Saturday, November 27, 2010

is 26/11 being overshadowed by a cloud of apathy?

Two years back, 26/11/2008, was the unfortunate day which brought the nation to a grinding halt. The nation was gripped under the worst possible terror attacks which targeted the elite and the common man alike. Tears were shed...for those you knew and for those you didn't. Your heart reached out to the brave hero's who laid their lives down so that the country could get a grip back and regain normalcy yet again.. You empathized with those who lost a kin..with those who frantically searched for their loved ones on the missing and the dead list, hoping and praying with all their heart that those in their family were unhurt and escaped the gory sights of inhumanity which gripped the nation. 

Today, two years down the line, one sees that little has changed. The man who brutally fired at the innocent masses sits in all glory in his cell and has the honor of being visited by by R.R. Patil who claims to be doing a routine check and seeing to it that the jail inmates are at ease... spends a few minutes exchanging pleasentries with the man who caused grief to the nation. It seems ironical doesn't it? Why does it take so long to bring him to justice, why is it so difficult to hang him till death..why is it that he is kept alive when those who lost a family member due to his insanity are still trying to come to terms with their loss?

lighting a candle in the wake of the 2nd anniversary of 26/11, circulating messages to all you know requesting them to wear white to show solidarity with those who lost a life and those who lost someone in their life etc. is definitely not something which will help. something you do for a day is not a mark of mourning or you feeling what those who witnessed the event feel. i might seem cynical or the most insensitive being on the face of earth but what i fail to comprehend is how is it going to help those who lost a kin if you and I wear white on 26/11? will it bring their loved ones back from the dead? will it show them that you care? 

do you and I actually feel what they did? you and I haven't lost the sole breadwinner in our and I aren't the ones who being left crippled and paralysed for the rest of our lives due to the misgivings of some cynical fool. you and I are not deemed unfit to support our families because our lives were turned upside down due to some idiot who came with the sole intention of disrupting the peace and harmony in a nation like ours. how does wearing white let you go through the trauma that they faced then? how does lighting a candle help you to understand the loving arms the father cradled their child in then? does that child who lost a father, who is left orphaned now come to terms with growing up without a father figure who was his idol? how does it put you in the shoes of the one who is deemed unfit to take care of his blind parents then? 

do you really think that standing together on a single day to mark an unfortunate event will help those whose lives were torn apart two years ago? what about 27/11 then? how conveniently have we forgotten the incident and moved on with our lives. i still cannot fathom the reasons that the government gives to keep QASAB alive.. why is he not taken to the gallows and hanged till death? is it so difficult to give him the death sentence? 

those who were affected by the terror attacks will definitely not get solace in the fact that the nation is trying to show unity with them and mark the 2nd anniversary by wearing white. it is only stringent action against Qasab which might give them some relief to know that the man who ruined their lives has finally being brought to justice. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

apna mumbaaiii localllllllll!!!

i have never really been able to comprehend the fuss these ladies create in every bloody compartment of the mumbai local trains... even during the peak hours when one doesn't have breathing space, with every side of yours crushed...when you are being pushed from all possible directions.... these aunties want place to stand comfortably, sit in the aisle, play antakshari, get devotional and indulge in bhakti music.... arrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh... the list goes on...oh yes and how can i forget.... they are in serious NEED to comb their hair, apply kajal, compact, gloss and look all made up and chick before they alight from the local!!!

even if your bag brushes their "delicate shoulders", they are bound to start their melodrama on how girls these days have no etiquettes, respect for elders and the list goes onnnnnnnnnn.... phewwwwwwwwww
instance one:
p: oh sorry aunty...
aunty: aaj kal ki ladkiyaan... pata nahi kya samajti hain aapne aap ko... colg jaane lagi toh jaise kuch bhi kar sakti hai....
p: aunty sorry...train mein jagah nai hai..
aunty: arey jagah nai hai toh dusre train mein jaaoo na... yeh train mein kyun atee ho..
p: areyyy aunty, local train hai...jaise aapko ko jaldi hain, mujhe bhi hai..
aunty: (loudly): arreyy... dekhooo yeh hai aaj kal ki ladkiyaan...jabbann ladati hai
p:(losing her cool): dekhiye local train hain... aapko itni jaldi hain aur takleef hoti hain adjust karne mein toh plzz khud ke liye special train banaiyein
other aunties: (supporting p): thoda adjust karo na...subah subah kyun jhagda kar rahi hoon

instance 2:
the gossiping sessions never seem to end... they have an obsessive compulsion disorder to talk about everything from meena ki maasi ki behen ke ladke ke saali ke sassuraal waali shaadi ka khaana to the one rupee price hike in "tamatar ka bhaav" to the saaris that one has worn in the train" areyy yeh toh badiyaan hain...kahaan se liya?? kitne mein aaya???....d other lady quotes the price...1st lady in complete shock" kyaaaa...yeh toh bahut jyaada hain!!"  haahhh i knew she would come up with something like this...  and the sari... was UGLY...oh that might be an understatement too!!! they ask questions and don't expect answer, they answer to questions not asked, they all talk together... its worse then a fish market...sighh... 

instance 3: 
the fourth seat system in the 2nd class and the "no fourth seat' system in the first class is hilarious!!! second class ladies... mostly fat aunties...have no patience to stand or no concern for those who decide to catch up on their beauty sleep in the early morning locals or otherwise... it is a compulsion to ask every person where they will get off...if you are are rudely forced to rub your eyes and wake up to the unblinking face of some fat lady who thinks you are a little short of hearing and scrams loudly to know where you'l get off only to know that your destination is nothing but the last stop... sighhh...why disturb my peaceful slumber...grrrrrrrrrr....
even if the seat is occupied by 3 fat ladies..."zara andar sarko" is a statement which is mentioned in all seniority, superiority and with the pride of a lion... arreyy bhai kaahaan sarkee... jagah toh honi chahiye na... but who understands...
there is a complete role reversal in the 1st class.... even if three of the skinniest ladies sit on the seat and if you ask them to push in a bit, pat comes the reply: don't you know, this is first class... there's no fourth seat here!! haaahhhhh... oh yess... and even if the aunties fail to have the knowledge of basic grammar taught in the elementary grade, they think it is a norm to talk ONLY in english and nothing else if you have a first class pass or ticket!!! 

after facing major glitches and getting into a few squabbles with aunties who think that they are the "OWNERS" of the mumbai locals... if not the IS their pop-in-law's property!! bahh.. , i have actually grown quite fond of the little dose of entertainment which i receive each morning on my way to college and back.... if on some "unfortunate" day, i miss out on the daily dose of drama... my day simply feels soo incomplete...
*sigh, i think i caught the mumbai local flu too...or maybe the gibberish that the aunties are soooooo used to is contagious!! *

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

lil world ov myn!!!

with innocent hearts and pure minds....when everyday was a fresh beginning..... when what was your's was mine equally!!!... when a fight was nothing that couldn't be sorted by treating a "4rs vada pav" to the one who sulked... when birthday's meant free lunch in the canteen!!! didn't it feel like eternity then!!!... when lunch boxes were meant to be eaten by friends and not just you... when recess during the monsoons meant walking down the school grounds in the yucky, mucky mush... when school matches had the entire school cheering on the fields... when professors encouraged students to cheer for the home team during matches, when school events called for cent percent participation from each student alike... when failure was not a taboo... if you flunked, you were treated to ice-creams so that you wouldn't sulk... when you stuck to your pals through thick and thin..even if your parents gave you the firing of your life for supporting all the wrong, stupid, silly things... when it was all about knowing that we are being taken care of!!! it was under these circumstances that the ten of us bonded and stuck like glue!!!

a silly blame game which made rounds in the 8th grade brought all of us together and gave us each a BFF...and not just one but 9 for that matter... and made us stick till date!!! each of us pursue different dreams, each of us possess diverse skills and talents, each of us vary in everything possible..only to be united by the bonds of love and the sweet nothingness that we cherish and treasure till date... we've found our vocations and are striving hard in that direction but staying firmly attached to the "home base" like we love to call our little space...our world of just "us" and nothing else... 

a month does not slip by unless we meet each other... share our high's and lows... talk over the phone almost every other day et al... a birthday means landing up at the chap's place at 12 sharp... smearing cake all over their face, dirtying the place, having frenzied mother's looking around at all the mess created!!! and of course sitting and walking down the memory lane for the next one hour or so... if this doesn't happen...then its all about having crazyy crazzyyyyy crazyyyyyyy fun,.... taking shit.. not making sense and simply being "us".

it's been eight long years now and each one of us have managed to pull through without creating too much of a fuss... not one of us has ever felt "suffocated" in the presence of another... we've all simply slipped into the skin of every member and grown and matured together over the years... feelings of mutual affection has simply grown and the bond has grown deeper and stronger... cemented with a dash of every emotion necessary...

a little pull here..a little push there is all it takes to bring every member do what the other wants them to!!!  having the best people you know stand by make you smile...laugh.. pull you out of blues is more than what i can ask for!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

striking a cord

having a lot of time in hand, i and a friend decided to use it productively by doing something nice...something sweet for the underprivileged. after brainstorming for a long time,(her brains...with me just storming in and out of her house and nodding in approval!) we decided to take up some project at an orphanage... teach or help in any way possible. we simply wanted to spend a little time with the kids there and add a little color to their lives if we possibly could.

after frantically searching online for NGO'S where we could lend support or make a difference or simply bring a smile on the beautiful faces of the little angels there, we finalized on this NGO called "MA NIKETAN" somewhere near our place itself. all this after rejecting or being in double minds to visit a LARGE number of NGO'S ...simply because of the paradigm" oh its too far ya... who'l go so often??" or "its tooo farr.. not possible ya...lets search for something close by...pleaseeeeeee!!!" 

after zeroing down on "our" NGO... we thought of visiting the place and trying to spend some time with the kids there.. thinking that we possibly couldn't go empty handed, we started pulling out old toys, clothes, books and everything else we could lay our hands so that we could go there citing some reason at least. we only made sure that everything  was in real good condition. 

after a lot of excitement we finally reached the ashram and as soon as we handed over the goods...we were politely thanked with  a big smile. we kept thinking that maybe now they'l say..."okay so do you want anything? spend time? see the place? " something at least... but all we earned was a big THANK YOU.. decidedly in a fix, we thought of seeking the mother or the sister of the ashram who might help us. in spite of being a little intimidated by their sheer presence..we managed to croak out that we would like to contribute in some way.. they solemnly nodded in approval and asked if we could teach "english" to the marathi medium school children staying there. in all  my excitement and enthusiasm, i readily agreed and was told to start the following week. with a bounce in my gait and with a singing heart...we duly returned back. 

the following week, i reported to the ashram... my first official day at work... without knowing what to except. i was told to wait in the waiting area where i kept locking and unlocking my fingers... a sure shot sign of nervousness! the prim and proper sister came and asked me to take a class for the 9th grade and i gratefully agreed. 

my class had a bunch of 15 of the most adorable, the most genuine, the most innocent and really bright kids i had ever come across. i definitely wanted to break the typical teacher-student stereotype and strike a bond with these wonderful angels. teaching them was absolute bliss, especially since they warmed up so easily and were quick to respond. they made every attempt possible to come close and win my heart. little did they know that i was in love with them the minute i saw each one of them and spoke to them! finding english a little difficult to converse in, they kept asking if they could possibly talk in hindi or marathi and i vehemently refused wanting them to learn better. they kept exchanging mischievous looks and giggling excitedly amongst themselves till i called them to order! keeping a firm hand and letting light humor fill the room was no mean feat but i know that this is what i would have wanted as a student and that is exactly what i wanted to give back to my angels. 

towards the end of the class, they had warmed up considerably and wanted to know everything about me... my parents, my siblings, my likes, dislikes, if i watch tele-soaps... which one's did i prefer and all that... they kept turning my face here and there, simply so that i could look at each one of them... and every time they did this...i knew that i had created an ever lasting bond... i did strike the cord i wanted to... just before leaving, they gave me a little key chain...though i kept refusing...all they said was... think of us every time you look at it... i was deeply touched by this sweet gesture and realized how pure they were to give so willingly in spite of hardly having anything themselves. i was speechless and could only smile..being aware of my moist eyes.. they taught me what loving unconditionally was and i am proud to say that my first class had my students teaching me a hell lot of things!!

today, i can proudly say that i have 15 of the most beautiful angels to stand by my side who think of me as much as i do and remember me in all their prayers.(that was a little promise we made!)

as i write this..i can't help but smile and have a deep sense of  gratitude for the woman who led me to these angels... thank youuuuu chinkuu!!! love you!! <3... without you...i would have have never bothered to  take the initiative and gift a smile in spite of knowing that i wanted to!!  
ps:this 1's exclusively for you...for opening the doors and letting me in!! love you lots....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A bond so strong..

every night she gazed at the sky,

looking at the moon she wondered why,

why was it that she had to loose,

and all that she loved was just a muse.

her heart ached with sorrow,

her thoughts glaring at tomorrow,

she thought what her existence symbolized,

coz she thought she had no strength left to emerge and rise.

she wanted to end it, end it all,

the sorrow, the misery, the pain,

she wanted to cry out aloud,

that sympathy was just an overshadowed fake cloud.

just then her baby reached out to her,

and curled his fingers around hers,

cooed to her with unspeakable love,

and wet her dress in timid innocence.

she laughed inspite of herself,

her bosom glowing with pride,

today she knew how and why,

would she truly emerge and rise.

she kissed him tenderly and established a bond,

a bond so irrevocable and strong,

she heaved with relief and let out a sigh,

knowing that tomorrow she wouldn't regret and cry.