Kissaa Kahaani

April 17, 2013

Why Do I Love Malls!!!

I love malls. I love being there. It’s a colorful menagerie, vibrancy, people, life and what not! The lives in malls are always on move! And why do I love malls?? The other day I went to one such grand mall with my husband for dinner – allow me to narrate the beautiful sights I witnessed there, and you would know why love malls!

The moment we entered we were greeted with a welcome chaos, an organized anarchy. People skipping the queue for security check, being a weekend the whole place was crowded. I saw a daughter-in-law in traditional garbs, covering her head with pallu and her mother-in-law guiding her on the escalator. I saw a young pretty person in hot pants and hand-in-hand with her companion who was leaning in to whisper sweet nothings on the same escalator. I saw a tiny boy, scared and curious at the same time, he was trying to step on the escalator, cheered on by his father. The lad was soooo happy that when he actually stepped on the mechanical moving staircase,  his face reflected the victorious emotions as if he was the winner of the Mumbai Marathon! His father was equally proud when his miniature version turned and triumphantly shouted, “Dadda! I made it.”

And on the third floor, while sitting and whiling away time, we saw a super cute scene! A little girl (may be little more than 2 years old) was harassing her father. Let me try and recount the conversation verbatim.

Daughter to Dad, “Daddy I wanna ride a horse!” “No Kiddo, there are no horses in this mall, we will ride horse some other time.” Dad cajoled. With a tearful scowl and pouted lower lips, the daughter insists that she doesn’t care, “Be my horse no daddy! Juss for two minnets ride! Pleeeze, puhleeez, puhleez Daddy.” A resigned sigh resonated from the Dad’s throat and also the soft muttering, “You little blackmailing toddler, you take after your mother!” and then loudly, “Okies, common, just two minutes and no more!” The exuberance on the face of that little manipulative girl was a wonderful sight, she was jumping and skipping and laughing and finally the dad went down on his knees put the daughter on his back and was then on all fours. The horse and the rider started the chanting, “Chal mere ghode tic tic tic!” The two minutes went on to 10 minutes and both were unaware of the stares, smirks, wistful smiles and laughter of the fellow mall-goers.

As we sat down to have a pure vegetarian Rajasthani dinner (I somehow had the craving only for the vegetarian that day, though my husband believes that a Restaurant not having any chicken dish in the menu  is not worth being called a restaurant) and in come five, no. Ten, no. Thirteen people to have dinner. A Traditional Rajasthani family. Women in ghoonghat and men in kurtas and pagdis. Four tables were joined together and women sat near the wall, kids in between and then the menfolk.  The dinner commenced and criticism too. Eldest lady says, “I cook better, they call this Rajasthani Thali! I told you all not to waste money”.

A stroll to a home furniture store brought even more smiles.  Beautiful furniture assembled together to give a feel of one’s future dream home. Beds and sofas and dining tables and couches and night stands and kitchenware and furnishings. As we ooh-ed and aah-ed over various pieces, I saw one more couple doing the same in front of a display bedroom. They were looking at the stuff presented beautifully and I could see the beautiful desire in the guy’s eyes and dream in girl’s.

Yes I love malls. They sell not the merchandise but the dreams, the ambitions. Malls are not just a market place, an assembly of random shops; it’s a place where parents buy wedding trousseaus for their daughters. Malls are places where boyfriends buy a ring and propose to girlfriends. Malls are places where housewives escape cooking for a day and enjoy. Malls are place where break ups happen and make-ups happen. Malls are places where kids see the whole range of diverse colors- good and bad- and learn. I love malls, because I get to see so much of life there. I love malls, because I see so many emotions fleeting on the faces of mall-goers. I also love malls because I get to empty my husband’s pocket there!

March 20, 2011

Letter to a daughter

(I read a letter to a daughter by a mother in a Chhatisgarh daily, it was beautiful, here I present a modified version of that letter, I have added my feelings, my imaginations and my words here and there, I have tried to infuse what i would feel when i would have my own child to take care of and love, do forgive me for any mistake)

Dear Daughter,

I have always wanted a girl child, and then Lord Jagannath endowed me with you. A delicate, tiny beautiful child. He was extremely generous with me and I am obliged to pay my debts Eternally to him, he gave me more than a daughter, he gave me love personified, he proved that he exists- where there was not a slim or a fat chance of mine ever getting pregnant, and now I have you to declare to the world that see my devotion and my faith won over the super science of yours! Now that I look at your face, sleeping peacefully and with calm confidence that your mother is here to protect you, i feel a sense of pride in myself for harboring a life as precious as yours in my womb, of bringing you to this world as a new ray of hope. My darling angel, as I see your 6 months fingers curled around my thumb, I know that you wont be reading this letter for a long long time to come, nevertheless I have this urge to write to you, to convey to you what I feeling as of now, at this very moment. So the apple of my eyes, here is my letter to you…

Beti, the world has pearls of wisdoms to impart, and I also have a few advises for you, you may feel rebellious, may be defiance against these advises, all i want from you to be level headed while thinking over these advises. People say that mothers have an uncanny intuition about the whereabouts and well-being of their children, believe me that I will always know you better than you could ever know yourself- that does not mean, however, that I will always be right and I wont make mistakes. And also remember that I will also know when you will make mistakes and when you will lie- but being a mother I will forgive you- just like that. I will give you a tight slap for your mistakes, will make you stand for hours in a corner and will ground you- but I will also smother you with my bear hugs and kisses and chocolate shakes and oatmeal cookies. You know my child, I always remember the time I would fight with my Ma, I would call her rudest of names, say most hurtful things, and she would weep at my actions, I remember how repentant I used to be later on but it was a rare case I would ask for forgiveness… She would just say, “you will realize when you will have your own children”. How true, how very true. No, I dont believe in ‘tough love‘, If I scold you or if I am stern or If I act harsh, its just because I love you so much, and I want you never to stray from your path! I know we will have contradictions, difference of opinions, fights, disagreements, but its a vicious cycle- you will know when you have your own child.

My baby, dont let anyone in this world hurt you, dont give anyone the authority, the right to ever hurt you. Because they can do it, only if you permit them. You may encounter nasty, unwanted situations at some or the other corner of the road of life, dont let yourself caught unawares, dont let yourself compromise with that situation, be strong enough to face it, to fight it- after all you are my little tigress!!! But at the same time, my darling, be gentle and delicate enough so you never lose the beauty of your girlhood and later on your womanhood, of your softness. Be bold enough to ask questions, however stupid they mey seem and be meek enough to accept defeat. Smile. Read books. Respect Nature. Have integrity. I dont know what kind of human being you will turn out to be tomorrow, make sure that you are generous, forgiving, and sans jealousy.

No body is burdening you with future expectations, its your world, its open to you, look into nook and corners and make your own decisions, stumble, fall- I will be there to help you get up, I will dust you down and sooth your scraps. But make your own decisions. Follow your heart and whenever in doubt, think of Lord Jagannath and take a leap of faith. Things will always fall in place. Protect your heart and hand it over to the worthiest of man out there. Let your inner satisfaction be your guide. remember sadness and disappointments will as much be a part of your life as smiles and happiness, learn to balance.

Never forget that I and your father will be there for you. Always.

Love and blessings,
Ma

March 9, 2011

The Autorickshaw Walah

I was looking for an auto to come back home from GIP- it was already 815pm, I saw this auto rickshaw near a Paanwala and I went and asked the Auto walah is he ready to go to Vaishali Sec-4?? The Auto Walah was not a ‘bhaiya‘, he was an ‘uncle’ and he had white hair, half bald head, tall personality, laughing face, and twinkling eyes- kind of ‘Santa Calusish” 🙂 We bargained- he wanted Rs150 and I was not ready to yield more than Rs.120. I won. He says, “Beta let me have a paan” and then he comes back and we start the wonderful interaction.

He asks me if I was from Bihar (I know my accent gives me away 🙂 and I love it) I smile and say, “yes I am”, he says he is from there too and smiles and says that we are lucky we sit at the back side of the auto not the front, we should thank our stars- I agree of course. He then asks if I have heard of Dinkar and Vidyapati, “Dinkar to aapke gaon ke aaspaas ke hi hain“. (Dinkar’s residence was near your native place only) I tell him that I love Dinkar’s poetry and ‘Veerras’. He was happy to hear it. Then he told me that he wanted to be a teacher, he worked hard to get a B.Ed but in the end he lost- and with bitterness he blames Lalu for his loss- As per his exact words- “Lalu ke chalte hamko auto chalana pad raha hai, warna hum bhi kuch hote shayad, nahi bi hote to kuch bachcho ke mann mein apna jagah bana paate- yaha auto chala ke kaun apne sawaariyon ke mann mein jagah bana pata hai“.(Its because of Lalu I have to make survival through this auto, otherwise my fate would have been something else- if not extraordinary- I would have had at least appreciation of my students- no passenger can appreciate an Auto rickshaw driver) He says that Lalu ended the value of education in Bihar.

He remains silent for a while then he says,” Madam hum gana gaa lein“, I was so intrigued, I said yes and he started singing the poems of Vidyapati ji in Maithili- “Jaldi Bujhao Hamra Pyas ho” (Quench my thirst please) – a poem depicting the thirst of the poet and his begging of water from Ugna his man-servant who was actually the incarnation of Shiva- Such brilliant voice, such clear dictions, I could hear him over the rumbles of auto and chaos of traffic. I did not want him to finish singing- but he did only to explain to me the meaning and the whole incident of how Shiva came to Vidyapati, how Ugna gave Ganga Jal to Vidyapati, how Vidyapati’s wife beat up Ugna with a broom and how Vidyapati cried in Anguish when Lord left him- he also sang another Vidyapati’s number- “Ganga Maiya kakhana Haraba dukh mor” (When will you take away all my pains O Mother Ganga). I could actually feel the tremor in his voice- as if it him who was calling upon Mother Ganga to redeem his soul. I had Goosebumps.

He then asks my qualification- I told him about my doing BA from JNU- he was suddenly so excited, he said that his grandson is appearing for 12th this year and he wants him to study in a reputed college and learn a Bidesi Bhasa (Foreign Language) and get away from India, as he thinks that Lalu is like Raktabeeja (A mythological character who clones himself) and sooner or later India will suffer what Bihar did. He does not want his grandson to witness that so planned out a life for him- he has already thought of JNU, actually he researched with the help of cyber cafe owner about the prospects of languages etc and has selected a few for his grandson. Then he said something to me, “Madam, kabhi dahej mat dena , na khud iska sahyog kariyega na hi apne pita ji ko ise dene dijiyega- lalach ko badhata hai- hum apna auto chala chala ke jama kiye the ke apni beti shaadi achhe se karenge- 4 lakh diye they- byah ke time to koi kuch nahi bola, sab raji khusi ho gaya par saadi ke duyie saal baad hamara naati ke janam ke baad gala ghont ke maar diye aur bole ke prasav mein mrityu ho gayi- kisi ko uske gale ka nisaan nahi dikha na hi hamari beti kabhi hamse koi sikayat kari- hum ro ro ke reh gaye- kenahu lad jhagad ke apne naati ko saath laye, hum aur uski naani dono mil kar paale hain- yahi DAV mein padhta hai- khelne koodne mein bhi badhiyan hai, par ma hai nahi baap kasai hai…” (Madam, do not support dowry, even if your father insists, I had a daughter and I wanted her to be married comfortably- gave her husband 4 lacs and everything seemed hunky dory and after two years as soon as my grandson was born, she was killed by strangulation and the childbirth was mentioned as a cause. no one saw the marks on her neck. I fought and brought back my grandson here and my wife and me take care of him- he studies in DAV and is a good sports man too) The last statement was with pride and a sense of achievement and a feeling of desolation

As my home neared, he told me, “Koi kisi ka bhagya to khata hai nahi, hamari kismat to hamarri hi rahegi- meri beti gayi to ek beta mila- uska bi kismat dekhiye- auto chala kar bi hum uski saari maang poora kar hi dete- kami to hai nai- jitna milna tha humako- isse jyada kabi milta nahi aur jitna mila hai usse mera koi chura nahi sakta” (No one can steal someone’s destiny, I lost my daughter, but I have a son now and look at his destiny- I am and Autorickshaw driver yet I am capable enough to fulfill whatever he wants. I got what was mine, I could never have gotten anything more- and nobody can take even an ounce away, if its mine.).

I reached my destination, he turned back when I was giving him money, he refused and said, “Hamare beti jaisa dikhti ho isliye itna keh diye, appan beti se paisa lenge?” (You look like my daughter, do you expect me to take money from my daughter?), tears streaming down his cheeks. I was dumbstruck, but how could I leave without paying him and if I pay, it will be insulting, I folded my hands and asked him that since you said that I look like your daughter, then please let me pay for “my son’s” JNU prospectus and form, I asked him to take that money as a token from his long lost daughter. I gave the money and went to buy some medicines from the nearby store without looking back.

I know many of you may say that I was conned, even if I was, I don’t care-words are not enough to show his feelings and genuineness…

That is my story and as Jeffrey Archer says- and there hangs a tale- I was fortunate to meet him- I have something new to tell you.

March 7, 2011

Papa, for you…

Filed under: The Memories Unfogged — MK @ 2:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I write this in May 2008, for papa. I mailed it to him and he never replied however i got to know from other ppl that he showed it off! That’s him and his silent love!

i dont remember the first time my father picked me up and held me….
he must have been proud and must have woven a dream around me in that moment…
he must have thought whether he would be able to be around me forever
and will he be able to care for me and protect me and comfort
forever…
the answer must have been no, for i wont be with him forever…

i dont remember the expression on his face when i would have taken my
first step…
he must have tought of all the long tiring paths i will have to take…
he must have wondered will he be able to hold me when i stumble….
the answer must have been no, for my paths are my own to travel…

i dont remember what would have been his reaction when i first went to
him complaining about someone…
he must have comfroted me and would have agonozed over my infant agony…
he must have mulled, will he be able to shield this forever…
the answer would have been no, for i have to fight my own battles…

i dont remember what he said about my first failure in series….
he must have told- there is always a next chance, dont lose heart…
he must have thought, will he always be around to show me the next chance….
the answer would have been no, for i have to leasrn to digest my own failure…

i dont remember how he must have been radiant on my first sucess…
he must have flourished and must have celebrated my nominal tiny sucess…
and he must have thought may God give her all the sucess…
all his prayers would have been directed for my favors…

all i know the trouble i caused him…
the pain gave him…
worry for my future and a sadness whenever he realizes that i wont be
with him forever…

 

All i know that he stood by, in rain amd sumshine, all i kNow he tried to sjow me the right way and still supported me when i was wrong, all i know that he took time to understand me but he did understand me! He is the best father a girl could have asked for!

(c) Mamta Kashyap
July 20, 2010 at 9:06pm

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