Kissaa Kahaani

January 9, 2014

There Shall be Showers of Blessing…

Filed under: The Unadulterated Magic — MK @ 6:25 pm
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And yes, the showers have been bestowed…. to be precise, bestowed almost five months back and its still showering!

More than one year back, I realized that I am not alone anymore- physically, emotionally, in my thought… there is someone… occupying me, my thought… I was pregnant. I wont lie, I was so scared, so unsure… doubtful. Would I be able to afford having a baby now- doctors, delivery costs, hospitals, medicines, supplements? Am I ready to put my career on hold- even for teeny weeny while? Am I mentally prepared to be a parent? Am I ready to take on the responsibility of a new human being? Am I prepared to change and shift my priorities? Will I be clumsy with the baby too? Will I make a mistake and would not know how to take care of the little one? Would I harm the baby? And as I pondered, I knew that this is the most natural thing that could have happened and that this is the most special blessing I am bestowed with. I called this conception, Serendipity. Sweet Accident.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months… and the growth of my darling was visible- my tummy swelled up, wardrobe size changes, eating habit and lifestyle took a turn for better and healthier, kicks, tiny kicks made my heart go pitter patter. My Child was already born, the day I conceived. ANd that was also the day when I was born. As a mother.

Every visit to doctor and USG technicians made me happy. Being blessed with no-nonsense smooth pregnancy (yes- no morning sickness, no midnight cravings, no dizziness, no tiredness)

It is so strange that those 9 months flew by… and came the day when I got to see and touch that wonder! Pain can be beautiful, pain can be worthwhile, pain can be wonderful! After 6 hours of labor, when this baby popped out of me, the pain did not matter! Enduring this made me even more stronger as a woman, as a person, as a human being. More tolerant, more patient. And the first time, I touched those little feet… the baby who was inside my tummy was in my arms now… oh! the baby I carried for 9 months was here, visible, and screaming at the top of his lungs, scrunched up red little face, upturned nose, bow shaped lips, tiny tight fists and those stretched out tiny little toes… my 4 kgs bundle of Joy was here! Its a miracle, how much a mother sees and observes in her dazed state- i counted all the toes, held him, and slept. I always knew that I will have a son. He is my Kishna. 

Since then, everyday is an adventure! Everyday there is something new. Everyday I experience showers of blessing. That toothless gummy chubby beautifully amazingly mesmerizing smile, that wonderfully big curious eyes, those hands reaching out to people, that angry scream, that constant feet movements, that tossing and turning in sleep, that smile while having milk, that constant blabber in some out-worldly language, wetting of diapers and everyone else, poops, everything….  Pain, as I said, is worthwhile. Pain, of leaving him behind daily for 9 hours while I go to work,  pays its returns when i go back and wrap him in my arms, pays it when i see that wonderful welcoming smile on his face…. 

Words are just that- words. Mere alphabets, just a way to communicate, words are not a way to emote… What I feel, what I have become, what I can do for this baby is incomprehensible, indescribable…. 

For me, the life changed and it keeps on changing- minute by minute, day by day… life changes as my baby changes from an infant towards a toddler, life will change as he grows… Life changes, when we try not to make mistakes anymore, Life changes as we try to infuse more positive attitude, life changes as we try to make amends for past mistakes, life changes as we look ahead… 

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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!

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”

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.

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