Friday, June 24, 2016

Rising from dust - Friday fictioneers

Note: The following post is an attempt to write a 100-word short story using the picture as a prompt. Friday Fictioneers is a brainchild of Rochelle. Do visit her for more information.

copyright-Rich Voza

“Run Meera. Break free. It’s your life and nobody can take it from you“, mother’s words echoed in my ears. Dawn was breaking, lifting the blanket of darkness. As if the universe was telling me it’s time for a new day, new life.

I held Nidhi closer. It surprised me how such a tiny little thing gave me the courage to break from the shackles that bound me for five years. With renewed energy and resolve, I calmed my thudding heart and walked towards the gate, nervousness paving way to confidence. That moment, I made a promise. To never return.  


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Songs of childhood

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost!

The afternoon spread out lazily before us, as we settled on the couch, munching some chudva and giggling like little girls at the funny and witty retorts of Koki ji of Shrimanji Shrimatiji. Wondering how we ended up watching this serial, that used to air on DD2 more than a decade ago? I would blame the rain.

 "Hey Tai, you would love this! I stumbled upon this song a while ago! " With a smile on her face and frenzy in her actions, she casted a video on T.V.

"Jhuk Jhuk Jhuk Jhuk agina gaadi, dhoorancha rekha haveth kaadi..palti jhaadi paahuya, mama cha gavaala zaauya..!"

"Oh my God! I had totally forgotten about it. How long ago was it, 20 years?" I was bewildered and very happy, as if I found my long lost sister. I was excited like a puppy because it was our childhood song, the only Marathi one that we knew. We used to sing it a lot, the most favorite line being 'Roz roz poli shikran'. It brought back old memories of us in ugly oiled-ribboned-plaits, drowning in oversized uniforms, devouring shikran poli(squashed banana, milk and sugar eaten with rotis) while racing against time. That was our staple breakfast when we were in school.

 The pitter patter of raindrops outside prodded us to go further.

"You know what I like best of those days? Singing. Remember how we kept our doors open when there was a power cut, and played Antakshari so the whole building knew!?"

As much backward as it may sound, impromptu power cuts were the much needed respite. It brought the day to a grinding halt leaving us no option but to stop whatever we were doing and sit in anticipation(Power cuts usually occurred during late evenings and nights. That's when the 'saving' would occur). The family sat down together, keeping the doors and windows open to let some breeze in. Sometimes, there was a gush of wind and blow off the only candle. Ajji would sit in a corner, fanning herself with a newspaper. Dad would hum a little song and we picked up his cue. He sang his favourite songs, songs of his times, melodious, lyrical and meaningful and before we knew it, they became our favourites too.

There were songs for different occasions. If Independence day or republic day was around the corner,
we tended to sing patriotic songs. 'Meri desh ki dharti..' of Manoj Kumar or 'Ai mere watan ke logon' rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. I remember how we would sing the whole song, lump forming in our throats, tears trickling down our faces sometimes, as we lived the lives of soldiers through a song. And sometimes, if we were feeling thankful or grateful, we would end it with Ram Raksha, the whole family reciting in unison. Dad would sometimes forget the lines and repeat a previous phrase and mom and Grandma would snuff him out by raising their voices, continuing the right way, not letting him distract their focus.

Back in those days, life was full of life. And it showed in how we sang, with all our hearts. With so much dramatic-emotional-facial-synchronization that it would make AR Rahman cringe.

We recalled random episodes, like how Amma had come running from kitchen when she heard "Chaiya Chaiya" being played on Rangoli, how it left my grandfather perplexed at her sudden sprint and when asked, she had sheepishly replied, 'It is Nanu's favorite song and I wanted to see how it looked like'. It was a daring act on her part, because daughter-in-laws were not expected to scamper like a little girl, more so if the father-in-law shared the same roof. Our eyes fluttered mistily as we recalled her mischievous side that hid behind her dutiful-daughter-in-law-demeanor. The face that lights up when we say something nice to her. The memory of the child-like joy in her smile played before us.

The rain mellowed into a drizzle, but we were on a rampage. Memory after dormant memory tumbled from our little minds, as if the jar of flashback was rattled and opened loose. While some brought smiles, a few jerked tears. Like the turbulent relationship between my dad and sister during her growing years. Like how at one point in time, bogged down by expectations and tired of comparisons, she chose to move out and study away from home. How the feelings between two sisters oscillated between love and plain disdain as we battled our differences and learnt to accept the way we were.

"I still don't know what to talk to him", she said, with downcast eyes. "There is always this distance."

It pains me, to think that we might have failed, as parents and older sister, to stand by her for who she was. We could have done better, I guess.

That day, as we chatted away, it was just two sisters, leading their own independent lives, devoid of all influence and comparison, taking a trip down the memory lane, dusting cobwebs off forgotten memories, realizing together that they had been blessed with a great childhood despite all the odds.

It felt good. Very good.


The day we first went to school together |  The day she got married.

PS : Pardon me for using unfamiliar words. That's the only way I could keep it close to what it actually was. I am giving a brief explanation for some terms used.

Chudva - A snack made of rice flakes
Antakshari - A group game where songs are sung starting with the letter the previous participant ended his song with.
Poli - Bread (Roti/Chapati)


Sunday, June 19, 2016

WOW – “When Dad shed a silent tear”

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Featured on BlogAdda

She lay on the grim hospital bed, tubes pricked through her mercilessly. She was unconscious for eight hours now and the family had been pacing the halls nervously, until the doctor appeared a few minutes ago.

"The esophagus is bruised badly due to the harsh chemicals of the detergent. It will be a few weeks before she recovers fully. But she is out of danger right now", the doctor informed unsympathetically. He gave a condescending look at the father and then walked away, shaking his head and muttering something to the nurse who nodded at him with full agreement.

Mr. Prasad, relaxing a bit for the first time in 24 hours, sat down tired. After the doctor declared her out of danger, he had persuaded his distraught wife to go home and rest. He was alone now, slumped on a chair, watching his daughter fight for life in the dimly lit room. Thoughts raced in his mind. The last few days turned their life upside down and it was only now that he felt composed and strong enough to mull over what happened.

"Life is funny, isn't it Aarti? All it takes is a moment's decision to flip your life. But it takes ages to heal.

I don't know how long it will be before we begin to feel normal. Things are not the same, within us, around us. Ramesh Uncle shut the door on me the other day as I approached him to say hello. A day after you were gone. Not just him, all our neighbors have distanced themselves. They don't talk to us anymore. We have stopped trying too. Your mum is shocked that Radhika Aunty, her closest friend, wasn't even a friend. They say, when times get rough, you will know your true friends. Looks like we have none.

Your grandpa had called yesterday and he blamed your mum. He said she wasn't fit to be a mother. That she couldn't raise a daughter well. I disagree with him. Wasn't she always there when you needed her, like a friend ? Wasn't she the one who convinced me to let you join the dance class? She had told me that's where your heart lay, and that we should let you follow your dreams. How proud I was of her then. I still am. But how naive she was to not understand that freedom comes with a great risk. Now, she is shattered. I just hope she doesn't change her way of thinking.

I haven't gone to office for almost a week now. Nobody has even called to check. They probably don't want to embarrass me. Mrs Kapoor calls regularly though. To check on how you are doing. Although I am sure her agenda is to get first hand information so she can be the gossip provider at work. You know how it works, right? The society. It hugs you and then stabs you in the back. Surprisingly, it is not affecting me. How much can it hurt me, when compared to how much I already am?

The last few days have been a blur. Things happened so fast. We finding you missing from home. Prajesh uncle's frantic call to inform us that he saw you outside the registrar office and that you might have gotten married. When we confirmed that your clothes were missing, your mom fainted. It took me a good ten minutes to register what was happening. It was as if the earth gave way beneath me. Like I fell into an unending pit. When I finally gathered myself, I called up Dinkar uncle from the police. And we waited, for you to call. We had no clue where you were or who that guy was, and your phone was switched off. We just prayed for you to be safe and hoped that you would call us. But you didn't. Not until the next day.

I remember your first words. They still ring in my ears. "I am safe. I got married. Don't look for me". And then you hung up. I couldn't believe my ears. Is this my little girl? Your mother was beside me, her swollen eyes full of tears, hope and questions. How could I tell her that you did not care about us?

And then last night. It was horrific. I can only imagine the pain you must be going through to have taken such a drastic step. We will teach that guy and his family a lesson. For putting you to shame. For betraying you. For giving in to his family pressure. He had no right to take you with him if he had no guts to stand by you. I could sense your anguish when you muttered unintelligibly "How could he do this to me" as you were taken into the operation theater. I could totally understand because I felt exactly the same thing. How could you?

No, I am not angry my child. Just hurt. Still in disbelief that you could do it. So easily. And feeling like an utter failure as a father isn't helping. Feeling betrayed. I keep telling your mom that its not our fault. That you are old enough to be responsible for your actions. But deep down, some questions nag at me. What stopped you from approaching us? What was lacking in our upbringing that made you severe our 25-year-old bond so easily? What is it that made you so selfish and unapologetic?

I can never ask you these questions, not at the risk of another radical reaction. I can only ponder and search for answers in your eyes.

When you wake up and come home, I hope you learn to love life once again. People wont say a word but their disguised sympathies and cold looks will be enough to break you once more. I hope you will find the strength to get past them. You can pull through this, dear child. We are there with you. "

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Liebster award!

I love the blogger world. More than the real world that I live in. Because I got awarded here. First time. I was never given an award for anything, not even for being THE laziest or THE most careless. Hence, I love the blogger world much more.

Sorry folks, the initial enthusiasm has still not worn off, so please bear with me for a few more lines. Darshana Suresh(Such a nice, warm name, isn't it?) from Wandering WOWs! bestowed me with this award and I am immensely thankful to her for keeping me in her thoughts! Do check out her blog. She is young but her writing and thoughts have much more maturity than you would expect.

Before you think there was an award ceremony, or I was appreciated for my writing, or I got paid, stop right there. Its an online award that a blogger gets to flaunt for being recognized and liked(?) by fellow bloggers. Its more like an initiative to expose more blogs out there to readers. Though 'Liebster' in German means Sweetest, Nicest, Kindest, Beloved, Lovely, Pleasant, Valued, Cute, Endearing and welcome, I guess it speaks more about the blogger who awarded me this than me! So, to you, Darshana!

Rules of the award :

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Display the Liebster award on your blog, which I shamelessly did.
  • Share 11 random facts about you
  • Answer the 11 questions you were asked
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers for the award and have them answer 11 questions
  • Let the other bloggers know you have nominated them
  • Copy the rules into your post

11 random facts about me :

  1. I hate waiting. Be it for five minutes or fifteen.
  2. I have travel anxiety. When there is an impending travel, I assume I am going to forget my passport or board the wrong flight.
  3. Simplicity and elegance is what I am attracted to.
  4. I manage, sorry, micro-manage the food on my plate. I always make sure I have enough rice for my gravy or enough gravy for my rice.
  5. As much as I love a group of friends to hang out with, I like solitude. I like to be alone, take a lone walk, or quietly read a book with no botheration.
  6. I love to play sports. Anything with a bat and(or) a ball. Currently obsessed with tennis.
  7. Having choices confuses the hell out of me.
  8. I always like what my friend bought even if I spent a lifetime picking mine.
  9. I am impulsive.
  10. I will be the happiest person on Earth if we didn't have to cook two meals a day. I consider it such a waste of time when you can do something else instead. But I Louuu eating :/
  11. I like to try new stuff. Be it a new cuisine, new place, a new activity or a new hairstyle. The current one that I am sporting, is a disaster.

Dashy's 11 questions :

  • What made you start blogging?
           Aishu. She was my one-year-old neighbor who gave a new meaning to our world. The entire family was crazy about her, and I wanted to document this craziness somewhere. That was my first post on a piece of paper. And that's when I came to know about blogging.
Aishu is twelve now.
  • If, for one day, you could be someone else, who would it be?
          J.K Rowling. Or R.R Martin. I would like to be in their imaginary world of fantasy atleast for a day! Create a great idea and then write in my blog :P
  • How would you like to spend your birthday?
          Birthdays are no more special to me. I like it quiet and usual. Is it a sign of growing old? Please say NO! :/
  • One of the proudest moments of your life?
           When I threw a surprise anniversary party for my parents. From booking the hall, to deciding the menu, inviting guests, preparing the PPT, selecting music and then finally seeing that surprise and happiness on their faces. I felt proud then.
  • Do you prefer night or day? why?
          Day. I am more of an outdoor person, so day works perfect for me. Night is only for sleeping unless there is really something interesting to do.
  • What are the three movies you cant get enough of ?
           I usually never watch the same movie. I would rather watch a new one. But, when I just want to get a few laughs, I would without doubt go to these.
         1.Munnabhai series.
         2.Golmaal 1
  • A dream that you had at night and you cannot forget?
          I rarely get dreams. I must have gotten only two that I can remember something of. One, my sister gets kidnapped from our house. Second, I murdered somebody and am on a running spree. It was a nightmare.
  • What would you like to be remembered for?
          This is the girl that inspired me. I hope to touch people in a way that makes them better than they already are.
  • What is the greatest advice you've heard?
         Its not over until it is over.
  • What is your dream destination?
           Vatican City. Its the smallest country in the world and I read so much about it in Dan Brown novels that I am sure I would go hysterical if I ever happened to be there.
  • One thing you would like to change about this world?
          Eliminate poverty. Its just so unfair.
And here, I present this award to 11 other bloggers!
There! Go ahead, flaunt that badge, pen down 11 random things about you and type away your answers to the following questions. I am coming back to your blog to check out the answers! :P
  1. Why do you write?
  2. What is the unique quality your blog offers to readers?
  3. How do you think your best friends perceive you?
  4. What are your interests, other than blogging?
  5. What is the greatest advice you ever got?
  6. What is that moment of pride in your life?
  7. Which is the most favorite post of yours?
  8. Have you ever been inspired by somebody in your life? If yes, how did they touch you?
  9. What is one thing you wished you had?
  10. How do you want to retire?
  11. How do you choose your friends?
And other dear readers, I would LOVE to read what you have to say to these 11 questions. Feel free to use the comments box to answer them!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...