau ji, er, papa, you would anyway get me married once I join college. Let me have this one first and last trip where I see the world? ‘the world’ here being some polluted riverside with dumped plastic wastes and ample of just Gorkhas for eye tonic during that off-season time.

Playing on the back of my mind was the fact that perhaps I meet my Raj somewhere, filling an empty bottle by the river side when my chappal accidently slips off and I gracefully scream “Bachao, bachaofor my chappal of course. And he drops off his backpack and risks his life to get it from the swiftly flowing current, looking wet and sexy, as pearls of water stream down his glistening forehead to his almost parted full lips. He hands it to me with a sneeze-the chappal again of course. And I say, “Arrey, aapko to sardi lag gaye hain....” And no, I do not do a striptease then to give him jism ki garmi, you dirty minds, I tear my duppatta and...oho, let’s get him injured and blood flowing instead to avoid technical glitches. I would apologize for the trouble with a grin that would show no sorry and he would say, “Chote, chote shehron mein aise baatein ho jaate hain Senorita”. The rest as they’d say would have been history!

Playing on the back of my father’s mind was khandaan ki izzat and jawaan beti ko akela-nahin, nahin! He probably had gauged also that considering the tharki genes in our family, it was better to keep the daughter out of temptation and mischief. So no “ja Suruchi ja, jee le apne zindagi” happening there. Oh crap!

Dear Mr Shahrukh Khan, the moral of this story is that because of you I never went to any school trip ever! For you chose to star in such a film that my parents took me to and developed unrealistic ideas along with some of her own of their daughter’s. And because of you I often speculated in the hindsight that I could have created an immortal Heer-Ranjha type of love story had I just gone out that one time and ran around some sarso ke khet  in a white suit with open tresses and undone eyebrows. Par alas, aisa ho na saka!

DDLJ spoilt a generation of girls in that era. We craved to say “Kuch kuch hota hain Rahul, tum nahi samjhoge” forever after  I know it was not from this flick-weren’t they anyhow all the same post that? Any Tom, Dick or Harry with the name Rahul, suddenly had vistas of opportunities and legs opened at his disposal.

Even I led a make-belief life after that for a long time where I imagined bumping into Mr Right at the drop of an eyelid everywhere possible:
At the library-Imagining me fall from a ladder and someone there to catch me not bothering about my weight for love at first sight would weigh him down more. Or he and I picking the same book from the opposite sides of the shelf following the smiles-ah! I know filmy, sue me!

In the trains-Getting into a wrong one and being led by a handsome stranger into an adventure of sorts-damn, there was even some mind blowing session imagined in the pantry.

In the park-When a football comes and hits my head as I wear glasses and sit there on a bench concentrating on a geeky romance novel-little did it matter in the pragmatic world that I didn’t wear glasses or ever read any romantic trash.

*Sigh, sigh!*

And then Shahrukh also gave us some unreasonable expectations in men...
1. If he did not look in your eyes and said whatever he said with as much intensity as though he was mentally orgasming as Mr S did on screen, he did not feel it.
2. If he never spread out his hands with a slightly tilted head, when he saw you coming from far even without the slow motion, he does not want you enough.
3. He may look stupid and shaggy but mouth sense.
4. If he did not talk in whispers sometimes just near your ears, he is thoroughly unromantic.
5. If he did not overact-wtf, he’s boring!
6. And when he held you in his arms, if you did not tremble like a fragile leaf hanging on a branch in the face of an overbearing lust storm-he is thanda!

And just when we started to like Shahrukh for the loyal husband that he was and good character, K Jo made his entry and suddenly we did not want a partner like that! Tch, kya Shahrukh! You made vanity a style statement and narcissism a way to be-aped by thousands of men without mettle, shakal or akal. And who had to bear the brunt-we poor women, who didn’t know whether to bang our own heads against the wall or of these jerks when the stuttered or smiled in that obnoxious way that you sometimes do.

And when I did begin to like you a bit as my angry nostrils finally relented to flare less after Swades and Chak De, you managed to wash out all teenage fantasies with films like Om Shaanti Om, Billu Barber and Rab ne Bana De Jodi.  I was back to being angry for making me go through these mind numbing tortures that would warrant years of therapy to sublime it.

And although now some seventeen years have passed by, the after effects of waiting for a Raj for the happily ever after-the wait for a Casanova to turn into a one woman man because he is enamoured by your charms, still lingers!

*Sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh, sigh!*  

29 May, 2012

Almost Perfect...

I bask in wonder today, either you know perfectly what a woman wants to hear or what you say because you say, becomes perfect for my too eager ears.

How do you know what I want you to say when I don’t know myself what it is that I want to hear?
How do you manage to ruffle without a touch, say it all without saying much?

If I could just tell you how your words affect me, where oh where would I hide my face flushed in coy shame?
If you would know they have the power to hold me, how would you resist the ensnare?
If you had some idea of how long something you said can stay in my head, would you say it more or sparingly so?

And some days when you walk with me gently holding my hand, whispering sweet nothings, I walk over the mist with your words like a soft breeze playing with my tresses. Every step redeeming me as though I own the ground I tread on, I fly higher than the birds and feel lighter than the frothy cloud and I breach my own horizons.

For when your reason to smile, smiles at you, you smile at the world.
I don’t know then what I like more-to want to need you or to want you to need me like you do.
I ask you of what you think, you smile and say, “What happens in the mind, stays in the mind!” I beam back at the games you play.

And some days I see you as the question and some days as the answer...
And some days you call me the poetry and some days you transform me into a poet...
And some days I become your thirst and some days you leave me so thirsty...

13 May, 2012

Nobody Loves Me.

Drama and I have an age old association.

Usually blah these days, while in conversation with a dear friend I crooned my eternal favourite drama line “Nobody loves me” in my whining, attention reeking-seeking tone. And just like that he suggested putting it up on my status to see who all do. And yes, just like that I did. Some 90 comments later, this is what I have concluded from it all:

1. Fine, a lot of people commented though 1/3rd of this number was my own replies. A little drama never hurts anyone, but I don’t take chances and go all the way.  And three people actually “liked” the idea of me being unloved-et tu Brutuses. Bah, Facebook has gone to the dogs I tell you!

2. There were comments from:
       A. My brother (My own khoon, calling me crazy and attention seeker-meh!)
       B. My mother (The epitome of naatak-giving me a jhappad)
       C. 2 Maasis (expressing less concern for me and more for my G)
       D. 3 Mami jis
       E. 4 students
       F. 3 sisters-in-law
       G. 2 students’ mothers
       H. Handful of cousins
Really people? This is NOT THE love I was anticipating! I know hum saath saath hain, but family planning will have to step down for my flirt planning to materialize. Waise, I am blessed that none of them raised an eyebrow at such a distorted status-Nobody doubts me ;) Charm runs in my family, it practically gallops and so does over-expressiveness it seems. Control people, let others take the stage sometimes.

3.  I realized that many of my Facebook friends’ favourite national pass time is calling me a ‘Nautanki’ and how generous I am to provide them this fodder to graze on. Nobody appreciates me should come next. Any references to donkeys is purely coincidental and unintentional.

5. Some great minds sauntered in there and voiced how they empathised and whimpered that nobody loves them either. Ahem, so I ended up doing the very arduous task of sharing the already dim spotlight-boosting their sagging whatevers rather than focussing on my needs! I am a rebirth of the Buddha it seems-such selflessness is unheard of in Kalyug.

5. The targeted audience-THE MEN, were conspicuous by their absence. Bloody hell! What a waste of well-chalked out Naatak! I was hoping for some inbox messages at least to salvage my sinking self-worth or MSA (Market Shelf-life Analysis) but the box was as empty as my brain. *Sigh!*

6. More women dared to openly address the issue of loving me. Yes, that is a nice way, Dear God of hinting that since the men are anyway absent, I might try rethinking of my preferences-the Mayans were right, the end IS near.

7. I think I scared away any remotely prospective “I love you” with my little stint. Sometimes things pop in my head and jump feet first out of my mouth-I need to handle this OCD. Random fact-Most women suffer from some form of OCDs-Obsessive Caring/Cuddling/Cribbing/Crying/Cursing Disorder. Mine is Obsessive Cuteness Disorder which more often than not, materializes and backfires into Chutiappa sometimes.

8. Not ready to give up, my next status was:
Tough choice-To buy a branded watch or a DSLR camera first, especially since I don’t have money for either now.  All those who professed love for me yesterday on my status, now is the time to show. Even if you contribute 10% each, I will feel very loved. Truly!

Only three helpless comments so far, mostly suggesting that they love me but their hands are tied-as if I asked for their kinky bedroom details.

So now, all love has vaporized. Kitne matlabi duniya! *sniff, sniff*
Nobody loves me! *Now where are one of those crying icons when you need them?*

23 April, 2012

From a Friend-zoned Lover

Dear love,
I write to you today in extreme pain-an unnamed ache, a recurring twinge that dreads breaking out in tears, an excruciating spasm running through my body for my insides have been jolted by the throbbing of the heart. Ah, heart! How condescending I have been towards you-mocking all those who allow you to rule the rest of the systems. And now you are all whose presence I feel inside as my blood rushes in frenzy.

Nobody notices but when with you, you are all I notice. It’s like the world relegates to a backdrop as a mumbling sound, emanating from miles away where the traffic honks in the by lanes and men and women of everyday life, yank their way into some bargain.

I see you and I see me. I feel you and I feel life. Every giggle that erupts from your beautiful mouth goes straight to find an echo in my head. Every twinkle in your eyes sparkles through my mind’s vision, when in my own solitude I rest. I can tell even without looking at you how each curve of your body bends. I have watched you from years going in and out of relationships with men who think you are an object of love. I wait for you to see how I deem you as love itself.

How many hours I spend looking at you telling me animatedly about the way your day went while in my psyche-I play with your twirling tresses as you in blissful oblivion vent out the mundane, lying your petite head on my chest; or run my eager fingers over your smooth, unblemished skin hoping to see your lips quiver and hands tremble in nervous excitement! 

How many times when you casually hold my arm as we edge our way through a buzzing market place and suddenly a veil of silence falls all around and hushes! Do you notice me freeze by your mere touch or the goose bumps that reveal what I have perhaps managed to conceal?

I have loved you from years now-from the day I met you and when we were seeing different people. From the day we broke up with them and each other were the first ones we saw again. I have desired you every time you called to cry those deep eyes out because foolish boys cause them to blur when they deserve to open up like blooms in spring time. I have hungered for you even when you kept falling in love again and again and I sat there a cruel witness to your enthusiasm, wishing with every atom in my body that it were me that had you so stirred.

Silly girl, can’t you see these men love you for your body? Don’t you get immune to the same kind of tricks of the smooth talkers who walk into your heart with base praise to walk all over you eventually? How random can a woman’s heart be to flutter with such inconsistency? I gave you time for that’s all you wanted from me perhaps. I gazed with bated breath for any signs that would tell I would be next and also may be the last one. I yearned for you to see how unconditional came the love I bottled in my frame and corked it up with permanence so that every drop can quench your insatiable thirst to be cherished with unrivalled passion.

You know how I feel. You know we are not joking when we indulge in mock pretending to be a couple for we are weary of finding the perfect ones. Yet you turn an indifferent eye every time we are so close that I can hear you breathe and feel you take my breath away. You don't want me to go like it pleases don't allow me to stay like it pleases me. And when you embrace my body with such casualty, it cuts across whatever of me is left after being in your arms even so momentarily.

I want you now, not for a while, not to come and go but to stay. You leave me like the parched land that sees the sight of a frothy black, rain cloud but some wanton wind drives it away. I don’t want to be the shoulder you cry on but the chest that feels your heartbeat when you press into it with wild abandon. I am no longer going to be your daddy that you run to with your problems. 

And since you feel you can’t see me THAT way, I guess you should not see me in any way at all. Let me walk away while there is still hope for salvaging of whatever’s left of me. Let me go, while I still have to capacity to love again, someone who would have the audacity to love me back like I deserve to. This is the last good bye. I hope you find the love that your heart aspires for and I hope I find the strength to never turn back again.

In love with you always though not in you anymore,
The Friend-zoned Me.   

P.S. I have kinda lost it for writing and a little weary of the blogosphere. Forget reading you wonderful people, I haven't even been able to reply back to comments. I guess, I would drop in here whenever and if I have something really worthwhile to say or vent. I would understand if you do not comment. This post is also dedicated to a special friend who has been lovingly, generously poking me to write ever since I stopped. Thank you (.)

25 March, 2012

Unisex to One Sex.

Alright, once upon a time I used to go to a gymnasium-a regular not much shoo-sha, sasta-tikau affair kinda space and daybreak was the best time to do so before my body could fully awaken and dawned on with what was happening to it and revolt. Since mornings it were, I was glad to have the much appreciated company of fellow sex-no, we were not having sex here per se simply referring to the presence of the ‘superior’ gender-the men, the boys and even those somewhere in between these two horizons.

And it would be fun to go there with playful, shampooed hair and hook them up in a semi messy but sexy and ruffled butterfly clipped look and let them cascade down post the work out, giving the head a shake as though you just de-boarded in leather skimpies after a long bike ride on a Harley Davidson and removed the helmet to sway the released tresses from left to right in slow motion. Girls, by the way, this NEVER fails and guys, please continue to fall for this one and save us from racking our brains with actual opening lines to draw your attention.

So, that unisex gym was fun. There would be men of all shapes and sizes strictly speaking in physiques, dressed in all colours and clothing, also wearing the weirdest of expressions and mouthing the horniest of moans though just made to dumbbells and also stopping after each set for almost a five minutes gap to “catch a breather”. I often had to physically stop myself from announcing to them that we as a species are called ‘women’ and not ‘breather’ sought to be caught.

It would be fun to gaze at someone eyeing you from some corner that got unwittingly reflected in the mirrors or watching how sometimes men would herd around the area where women were doing the jumps too often so that they could get an up close look of how it feels to go up and down. Fun to notice how often some cute ones attempted to pick up more weights on their rods than their poor frames could handle just because there was a hot chick there to impress non metaphorically speaking.

Fun how some very middle aged man would try to strike a conversation by asking, “Aapka kaisa chal raha hain?” and you reply, “Chal raha hain” and watch the million dollar expression of his face as though I didn’t say it to him but threw it on his face. And also super entertaining if by chance some sexy-smoking hot kitten would get lost in that desi gym and what a stir she would cause as I have enumerated before in a post: The Ultimate Seductress or the Ultimate Bitch?

But then putting on 4 kgs in the six months in this gym was like a shock jolting my senses and screeching in my ears that perhaps I was having way too much fun for my bloody body’s good. Tried as much as I could with the toughest of routines, I was just not sweating-I justified it by saying that I may have an IDDM-Inbuilt Default Defence Mechanism that prevents me from looking grimy in front of hot bloodied men but then how long can you hold a candle in the wind. The tightening jeans finally ripped the truth.

It was time to change. So I looked into the track record of some other gyms flourishing sadistically on the malfunctioning of food loving lazy bums like me and hand-picked one. The only drawback-it was an ‘Only for women’ workout space. What? Are there still places like that except Convent schools, which served the purpose but dished out to the society specimens like me? And there wasn’t even a male instructor? Crap! Who would give me those, divine back and leg stretches after the workout that sent some of the eyebrows up and some jaws to drop?  

Happiest at the prospect was dearly beloved who had mocked and queried if I really went to the gym in those early hours every day for I had inches on my sides to prove an otherwise story. I would pout and talk in a deeply husky, breathing whisper to fan some insecurity that would get my leg pulled even more.

Anyway, so came my first day at this new so-called gym for I’d rather call it 'one giant step back for mykind' and a development of a new sort of claustrophobia, may be. So many women under one roof-I can’t breathe....OH MYYY GAAAWD yes, in Janice style from F.R.I.E.N.D.S my friends. I can barely bear my girlfriends at social get-togethers and find myself magnetically inching towards the male corners and here I was almost tethered in a room full of in-the-heat women: some jabbering, making it an extended kitty party circuit, some exercising as though how far they came in life depended on how far they had panted on the treadmill and some admiring themselves only in the mirrors with god knows what tendencies surfacing along with their curves.

Don’t get me wrong-there were women in my earlier gym too, but they were either so busy in trying to appear presentable while doing their jobs, or too old to bother about how their flab dangled from under their arms how else do you think I got so much attention there? Besides, most women in small towns generally still chicken out from appearing at the male timings for obvious reasons and that would explain the near population explosion at this new one.

So although used to of being scrutinized, this is a new ball game altogether, like I have said somewhere before-women dress less for men than for other women-as in not less in quantity but as an act in its number.

Competition has been taken to a new level as brands galore and ‘how did she get on the treadmill before me?’ look with the envious twinge gets rampant. Good old days, when I would stand next to the cross trainer and some nice guy who’d almost stepped on it, would get down and say “Pehle aap kar leejeye” as though I’d become happy and agree to a twosome someday-on the cross trainer of course.   

Also when my t-shirt gets a little inched up while doing the bending stretch, I perceive more vixen vibes here than foxy ones as of the erstwhile space. Good old days again when conversations occurred aankhon he aankhon mein- He: *you look hot* Me: *you do not*. Cut to now-the polite conversations on treadmills and mother-in-law and the television serial recitals would definitely kill me some day, if the trainer madam ji does not. She is women’s answer to Sunny by the way-not Sunny Leone, stupid-Sunny Deol. I know lame and over-abused joke, but could not resist. She almost makes it a sophisticated akhhada.

And worst of all are their diet plans-eat 8 rasugullas along with milk in a day and nothing else??????? What, balls to you-I feel like saying. They are worse than horny nuns in the school I went to-although they do say no to bananas. Or just a bowlful of papaya in dinner-really? Do they know how hyper active I get at night and thereby the need for more energy and food? Bah! Let’s just hope I knock down some 20 kgs and be such a head turner soon that the pain of being sandwiched without men gets replaced by being flocked by them-the desirable ones though of course. Till then I keep telling myself I am more important than a bloody number on the weighing scale and the number of grey cells and niceness within count too as I keep waiting for my stupid fat to cry and release in the form of sweat.

But just to vent out my frustration, here’s my parting letter to:
Dear Diet,
It’s not me, it is you. Let me tell you, no matter how much important you feel by coming into my life every now and then, you suck, literally and otherwise and I care a flying fuck about you. You are the bitch who laughs when I fail although you tempt me in the first place even when I decide not to cheat on you. Please be gentle with me this time and let me complete the drill so that you get rid of me once and for all.
Thank you,
Not yours sincerely ever,
Pleasantly Plump Me.
P.S. Someday soon I would be looking like this-more clothed though of course:

07 March, 2012

Some dreams are worth living in!

One of my biggest dreams is to have a house of my own someday, a living space with me as the mistress-a house that I could look at with my eyes and feel with my heart and every nook and corner would speak of a little bit of me-well, may be even yack...

Let me take you on a tour of a dream world that lives in me from eternity yet I manage to stumble upon it every now and then through some pictures I see...

Would you like to know where I would spend my lazy days?
Can anything be better than this?
Surrounded by books personifying writers and their eternal thoughts, fringed with French windows, overlooking a beautiful serene river sparkling outside as the criss cross of sunshine plays on the quivering surface-I can so see myself lost in here till someone would come and shake me from my trance. I reckon inhaling the muffled smell of books and exhaling peace with every breathe I take...

Shake me but only to take me to a living room like this, that I could adorn with pictures of all I have loved-people and moments. Let creativity leave its nimble footsteps on every wall. Let it be my vision of blessings to count on. Can you feel the warmth disseminating? Can you see a glow that does not exude from the exotic light bulbs but my beaming countenance when I watch this tree bloom with the promise of everlasting spring in life? 

And then take me out into the world but let me brace myself to face it with the panache of a lady and zest of a girl. Let me indulge here every once in a while so that I am more of a woman in all her shades. Come, let’s walk into my closet and watch in impeccable alignment all that I have tenderly gathered here, hand-picked with love, often just gazed at dotingly like a loved one. Yes, at times I need my celebrity moments.

How about a dip before we venture out? Let’s peer at the horizon as we bathe in its beauty. Let’s merge with nature in our most natural of forms. Let me be one with water and more water around and beyond....Do I see myself spending hours with arms crossed over my bosom heaving at the breathtaking spectacle lavishly laid out for my hungry eyes? Yes, I do.

But then who wants to go outdoors when the house becomes a home-your very own Utopia brought to life and the man you love becomes the one who clasps his fingers in between yours and sits with you on a little bench like here below or tries to catch you while you run like a mischievous imp over an enchanting red bridge or hop over the stones to amass pebbles and hurl them in the little pond to make a wish-the wish: Let me live in this dream forever! 

The dusk sets in and it’s time to wait for the stars to appear and adorn the beautiful shaded sky. It is time to gaze at the sun slowly sinking and telling you to hang in there-the darkness is commencing but he would rise again. It is time to watch the heat gradually give way to a soothing coolness. Let’s lounge up here with little candles around as we sip a little wine, have loved ones to dine and for dirty minds to go 69....

Somewhere here only in the laps of luscious and gracious trees, would also be the time when we’ll sit with the little ones to be like them. A cosy tree house where I think my baby would go less and me more. Always wanted to have one-a world of my own in the world of the world! Little lanterns would bring in just about enough light that would guide and not blind and little wind chimes would play a rhythm of their own. Bliss? Well not really, till the gentle flaps of a cool breeze blows-scattering the little perfection. Let me sleep in here for bedrooms are so not me.

And when we wake up, of course there would be some place to lounge again-an old fan overboard and the grace of pale or white curtains, I can so see myself loving yet another corner that could soak me in like an embrace, whether I sprawl with the newspaper or call you for a rendezvous or just fold my legs and rest my thinking head over a soft cushion, allowing the next blog post to filter in. 

And like this my fairy tale would be one that culminates in a happily ever after. I don't need the riches that are aspired by bitches. Give me love that seems sent from the heaven above. Give me peace and conversations that make me smile-yes, that's all I seek. And while I have realized it is high time I come out of my fairy tales, please let this one magical dream be.

P.S. I have been struggling with a blank mind that does not know what to write, every time I open my poor Microsoft Word. And yet I manage to churn out something that has lesser and lesser meaning for me with each post. I yearn to find my funny bone and write stuff that I truly love and am proud of. A weird weariness has set in whereby I not only don't want to write anything here but also I almost push myself to read the thoroughfares of bloggers I have loved. I think it is time for hibernation...a little disappearing to beckon an eventual appearing that makes more sense to me. I hope to come back soon....
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