Kissaa Kahaani

September 18, 2018

The Frog Prince

 

Once upon a time, there was an old king and his wife. Childless and in exile. Thrown out of their kingdom, forced to stay in a hut! In poverty and deprivation. They remained there without their neighbours knowing who they are and they lived like commoners – cooking their own food and cleaning their own mess, going to work every day and making ends meet. They were happy, if not rich. Happy in their own little world. The only thing that worried them was not having a progeny. No child. They felt their youth slipping by, they feared the old age. They wanted a child and desperately. That thought kept swirling in their hearts…

One day the queen was making rice, the old-fashioned way. She let the pot of rice boil and then covered the pot with a plate and tilted that to let the starched water flow. All the while her mind occupied with the pain for the child she didn’t have… She became careless and let the boiling hot water pour over her hand. Oh, the pain! She whimpered in pain and large blister appeared on the back of her palm… And the king was so worried, he applied so many ointments but that blister refused to get cured. Day after day the blister grew in size. It kept growing, it kept growing. They were worried but the village doctor wasn’t able to diagnose nor offer a cure.

And one day the blister suddenly popped open and to their surprise, a frog popped out. A frog. A frog was in that blister!? How weird! How amazing! A living being! It’s God’s miracle. The God wanted her to take care of this frog, He wanted to connect her cosmically to this frog. This frog was their child.

And they proceeded to care for that creature as if they would have taken care of their own child. They did everything they would have done for their own child. The bathed him and fed him and loved him. They even sent him to the school! Can you believe that! They put him in a round earthen pot with his tiffin and books and kicked the pot. And it rolled over, rolled and rolled. And people along the way helped by rolling it towards the village school. Where the teacher would pull him out and settle him on the desk and taught him. And in the evening did the same, she kicked his pot and others in the village did too and he rolled home!

Days passed and weeks and years and decades. The frog was a big frog now. And sturdy and well learned and kind. He was everything the king and the queen wanted their child to be. They were Happy.

One day a messenger came over wearing the invitation to the wedding of an ally King’s daughter. Exiled or not, they wanted the King and the Queen to be the part of the wedding. And our King and Queen accepted the invitation. Time has come that the world outside this village knew of their prince. And off they went.

The wedding celebration was an extravaganza. And they all enjoyed. No one raised their eyebrows and shoulders on seeing the extraordinary prince. Things couldn’t be better.

The night of the wedding arrived, they settled the frog prince on the roof of the guest tent overlooking the wedding havan so that he can be safe there and enjoy the wedding. And the groom was waiting on the altar for the bride to arrive. And she arrives. Oh, what beauty she was! Ethereal and delicate and almost godly. The frog prince was smitten. He was bewitched. The wedding proceeded. Soon came the ritual that sealed the deed – sindoor daan. Our frog prince jumped and landed on the platter of Sindoor, as screams echoed over the chaos, he took another jump on the forehead of the bride, smearing her with the red vermilion. Making her his own, sealing the bond of the seven lifetimes. A silence fell over the wedding venue.

The groom was visibly upset. But he too was a prince and knew the decorum and protocol. He withdrew his claim without a fight. Our king and queen were ecstatic. And the bride’s parents were devastated but what else they could do. The wedding was done. They wedded off the frog prince and a shaken up bride.

Back at their village the king and queen made sure that their new daughter in law is happy and comfortable in their house. They arranged everything. Made their room beautiful and inviting. The first night after the wedding has arrived. The newly we are now in their own room. She was weeping copiously over her fate when she saw something. The size of the frog prince was increasing. He looked like a giant frog now and suddenly the most unimaginable thing happened.

The skin of the frog fell off like the skin of a snake and curled there on the floor was a man. A handsome regal man. In all his glory. As the man rose, he kneeled in front of her and begged her forgiveness and told his story a form for how he was cursed by a rishi in his previous birth to remain in the skins of a frog. How he can only be a man in front of his wife…

Oh, the mixed feelings the new bride had! How she felt happy and sad all at once! She couldn’t describe! This was the most beautiful night she had bug who would believe her!

Next morning she woke up to see the frog prince back in his original form beside her. this went on for days. She was now pregnant. But who would believe her that the child was of the Prince’s! She decided that now the time has come to confide in her parents in law. She told them the whole story. She showed them too, kept the window little ajar so that they could see him coming out off that skin. They too were ecstatic.

And then they hatched a plan. They kept a fire pot burning through the night in the new bride’s room and told her to burn the skin once the prince sleeps. And this-this is what she did. She burned the skin. Next morning our frog prince had no other option but to come out in his human form. The years of happiness on his parent’s faces were enough to break the curse

And with time and with bride’s parents help, our prince got his kingdom back.

And they lived happily ever after.

 

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December 7, 2012

Only Once in Your Life…

Filed under: The Memories Unfogged,The Unadulterated Magic — MK @ 7:43 pm

dedicated to my love, my life, my husband….

Bob Marley once said that, “Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are…”

I have found you, it’s been a tough and a long journey and now we are celebrating first anniversary of our holy union. I know how significant a mere note or simple short scripted “luv u” is for you, I understand how you treasure and keep my moments locked in your heart, I feel like a teenager with you- I want to do silly things, with you, I bubble and I laugh without reason… colors seem brighter to me. I laugh more when I am with- even more than I used to earlier…

A phone call or two, few whatsapp sms and messages during the day help to get me through a long day’s work and always bring a smile to my face. When you are with me, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but I find I am quite content in just having you by my side- I do not need to fill any gap, because there is none….

Things that never interested me before became fascinating because I know they are important to you and you are important to me. I think of you on every occasion and in everything I do if you are not around me. Simple things bring you to mind like “Pani Da Rang” song, like black and red t-shirt, like conversation about Kashmir, like a particular TV Show, like sleeping, like eating, like living- you are in everything I do.

I opened my heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening my heart, I experience a love and joy that I never imagined, I will be worthy of, I opened my heart and realized you are already in it, . I found that my being vulnerable is a way to allow you to protect me from the world, from myself, even from yourself. I have found strength in knowing that I have a partner in my life who cherishes me like a princess, who corrects me and guides when I am wrong, who listens to me and my opinion, who dreams my dreams, who thinks  my thoughts, who supports who I am. I am secure in the fact that I have a true friend and a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Happy first Anniversary my love, may we have a thousand more happy ones!

June 18, 2012

Ode to a Little Sister

Filed under: The Memories Unfogged — MK @ 12:32 pm

This is a little ode

To an unknown little sister,

I have beautiful two,

You were the other.

There are so many questions –

Of little things we are left to wonder:

As colors go –

Was your favorite red, blue, or another?

Would you have eaten all your veggies first?

And save the dessert till last?

Would you have hated pumpkin the worst?

Chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla –

Which ice cream would you have preferred?

For times of transport

To go near or far;

Would you have sat your tiny little bumps

On a motorcycle,

Or in the seat of a van or a car?

To make a living

Would you have used your hands?

Your brain or your mind?

Inside you –

was there a beautiful talent

You would have found?

Would you have enquired?

As to how the stars got there,

We’re still not sure,

Even among the great minds here.

Maybe now of that –

You know what is true,

For up there You do have a wider view.

 In all certainty

I’ll be there one-day,

Where you are…

Way above the clouds,

So very far…

When that time comes

We’ll find ourselves a comfy spot,

And marvel at the glorious vision

Of the universe and earth blue,

As finally you get to know me,

And I you.

March 2, 2012

If One of Us is Gone…

Filed under: The Memories Unfogged — MK @ 11:37 am

Its been 83 days since I am married. 83 days. Wow!!! I am a wife!!! The responsibility is huge. The joy is tremendous. The disbelief is great. The contentment is infectious. I really can’t believe that I am a wife. I still behave childishly, I still have my own nakhras, I make silly mistakes- I do things I never saw my mother do. She is perfect, maybe I will be a perfect wife too…

I cherish the smile I sleep with; I cherish the warm cuddling, the unexpected hugs and tightly clasping hands. I love the strong shoulder on which I lean on and sleep while in auto. I am thankful for the strong arms which act as my pillow in nights. I am grateful for the scolding when I make mistakes. I love the early morning warmth of togetherness. I love waking up to his touch.

He compliments me, I am bubbly, and he is calm. I stumble, he lends an arm. I laugh, he smiles. Our relationship is not perfect. And I thank God for it. If it were perfect, I would never find the little joys of roothna manana; if it were perfect, I would not feel the need to seek his approvals on everything I do; if it were perfect, I would need his guiding hands. He is my pillar of strength. He is my cushion to fall back on. He is my lucky charm.

I fought for him, I gave up many things, I wondered at times if whatever I am doing is worth it, if he deserves to be more precious than all the struggles and pain I am going through. I realize today, that he is. He is worth fighting for. And I did not lose anything. I gained.

I know, the road ahead is going to be rough, but he will walk with me. And as we will walk together, we will clear the road and make it smooth. We will create home. We will fight and we will make up. We will criticize and we will appreciate. We will discover each other. More and more. Every day. We are lucky. We are grateful. We love. Life is good.

You and me against the world,
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world,
When all the others turn their backs and walked away,
You can count on me to stay.
You and me against the world,
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world
And for all the times we’ve cried I always felt that
God was on our side.

And when one of us is gone,
And one of us is left to carry on,
Then remembering will have to do,
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you,
Of you and me against the world.
(YOU AND ME AGAINST THE WORLD:
Helen Reddy)

November 21, 2011

I have a secret

Filed under: The Memories Unfogged,The Unadulterated Magic — MK @ 3:59 pm

“I have a secret.”
Sigh… everyone has a secret… I don’t want the burden to carry anymore secrets on my shoulders, but she is my friend… do I have a choice? Clearly, No!

I saw the look in her eyes, the faraway, wistful look, a smile playing in those eyes but her body language defied those looks- she was leaning on the table and her lips were quivering as if she wanted to weep, her face was aglow – either she as blushing or was hurting, I couldn’t say- even after meeting so many people, and suffering through what-nots, I was still not able to gauze what goes in the mind of those around me- I am not gullible, I am plain stupid.

“Do you want to talk about it? We can move away from the table.” “No, I am fine,” she gave a radiating smile and excused herself. She baffles me; no one can ever say what will be her mood the very next second. One moment she was dying to tell me her secret and next second she brushes me off and moves away… she is a mystery all right.

She has a weird story, some of which I know, some I just guess. She met her man when she was still in school. She loved him to death. She would go each evening to his house, prepare food for him, serve it and come back home to tolerate her mother’s wrath on being in the vicinity of a single man who is living alone. He had no parents and was several years older than her, his elder sister was already married off to a comfortable household and was now nurturing her two kids while watching all the TV saas bahu shows. He was not a wonderful guy, not good-looking but he loved her and she loved him! That was the end of the matter. For her, anyways.

What he did not know however was her temper, I am guessing here that he did know- but he chose to believe that he would be able to handle her. He would be able to calm her down with his love. She fought with her family to marry him and she won. He won. They were one. Wow! I am quite poetic today, aren’t I!?

The hell started then. As the marriage begun, love ended. The need was still there, passionate physically raw need, but no love. The fight started on their Suhag ki Sej itself. It was a pity. She realised, it’s too late now- she can’t go back to endorse her maiden name when she has already accepted her husband’s name. The habits which were adorable to her were now irritating. And on her part, she was taken aback by sudden restrictions on her free movement- earlier she used to go bike rides with her macho friends, or for a group sleepover or a slumber party- but now that she was married, her husband did not like going to other guy’s house- he did not have a problem with the friendship- he had a problem with intimacy.

To escape the daily bickering and to maintain the peace of mind, she decided to enrol herself for further studies and went to another state altogether- instead of finding ways to shorten the gap, those two idiots who were in love earlier decided to increase the gap as they deemed it to be the only available solution. Instead of sitting and talking and renewing the love- they decided to fight it out- the marriage became the games of the gladiator and they both wanted to win without compromising.

Soon two years passed and her studies came to an end. But she was still not sure of her stand with her husband, she was not yet sure whether that love, that flame is still there or gone… But instead of finding out, to unravel the paradox, to free the proverbial Schrödinger’s cat from the box, she decided to move further away- once again.

She did not realize it, but she could be very dominating and insensitive. Once her sister-in-law came to visit her for a week with her small kids- and kids being kids, disrupted the household with their untimely shrieks, their unabashed demands drove this young woman crazy and to top it all, the sister-in-law decided, one night to skip dinner at her hosts’ place- however the poor woman did not realize that her brother’s wife has already cooked for her and her kids. When they returned from restaurant, all hell broke loose and the sister-in-law was asked to leave and not to ever come back as this was not her house and the mistress of the house also demanded an apology for she went into so much trouble. The husband could not tolerate it and slapped the wife. This incident was like fire in the oil spill in Pacific Ocean. The remaining chance of peace was now gone. She went on to find a job in a nearing city while her husband remained behind to tend to the family business.

On her family’s insistence and because deep down she knew that she has to revive her love, she decided to stay in a place which was only 4 hours away from her husband. But it turned out that she was not so sure about her choice anymore…

In her new workplace, she met a man- a young handsome man in mid thirties who was charming and pleasant. It was a nice change to her husband and she, it was not intentional- mind you, it just happened- and she felt a powerful; attraction towards him. She was lonely and her hormones demanded more and she was pulled by the string maneuvered by that guy and she found herself entangled the web she spun herself. Ironic. She tried to tell her friends in co many words about her many adventures with this Black Knight, but she was tied up with the moral obligations of human society.

This was her first secret- I knew it, not because she told me, but because she wanted to tell me. She would flutter, she would glow, she would sigh and she would always try to say something which would make no sense – at least not to my ears, my dumb stupid ears.

And suddenly she stopped talking with Black Knight, she never revealed why. However with all this, there was a dark change in her personality. She stopped talking and laughing, she would respond only when required and would not smile at all. Her sullenness made impossible for people around her to enjoy her company. She would behave normally with others who are not part of regular social circle but with us, she behaved as if she was doing us a favour by hanging with us and it was against her wish to do so. I used to get irritated. Once I remember, we all were going out to Dinner and she was with us. Suddenly she says that she wants to go someplace else, I looked at her and told her that I am comfortable being here and then suddenly she stood up and gathered her coat and her purse and stormed out of the restaurant while we all sat agape at her latest antics. She started to get on my nerves but before I could vent my anger and frustrations on her, she found a new muse.

She would regale us with her new muse’s antics- how he can talk non-stop; how he could make time run faster; how he keeps on entertaining her; how he can talk to himself he finds no listeners available. She would go to breakfast with him, she would find excuses to be near him, and suddenly this new muse became her second secret. Surprisingly, this new guy was too naïve to understand her signals. He was same to all girls, same laughter; same talks etc. She was soon bored by him- he did not give her that kind of attention which she sought. Things, kind of, died down.

Then one day her third secret started. She made me a part of it- partially. She told me that someone has asked her out knowing that she is already married and moreover- he himself is married. She said that she wants to say no and that she will refuse his actions. And to add to it, she said that feels glad someone adores her. She was glowing, smiling; she was on the top of her world. That incident made me decide.

I am not a moralistic person, nor I am the righteous one- in fact, I have a few escapades of my own, but that was long long time ago. And I have straightened myself and my path. Though she was a friend of mine, I decided to maintain a distance with her. I knew that the day of disaster was near. And I was not wrong. I maintained a façade of friendship with her- on an impersonal level and I kept on getting a glance of her life- though I was no more affected by her antics. For instance, I know now that she is having “Affair on Flames” her new beau- that married man, and I am not anymore interested in getting dragged into yet another scandal. I want a clean chit for myself.

Who doesn’t love a good gossip, even I do. I just hope that these incidents and men in her life won’t destroy her marital bliss- or her social standing.

I do not yet know what will be the end of her story in future. Nor do I want to guess. Nor I want you to guess. I am just telling you a secret…

September 27, 2011

Mujhe ek kahani likhni hai…

Filed under: Opinions,The Memories Unfogged,The Pun & the Fun — MK @ 4:24 pm

The little joys of life and big joys of life

Kuch to karna hai ke zindagi badi chhoti si hai…
kabaddi khelte un bachcho ke khilkhilahato ko sahejna hai
aur us budhiya ki jhurriyon se batorni hain yaadein…
ma ki lori ko pakadna hai takiye par rakhne ke liye
aur piya ki baahon ka jhoola banana hai simat jaane ke liye…
chaadar ki silvaton mein dubki angrai dhoondhni hai
aur rasoi se basmati ki mahek…
ped par baithi maina ki chahek chahyiye
aur sooraj se thodi narm si garmi…
sardi ki raaton mein muh se nikli bhaap ko kaid karna hai
aur gubbaro se chatak rang chheenna hai…
raat se udhaar kuch taare chahiye
aur apni aankho ki thandhak ke liye subeh se os…
hawa se maangni hai gulab ki khushbu
aur baarish se gulmohar ka rang…
dhool se abhrak ke kuch kan maangne hain
aur patjhad se ek peela patta…
bachche ke aansu me chhupi ma ki ek kasak chahiye…
aur gaay ke doodh ki mithaas…
Waqt se kuch panne bhi udhaar maangne hain…
mujhe ek kahani likhni hai…

September 13, 2011

Chapters of Life…

As she stood with clenched fist at the edge of the sea, watching it swallow the sun and spilling a splurge of wildly dark colours in the sky, she knew that one more chapter of her life ends today. Tomorrow she will be a different person…

As her hairs blew against the wind and fought with it, she untangled her strands with her fingers and thought about life’s new entanglement starting tomorrow, some more strands will be there to be smoothened and she will be a more matured person…

As she felt the seawater lapping against her feet, gently swishing around and tickling her sole, she was aware that tomorrow, someone’s hands will be caressing her feet and she will be a much loved person…

Tomorrow, she will change, her world will change, a new chapter will start… as she looked beyond the horizons, she was reminded of the past few chapters of her life, chapters which made her what she was today, chapters which nurtured her…

She has so much to do before this chapters ends and new one enfolds… she had so much to do, but so little time… So much laughter to share and tears to wipe, regrets to throw and anger to burn, love to do, hugs to give and kisses to lend, so many ‘I love you’s to return, so many wishes to borrow… she had so much to do… so little time…

As the sky turned into the colour of night and as the sea darkened, as the hem of her skirt flew around, and as she felt a few drops of tears down her cheeks, and as the moon light reflected against those tear drops, she knew that she missed many chances, many opportunities, she let go of many moments, she never tried to seize what could be hers, she never had the courage, she just could never dare…

But now it’s time for tomorrow, she opened her fist and let those moments go, she remained looking at the waves clashing against each other and listened intently for the sound of sea against the silnce of the night… she smiled through her tears… she mourned for her yesterday but now it’s time for tomorrow…

July 31, 2011

Bubbles…

It seems that my life has found new center for the stories to sprout from; Leelavati Hospital. And twice a week visit to this place gives me new stories to tell you. New wonders to share. The whole journey in detailed way will be a story in itself- from here to JB Nagar to the Highway and then a long stretch, the sight of Bandra-Worli Sea link and young lovers around the boundaries of the road- facing sea and snuggling- totally oblivious to the traffic around the them, kissing as if tomorrow they might not meet again- their own tiny rendezvous has a story. But my story today is not of a lover by the side of highway, nor is it about the lady in the car lost in her thoughts today’s story is about two little boys…

I was coming out of the hospital and was looking for an auto-rickshaw, it was 815 in the evening and after a long day I was tired- all I needed was to sit and relax, I just wanted to be home. It was raining steadily and incessantly since last 3 days. As I stood there waiting some sort of transport, there came this tiny boy- he looked 6 years old and he was without a shirt- his face and body was shining with water droplets and he looked squeaky clean. The streetlight made his bronze skin glow. Big eyes shone on his tiny face and he held my hands and said, “Didi khana khila do, mai paise nahi maangta par bhookh lag gai hai aur koi kuch de nahi raha” I looked down at him and saw that his beautiful face was so innocent and I saw the way his ribs were pushing against his chest. He needed food. And I thought I should be heading home, why don’t I give this guy some money and get it over with! And as I scourged my bag for some money I saw another little man of the same age nearby saying the same thing to some other lady and was totally snubbed by her. As if sensing my eyes on him, this fellow turned back and looked at me almost in tears. I beckoned him and asked if both of them are friends, he said yes. If it was possible this little guy was cuter that my half naked one and they both looked at me with so much anticipation and expectations. As I was about to hand them money, they said they want food and not money. They both took each of my hands and led me towards the road, there we saw a “Paani-puri wallah” Chandan, my little half-naked guy said that he wanted to eat some and I proceeded to that man and asked him to prepare two plates and sat on the curb with Chandan and Amish waiting for the delicacies to come. And as we sat, a constant chatter started. They spoke non-stop, finishing each other’s sentences, arguing, and what not. “Didi, ek gulaab chahiye”, “Didi aap icecream bhi khilaogi”, “Didi aap bimaar hain”, “Nai bewkoof, didi bimaar nai, wo to kisi ko milne aai ho gi, hai na didi”, “Didi hum waha park ke paas khayenge won a 40 rupaye mein ek thaali deta hai”, “Nahi didi ye pagal hai, waha aapko mehenga padega, wo peechhe wale road par 25 rupaye mein hi mil jata hai” “Didi aapko pareshaan kar diya na humne”…

Amongst all this chatter and bickering, my tiredness was lost somewhere. I thought that I should take them back inside, and have them fed at the hospital café- with good hygienic food. But I was not allowed to; these kids were not sick and hence not privileged enough to be in the hospital. I took their advise and took them to that place near that park. As we all three sat, once again on the curb, and ate some rotis and Sabzi, under my blue and white polka dotted umbrella, I felt complete and fulfilled. I felt that these two kids were God’s messengers to remind me that even if you have no umbrella, even if you have to tolerate rain and even if you have no money to eat your dinner; find a reason to be happy, laugh, talk, argue, and find someone who will be there. It may seem that they needed me- but it was other way round. I needed them and they found me, they knew that I needed them.

July 15, 2011

Yes, It’s Alive

This Wednesday on 13th July 2011, something terrible happened in Mumbai and believe it or not, however callous it may sound, these incidents bring back the humanity in people- a feeling which remains dead otherwise. Strangers take people to hospitals, wipe the tears, tend to injured, instill courage. I guess this is what separates us from being just mere creatures. I was told a story about the Japan tragedy by my friend last night- he was in Japan at the time the calamity hit. I will narrate it you, in my own way- many of the parts are created to fill in the gaps. I don’t know and I don’t understand how terrible experience it is to go through the earthquake of such high intensity, but the story has something beautiful to convey.

“I am just like all around here, its just that I don’t have almond eyes nor do I have pale skin nor a as ready a smile as they have here in Japan. I am a common Indian, learned Japanese and now I am an expatriate here. To be exact my office was just on the outskirts of Miyagi. I arrived in Japan 6 years back and my stay here brought me only good luck- I got married last year and was now living with my wife. And on that fateful day, March 11th, 2011- that was my first anniversary- I was planning to leave early and have a relaxing weekend with my wife- a romantic rendezvous. And then it happened. The world shook, the sound of hell – the crack, the roar of the earth, the glasses shattering, the file cabinets, the printer machines falling. My mind was blank- my first instinct was for my wife- the girl who was now my responsibility and my life. Those few moments were like an era; the time ceased to move ahead, the world shook- but still was at a standstill.”

“We were let go, my car was in ruined- a huge chunk of rubble from a nearby building was on its roof, and I decided to walk- the horrified and scared faces of my colleagues didn’t give me the courage to ask them for assistance. And there I was walking and what I saw on my way was sad, so sad that I still get nightmares and recounting those sights would be like reliving those terrible moments. But that day, the day I experienced hell, I met an angel. As I was walking, a car stopped by me and a man with haggard looking eyes leaned out of the window and asked if I could use a lift, readily- thanking God in my heart- I leapt up to the chance and sat in the car. Once I was inside I realized that I am forgetting my manners and asked whether he wanted to move towards some other direction as my home was on the outskirts of the city. He looked at me, and smiled and then he said “I actually ventured out to look for my sons, I looked around but I couldn’t find them and then I saw you and I thought- may be if I help you, someone above will help my kids too”. He turned to face the road and drove silently, a tear escaped his almond eyes and rested on his cheek- he was man enough not to wipe it. He was my angel and I thought- Yes, it’s alive. The Humanity”

July 14, 2011

To the Undying Spirits and Unconqured Souls

Life is so random… so uncertain. There I was on the auto, going to Leelavati hospital for my weekly visit and thinking about what dress I am going to wear to office tomorrow, having a little chit chat with the Auto-rickshaw wallah about the traffic and begging him to hurry as I left office quite late than I was supposed to and I was almost there when I received a call that there has been, yet again, serial blasts in Mumbai. I was numb. My first though that my sister takes the train from Dadar to come home daily and Dadar was one of those areas of the blasts. And then my phone went dead- no network. My heart was in my mouth and I was panicked, I was weeping. thank God for that Auto wallah, he tried to calm me down and turned the auto back to where I live. It took me 2 hours and phone were still not working. luckily I spotted an STD booth, called all those who matter. Prayed all I could for my sister who was safe and thanked God. My heart goes out those who lost people and loved ones- I may not know wholly what they must be going through, I was attacked by anxiety and panic when I couldn’t locate my sister- all I was thinking, if something happens what will I answer to my parents, that I let their child die and I survived!? And I pray for those are injured that they get united by their families and that they do not suffer any more trauma and grief.

Today I am reminded of a street child I encountered, a two year old girl. Stark naked, glowing brown skin, cropped hair, she had nothing on but a pair of squeaky shoes which glowed when she walked and she was jumping and looking down at her shoes. Every time she saw those artificially lit shoes, she squeaked with delight, she squeaked as much as the shoes. She was life. She was joy.

Today I am reminded of that old Auto wallah I met who wanted to be a teacher. Who valued education. Sang the poems of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. Gave good upbringing to his grandson. He was survival personified.

Today I am reminded of my friend circles in JNU and ASB, the Ganga Dhaba and the Teardrop shaped lawn in front of the canteen. They are the companions. They are the hands which wipe tears. They are the shoulders to lean on.

Today I am reminded of the undying Mumbai spirit, the Indian Spirit. The faces which shine. The hands which help. The I-will-rise-again-tomorrow attitude.

I am alive, and so are you. Life brings dirt, life brings heartaches, struggles, pain, torture. We crib we whine, we cry, we complain. I am alive. I will keep on doing all those things. But I promise to myself that i will laugh more, pay attention more, respect more, be angry less. I promise, that since I am alive, I will live more…

To Mumbaikars, I salute. To Indians I salute. For those who lost their lives, I pray, I pray for their family. I pray for the souls which remain unconquered.

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