Chapter 1 – ‘I’ arrived


A pregnant moon full of light in its womb was celebrating my arrival. Six young boys from my would-be village were carrying me in a wedding wooden wagon. All I could smell is sweating masculinity in the month of July in Himachal. I could see a dark brawny arm holding my wagon from in between, trying to balance my weight and suddenly I was envisioning Satu’s muscular body. I don’t remember his face. All I remember is his folded sleeves up to elbows, the thick hairline running from his wrist to the elbow and yes, his fauzi haircut; as my brother says zero haircut.

Today I married him. I will be living with him in the same room. I have always shared a sleeping room, with my mother, with Rani and suman, with my cousins but I have never shared a room with a man, with a man of my age. How it is going to be? We are supposed to sleep on the same bed, with little or no separation. How is that going to be? Our bodies will rub each other. I can smell him, his neck, his arm pits, his chest and he can do the same. Nobody will think why we are together in the same room? What we will be doing behind the doors?

Suman was teasing me for my first night. How is that going to be? I am tired, my face and forehead is all red with sindoor. Marriage ceremonies were too tiresome. In the red veil, I could see no body. I mean why to get ready and be so beautiful when nobody can see you? All I could see was hands, my hands, Satu’s hands, my mothers’ hands and priests’ hands, all stained in grains, water, milk, butter, sindoor and what not.  My face contorted at the thought of whole ceremony. I remember how I hated marriage ceremonies and how I used to tell amma that I so want to marry in court like my teacher in school did. Amma used to snap and say, ‘haan bhaag ke jayegi, naak ktayegi hamari.’

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a broken cigarette


Lust took over
at the midnight,
hunted desks,
sooty shelves,
old jeans pockets,
here I saw you,
broken with bleeding neck,
held your neck gently,
our lips met,
the long kiss
burnt my mouth,
and I consumed you
until you dry,
I did it
and did it well,
smoked
a broken cigarette.

million little things


Things changed between

You and me..

Earlier it was love,

Then it changed to commitment,

And finally a desolate relationship

Where we were together just because of

Friends, family and our beautiful past.

What went wrong? Who went wrong?

Is it me, you or this relationship?

Or the expectations we had from this relationship?

‘You were never my friend’, I guess this ‘went wrong’.

You were always a lover,

A soul mate and a person with whom

I wanted to be bounded, to be hitched, and to be confined…….

Love opened my heart but I deliberately,

Let you see only that part where you used to reside.

I wish you could have asked more,

And been little more obstinate to see the other million little things there.

They were beyond you and this love.

You called me selfish; I agree I was, and I am….

A little girl


A little girl lives in my heart

and she wants to fly…

She walks, I walk;

she sleeps, I sleep;

She dreams

and I watch her dreaming…

I feed her innocence,

truth & Bravery;

And nurtures her

with madness & wildness,

Mostly,

I tried to hide her from others,

But then she fights for them

and I watch her fighting…

I want to be like her,

Spread my wings and not crawl,

Dream like her,

But then life couldn’t have it all….

I am glad she is still there

And I didn’t let her die

A little girl lives in my heart

And she wants to fly..

Watching the skies


Watching the skies

has been my favorite  pastime,

From early  dawn

to the late half past nine.

Clouds, changing colors and

 tracing varied contours with a poise

Putting me in a light trance;

 like a dreamer, I always close my eyes.

But, today the storm clouds gathered;

and, no contour they could trace

Dyed the sky, blackish-blue;

they shouted, screamed and lost their grace

And, I slaughtered my dreams

 with the cantankerous clamour,

kept the parts in my clandestine closet;

glad, only I can hear their yammer…

Stranger to my heart


I call him a painter,

he painted my heart

with the color of love;

Or maybe,

he is a writer,

As he wrote

lyrics for its beats.

Filled silent hours

of my morning,

With his chuckles

dissolved in mine;

Walking on the cold,

wet grasses alone,

Suddenly,

I felt his fingers’

warmth in mine.

A stranger to my heart

he is,

And made my heart

a stranger to me…

Have you ever witnessed a heart breaking?


Have you ever witnessed a heart breaking?

Crust of Happiness shedding off,

Abysmal voids of desires leaving,

Or ever seen its color changing to deep blue from romantic red….

You know it’s there, but no music,

Is it still beating; I’m not sure,

Once it has a list of songs playing,

Today it’s all about broken strings…

Have you ever witnessed a heart breaking?

Pitying tears, sprinkling its dry soul

New blood, blue blood

Making a criss cross arrays in blue veins,

Have you ever witnessed a heart breaking?

Nobody I am


She was a girl,

a young girl

And she had names,

many names.

Lover, hater

She was called;

Selfish, innocent

She was called.

One day,

Mutilated,

afraid in her heart,

she decided to run away

Crossed villages, cities

and reached an open plateau,

Seeing her reflection in sky’s mirrors,

gone were her fears

Forgot her names,

her own name too..

Who I am,

she asked

A lover,

a hater

or nobody.

Nobody she is,

and has never had a more beautiful name

a pleasure

to be nobody..

Nobody she was,

Nobody I am.

On an autumn night


a leaky tap

dripped a drop,

or an acoustic jazz,

I heard on an autumn night,

Frozen city lights

illumined my streets,

or a full moon bath

I beheld on an autumn night,

puff of cool breeze

caressed my shy cheeks,

Or a perfect kiss

I felt on an autumn night,

Blue moon

forgot to go home tonight,

Or a lost love

I missed on an autumn night….

Numb


Vibrant city

and moving cadavers,

Smiling lips

and mourning eyes,

Bleeding heart

in a ‘VERSACE’ chemise,

Suicidal marks

under a ‘CARTIER’ ticker,

Yes, I smell money

and hear cacophony,

My faith plummets

and so my chest-throb,

Have resplendent gems,

still a thirsty soul it is,

Today, I touched myself,

and finally numb it is….

Too numb..

would you mind


Would you mind if I borrow your dream for a night?
haven’t smiled in my sleep for long…

Would you mind holding my hand till dawn?
these eerie figures scare me every night….

Would you mind let your chuckling stay here tonight?
tired of crying with my gloomy room….

Would you mind covering my face, when the morning sun knocks at my window?
he breaks my dream every time he enters my room…

would you mind!!!!

Let them be kids now


 

Lazy afternoon nap, I was taking at my home town. Amma was sleeping next to me, muttering the same question 100th of time, ‘when are you leaving for Delhi?’

She waits for me, coming home to sleep with her, telling her my office stories, and sharing my life with her. She counts days, rechecks my bag to count clothes; I brought home, to be sure about my days at home.

Amma, I told you so many times; its’ tomorrow evening’, my raised voice made me sound annoyed this time. Amma didn’t say anything after this; she got up quietly and sat on the bed, looking for her old and dirty spectacles. I realized my mistake that very moment and dragged my head to her cozy lap. ‘Amma, I told you, I can’t ask for any more leaves; they will kick me out of this job’, I tried to soften my voice as much as I could. She remained silent and kept on running her fingers through my hair and I almost cried at the feel of them, all my childhood memories stayed there in my closed tearful eyes, for a moment.

The days, when my now-85 years old, thin, physically fragile Amma, my grandmother, used to be a strong headed, single, and an independent woman; as I recalled her in my childhood days. I remember how even old villager men were scared of speaking anything nonsense in her presence. My mother is an emotional woman and exactly opposite to my Amma. I hardly remember my mother shouting at us, or caring for our school dresses, studies or anything else, she used to be too depressed and sick to do that all. Actually, she didn’t need to as Amma always played a strict and dependable father to us, shouting at us, fighting for us, supporting us physically, mentally and financially too. I remember her busy days starting from getting us ready for the school, working whole day in the farms like most of our villager women do, scolding us for playing too long or for not studying.

She was heart of our family, taking care of everyone, scolding every one for not being perfect at their jobs. Everyone used to respect and get scared of her, at the same time. She was still working like a strong man, few years ago until this dreadful disease hit her. I could have never imagined Amma as such a weak person, who now needs another person to even fetch a glass of water too. Walking slowly in the veranda of our house, she is hardly noticeable. Maybe new brides, kids, newborns in my house have taken much important place in everyone’s life. AND, now she has become a task for everyone; her special meal, her medicines, her appointments with doctors, is job to everyone. She coughs all night and everyone complains about their disturbed sleep. She forgets things and keeps on asking same question, but sadly my busy family including myself has no time to repeat the same answers for her.

But, then I saw my cousin holding his two years old daughter and answering to her repetitive questions about the flower pot in our veranda. What was the difference, I could not understand? I was wondering how many times Amma would have answered our weird questions? How many times she would have hugged us when we were hurt playing? How many sleepless nights she must have had, when we were having fever? This was never a task for her; it was a joy to her; it was her life. And, now when she needs us, she is task to us. We explain, saying, ‘we are busy in our own life.’ I wonder if she didn’t have any of her own life while we were growing.

I guess this is not only my story. We all are impatient with our oldies; we ignore them assuming they don’t understand our modern lives. Now, may be they are weak and have a short memory; but if you remember, we used to be exactly the same, when we were young and then, they nurtured us with their love and raised us to what we are today.

I hope we could be the same to them as they were to us. When we had tiny hands and no voice; when we were strangers to the world and the world was to us, they held our hands and let us see, speak, understand the world through them. They spent a life time to make us understand the world and gave the most pleasing memories of our lives. So, what if they don’t remember anything now, can’t we make a new memory every day for them; as a small effort to repay the IMMENSE which they gave us and they are still giving us. Love can overpower the most terminal sickness too. They supported us when we were kids so don’t you think, they also have a right to be kids now.

Then why we treat them as a task in our lives, why we are impatient with them.. we have played enough on their shoulders, now it’s their turn.. Let them be kids now….

My head was still resting in Amma’s lap and she again asked me, ‘kalu jana tu? (When will you go?)’ I kissed her lap and said, ‘kadi ni Amma’ (NEVER Amma).

‘Because’ you are 36-24-36’


‘Small, Medium, large, XL, XXL, XXL or 10, 12, 14, 16, or 22, 24’; what is it? These are not sizes of a ‘Zara Top’ you bought today or you are going to buy tomorrow or day after. But this is actually you ‘my love’. Yes, you, the pretty woman; and of course you are more than that. You are white, extra white, ‘brown rang (yo-yo honey singh)’ and so many ‘rangs’, you must have never imagined.  Thin, extra thin, Zero-figure;  white skin, extra white skin, glowing skin; long hair, straight hair, painted hair; big breasts, rounded posteriors , Flat stomachs and list goes on.

Ha ha ha and if you don’t have any of above features then you must have only little brains up in your skull but sadly that would not be much appreciated.

Welcome to my society! Not Asian or American but a world society; where a woman has adjectives like Hawtt, prude, slut, whore, cock-tease, nympho and so on…. Or sometimes we are known as big-boos, pimples on the chests, V shaped and so much else. Every magazine (no matter what is the theme of that magazine) has zillions of tips for girls to look attractive, so called saaxxyy. Why? Not to make them feel good; but to be what men like about them. And this is the tragedy, a woman struggle her whole life to be fit, look beautiful and sensual enough to hold her partner back in her bedroom.

Give me definition of beautiful and who the hell ever defined this term beautiful? And, why a girl is being recognized only and only if she is beautiful? Why beauty means just a few terms like white skin, perfect body (with proportionate flesh on your frontal and posterior and your stomach skin touching your backbone), Kilos of makeup & facial paints, implants, never eating, constantly exercising to the point of exhaustion?

I feel sorry and disheartened when my 17 years old cousin is skipping meals to be like the other super-hot girl in her college. She is more concerned to be like a skinny model or an actress on TV rather than discovering herself and her uniqueness. Zillions of teenagers are into these beautifying exercises. Why? To impress their Prince Charming! That f**king prince charming (FPCs), who is always after those super-skinny, painted girls who flirt with everyone to make themselves feel noticed in colleges, offices or even on the roads.

I am not writing for  these wannabe girls because when god has forgotten to put any brains in their skulls; then how I can help them. But what happened to you? You, the real girl, who is continuously dieting, are putting paints; either to imitate these girls or to impress your FPCs. But, what happened to be real? Why you can’t be proud on just being yourself? I agree you would like to be fit and healthy and that’s great; but, do it for yourself; treat yourself nicely. Don’t do it because some stupid girl around the corner is doing.

But, you know something; I guess I am blaming society in vain. The biggest problem lies in women only; they are being their own critics. Oh! you have grown so fat, oh! Poor you! Your skin is so dull, oh, you are looking so old!! F**k you!! I am happy the way I am and I have much more of productive work to do rather than listening to your f**king tantrums and advices.

Beauty exists beyond flesh, whether it is for a skinny woman, a well-built woman, or one with any of the ‘rangs’. Everybody is different, and that’s what makes people normal. For god sake, be real and love yourself. This is the biggest blessing you have that you are a normal & an average girl. Don’t listen to society and make your own identity. You need not to be someone else to be perfect. You are yourself and unique. Be natural and let world recognize the real you.  And, if someone like your FPC is judging you on your looks and appearance, ask him to go and marry Sunny Leon (yeh, because maybe he is looking for the so-called-perfect-body and of course she has one).

Courtesy : Grey's Anatomy

Courtesy : Grey’s Anatomy

Andstill you say, We need to meet once


“We met at the railway station or a bus-stop,

Or in that old church, on a Sunday Morning,

Early in the morning,

Late in the evening;

You ran behind the bus I took,

That old bus, with rusted stairs;

You jumped over the back stairs,

Watching me, from the back-window panes;

Or we met in those dark nights of my village,

Where I could not see your face;

Neither could you see mine,

You were the same stranger,

I smiled back, coming out of an ATM,

You were the same guy, who laughed aloud,

 While watching me,dancing alone in rains;

It was you, who lit that cigarette,

 On a cold evening, and I made a face,

You, then squashed it against your foot,

Seeing me, smiling back to you;

You kissed me, in your poems,

You painted my soul, on the walls of your room,

You heard my voice, with closed eyes,

You dreamed about me, with open eyes;

 It was you, whom I wanted to see,

Waking up in the morning,

Or before closing my eyes, in the night;

You heard me, laughing like crazy,

And, crying like an insane too,

You saw the most beautiful of me;

And the ugliest of me too;

You missed me,

 Around and inside you,

I felt you,

Around and inside me;

We fought hard like friends,

We fell in love like two teenagers and their first love,

We supported each other like an old couple,

And, we shared little moments like a newlywed.

We have almost lived a life with each other

And, still you say, we need to meet once.”

Brazil – Beyond Beaches, Carnivals and Football (A day in Favela)


‘I have never believed in religion all my life but I believe in faith and I believe when we have nothing to give to someone, we can give him faith/hope’, Paulo told me this in his broken English, while we were walking through the streets of Rosa favela. I met Paulo in a party two weeks ago at a Brazilian colleague’s house. Paulo Mota and his wife are running an NGO called Restoration Ministries in Favelas for last 28 years, supporting kids, drug addicts, and prostitutes in around 10 Favelas in Sao Paulo. Paulo has single-handed raised money from different parts of world to have a sports camp for favela kids every weekend. Yes, of course sometimes volunteers from North America, mainly students, support these camps but Paulo is yet to see a wealthy Brazilian who can spend a single penny from his pocket for these have-nots. I requested him to make me visit one Favela and he agreed on one of the Sundays I had in Brazil.

Favela

View at a distance

I got few instructions from Paulo and William (one of the leaders of Volunteers of Restoration Ministries) before our car entered the community.

–         Don’t take photographs without our permission.

–          Your name is ‘Paula’ not Pooja

–          If someone asks you anything, just nod your head and let us speak.

–          Don’t look into the eyes of drug-dealers or any criminals.

Look at the narrow lanes, you can not enter in a car

As we entered the community, I could notice the aesthetic differences there and the places I have been staying in Sao Paulo. They don’t even have legal electricity so they steal it from the government and you can see millions of wires from a single power pole. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention, for sure.’

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‘Necessity is the mother of invention, for sure.’

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William  signaled a few drug dealers standing on the other side of a sewage water-pool in Favela and they let our car come in. William was calling these Kids, drug dealers. They were hardly 17 to 20 years, wearing loose clothes but still I could see weapons popping out from their hoods. William told me that they get involved in drug trafficking since they are 10. ‘Each favela is famous for something other than drugs. ‘This Favela is famous for weapons, so if you want to take any military guns, machine guns, AK-47, rifles to India, you can buy from here,’ William teased me.

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a beautiful Favela Girl – fortunate or unfortunate

We parked our car near a small soccer ground, which Paulo and his organization had supported and started walking the narrow streets of favela. It was not different than any slum area of east Delhi or Dharavi in Mumbai. Paulo and William were telling me about poor education and public health in these Favelas. Suddenly, a girl in her mid-twenties, came running towards William and hugged him tightly. I could see her crying loudly and saying something in Portuguese. I wanted to talk to her but as instructed, I maintained distance. Suddenly, William beckoned us and we entered her tiny house. Paulo told me that she was one of the Drug lords’ girls when she was young. By young, he meant  13 to 16 years. These Favelas are run by mainly drug dealers and criminals, All the Sao Paulo favelas are run by a Criminal Gang known as PCC, Primeiro Comando da Capital and these criminals can choose any beautiful favela girl to have sex with them and these girls are known as Drug lords’ girls. It is a status symbol for these girls because somehow they are saved and protected under this title. This girl, Marini, was a Drug lords’ girl until she was 20. Then they abandoned her with her three daughters and a drug addiction which she has no control over. She wanted to kill herself and her daughters too. All of us joined our hands and prayed with/for Marini. William encouraged her for life and asked her to continue her rehab at a clinic nearby favela.

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Graffiti art near favela

I became numb as we left Marini in her house. I asked Paulo why Police and government are not doing anything against drug dealers. Paulo told me that people in Favelas don’t believe in government/Police, moreover they have a reward for every policeman’ murder. For every murder, PCC gives 5000 Reais to any Favela person. According to Paulo, until now they have killed more than 100 policemen in this year. They don’t go to police, never.  Whenever they have a dispute, they go to PCC. PCC can even kill the culprit based on the crime like rape and drug theft. One of the famous death sentences in this favela is called Microwave death sentence where PCC burns the culprit alive in rubber tyres.

Nobody touches the body until the ambulance or medical police comes, sometimes it takes 24 to 48 hours and until then dead body is there rotting, sometimes people cover it with newspapers. This happens to be one of the strongest laws in Brazil. Even someone is dead on the streets; they cannot take them to hospitals in private cars.

In these favelas, are also many talented artists, like rappers, guitarist and singers? Competent kids but without a possibility of showing it to the world, they can’t be educated because the teachers are afraid of them, they can choose either begging on the streets for food or candies or working for the criminals and drug-dealers. They always find the second option easier and go for a dreadful and short life.

But beyond all this despair what I could see in these Favelas is a hope for life. Every night they play music, they dance, trying to forget the son who was shot dead last week by a drug dealer or a daughter who is nothing less than a dead person, all dependent on drugs or prostitution. People like Paulo are trying to  make a little difference in these lives. Like he said,’ even if you are not able to give anything ; give hope, give faith, in every or any way we can ..

Meeting People – On the Road to Santiago


I was absolutely exhausted after my four business meetings in last seven hours; same presentation, talking to people about nothing but business, projects, practicality and lots of money is really gruesome. But after a busy working day, if you still decide to sit in a bolted hotel room, it even makes you feel more sickening. So like every evening, I decided to take a small gait around my hotel. It is my routine now; in Santiago, a small gait means three to four miles easily and you never get bored of walking miles and miles on the road. Believe me or not, you experience best of the life on these roads or particular on this road to Santiago.

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On the same road only, I met a Brazilian-cum-Chilean-cum-Colombian musician, talking to me in Hindi about A.R. Rehman and song ‘Roza’, which made my Indian heart proud of our music and heritage. He invited me to his concert the next day and made me believe that music is truly a universal language which can even make Indian feet dance on Spanish melodies.

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Sitting in the veranda of Spanish learning institute, I met this Bolivian girl studying political-science in University of Santiago with scholarship, working part-time at a restaurant to support her studies, learning English, French and Portuguese while teaching Spanish at the same institute, parties everyday but whenever she goes to sleep, she thinks of her farmer parents back in Bolivia who works hard every day from early dawn to late evening, just to earn two meals and support her in every way they can. She had dreams in her eyes and been brave enough to leave her comfort zone, and chase those dreams, no matter how hard is the ride going to be.

When I walked few blocks to the downtown of Santiago, I met a civil engineer from America’s best college, sitting on the road, sketching and painting life. When I asked him what his real ambition is, he got confused. He said nothing and then I was confused. He said, ‘I paint and sketch because I love it, now anywhere life takes me, I hardly care.’ He used to live in a 20 dollar per day hostel with some other crazy people like him who does nothing but what they love. I felt life could be so easy without planning a future, only working on and in present.

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When I walked few hundred kilometers towards the west to Santiago, I met an environment science student, a tree lover in Valparaiso, camouflaged in a tree, standing at a tourist place in Viña del Mar all day, earning some pesos every day during her vacations, but whatever she does is not for money but she truly believes in the idea of saving trees, saving environment and saving earth. I asked her why you need this, when Chileans are already so environment friendly, riding bicycles to the offices and keeping their streets and roads clean. She told me, ‘it’s’ not something I am doing for gaining anything.’ ‘I am doing it because I believe in it.’

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Down to Valparaiso, I met a wonderful dancing man, selling fresh shrimps on the road with his mom and he doesn’t want to get married whole his life because he loves his mother too much that he doesn’t want to share himself with some other person in his life. On the contrary, his single mother wants him to get married and start his life so that she can die in peace. The most important person in my life is my mother so his story touched me and left me crying with his mother.

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I met scientists, doctors, artists in Santiago whom US Government issues thousands of green cards, inviting them to live in US but Chileans leave them completely disappointed as no Chilean wants to leave his/her country, which I feel true patriotism is. No matter how good or bad their country is, they would not leave it.  These people are no different than any of us but still for me they were extra-ordinary. Living their lives the way they want to, no goals in life but still passions to die for, less money but more satisfaction, less comfort but more happiness, eyes full of dreams, hearts filled with love, no planning but insane optimism. These are and these were the people I met on the road to Santiago. People who are not Chileans, Americans, Brazilians, Indians or Latinos, they were people passionate about what they have and what they are doing in their lives, respecting 4 or 5 decades of time which we all call our lives…Meeting People – On the Road to Santiago…

Road to Santiago – ‘walking alone’


So, did you feel the budding thorns of winters on your face, in your hair and all around your neck above the blue jersey you are wearing in Shimla today evening? Well, I am feeling the same sitting thousands kilometers away from you, on this wooden bench outside the Spanish learning school in Santiago, Chile. Few days ago, when I reached Santiago from Sao Paulo, the first thing came across my mind was, ‘Wow! Its’ almost like Himachal. You can easily compare the big green mountains covering the snow-covered Andeans with Himalayan range in any part of Himachal. It started watching the andeans from the plane itself.

The difference is the infrastructure akin to any American or European country, better roads, and of course I can’t have a Chilean playing Spanish music right just for me, while I am writing in Himachal. I have been to a few countries in Latin America but believe me, Chile is special and Santiago is for sure special. Santiago is one the most spotless cities of Latin America. I am not comparing Santiago with Sao Paulo, Rio, or Buenos Aires, neither can I, but it has serenity, contentment in the air it breathes. Chileans are quite unlike Brazilians and Mexicans. They are not loud but still they enjoy their lives, and of course not to mention, they know how to win the hearts.

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I don’t know what it is? May be less population, embraced & blessed with nature, or the weather or the famous road to Santiago by Paulo Choleho, but Santiago has a place and heart for accepting and loving anyone and everyone. You can find an old woman advising you on how to cover yourself in rain, while you don’t have an umbrella with you. At the same time, an unknown passer-by Chilean greets you in the morning with a beautiful smile on his face. I can walk all alone to the meetings having GPS in my hand on walking mode. I know it’s funny but Santiago is a place where you would love walking miles and miles alone and that’s what I am doing these days. I have learnt a new language ‘sign language’ since I am traveling to Latin America. No matter if they don’t understand English and I have a broken Spanish, still Chileans make sure to walk with me to my destination or at least make me understand the way in their broken English or the special sign language.

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Santiago has two things flowing in its blood; one is the Andeans Mountains range which I hope to see this weekend and of course the great Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet. My love for Pablo Neruda started from the two hours spent in the lobby of Chilean embassy in Vasant Bihar, New Delhi, while waiting for collection of my Visa. I pick a book from the library of embassy and it had to be a small collection of his poems and I didn’t want to leave that lobby for the whole day. And when I was on the poem, ‘A Song Of Despair’, I couldn’t control the tears flowing down my cheeks. The pain and love, Pablo could have felt while writing this poem is beyond details. I was wondering if the translated version has this effect then how would be the original one. And I got a chance to listen to the Spanish and original version of this poem recited by a Chilean which was an extra-ordinary experience. I just met, Paula, a Bolivian student living in Santiago since last four years for her studies in Public relations and the way she recited A song of despair to me, I fell in love with the poem all over again.

Pablo-Neruda

This is Santiago, and its heart still beats for and through the poems of Pablo Neruda. It has romance and pain in its air but still smiling for no reason. That’s first few steps on the road of Santiago, I hope a lot more coming.. chau chau..

Writing some crap every day!


 

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” – E.B. White

So, I am again here to tell you that I didn’t write a single word on paper since last month. No particular reason, just looking for a right moment or right thing to pen down. Looking for fodder for my new post, I literally wasted hours and hours and finally I found that there’s nothing called ‘the RIGHT thing’ to pen down.

Nothing exists like writing hours. It’s not important to write when your novel vein hits you but it’s important to write any day and every day.  After dinner, before dinner, early in the morning, late in the night, in the bed, on your desk, with a drink in your hand or a coffee at your table, nothing matters, if you are sitting in a park with nature, or in your living room filled with kids or exploiting the last hour of your work like me, right now. What important is to write and write with discipline, write regularly and write every day.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.  ~Agatha Christie

You can learn how to write by writing only. Sometimes life is hard, a bad day at work, fight with friends, arguments with room-mates, colleagues/partners, suddenly viral hitting you, so many things in routine. So what! Fuck everything and put everything on a piece of paper. Remember melancholy is writer’s best friend.

Writing is nothing different than a regular job or skill or getting master at a machine. You can learn a skill by repeating it again and again. And, who said you can’t make mistakes. Who said your every article has to be a master article. Go on! Make interesting mistakes, accept opinions from whom you genuinely respect and value. Let them tell you where did you do wrong. Accept it not to repeat and keep your journey on being awesome in writing.

Most of us, I mean we, bloggers are not professional writers or I should say full time writers. We work, some of us teach, some sell things for living, some engineers, doctors, consultants, the job what feeds us and we excel there as we are regular in it and we take it more seriously. Believe it or not but we need to make writing seem like a regular job and in this way only we can respect it and make more space in our life for it.

So I decide to write some crap every day! Maybe it’s not worthy enough to be posted here but it will for sure make a small place in my old notebook! Remember Anne Tyler once said,

‘The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.’ 

Today, I burnt a dream


Today, I burnt a dream;

And bought a morning of despair,

Bartered my wings;

With broken swing of a debonair,

Grey is what I have;

When I always sought white,

Blues is what I feel;

When I always passed red,

There was a place;

I could always go to,

Today, I unlearned that road;

Hurt his heart too,

I am not alone;

Everyone is here but he is not,

Never Fell in for him but;

Today, I decided to fall out,

Today, I burnt a dream;

And bought a morning of despair…

they know how I feel


Fatigued little drops, resting on my roof;

they know how I feel,

Dry leaves kissing the drenched soil;

they know how I feel,

Alone in this gigantic city;

with burden of memories

And a black moon hanging on my white drape,

they know how I feel,

Left that, what was mine;

Unforgiving, barbaric, heart breaking,

Crushing that dream, between two palms;

They know how I feel,

Tears, moans, cries, screams;

Leaving me almost,

Waiting for the moment;

That has already been lost,

Still, eyes on that brown door;

Squall imitating him,

Heart pounding, eyes widening;

They know how I feel,

Fatigued little drops, resting on my roof;

they know how I feel,

Dry leaves kissing the drenched soil;

they know how I feel,

Smoke


On a winter evening;

smoke comes to me as a secret chum,

Smoke, I make in the air;

Smoke, people hate about me…

Smoke of disappointment;

smoke of pleasure,

Smoke, who hides my past for a moment, I dare;

smoke, who gives a hope to have a future, bright or not; I hardly care…

Roasting peanuts’ smoke,

smoke wafting from my home’s chimney

Smoke from my village’s open fireplace;

that village, where I always sought solace…

An aspiring smoke and a deceased smoke;

that was the smoke and this is the smoke,

smoke, on a winter evening;

smoke comes to me as a secret chum…

Blue-black ink


On a sooty shelf;

found an old diary,

Looked for a virgin page;

started writing a smoky poem.,

Sniffed a whiff of happiness;

inhaled a cool puff of life,

Saw starry nights in my smoggy room;

my skin imbibed the white smoke,

Page is no more virgin,

pungent, blue-black ink;

Dropped in..

‘February; Friendship and Feelings’


February is about kisses, chocolates, hugs, proposes; that’s what everyone around is telling me.  Happy rose day; happy pose day! Happy propose day; happy remorse day! Hah…. So, February is love for you and I guess for everyone else. But February is nostalgic for me, every single day is full of nostalgia; nostalgia of friendship, nostalgia of togetherness, nostalgia of laughing aloud, nostalgia of crying hard, nostalgia of living a lifetime in one year, nostalgia of making the best friends for life.

‘De’s been with me since the time; I didn’t even know how to spell ‘FRIENDSHIP’, and she got married 5 days ago, which is like a dream to me. I have never told her that she is my best friend and neither had she felt a need to convey the same to me, anytime in last 25 years.

I met ‘Dr’ through her and never met a more selfless person after that in my life. I remember Dr’s reaction when she saw me lying in the hospital bed; she wasn’t able to see my one leg and thought that doctors have cut my leg just after 15 minutes of my accident. She started shouting and crying like anything, oh god, I can’t forget her face.

And yes, Su;Su’ is one lady in my life who doesn’t know what fear is. Shop-alcoholic, fearless, bold, sexiest in the group and we call her ‘Satyabadi.’ She doesn’t know what a lie is and her Satyabadiness made her meet a wonderful man, whom she got married last year and that too in February (See, February is special).

Lastly, Chinky and Nones ; my only friends from college and they never stop fighting with each other. I can proudly say that there exists one person on this earth, who is more confused than me and that is ‘Nones’. ‘Chinky’ is what a true friend is, emotional, loving, caring and knows what friendship is.

The craziness began when we, six stumbled on each other in one city at one time and five of us staying under same roof. Oh man! What a ride that was; a road accident that I can never forget, friends laughing with/on me, on a hospital bed, a friend who lost true love of her life at the same time, wounds; visible, invisible, smiles with tearful eyes, craziness, a passion as journalism, a job paying me Rs. 7000, break-ups, patch-ups, friends supporting my madness, full adrenaline rush and what not! Life was hell and heaven at the same time. Friends were family and sometimes more than that. Su and me, the only entertainment in the house. Nones was dealing with the biggest catastrophe of her life, and chinky, struggling to prove herself in the big city with her big dreams. De and Dr, our full-time mothers, cooking & feeding all of us, picking me from my night classes at college and they still are full-time mothers for me. I never felt a need to call at my home even after one month of my being bed-ridden, due to accident and the reason was De & Dr.

That was the year when we discovered a new word, ‘Adam-teasing’ and Su, of course was the inventor. That was the year when we learnt, life is a struggle and this struggle is fun with friends. That was the year when we learnt, friendship is not about being judgmental, friendship is not about doing favors and making your friends realize about those favors but friendship is about staying together with friends, laughing in the dreadful situations, no matter what world think about your friends but you must know how you keep your friendship alive and fresh even in the tough times.

It’s been five years for that wonderful year but I am still floating in nostalgia. I know, life has changed for few of us and life will change for rest of us too but I am sure that this friendship will last forever and when we will be grandmothers, I will still be the biggest ‘Phenku’ of the group, De & Dr be our mothers, Chinky and nones be fighting with each other like the way, they always do and Su would still be our leader for Adam-teasing and we will still laugh with/on each other sitting in a park, on a winter afternoon, enjoying the sunshine, the sunshine of friendship, true friendship.

Love you all….

NO, I WOULD NOT REST IN PEACE!


RIP to the rape victim‘Are you fucking kidding me…Do you seriously think that DGRC victim will rest in peace after what has happened to her? Tell me, if you and I were there on that night of 16th December and it was one of us who would have been raped and assaulted brutally with an iron rod, thrown off on road, lying with our body tattered apart… If I would be the one who would be fighting to hold on to life for more than 10 days, undergoing knife several times, multiple surgeries & organ failures while the media made zillions by turning me into a “HEADLINE”… If I would be the one who would be flown off to die on a foreign land only to pacify the unrest & anger…BELIEVE ME …. I WOULD NOT REST IN PEACE…

‘MEDICAL REPORTS SUGGEST THAT THE WOMAN SUFFERED SERIOUS INJURIES TO HER ABDOMEN, INTESTINES AND GENITALS DUE TO ASSAULT AND PENETRATION USING A BLUNT OBJECT SUSPECTED TO BE AN IRON ROD. THAT ROD WAS LATER DESCRIBED BY POLICE AS BEING A RUSTED, L-SHAPED IMPLEMENT OF THE TYPE USED WITH A WHEELJACK’. The moment I read these words, they have been flowing within my blood. You read the above lines and think, ‘Would she really rest in peace?’

We have failed, we, all of us; we have failed as a society. She died; but galvanized a cause that will not die; she waked every one of us from our long sleep of ignorance. But did we really wake up or are we still sleeping? Ban the tinted glass vehicles, hang the culprits till death, much brutal punishment; there are so many resolutions, everyone is suggesting now. There are few precautions which are advising women not to go alone anywhere. The point is, sexual violence is so routine in India that most people are habituated to its prevalence. You open any newspaper on any given day and you find on an average about more than three sexual crimes reported.  So what was so different about this case – the absolute, appalling cruelty of it? So if the case is not so brutal, RAPE is fine with you? Or you are going to wait that victim should be dead like DGRC then only you are going to protest?

Yes, we all feel the same right now; this has to stop somewhere. But, what is the solution? Who is going to stop this? Would ‘impeding women going out late’ be suffice? We need a change in law and law makers; we need to make a stringent law against rape. But before that we need to think about a social transformation in our country. A social change where girls are physically prepared to fight against these situations; where you don’t gift your daughter a doll and your son a Cricket bat; a situation where you teach your sons that women are important and they are not only the sex objects; a situation where no woman would have to grow up with the fear that she will likely be raped. When your daughter is growing up, don’t tell her that her body is made to be covered; don’t tell her that she can’t do what her brother is doing and when I demand this social change in Indian society, I demand it in the India living in villages, that India where sons bring prestige and money while daughters are viewed as a burden with their dowries and low income prospects. We need to change the mind set of people around us, starting from our family. Being a young Indian girl, I know how it feels when your elder kin tells you to cover your chest with a dupatta, while of course escaping the dirty gawk. You feel embarrassed and unprivileged at the same time and your embarrassment doubles when your brother is standing nearby you. This does not only make you feel low in front of your brother but it teaches him that- if a girl is not wrapping her chest with dupatta he has all the right to stare at it; up to an extent that the girl would like to drown herself somewhere out of humiliation.

You raise your daughter as if being girl is her honor; she has all the right to say yes or no to anything and everything.

2nd agent to the social change should be in our cinema and the celebrity obsessed public. As suggested by economist Swaminathan Aiyar,’ yet item numbers and rape scenes are not the main problem. After all, cabaret dancers and villains are not role models. What’s truly terrible is the manner, in which film heroes have for decades pestered, stalked and forced their unwanted attentions on heroines in a thousand films, yet ended up getting the girl. That sends the most outrageous of all messages to the public: pestering girls is what heroes do, and a girl’s “no” actually means “yes.” According to one particular well-known screen villain did about 100 rape scenes “with the audience almost cheering him on.”In a celebrity obsessed Indian culture, where every dance move, every dialogue, ‘every items song- where girls are compared to tandoori murgis and supposed to be swallowed with alcohol’ is being followed by people blindly.

3rd is our identity. We are not only sisters, mothers, daughters, wives and girlfriends; we are human beings first. Why women are described in relation to someone too often? Why DGRC victim is called as ‘Daughter of India?’ She was a woman who had her own dream. Why when a woman is single, she has her dad’s name and when married, accustomed to take her husband’s name? You can judge from this thing that even after her death still DGRC victim is known as some pseudonyms given by media. What all are big shot people scared of? Why our society is such that even after her death, the family has to keep secrecy of her name just to avoid the family’s disgrace. She herself was a victim and her family is only ashamed? These social slurs increase recidivism, woman is fearful of reporting against these crimes, and ex rapist is encouraged to make the repetitive crime best option.

I know we cannot change ages of patriarchy and misogyny overnight. But we have to start somewhere. I am starting today:

  • I pledge not to ever forget this heinous incident.
  • I pledge not be indifferent to ‘eve-teasing’ and any violence against any woman in this world.I pledge that I will stand up to every man who dares to misbehave with a woman.
  • I pledge to treat every man with a doubt in my mind throughout my life.
  • I pledge to raise my voice every time I face harassment.
  • I pledge to raise my daughters, telling them, they are born to make a change in this society and to break its rules wherever they feel a need.

Meeting that girl on a broken morning


Do you remember launch of winters in New Delhi? When you like seldom shivers crossing your body, when the cold breeze doesn’t seem that freezing, when the fragrance of roasted peanuts wafting from across the streets delights your olfactory nerves, when you don’t need hot air blowers but just a cup of tea to keep your hands warm. Well, this was one of the mornings of those days broken in my wrecked apartment. It was 4:30 am in my digital table watch and I was still reading an-already-read-50-times book on my broken swing. Don’t take me wrong, I am not turned as an early riser but for sure this was one of those mornings or I should say, one of those nights when I forgot to sleep; and believe me it happens with me  a lot. I have been a nocturnal creature since the moment I was born. I feel more alive and full of ideas at night. World seems more mine at night. Less people, less noise and more of myself.

Well, a broken morning of an insomniac night always gives you two options; either you ruin your day and go back to sleep or you embrace the new born day with jogging shoes on. For once in thousand veins, I chose the second option. Swathing in a cold blanket of smog, Delhi had woken up into a hazy morning.

After running almost half of a kilometer along shivaji marg, when my legs finally surrendered for lactic acid accumulation, I had to stop for a while to feed my lungs with some air. I looked around, there were few trucks and bicycle-riders. But what caught my attention was a black figure standing on the same pavement I was running on. At around a distance of 50 meters,I could see a young girl, all dressed up to her thighs in black impeccable chiffon with heels of almost my hand’s size, confused, shivering and furious about something. I simply saluted her guts and started walking towards her not to have a conversation but just to cross her.

‘Excuse me’, she said, the very moment, I was about to cross her. I turned back. Wow! Being an average looking girl, I was in a mix vein of shock and envy, as soon as I saw her flawless white face with abandoned eye make-up.

‘Yes’I responded in a pretending-not-to-be-interested tone.

‘I need some money or if you have phone, I need to call a taxi’a confident voice.

‘Excuse me’ – “who the hell dressed up like you asks for money early morning”, my thoughts.

‘Yes, I need to go to Gurgaon and I left my wallet in my friend’s car’ – no worries on the face.

‘Ok, so why don’t you call him and ask it back’I can be a CID.

‘I left my cellphone too’ she is definitely not polite

‘I sought my trouser pocket, luckily I had my phone. I unlocked it and gave it to her immediately.’Delhi needs few more years to make me a completed delhiite.

She called ‘Easy cabs’ and asks for a taxi at exactly the same place, we were standing.

You need some money?’ Though I only have 50 rupees in my pocket. 😛

‘No, no thanks, I will manage. But I would need a cigarette. Do you have one? – Now, I could see some politeness, smoking can change a person, definitely.

‘No, I don’t’ – who carries cigarettes to morning jog?

‘Oh crap! Taxi would take half an hour to reach here and this dress would kill me by then’ – she murmured, maybe seeking my attention.

I could have gone back to my jogging but something held me back. ‘Okay, I can buy you a cigarette; there is lot of small fag vendors just behind this main market.’

She seemed pleased and followed me quietly. I was amazed at my own behavior. Why I was being overfriendly to this weird girl? But Somewhere, I wanted to know about this mysterious woman who looked beautiful and sounded professional & confident, obviously not drunk and she is all alone on a road, early morning. She was with a friend who had not the mere gentility not to leave a young girl alone on Delhi’s dreadful roads.

She lit the cigarette and inhaled it with closed eyes, exhaling the smoke with a mysterious smile on her face. ‘You are thinking too much about me’, suddenly she caught my thoughts. I was befuddled for a moment. ‘No, no, it’s not like that I am just confused about what are you doing here?’

‘Believe me, you would not like to know’, she continued smoking.

‘No, I would like to and if you want we can walk and talk. It’s still twenty minutes for your taxi,’ I didn’t want to ruin the whole day thinking about this enigmatic lady.

‘There is nothing special about me. I sell myself to make money. This fake-rich, son of a bitch hired me last night, promised me 10000 bucks and then duped me, taking away my money, cellphone, every damn thing, leaving me like this. Given a chance, I would have killed that asshole. Now, as you know me, if you want to continue your jogging, you can leave’, she said all that stone-faced.

My jaw almost touched my fatigued knee. She is a prostitute, my curiosity doubled as for the first time in my life, I was meeting one. I gathered my wits and spoke calmly, ‘no, there is nothing bad about it, and I mean, I don’t have a problem. We still can talk.’

‘What else you want to know?’ how I landed up there? ‘Don’t be so typical,’ girl. My story is not interesting enough to entertain your colleagues at office.’

‘See I didn’t mean that. I guess I should leave. You take care of yourself,’ I said all that turning back.

‘No, wait, I am sorry. It was just sudden. I don’t want to stand here alone. Stay with me for some time. Let’s sit on the next bus stop,’ she looked so different saying that.

‘Where’re you from?’

‘Himachal’a big smile on my proud face.

‘Oh I love hills. I went there with a client, to Shimla, he kept me for whole week.’ She had a skeptical humor in her eyes.

‘And you?’ I tried to make the situation easy.

‘Katihar, Bihar, not as beautiful as Shimla.’ Why did you leave Himachal?’

‘For job, I am a MBA & got my first job here in Delhi,’ I responded calmly.

‘You are a MBA?’ for the first time I could see her big smile.

‘Yes I am. Why are you laughing?’

‘No nothing, I am also a half MBA’ – her voice was full of irony.

‘What? Then why you, I mean what happened,’I tried to be considerate.

Her face fell with what, grief, memories, repentance, I didn’t know. We kept silent for next few seconds and then she started.

‘I am the third girl child of my parents, the unwanted one. Dad used to work as a clerk in forest department. My two elder sisters got married at the age of 17. Katihar was a small town and my dreams were way too bigger than I was worth. My family wanted me to get married after graduation. But I wanted to study, learn English, wanted to go for MBA, have a good job. My father told me he could spend 5 lakhs on my dowry but can’t afford my studies.’ She said all that looking at the road.

‘Then’, I asked with a curiosity in my voice.

Then the same story happened, I made a mistake, maybe the biggest mistake of my life. Fell in love with a wrong guy. He promised to support my studies in Delhi and get married to me. He was from a lower bihari caste. Deep down, I knew, my family would have killed me, if they happened to know about my affair. Moreover, nobody in my family loved me enough to give a second thought and I eloped with him to Delhi. But as it happens in more of our movies, he turned out to be an asshole, betrayed me, had fun for a few days and then sold me at a place, no girl would have ever wanted to be. And I am still at the same place with a better lifestyle since last 4 years.

Why didn’t you do any job?

Big joke! I didn’t know how to speak English, had no ideas about computers and  had no money & no place to stay. Moreover, I accepted that place as my destiny which had already betrayed me enough, so could not have courage to challenge it one more time.

‘You could have gone back.’ I asked

to what? To witness my furious family and society who would have killed me in the very first sight? I knew being a third girl child; they had already hated me enough and moreover I liked this work. Less time, less work and a lot of money.

 ‘Are you happy?’ I asked looking at her.

‘I don’t know but I have money.’ Moreover I have left thinking about happiness. Certainly, this was not any of my dreams but for sure this is my real life. Live this day that’s all.

I wanted to ask more, talk to her about so many things other than her profession. Maybe, somewhere I could see a friend in that honest girl. But I could not.

Taxi came. She looked at me, said nothing, just a smile and got on. I also turned but then suddenly I shouted, ‘hey I didn’t even ask your name. I mean we can talk, if you want.’

‘No, I don’t think so, just remember me as a friend you would never like to meet again,’ she smiled and taxi soon disappeared on the smoggy roads.

I started walking towards my apartment thinking about what just happened. I could not understand why that girl was there that day. Was it one of the curses of our system, dowry, caste system, the prejudice against girl child? Or was it her boyfriend, her young age mistake? Why couldn’t she believe in her family? Why couldn’t her family give her a trust to go back? Is this the only profession left for a girl in a bad situation? Maybe, she had options but she chose this deliberately? Was she really happy? If she is happy in this profession, then is it wrong? How she must be feeling, selling herself for money?

So many questions and no answer!

I am here writing this piece on her and she would be selling herself once again. For what? Money? I doubt!!

‘love left us’ – Part 2 -‘Sacrifice in love’


January 2012, leaned on that window pane of her tiny apartment in Mumbai, Stuti was sitting with arms hugging her folded shaky legs. A half emptied fine bottle of Smirnoff, 3 cigarettes left in that Marlboro packet, tears were flowing relentlessly, wetting her face and neck; that too since how long, she had no idea. The point had come, she could not stand it more, and the pain in her heart had made her dead cold. Having the wildest thought running across her mind, she stood up slowly, looking for a wall to support her trembling legs and started looking for something specifically in her make-up box. After 20 seconds of blurring vision, she could grab a new unused razor from that bag. Fearlessly, she took the same position near that window.

Not looking at the target, she cut her ankle deep with her shuddering left hand and then slowly let the razor fall on the floor. She could feel no pain but a pleasure and a real pleasure hurting herself. Blood drenching her ankle, her foot and then painted the white marble floor in the most vibrant color. She could feel her body all drained out of blood and vodka taking its’ place; running through her arteries and veins. She smiled to herself out of that pain as Anant’s voice was echoing in her head, when he called her last time, eight months back.

‘This is what you really want; money, career, glamour  I mean nothing to you; our love means nothing to you. I want a simple girl who listens to me, who loves me, who can sacrifice for our love. You are not the one. I made a mistake, I chose a wrong girl. A girl like you doesn’t deserve my love, you don’t deserve me’, he was shouting at his peak on the call.

‘Listen to me Anant, why you comparing yourself with this practical stuff, you know I love you. Acting is my passion and I do it because I love to do it, not because I want glamor and money. I wanted to do that play because the character fascinated me. It had nothing to do with real life and the person I was romancing with, in the play. Why don’t you understand?’

‘I very well-understood Stuti, I know, you are not the one. You don’t respect me; you don’t respect my decisions. I did everything to be with you but all in vain’

‘Why would I need to respect you Anant, when I love you? Can’t you just accept me as I am and with everything I want to do?’

‘Hah! You love me Stuti??? I have sacrificed so many things for you. People sacrifice their lives in love and you can’t let go this filthy theater. I told you hundreds of times; I don’t like you to do all this nonsense. You know something, I used to love a simple girl from that small village of Kerala who had innocent dreams and who used to love me a lot since our childhood. But I guess she died long back or you killed her, I don’t know. But guess what? I don’t know you and I don’t want to anymore. So goodbye and everything is over and believe me when I say EVERYTHING IS OVER.’ these were Anant’s last words before disconnecting the call.

‘Why one has to sacrifice to prove one’s love? Why couldn’t we just love each other without sacrificing for each other? I love him but I never understood where I did wrong; I just loved my dreams and my passion which makes me complete. I have gained so much; but I am not happy. But, will I be happy leaving my passion for my love. Is this only love which I want to be happy, to be complete? He had argued several times with his orthodox parents who didn’t accept me, a girl from different caste. He hadn’t visited his home after the day his father abused me out of frustration. I know he loves me like nobody can. He denies but he knows that I love him. Then why we are apart? Why none of us want to leave our ego and embrace the selfless love.’ Stuti was asking the same questions to herself and to Anant in her alcoholic hallucination for like millionth of time. Sleepy, dreamy and hallucinating Stuti tied a scarf around her ankle and lit another cigarette. Leaned on the same window pane, she couldn’t realize when her quizzical, exhausted eyes fell asleep, without giving any solution for her happiness.

‘Love left us’ – Part 1 – the very first meeting


Lying on the bed, she was staring at the roof and it was incessantly the fourth hour. With the wings of that dirty fan, all the good-bad memories of last three years were spinning around her eyes. Three years ago, December 2009, when she was on the way to meet him the very first time. In the shivering winters of New Delhi, wearing a red-green suit, wrapped in a black shawl, she took an auto early morning. A heart pounding at its peak, full of fears, excitement, insecurities showed her the way to her destiny. It was her first month in this gigantic city and her first time to Delhi airport or to any airport for that matter.

She could not sleep the whole night after the moment he said on phone, ‘See you tomorrow morning sharp at eight.’ “Are you serious? You can’t be. You had no plans until yesterday and you are in Bangalore”, she said in a shocking-cum-scared voice. “Yes, I am but you only say that I am superman, so?” ‘I don’t know but every time the confidence in his voice makes me believe everything he says,’ she thought and saw her face in the front mirror adjusting that hair flick behind her ear. After 8 years she is finally meeting him, he, who was her superman, her first crush, her first love, the man of her dreams. How he would look like? He will be taller than before for sure and those big black mischievous eyes, will they be same? Those fine black strands of his hair, always falling on his forehead and how he used to comb them with his fingers every ten minutes, she thought about all the childhood memories and smiles at herself. The fear transformed into nostalgia, smiles, love but it again hit her back as auto driver said, ‘Madam domestic arrival aa gya.’ Confused & scared she got down, looking at everyone as if he is the one.

After a ten minute gait around the arrival terminal, she thought finally she should call him. As soon as she took her mobile from the purse, she sensed a 6 feet tall figure in front of her. Still looking down at the mobile, she knew it was him, but she couldn’t gather herself to see him up. ‘Hello madam curie, How are you?’ he said the same way he used to tease her back in school. ‘Ok, I cannot avoid this situation any more. She thought and looked up and there he was, more handsome and confident than she had thought. She was all blushing and he was all smiling. She found herself completely lost, could not say a single word. ‘Madam, there is no chutti from the unit. I have literally absconded for the day and have to leave by 2 pm flight so can we sit somewhere and talk, plus I am hungry to death?’ he said all that so confidently as if we meet every day for the breakfast.

She followed him to ‘the Costa Coffee Café & Bar’ like an idiot. ‘So what will you have for breakfast? Pranthas? Sandwich? Or nothing, actually you should avoid eating much and did I mention u look fat? He said all that in a single breath and smiled. Shockingly she murmured, ‘See I hate this when he controls me so easily right from the school.’ Anything you like, she said and headed towards the corner table for two. As soon as she sat on the chair, her train of thoughts started adding compartments as always. ‘He has come all the way from Bangalore to meet me or to have breakfast. He hasn’t proposed me yet. Its’ only two months since we are talking and today I am meeting him, why?’ before she could reach to any conclusion, he came. ‘Same fearless walk like a tiger, smiling to me or smiling at me; I don’t know but who wants to know when he is actually there’, she thought. They didn’t say anything to each other. Again he was all smiling and she was all blushing. They had breakfast in silence and then as usual he took charge, ‘Come, I show you a place.’

They went up to the runway. He showed some document to the security there and then beckoned her to join him. ‘Where we are going?’ she asked. Lets’ go to the airstrip and we will watch some planes taking off. I like the sound when they take off’, he said that not looking at her but on the pavement they were taking to the runway. ‘You live with them. You must have been seen a hundreds of them taking off, landing on the ground. You fly them every day still you want to watch them taking off,’ she said that with a disappointment of getting her first date ruined by watching some planes flying. Suddenly he turned to her, ‘May be, I live with the aircrafts but I still can live with them whole my life because I love them. Flying is something I love to do, my passion. Whatever happens in life, the charm for what you love, should never be lost.

Seeing her still disappointed he came close, held her face in his hands and said, ‘Madam, this is our first meeting, we are excited that we met. We will meet again and again. After sometime, we will stay together, get married and have kids but I want to love you and feel excited and happy every time and every day I will see you, the same way ‘I Am’ right now. We should be always fresh in each other’s heart & mind, every day, every moment and our love should be as fresh as it was in school days when you used to be my crush. This charm should never be lost.’

Looking in those big black eyes, she lost her self and found all the answers of her life. She needs no flowers, no proposals, no promises, and no commitment. She doesn’t need anything. She knew that whatever happens, this man is going to support her, to be with her at any cost. He will never let the charm lost.

Her dreams broke with the knock at her door. Her neighbor was calling her to show some of her stupid new bought dresses. ‘Yes, the charm should not have been lost but unfortunately it did get lost’,she thought getting up from the bed.

An Ode to my lost love


Love was always ‘freedom’ to me. Free emotions, Free love, Free lives!!

Friends ask me, “don’t you miss him in your life.” I don’t know or maybe I don’t realize as I have a busy life. Missing a person in your life means missing a caring heart, a few phone calls, an outlet for your happiness, your frustration and if this is all about missing a person, I think I never missed him. I am emotionally independent since the time I was born so missing a caring heart is no big deal; moreover I don’t feel comfortable when somebody is caring for me. Phone calls?  Well, I talk to my 5 five fingers of friendship, almost every day plus the fifth one stays with me and her nagging habits and the non-stop 24*7 loud mouth hardly let me miss any tête-à-tête or pillow talk in my life. And yes, the frustration, I got to tell you this part!! Recently I have grown this habit of abusing people and learning new slangs and at this moment, I can proudly say I know at least 100s of Hindi, Pahadi, English, Portuguese and Spanish slangs which can lob all the sleeping bugs out of your ears. Believe me or not; but when you abuse someone loudly with the dirtiest slang you ever know, you feel extremely relaxed and happy.

So, if I don’t miss him and my lost love; why I am so sad and incomplete. When everybody is around me then why I miss someone every time. Maybe I really don’t miss him but for sure I miss something. Now, when somebody asks me to trust her or him I look at their face with a raised eyebrow. Now, when somebody tells me about their love stories, everything seems a big lie to me. Now, when somebody smiles at me, I start looking for the reasons behind that smile. Dreams, smiles, love, and care – everything is so momentary. No doubt I am stronger now, but I miss my fragility. For sure, I have become more secure in my life but I miss those little vulnerabilities, I used to have. I live more in my present now but I miss that little girl who used to spend hours and hours in thinking about past and daydreaming about future.

I miss that beautiful and confident lady inside me who was ready to love a person with whole heart, surrendering everything of hers for that love. I miss those sanguine eyes that used to believe ‘Everything will be alright in true love.’ I miss that innocence in my smile when I used to wait for him for hours and hours without ‘a single blue line of nerves’ on my forehead. I miss that woman who used to trust everyone and anyone in love. I miss that woman whom my friends used to say, ‘you are lucky darling.’

When I fell in love; I remained the same person; I was before love. In fact I came to know who I am, when in love. But to my surprise, falling out of love was different. I was no more ‘Me’. I knew and I used to believe that you don’t make love; In fact its’ love that makes you. But love sometimes breaks you, and that too in the finest parts and even if you try to gather those parts and make a ‘new of you’, it will always be ‘a new of you’ not ‘the same you’. so I don’t say I miss him or I miss my lost love but for sure I miss ‘Me’ , I miss the person I used to be when in love….

Don’t tell your daughters not to go alone; tell your sons how to behave


” Nazar Teri Buri Aur Parda Mein Karoon?’ ‘Don’t tell me how to dress, tell them not to rape,

No, you can’t go alone there; No, you can’t wear that; no you can’t opt that job; why? ‘Because you are a girl.’ And being a girl is a crime you never chose to do. These are some of the things my parents and your parents, in the name of our safety, have been telling us since we were born. Why a girl has so many restrictions? Not, because girls can do anything wrong; if we were given liberty. The reason is because some bloody, gibberish, SONS of DOGS who cannot control their sexual urge; can rape her. The irony is , these dogs are never taught at home; how to behave with girls but  girls,  are always taught how to dress up so that we can escape from the greedy glance of these dogs, how to ignore these dogs.

If a girl is raped on a street late at night; the first thing people ask why she was there on the street so late. Why she was alone? What she was doing? What she was wearing? What was her occupation? Nobody asks who the hell was that bastard who did this to her. Even if she was a prostitute; who gave right to these mother f***ers to do anything to her. Even she was wearing revealing clothes and their god-damn sexual urge is so damn aroused, I think, I have no shame in telling that without anybody’s help they can calm it down with their own hands in any public toilet. So, who gave this right to men to take any open-minded girl as a f***ing piece of their inherited property that they can do anything with her.

I don’t get this mentality. Obviously Man and woman are created by God with different bodies but who said which body part to be revealed or which is not to be. Its only skin we have; nothing else. If men are blaming us for wearing shorts, showing cleavages and bra strap as a reason of rapes ; Can’t we blame them for wearing shorts (again), those deep neck t-shirts showing chest hair and those low waist jeans where their Jockey’s line is yelling to come out, for the same reason.

But it’s not about we, young people, it started long back when we entered 13 and our brothers entered 13. Nobody told them they are grownups; but every scary glance on our body reminded us that we are grownups. Moms told us not to wear body hugged tops, not to go alone anywhere, not to play much with boys of our class. They never told their son not to look at girls as if they were nude, not to eve-tease, Not to RAPE. Parents tell girls n number of things before they leave house to be safe. They never told their sons how to make their fellow girls friends feel safe.

If girls were given insecurity by saying they are not safe; mind it; but they are never going to be safe for their whole life.  Instead give them confidence to leave the house alone and kicking in between the legs of any strangers who tries to take advantage in any sense. Ok, I agree, parents can tell their girls to be safe which is actually required in this god-damn society full of bastards but at the same time they should teach their sons not to become one of those bastards.

If you want to tell your daughters something; tell them to be bold. If you want to teach something to your daughters; teach them how to become a pain for all those bastards out there. If you want to give something to your daughters; give them a faith that whatever happens you will always stand by them supporting them. At the same time don’t forget to tell your sons ;how to be a gentleman to every woman he meets every day. If you want to teach them something; teach them how to respect woman. And if you want to give something to them; give them a faith that you know whatever happens they will not be a shame for the society they live in.