Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in a snapshot. :)




May a little angel sing and bless the coming year with joy!

A very happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A unknown beloved [Short Fiction]


I saw her for the first time on one of the busiest streets. How gracefully she hopped from the pavement onto the road and stretched her hand instructing the vehicles to slow down as she crossed the path. Just that faint recollection of her crossing the motorway lingered on my memory like the scent of a lovely perfume.  How much ever I wished to see her, our paths refused to meet until the day I spotted her walking into a jewellery shop.  I made no mistake in recognizing her. I couldn’t.  Before I could think better my feet were racing towards her and I found myself helplessly glancing at a very vast space with innumerable counters.  When I swiveled to complete a full sweep of the place with my eyes, I caught her walk out of the building.  This time I pulled myself together. I was a respectable man. This was unlike me; I knew I shouldn’t be chasing her. However, I did spend the following few weeks regretting how I lost an opportunity to probably get to know her. 

As the months passed she slipped from my thoughts.  But, I found myself filled with the same cheer when I spotted her on a random official occasion.  Our tables were diagonally placed. I strained my neck each time to catch a glimpse of the woman who was unmistakeably her.  As the occasion neared the closing time, I buttoned my coat and walked to her extending my hand introducing myself, “Hello lady! How delighted I am to see you here today. I have known you since the past couple of years and have been waiting to be introduced to you. But, I was never able to get to know who you are. Pardon me for introducing myself to you this way. But I have been enamored by you each time my life was graced by your presence in the same surroundings.  I am a respectable man; I work with the Stocks.  I would be delighted if we could exchange words over dinner.” Her eyebrows furrowed and she appeared unsure, “I am so sorry; I am really humbled by this encounter. But, I do not extend my company to men I do not know.”  I quickly found my business card and handed it to her, “Here are all the details of the man dear lady. Pardon the foolishness of the person I have become after being caught in this tame-less passionate yearning.”

She signaled me to take a seat in the table for four where she sat unaccompanied. It was utmost pleasurable to finally be at a discreet distance from her, to look at her features, the colour of eyes, the fall of her locks and the smile on her lips.  I gathered myself and initiated the conversation by talking about my family, where I was from and asked more about her. By the time the food arrived, I regretted my folly for having unabashedly expressed my desire for a woman I know nothing about. Each time there was a stance to be taken on a topic or a perception to be presented in the context of the conversation, we both invariably took different stands. We engaged ourselves by covering the awkward silences by inappropriate laughter or unnecessary feeding of ourselves in an attempt to buy time to think of more words. When the dinner ended, I bid the lady goodbye and we both exchanged courtesies of calling back.  She was charming yet intelligent, graceful and humble. But, the additional attributes added to that faint sketch of a woman I have envisioned based on my frivolous encounters with her over the two year- I was disappointed. I even dreaded receiving a call, though it was apparent she would never make use of the card to contact me nor I would make an attempt to get in touch with her.  

It was a year later that I saw her again. I considered exchanging a smile, because of the inescapable familiarity that showed on both our faces. But then she looked straight ahead and disappeared into the crowd. I gasped a sigh of relief. It is strange, this - zealous longing. How silly that we build a person from fragments of our imagination. And sometimes we do it so well that we develop this affection for an unreal person/fancy which may be very different from the real being who enticed us into this desire to begin with. I turn my head to catch a glimpse of her and she crosses the street in the same manner she did years ago. The faint image of the lady- there she is - a unknown beloved. And knowing her- changed it all.


The End

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Hug [Short Fiction]


The weather was cold and breezy. I pushed opened the stubborn door jammed with ice crystals. The air swished through the three layers of drapes and left a trail of goose bumps on my skin. There was festivity in the air. The rustle of leaves chimed with the fading sounds of giggles and carol which reached my ears. 

My mind was preoccupied with thoughts. The taste of the passing year lingered on my being. It had been a year of parting, a year I wished I had never witnessed, a year of the loss of a beloved. If it had not been for that unfortunate day I would be smoking my pipe reading the Christmas offers to her, breathing in the heavenly smell of home baked cake and my ears would have been tuning to the hum of twelve days of Christmas that never left her lips even long after festival. My eyes feel misty, my heart warms and I hum for her. 

I cross the houses which are beautifully decorated, the colourful lights glistening on the snow. She would clap her hands with glee when she saw something so beautiful. Reminds me of those long Christmas strolls- we were like children at sixty, joining people in the songs, looking at snowmans and sitting at the park bench with our hands interlaced like a young boy and girl, their hearts still excited about the first love. 

I can’t walk anymore. The memories tire me. My feet refuse to move. Tears threaten to roll down my cheeks when I look at the bench where we used to sit. How did I reach here? My feet just moved, and there was no other place I wanted to be. No other place where I could imagine her to be. I sit on the bench alone and look up at the sky. The stars shine beautifully. It feels like a thousand angels are assuring me, whispering to me that my love is being taken care of. I see her smiling face. I blow a kiss into the sky. I pull out the silken pink print scarf, she always wrapped around her neck- she was such a charm. I place it on the bench, with a small card attached to it. 

I lower my head and walk back slowly, the burden of parting weaning my strength. “Hey!” someone calls out. It cannot be for me. I keep walking, dragging my feet slowly. “Hey! Wait up!” I turn around- the intrusion of a private moment annoys me. “What!” I scream back only to regret it after I see a little girl.  She looks like a tiny woolen ball in all those winter clothes. Her face red with the winter rash, she waits till my face softens and the annoyance mellows down, “I am giving Christmas hugs.” The big smile on her face is infectious. I wrap my arms around the little child standing with her hands stretched. I hug her as tears wet my eyes, “Merry Christmas Dear” I wish her with all my heart. She plants an affectionate kiss on my cheeks and runs away for her next hug.

I stand there in awe, the warmth still comforting my body. The little girl's love still blushing my cheek. My soul feels liberated. I look up towards the sky and express my thanks for the gift- A Christmas Hug.



 P.S: Merry Christmas!! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

A timeless bond [Short Fiction]

It is very difficult to have your entire life changed by one moment in which a man ties a yellow thread around your neck and the world proclaims you as his wife.  And, that is the moment when it all begins- the change begins.

I have moved to a city I had never been to, I was living with a man I didn’t know, I was wearing the uncomfortable sarees, a vermillion mark had suddenly defined, how, where and with whom I should live. I blamed all the change on him for while but still dutifully tried to fit into his life through the little gaps, every man has. A steaming cup of coffee, just as he woke up was his greatest delight. It pleasured me to see him happy and yet there was some disconnect. It wasn’t him, it was the newness. Four months had passed, but that newness still lingered in all our interactions. We slept without facing each other, ate without speaking, and walked as though there was an invisible person who walked in between us. He would be careful not to make me uncomfortable and I would make sure, I conveyed, how much it meant. If not love, there was mutual care and understanding.

There were days when I spent hours trying to settle my feelings towards this man I was slowly feeling attached to. I had realized that sublime desire to belong to him, to become an inseparable part of life, beyond his dependence on me for the daily errands. To look at him as a husband, rather than someone my destiny was entwined to, to feel, the pride to walk by his side, to look at his eyes for reassurance, to feel that desire for him. I liked his presence in the house. That faint smell of castor oil he applied to his hair or the way he watched the news and grumbled when it didn’t please him. But, there was something that held me back.

When we found words to interact with each other he had bluntly asked pinching his nose, “You like Jasmines? I find the scent of that flower a little suffocating.” I told him they reminded me of home and he smiled as if didn’t bother him any longer. Though little unsure, I asked something that had been nagging for a while,“Why do you where those white shirts, starched and stiff? It gives me a feeling I live with a politician.” He laughed as he spoke, “They remind me of my Dad. He was a parliament member” I smiled. It didn’t feel that odd now.

The following day, as soon as he left for office- I pulled out a five hundred, from the money my parents had given me when I left home. I went to the shop which was just round the corner and bought him a shirt - white like he liked, but with a little design the way, I liked. I struggled through the afternoon waiting for him to get back. And yet, when he was home I hid the shirt away and disappeared into the kitchen. What will I tell him? How will I give it to him? Would he like the shirt? Would he wear it?

He went to the room to freshen up and I was placing the food on the table when the familiar scent of Jasmine filled the room. I notice a bunch of Jasmines wrapped in a newspaper, I freed the flowers from the paper and found a small rose bud tucked in between. When I was busy admiring these flowers when, he walked into the living room, “You like Jasmines. I like the rose.” Without a word I ran into the room and showed him the shirt. We both laughed and I coyly wiped off an happy tear before he noticed it.

The next morning was a Sunday. I had pinned the Jasmines and a rose to my hair, and he had worn the shirt I had gifted. We decided to visit the temple, like we always did. But this time the silence didn’t hang between us. We walked beside each other and there was no room for anybody to walk in between us. The awkwardness had disappeared, the newness was weaning off. As we boarded the rickety bus and stood huddled together, I rested my hand on my husband’s shoulder as if it was the most natural thing to do and that moment I knew we had formed that timeless bond.

(c) Ashish Arora Photography


P.S: This is written as a part of Captured Writings. The inspiration for this story is the picture. Check more of our work here ( I do not normally publish most of Captured Writings posts on my blog. So you definitely will find something new there.) Check the photographers page here, he doesn't just clicks pictures he captures emotions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The not so ordinary couple [Short Story]

I think it was about four months back. A friend and I were dragging our feet to finish one round of a lake, famous amongst joggers and fitness freaks. The crisp and cold air, the lovely greens, calm sky, sleepy birds and the shimmering water had marked the morning.

It had become a habit to see the usual faces, to unknowingly make a note of their peculiar styles. A man who walked with so much grace - it made a young girl like me jealous. There was a girl who jogged at a pace slower than we walked at, her foot would rise about an inch from the ground and she would give it an act of a jog. Her elbows perpetually stuck to the sides of her body, we wondered why she didn’t rather choose to walk? An old lady sat near a bench somewhere about a kilometer from where we started, her paper like skin, soft features and light coloured clothes had a soothing effect. Exchanging some smiles and words was always a pleasure. There was also a really fat guy who jogged as we walked; we drew silent inspiration from him. Though he coyly lowered his head when people passed by- to all of us he was a hero.

There were also others who came and went. Their routine lasted few days and then they disappeared into the small city and we never saw them again at the lake. We didn’t care much for these people. But we would smile when we saw the regulars, note if they had lost weight, ran faster, got new company, and wore new attire. Something told me they did the same when they looked at us.

That day was very ordinary, very usual until we saw them- a husband and a wife. I didn’t know it for sure, what their relation exactly was but it was something about the way they were that left no room for doubt. They were running at a good pace, not a sluggish jog but proper running. Her shoulder length hair billowed in the light breeze. It gave away a shine of dark golden brown when the sunlight danced upon wisps of her silken tresses. She looked refined and dignified in a well picked pair of running shoes and a comfortable green t-shirt over black tracks. They looked like they were in their mid thirties though with her pretty face and a passing glance she could have been mistaken to be much younger. He was wearing a vibrant yellow t-shirt over dark blue tracks- not a handsome face but charming, covered by an ugly pair of sunglasses.

Their feet moved with unbelievable synchrony. Her foot and his foot landing on the ground at the exact same second and the distance covered by each of their step- fixed- no deviation, no gaps, and no mismatches. They looked fascinating. The man’s head was tilted a little upward, like he was looking at the sky and her eyes were fixed on the path with rapt attention. When they came closer we noticed their smiles- genuine and heartfelt. But what we noted next saddened us but also stirred us deep inside. The woman’s one hand was fixed in the same position, her right elbow bent at an exact ninety degree angle and the man’s hand clutched on to it. The second hand of the lady safe sealed his grip on her hand, to ensure it didn't slip as they ran. The ugly sunglasses of the man suddenly made sense, and didn't look even one bit odd.Before we could get over what we had just witnessed -  the not so ordinary couple, the woman and her blind husband disappeared from our sight and we never saw them again.


The End


P.S: Based on a true incident

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kiss the ground [Poem]



The fresh breeze kissed my skin,
The greenery caressed my soul,
Shimmering water greeted the early morn,
In a breath of air, I took it all!
Where ever I be tomorrow
In my heart it will be- this miraculous dawn
In a moment it bounded me eternally
Makes me want to bend down- kiss the ground!

~Sam




P.S: I love this city so much!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Note: Blogger isn't allowing me to comment.

Hey!

I have been reading the usual blogs but I am not able to drop in a comment. Some glitch with the comment boxes that are embedded within the page. Now, for bloggers who have activated email I am dropping a mail instead of a comment. But for others I am clueless what to do.

Anybody else facing the same problem.. or it is just my browser?

-Sam

Yay! I changed the browser to Firefox. Working fine. :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let life surprise you [poem]


What is that prudent planning you do? 

You think life won't surprise you?

When it does,

Let it amaze and nourish your soul,

Be it joy, pain or grief- embrace it all!

Remember, you are a wave of the ocean,

Where else can you float, but to the shore?

~Sam

Have your health- On Playing and Thyroid

[Personal-post]
I am so happy today. I played! I played after like a gap of one to one and half year. I was on the court few days back and I was pathetic. But yesterday, I was smooth, I was moving like melted butter on bun top! I haven't had this kind of flexibility since ages, my arms which could break a thick glass in one blow were weak, but I was hitting those smashes, those side boxes, net touching drops. Mind was focused, attention - rapt. I was panting and puffing, taking break every now and then. There were some clumsy shots. But it felt good just to be there- to be able to hold my racquet. 

Just three months back I had hit that abysmal low. When you do everything you can and you still don't lose weight, forget the weight, you just don't feel fit and healthy. I was eating right, walking eight kilometers everyday. Jogging every alternate day but I was putting on. There were inexplicable mood swings [PMS? No]. Some fatigue, I never understood. I ate sprouts. I ate everything healthy but nothing was turning the weighing scale down or making me feel any better. Back in school days when were preparing for the game (I was in 11th) I cut out on all outside food and I could feel my energy levels shoot up. I didn't know why I couldn't feel that difference now. Was I ageing at 24?  That thought itself was painful. 

I just assumed I was lazy or was missing out on something. May be I shouldn't even eat those sinful calorific comfort giving food even once a week. But, I am food lover, I cook, I eat and I am not the dieting kind of person. One life- enjoy it. And all food is good in right quantities, an occasional indulgence was fine too. But, what was happeing? Then came a blessing in disguise when I took a Thyroid test. I never imagined this could be a medical condition. I was diagonized with Hypothyroid. It was a shock, even though my mom had suffered from it. I couldn't believe it. There is nothing one can do really- you got it, you will have. You cannot change it. My mom was so upset. But, then why crib about something that you cannot do much about.  Worse the values were way too off the normal levels. Which meant, I have had it for a while. So there it was the root cause of all my troubles.The fatigue, mood swings, weight gain -everything wrong. 

I was put on medication immediately to supplement the thyroid my body wasn't making. I had learned to cut out on damaging foods like cabbage, sprouts, soy and other related food items. Yes, sprouts are unhealthy for a hypothyroid person. I read every material available about Thyroid. I bought couple of books and read them too. I just wanted my health back. I immediately lost about a kilo and the doctor conveyed, I would lose more if I continued the routine I was following. I stand at 66.something today, I was 69. I am moving towards my goal of 60 kgs. The mood swings were gone within a week after I started medication. I felt more energetic. I was my pleasant self again. I was cheerful, I felt healthy. :) My thyroid levels had come down to normal in just one month!

When I played for 3 hours yesterday. The stamina was low but I was there on the court. The strength was returning to my arms, my feet were moving, my body was synchronizing with the shuttle. I realize I need to work some more. So, I am beginning my jog routine today. Switching from walks to jogs. I wan't to be able to move better on the court, gain more flexibility, look at myself in the mirror and feel little more great! ;)

Have your health. Dare you- don't say you don't have the time.  Everybody has the time to do something they really want to do. 

Note: Hypothyroidism actually isn't as crazy as they describe in most of the websites. Your body doesn't make thyroid, you supplement it externally and you are as good as normal. But, it helped me realize, health can effect everything that you are and everything you can be.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Choices [Short poem]


Source:  http://www.flicker.com/photos/fer_roque


"Be careful”, they say

“Be wary of the choices that you make”

Aye foolish souls!

Haven’t you known it yet?

It is the same life whichever path you take!


~Sam

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Looking Back...

Today I spent a great deal of my morning reading posts of blogger friends. It all reminded me of the days when I used to blog about me. About whats happening in my life how I feel and all. Even when this blog was started I never knew, never imagined I will have about 15-20 short stories and over 50 poems. I had begun this with a mind that I will write Analogies and talk about life discreetly. But somewhere, I got high on the writing and was exploring new stuff, poems and stories and there was no looking back at how it all began. Today, something made me want to explore the previous posts. And, if you read through these you will probably see me as a different person all together. So, linking back to some posts which are not stories or poems but are just me:

The Power of Unrest: I had written this post when I was trying for placement through my college. I had never faced rejection, got placed effortlessly in Engineering but in this written exam I was put on hold. I didn't even want that IT job back then. I didn't know what I wanted. But, guess what, they called for an interview later and I did get placed in the first company I tried for. Yep. That's where I work now and I love my IT job. 

Different Worlds: This is a post which I had written more for myself than others. It is about judging people. 

Lights: I had written  this post around Diwali last year. My sister was about to get married. It was fun time! 

The Battle: Being a tomboy, one is not very sure what to do when walks into a beauty saloon alone.  This was one such experience. 

Unsighted: This  was what I had written when I realized how people are much more than what we know them to be- in a good way.

Fragile Happiness: This is an analogy I am so proud of. The dynamics of happiness aren't that easy.

Small Initiatives: It doesn't take a huge leap, it take a small step to get you where you want to be.

Grief.. in decibels: This was what I had written when there was constant construction noise that had managed to make my life hell.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Doodle [Short Fiction]

The bookshelves on the three walls of the room made it look much smaller than it was. There was a big green bulletin board which recklessly covered the only ventilating windows of the room and gave it a damp and dull touch.  Apart from the circulars and notices pinned on to the board which flapped and fluttered as the fan swept the air across the room- there was no sound. An old man round and cute with his little head shimmering under the glaze of the tube light propped his glasses while looking at the boy.  The boy had turned purple with fear. He curled his lanky legs around the chair and tied his hands behind his back. His face was more sad than apologetic. “It is okay son. I am not going to punish you.” the principal tried to free the boy of the tension.  The boy murmured, “Sorry!”  As soon as a bell rang the boy panicked and stood on his feet. The old man just said, “You may go. Attend your classes and……” and before he could finish his line the boy had disappeared out of the room.

His fat fingers held a paper on which there was a grotesque caricature of him. He was amazed by the representation of his own body. A plump figure with an oversized head, two big droopy ears, a rather flat nose and his shirt sleeves curtly cut by sharp stokes of pencil while the legs disappeared towards the end of the paper. He touched his nose in a reflex and sighed after feeling a slight bump. Not that flat, he thought. He quickly hid the drawing in his desk when someone knocked on the door. It was the purchase officer of the school who wanted to know if they should change the book seller. It had been five years and the contract was nearing expiry. He neatly place three sheets of papers with quotes from different sellers in the city, “Sir? Sir? ….Do you want me to come later.”  The old man twitched his nose and said, “No. So, you were saying..?”

The conversation went on again and again reaching no conclusion. The principal appeared very dazed. He would corner his eyeballs to look at his ears or touch them with his hands he spoke. The officer sat stiff hiding his growing irritation with the man in front of him. He had a grand plan, to favour a seller over the others and pocket a greedy couple of thousands, but let alone questioning about the book sellers the Principal didn’t even look at the quotations. He started again, “The Trinetra Book Seller has been over charging us Sir. Since the contract with them will expiry by this January I proactively requested quotations from couple of other book stores in the city. From my analysis……….”

He prepared speech was cut short by the old man who now held his hands high holding his ears, bracketing himself within the bent elbows, “Are  my ears too big?” The officer was thrown off balance. It took him a while to understand that the guy wasn’t making fun of him and was expecting a genuine answer. The Principal’s eyes narrowed to put the man in the spot as if he wanted to force a reply out of his mouth. The irritated officer blurted out with an absent mind, “Not your ears but… Sir, I always thought you had a big - forehead. Maybe I should come some other time” He excused himself gingerly not knowing what else to do.  Soon after the officer left, the old man pulled out the Caricature from his desk and noted the big swoop the boy had made near his forehead. He ran his hands over his face as the doodle snickered back at him. He didn't punish the boy but the boy had punished him unknowingly.



The End

Monday, December 5, 2011

The maid and the lady [Part-2]

Read Part-1 Here

Part-2

There were days when I would catch her cry each time she hung up on a particular call. His voice was coarse and harsh, “She has no time to answer the calls and she is taking care of my girl?” I realized my mistake and passed on the phone to her. When she began to scream I excused myself so that she doesn’t feel too embarrassed. The next morning she pretended nothing happened. Or, as if it was very casual to fight. I hadn’t slept the last night. I kept thinking about her and about her child. I wanted to say a lot of things; I had prepared to speak about myself, about my marriage about my husband who too no longer stays with me. I wanted to tell her to be strong, to stop answering his calls- lodge a police complaint like I did. But, I remained silent- I was her maid and maids are not supposed to speak about families. I would see the little girl’s lips quiver with pain and tears welled up her eyes whenever this happened and the otherwise noisy house would drown in the silence of the haunted past.  The abandoned cup of tea pushed below her bed, gave away signs of a long painful night. I could visualize her sitting with her back propped to the corner of the bed. Her knees closely drawn and hands cupping the hot tea, the only comforting warmth within her reach. As I made the bed on these days, I flipped the pillows to hide the tears marks; I felt too burdened with that knowledge. I pretended I saw nothing, noticed nothing. She pretended she didn’t know that I knew.

I tried to understand the situation from the snippets of information I had over heard by chance when the lady talked to her mother and in-laws. “I made a mistake. I understand. But you cannot take away my child! You get it? Not you, not him, not anyone!” What had she done? I wondered. She was very good. It was hard to imagine she would have faulted. She cared for her child more than anything and she was raising the daughter much better than anybody I have worked with. Sadly, we live in a society where people can talk about things they do not know and still not get their tongues chopped off. The other maids told me stuff about her which I knew weren’t true. Some thought she was widow, who still unabashedly flaunted her beauty and draped herself in bright colours. Some thought that men frequented her house and that is why her husband had left her alone- Not TRUE. I knew, it. She made an attempt to be lively, she is a good person by nature, I could tell but then - there was something the woman had wronged. Something she didn’t forgive herself for. She was in pain. When they asked me questions about her- “I just do my work. I find her to be good. I know nothing else.” That was my reply. I felt bad for her. What did they know about her to talk about her like that?

This work had become my stable source of income. I got two meals a day and respect? And more than anything, I connected to her. I saw through her. Don’t get into their personal business. Do your work and leave. Wasn’t that what every maid was once told? But that fateful day I crossed my line. As I walked closer to the house, the door was ajar; I heard the voice of man, a familiar voice. I hesitated to step in, maybe I should just leave, it was a family matter and they wouldn’t appreciate my presence. One final thought was to pull the door closer, neighbours weren’t too fond of her, and the fight might just give them a reason to push the lady out of the building. As I reached out for the door the little girl ran towards me, to my horror a moderately built man was overpowering the lady and his hand was strangling her neck. In a reflex, I lifted the little statue that stood on the table and hit it on his head. The man dropped unconscious. The daughter ran to her and the mother and child rolled into a ball in the corner. The lady never looked at me; I didn’t want to see her in such a weak position either. I called the police and gave my statement. The man was left with a warning as the lady had refused to file a case. However, he was bound by law not call at this house or get anywhere close to his once daughter and wife. When the tension faded, I was afraid- what if I would lose my job. People can act in weird ways. What if even she would? I dreaded to hear that one statement, “Who are you to do that?”

After about two weeks, she handed me a generous amount only to let me know, they were shifting to a new place. The society had seen enough and thought that she was nuisance. It is strange how the community can act so stupid collectively. Hadn’t the woman been through enough? I helped her pack her things. Each time I looked at her face which was still red by the scars from that ghastly day, I wanted to tell her, “whatever, you have done- forgive yourself. That man has done something worse than anything you would have done. Be strong. Be strong.” I held back my tears and didn’t let a word slip. As we sipped our last cup of tea, she suddenly blurted out,” I had stepped outside my marriage once. I thought I deserved to die.” I couldn’t stop myself anymore,” What is a woman to do when she lives with a man like that?”

Those were our last words. She just held my hand and hugged me like I was her sibling. “Aunty, Thank you” just these three words from the sweet child justified all the risk I took. She didn’t deserve to lose her mother. I kissed her goodbye.  Soon after they left, I walked back to the watchman,” Let me know when some new family moves into that house.” 

The End

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The maid and the lady [Part-1]

I was out of work because two of my employers had shifted to some other cities. I had put up a word with the watchman to let me know if any new families moved into these houses. My boundaries were restricted to the Krishna Colony. I was not allowed to work beyond that area. The other maids wouldn’t approve of that. There was an untold understanding, all of us were poor and one would become an out-caste if one sabotaged the livelihood of other maids.

On one Thursday I was summoned to meet the Sharma Family. Thursday, I figured it was a blessing from Sai Baba. The last couple of tens carefully preserved in the loose end of my saree would have lasted for couple more days, I needed this job. I washed my face and tied my hair neatly and reached the building where the Sharma’s lived. I was apprehensive. It is very difficult to be a maid in these big houses, their strength and money scares me. I feel so vulnerable. Within us maid we all knew it is better to work for families with kids than for bachelors and newly weds. So, when my doorbell was answered by a ten year old relief comforted my tense body. The girl was sweet. In the first few seconds I could guess she was a well mannered child. She spoke to me with respect. “Aunty, please wait. I’ll call mommy.” Rich kids sometimes be very harsh, I now had a positive feeling about the lady of the house. A tall, very fair and gorgeous lady walked out of the kitchen, and called me in. The house was littered with cardboard boxes and wrappers. The mother and child spoke to each other in Hindi. They didn’t belong to this area of the country. “Please sit”

I noted that she gestured towards the mat that covered one corner of the living room. To my surprise she sat down next me,” Will you have tea? I need to drink it before I can do anything. My head is paining. Hands are aching. Why doesn’t the lift work in this building?” I soon forgot all the calculations I was making regarding the salary, the woman spoke to with ease and a familiarity I was starting to like. “No.” She brought the tea anyway and I sipped the hot ginger tea. I noticed my glass was different than hers. But it didn’t matter, we were drinking the same tea and I wasn’t offered a left over.  “I need you to help me with setting up the house. That is first. And, I need you to help me with the dishes, clothes and cleaning the house. But there is one more problem. I am working. So you will have to come at around 6:30 in the morning. Is that fine?” I noted everything she said but she had left out the one piece of information I badly needed to know- how much is she going pay? “I can come at 6:30, I don’t have an issue. I should be able to get done by 8.00. Ma’am, I will accept the standard salary in this colony- 100 for dishes, 150 for clothes and 150 for cleaning.” It was a done deal and I began with washing the tea cups.

One question nagged me, where was her husband? It was none of my business but she seemed too nice a lady to be di-vorzed. Isn’t that what they call it when the man and woman in these big families separate? Months passed and morning tea and breakfast with the lady and her daughter became my routine. The other maids were so jealous, because I got food, hot food and my employer usually sat down and ate with me. On lucky days she would pass on some wonderful clothes that I would fold and keep aside to wear them on special occasions. I was soon hired to come during the evenings as well to help her with the cooking, and we chatted about movies and serials. I was growing more and more attached to her little family and it pained me, that they hid a lot of grief beneath their smiles. 

To be continued....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Come unprepared [Poem]



It is easy to be charmed,
So effortless, to let the heart stray,
But, come talk to me on a darker day
See me in the blackest of moods
Let me wander -detached and alone
Follow me if you have the heart to
Come unprepared, into my life
See the brightest day, the deepest night
Don’t catch me when I fall
Fall with me gracefully, touch the ground
Then name yourself mine, and, I’ll term myself yours.

~Sam

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good day- Let's talk!

December 1st and I am full of joy already. Birthday mood is creeping in, I am looking at things to buy, and I am holding on to that cash so that I can splurge on the D Day. So, a month and a half for Jan 12   Well, one big woamp I will be turning 25. There are a lot of things that are a little different this time. I am on my first job and I will actually get myself a gift with own money- now that feels nice! I will buy (and have bought one) a dress that is elegant and suave compared to the baggy jeans and over sized t-shirts which became a trademark for my tomboyish nature.

I wonder why people hesitate to celebrate birthdays, how naïve it is to feel sad about growing old? It is beautiful, miraculous- you lived another year, celebrate!! I mean considering the number of accidents and tragedies, if you have been walking around these streets and roads for past 20 something years and have not been knocked down dead by a bus or car - quite a blessing isn’t it? :P

I normally don’t prefer to write about myself on my blog, I have horribly good reasons not to do that. But, because I am in the birthday mood today, and I can feel the New Year round the corner I am going to spill out some beans. I appreciate all of you who have read my writings and have encouraged and inspired me in different ways. May be I can pick up my pen today and tell you something about me and move to that area of non-fiction.

1.       Nature is joy of my life. No matter how much I love the city hustle bustle and hop on and off the train to Bangalore at every given chance, I love the calm and serene towns. Greenery heals me is a manner I cannot describe in words.
2.       I am frank person and have no qualms about talking things straight. I hold my tongue when required but if you ask me a question- I will tell you what I truly think.
3.       It is very difficult for people to get on my wrong side but if they do I can be bitterly sarcastic, strangely aggressive and adamant.  However, most of the people I know tell me I am a very pleasant, positive and cheerful person.
4.       I have been a tomboy all my life and you will never ever find me giggling without reason or say,” OMG! Darlings, Sweets, Babe!” I keep my conversations simple.
5.       I come off as a feminist and I do some male bashing with my women oriented posts (I have been told so) but, surprisingly, I am not like that. I hate and appreciate men and women equally. There are good people, there are bad people. The good and bad here can be a man or a woman. Period.
6.       I write a lot about love and out of the 58 poems about 40 are about love. But, with my truest honesty- I have never been in love. Of course, I had my share of crushes but these poems don’t connect to any specific individual or a guy in my life. I haven’t dated; haven't got my heart stolen/broken, never got involved in any kind of relationship. Puff! There goes all the mystery behind the poems. Love is everywhere- you just need to have the eyes and the heart to write about it.
7.       I have been that kind of a kid who gets called to the principal’s office.
8.       When I write a story it engulfs me. The characters move around in my head and I become that protagonist and feel the pain or joy of the situation. One sure shot way to get some of my time and attention is to talk about one of my writings. I speak about everything I write with a passion that many do not understand or care for.
9.       Hard to believe, but I cry very easily. I don’t cry at stuff like someone spoke rudely and sorts. I cry at strange things. I cried while watching Happy Feet. :P I have tears of joy at the end of a sports movie when the team wins. I don’t understand it either.
10.   I am a route dummy. I drive cars, I walk, I am a very smart individual but I get lost on roads. True fact. Once I drove 8kms off track and circled a beautiful hill.  Not only that but I have some goof up in life. Everyday something funny definitely happens - It could be something as silly as getting a sandal broken in the middle of office and hobbling around with one foot high and another foot on the ground for the rest of the day. 

Any thing else you would like to know? Today is the day, ask me tomorrow, I won't answer it. :P
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