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Monday, October 25, 2010

Young Love! (Part-2)

The beauty of the night is unparalleled today. Lightning of the house cannot be even matched to the festival of Diwali! The house is full of glittering lights and bedecked with flowers of all colors; red, yellow, orange and pink. The environment is filled with the music of wedding songs and chatter of the gathering who have perhaps not met each other lately. The Aunts are busy around gossiping about the new daughter-in-law who is modern and not ready to keep a dupata on her head “even in front of elders”! Girls are running about to fix their last minute make-up and get ready to welcome the Baraat!
In the background, hums and chants of Panditji can be heard who is continuously pouring ghee in the “Havan Kund”. The aroma of sweets made in pure desi ghee is wafting in the pandal; making each one present hungry to gobble them up! Though caterers are roaming around the house offering snacks and cold drinks to everyone; children make it a point to rush to the waiter as soon as he appears from behind the curtain. There is only one gloomy heart in this festive season……… 
Donned in beautiful flowing dress, maroon in color just as her freshly polished lips, she sits in front of the mirror. Her jewelry shimmers in the low light of her room and she looks at herself; being transformed into a lovely bride from the girl next door. The delicately crafted jewels do not grasp her attention, for she is fiddling with a ring on her finger. It is a plain ring made of steel, which looks out of place with her stunning attire that night.
The scene of the fair that she went with him last year, doesn’t leave her memories. The giant wheel where she clutched him with all her force; and later winced in pain when she realized that she had hurt him so much……The Golgappa stall, where she had up to her heart’s fill! Stares of the onlookers hardly touched her for she was free as a bird in the sky, without a care in the world! Then unexpectedly, he had popped up a ‘beautiful ring’, which had delicately settled on her ring finger from then on.
She slowly removes it from her finger; opens her bedside drawer and keeps it in it, with all the treasure she has gathered in her childhood. There is a vast collection of small pebbles and shells which she had collected during her trip to the lonesome beach with her brothers and sisters. The visit to her Nani’s place last summer had been painful as well as memorable for her. Painful because she had stayed about 10 long days away from him; without any communication; but memorable yes, because she had done anything she had wished to in her childhood! There had been a drama where she had been decked as bride and danced to her heart’s desire…..
A soft knock at the door brings her back from her reverie and  she finds herself being the bride once again, but for real this time………….
It is her first Deepavali after marriage and she is sitting in front of the mirror in her room. It is a small room but carefully done up; painted in soft pink colour. Beautiful curtains from Gujarat hang on all the windows that her husband brought her during one of his trips there. Matching bedsheet, pillow covers and cushions adorn the sitting of the room. A small teddy sits by her bedside, pink in colour with a cute ribbon, which her young niece bought for her on her birthday! She has become familiar to so many titles now; she’s a Chachi to the cute Pari, Mami to the naughty Amit and the list goes on and on………..
There is a separate dressing room attached to the bathroom where she has spent many intimate moments with her husband. He likes her best just after bath, when her wet open hair give him a teasing feeling! A deep growl makes her remember that she has to wake up her husband to get ready for Puja in the house. She gets up and gently shakes him; he opens his eyes and smiles at her! For a fraction of second, she feels that there is nothing better in Life than the satisfaction that he is glad to see her; even after being woken up by her after the tiring journey he has had since last week! Is that Love????

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pink Pajamas on Red Fort............

Weak tired eyes seem to stare in blank, waiting, wanting, wishing! While her younger brother goes to school, she drools at home helping her mother around, who is to blame?
A newspaper item appears in the paper” A young bride burned to death” Cause? Dowry of course! No, this is not the case of low income group but our so called high class sophisticated society! Still don’t believe me?
Take another example, Innumerable female fetuses were recovered from a well behind a maternity center in Punjab, Can our BPL population afford a sex-determination test or even an abortion?
As I write this article I wonder how many would read and brush it aside (about 80%)? How many would think on it for a while and far less who would do something proactively in order to improve the status of women in and around our lives…………

“Here comes another feminist article is what we say!” But tell me how many of us do realize that every minute we laugh a women somewhere in this world is being abused physically, mentally and socially!
Why do I name the article so? Well because pink represents women and Red fort is the most integral of Indian monuments.  So, if pink is hanging over the Red fort, it does mean, that women proudly can say that “Hold on you guys we are here to rule!” Yes, RULE, and build a kingdom of love, care and devotion!
Women empowerment is a big word and probably I don’t understand it as much; but what I gather is empowerment of a woman is being able to be in control of her life, to be able to take her own decisions!
But, is a woman really able to make decisions of her life? She continues to sacrifice herself as sister, friend, wife and mother, not thinking for a moment of her desires!
Yes I agree, one extreme of today’s women is the modernized version who thinks about herself only, but the other is conventional who is lost in daily grinding of thinking about only her home! The requirement today is a mixture of both! Till the time, a woman can think about her well-being, she is empowered!
The abuse and violence towards women in our society still exists and the reason? The existence of male chauvinist ideas!   Who do you think is suppose to check them? Who is to blame?
“A woman manages to change a man only when he is a baby! “ Then why not change the baby itself! Why not feed the right ideas to the baby? The woman has to learn that if she wants the world to be a safer place, the initiative should be hers! We need to change before we can change others! But she is yet na├»ve in thinking about her role in development!
At this point, I wish to share a small story with you all. Once a small child saw a butterfly; partially inside a shell, trying to break it and come out! The child in good sense wanted to help the butterfly, so he broke open the shell. And lo alas, what did he see?? The butterfly had semi-formed wings, it still needed some time to develop itself to be able to fly!
This is the condition of women in India today; we still need time to develop our wings! And once we find our voice, there would be no sky unreachable!
Till then we keep our pink pajamas intact well folded inside our cupboards!

Young Love! (Part-1)

In the darkness of the night, a muffled sob disturbs the silence of the room……She turns and twists on her bed with tears streaming down her rosy cheeks. A soft glow fills the room with moon high in the sky and stars shining on the beautiful night. The garden overlooking her terrace is basked in the silver moonlight with breeze flowing; touching the hearts of two young lovers who are meeting stealthily;   away from the stealing eyes of the world. Somewhere far in the night, distant cries of an Owl are heard with croaks of the toads from the pond adding to the music in the garden.
She suddenly sits up in her bed and looks around. The comfort of the arms of her lover, the warm air from his breath and the hum of his snoring; which kept her always awake is missing today. She starts to cry and thinks back of the golden times of her life…….

Sitting on the steps of the college, she is chatting away happily with her friends when a stranger passes by. He is perhaps new to the place and keen to make friends. She ignores the stare and continues the gossip about that new teacher who has just joined. Next morning she feels that familiar eyes on her in the class; and turns to look back. She meets the same kind eyes which have the eagerness to talk to her. Concentrating on her books, she starts taking notes of the subject; getting pleasing glances from the teacher. On her way back home, as luck would have it her scooty gets punctured and she is left to pull the heavy thing herself. She is just about to faint from the scorching sun that a strong pair of hands tap on her shoulder asking “May I help u?”. Startled she fights back but unable to fight her tiredness, she gives in pulling the scooty. He holds the vehicle and escorts her home without another word on the way. Next day a smile greets the damsel in the class, which makes her shy of herself. During the tea break, she gathers her courage to go up to the stranger to thank him and introduce herself.
A brief meeting turned into a routine hello and then one thing led to another. She could not sleep before hearing his voice at night. He was as loving as one would dream of. The world seemed a perfect place to live in. The year passed away quickly and the end of the session brought about tensions of exams and job placements. She still made it a point to speak to him to keep him boosted up for the better performance in next exam every day. The grade had started to fall during the love that had blossomed bringing up troubles from the skeptic teachers. The session had brought good news for the lady with a job in the nearby metro, but alas her mate was unable to fulfill her desire for a well settled life.
They moved apart and the separation was very painful. He procured a job in the same city and continued to work for his living. Next vacation she came down, he came up to meet her with a rose in his hand. She was overjoyed to meet him, and they happily chatted for hours about their college days. It seemed that perhaps their dreams would come true and he would ask for her hand in marriage from her parents. The following morning she was made to deck up like a doll and serve tea for some people who had come to ‘see’ her. The evening was full of turmoil for the distressed lovers, which ended with fights and cries. “Life cannot be sustained by Love alone”, were her last words to him that evening.
Today the maroon dress lies in one corner of her room, with matching jewelry sets. The hena on her hands has dried but the eyes still seem wet. And she lays back thinking, what Love actually was?          

My Identity!

I am an Idea
Still in it’s infancy........
Will be a big plan one day
Fulfill me if you fancy!

I am a dream
See me with your eyes open........
Heal the wounded world
With few kind words spoken!

I am a canvas
On which life’s paintings are made........
The exchange of hearts for hearts
Indulge in this worthwhile trade!

I am a bud
Waiting for the spring.........
Full of hope and anticipation
Of what life would bring!

I am a mirror
See your true self in me.........
You will find pure satisfaction
Your face glowing with glee!

My compassionate face brings
Solace to hearts troubled.........
One day, to someone tender
I will be the world!