Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Full Circle - Teaser 2

A look into Malini's life. Who's she, do I hear you ask? Find out more about her in my novella, releasing this Valentine's.
Full Circle - Teaser 2

Friday, February 01, 2013

Life is No Life Without You

Eesha opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling. The radium stickers of rockets, stars and a moon smiled at her from above. Her gaze lowered down to the clock and she squinted to grasp the outline of the needles. They were both standing straight. The world outside her windows looked anything but 6 am. It was pitch dark. A stray dog cried somewhere.

Eesha sat up on her bed. What was that dream about? She tried to reconstruct the events she had just dreamed of.

Her elder sister was getting married in it. The new in-laws had been there. Her sister's mother-in-law had told very firmly that the marriage would take place only if Eesha's family consented to marry Eesha to her second son. Everybody had come and pleaded to Eesha to agree. After all, it was after great difficulty that this 'rishta' was finalized for her sister. Everyone would be so grateful to Eesha for sacrificing for her elder sister.

Eesha had looked to her mother for help. "What about Manoj, ma?" How could she leave him? How could she marry anyone else when he was there? "It's Ok Eesha. I have talked to him and he has agreed," her mom had told.

Agreed? Eesha knew why he would have agreed. It was not in his nature to raise his voice or put his foot down, her sweet and soft Manoj. This softness of him had irritated Eesha many times, but it was a perfect complement for the firebrand she was. He would temper her down whenever her emotions flew overboard. His smile was enough to melt Eesha's heart. He would never should at her, never hurt her. For that matter, Manoj was incapable of hurting even a fly. He was the one who always adjusted, always gave in, always flexible, so that others could have their way.

Even in this case? Eesha had gone looking for him. Did he not love her enough to fight for her? How could he so easily give up on him? She had found him at the window at the far end of a lonely corridor. He had been staring out. As she neared him, she could see a streak of dried tear from his eyes. The smell of snot that builds up when tears are formed lingered around him.

"Are you ok?" she looked at his face closely.

He had looked down. "Yeah am fine." He lifted his face and threw her a smile.

"What are you doing here?" Eesha had demanded, trying to not pounce upon him for his weakness.

"Nothing, just timepass..." Manoj said, grasping the window sill. "So, I guess we will be brother and sister from tomorrow?"

Eesha had been dismayed at the pain in the voice that spoke those words. "Manoj, are you fully ok with this?"

"What else can I do Eesha? Jaya has got this guy after so much searching. And with her disability, there is no telling if any other good match will come by soon."

"But what about us...? What will you do without me? What will I do without you? Who will take care of you, Manoj?" Eesha's voice faltered.

Manoj smiled weakly. "Life will go on, Eesha..."

"No, it wont be the same..." Eesha had broken down.

That had been the point when her eyes had opened. She look at the other end of the bed. It was empty. There were noises coming from the kitchen. Eesha got down from the bed and walked slowly towards the kitchen.

"Hey, Good morning dear!" Manoj smiled brightly at her, pouring tea into his favorite cup. "Wait let me mix your Horlicks for you."

Eesha went near him and threw her arms around him. "I love you Manoj. Please don't go away from me anytime." she breathed into his chest.

"Of course I won't dear. You are my life, what would I do without you?" Manoj cupped his palms around Eesha's face. "Poor girl. Must have had some bad dream," he thought. His fingers fondled Eesha's chubby cheeks. "I will die before I leave you, my darling wife."

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Unspeakable Word

Around this time last year, my brother's marriage talks were on. He had already decided upon the girl, his childhood sweetheart, and all that remained was for the parents to give the nod. Sounds quite simple, but ain't it the biggest hurdle every lover faces? Anyway, our parents gave their consent, putting the happiness of their son before their own misgivings. My now sister-in-law was busy convincing her parents. Needless to say, emotions were running high, in both households. And given the fact that my parents, brother and myself all live in different cities, most of the arguments, rants etc. were carried out over phone (the Airtel, BSNL and Vodafone wallahs would have made merry during that time!). During one such heated arguments with my brother was being particularly critical of our parents. I tried to reason things out with him, but suddenly lost my cool and shouted, "F***" and kept the phone down.

The minute I did that, my husband chided me for mouthing such profane words. I too realized, in retrospective, that I should not have said that. However, what was done was done. Needless to say my brother was infuriated and it took a while for both of us to come down from our perches and apologize and forgive. Still, the bitter aftertaste of the uttered word still lingers uncomfortably somewhere in the backside of our minds.

I have thought about the incident quite often since then, and what alarms me more than anything else is the ease with which the F word slipped out of my tongue. I had not used it deliberately, but I also did not have to give much thought to it before it was uttered. That was unnerving. All our life we are taught by the parents, teachers, and sundry adults and books that uttering such profanities is condemn-able. However, here I was pelting it out of my mouth as easily as saying my name!

A similar incident happened recently, when a member of a newly formed group of which I am a part, retorted with a "F*** YOU" to another member who had been pulling her legs. Maybe he did overdo it, but the ease and speed with which the retort came was a shocker to me. Here again, sorrys were asked and given, but the word remained uttered.

All this has made me think, how has the F word become such a commonplace thing in our lives? I remember while in school we were rebuked for even calling each other idiot, stupid etc. But this? The only answer to my question that came to my mind is our blind exposure to the so-called entertainment channels of the western world. Movies, music albums, TV, anything from the western world is filled to the brim with F's. I remember seeing the movie Phone booth and gaping in horror. Literally every sentence of the movie has the word used at least once. And to think I was watching it in a makeshift open air screen, in the company where I worked, along with hundreds of colleagues (it was a celebration event)!

I believe using the word has become more of a fashion. Its like the more profane the word you use, the more cool you look. Hence even words like hell, damn, shit and crap as passe. I remember during my college days, the girls used to call each other naaye, peye, pisasu and panni (kuttia, bhoot, chudail and suar). I used to cringe when my friends addressed me that way, and thankfully restrained by falling in line with their lingo. Now I feel even those words were lame compared to the unspeakable word I used on my brother.

My heart almost stops a beat when I look at my son now. He too will be undergoing exposure to these movies and music albums too when his time comes. His friends circle might include cool gals and dudes who are experts in such language. And I am sure, during his time, people will be more than ever liberal with the word. So just imagine, how easily will the little guy pick up the word, and other similar ones! I don't know if I can keep him completely insulated from the knowledge of these words. Something inside me tells me I should not too. What I should is, teach him the restraint that is required when handling these words. And for that, I should practice that restraint first.