Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010!! Happy new year!!



Happy New Year friends!!
This year brought many changes in my life, significant and insignificant, good and bad. But looking back at the good ones, I hope and wish you all that the new year too brings loads & loads of positive changes and tons & tons of fun in our life.
Welcome 2010!! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rebelling monochrome

The flowers glorified the space. Red, yellow blue, pink, they spread in the midst of sweet fragnance they'd gifted the wind. They were soft, tender, the way they should be.

Among them, was this one, standing out even among the thousands. It was just opposite of them, big and bright. It's petals were thick. It stood straight on the thick thorny stem, different and unusual. A wild wind had blown it in, a wild seed, one day, probably to set a change, probably to start a new beginning.

Even among them, it was out of them. Out of thin air, a hand stretched out and plucked it off.
You know, Different is odd.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A welcome change, Painting now


I was complaining about boredom, for past few days. And I pledged to start retaking old forgiven hobbies.

So here’s my first painting on canvas. I’d painted on board before but not on canvas. When I chose the photograph to paint, it didn’t looked promising, to me and my sis. She said why not try some relatively easy one to start. But I’d stick to my decision, as usual.

Actually there’s going to be Santa party in our office on 24th and we are supposed to give gifts to the person whose name appears on the chit we pick. So I decided I would gift this painting.

Actually I was a little doubtful if anyone would really like it. But whatever it is, I am doing what my heart says, not thinking of the consequence.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Breathless

She was comfortable in the sleeping bag, until now. The sudden chill forced her out of sleep. The wind was roaring outside and it sounded scary, she forced her eyes shut. The thought of her tent partner came to her mind. She might be awake, her heart raced as she tried to pull her head out of the sleeping bag, holding a number of times with fear. Her heart almost stopped when she found the tent was empty.

She wanted to scream. But she'd wanted to do many things now, first was to run away. But instead she pulled her head inside the bag again. She was shivering, it was freezing cold, but mostly the shivering was by fear. There would there be animals out there, wolf, bears, or...She trembled at the thought... or the ghosts. They say that they attack when you are the weakest mentally, the thought itself crept weakness through her heart. Sleep fled. C'mon buck up Rupa, she tried some encouragement but suddenly… she could sense some sudden changes. The wind seemed to be still like everything stopped, unlike few seconds ago, it also grew more cold. She held her breath. It's your mind playing games, stop it, she fired her mind…when she sensed a sudden movement, unnaturally rapid, near her. She feared even to exhale, still holding breath. Then suddenly, there was another speedy movement, this time not around, but through her. A sudden heavy force zapped through her head from her neck through her ear, and she felt a heavy pain, a momentarily dizziness. What is it ?

Her eyes were now flowing tears but she stayed still like a corpse. The coldness increased discreetly against her body. The chill senses was on and off as if some cold ones were around. She heard a sound, close sound, just inches from her face, a breathing sound to her left... Rather sniffing sound, the chillness now was somehow travelling toward her face. Another sniff to her right, then another... She knew they were close, pretty close and they were many... A whisper, her eyes flashed open and...

P.S : I thought to keep this open ended. I would like to invite my blogger friends to take this story further (those who wish). There are two things here to notice for the sequel -

1. What happens/sees when she open her eyes

2. And another thread, the ‘Whisper’ What could it be ?

So would you like to take the story further ? It would be fun to read the different interpretations. Let your imagination run wild... And don’t forget to comment the links it you write the sequel.

Dangling, was another story I’d write once, which I think was my wildest (or weirdest) imagination. Do check it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Return – part 6

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
“Piyu, I want to confess…”, he continued in his warm voice. She felt the ice cream melting down her hand, but she let it. He was still looking away.Part 5

“I always troubled you. I was crazy, hot bloodied and angry” 

Angry ? she asked in her mind. “Yes angry” he continued as if he’d heard her. “For me, the world was not right then. They fought every day. (pause) Mom and dad. They fought… when I returned from school. They fought while dining. They fought all night. You were too small to notice”, the sadness in him was prominent.

“I was small. It wasn’t the way I wanted. The other kids were so happy. Their parents always visited the school meetings, functions. All what I got was blatant no. They never saw what I felt, what I was going through. Their fights was heartbreaking, painful for me. It wasn’t like that before. My mom was very calm, somewhat submissive. She endured my father’s casteless ire. But she, I mean your mom, wasn’t that way, she kept fighting.” he paused.

“I lost interest in everything, one after another. Nothing made me happy, but only sad. I lost friends, I lost studies, everything. But there was one thing that made me happy” Then he looked at her, with apologetic eyes. His face was filled with pain.

“Stop. Just forget everything” she wanted to say. But nothing came from her mouth. But probably he read it on her face. “I have to say this” he looked away, again at the distant lakes. “You. I troubled you. Harmed you, insulted you, in home, in public. The cry on your face somehow gave me a odd pleasure. I was successful in implanting the fear in you for lifetime…But piyu, I was young then”. She sighed.

“Till today they fight the same. You don’t know (a pause) I can hear the threats, the accusations every night. Just for you, just for you, they have made peace, but that’s for sometime. They would start again” She remembered the strange aura the home reflected, now she knew why. It wasn’t the truth, it was a fake home, a home built hastily to comfort her to deceive her from reality. Now she knew why she wasn’t welcomed to come back every vacation.

His voice brought her back. “Till you were here, I avenged, by troubling you. But when they sent you to Hostel fearing that I would spoil you, it was then I realised how much I missed you. There was already a void in my life which grew after you left me. I was very lonely. I am very lonely.”

He looked at her. She had a smile on her face. He returned a smile, the same, half-smile, right lips twisted up. But it looked like a happy smile, no more threatening. She laughed over nothing. By now all her fear was gone. His face was now happy. He knew he was forgiven.

He then shoved something at her. It was a doll. “You can give her a name, piyu” She giggled. She raised her index finger with a inquisitive look. He nodded. She tried to hold the torso trying to make sure she doesn't fall her ice cream and twisted the neck. It broke in two pieces. “Hmm…ya it’s fun. There is a reason why you did that to my dolls. Interesting!” They laughed together.

She raised again her finger again. He smiled as he nodded, with an surprising look. She shoved the ice cream to his face. “A sweet revenge…for all those wild things” she chuckled.

“Errr…that strawberry flavour sucks…” he complained wiping his face.

“Ya, you brought this to me. Don’t you know I like chocolate ? ” she chuckled.

“What is the evening plan”. “Why didn’t you call me ?” “I want to know everything, every detail” She had so many questions. He laughed at her sudden burst. “I thought you can only cry”, he chuckled. “Shut up!”

They talked and talked as peace was restored and they forgot that there was once any bitterness between them…She had truly returned, to her dada, to her big brother.

***

Friday, December 18, 2009

Return - part 5

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
she let him take her… she knew how coward she was…Part 4

He was driving towards the hill. From the cliff one could see the whole town with green forest and patches of lakes that dotted their beautiful town. It was her favourite spot, the cliff, she had yearned to visit it but not now. But suddenly, the idea of CLIFF sent terror down her throat.

“Piyu” came a voice from the driving seat and she was startled. It was a soft voice, a brotherly one, one she always wanted to hear. He had never called her that way. He never called her Piyu. His voice suddenly seemed sweet and she wanted him to speak more. But at once the thought repulsed. Perhaps it was just her imagination, she always wanted a big brother. This can’t be real, is it ?

She realised they had reached the cliff. He pulled her out from the passenger seat. They reached the cliff end. “I don’t want to die”, she muttered the broken words trembling, but too low for him to hear. “What ?” he said. “Sit down here. I’ll get some ice-creams for us. Which flavour you’ll have, Chocolate ?” he asked. His tone sounded…different than usual. Did they sound like…happy ?

Bingo! she would have answered him but instead she reversed just to contradict him “Strawberry” she muttered. He said something in low which she caught, she was being cautious, I don’t even know what you like! She regretted at once. What’s happening ? she was confused…is this real ?

He was back with the ice creams. He had chocolate for himself and she cursed herself for her unwanted stupidity. There was a silence for few seconds. They watched the town with wonder, how beautiful it looked. She felt the urge to see the lakes at once. She was trying to distract herself from him.

“Piyu, I am sorry” he said. She looked at him. His ice cream was almost finished. He is fast like always, she thought. His was looking away from her. His voice sounded sad but warm and she suddenly felt like he appeared to her as her dada. But the word dada wasn’t even remotely associated to him, He hates you and you too hate him, you remember ? her mind snapped again. Err…she cried under breath unknowing if it was to him or her mind…

“Piyu, I want to confess…”, he continued in his warm voice. She felt the ice cream melting down her hand, but she let it. He was still looking away.

***

To be continued…

P.S. Tomorrow I’ll post the last part.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Return – part 4

He smiled and she shuddered. It was his The peculiar cruel smile, lips curled from his right reaching his ears…He hasn’t changed, her heart started beating faster. Part 3
The house looked freshly arranged, perhaps for her visit. She felt presence of a strange aura in the house, not exactly good but somewhat uncomfortable. Was it their parents or her brother, she couldn't figure. Perhaps it was just the time, the gap, that she was away. Things change over time and then we feel strange about them when they turn out different from our picture in mind, she tried to reason.

When she came out of her bedroom, she was drawn to the kitchen. “Gaajar halwaa!!” she exclaimed and almost hopped to kitchen. “Thanks mommy…” she smiled ear to ear. After a long and exotic lunch she was ready to threw herself on bed. After such a long time did she got to taste home food, prepared by her mother. Her brother was missing at lunch and she was thankful to God for that. Yesterday night, she had heard the arguments even tough they were meant to be suppressed. Something that bothered was the thing he'd carried as he 'd storm out of the house, bottle of alcohol.

“Priyanka, c’mon lets go for a drive”, she herd a voice from behind. She involuntarily turned with shock and regretted at once, that saying no would have been easy without facing. But there she stood, frozen facing  him. Nikhil pulled her by her hand and she didn’t protest. How would she ? What will he do ? Will he take her to his friends and insult her or make her drink alcohol or take her to cliff and threaten her to push her if she doesn’t leave them ?

There were more possibilities but she dared not to think of them. “You know Priyanka, I HATE YOU”, the words played in the background…but she let him take her… she knew how coward she was.


P.S. Just 2 more to go....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Return – part 3

 
“Piyu, your dada will pick you up” Her mother had said. The words kept growling in her mind with different monstrous effects. “Dada? Step-brother? Nikhil?” she babbled in her sleep. She was having a nightmare. Part 2

The train stopped and she got down with her luggage. She was happy and nervous at the same time “Nikhil” the name knocked in her mind. She couldn't recall when did she had called him dada, a big brother. Her eyes searched frantically on the station, still hoping that he doesn't turn up. But she saw him standing, relaxed, leaning at the wall, at the exit. She had never seen him in person in few years, just some family pics that her mother had shown. He was staring at her. As soon as their eyes met, he started towards her. She dropped her gaze, her heart pounding. “Nikhil” the fear again knocked her.

He was wearing a rugged jeans and T-shirt. There was a light smile on his face. He hugged her but she stood straight and rigid.

“How are you, Priyanka ?” she noticed that his voice was now solid. She remembered his childhood wicked laugh, the brittle voice then, yet a damaging one. “Huh ?” he snapped. “Huh…ya…fine”, she managed to whisper. He smiled again, just lightly. He picked her bag and started walking towards the exit. She followed him.

His chubby face was now grown into a lean manly face, she noticed. The stubble made him fairly attractive. But there was a sadness on his face. The dark circles under his eyes talked about something. She wasn’t sure if it was sadness or something else, the darkness, the cruelty. He knew she was studying him in quick glances from the corner of her eyes. He smiled and she shuddered. It was his The peculiar cruel smile, lips curled from his right reaching his ears…

He hasn’t changed, her heart started beating faster.

***
To be continued...

Return – part 2

Continued from here

In one month, she would complete her higher secondary. She was very happy. From past several years, she was at the boarding school and what the most made her happy was thinking of the vacation. She yearned to return to home, her home, meet parents and other friends. But it always turned the other way. Her parents always declined her this wish and insisted on them visiting her. She had to content herself with just that.

As the years grew her eagerness had increased. And this time made it clear that she would visit them no matter whether they want it or not. And they had agreed, and she was now counting the days down. 

But every time she thought of her return, one thing always ruined the beautiful time she had planned in her mind. Her brother. She had learnt that he was his step brother. Their parents were divorced before remarrying. He would be big now. What will I say to him ? Will he talk to me or harm me ? She hadn’t talked to him all these years and had decided that she would maintain it on her visit unless the situation inevitably demands. “You know Priyanka, (a pause) I hate you…” his words played on her mind and she shivered for a second. He had always been malevolent to her and had always reminded that he can only hate her. They say that time heals the wound, but she knew that it has deepened in her case. How will she face him ?

That day she she had her last exam paper which had gone well. She had to leave the same weekend. She had already bought the train tickets in advance. In the evening, she got call from her parents. They were happy that she would finally come back. Though they were the ones who had stopped her to visit them every vacation. She had always wanted to, this amused her but she discarded the thought. She would be at home and that’s what matters the most. She was happy. But the last words of her mom made her jump, shudder.

“Piyu, your dada will pick you up” Her mother had said. The words kept growling in her mind with different monstrous effects. “Dada? Step-brother? Nikhil?” she babbled in her sleep. She was having a nightmare.

***
To be continued...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Return – part 1

She was playing with her dolls. Their small dresses, comb, earrings were lying on the ground. “Are you hungry ? wait baby, I have food for you” she was talking to them in a motherly tone that her mommy used for her. Being just 4, the dolls were everything for her.

He came and sat beside her. She looked at him. “Will you play with me, dada* ?” she asked him with an increased enthusiasm. “See, I am feeding Dimple” she said. He snickered which took her aback.

“Dimple, huh ?”, he smiled, right end of his lips curved to his ears. He took the doll and twisted so badly that the neck and torso were ripped apart.

Her eyes widened and face twisted and she began sobbing, “Dada* You broke my doll. I will not talk to you.”

He threw a wild smile, as if her sobbing gave him a pleasure and also an encouragement. “You know how I did it ?” He picked her other doll, caressed her hair and twisted her to break her too. This made her break into bigger cry. Her hands tried to reach him to beat him but he shoved her away. She fell down. “You killed my Simple too.I will tell mummy. I will ask her to beat you”. 

He moved closer, narrowed eyes showing a cruel look, “You know Priyanka, I hate you…”He laughed loudly and watched her running in small steps to the kitchen.

***

To be continued…

* Dada – Big brother

Monday, December 14, 2009

Retirement wish

There are few pics which makes me think of retirement, one of them is this one. I would love to spend my last stint in some place like this or should it be the alps ?

How about you ?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dive down ?


Saw this ? Now imagine this -

You are taken to the top of the hill (you can see some crowd near the parasail), put into a really big ball, and the ball is pushed down, you come tumbling, head up head down…that’s Zorbing

or

You are taken to the top of the hill, you sit in the parasail, you know now that you have to dive down…that’s Paragliding

Well, I did nothing of this. I just enjoyed it from far, you know clicking pictures.

Just from the top to down paragliding was 600 bucks and 1500 bucks for a hour long drive, or sail. Actually I really wanted to do the paragliding stuff, to be precise, the hour long drive (huh). We all thought that we should keep the activities for the last day. But later, I slept over and missed all of it.

But even now when I think of it, I can’t imagine myself diving from that height (though there’s a driver to your back who actually directs the parasail). I am terrified of HEIGHT (the steep ones).

HEIGHTS !!!!

You too ?

Why is that


Sometimes you behave so weirdly that you regret and keep cursing yourself. It happens with me all the time.

Yesterday, I left office pretty late, it was almost 8 pm (a call with Front office consultant, you know she keeps talking, almost loudly, sometimes I hold the receiver inches away from my ears,still i could hear her. I can’t help, she repeats everything at least 2-3 times).

It’s a nuisance to get an auto to station then. But yesterday, an auto stopped, one person got down leaving a space for one. So I got in (there’s a sharing auto system here). When we reached the station, I offered the standard Rs.5 amount to the autowalla. He just denied saying it’s ok (I mean will he charge the earlier passenger for it ?) and then the passenger too joined his cult. I was firm that they should take the money, but they kept denying. I don’t know what happened but I got really pissed off. I kind of grunted and left abruptly. When I was a few steps farther, I realised that it wasn’t fair. I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I should to the least say “thanks”. That was enough to disturb me for some time, then I took out my book.

It’s true that however claim we make that we know ourselves, we are sometime taken to surprise by our own self.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stolen Moments : All I want – Part 3


Part 1

“My miss brave” he chuckled, that made her laugh too. They stood hugging for some time just smiling, she acknowledging his presence and he hers. She stroked his back and they kissed. They remained silent for some time, just cuddling. Continued from here – Part 2

Then he stood up as if he remembered something suddenly. “Hey, I forgot, I went to collect some dry sticks for fire.”

“Did you ? I didn’t even ask how I came here”

“Oh ya!” he chuckled “I tend to forget in your presence” “So do I” she was blushing, but the darkness hid it.


“When we returning from Manali, I noted this place. I found it awesome to be alone here at night with you. I made up my mind”. He looked at her. She was looking at him in admiration.

He continued, pleased. “Then in the night you slept. I carried you asleep”

“All this way?” she blurted and then catching herself.

He babbled something, chuckling and then said “No sweetheart, just till the car. And then I droved here. There’s our car” He pointed to something, but she could hardly see anything in the darkness.

He continued “Then I carried you here. I thought it would be great to have a fire. Romantic, isn’t it ? I thought I wouldn’t go much far just few feet away. And I know how you sleep, like a female Kumbhakaran” He laughed. She made a face and pinched his cheeks, giggling.

Then a bewildered expression came to his face. “And as I strode a little away, you were gone. Do you know  how I was afraid ?” She could see his excited and troubled eyes. “He loves me so much” she thought, pleased.

“I know how clumsy you are. I feared you might run like crazy or might fall in the river” he said. This she hadn’t expected. “Idiot” she thought. He saw her changed expression and caught himself. 
“I mean I can’t see you in trouble. I love you so much.” she looked pleased and happy by his assurance.

The river looked more peaceful than hostile now and the trees taller like a perfect background plot.

“And then I found you here, on the verge of tears” he cuddled his hands around her.

“You know what ?” he asked with a loving face. “What ?” she thought she would return his “I love you too.”

“I was watching you. You were so afraid, wobbling, my miss brave” he was laughing loudly holding his stomach. “Idiot” she chuckled and started hitting him that made him laugh harder.

“Helloooo. Laughing to yourself ?…….Shreyaaa ?????”, she grabbed herself. She was at her hotel room, at the window. It was moonlit and scenic. “It was a dream then…” she said under her breath, sad. She glanced at him. He was on the bed with the laptop, like he usually is.

“When will you get time from your work ?” There was no expression on his face. He worked undisturbed, he didn't hear her, he never heard anyone when he worked.

The moonlit meadow looked beautiful. The river growled. The trees looked inviting “All I want is…” she uttered with moist eyes, closed them. She could hear the hounds...

*** The End ***

Stolen Moments : All I want – Part 2


But she knew she wasn’t fine. Her heart was heavy, chocked, and any moment she would burst out. She was still gaping at the growling water.

“How I had the dream to stroke my hands and to swing legs in these mountain waters, but it was all fake, they are just meant to be that way, just to watch. Nobody could, they are too chilling”. She was surprised at her thoughts.

“Am I afraid or loving this chill ? And where is Rahul?”  “It’s just our first honeymoon and where this guy left me ?” “How beautiful it would have been if he were here”. She smiled and caught herself. Dreamy! Rahul always complained. Even in this hostile time, she was dreaming.

She could the hounds again. “Will they come here smelling human ?” Now she sensed trouble. A chill got down her spine and a current passed through her body.

“Rahul Rahul” she whispered as if he could hear. Her eyes were wet and her body froze as she heard some movement behind. She held her breath. This is it, she thought. “Rahul” she whispered.

“Boo” she jumped, yelled but all that came out was a sore dry voice. She turned, her eyes wide, with anger and relief. He laughed. She threw some blows to him that made him laugh harder. “My miss brave” he chuckled, that made her laugh too. They stood hugging for some time just smiling, she acknowledging his presence and he hers and they kissed. They remained silent for some time, just cuddling.

To be Continued...
***

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Stolen Moments : All I want – Part 1

It was cold. She realised she was alone in the dark, vulnerable, in the forest. She felt a chill down her throat. She wrapped her hands around herself. She looked at the winter coat she wore, trying to recall when she stepped in the dark but she had no memory of it. All she could recall was her going to bed.

There was no light lit anywhere around and the place seemed far from where they had stopped. She tried to work her mind but again last she could recall was her going to bed. Then she gave up.

She had to, since a panic impinged her. She could hear the hounds. She looked at the trees, tall poplar with thin branches no longer than a feet or two. “Hell! I can’t even climb those if the hounds come” “Hell! I haven't climbed a tree before”.

She wobbled around, unable to decide what to do. She started walking, eyes wide trying to grab any sound, picking up speed. The river flowed parallel. She felt the urge to cross. “What was across the river ?” “Don’t ever try to get into these rivers. They are melting ice. You step in it, and if you fall, within no time you would be frozen. And if there’s no one around, then God help!”, she had heard the instruction. She gawked at the river. It was a growling, showing it’s power. “Don’t dare!” it shouted.

She stepped back, thought she would cry now. “Am I now crying ? I am not. Any normal woman would. I am in this jungle, alone, away from my husband, I could hear the hounds, and I am fine ? I bet this is a dream. Else it couldn’t be true. It’s too true to be true. Does that make sense ?”

To be Continued…

***

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Whatta life



 

I took this pic when I travelled to Dabhol. Dabhol is the place where Enron plant is set up. Unfortunately we didnt had time to visit it.

One of my friend commented "Whatta life!". Truely, what a life, kids were fishing, boating, playing at the banks. The sea seemed vast. Houses were adjoinding the waters and the palms streching towards water looked very beautiful.

My camera was taking shots one after another. And when these kids saw they smiled so cheerfully. When we reached the wharf, their father had joined them.

After a long time, I sat in a ferry and I was happy. Sometimes small things make us so happy!!

Whatta Life was one thought, what's yours ?


Gimme a break…

Once a year, everyone is unhappy. When ? The appraisal time. Those who work would understand. This year was no different. The recession, budget, blah blah, they have enough reasons to say no. 

Promoted or not, everyone’s dissatisfied. Why ? the increment is nothing but peanuts, as usual.

The recession is fading and market is opening up. People are looking out.

But you know, it’s a cycle, just like what we have Project Life cycle, as usual.

Dissatisfied ? –> Resign –> Join another company –> again dissatisfied –>

This goes on, on and on…

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cute kids:What's on their mind ?



Thought of this idea. Would share some archive images from my photoblog with few facts and anecdotes to share.

These are Himachal kids. They were playing without caring the dust that banked on their faces (that made them more cute). I noted that the people care little over looks. No sunscreen at this high altitude (above 8000 ft.) Most of the people have faces sunburnt. When we went for trekking, we loaded layers of sunscreen, yet the sun managed to make our faces red. Some were unrecognisable. In the pic you could see how the kid's faces amost sunburnt.

Btw, a blog friend commented that the older kid seems to be thinking of attacking me with the hanger. What do you think. What's on their mind ?

In the Gray

Once the world was Black and White
They burned the black and saved the white

But the pressure was always there
Won't dare to be the dark
Won't dare to be in fray
For you'd be termed as black
And it would turn to be your doomsday

How convenient is today
For there's no black and white
There's only gray
There's only gray

Can dare to be in fray
And lie all the way
For nobody bothers
As they too are in one or the other fray
How easy is the gray
How easy is the gray

You kill and still stomach it
You do all wrong, don't dwell on it
Throw the money and everything's hidden
In this world of gray, it can be done, undone

Coz here no one is perfect
Only things that works is the dime, my friend
If you have it then nothing like it
You are tagged, so are others
It's the world like it

There is no black
There is no white
No one is killed
And no one is saved
Coz Its the world of gray
Its the world of gray
                                             
 by Megha

Friday, November 27, 2009

The sad news : the aftertalks

After two days, the sadness of the news of the girl has now subsided and the aftertalks have started. People are hearing new angles of it. Yesterday we got to know that the girl was five months pregnant and then the conversation started.

"She will come back" said my neighboring aunty.  And almost everyone in the house nodded.

"She will" they said.

"Not necessary" I objected. A conversation is not good without opposition, as it is I am always alleged for opposing, whatever be it.

"What are you saying. The girl had not even completed half of her life. Wouldn't her atma(soul) be restless ? Off course she will come back"

"She should come back and teach these people a lesson" my aunt said, I couldn't make out if her words meant a revenge or the thrill.

"She will not. It's not always that every a victim comes back" I refuted.

"OK. SHE WILL NOT COME" my mom said irritated.

"I was just telling my views" I surrendered.

Then the other stories poured in. Everyone had at least one. I remember when I was in engineering, one lady had burnt herself in the toilet. There were talks that the husband and in laws did it. For the whole year the family slept with the lights on. This I can account for. I saw the home always lit, even in the midnight. (Now you would ask, what I did in the midnight ? I was studying. Did I peek in their house ? No, they lived in the next building, I could see their windows )

"Remember Shaila" the same curious aunty asked my mom. She was talking about a lady who died two decades ago.

"She burnt herself. And everyone thought she'll come back.But she never did" I could feel the disappointment in her tone. I imagined the neighbours waiting earnestly for days that something would happen in their neighbor but it didn't. (There are such neighbours too, is it funny ?)

Human nature is really weird. How at one time when people were so sorry for the poor girl, now they were engrossed in stories told and untold. Nobody wants to miss even a bit of it (I confess here, that includes me too).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26/11 A tribute to the brave-hearts

 

(courtesy IBN Live)

Day : 26/11/2008

Time : Evening

We all were at home, doing something or the other. Our neighbour comes and almost shouts at my sister "Do you know terrorist have attacked your hotel ?" We gave a puzzled look at her. "What ?" my sister managed to say. She works in Finance department of The Oberoi. "Switch on the tv. They are firing haywire, killing and holding hostages..."

The phone calls started pouring in to ask if my sister is fine. Thank God she was. Then we remembered a girl, once our neighbor, who worked for the call centre of The Oberoi. We called her at her residence. She was fine. We sighed. There were news about blasts and firing. We slept hearing all those and praying for the mayhem to end. But it continued the next day too. I reached my office. I was surprised to see mails from our Client's (Netherland) colleagues asking if everyone was safe. They were hooked to the news, also praying for the end of it. When I traveled back to home, I was surprised to see the usual populace in the trains. The incident hadn't made any changes to our life. Here I was traveling while the brutal terrorist were still firing in the Taj and Oberois, and so were the other public. Whatever happens, Mumbaikars can take anything. I can't decide if it's good or bad. The spirit is almost unshaken.

When I reached home, I found out that my sister had got a call from her employers that there would be leave till further notice. She also got to know the account of her friend's experience who work in shifts for the call center at the hotel. They were oblivious to the attack outside. Some staff came running to them and took them outside safely from the backdoor.

After a few days when my sister resumed work, she had lots of stories to tell, some of death while some of bravery. There were many stories to tell but one post wouldn't be enough. She told us how they entered, how people were rescued, how some unfortunate ones got trapped, how the whole building was ruined by bullets and the indelible blood stains everywhere, even the strongest of cleansing acid failed to remove it's presence. She told us that actually the terrorist were aiming at the new Oberoi tower and not the old Oberoi, but they got mislead between the passages from the hotel lobby. The stories of the restaurants almost shook us.
The hotel staff were instructed not to spill a word to the media and the hotel resumed it's work with a holy puja.

After all this suffering of the victims, their family and also those watching, I heard the most ridiculous statement ever. "Big cities faces these kind of small problems", said our Mr. home minister mocking the bravery of our soldiers.

After a few days when we visited my maushi's place (maternal aunt) my cousins who are kids in 4th and 1st standard were full of questions. They bombarded them to my sister one by one. I remember few years back when there were serial blasts in Mumbai trains, my young cousin was terrified with just the news. The younger didn't understood the impact but the older one was terribly shaken. She refused to go anywhere nearby a railway station. This is the effect of the attacks that we cope with but the young minds couldn't.

Even though the ministers were ridiculous over the whole thing, I salute the soldiers and the hotel staff who made the brave attempts to rescue the guests from the hotel restaurants and rooms without a second thought.

I salute the brave-hearts and pray a good life for them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The sad news

Yesterday my neighbour came to our house with a news that made me burn under my skin. A relative of hers who live in the society next to ours ended her life drinking phenyl.

It was 14th Feb this year, Valentine’s day that they registered their love into marriage. She hadn’t even completed one year. It’s was such an acidic news that we all were rocked. The girl was just 25-27 years old and earning. It’s said that she had problems with her mother-in-law. And this was the second time she attempted suicide. The phenyl turned her whole body black.

What moved me the most is that in spite being educated, she considered the option of ending life than thinking of any other possibility. There might be some big problems she might be facing that we can’t imagine, but still, I would never understand the decision of the victims of killing themselves.

She could have returned to her parent’s place. But I have even heard about parents who are not willing accept divorced daughters back to family, mostly in case of love marriages.

Even the husband is partly to be convicted, ethically. It’s the responsibility of the husband too to protect his wife.

And the victim herself is also to be held guilty. There are always more than one options other than ending life. But accepting the travail of the depressed and harassed victim, it’s also the moral responsibility of the parents or friends to show her the positive light to life.

Once I overheard my mother, who was telling my neighbouring aunty about some lady whom she met in the market. She had a black eye. When asked she told it was just an accident. My mom was saying that it wasn't the first time and everyone knows about how bad her husband and in-laws beat her, and even her parents knows it.

I have come to a conclusion that our society is just producing degree certificate holders, the numbers increasing rapidly. And the truth is that only few of these are really getting cultured.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Breaking the chains

Wassup ?

Howz life ?

I am beginning to hate these question.How silly these question seems to me looking at my current daily agenda. It’s nothing but just home-office-home chores. While at home, either I am watching TV or reading novel, and office is about completion of assignments just because they have to be delivered by the planned date. I hardly see any excitement in all this.

Tired of the boring days that I happen to just pass, I complained to my mom a number of times, “I am bored. I want to do something”. And my mom had been embarrassing me with her perfunctory response, “Then do something”.

Thanks to the book and my photo blog that I could spend at some time on them, at least they give me a momentary break.

When things grow mundane, even ideas seems to be lost and you are short of blog posts. But how creative I am to make this itself a post. {haha :) Even this is creativity, i believe}

I think I am stuck in the mechanical clock, I need to jump out of it and do something. You see ? it’s a deadlock, how I came back to the same question, do something, now what is this something ?

Probably I should rekindle my long-left hobbies. The thought of painting is taking shape in my mind. I think I should do it..

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The White misty beauty


I wanted to share this beautiful image of the Himalaya

It was the day we had to trek to Dhundi, Himachal Pradesh, India and camp there for two nights. But when we got up, we were surprised by the sudden turn of events. It was raining heavily and the Himalayas looked misty with snowfall. I was very happy not too long as we were informed that we could camp only if it stops raining. I took a couple of pics. It looked beautiful. Luckily it stopped raining by the end of the day and we could camp for one night.



Friday, November 20, 2009

When you feel all alone

However we try to dissociate the role of luck in our life, one cannot deny it's prominence in finding Love and Friend. Not everyone gets a friend who always understands you, who's always there for you, in sad and happy moments. Isn't it ?

Crash and Burn - by Savage Garden
When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please to tame your wild wild heart
I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold
When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can't take anymore

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

When you feel all alone
And a loyal friend is hard to find
You're caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head
When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can't face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

'Cause there has always been heartache and pain
And when it's over you'll breathe again
You'll breath again

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild wild heart

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

Whenever I listen to the song, I realize an empty space in my life. Everyone wants a friend whom you can call anytime, share your happy moments and nightmares, who takes interest in your interests, who's just a thought away. The stronghold of friendship is tested with distance. I realized how distance affected in my friendship, close friends loose touch. We meet new people wherever go, our lives change, and people move on.
But in all this, how beautiful will it be to have a friend who's the common factor in all our life's path. Over the time, whenever you would think back, you see one person always with you. Those who have such a friend, are very lucky, hold on the precious gift!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stolen Moments : Waves

It was early December. The night was dark and cool. The beach was deserted and desolated. The shore was lit dimly and discreetly by the houses along the curve. The sea was hidden in the darkness, only the sound of splashing waves could be heard. The cool breeze flew in her room with the salty fragrance inviting her towards itself.

She found it too appealing not to venture out. She decided she would just trail near the old house. It was safe but still she feared the stark darkness and desolation. She stepped out. The cool breeze was hitting her bringing her goosebumps. As she moved away from the shore the sound of the waves grew more prominent, more inviting. She could feel the sand getting wet and soft. She stood in the cold water, waiting for the sand to swamp her feet in it like she used to do in her childhood. The white surf calmly came and washed her feet. It was a beautiful feeling and suddenly she missed the feet, also merging in the sand beside her. For some moments she kept looking at the sand to her left wishing the gap to fill.

She got a peck on her cheeks. She turned. He garlanded his hands around her neck. Her eyes widened. "Adi", she was about the yell but he gagged her with his hand. "Shh...we are closer to home.  Let's go there" he pointed towards the old fort. They walked, she ahead of him, his hands still around her neck.

"So now you got time from your friends ? You must be missing them na ?" she said sarcastically.
"I have invited them here. I need to look what they need and all"
"But.." before she could say, he said down and pulled her down.
"Are you going to spoil such a beautiful atmosphere by quarreling"
"No" she said softly pulling the word long.

They sat holding hands, cuddling, watching the moon and stars. The trawlers were few and far than usual as if they too want the two to be alone. The light house on the old fort threw light over the waves making it sparkle as and when it blinked.

The air was getting colder. He pulled her closer and said softly, "I want you to say it again".  "What?" she said with a naughty smile. He didn't say, just smiled. She looked around as if suddenly realizing that they are in open. There was no one around and the long hunched trees seemed to have hunched more to hear her. He could see that she was blushing, her cheeks were red and eyes watery. He couldn't stop smiling and admiring her.

Her words were lost in the wind as the only trawler who lit up suddenly by the lighthouse was waving them for it's new journey and wishing for the best life journey of the new wedded couple.

P.S : This is my first venture in Romantic genre, I hope it's good. I just couldn't think of the a name for this post. Could you ?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Books : Unsatisfied

The White Tiger’ by Arvind Adiga & ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ by Jhumpa Lahiri was what I was reading in past few weeks.

When I started with The White Tiger, I had much expectations from the Man Booker prize winner than what it actually delivered. It started off well. The life of a poor in the village, burdened and hopelessness was stirring, but as the story moved it lost the steam. At one point I inadvertently closed it dashing the hardcover between both hands and uttered 'Disgusting'. Maybe that's what the author was up to, to make the disgusting facts reach the readers.

It was good in bits and pieces. At times it made me curious and at times chuckle but otherwise it was monotonous.

The next I took in hand was the ‘Unaccustomed Earth’. As I reached half way, I was waiting for it to end. The book has short stories where the protagonist is an NRI(mostly Bengali) and the story revolve about his/her life in the foreign land. Probably the reason I didn't like it is because I found it little incongruous or little different  to read Indian living the American way. Actually that's the soul of the book, but I was unable to connect. Or probably I should have picked some thriller before starting with Unaccustomed Earth after the monotonous The White Tiger.

Has anybody read these ? What's your view ?

Whatever. Now I want something light. So started with ‘Catch-22’.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Harnai trip

Few weeks back, we got an invitation from Mama(Maternal uncle). He had built a resort Ocean Palace in his village, Harnai and wanted us to join the inauguration ceremony.  It's a 2-floored hotel, registered in MTDC tourism, just on the sea shore, with beautiful view of the sea, the fort, the trawlers that are seen lined up at the horizon.

The trawlers have a story that I picked up from mama. It's a fixed schedule for them. They leave the shore early morning for the deep sea. By evening they are back with tons of fish. On the shore the fish would be out for an auction. Once the business is over, money is in hand, they would see if there's any fixes needed for their artifact, diesel, shovel, stove or anything that may require when they are off-shore, buy them and off they are the next morning. This is their life. It goes on this way for years. The big sale is bought by the export guys. We were strolling on the shore. When we reached this market, the rate going on was around Rs. 29,000. It's a big market and it's interesting to see small-to-big fishes out for sale by individual kolis(fishermen caste) to the big business guys.  (Courtesy : Amruta )

At the beach, there are two forts. While one is away from the shore, the other is connected and has a Lighthouse. The later one is spot for tourist & local's to hang out. It was too dark for my camera to take a pic of this fort.

There are interesting places around the village. Few that we visited are -
1. Kadecha ganapati, Anjarle


After a drive of about 45 minutes from Harnay on snakey roads of the Ghats and then a river(earlier one only had to cross by ferry), one reaches a secluded village called Kade gaav. The temple, the deserted road, the dense trees around, the twisted roads along the edges of the ghats, are quite enthralling.

2. Chandika devi, Dabhol


We drove another Ghat to reach a famous temple of Chandika. During Navratri, people wait for days in queue to reach the shrine, but being off-season, we got entry in just few seconds. It is a small cave without electrical lights, lit up by Samayis (bronze diyas). As you reach her, you are astounded by the idol of Chandika, with big face and eyes. Around the temple are some houses, most of the area is covered by forest. Looking at the dried up way, I think that this place will be very interesting during the monsoons.

3. Dabhol harbour, Dabhol


We drove from Chandika Devi temple to Dabhol ferry wharf. Destination was Veldur village across the bight. It was after so many years that I sat in a ferry. I was happy and my camera picking every good sight.

Some interesting places we'd missed -
1. Enron, Veldur village


We just saw the Enron plant from the ferry. We walked all the way from the wharf to our old neighbor. It was the traditional house with dense gardening around it. My granny who was with us went around to see the trees educating me with the names and their uses. It was a medical garden, I would say.

The uncle asked us to stay for the day so that he could take us the next day to Enron. But since we had to leave for Mumbai the next day, we had to miss. He told us about the place, the jungle on his way, and also about the wild animals including tigers that roam about in the jungle.

2. Murud Harnai, Harnai
Murud Harnai has a beautiful, serene beach, Coconut and Supari groves. It had the highest priority on my wish-list. But dad fell ill due the heat, and we had to stay back at the hotel. Mama had brought a big fish Surmai for lunch that day. I must say, It was very tasty and compelled us to pack it for Mumbai too.

Just two days, and I had a blast. A very good place for a weekend getaway.

NOTE : If you are traveling by car, I would say you need a driver who can drive on the twisted roads of the Ghats.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wounded

From past few weeks we were been bombarded with the Maoist news. The old enemy turned fierce now. Termed terrorist, they are now serious danger by the Home minister realized. Pakistan, the insurgents, the terrorist were the ones that pose threat till then, now another name with them, the Maoist, targeting everyone.

The Maoist, they are our own country people, turned our enemy. They have to be dealt. But shouldn't the cause that creates Maoist be dealt also ?

*

And now in the news had been the Marathi verses Bihari. While I write this article I won't deal with the language propaganda, but will just talk about my motherland, Mumbai.

Over years, Mumbai have grown with economically and culturally with people of different states coming together. But in past years, things have changed. The darker side of the city grew more darker. The placid streets started filling with filth. And over the years, the city grew filthier and filthier. Thanks to slums and migration and politicians and their sick vote bank politics.

Have you seen the old Doordarshan advertisement ?
There's a glass jar on the table. One puts a tomato in it, then another, then another. Then he tightens the lid. What happens ? The tomatoes are crushed inside spilling the red juice.

It's the same with the city, my Mumbai. Mumbai has crossed this stage...I would back anyone who stands with the city against the population explosion. But that looks incorrect for many people. I don't back MNS or Shiv sena. For them it's mere politics. But I back the cause.

You would say, India is free country and anyone can travel anywhere.That's true. I repeat, I back the cause, but cannot tolerate illegal occupancy. Now lets take this case. You are happily living in Mumbai. One day you step out of home, and find that there's a shanty on the pavement of your society. Would you try to call BMC and raze it ? Yes, then I back it. Or No, it'll be inhumane ? Then beware, the next day you'll find another shanty beside it. Then another. You'll see them grow in blink of your eye. It will be their permanent place, you cannot do anything but watch the place getting filthier,  the slum people eating, sleeping, washing just there, their children without clothes, running here and there. And beware, while you drive, make sure your car finds our the way even as the kids don't budge, else be prepared to give away the ransom they would demand after....How does it sound ?

Awful, right ? Then how come that when somebody stands against this, he is called inhumane ?

*

In all this, the main problem stays behind. Why in the first place people have to leave their homeland ? The answer is the same as Maoist. Rich verses Poor.  Ucha verses Neech. Poor get poorer in the Northern India, under the burden of rich. Who can they look up to for help ? The corrupted officials ? The corrupted politicians who support migration but cannot do a bit for helping the locals to get a job in their own home state ?

The problem stays and the wound remains unattended...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Kidults

This post is dedicated to the brighter younger generation of today. Last weekend I went to my mama's (maternal uncle) place to give the Diwali sweets.

The first thing I did after entering the house is to place my cell phone to some secret place, out of my cousin's reach. My cousins are young kids in 7th and 4nd standard. No sooner they rushed in somehow they got hands on my papa's cell phone. Then began their exploration.

We had finished our meal and everyone was having the afternoon nap. My cousins were beside me, fighting for the cell phone, thinking it was mine.

She is not giving me the phone. She had it for long time. You tell her to give me the phone now, the elder complained.

I'll give you the phone for some time, but you will not give it back, I know, the younger retaliated.

So I intervened and took the phone from little Ria, who was playing songs and clicking random photos of whatever she got sight on.

I handed it to Swapnil and warned to take care of it. In no time, I found that he had explored almost all features of the phone. He had transferred the songs that he liked via Bluetooth to mama’s phone, added other details like address etc to mama & mami's contact, played games and scored highest, and then in few minutes he was talking about the different Mobile services that have now entered the market.

Dad is going to purchase new Docomo card. But the service is not good, he was said to me.

Many people have loop, he continued. I was amazed by this kid. Later my mami told me that my other uncle usually come to Swapnil when something goes wrong in his mobile.

Gosh! These are no more kids! They are kidults! Guess what would be the future generation ?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Diwali colors

The Forsaken took all of my Diwali and days after the festival. I am still under the mental transition from Story mode to casual blogging mode. The Forsaken was a long story and somehow my mind(blogging) got adjusted to it. Now I have to extricate mind from it.

So to start with, I am posting some of the Rangolis that we(my sisters & I) made in Diwali. Though this comes after a long time after Diwali, please bear with me, as I said I am unwinding from story mode and this is the simplest thing I can do.

So here's the creativity from my sisters (and myself, I guess self-praise is ok sometimes).

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had participated in a Rangoli competition in our office. Here's it. I didn't win, the prize went to the one with Global warming theme. I should have known :(

And this one's on "Tulshi cha lagna"(Marathi)/ "Tulsi Vivah". I don't know how many Indians do have this ritual. But in Maharashtra, it is celebrated with the ceremony of wedding Tulsi to Krishna. We do the pooja and the magalashtaka like what we do in real wedding. It's ambivalent day for the Pundits coz people are on hunt to find one who would do the puja, the pundits are on their toes this day.

Tulshi cha lagna is awaited day by all, coz it comes after few days of Diwali. After a span of days, people come down to streets again, lighting the crackers they had kept apart for the last day.

It is also marked with sadness as it's the last day of Diwali, last day of Indian festivals that would then start only the next year, last day of making Rangolis, last day of the crackers, last day of the lantern, last day of hand-painted diyas. Oh! The festival is such a beautiful festival. Like we used to do say in childhood days, I love Diwali very much!

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Forsaken - Part 10


The day passed with discussion about possibilities, concerns and solutions.

Next day arrived. It was evening. The grandmother had already placed the diary in its usual place. This time the water with medicine was absent, it was not required in the presence of the doctor Vikram and doctor Natasha. Nikhil was in his room. After their past attempt, he was very disturbed, plaintive, the very reason why the grandmother was turning cold shoulder on the doctor. This would be his last chance and he was already feeling the pressure. They were chatting in the living room when they heard the sound.

***

He was walking in the compound towards the school. With every step, the loathly memories were clawing in. The compound was dark, deserted. He was walking on the empty portico. Somebody called his name. It came from a distant classroom. He entered inside. It was partly lit, somewhat dark. In the corner was someone standing. He knew the face but today it was a different visage. He felt uncomfortable.

'Sir ?' said the child as he went near him. Then the door was shut. He turned to see another teacher. They were moving towards him....

He could see a face in the window. But he was gagged, his tears screamed for help but only in vain. Abused and anguished, he was shrieking. 'Dare you tell anyone. You will be thrown out of this place. And then where will you go ? Up in the sky to your parents ?' they barked with a cruel laugh. Their eyes expelled fire. He was thrown at the corner. It was grotesque sight. He was torn. Every one was bad. Cruel. The whole world.

***

The three rushed in the room. The sight was not new to the old women but still painful, ad so was for the doctors to see the calm boy sleeping in the bed just a few minutes ago, turning into this tragic . Vikram had always been emotionally detached to his patients but it was difficult for Natasha. He clutched her shoulder, she looked at him. He nodded, she tried to regain her poise. She nodded. Nikhil had coiled himself and it was her turn to deliver.

'Nikhil', she shouted. 'I will help you. You are not alone. I will trash them'. And she banged the log she had in her hand. Tearing the air she was pulling the log from high head to down. She was thrashing the cruel monsters, it came with vengeance, naturally.

***

The voice took his attention, the face hiding earlier was out. The girl crept out. But she was now a woman. She had something in her hand. 'I will trash them', she was saying. Her eyes were ogling fire. As the two devils were turning to look what's happening, she brought down the log on their heads. They fell down holding their heads, crying for help. There were series of blow. She was cursing them, trashing. They were groaning. Nikhil was right there, watching in disbelief.

He watched them passing out or perhaps passing away. She was tired, the log fell from her hand, as she stood gasping for breadth.

The memories were dead. The teachers were dead. They will not return. They were killed. The revenge was taken. ...There was someone who cared. He was not alone.
He stood there for sometime looking at her and then ran towards her and embraced her, almost squeezing her.

***

He came running and clutched her. He didn't say a word. He didn't had to. The message was conveyed. The monsters were killed. The dark night had passed, it was a new dawn, and a new Nikhil was born. She gently stroked her hand on his back. 'Those days are gone. Forget every bad memory. I am your friend. I am there for you'. He clutched her even tighter.

Doctor Vikram and grandmother stood there watching them. Fear was replaced by smiles. Vikram could see the happiness on Grandmother's face. She blessed all three in her mind.

***

'Just one thing', she said as they stepped out of the house. Something was troubling her. 'I fear, if ever there was any girl present at that time, I fear what she might be going through today'

He knew it could be true. But then they weren't sure. He had some comforting answer, 'She might not even exist. I'll start the therapy and Nikhil will be fine. Anyway. All's well that ends well. Thanks Natasha'. They were by Vikram's car. He would drop Natasha to her home, as he had been doing from past few days. 'Congratulations', she said to him. There was warmth and gratification in her voice. They were lost as their eyes met. Nikhil had brought closer. She hugged him. Tomorrow will be bright day, for all.

The End
 

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Forsaken - Part 9


Her face was red so were her eyes, swollen telling about the sleepless night. She handed the diary to the doctor. Yesterday after few hours she went back to Nikhil. He was lying on bed, his innocent face screamed for rescue. She stayed there for the rest of the night, gently caressing his face.

'How is Nikhil ?' the doctor asked, rebounding her back from the memories. She chose to be silent. The doctor got the answer. She was angry with herself and everyone for what her grandchild was suffering from.  He opened the diary and read. Nikhil had completed their sentence.

I ENTER THE GATE ...SCHOOL

Yes, I was close. He had seen Nikhil's expression change when he had uttered the word school. And then the bang, he said in mind. He knew the coming challenge he has to face alone as he thought wouldn't be good to involve the old lady into the darker side of Nikhil's life.

THEY CALLED ME

TEACHERS

THEY ABUSE ME

CREUL WORLD

These were plain words, but the doctor could understand the painful feelings Nikhil was going as a child, alone, abused.  He needed to free Nikhil from the arrest of these dreadful memories. He needed to change what happened. He needed to rescue Nikhil from the past.

He wrote on the last page, WE ENTERED IN. His idea was to make Nikhil feel that he was not alone.

But who would do it ? A new entry could be risky, we don't know how Nikhil would consider him. Then something ticked. He punched a number on his cellphone.

In just twenty minutes, Natasha was in the clinic. Her professional yet humble face was at once consented by the old woman. She was introduced as a psychiatrist and a close friend. After introduction, the old woman left as they might take few hours to discuss, but the truth was that they wanted to keep her away from the dark matter.

Nikhil's story had overwhelmed her and she was furious on how the dark crimes enter one's life at such a small age. A kid who doesn't even know the word has to go through such a trauma. With all the previous sad memories and then the abuse, Nikhil could have come out of it, but only with some elderly love and support. She was cursing the teachers while the doctor stayed silent till she calmed down.

He explained to her that a new entry could be risky she he decided to use the woman's charachter Nikhil had been writing in his diary. He never wrote negative about her, perhaps he admired her.  Maybe we can never understand who she is, but for now she can help us. Natasha nodded. She was ready to help. She had just to deliver the dialogues when the time comes...

P.S. Following Part will be the concluding one.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Forsaken - Part 8

Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5 * Part 6 * Part 7

She was looking at the door every five minutes from the kitchen. She had already placed the diary in it's usual place, on Nikhil's bed. Hours had passed, but there was no sound from behind the doors.

Did he get the diary ? Is he sleeping ? She thought as she glanced the glass of water on the kitchen platform. The pill was lying down half dissolved.  Her heart was beating faster, with increasing restlessness, she was just moving clumsily, passing Nikhil's room many times.  She had done one more important thing, to break the Nikhil's room latch from inside.

Then as she was passing by by his room yet again, she heard him and rushed inside. The room was dark. He was wet with perspiration. He was quivering. Pulling his legs towards himself, he was crying like a child.

***

It was cold. He entered the gate. He didn't wanted to, but still he entered. The compound speeded the memories back.

The small kid walking in the compound towards the school. He had lost his parents, all what he wanted was a caring hand that he can hold in this huge huge unknown world.

The cruel sight of the accident flashed before his eyes. Why did they left me ? Why did god take them away ?. The sight of the blood covered faces, clothes torn, the blood flowing incessantly from the wounds. Frightened by the sight, the kid was screaming with all his might, shaking them, perhaps they'll open their eyes. Hours had passed, there was no one around, he was sitting in the corner seat, tears flowing, choked by the loss. He couldn't recollect when they took him out of the car.

He stopped as the memories tried to rekindle. Here he was, in hostel, abandoned, unwanted. Even his grandmother doesn't want him. No one loved him other than parents and now they were gone. The same creepy feelings were crawling on his mind. The more he tried to shove it away, the more the place nudge them back to him.

With every step, the loathly memories were clawing in.

Being vacation time, the compound was dark, deserted. He had always prefered to be alone. He loathed the other happy kids. He was walking on the empty portico. Somebody called his name. It came from a distant classroom. He entered inside. It was partly lit, somewhat dark. In the corner was someone standing. He knew the face but today it was a different visage. He felt uncomfortable.

'Sir ?'  said the child as he went near him. Then the door was shut. He turned to see another teacher. They were moving towards him....

He could see a face in the window. But he was gagged, his tears screamed for help but only in vain. Abused and anguished, he was shrieking. 'Dare you tell anyone. You will be thrown out of this place. And then where will you go ? Up in the sky to your  parents ?'  they barked with a cruel laugh. Their eyes expelled fire. He was thrown at the corner. Trembling he sat there. In late evening, he had himself walked to his hostel bed, frightened of even human now. Every one was bad. Cruel. The whole world.  It didn't happen just once. The boy was torn, anguished, wanted revenge from the whole world..Everyone was bad.

***

The grandmother was also crying to see the sight. Nikhil was badly hurt, he needed her. But how aweful it was that she cannot help him. She ran out of the room and bought the water and tried to give him. But he was pusing with all his might as if some he was been confronted with some enemy. She was hurt. He yelled to keep distance, to go away. She kept the glass at the table and ran out crying.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Forsaken - Part 7



'Nikhil can be treated with medication. His hyperactive mind can be calmed by medicines. But I think the diary is not an account of just his imagination. There is more to it. So I have decided to take a chance before starting the course. We'll help Nikhil to take a step further'


She kept looking at him, he indentified the puzzled look at her face.

He opened the diary to the last page. 'If Nikhil reads the diary, then he would take a step in' He paused waiting for question, but she was silent, somewhat frightened.

'He will enter the compound. And maybe then we'll know what is the building about...' Though I think I have a clue, he said in mind.

As he said, he scribbled in the diary, 'I ENTER THE GATE', he knew he was taking a risk on Nikhil's part.

He handed the book to the old woman, and a packet that he had packed beforehand. 'These are medicines. In case Nikhil reacts, you give him one tablet. It will calm him down', she took it. He saw her hands trembling. He assured her, Nikhil would be fine.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Forsaken - Part 6

Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * Part 5

He knocked on the door. The door opened immediately, as if she was right at the door waiting for him. He greeted her with a warm Namaste. His arrival was itself a big support for her. He sat at the wooden chair near the window. The window opened into the plush green fields and the cold mountains added the chill. The house was years old, probably passed over generations. The sparse wooden furniture gave it a cosy, inviting feeling. She signalled him to a door at a corner. He nodded. 'I'll get you a tea', she said as she disappeared from hall, but peeking from the corner of the kitchen door.

A knock. No response. Another knock. The door opened. At the door was a handsome guy standing with attentive brown eyes peering him. He didn't look more than nineteen. He looked uncomfortable in front of the new person and his expressive face revealed this to the psychiatrist.

'Hi Nikhil. I am Vikram. You can call me vicky. How are you doing ?', he said with jolly trying to lighten the somber air. But there was no response. He doubted if his first impression was not good on Nikhil. Realizing there would be no answer from the boy, he continued, 'Next to the school, I have my...', and the door shut on his face. He stood there gawking at it. But before the bang he saw something....

The old woman hurried out of the kitchen. She had the apologetic look. 'Please don't mind' she kept saying.

'This is not new to me. It happens to psychiatrist many times. I understand', he said with a smile.

'So what have you decided to do next ? Everything failed till now, the diary, the meeting...' her voice sounding depressed as it cracked.

'I won't call it failure. Both the things gave me some important aspects that will definitely help us. But I admit that it was also not what we thought. Anyway, we have to think of our next option. Do you know by any chance that Nikhil reads the diary ?', he asked even though he knew the answer.

She nodded embarrassingly.

'Fine. We have to try our next option. Please bring Nikhil's diary tomorrow when you visit the clinic.' She nodded as she tried to interpret the doctor's words. Her hopes were reviving.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Forsaken - Part 5

Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4

The fall seemed eternal. As he stood up, he gawked at the stairs.

Is this real or is this a nightmare that always pulls him into the darkness.  These doubts once used to call into question his mind, but no more they summon. The people, the place, the air seemed so real that it was incomprehensible that all this could be an illusion. He was not just seeing it happen, but living it. They talk, listen, live with him. Why people say that his mind is playing with him ? He never had answers, nor do he have any now.

The same abandoned path..the same stairs...the same Woman in Red....The woman'd been taking him to the same desolate building in the cold night. But he just been keeping the distance from it. The place was what he was running away from. He hated to be in the vicinity. He'd been loosing peace he'd managed after such a long time. The place was making him crazy.

***

She had the diary in her hand. The old woman looked with hope as she handed it to the doctor. It was a shabby dairy, perhaps picked up from some dusty untouched rack. He walked towards the window,  opened the diary. Very few pages were filled.

'deserted road'

'my house'  'woman in red'

'eyes'  'help'

'same building'  'deserted'

'can't take it again'

The doctor flipped few pages. The diary was just some scribbling, spoke nothing concrete. Few of the first pages were about some house, a beach side house, then some lady, Nikhil had put enough words to described her, but last few pages were repetition of the lady and the building.

He closed the book and looked outside the window. It was cold day. Only the cattle were seen grazing outside.

After a long time he was holding a case, a life, an onus. He turned to the old woman. Her eyes following his every move, eager to listen what he would say. What it might be ? Can we do something ? She leaned forward as he was about to say something.

'This diary doesn't say much, it looks like just words without any context. Probably Nikhil doesn't like to write. A few questions,  Does Nikhil own any beachside house ?'

'A beach side house ? I don't think so. He's just a student. If he has bought any', a pause. 'But the chances are really less'

Hallucinations, another symptom, Schizophrenia ?

'There have been repetitions in his writing. There's a phrase Can't take it again What do you think could hurt Nikhil that he fear to face again ?'

'I don't think it could be anything other than  the accident, the loss of his parents'

'Where'd it happen ? Was there any building nearby ?'

'Building. No. It happened on the highway'. The woman might even not know about the lady, he evaluated.

He was at the window, pondering over the unanswered questions that the diary added.

So all that he wrote is just his imagination ?

'Somehow I feel that they are related to some events in his life' He said to the old lady. Poor kid. He felt sorry for the kid. He wanted to help him. But somehow things were not adding up.

He closed the diary and handed it to the old woman. She took it with a puzzled look. She had expected more.

'We have two option now. First, Its time to meet Nikhil. I'll visit your home in the evening. Do not tell him anything about me or my visit'