The bridge woman


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Image credit: Google

Peachy skin.

She stood alone at the bridge waiting for her suitor

She was no ghost at midnight

Plain human

False promise

Broken and shattered inside

Her mind stopped like the clock in the past

Her hair bore streak of gray

The translucent beauty lost its sheen,

like the moon at nightfall

Scars remained etched in her heart

No sane soul would ever believe in love again

But, not her!

She was alien to the treachery

Every day, she lived in hope

He will come,

Her heart reasoned

One day, a speeding car hit her near the bridge

Blood ravaged her body and soul

It was his car

He finally came and ravaged her.

She was liberated from the agony.

Yet, in her last moments,

she nurtured hope.

His u-turn claimed her soul years ago,

she pinned for his love.

Love

V

 

 

 

 

#MothersDay: Priceless diamond and sparkling heart


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Image credit: Google/India.com

Mother

Maa

Aayi

Syllable the baby mumbles in the cradle

Holding the tiny hand

Tenderness and warmth

Smile of the mother holding her precious gem to her bosom

Sleepless nights

Sacrificing food and water

Lullaby of love and countless smile

Twinkle in the eyes of the newborn

A mother who nurtures love and hope

accompanying the child in its first step

Embodiment of sacrifice

Knocked down by life,

Mother’s love comes first

A hug is what I want no matter how much I have grown and seen life

The soft and soothing words of Maa

She is the strongest

Wiping off worries of the world

Where she draws her strength from?

battling odds and weathering storms,

to make one strong

She is a spirit, a Goddess, and a conqueror

A flawless heart,

nursing her tears in silence and combating loneliness

to reaffirm the belief in me

The kindergarten days and surprise gifts,

reverberates in the mind

Mother is designed like that only

Selfless heart

Her heart wails at the defeat I suffer and setbacks that hold me back

Over time gold loses its sheen

A mother’s heart needs no polish,

shining tenfold and sparkling

She is the sun and priceless diamond

Angry and strict she may be

but her heart melts in no time at the sight of her child

Poor Maa,

Rich Maa

Unsung Maa

Love you Maa

Dedicated to all Maa on

Love

V

 

 

 

Excerpt from the novel in progress


Hey people,

The novel is still work in progress. It’s the first draft that I decided to start all over again and the good news is that I have almost reached 25 brand new pages, an entirely different product from the earlier draft that I was writing. Of course, it’s a rom-com and sharing an excerpt. Of course, looking for honest feedbacks. I shall tentatively call it, “Half-baked Love.”

Excerpt from, ‘Half-baked love.’

Walking past Churchgate Station, they hailed off the stationed black-and-yellow taxis scouting for passengers and plodded their steps past the fountain, where a line-up of shops selling cheap jeans and tee shirts put on display and hanging on ropes on the colorful tents. A shopkeeper stopped Zoya, “Salum walekum Malkin! Apne Mister ke liye kuch lijiye? (Buy something for your mister)” Kshitij face was amok with excitement and congratulated this guy in his heart , wondering why the fuck they don’t make such kind of commoners. Deep inside, he was plotting that this hawker blurts out some more rubbish.  He was amused and signaled the hawker who sported a grey beard to tell more by waving his hand. He made faces behind Zoya back. She turned towards Kshitij with a serious look and exuded a timid smile, flashing her jaws before turning towards the hawker.

She addressed him in Hindi, “Janab, aap ko kisne bola key eh mere Mister hai? (Sir! Who told you he is my Mister?)” There was no smile on her face nor sign of mild irritation. She is an expert in addressing people in a super cool manner that doesn’t make them back out nor feel apologetic. In turn, it makes plain strangers warming up to her as her cool and calm demeanour makes them feel so good. It’s this one quality that drew Kshitij towards her and wonders how she can easily gel with people like that.

The elderly hawker in between measuring legs for a client and marketing his clothing materials, gave Zoya a tenderly father figure touch. “Kya fadak parta hai! Agar Mister nahin hai toh boyfriend hai ya banjayega. Usske ankhein meindekh aapke liye bohot pyar beti. Ban jayega ek din Mister (What difference it makes? If he is not your Mister, he must be or will be boyfriend. I have seen love for you in his eyes, daughter).” He winked at Zoya. She became sheepish and her face turned red with embarrassment.

Kshitij felt like touching the man’s feet and wished that Harry Potter was real, that he would mix a magic potion to make both father and daughter. He felt like telling the guy, “Thank you Sasur-ji. Banoonga mein aap ke damaad when you adopt this girl. (Thank you father-in-law. I will become your future son-in-law with this adoptive daughter of yours).” Kshitij had to take things slow and was wary of the implications of blurting out such nonsense. He was still reeling under the nightmare.

The only  that he could do was make his heart clap like a silent spectator in his theatre of real imagination. Zoya caught his amusement and waged her middle finger at him, whispering threat into his ears, “You having fun, na. Now, you wait what I do to you? You think that I don’t understand…saala kaminey, harami.” Kshtij immediate change his expression from amused to serious before mocking her. She turned away from him and let off to the enthusiastic, “Yeh koi Mister nahin…bas raaste mein mila (He is no mister and I found him like that on the street)” The hawker let off a smile and tried not to laugh on Kshitij’s face. It was his turn to become red.

She shook the guy’s hands before asking his name, “Suleiman. It was nice meeting you.” Suleiman shook the hand of Kshitij tightly and hugged him with, “Koi baat nahin dost” and whispered in his ear, “Don’t let her go ever. Be stubborn. Yeh ladki Heera hai.”

Zoya scolded Kshitij and pulled his hand, “Let’s go. Do you want to get married to his daughter or what and set a stall here at Churchgate. That way, both son-in-law and father-in-law will make good money.”

Love

V

Pune Memoirs (II): A candid tale (6)


Pune Memoirs, 2004-05:

It was quite a joy ride in Pune during those days where life flickered like the breezy wind and meeting the college gang, I mean the usual suspects, was not a call but a walk away. The wintery evenings was spent at the college hang out, Savera restaurant just opposite our Fergusson College where you would find mates and acquaintances sipping, sipping cups of tea and coffee. The place was calm in those days unlike now where the traffic is crazy and sitting at Savera watching the traffic moving in peace to a certain degree was a soulful exercise. Of course, the definition of ‘peaceful’ is subjective unlike now. I enjoyed gazing at the road from the restaurant and the horde of people swarming on FC Road. The place was serene, peaceful and lazy. Pune was quite a lazing off affair where life moved in a comfortable zone.

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Image sourced from Google: Representational picture of Pune.

I enjoyed long walks, wading past Deccan to have a taste of pan carefully snuggled on a pack of ice, scouting for paperback books and woolen winter cap spread on the pavement. The best thing about walking at a stretch towards JM Road is that the body becomes warm in the cold and of course, tea was brewed and served hot at the street stalls. I enjoyed the Mastani sweet drink which is a Pune specialty in the cold season that sends a cool sensation down the body. In the apartment where we stayed, there was a rickshaw uncle whom our flatmates befriended and he would often come to visit us, bringing hot bread, bun, and cookies wrapped in newspaper for all of us. Quite a quirky character he was! He wasn’t really dumb but his voice was choked due to dysfunction where we had to follow his lip movement attentively to understand. At times, uncle could be very irritating when he would comment on the number of pair of shoes lying on the rack and bitching about an acquaintance in whose apartment, there were innumerable pairs. Of course, he meant no harm and was a kind man.

Once he took us for around and sashayed his vehicle at a screeching speed past the red light area at BP Road, showing us the commercial sex workers. It was quite a sight, frightening but also an outsider’s view in another world we were alien to. Of course, uncle’s advice of how we shouldn’t go there but end up laughing at his own joke asking if we want to go. Of course, none of us ever did that. Once, I was walking on the busy FC Road past Vaishali restaurant when a hand grabbed my arm and almost jumped in fright to see rickshaw uncle pulling a prank on me. Of course, I was shit scared.

But, I had an almost scaring incident with a random rickshaw wala at Deep Bangla Chowk while driving inside the crowded place surrounded by a lineup of small electric shops when my vehicle brushed past the former. I didn’t realize that my bike almost stumbled on the speeding rickshaw and somehow lost my balance to regain control before accelerating past the chowk.  The infuriated rickshaw dude did a u-turn to stop in front of me and bang a resounding slap on my face that almost deafened my ear. I didn’t defend myself and was smart enough to avert danger since, in this particular area, there could be a risk of dozens pouncing on me on account of a rickshaw stand not far away. The shop wallas came out of the shop with the aim to separate me from them and it was time for the asshole to run away, who earlier thought that I bumped his vehicle to flee. The shop guys told me you should have slapped him back and he has no right to hit you. But, then, I guess it was a minor incident that doesn’t weigh against the fabulous times spent in my city. By that time, Pune has already become my home where I became a Punekar in no time.

The best thing about the localites are their welcoming nature and not once, I felt like an outsider in the city. It’s what makes the beauty of Pune that gave a sense of belonging. It’s very important to have local contacts and one such nice people were the Bhave who managed Bharat Gas on FC, uncle and his son Siddharth Bhaiya. They were like family and would often lend me cash from the company account when I was broke. I would often visit them when in need of cash. Adi would joke that whenever I would visit the outlet, they must be thinking, ‘Oh! He is again here…in need of cash.’ Might be holier than truth.

There were no dearth of visitors at our apartment and one such good guy was Pradeep who was much elder than us who at that time sported a mustache and long hair like Aamir Khan in Mangal Pandey who was all over the billboards. Pradeep who is a techie would always bring for us huge Cadbury chocolate box and sweets during Diwali and on any random occasion. Once he took all of us for dinner at a Rajasthani place off JM Road and the place looked like The Great Indian Wedding on a Saturday where food was served unlimited for 150 bucks. On the day, we were treated to a royal feast, we waited for a long time outside since there was a huge crowd but once we were in, the treat was sumptuous with mouth-watering veg and nonveg Indian delight plus sweet meat. Pradeep loved music and he would often bring his guitar, encouraging us to sing along with him to the tune of typical Goans songs and dancing to Kajra Re, where he did the perfect AB and Junior B signature style. He was not only a genuine soul but also very jolly dude. He would hug you by slapping on the back. That was his way of greeting us with a smile. He was a well-built fellow at that time and very athletic that we would often joke that if had to beat someone, we would bring Pradeep bhaiya along. Then, one day, he simply disappeared and wondering where he went but then heard from that he moved to Dubai without telling many people.

When we were not having visitors, Saturdays were spent having vodka, smoking up both cigarette and the shit by sitting on the stairs with Adi where we would talk just about anything under the stars in the sky, from girls to exams and people we liked and disliked. At that time, we were up past 2 a.m and yours truly was always high. He also tried to get me hitched to one of his friend from Mumbai and who was studying medicine in Nagpur, N. Of course, things didn’t work out and he harassed me to keep messaging her. Of course, I did but on and off. The friendship and carefree days were priceless where life was taken for granted, at times.

Before I wrap it off, there was an anecdote where I was unintentionally made the joke while sitting and studying like a good boy for exams in my room. My only fault was listening to the Walkman in loud volume while writing on loose Sundaram paper sheet as an effective revision method to retain concepts.  Somehow, I sensed some human movement behind my back and heard laughs and was greeted to roomies sitting like disciplined kids on my bed.  I was right. They were laughing at me. I thought it was some pranks. Adi just said, “Asshole what’s up?” He used to call me that and I would return the compliment with bitch. He again asked whether I didn’t hear anything. Everyone ended up laughing. An earthquake that shook the building made each and every one of them who were confined to study in their respective rooms leap off their feet and storm their way inside the hall that was converted into my room. Yours truly was the only specie oblivious to the earthquake that rocked the entire city and shook our building.

I shall leave you with this episode in the Pune Memoirs and hope you enjoyed this episode that I believe turned out to be a spicy and filled with anecdotes worth a memoir. Sometimes I do blow my trumpet.

Postscript: Going back at times can be quite painful in racking the brain to separate the chaff from the wheat to recollect moments worth telling. The past shall not bear the burden of pain but glorious moments that made life worth living and taking a risk. I am at my candid best.

Ciao!

With Love

V

Random conversation and Childhood games


It all started with Niki’s post on Playful Memories where the conversation we exchanged over childhood games prompted this post. It brought back flashback moments of the childhood days when I would sneak away from the preening eyes of Mom & Dad to play with kids in the vicinity and at times, playing alone.

I wasn’t brought up in India but a small island where cities are two or three times smaller than small Indian towns. Life could be boring but I guess never for kids. Even a boring life wouldn’t stop most of us to invent games and there is no dearth of them when you open the window outside your home. A small tin roof corrugated Chinese shop was on my way from school, where tiny and huge marble balls in different colors, red, sapphire and blue were put on display. I was fascinated by all of them. I would save my measly pocket money which I bought the marbles for one, two and five rupees. My eyes flashed at the priceless gems which became my most prized possession. A jackpot of sort. Outside my house, there was a muddy terrain and the first thing I did was to dig small holes with a stone to play marble games. I would spend the afternoons outdoors playing alone and expertly placing the marbles between my fingers to make them land with precision inside the hole. It was not an easy task. I sweated and the moment my marble found its way inside, gave me a sense of victory. It was so much fun at a time where small phones or computers were alien to my existence as a child.

Playing street football with childhood friends were an ecstatic joy for us where I would run with the football to meet my friends and we would put two stones on both ends that would substitute as goals. It was a residential area where houses were lined up on both sides of the street and surrounded by a huge litchi tree where the four of us would be divided into two teams playing football and squabbling over petty issues. Often, the ball would land in someone’s property and we would be chased by them. I am someone who would run away from home and played till 6 in the evening when Mom would come to chase me with a stick.

At my neighbor’s house, there was a huge tree on a spacious land, filled with huge boulders and there was a wooden swing fixed to a tree. We would oscillate up in the air to reach the maximum high. I would play with kids who were all girls and I was the only boy. Mom would come and get me off the tree past six since we Indians, of Bihari origin no matter which place of the world we stay believed in this quirky superstition that one shouldn’t stay under a tree after 6 p.m since there are spirits that may harm us. I may narrate about spirits and beliefs perhaps in a brand new post.

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Image credit: Google/http://beafunmum.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/DSC08031.jpg

Playing with toy cars was another thing that fascinated me as a child and I had quite a few collection of miniature cars. I have always loved Hindi movies as a child, in particular, action films and once my neighbor got a huge toy car with doors sliding open which he brought home and both of us would play with it.  One day, we were up for some pranks and imagining us to be actors fleeing away from villains, we burned the car by lighting match sticks to put the car on fire.  It was all my doing. Lighting the match stick and first burning the windows made of plastic and it took us hard work to completely burn the car.  Logically, the neighbor’s parents didn’t like it and told Mom. I was in for an earful for destroying the toy of my neighbor who was smaller than me.

I was quite shy as a child and would prefer to play alone with my toys and speaking to myself. As I grew up, I would spend my hard-saved pennies buying magazines like Filmfare, Cineblitz and others like Movie Mag which is no longer in circulation. The magazine would cost some 15 bucks at that time and this where the monthly pocket money would go rather than on toffee. Often, stealing few coins from Dad’s pocket would do the trick. Buying cassettes was another favorite pastime and there was a great delight to get a small, shiny poster of the film slipped inside. It was the 90s when the best film songs came. Any guesses! Ashiqui, Khuda Gawah or Saajan.

A peek into my childhood games and growing up days where technology didn’t storm our lives to makes us prisoners. I am amazed what a conversation with Niki could lead to in reviving those days. I agree with her that today’s kids are missing out on both indoor or outdoor games. Yes, kicking the can on the street is something that I would love to do and graduated to tennis or ping-pong balls. What’s your childhood games? Do share with us and don’t forget to hop on Niki’s blog.

With Love

V

 

#Quotedstories: Words that hurts and heals


The tongue is a ruthless weapon. The power to lash in moments of anger where no one is spared and once the storm has subsided, the mountain of regret can plague us throughout the rest of our life. After all, who says that words don’t kill?

quoted

It doesn’t take a second or minute to break a friendship or relationship by spewing venom through the sheer force of our words that hurt in places that no deadly weapon can. We are humans. We get angry. While we end up saying things on the spur of the moment, little do we realize how we cannot take back the words that stab on the unlikeliest of places. It wounds the soul and its a burden that we can carry till the grave. Negative energy flows in. It can harm us for the rest of our lives. It carries such negative energy that can make us hit a dead-end and no matter what we undertake in life, it can turn us into failures. Have you wondered why? Words.

It happened with me in the past. I ended up saying things to an irritating friend whom I never liked in our gang. In fact, both of us hated each other and there was so much anger brewing inside me. Once, I was running a high fever and was weak when he wrote something on my wall in Orkut. I responded with insults calling his brainless and much more. I couldn’t hold myself and wrongly thought that insulting him would mean a victory to me. It was wrong. I know. But, luckily, as time passed, he reached out to me on FB and suggested that we make fresh beginnings. Like he said, both of us were immature at that point. It made sense to me.  Such closure can empower you, trust me.

It was not the first instance and it happened with the crush I was madly in love with. Words were not exchanged but my behavior of avoiding her and turning my face away from her when we met blew the friendship off. As college was getting over, I refused to write in her scrapbook. I was guilty. On the same day, she sent an SMS, where I was reproached about my behavior. There was a guilt that would never leave me in peace and it took me 10 years to say sorry to her last year. She was very sweet to me. I guess with time, we all change and can be mature in handling our relationships with the ones we love and who will always hold a special place in our hearts.

As I look back, I could have handled things in a better manner by getting rid of my ego or for that matter, take a deep breath and do other things. That way, I would no longer be angry to utter words that cannot be taken way. Once the words are spelled, it’s doom. It’s true we can be forgiven but words uttered can never be forgotten. I think that meditation can help us a lot to be calmer and avoid telling things that we wouldn’t mean in a moment of fury. Why bruise the soul and carry a burden that will harm us? It’s not the way to grow as humans. Like someone once said, it takes years to build a friendship but it hardly takes time to break it apart.

Take a break, take a Kit Kat! What better way to let sweetness flow through the tongue rather than trading words that hurt. If we have to unleash the tongue, spread happiness, laughter and sweetness that will make us healers and make a soulful experience to fellow travelers in this journey. I wouldn’t say to be careful with words for it puts too much burden on us but to adorn them like the flowers sprouting in your garden. You wouldn’t like the thorns to prick you, right!

Once the doom is spread through your words, there is no power on earth that can help to vanquish them in the air. Words are the sword that pierces us in the unlikeliest of places and perhaps, more powerful than a bullet. It may be forgiven with time but forgetting them is no easy task. Next time, you are feeling angry, take a deep breath and go onto self-introspection or a walk. Let the angst or frustration filter. Be in control. Have a sweet meat. Let it swirl in the tongue and gently caressing your soul.

This post is written based on this quote, Be Careful with your words, once they are said, they can be forgiven but not forgotten’-Carl Sandburg. I am linking it with #Quotedstories by Upasana & Rohan.

Love

V

 

 

 

Love

V

 

Her name was Jyoti Singh! Judgement honors her memory


Her name was Jyoti Singh.  It’s high time for all of us to refrain from calling her Nirbhaya, Amaanat or Damini. The perpetrators and depraved minds are the ones who should be ashamed and not her or any rape victim. Victims of rape or sexual violence are ostracized and it doesn’t honor us as a society. She was one among many who are victims of rape, tortured and killed by murders who bore no shame, guilt or regret. The verdict has come after four years. It’s shameful and tragic that court verdicts take such a long time and the moment is now to implement fast-track courts to deliver justice, as pointed out by the Justice Verma Commission.

There are many victims who are shamed for no fault of them when they suffer rape at the hands of bastards who think they will get away with crime. The biggest problem is our attitudes to sexual violence and crime, albeit rape. The rape of Jyoti Singh was not just brutal and barbaric but shows our deeply enshrined sick mentality when it comes to such a heinous crime. As the learned judges have pointed out, it’s the rarest of rare cases that demand that the guilty are hanged. No civilized society can condone this violent crime where rape is all about power to control a woman. Let’s say No to this stigma called rape. The onus lie on the perpetrators and not the victim.

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Image sourced from Google. Protests in India following the gruesome rape of Jyoti Singh, a paramedic student.

I hope that with this judgment, we, as a society, will stop using brainless arguments such as ‘she asked for it’, ‘was roaming at night’, ‘boys are boys and make such small mistakes’, or ‘wearing short skirts’. If any, this landmark judgment should serve as a precedent and time for us to spread awareness that if someone commits such a crime, they will be dealt severely by the law. I think this is what matters in the face of critics of death penalty arguing that it serves as no deterrent. It should be made in such a fashion that it deter crimes against women and small children. It was a case that shocked our conscience as a society where the young people showed the way by protesting against such atrocity and braved police brutality or the state’s coercion to send a loud and clear message. Enough is enough.

Yes! I was happy on hearing that the Supreme Court judges have upheld the verdict given by the High Court in the case of Jyoti Singh. I clapped. I don’t know whether the judgment brought closure since there are still some dark or far-flung corners not only in India but across the world, where the victims have dim but fading hope for justice. Perpetrators roam free. A case in point is Bilkis Bano, whose perpetrators have not been hanged. One is tempted to ask, Is it not a travesty of justice? There are so many such cases in remote villages in India where the victims lack the media exposure or the privilege of the masses fighting for them to bring media attention and the corrupt police shooing them away. We have miles to cover when victim suffer from the lack of education and awareness while at the same time, being turned down from filing FIR.  What happens to the Nirbhaya fund which is still unutilized to support rape victims?

The argument against taking a life for a life stands valid but we shouldn’t forget that this case was an exceptional one where it stood important to send a very strong statement on the need and quest for justice. Justice for Jyoti Singh. Justice for her parents who relentlessly fought for the memory of their daughter to be honored and they left no stone unturned, tirelessly doing the rounds of courts and police stations. Justice is the one thing left when everything fails and it’s where commoners build their hope in a democracy. Remember the Jessica Lall case where the media played an important part in mounting pressure to re-open the case where the accused Manu Sharma was initially let off due to his political clout!

However, the saddest part in the Jyoti Singh case is that the most violent culprit is roaming scot-free and got away with crime. The lamest excuse that the judiciary could give was that he was a minor at the time of the crime but was indeed an adult when he was released. It’s a dichotomy and irony of sort. We spoke at length on how when someone commits a crime, he is fully aware of his act and for that matter, even an 11-year-old has the mental faculty in the right to know what an action entails. Sorry, I beg to differ. For criminals, there are no repentance and not once those bastards showed remorse, as reported by the media. It’s one of the reasons why I ain’t sure whether there is closure in the gruesome rape and murder of Jyoti Singh.

The young and brilliant girl would have turned 28 on May 10. I still call her a brave heart for she fought against death in her dying moments and gave a courageous statement in front of the court magistrate. She asked that her perpetrators are punished and buried alive. As an Indian and a human being, I clap this judgment which I believe is historic and a landmark one. The judiciary had no choice but to send a strong message to criminals. A precedent has been made. Death penalty was warranted in this case. There is no second choice. As it is, the struggle doesn’t end here and lawmakers, civil society, and citizens must come together to ensure that such crimes are curbed and our daughters can roam free whether it’s during the day or night. Educate our boys to respect women as individuals but also not to suppress sex as an emotion on account of ridiculous social, religious or moral mores.

We may debate at length on death penalty but it’s the courageous parents of Jyoti Singh who went through the entire ordeal and lost their daughter to devils and vultures. Nothing can compensate their loss. Their parents may not be schooled but they had a dream for their daughter to conquer the world. Justice had been delivered in this case. As a civilized society, we cannot afford to delay or turn a deaf ear and debate on whether it will help curb crime or else it will be the biggest denial of justice. I rest my case.

We remember you, brave heart, as Jyoti Singh.

V