Monday, November 23, 2015

Just let me be...





Let me run wild,
Without any worries.

Let me laugh loud,
Without any sorries.

Let me be filthily dressed,
Without being judged.

Let me be loved,
The one strangers could hug.

Let me speak my mind,
Without being gagged.

Let me stay out late,
Without being nagged.

Let me sleep under the sky,
Watch the clouds float by.

Let me live in peace,
And let me fly.

Most importantly,

Let me be who I am
Just let me be, is all I want…





Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's not about a Happy Ending







All my life I searched for a happy ending;

All my life I deluded myself into believing in it,

In all situations; good or bad;

All I was worried about being how it fared?



As I grew old, old enough to understand;

Where my life was headed and toward what I was blind.

Golden moments passed me by; in spite of they being rare,

 Obsessing over the ending and for the rest I didn't care.



Now I wonder if I would ever get those moments again;

Even if I promised to enjoy without worrying about the end,

The true wisdom has finally dawned upon me;

Sometimes it’s not about a happy ending, it's only about the story.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Story of Tublu

About the author:

Jahid Akhtar is a software developer by profession. He was born and brought up in Assam and resides in Bangalore with his wife Anjali and their little daughter, Jia. Jahid enjoys writing about some unforgettable moments, in his blog titled Flashbacks.


About the story:

      Devastated by floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharmas. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharmas and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. From some interesting school and college humour, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu's plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing which bears the potential to conquer all of life's challenges. The story has its share of drama, that entertains, humour that makes one reminisce, love, friendship and emotions that define the amazing journey that is, life.

Book Details:

Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: LiFi Publications Private Limited (2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9382536752
ISBN-13: 978-9382536758
Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm

Book Review:

  Let me start by saying please don't read the forward it's a dead giveaway.

Characters: It's a sweet story, with really lovable characters.... characters that anybody can identify with. It's a story of Tublu aka Tanmay Bora (protagonist) and Maina aka Sujata Sharma (who he secretly loves). My favourite is Shilpa, she is fun and absolutely awesome. Though I wish the author dwelled a little more on Tublu's character.

Story:  Thanks to the forward nothing came as a surprise. Initial chapters are slow paced and sad. You might even get tempted to leave the book mid-way. But slowly the story starts picking up. Hostel sequences were my favourite part. It's a good story, I wouldn't call it extraordinary. So if you read this book, just read it because you want a good time-pass, don't expect too much.

Language: The language used in the story is nice and simple (thankfully) I didn't feel the need to run for a dictionary every now and then. But in some places it did look a little too simplistic which did mar a smooth read.


My Verdict:  All in all it's nice light read, the kind you would like to read in a journey. I give this story











 








Monday, March 16, 2015

F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Friends forever 




When you are married, the only thing you miss the most is being carefree, the laidbackness, or the way we people in Kolkata call it "Addagiri", where you just sit in a coffee shop or your college bench and talk endlessly... almost about anything, even things that don't concern you and your friends.

I would give my limbs to relive those days. Ours was a small group comprising of three girls, from Loreto College, Kolkata. But as fate would have it, we all got separated soon after we finished our graduation. I was married and had to shift to Mumbai. The other one shifted to Gurgaon, and soon even she got married and shifted to London. The remaining one is still in Kolkata (lucky devil).

Like most of the people, even we three had promised to be in touch always. Initially we were in touch but soon our present lives, with its endless demands, took over. Our daily calls became weekly and then monthly. Not that we didn't miss each other, because every time we spoke to each other, it seemed like we spoke almost every day as if we never lost touch. It was more like coming home.

 In March 2013, my friend from London came up with a brilliant idea. She was planning to visit Kolkata in the month of June and she decided to book a room for 2 days in a Kolkata hotel and relive the "Single years". Like a born pessimist, I thought it would never work-out. But somehow things started falling in place, my husband agreed, my in-laws agreed and so did my friends' parents and in-laws.

 On June 5th 2013, I finally met my friends after 8 long years; they were waiting for me at the airport. We jumped like adolescents, hugging endlessly and screaming non-stop. I could feel all eyes on us. Honestly, I didn't care. God had given me two days to relive my life and I was going to and nobody could stop me.

 We checked into the Hotel Park. Our adda (gossips, leg pulling) started immediately. The moment we checked our watch, it was already evening. We visited all the places which used to be our college haunts, from Vardaan Market to New Market, checked out few shop keepers, who we had a crush on... they were balding, paunchy. We couldn't help wondering what we ever saw in them. :D

 We even got dressed and visited Tantra, danced till the wee hours in the morning, honestly who cared we had a room in the same hotel.

Call me, a bad wife and a bad mother, but not once did I miss my son or my husband. I love them, but I loved the time spent with my friends even more. They were good happy times. There are no codes of conduct when I am with them. I am me- the real me.


The two days ended so soon and I didn't want them to. Those last few minutes we spent at the airport, when they had come to drop me off, were the best. We never uttered a word, but the way we saw each other and the choked good byes were enough to tell me that they missed me, the way I missed them. I was as important to them as they were to me. Things hadn't changed. Now these are few feelings that guarantees that you have friends would be there forever. This is the kind of feeling that fills you up with optimism and hope and I will cherish it as long as I live.

Day spent with your friend is a day well spent




For more stories on optimism https://housing.com/.

The picture is from my personal collection

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Am I too old?




I am a 34 year old housewife. I have never done anything that can be considered extra ordinary or bold or even remotely brave. . I have never had a boyfriend or even knew a guy (who was not a brother or an uncle or a relative), I was not even overly ambitious. Most of you, who might be reading this, must be wondering why I am even writing when I have nothing to boast off. Well, I did something which was very unlike me and it meant a lot to me ... I did stand up for a small/miniscule cause.

***

I have never questioned my parents, teachers, in-laws, my husband or even my friends. Not because I was afraid but because I had nothing I felt worth standing-up for. So whatever they decided for me I was cool with it.

My teachers thought I should go for commerce I did. My friends thought that I should appear for Jet Airways air hostess’s interview... I did. I even got selected but my parents thought being an over-qualified waitress wasn't good enough. I happily dropped the idea. My parents thought I should get hitched... I did. I know I sound extremely irritating and boring but that's who I was. Until...

Last year, my son (8 years) came running home and he said he wanted to learn how to play a guitar. I told him he was too young to learn that instrument and if he wanted he could learn Casio keyboard. Like all kids, he threw a fit and like over-zealous parents we got him a Guitar. As expected, after a couple of months he said he was no more interested in that instrument. Honestly, what more could we expect from an 8 year old.

For more than a month I saw that guitar hanging on the wall. Every day I would remove the dust from the Guitar and wonder what I should do with it? One day, while reading a newspaper I found a pamphlet which said:-

Learn Guitar in 3 months
Qualified Teacher
Rs. 2000 /month


I picked it up, carefully folded it and kept it in my drawer. I kept thinking what if I learned guitar? Vikram was off to school, Vikas was off to work and I don't even enjoy watching Television, learning guitar would be a good time pass.

So I casually asked my husband. Though he was cool with it... but he asked me “Aren’t you too old to learn Guitar?"

I knew I was too old, I knew I wouldn't be able to muster enough courage to attend that class.

Next day, like always I was dusting my son's room and I saw that Guitar - neatly kept inside a bag - hanging. Around noon, after all the maids had left, I carefully lifted that Guitar and walked out of my home. As I stood waiting for the lift, Mrs, Mishra - my neighbour got out of the lift.

"Vikram has his guitar class, right now?" She asked.

“No, it’s actually me who’s learning to play a guitar.” I said proudly.

“Aah…good. But...” I knew what she was about to say. I almost chorused it with her" don’t you think you are too old for it? I think you should do something that suits your age, may be yoga, classical music or even dancing.” She said.

“I always wanted to learn guitar. I think I am going to give it a shot.” I said politely

“Fine all the best.” she said and she left.

As I walked towards the class I saw my reflection on a car window, salwar kameez clad female carrying a guitar surely looked funny and weird, but I continued walking because I desperately wanted to learn. The moment I reached the class, all eyes were upon me. The teacher was somewhere in his late 20’s.

I sat beside the kids; few even greeted me “Hello aunty”. Well I don’t know if playing guitar was easy or not but learning with children.. None of them above 14-15 sure was difficult even somewhat embarrassing. I learnt a lot that day .It was real fun playing a guitar. It felt good even liberating to some extent. I felt bad when the class ended. As soon as I got home, I finished my house work as fast as I could and I got down to practicing my guitar. Yes, it was MY guitar now.

***

I have been learning that instrument since last 3 months and I think I am pretty decent at it. I practice almost every day. Finally I have found something I am passionate about... maybe a little late in life but I have found it.


You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it – Benjamin Mee in We bought a zoo. 





The post is written for  https://housing.com/

The picture used in this post is take by me. 

Friday, March 06, 2015

.... and I love him very much





And I love 
him very much........


My son, Vikram, he is my love, my undoing, my headache and my stress reliever. I always thought I was definitely not a mother material. I was utterly reckless and extremely irresponsible.
 
The moment I held him in my arms for the first time, I had super mixed feelings. I was excited... but I was nervous more. I was holding a wrinkly small weightless thing in my hand. What if I drop him? What if I unknowingly hurt him? What was I supposed to do with this thing?

It was nothing like we saw in films, mommies so happy and so ready for a baby. I knew I was not. If I could have my way, I would have pushed him back in my womb. He was safer there than in my hands.

Vikram was born in the month of June- a month where there is no sun just water everywhere. After almost 21 hours of long labour, I finally got him out. On the fourth day I returned back home, just to realize he was a pooping-peeing-crying machine. Within 3 hours all my mother's home made nappies were soiled. My husband and I had no energy left.

Soon my genius husband came up with a brilliant idea - Diapers. He immediately ran to the medical shop and got Pampers. The moment he wore pampers... for the first time I slept for 4 long hours, without even waking up once. Days were smooth thereafter, nights were smoother.

Vikram would sleep peacefully as Pamper would keep him dry all the time. Whenever he would wake up he was always ready to play. There is no one thing I could point that made him laugh. He was a happy-go-lucky kid. He found empty boxes to toys to chewing shoes to songs like "Pappu can't dance sala" fun.

I would like to specifically point to the above mentioned song, whenever the radio played "Pappu can't dance sala" he would start moving his hands and legs frantically- he still dances that ways. Apne pitaji pe gaya hai :D.


Thank you Pampers for making my motherhood fun and giving me a lot of memorable moments to cherish.







This post is return for Pampers  http://www.rewardme.in/tag/Pampers


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Happy Ending





Prologue

Last year was a difficult year for me. My father-in-law had been in and out of the hospital or should I say ICU. The story that I am going to tell is about a woman who I met in the hospital waiting room. She had lost her husband a couple of years ago. She was there for her father, who had suffered a stroke. Blame it on my mentality or just blame it on the way I was shown the world- I thought may be her father was stressed looking at his widow daughter with two sons, trying to make the ends meet. That's what widows do, don't they? Trying to make the ends meet. Her life story was an eye- opener and I am still reeling under it.

***

Story


It was an unusually warm summer morning. Mr Bakshi, a Vice-president in a Multinational bank had gone for his usual run. He was an over-ambitious go-getter. He was the youngest vice-presidents in the company. He seemed always awake and always on the go.

By the time he returned home, he was panting and sweating profusely. He looked really happy as he ran a mile extra. He always prided in being fitter than most of his paunchy colleagues. He sat to cool himself and drank a bottle full of water to calm his nerves.

Dayananda Bakshi, his wife, a columnist in a local daily looked at him as he kept rubbing his eyes. "What happened? Got something in your eye?" she asked.

"Don't know why everything looks hazy? Maybe I even strained my left hand, there is a sharp pain. Oh, it's going to be a bad day." He said while jerking his hand. “There is something wrong..." before he could complete his sentence he slumped on the bed. His body still and eyes shut. Dayananda ran to him, she did whatever she had learned in her First -aid class, from mouth to mouth resuscitation to pumping his chest. But his body refused move. She didn't know what to do. She immediately called the watchmen and with their help she got Ajay into the car and she drove to the hospital only to know what she already knew. Ajay was no more.

To be honest, in the first month she didn't really miss Ajay. She was surrounded by her in-laws, who had come over from Ludhiana, her parents and well-wishers.But soon everyone left, to resume their lives and emptiness struck - emptiness of the heart and home. She kept wondering, where Ajay go wrong, he used to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Stroke should not be one of the reasons of his demise, but strangely it was. Soon she started searching the net for answers and she got one. The reason was lack of sleep and stress related work. She looked around her 2 bhk home in upscale Bandra locality. "I need to have a house of my own. If you can afford a house of your in Mumbai. you know you've made it." Ajay would often say. He did finally own a house but at a terrible cost.

Reality started setting in, and she had to be practical if not for her, for her children's sake. she had to make tough decisions. She could no more afford to pay the EMI of the house and the car. She decided to sell both. Thank god, the price of the house had almost tripled in last 11 years, thus making it easier to pay the loan and have a comfortable living. His life insurance was a major cushion. They moved to a quiet neighbourhood of Panvel.

After a stressful 6 months, her sons being the only pillars of hope, she decided to take them on a holiday to Mahabaleshwar. It was a nice peaceful holiday, while returning back she saw a woman in her 60's with bagful of vegetables walking home. Children riding bicycles were laughing and having fun. She instantly knew this was where she wanted to be...  away from the maddening crowd.

She decided to leave Mumbai and settle in Mahabaleshwar. That town had good schools and open spaces which Mumbai so miserably lacked.

Currently, she is living in Mahabaleshwar, writing from home and in her spare time teaching under privileged adivasi kids. Her kids have settled in Mahabaleshwar, her younger son who was asthmatic, hasn't had a single asthma attack since they shifted there.  

***

"Why Mahabaleshwar? I don't think they even have a good hospital." Now this is what happens to you when you spend 6 months running after doctors. You ask stupid questions.

"Renu, you don't need a place near hospitals, you need a home where multi-speciality hospitals are not even needed. You need a home where there is fresh air, clean water and open space. You need a home where quality of life supersedes all the superficial material wants. I have learned it the hard way; by losing a man I loved the most."

The story did get me thinking... for a long time. Finally I asked " I think you should marry again, you are a young woman, don't you think you need a man?" I at times marvel at my capability of coming up with stupid questions.

"What do I need a man for? I am still in love with Ajay. I have two boys that continuously remind me of him. One is his splitting image and the other acts exactly like him."  She said laughing.

"One day, they'll leave. They'll move on with their lives. Loneliness kills too... you know."  I said wondering why it didn't strike her.

"Who told you, that you need a man to be happy? The thing I have learned in all this is that you are your very own happy ending. If you are happy and at peace with yourself, that's your happy ending. If there is a smile on your face before you go to sleep that's your happy ending. You are your own Happy Ending." She said. 




The above post is written for   https://housing.com/lookup.

Pic courtesy Pinterest

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

All on our own









I walk aimlessly on a dark narrow road;
With my feet stumbling and my eyes dripping away it's sorrow.
People walked past me as my tears flowed;
Hoping, somebody would notice, if not today, may be tomorrow.

My soul is screaming aloud to be heard;
Is it just me who's invisible or this is how it goes?
Look at them go, keeping their soul unstirred;
My invisibility and their indifference are my only woes.

I passed by a door, closed and silent;
The door was trying to burst open,
As if the inaudible sobs were turning violent;
I walked towards it with the feeling of a bad omen.

As I reluctantly opened the door,
Stood men and women, the wonderers;
Their face blank like mine, walk aimless,
They were the silent sufferers.

I wonder why don't they yearn to reach out;
Or do they enjoy being alone?
Nobody cares  finally they shout,
We all are on our own.












The post is written for #1000speak 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Crazy Stupid Love - a short story.



Crazy Stupid Love


Siddharth and I had been friends since college. We got into the same IT firm through college placement. We were inseparable till Ananya, with her angelic face and figure-to-die-for, walked into our lives.

I went to Jaipur for 5 days to attend a wedding and in those 5 days my friend had already fallen head over heels in love with this woman, presented her with gifts, dropped her home and even listened to her sob stories. Look at me, I know him since last 7 years other then few random birthday cards I never got anything from him.

As it turns out Ananya already had a boyfriend.  This man can’t seem to make his mind about the girl. They break –up for a month and then they are back together for a couple of months to break up again. Every time this man breaks-up with Ananya… Ananya comes running back to Siddharth. Siddharth, being head over heels in love with her, accepts her with open arms. Like expected, when that boyfriend gets his periodical change of heart, the ever confused soul i.e... Ananya runs to her “true love”. That explains her figure: she gets to do so much of “running”.

Today is one of the days where Ananya is with the boyfriend, conveniently forgetting about Sid. Is that what Bird in hand and other in bush means? 

Now that he doesn’t’ have to buy gifts for anyone or drop anyone home so he gets time to eat my brains off. Call it PMS or just plain simply irritated.. I am sure if he mentions Ananya one more time, I am going to scream, I am going to scream so loud that Arabian Sea- almost 15 km from our office- will have Tsunami and will sweep this man off. I don’t even like her. She is exactly the kind of female I have detested all my life, the damsel in distress that needs rescuing, the kind that can’t get enough of male attention.

Look at me and my sorry state; I can’t even get one man to love me. I’ll always be that woman whom you see in movies, who is a confidante a best friend but she can never have her own love story. She never is in the main frame, always on the side-lines. Yeah that’s where I am “Always on the side-lines”.

****

Siddharth and I were sitting in a cafeteria, he seemed lost and down and I knew why. I decided to sit quietly, giving him company.

Siddharth finally muttered “Ananya called.”

I looked up trying very hard to hide my irritation

Siddharth looked at me and then he continued “She said she loved me, because I was there with her when she needed a man most. That she knows I would love her unconditionally.”

I looked at him, I really wanted break this man’s head into pieces and search if there is a brain. Why can’t he get it, the moment the boyfriend would return she’ll go back to him? But I chose to keep my mouth shut. Trying to reason with him is like banging my head to the wall.
He said, “She has promised to leave her momentary -ex for good.”

I had enough of this nonsense. I stood up, slipping a Rs.. 50 note below my coffee cup. I looked at him and said “I am done; I can’t bear to listen to this crap anymore. I think you should say yes to her. You guys do have too many things in common.”

With that I left.

As I entered my work place everyone screamed “Congratulations”. I looked up with anger. I screamed “Wrong no. the person is yet to come.” Everybody looked confused.

“Didn’t Siddharth propose you?” My friend asked.

“Why would he propose me? He likes Ananya and she proposed. So yay, there is a happy ending finally. Now let me get back to work. I need to go home early”…. And cry, I thought to myself.
All of a sudden I could hear murmurs I peeked and I saw Siddharth entering and walking towards me. Before I could react he started talking,

“Did you know only 6 % women have really good sense of humour? I bet you did not know only 2% women can actually tolerate geeks? And that only 3-4 % women were actually beautiful inside out. You are a rare piece of work Pakshi, when Ananya pointed out why she loved me; it made me doubly sure why I loved you even more.” He said.

“So you love me because I have been a good friend to you?” I asked… feeling even more horrible now. I don’t want pity love. Nowhere in fairy tales did they mention prince charming would go for the damsel out of pity.

“No, I love you because you are my soul mate. I love you because I don’t even have to say and you already know what’s going on in my head and I love you because I am home when I am with you. I know I have been a big screw-up but I won’t mind spending my whole life making up to you.”

“So there would be no more Ananya between us??? Are you sure?? You did seem pretty much in love with her.” I asked… okay yes I already started dreaming of candle-lit dinners, doing cha-cha and samba with this geeky hunk (is that an oxymoron), my wedding.

“Yes, I promise” he said earnestly.

“Well…okay” I said blushing and there was a loud cheer. Everyone was eager to congratulate us. I finally became the heroine of my own story. Yay!

***

Somewhere in corner of that office, a man sadly looked around as if his life had come crashing down. Voice in his mind echoed non-stop “Pakshi always knew Sid was not interested in her. He liked someone else. So when did Pakshi and Siddharth became a couple?”

He still remembered the late night talks they had, devouring cups of coffee and talking endlessly about random things. She would often complain how Siddhartha was an idiot to go after that female.

Pakshi had mentioned once that she wanted to be the heroine of her story atleast once. It was then he decided he would propose Pakshi on Valentines day and will make the celebration doubly special. He had booked a jetty and ordered a diamond ring. He had loved her the moment Pakshi joined the firm but couldn’t gather enough courage to ask her out. Now he cannot even if he wanted to.

He sighed and made a mental note “I need to cancel the ring that I ordered as well as the jetty reservation.”















Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Paying the price



You miss me, 
That’s what you say;
You miss me, 
You cry every day.

I am missable,
 Just like old wine,
I am better off,
That's what everyone opine.

If I was good,
If I was so nice;
Why did he leave?
Why am I the one paying the price?