The opposite: u need to keep alive the child within RT @richa_k_me @paulocoelho Sir, do i need to grow up to understand your novels?? -- richa_k_me (@richa_k_me)
Friday, September 16, 2011
It was a windy night. I was crossing the road, carrying the bags of food I had just bought from the supermarket. For a fraction of seconds, I thought the hooded figure was watching me, I denied the voice in my mind, making it believe that the man was on his way. Going to the roadside parking, I ignited the car engine. It roared to life in seconds.
No, this is not what happened. I have been trying to write fiction for the last few days. So this is just a beginning of a supposedly fictitious story. Apart from that no news!!
Will probably add that -
The hooded man was actually following me. (Assasinating me. Stalking me. Which one seems good? Ummm.. Whatever!)
He was behind me in a van, following my car. I stepped out in front of my garage and looked behind. Nobody was there. May be it was just my imagination. Unlocking the door, I entered the house. Switched on the lights. Just clicking of switches and no light. Oops, power cut. 'what do I do now?', I thought, scared. There was a man or possibly a woman out there somewhere who was on my trail and the darkness-filled house. My body went numb. I just sat where I was standing. Thinking what could be done if he entered the house somehow. Well, it could be just my mind games, 'but why take chances', echoed my own voice.
Good going till now. Hmm.. Happy with myself!!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Recently heard a stand-up comedian say something about local trains in Mumbai. Remember him saying, 'The true nirvana (or 'moksha' in desi) can be experienced in locals, while we think it would have been better, had it been just soul and not the material, mortal body, then it'd be so easy to move across the suffocating crowd, floating.'
So true!! I felt the same during one of my visits to the city and the 'local' journeys. While I stood with a group of ladies, on the platform, I saw a train coming our way. I, being a newbee, started asking whether it was a dadar local, to a female standing next to me. She turned around to answer and as the train came to halt before us, everything went in slow motion. I was pushed from back with many hands and bodies, me and my handbag going in different directions and before I could realise it and the female could answer if it was the right local, I was already inside the bogie!! The train had already started moving and I was stuck at the bar at the gate. Finally grabbing my handbag tightly and hanging it on my shoulder, I tried to stand properly. May be it was too late to realise that one of my shoes was missing and I was standing there half-barefoot. 'My god, what do I do now?', I thought. It might have fallen off. Gosh!! I could not stand the thought of getting down with one shoe. I was totally baffled and at loss, it being my favourite pair of bellies! I had not given up, so decided to give it a last try. I pushed with all my energy to turn to a side to ask the girl next to me clinging to one of the hooks, if there's a black shoe at her feet and told her to ask the same to the ladies beside her. There was no shoe near her or anybody she had asked. So I was sad again, unthinkable was happening to me. Chain of dreadful thoughts broke down, as the local stopped at the next station. A bunch of overexcited women entered the bogie. As the pressure increased, pushing me far inside the bogie at the sitting area, I could no longer stand properly. The lady sitting at the edge of the seat shouted at me loudly since I was standing on her toes. Oops!!
So I had given up hope and was mourning over loss of a footware. To my surprise, the same girl I had asked earlier, the same girl clinging on the hook, aimed at my shoulder and called me. I turned around to hear the best news that my shoe was there at the gate opposite to the one I had climbed in, rather pushed through. My happiness knew no bounds and I started moving across the flood of bodies coming in my way, hearing them swear loudly. Once I found my shoe, I ,like, had tears in my eyes. Knowing that I owed the girl a big thanks, for saving me from an embarassment, I shouted 'Thank you!' in air.
So finally I got a seat to rest my butt, after the flock of ladies had got down at one of the stations. Relaxing, I closed my eyes, opened them again and looked around me. They were women of different age groups. College girls, working ladies and even grannies. I wondered how one can get used to such a hectic, unpredictable life. Many mothers were carrying their babies. How could they manage to survive in such a crushing crowd with children in their hands. I saluted these miraculous ladies silently, knowing that they had no choice but doing it. It was like their 'majboori'. Then I looked at the burkha clad, big, fat lady, calming her adolscent weeping daughter, someone must had pinched her while her mother pushed her way through pool of bodies.
A voice caught my attention and I looked at a frail looking woman with dark complexion and equally dark, oiled hair. She was moving through the bogie with two trays, full of girlish items, like earrings, rubberbands and other stuff, in her hands. She was chanting something like 'Dus rupaye me', continuosly. I watched the goods in one of her trays and disagreed to believe that she was selling those for mere five-ten rupees. Would she be making any profit? She sure would, otherwise roaming in these always-full-of-people locals was unworthy. I could never understand how she did the balancing act of taking the money, giving the change back to the customer and at the same time handling the trays too. Sometimes on her head, sometimes she would circulate it among the ladies sitting.
I came across different genres of womanhood, during the local train tour of around forty minutes. Some rushing to work, some getting late for college, some talking on phones, some with headphones in their ears listening to radio, some calming their kids, some, like me, observing others. Many of these would go home and cook for their families and get up early next morning to catch the local in time. I was amazed by the spirit of these women and spirit of Aamchi Mumbai with locals being the pulse of the city.
Amidst the chaos, I found peace. And I was proud to be a woman myself.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sometimes you just wonder if things were meant to be. It's like something is guiding you and leading you somewhere. As I experienced it a day before yesterday. I was headed to see my dentist, in hurry, and consequences changed my path and I ended up in supermarket, doing my best leisure time activity - shopping!
Don't ask me how. Well, I'll tell you what exactly happened and how I got a dose of 'Panouti' that day. As I was already late for my appointment with my dentist, and it was raining since morning (continuously, like someone had kept open the taps in the sky) and I was totally not in a mood to step out in my rainy boots. Still, I had to make up my mind and recite over and over again, how the pain is gonna worsen if I don't see a doctor then. So finally I was ready for this herculean task of getting out on a rainy day, rather evening. There was no question of going there by scooty so I started to walk to the nearest bus stop with open umbrella in my hand. After waiting for around 20 long minutes, I saw a bus coming my way. As I ran and tried to climb in through the front door, this S.O.B. driver of the bus shouted at me, telling me to get down by some weird hand gestures (clever I understood it!)
What could I do then, I had to, yes, I had to get down. And as I moved to back door to step in, the bus was already in motion. I fought back an urge to abuse loudly (@#%&*#).
So I had no option other than waiting for the next bus to come. I waited and waited and after what it seemed like ages, came another bus. Till then the crowd was huge at the stop. As the bus scritched to halt, 'janata' ran to get inside, me being one of them & succeeding to do so. Somehow I managed to move forward and stand properly as there were no vacant seats. I was just adjusting my position leaning on one of the poles and the bus hardly had moved a few inches that the driver shouted 'bus band pad gayi'. WTF!!! Conductor asked all of us to evacuate the bus and I was, one more time, standing at the same bus stop.
Realising that I had already wasted an hour standing there, I decided to waste some more, after reading a sign on the building just across the street. A newly constructed, inaugerated a few days back, it was a mall. Wow! I dont recall exactly what happened, apart from the 'akashwani' ringing in my head. 'Move ahead child, this is your destiny' might have been - 'destination', already told you, bad at recaling!
So there I was, with a big grin on my face ( & credit cards in my wallet, hopefully), headed to pure pleasure of the experience called (window) shopping!!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Phew!!! A sigh of relief finally. The 13-day fast of Mr. Anna Hazare is going to be broken tomorrow morning. The govt-common man battle has partially ended and that too, on a positove note. I am glad as is every citizen of the country. After the long arguments and debates, and the speculations of media, it is out that the bill has been sent to the standing committee. 'Sense of the house' was adopted by thumping on the desks and not voting. Today was a remarkable day in history with extraordinary debates going on in Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha. Eventually, the parliament is silenced by the people, so fists did the job of voices.
It was interesting to hear from the 'netas', their side of the story. With Sushma Swaraj stating the count as to how many times the lokpal bill has been presented in parliament. Having heard from her that this is the ninth time since 1968, when it was first presented, Jotiraditya schindia answered back asking why BJP govt has not passed the bill when they were in power. Then Laloo Yadav fuming with some irrelevant speech. Actually it was a day spent watching so much drama and ups-and-downs, that I thought indian daily-soap makers could learn from it. As I read in newspaper article, TRPs of our favourite Saas-Bahu doses has gone tragically down, while News channels are encashing the campaign effect, courtesy - Anna.
One of the few things that is still embossed in my mind is the out-of-nowhere speech of Rahul gandhi. It's as if he was waiting for his moment of glory to come when as a secretary of AICC, he would back the bill and suggest some way out of it while the govt has been keeping mum for 11 days. Was he trying to become a hero dictating a speech written on a piece of paper? 'I feel the time has come for us to seriously consider this idea' - these were his words. Was he not in conscience when the first time the appeal was made? While he was visiting some farmers and keeping it low key when people all over the nation protested on streets? UPA was dumbfounded as was the PM. Now when the verdict is declared, Mr. Singh has nothing to say other than 'Parliament's will is the will of the people'.
Some other 'aflatoon' remarks caught my attention too. Bal Thakre would do what he is known for. Be it govt or now, the Anna team, he would always give his state-of-art sarcastic remarks. He asked Anna to break his fast and suggested that Kejriwal, Bhushan and Kiran Bedi should take forward the legacy, further saying that they seem fit and energetic having had four breakfasts and two meals. What on earth is he trying to convey? And there is Mayawati, seeming worried, asking Anna to contest the elections and bring the bill they want. Ha!
In the middle of such depressing comments, there was saintlike innocence on that rugged face, with the impact of 'anshan' clearly visible. Also, it was entertaining to watch Kiran Bedi on stage at Ramlila Maidan, addressing the whole lot of followers, saying 'Ye desh ke neta aur unke mukhaute' and enacting at the same time. She asked people to watch each MP carefully during the debate in parliament, listen to what they say, then decide whether you would vote for them in the next elections. Well said.
Now, as I recall the happennings in last couple of days, I feel that apart from the anti-corruption bill, there were other benefits too, as a result of this campaign. The majority of young people were seen protesting on streets, in Amrawati around ten thousand students took oath to eradicate corruption by not giving and taking bribes. This is a change that this movement has brought. The awareness in youth of India has surely increased over the last two weeks. Not going far, let me tell u my own story. In the twenty five years I have lived, today is the first time I watched Loksabha debate. I was not aware which minister headed which department. I remember as a kid, I often asked my father 'Do you understand what's going on in there?' while he watched Loksabha live on DD1. May be I have grown up now that today I did understand 'What's going on in there!!'
Many of us don't use their right to vote to bring on the change. We are indifferent towards whatever is going on in the country but we are the first when complaigning. This attitude should change. Our forefathers have crafted our way, and we owe it to the future generations.
The next thing is Lokpal being implemented. Let us try and use the law for betterment of ourselves and welfare of the nation. Don't let the 'Babus' budge u, nor the TCs ask for their extra share of the fare.
Speaking of the implementation reminds me of the flaw in the bill, it believes corruption is an unethical practice involving public money. It has nothing to do with the corporate corruption. Let us hope that the next revolutionary movement of our times, would be about removing this flaw too.
Well, concluding on a note that we've just witnessed 'Inqalab' and 'Satyagraha' of modern times; something to share with our grandchildren when they'll be learning lessons of history syllabus!!
Monday, August 22, 2011
What we are witnessing on the streets in every corner of the country is the outburst of agitated people. The mob of people has its own brains. You never know what's on their mind when they gather for 'morchas'. It is so contagious, the euphoria, the enthusiasm, that it feels like we are doing such a revolutionary thing. Most of us don't even pause to think what we are following is right or wrong. We see that he is fasting for us, for welfare of our country and we make him Gandhi. Rather than creating chaos on the streets, is it not a better option to actually promise ourselves that the anti-corruption movement should start at home? The clerks, the cops, the politicians, they are one of us. We keep talking about destroying the monster of corruption, when we are the ones feeding it.
This should be the awakening call insight out. This is the right time to do full-fledged 'Atma-parikshan'. I am not opposing Anna. I respect him for the courage and dedication he's showing. But roots of corruption can not be merely destroyed by pointing fingers. And just blaming government is not enough, although they have eventually shown that they deserve to have this stigma on the themselves. They're out of words, weapons and tactics, in-turn making ridiculous statements that they see 'foreign hand' in the movement. Well, that's a topic for a new discussion altogether, so keeping it aside. What I want to convey is, at the end of the day we forget that this is the government that we have chosen. These are the people who won the elections because we have voted for them.
The best way to end corruption should be standing on your ground, not paying bribes, no law breaking, paying taxes. Next time on a signal when traffic police catches you, don't show him 'hari patti'. Stop littering trash, destroying public property; peeing, spitting on roadsides. Don't give your vote to corrupt politicians and criminals. Change yourself and see the world change around you. So nobody has to fast to get something approved for us that we really deserve.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Nice concept it is. Sister ties rakhi on brother's hand and brother in turn promises to take care of her, to protect her. Whatever the reasons may be in the past when this tradition started, it's basically a good reason for a get together in today's busy life. Like today I invited my cousins over my place and we cooked food and had lunch together. It was fun. Because of the reason 'rakhi' we basically had a good time. After so long I've laughed so hard. The childhood stories and memories flooded back and we were on a flashback ride.
I remember as a kid I always looked forward to festiwals like these. Diwali used to be my favourite as it braught the aroma of delicasies and school would be closed for at least two weeks. Cherry on the top would be family get together with my uncle, aunts, grandparents and cousins. Now the first question that our mind raises thinking of diwali is 'booked tickets?' Now it's about managing leaves, struggling to get the reservations done. When half the time is spent in travelling still the joy-filled heart of a kid is there awaiting the warm welcomes and the same family re-unions.
So rakhi has gone. The next thing is Ganesh chaturthi. Then Dashra and Diwali. Lets wait for it. This is just a beginning.