Friday, December 31, 2010
For a past few days she had been feeling like this. Things were not the same now. Her life had been sort of perfect. A lovely childhood filled with happiness, cool teen years and now the time when she earns and can live like a Queen - she had no regrets. She was always surrounded by her friends, her colleagues at work place liked her, her family adored her. She was the apple of everyone's eye.
But then when she thought her life was perfect, everything went wrong.A fight with 2 of her friends left her upset. A small setback in the work place was creating tension. Her family was expecting her to spend more time with them.
She couldn't stand this. Her life was not perfect.
The ever bubbly girl who could make anyone laugh at the drop of a hat was shying away to meet anyone. She feared this getting worse. This made her depressed more. She felt very lonely.There would be a smile on her face every morning when she gets up and looks at the mirror. But now it was like she had forgotten to smile. She felt like running away somewhere.
Things were going badly like this and she dreaded as tomorrow was 1st Jan. She had this notion that the 1st day of the year should always be happy else the rest of the year also goes bad.
She looked at her phone - 15 miss calls!It was her sister. The last person she wanted to speak to right now was her sister, because they always ended up fighting.
She looked at the time - 9.30 AM. She sighed. It was going to be a boring weekend at home but at the same time she was afraid to go out and meet anyone.
She was contemplating on what she should do when the door bell rang.
It was her Sister!
She was expecting an outburst from her sister but instead her sister smiled at her and told her to come with her for shopping. Meena tried to say no but her sister was very stubborn.
They were on the way to shopping mall when her sister stopped the car in corner of a very busy road. She looked at her sister questioningly.
Her sister smiled and asked her to look around at the people and observe.
Thinking her sister to be crazy she looked around and saw different kinds of people.
Vendors at road side,who were trying to sell various things. Beggars who looked malnutritioned, a few didn't have some body parts. People rushing here and other, some happy faces and some sad faces. It was all a mixed crowd. She had a look around and turned to her sister again.
Her sister asked if she had any problems in life. Meena got upset and told her that she didn't want to talk about it. Her sister looked at her hard and asked her to compare her life to anyone in the crowd in this busy road and tell if she had any problems. She looked around again and wondered.
She had a nice and comfortable place to live. She didn't have to stand in the sun to toil hard. She was perfectly healthy. She didn't have to bother rushing around, trying to walk with the crowd. She had a very good life compared to everyone.
Her sister knowing what she was thinking asked her - "Why are you unhappy then? Why are you depressed and avoiding everyone? Just because she had a fight with a friend or faced a small problem in office doesn't mean you have all the problems of life. Life can never be perfect but it can never be bad. We need to work it out and enjoy all the moments, instead of cribbing over it."
Meena realized her fault for always expecting perfect things and avoiding any kind of obstacles in life. She realized that her life was so good.
She looked at her sister with a smile, thanking her and started chalking out plans to spend the new year eve.
She was ready to look at the positive things of life at the light of Dawn! :D
P.S - It all depends on how we look at our life. Be Happy. Keep smiling :)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Considering what had happened in the last one year, her wedding day could also become her death day only if…
Closing her eyes she remembered how she ended up in this situation now.
Archana’s father knew enough contacts and he ensured his son didn’t get mixed up in police case after Preethi’s incident. Her death was termed as suicide with the reason being given – she was not happy with the wedding. Her image was tarnished in public even after her death and Arjun’s name never got surfaced.
Archana knew that her life would never be the same after this, but still she had to live.
Her parents stopped her also from going to college after what had happened. Her brother went away for a few months but again came back. This time he was the same Arjun she had known since childhood. Even though she spoke to him as she used to, she knew that she could never forgive him for what he did to her best friend. Despite Arjun being her brother, she knew that no fault lied with Preethi. She could understand Preethi’s situation as they both were in similar situation. As girls, they were never supposed to fall in love with anyone, which would mean disgracing their family. They were not allowed to dream and live their life. But now with her brother’s return, she was allowed to go to college. But it wasn’t same anymore.
Life was just passing by and she didn’t know what will happen to her.
Nine months passed and then one fine day, during college time, there was a huge parcel in her seat with her name on it. Surprised she opened it to see a gift and a card inside it. The card read –
“I Love you Archana”.
A chill ran through her spine. There was no name in the card. She quickly took the box and left college. She got scared. She realized that someone was stalking her. She quickly reached home and burnt the gift and card.
When her brother came home, he realized something was wrong with her but she lied to him.
A few days passed and again a card arrived. She didn’t know what to do. There was no name and she had no idea who the person was. She closed her eyes and she saw Preethi. She shuddered. She got scared now. She didn’t want the past to repeat. She decided to keep this a secret and not let her family know about it. Else they would again stop her from going to college.
Daily she started getting a card and gift.
Soon her brother got to know about it. He got furious and questioned her. She told him she didn’t know anything but he didn’t believe her. She showed him the gift and cards and tried to prove her innocence.
The gifts and cards infuriated him and soon he along with his friends found that guy. They threatened him with dire constraints if he tried to get in touch with Archana. Archana’s parents got to know the whole thing and they stopped Archana from going anywhere.
The guy who was following Archana turned out to be minister’s son. News spread across. The minister got so upset that his son had been threatened that he ordered his men to pick up Arjun. Arjun was beaten up and put behind bars with false charges under his name.
This shook Archana’s family but they were helpless. No one was ready to help them to save their son as Minister was directly involved. Her parents were very upset and blamed her for their son’s misfortune. If she had not insisted on going to college, none of this would have happened and Arjun would be at home happy. Archana became very depressed hearing all this as she knew she didn’t want any of this.
Minister’s son was completely smitten by Archana and wanted her. He approached Archana’s parents and told him about his intention of marrying Archana. Her parents were surprised and scared. He told them he will release Arjun also on the same day when his wedding is fixed to Archana.
Archana’s parents had no other go but to agree to this wedding. They knew that if they said no, their whole family’s honor would go as Minister could harm them. They had to get their son out of jail also.
The wedding date was fixed which coincided with Preethi’s death date!
Present Day -
Archana slept off thinking about the past and wondering what tomorrow was in store for her.
Archana got up to see the morning sun shining brightly out of the window, brushing past her face. Today, it’s her wedding to a person who is the reason behind her brother being in jail and her parents hating her.
She got dressed up as a bride, as she heard the wedding laughter’s downstairs. She knew that she had to get married to save her brother. She looked again at the album. She saw Preethi’s smiling face and knew that her family was facing the consequence of what had happened to Preethi. Her brother deserved it but why her? What wrong she had done to go through all this?
She heard her name being called. It was time.
She looked again at Preethi’s photo and started to walk out of the door to lead a lifeless life.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Both of them looked at each other scared knowing anything like this will hamper her life…
She knew that just the word “love” in her house itself a taboo. And she was not at all interested in Arjun. She respected him as he was Archana’s brother.
The next few days were nightmare for Preethi as Arjun started following her everywhere. She ignored him completely but still he would try to talk to her after the college in the evening. She tried to talk to him once to leave her alone but he didn’t heed her. He kept giving her small gifts and telling her he loved her.
Soon the words reached her parents that she was seeing a guy. All hell broke loose in her house and her parents questioned her a lot. They stopped her from going to college despite her plea of innocence. Archana knowing the whole truth tried to convince Preethi’s parents but she was asked to leave Preethi alone.
Preethi’s parents stopped her studies and soon arranged for her wedding. Preethi got very upset as she didn’t do anything wrong. She wanted to get in touch with Archana, whom she knew could help her out of this mess.
On the other side, Archana didn’t what to do. She couldn’t think of anything which could help her friend. Her brother was suddenly a stranger to her and she realized that he would go to any length to get Preethi in his life. She was dead scared of him now.
Arjun, on hearing about Preethi’s wedding started acting like a madman. He was crazy about her and had never hid his emotions from anyone. He knew he had to somehow stop Preethi’s wedding as she was only hers.
Soon that day came – Preethi’s wedding.
She got dressed up in her bridal costume, totally given up on life. Her wish of living her own life freely for the 3 years of college had been shunned thanks to a guy called Arjun. He had simply come in her life and spelled doom!
She didn’t know the person to whom she was getting married to. She simply didn’t care. She wished she could die right now but taking her own life was not the solution. She made herself strong mentally and was ready to face the lifeless life ahead of her.
As she was walking down the stairs to the stage, suddenly there was a commotion in front of her. A few men had entered the wedding venue and were creating havoc. Suddenly Arjun came in front of her and took her hand. She tried to resist him and it angered him a lot. He pulled in towards her and shouted “I Love You, Come with me”. She tried to get out of his hold. Seeing her struggle, he suddenly left her.
He looked at her and asked – “Do you love me?”
She stared at him shocked and was too scared to reply.
He again asked her, this time very harshly.
She tried to speak but no words came out of her mouth in fear. She vigorously shook her head.
Suddenly he took out something from his hand and threw at her and ran off. Next instant her facing was burning like anything. She realized it was acid. Arjun had thrown acid on her face as she won’t reciprocate his love for her. She completely blanked out.
She woke up startled. She found herself in hospital room. For a second she couldn’t understand anything and then it dawned to her. She touched her face and screamed. Her whole face was burned. Her life was now more than hell.
Archana was waiting outside Preethi’s room in the hospital. She was completely shaken. She never realized that her brother would do such a thing. Preethi’s parents had abandoned her in the hospital as now she bought only disgrace to their family. For them she was dead. Archana never thought such a day would come in her life.
Doctor had told her that Preethi was unconscious. Once she woke up, it would be tough to deal with Preethi as she might become violent. Suddenly she heard a scream.
She rushed inside Preethi’s room to see her crying uncontrollably. Seeing Archana, Preethi clunged to her for support. Both the friends kept crying. Archana tried to convince Preethi that everything would be well despite knowing that everything is over.
Suddenly Preethi smiled at her and asked if she would do a favor for her. Archana nodded her head.
Preethi, in a strange tone, told her that she wanted a mirror and a knife.
Archana realized what Preethi was going to do but she didn’t know what else to say.
She got her those things and left Preethi looking in those eyes for the last time.
Preethi was found dead in her hospital room on the day when her wedding was supposed to take place.
Present Day –
Archana looked at the smiling Preethi’s face again. Tomorrow was her wedding date. Last year it was Preethi’s which turned out to be her death day.
Considering what had happened in the last one year, her wedding day could also become her death day only if…
Thursday, December 23, 2010
She knew that tomorrow could be her death day too if...
If what happened to Preethi one year ago, happened tomorrow!!
Preethi...she shuddered as she remember her face, corpse, And what happened to her, thanks to her brother!
Flashback - 3 years back!
Preethi was getting ready to go to college! Her 1 st day in college. She was happy!
Her parents had finally agreed to let her study tillthey get a suitable match for her.
That was the deal she could from them - Study till her wedding is fixed.
She sincerely hoped that the guy they chose for her should let her complete her graduation.
She knew that was the max she could wish for in this life.
She was born to become a dutiful daughter,dutiful wife, dutiful daughter-in-law and
dutiful Mother in her lifetime. She could not expect to achieve anything else!
She started for college with the intent to enjoy her life for herself as much as possible in those 3 years!
As the days passed, she met many girls who were in the same plight as her! One girl, Archana soon became her closest friend. Both shared their dreams and sorrows and gave each other the courage and encouragement as and when it was needed. They used to envy those girls who had more freedom and wished their destiny would change soon.
But little did they know what destiny had in store for them!
Soon first semester was getting over and one could feel the tense atmosphere in college. But at home it was completely different, who didn't think exams were of any importance for these girls. Both Preethi and Archana decided to have group study so that on one side they could study and another side they can escape from the work at home.
Unless they got good marks in exams, they couldn't prove their point to anyone.
They chalked out a plan to visit each other's house alternate days to study.
The 1st day Preethi went to Archana's house. As soon she entered the house, she saw him. She immediately knew that he must be Archana's brother Arjun, about whom Archana has told a lot. Archana practically worshipped her brother. He looked at her and smiled. She smiled back and then Archana came and they went into Archana's room to study.
She didn't know that smile was to change her whole life...
Whenever she went to Archana's house, she would see him. The way he looked at her made her uncomfortable but she didn't say anything. The Group study went as planned and soon the exams got over. She dreaded the 10 days semester holidays as she would be forced to be inside her house. She enjoyed going to college to live her life.
Soon the 10 days got over and she was very happy to go back to college but her happiness was shortlived.
From the day her 2nd semester started she felt very uneasy. Not during the college time but outside. She had this feeling that someone was watching her constantly. She told Archana about it but initially Archana didn't take it seriously.
It was her birthday and she was on her way to college, when she saw him(Arjun) again. He was standing along with his friends. As soon as he saw her, he came to her smiling. She felt uneasy but still as he was her best friend's brother she stopped.
Arjun said smiling- "Happy Birthday"
Preethi meekly replied - "thanks"
She was about to walk again when he stopped her. The look in his eyes scared her.
He took out a gift and gave it to her. She didn't know what to do. She looked here and there scared that someone might see. He didn't seem bothered about anything. Suddenly he thrust the gift in her hand and walked off.
She looked perplexed. No one has ever given a gift. She heard someone calling her name. She turned and saw Archana approaching her.
Archana asked - "Preethi, that was my brother right?"
Preethi kept staring at the gift.
Archana looked at the gift and at Preethi and then in the direction her brother left. He had left with his friends.
Both the friends started walking towards college in their own thoughts confused. As soon as the class got over, Archana took Preethi to their normal hanging place and asked her to open the gift. Preethi was not happy at all despite her birthday. She was scared.
Preethi slowly opened the gift. It was a doll and along with that a piece of paper where "I Love You" was written. Preethi looked pleadingly to Archana as if she didn't know anything.
Archana understood her feelings. She was also scared. She was equally shocked. She had never expected her brother to do such a thing and moreover with her best friend.
Both of them looked at each other scared knowing anything like this will hamper their life...
There were many of you who felt that 1st part itself was a complete story. Thanks for pointing that out. I never saw it that way :D
The whole intention of this story was something else which you will soon see in the following parts.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Her parents were smiling and looking back at her from the photo. She wondered what would be going in their mind concerning tomorrow. For them she had always been a "burden" just like any other family thought a girl child to be burden in their society! They just wanted to see her married and their duty would be over. She wanted to study more. She had completed her Graduation recently. It was a custom in her family to get the girl married at a young age. Her parents had agreed to her studying Post Graduation provided she agreed to marry whenever they wished! All her dreams were shattered. All because of a thing which guys claim as - Love.
In the next picture, her brother was smiling at her. She wondered how he was. Without him, her wedding was about to take place! But then this tense situation was also because of him. He was in jail right now - for something he didn't do but then he deserved to be in jail for something he had done one year ago, from which he had escaped!
She turned the page and saw her and Preethi's photo - Preethi, her best friend. The only person with whom she had shared all those dreams that she knew would never be filled in this birth. Both of them sailed in the same boat! Born in families that saw Women as an Object, who should live for others and not for themselves, they shared all their desires and hopes of a better life which they also knew was not possible!
She didn't know whether to say it as a co-incidence or destiny, but exactly one year before Preethi had died.
She closed her eyes. She couldn't control herself now. She started crying.
She knew that tomorrow could be her death day too if...
This is a long story that i have started writibng after reading/hearing various incidents. This is a complete work of fiction.
As always do let me know how you like this. Another Experiment ;)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Attending and blogging about the session(In my company) of Dr.Pawan on The Mumbai Dabbawala's reminded me of our very own Dabbawala back in Bhilai and the extended family.
Yep, you read right - Extended Family!
Starting with Dabbawala, am sure most of you would have been impressed by the way the Mumbai Dabbawala's are functioning. Awed by the details of their routine etc and how they work it out as an organization and equally wondering why they don't expand their service beyond Mumbai!
From the day I have been in Chennai, I never saw a Dabbawala here. Somehow I had always assumed that there would be Dabbawala's in every city just like we had in Bhilai. I came to Chennai and made this observation even before Prince Charles visited India and the Mumbai Dabbawala's and they became famous!
So the general talks about Dr.Pawan about the Dabbawala's didn't surprise me as I have seen many like them in action. The only difference would be that in Mumbai, its an organization and in Bhilai, we had 3-4 Dabbawala's covering certain regions. One more difference would be that in Mumbai they depended on Public transport(mainly local trains) and in Bhilai, it was their own cycles.
Many people wonder why the Mumbai Dabbawala's don't expand! Well to my best knowledge - the way things work in Mumbai can never be found in any other city for them to suit their way of working and certainly if they expand, the same charm and effect of their work would reduce! Another thing is that there are Dabbawala's in many places in India, especially in North India.
The Extended Family -
The bell rings at 11.30 AM sharp coinciding with the sound of clatterings of spoons from the kitchen. Mother is furiously packing the lunch and keeping it in Dabba when the Dabbawala rang his bicycle bell, indicating his arrival. He would come near the doorstep with his smiling face as my mother would rush to give the dabba to him and he would leave to resume his 10 kms stretch which had to be covered with 20 more halts in between to ensure that those Dabba's reached the hands of the rightful owner by Lunchtime. Then he would take a break before resuming his return journey to give back those dabba's back to its respective houses.
As I attended the Dabbawala session, I was reminded of this Dabbawala's whose name I have never known and from the Day I know, he had been collecting the dabba from my house and had the same cycle and used to come without fail, be it summer,rainy or winter season. He hardly took leave and whenever he took, he would inform us earlier!
He was a simple guy who earned very less but never complained or showed any kind of feelings. He would always have a smile in his face.
He is a part of the Extended family!
Dabbawala, Milkman, Postman, Dhobi, The vegetable vendor, The grocery shopkeeper, medical guy store and last but not the least Maid of the house.
They all are a part of the extended family who are not related to you but are a prt of your life who know whats happening in your life and are always loyal to you!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"Ma, What is a festival?" - asked a eleven year old boy to his mother as she finished puting rangoli.
She looked at him with warm eyes and said - "Festival means Celebration".
Son looked at his mother and asked - "What is celebrated?"
She smiles at him and says "Different things"
He asks her - "What different things?"
She makes him sit next to her and asks him - "Pongal,Diwali,Holi etc"
He immediately asks - "Christmas?"
She looks at him bewildered. Then immediately smiles and nods her head saying - "Yes, Christmas too".
He again asks - "Then Eid?Why don't we celebrate it? Anwar celebrates!"
She looks at him lovingly and tells - "We celebrate Eid too by wishing Anwar and his family and many others"
But he is not convinced - "Why doesn't Anwar celebrate diwali?"
She replies - "Anwar also celebrates holi by playing wth colors and diwali by bursting crackers along with us. Everyone celebrates everything, my son."
He thinks for a moment and asks - "But why do we celebrate all this?"
She looks at him and smiles at his infinite Why questions.
She replies - "Beta, Each festival has its own significance. Anwar is muslim. Joseph is Christian and You are Hindu. Each of these religions have a set of celebrations based on some reason."
He stares at her.
She smiles and gives him a sweet.
He asks - "Why different festivals for all 3 of us"
She patiently replies - "Because you are born in different families with different religions".
He asks - "What different festivals, Anwar celebrates?"
She replies - "Beta, he celebrates Bakriid,Eid-ul-fitr, Muharram etc. Each of them have significance in their religion. For example - Bakriid is a day celebrated for sacrifices, Eid-ul-fitr is for the last day of Ramzaan which is an auspicious month in Muslim Calendar. They have rituals for these festivals and for others like this.
"Joseph celebrates Christmas,Birth of Jesus Christ.Easter, feast of Resurrection ie Jesus returns back to life. Good Friday is to observe the death of Jesus."
"We celebrate various festivals. Among us also, people have different ways to celebrate different festivals". For Example - Diwali is festival of lights, Holi is festival of colrs, Rakshabandhan is festival for siblings. Durga Pooja/Navrathri is for Goddess Durga. Pongal is celebrated in South during harvesting season. Many more festivals like these are celebrated in various parts of India."
He keeps staring at her and shrugs.
She smiles at him and tells him - "As you grow up you will understand. Keep listening to stories what your grand parents tell"
He snatches another sweet from her and starts running towards the door saying - "Google is there na :P"
She could hear him shouting Anwar's name to play.
She walks into her room and hears the news on in TV. Reports on Bomb blast by terrorist. Reports on honor killing. Reports on communal tensions at some place.
She thinks back at what she told her son.Despite all this still we Indians celebrate everything with each other!
She hears a sound outside. Cracker bursting has started again! She gets prepared to distribute Diwali sweets in her neighbourhood starting with Joseph and Anwar's house!
Truly, A Land of Festivities!
P.S - this is post written for a competition is internal blog
P.P.S - If we start reading about the different festivals, you will be amazed by the significance of each and every one of them and the belief with which they are celebrated. If you want to know and don't know yet, Go and google ;) Else ask elders :D
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A Typical Iyer Wedding would be inside a mandapam and range from 3 to god knows how many days. But with the changing times, The number of days range from 1 to 3 days. When I say 1 day - it will be for whole 1 day with the main ceremony at a time and different religious ceremonies surrounding it!!
Receptions are also equally a grand and monotonous affair, with a queue standing near the stage to meet Groom-Bride and to mark their attendance by posing for the photo.But Exceptions are everywhere!!
And that was what witnessed in JeyaMahal Palace in Bangalore on 12th September!!!
Muhurtham - 10.30 am to 12 pm
Venue - Open Ground in Jeyamahal palac
So starting off with a small religious ceremony from Bride's side kick started the marriage ceremony!!!
And the Reception - An evening with them - No stage, they went around meeting everyone :)
And what's a wedding without feast?? A mix and match of food items of South!! So a non-foodie, thats me, also had nothing to complain about!! :D :D :D (Now don't ask me menu :roll:)
A few Random Snaps -
P.S - Finally posting this :) All the pics are copyrighted!
Monday, October 18, 2010
She kept switching the channels - various News channels showcasing India's achievements on all the events that were held for past 13 days in commonwealth Games 2010. India beat England in the medals tally and finished 2nd overall! She saw all the smiling faces being shown, those who had won the medals for India and made our country proud.
She was both happy and sad. Happy with the achievements but sad for the winners!
8 years back she had been beaming and smiling. People surrounded her and wished her. Camera-persons came behind her to take her video, Photographers to capture her photo with medal. She felt happy for getting recognized, after all she had won Gold Medal for her country. She felt proud. As she gave interviews and posed for photographs, she sincerely hoped that now things should be smoother. With her achievement, Sports Ministry should try and help more aspiring athletes by providing good facilities and training and fund them for coaches. She felt her Achievement would be a gateway for India's future in all forms of games.
She fought all her way to achieve her dream, and make her country proud! She fought with society and broke the shackles which expected girls to be at home and cook. There were no good training facilities and coaches, but despite that she learnt. She went out of her place to meet new people and improve herself. There were no good accomodations and she had to struggle to live in a decent place. But she fought.
Her goal - Was to make India Proud.
But alas, that was not to be the case. 8 years later she was a forgotten face and her country never acknowledged her. Not just to the public but also those involved in her games had forgotten her. Right now she felt like a loser! And she knew that the same will happen to all those winners this time.
Right now they all are living a dream an soon will be hit by reality!
P.S - Apart from Cricket and Cricketers, none of the games/sports or the sportspersons have been as recognized. Even today the sportspersons struggle. The winners we see on TV will soon be forgotten except one or two maybe. "She" in the story, could actually be any player/winner of previous games whom we simply don't know now.
P.P.S - This is a small tribute to all those forgotten heroes - Achievers/winners from different games/sports who have made India Proud at sometimes!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
They are -
Mr.P, Mr.M,Ms.R,Ms.S,Mr.C and Mr.NPK
So the 6 Wanderers decided to go out in car to a place called Valparai. No concrete idea was made. They simply started from R's house without taking any eatables or anything. Camera's in hand and smiles in their face, they decided to explore not just the nature of Mother Earth but also themselves!!
Mr. NPK - Prasanna - He wandered in the tea states in Pollachi and Valparai and found a new passion - plucking tea leaves ;)
Mr. C - Chiranjib - He wandered and got awed by the Nature's beauty and got out his passion for photography!!