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MOONLIGHT

24 Jan
Started my day on a bad note. Had a disagreement with my husband and was very furious with him, vowing that I’d not speak to him at least for a fortnight, I set out for work. I was supposed to have a very important meeting with my offshore clients as soon as I got there. Cursing my company for not providing conveyance on that day, I took the now glamorous public transport Volvo-‘Vajra’ to commute to & fro, between office and home. Feeling upset about the latest turn of events, I plugged on to my earphones after claiming the window-side seat of the bus and listened to some of my personal collection of songs as I dreamily gazed out of the window. I have a different playlist altogether for days like these, which consists mostly of sad songs.
I soon got bored when my playlist threatened to repeat itself, adding to the woes was the fact that I had not even covered half my journey to work. It takes me a good 2 hours ride approx. to reach my office on a normal day with decent traffic. Running out of songs, and that too so soon, terrified me. I quickly turned to a novel in my backpack for rescue (about which I had easily forgotten, thanks to the way morning had taken off) & in the hope of saving my sanity, at least till I reached my destination.
It was a best-selling novel- ‘New Moon’ (such a situational name, reflecting my mood). I flipped past the pages where I was done with reading. Since my bookmark was moved, it took me few minutes to locate the page in the book I had last read . All the while I was blissfully oblivious of the person who sat on the seat opposite to mine. Having nothing much or interesting to do, he decided I was an ideal specimen to commence his observation on. Then, what I dreaded the most, happened: bottle neck and a long trail of traffic jam. Wow! I was now sure that things could not get any worse! I preferred not to look out of the window as it was sure to cause me a panic attack. Time now seemed to fly by faster than before, coming dangerously close to my log-in time, worse, my meeting time!
I took a deep breath, gave a small bribe, in the form of a small prayer to my favorite God and hoped for a miracle from the bottom of my heart. I hoped for a sudden announcement from the state government to declare that day a holiday due to unheard of traffic blockages at several parts in the city. This crazy thought convinced me that I just suffered a symptom of panic attack and my sanity was menacingly thinking of deserting me. I quickly untied my watch and dropped it into the abyss of my bag (to resist my temptation of looking into it every few seconds!), with the feeling as though I chucked the very time itself somewhere, somewhere from where it could not tick!
That was when the stranger who sat opposite me, decided to talk to his specimen for the first time, maybe to gather more information needed to conclude his observation. He looked at me and exclaimed: ‘What a traffic block! I think WE would surely be late for work today!’. Like as if I didn’t know that already and I did not miss the ‘we’ in his exclamation. It was in other words, an invitation to join the conversation.
I faked a smile and nodded in approval. Asked a few formal questions like where he worked, his nature of job, etc. A little doubtful if I should befriend this stranger, I realised soon, that I was left with no choice. He started off jabbering whether I liked it or not, listened or not. I gave up hope and dropped my novel into the unending blackness of my bag too. I used the right exclamations at the right places. He did not seem to understand my subtle hints of disinterestedness even after I plugged myself back to music. His direct conversation with me, forced me to go off music every now & then. It was now time for my earphones to do down my bottomless bag. I then folded my hands across my chest and surrendered to his conversational onslaught which never seemed to get discouraged. His enthusiasm did not seem to get discouraged even by my hostile ‘don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about’ body language too.
Then something that he spoke made me sit up and pay attention. He mentioned something about his interests in supernatural existences. He said he had experienced one himself, when he was once working late into the night in his office with no one to give him company. That was when he heard someone, a woman it sounded like, screaming and wailing. He was surprised by the proximity of the sound. It sounded as if he heard it from the room besides him. His gut feeling told him that not everything was fine on the floor. He was still thinking about what he had just heard, when the chair in front of him started rocking like as if someone was holding the back of the chair, pulling it backwards and then dropping it back to the floor with a thud! This happened at least 6-7 times before he got unnerved and fled from the place, all the while praying hard to God to get him out of the office before he fainted mid way… I was very skeptical to believe his story initially. He continued saying his Process Head, a woman named Kelly collapsed the following day after seeing something so horrifying that she could not remember what it was after being forcefully bought into consciousness, due to shock. He told me of another girl who came running and screaming out from the rest room, saying she saw a strange apparition on the ceiling of the restroom. It was much later, he said, that he learnt of the violent end that a laborer had met in that very place, where his office building now stood. He told me that such souls find no peace and that it would take a long time before they could attain salvation. I shrugged. He concluded by saying ghosts or spirits surely exist & that he has personally felt their presence on several occasions. I was very,very unsure if I had to believe whatever this stranger was telling me, but then something about this guy made me feel he was genuine & what he was talking about was also genuine. There was definitely some truth in what he had narrated. I was beginning to ponder over all that he had just shared with me and was also contemplating on asking him a question or two about it, just to confirm the truth in the stories.
But then it was his time to alight the bus. He bade a quick goodbye and went his way. I had not realized that I was now nearing my destination too, thanks to all the non stop talking of this stranger, it actually helped take my mind off the snail-paced journey. When I got off the bus and walked towards my office, I was re-running in my mind, all that this guy had told me about. I suddenly realized on an instinct, the hidden message of this whole incident that had happened.
Firstly, life was all about forgiving. It is as true as it is human to err. The more you hold on to a grudge, the more stronger, darker and meaner it  becomes. Like a great man had once said- “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it”. We must always be quick to forgive our loved ones and not harbour any ill feelings towards anybody for that matter. The reason being- none of us know the exact tiME & place of our death. It could come suddenly, so suddenly that we might take time to even realise that we are no more now. We would never be able to move on from this life in peace. All our ill feelings, hatred, grudges would hold you back like gravity, not giving you a chance to leave these dark vibrations behind.
Secondly, I came across this stranger for a reason. He was there to subtly warn me from harboring any sad feelings towards love ones. Forgiving makes us light, it rids us off our emotional baggages and makes travel to another land (read: salvation) easy & light. The laborer woman who had died on this stranger’s office plot was still there- haunting the place because she was unable to let go, let go of her mortal remains, mortal existence, unwilling to forgive. This messenger in the bus today, warned me about what not to be doing. He happened for a reason and his purpose was achieved, for I turned out to be a good student and heeded to his far from direct, warning.
That evening, when I went home, I kissed and made up with my husband (much to his surprise, of course). He asked me confused, if I was possessed by some ghost or something, that was making me do all these unbelievable things. Adding more confusion to his already confused & perplexed mind, I smiled and replied that I was doing all these so I would not become one myself! 😉 I thanked the stranger in my mind and hoped that he would receive my thanks in the form of positive vibrations around him. He was a classic example of how even seemingly negligible incidents in our lives could mean a lot if only we paused to give them a second thought!
towards salvation

towards salvation…

Swan song: In the land of stars

2 Oct
You were my knight in shining armor, my heart fluttered
and several times did i go weak in my knees at your very sight,
‘always felt you were too good for me & haplessly felt conscious at your side,
The greek God sure must have looked like you…
Ecstasy went ecstatic, the day you proposed to me.
Like a happy fairy tale, my life appeared to me,
‘cos this seemed too good to be true, this seemed too right to go wrong
wondered i, if our fates were penned by frolicking, happy angels
you were my pride, you were my joy,
& you were the reason for many a green eyed monsters
you my friend, soon became my everything,
with our stars & its roots being same,
our dreams & their fulfillment didn’t seem distant,
no, not at all
so addicted were we to each other,
so intoxicating was our love to each other,
and so close were we, towards our bliss of many lives,
like a mirage on a scorched desert, was the bliss that we longed for
we laughed till it hurt, cried till it hurt and yes, we loved till it hurt too
and then i saw, your love change from passion to obsession,
from affection to suspicion, from roses to thorns
you were fast losing your mind, i could see and you dint want to wait
i tried to help, but you sought no aid
you had gone immune, you had turned so cold…
that’s when i knew, the evil had crept in & crept without a sound
the devils had taken over from where the joyous angels left,
with the ink of pain, loneliness & betrayal; they continued to pen our fates
with ink so thick & ink so un-erasable, they wrote our fates so irreversible

their spell so evil, that your love seemed lust like
& your passion- a mindless obsession

my heart- once swollen with your love, now stung my very survival,
it hurt & it hurt bad, as little by little, love dripped away from a hole through it,
hole so deep, hole so abysmal, i knew it would never heal
bitter anger slowly replaced lost love…
none had survived it, none shall survive it, i knew
for what chance did we mortals stand in the face of a conspiracy,
conspiracy so fool proof, that was warmed & hatched in the very hands of the sly fate itself?
but fret not my beloved, cos together we shall defeat the wicked & the demonic,
they did win the battle in the mortal separation, but,
the immortal union- is a war to be won,
for in the land of stars, we shall meet again…
not angels, not demons, but we shall write our own destinies with the thick blood of our love this time
in the dream like place where me first met, shall be from where we start again,
by the promises made by our tormented hearts & words that are dissolved in our very souls,
with the mighty gods in their heavens as our witnesses, we shall meet again
no mortal agonies shall now pain our slumbering hearts, ‘cos when they wake, they shall wake in bliss, for we shall meet again,
in the land of stars, in the land of love eternal- ruled by none other but love itself…
– Bella Swan Jacob
—————————————————————————————————————————————————-
(This one’s dedicated to all those who have loved & lost. With it’s inspiration from the ‘Twilight’ series by Stephenie Meyer, this rune is a total work of fiction, where due to circumstances beyond her control Bella Swan marries Jacob Black, only to realize later that both Edward Cullen and herself are still very much in love with each other. A rune dedicated to all the Bellas’ who lost their Edwards’ & vice versa to fate; and especially to those who were defeated by circumstances & fate, but were hopelessly conquered by love)

In the land of stars, we shall meet again…

Conquest

27 Sep
The first seed of tension was planted in my mind, and I was beginning to feel a little tensed… My tenth standard board examination results would be out tomorrow. But my state of mind was nothing when compared to what my mom, dad and sister felt…They were all hysterical from the past one week. My mom was accusing my lack of seriousness in studies and was chiding me for her guessed, prospective dismal result of mine. She was sure my results would be something so bad, that the whole family would have to evacuate the home, in order to ‘survive’ in the society & escape the ‘shame’. My kid sister would nod in assent whenever my mom accused me of something that led her to the conclusion that i would have surely failed my examinations. Without her knowledge, she would instinctively imitate or mimic my mom’s various expressions, on her face too, as she watched my mom. Her expressions ranged from disappointment- on thinking of what might be my results, horror-at the thought of what she would have to tell our relatives who would enquire about my results, anger- for my sheer disinterestedness in the whole topic, and still according to her, being kiddish & immature.
My dad was never a fan of ‘noisy families’… He preferred to downplay his emotions, emotions that were almost the same that mom felt, but his expressions of it were definitely of lesser intensity in comparison. My sister would cast looks at me that made me feel, as if I were the only sheep to have been born black in our entire family & its tree. Dad would suppress himself from praising & commending me for a petty job that was well done. His appreciation was only 20per cent of what it otherwise would have been, but for my impending, & according to my family-a sure ‘doomed results’.

proud to be the black sheep! 😉

It was getting increasingly difficult for me to get used to this strange tensed atmosphere at home. I wished I could go away somewhere, only to return after my results were announced. People at home were looking at me as if I were an escaped convict, who forced them into allowing a place for himself at their home! It became so bad, that I would sometimes feel guilty to even ask for a second helping of my favorite dish, wondering if,  the crime I had committed (prospective guaranteed dismal result), deserved a sumptuous meal in return. My mom ensured I felt that way. I spent several sleepless nights wishing I had studied a little better, rather, i had studied at least. Wishing I had heeded my mom’s constant warnings of my bad results thereafter, which she successfully made it sound like an oracle or something, wishing I had not bunked classes & tutions like as if I was studying in kindergarten…. But, I was ‘I’ after all. Seriousness about something was never that came to me at the drop of a hat. I wanted to take everything easy and used to chill in the face of a monstrous problem which was threatening to bite my head off. One of my pastimes was to worry & tense people up, to give generous gifts of ‘tension’ to people, but would never accept any gifts myself, of the same kind.
I concluded by thinking that my results would be the price I would be paying for being such a mischievous monster. I decided to take it and face it like a war martyr. I kept thinking of reasons ‘valid’ for a student to fail, or rather the ‘eligibility criteria’ (set by the elders) needed for an acceptable failure in an examination. Some of my options were: Very bad health, health so bad that i needed hospitalisation; Lack of peace of mind- thanks to parent’s constant quarrel at home, wrong totaling by the examiner-will apply for re totaling, favorite child of bad luck-good luck has deserted me; put up a ‘miss goody two shoes’ act- wear an expression of oppressed and harassed girl on my face and blame my monstrous, mischievous kid sister with a straight face for foiling my exam preparations; rubbish aside the very university and tarnish its reputation so much that, the mark statement that it would issue soon, would hold no value to the ‘wise’ elders….
Was still contemplating about the criteria, when I fell asleep. I dreamt an escapist dream of sleeping through my day of results and waking up, like Sleeping Beauty, only after my results were out and after me declared a pass candidate. The next day when I woke, I realized it was the ‘D day’. I had woken up on a wrong day! Damn these good dreams into the deepest lava pit of hell!
I heard from my room, mom and dad fight it out amongst themselves as to who should go to check out my results. My mom didn’t want to and neither did my dad. The tension would be too much for them to take, watching other joyous parents kiss with pride, their ‘passed-the-exam- with-flying-colors’ kids, fearing other known parents who might read the disappointment and horror on their faces as they checked my results out, teachers surrounding them to enquire my results, and then having to hear their versions of the various reasons why I failed… My kid sister watched them enthusiastically, her eyes filled with appreciation at the source of her entertainment. Dad flung his hands in the air, as if to dismiss the whole issue and then passed the verdict that mom had to go. Knowing my dad too well and seeing no sense in arguing any further with him, my mom was clearly defeated. Trying to make best use of her, now left  time, she scampered off to do an elaborate pooja to God, hoping to invoke all the Gods sitting in heaven and to attract their attention to this one mortal of all the billions of other species that existed on the planet. I perched myself on the sofa hand as my sis examined my face and the expression it wore- as usual misinterpreting it into what she wanted to see. This time, she wanted to see the guilty look of a ‘soon-to-hanged’ convict on my face. I glared at her, so that she would stop her pea brained examination & (mis)interpretation of the way my face appeared to her.
Mom hurried out from the pooja room, cast a look that confirmed my sister’s interpretation. I was indeed ‘soon-to-be-hanged’!!! and this was why my sis looked at me that way too, searching precisely this expression to appear on my face.
Dad preferd not to look at me, as he knew I was capable of melting his hostility with one ‘i’m-sooo-good-yet-misunderstood’ look. He continued moving around the house doing nothing really. I knew he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I pretended as if I was unaffected by all the hostility in the air. I picked up the day’s newspaper, lied down on the sofa and browsed through it. There it was, a news heading that read: “SSLC results out. Girls score over boys yet again!” I hoped I was in one of those ‘girls’. There were pictures of students flocked around the notice broad that contained their results. There were reports of students who committed suicide because they could not live through the tension and stress of waiting for the unveiling of results. Too late! I thought. They could have learnt a thing or two from me on how to remain unaffected by all the chaos around you, like a dew on a lotus leaf. If all else failed, i decided, I would set up my own coaching classes and serve the student community at large, by honing their survival skills during the wait period for their results. Maybe I could teach them some breathing exercises, ‘result’ yoga (like ‘power’ yoga), recommend hilarious books that would keep them occupied for months, organise a fun ‘who cares about the results’ trip etc. I was still thinking of various options when i slept again, much to my dad’s disgust, who expected me to sit up, trembling from toe to head and bite my nails!
The next thing i heard was a shriek let out by my sister. I decided to continue my nap as i assumed it was a shriek/exclamation of horror that she had just emanated on knowing my scores. But then i heard chorus of laughter and celebration. I turned to my other side, and concluded that my family was just affected by mass insanity, insanity that was an after effect of horror and disappointment. Too bad for them and too good for me, I thought, relieved 🙂
Then my mom jerked me up from my dazed slumber and made me sit up. She hugged me, her eyes filled with tears of happiness and her expression when interpreted, read: ‘i knew you would not let me down’. My dad shared that expression with his wife. Ahaaa? after me enduring so much? Couldn’t you have not worn those expressions before? She then exclaimed as she unhugged me:  “You passed and that too, passed in first class!”.
What!? I then, out of guarded curiosity, enquired about my detailed results. I was satisfied with my score. I mentally thanked the examiners who corrected my papers, for being extra nice and kind to me. I requested God to grant them an extra dollop of happiness from my side, this summer. My sister’s face was filled with so much happiness that I wondered from where all that came from, which was no where to be seen just a few hours ago.
I now carried myself like a ruthless emperor who had just expanded his kingdom by one hundred percent and was awaiting a huge celebration for this accomplishment. My parents continued to make me feel that way and sure enough, we had a grand family party that evening, to celebrate my new conquest!

Angel departed…

22 Sep
It was a time when life meant simple joys and fun. Introduced newly to the big bad world, it was a time when I had just joined college. Ever wary to make new freinds, i was always on my guard to give anybody an access to my private life. It had always been a strict: ‘Trespassers will be shot’ for anyone who dared coming anywhere close to my private den.
She must have been something, if I had decided to take her for my friend. It was Salma, a gawky looking, average IQed girl, with hairy arms, which was hard to miss. She  was not a girl who welcomed strangers with a warm hug either. What was unmissable was the fact that, even she was just as or more wary about unknown people as I was. This- I liked.
We bonded quickly, unusually quickly. I am still kind of surprised about how soon we became best friends. We enjoyed our times together at college. We had our share of misunderstandings, weird times together and other stuffs that normal college goers are supposed to experience. She used to come over to my place and we used to experiment with our culinary skills. Somehow, she used to like the noodles I prepared. It still surprises me now, cos I can never get my husband to say the same. Be it about my noodles or any other dish for that matter. Anyways, let’s cut to flash back again, when things are supposed to be visualised in either black & white or sepia.  I have always belonged to the technicolor era, so i suppose that makes me eligible for flash backs to be in the same color too. This choice, i leave it to you.
It was during one of those careless & carefree walks back from college (which was always half or quarter attended), when we stumbled upon an ill and a feeble looking pup. Being an animal lover from the time I can recollect, i knew i could not afford to ignore it. I looked around, making sure that we weren’t in for any surprise attack from its mother.I petted the little one on its head, as Salma looked on, unaffected by the whole scene. The tiny one was so taken in to me, that it decided it was best to follow me. I tried to lure it away, so it would remain in the place where it belonged. But it was as determined as ever. Since we weren’t far from my home either, i decided not to send the pup away too. This pup, Dinky, as christened by another ‘dog lover’ aunty in our gully (I wasn’t very happy over the choice of name, ‘cos i felt it could have been something better, more funkier), decided to make our street, it’s abode. Not that anyone complained about it. She, in fact, was everybody’s darling, a sweetheart with the kids especially. She was like this foster mother to all the kids in our street. Her warmth actually made the temperature in our street go up a few degrees. Jokes aside, but that was how she was. A real treat to be around with.

Love- in its purest form

Both Salma & myself became very close to Dinky. Salma who always very intimidated and wary around dogs, soon found herself shedding all her inhibitions. She learnt how to pet her, call her and treat her. Salma, I knew, had now taken her first step towards understanding bliss.
Dinky used follow us around, no matter where we went. She was like the little lamb that Mary had. Only, here, there were two Marys. Time flew past, like lightening on a typical rainy day. Dinky grew from a tiny, helpless pup to a good looking teenager, i mean, whatever that age is, according to ‘Dog age’. Many dogs from our neighboring streets found themselves hopelessly in love with our little miss sunshine. She paid no attention to all her longing suitors as she followed us around, much to their disappointment of course!
Dinky was there by us no matter what time in the day it was. She patiently waited by us as we waited for our bus to drop us off at our college. We never paused to acknowledge her for keeping us company, as we were too engrossed in chatting with each other on all the silly stuffs about college and the rumors that do round in it. There were times when we were at an all time low in our personal lives, and we found solace in Dinky. She was there to listen, to understand, to comfort.
Salma was heart broken when her boyfriend cheated on her. She narrated how she felt bout it to me, and Dinky who sitting with us then, seemed to understand all that Salma was telling. Dinky, who used to constantly & sometimes forcibly, make us play around with her, by letting out short ‘fun yelps’ and performing some kind of ceremonial ‘let’s play’ dance in front us; that day preferred to keep calm, as if in pain ‘cos her loved ones were in too. Fun was surely the last thing on her mind, or rather did not even feature in her mind that day. Salma subconsciously decided to sit on the floor in order to make herself more comfortable, while going on bout her painful experience in love. Dinky who was on the floor feigning slumber as she heard us, walked up from her place to Salma, and licked her hand. She looked at her for one long moment as if to say ‘ I understand how you’re feeling honey’ and then put her head into Salma’s lap and let it remain there. Salma did indeed feel comforted by Dinky’s loving gesture. She quoted again, what was already quoted by I don’t know who- ‘ the more i understand men, the more i love my dogs’  One look from her chocolate brown eyes, and it was enough to make things appear better. Her eyes used to communicate stuffs that were beyond our comprehension then. She was our pillar of strength. She was our best friend. She understood, loved and cared for us like nobody ever could. Under her love & care, Salma’s broken heart was nursed back to the best of its health. There were no scars of any breakage or damage anywhere to her heart.
All the three of us shared a very warm bond. Dinky saw us grow from happy -go- lucky teenagers to marriable women. It was Salma to get married first. No sooner did she get married, she flew away to UAE. Her visits to India were very minimal. She now has a family of her own and a kid about who’s welfare she’s always engrossed & pre occupied about. We exchange occasional pleasantries online. Our phone calls over which our dads once used to fret & worry over, thinking they might have to sell off their assets to pay the telephone bills, are now limited to a call per few months or half yearly. It was my turn next to get married. And my marriage meant moving out of my street, to make my husband’s home my new abode. And moving out from my parent’s home meant, moving away from my beloveds and in this list featured Dinky too. Moving away from my parents & sis dint hurt me much, as they knew & understood that this was the way of the world. They knew I’d be far, in terms of distance, but not really ‘far’ from them…
But Dinky wouldn’t know where I’d gone, why she got to see so little of me suddenly or sometimes even very occasionally. Her troubled mind began troubling her body too. She was not a young adult that she was anymore, she was nearing the call of the dust. It pained me that I was not there for her, by her, when she needed me the most. When her health was not as good as it used be, when she was down on her energy levels, when she found it difficult to stand up on her age-worn legs. I could see the depression & sadness in her eyes, the pain in her eyes caused by this sudden separation, distance between us.
But, life had to go on and it went on for all three of us.
Whenever, I visited my mom’s place, I could easily see her health in deterioration. I could see her ears and eyes were failing her. There was a time when she’d know I was close to home, even though I was many streets away from home. But now, it took her several minutes to realise I had come visiting, that i was only a few footsteps away from her. It pained me when i would call out to her & she would not hear me. I could see her continue to gaze into nothing even as i called out to her, I could see that her hearing was now failing her, her senses were now gradually deserting her… Still, after she’d realise it was me, her reception would be as warm as it always used to be. It only used to be a little more passionate than before, for she would vent out all the unshown love for me, that was suppressed inside her for a long time.
That day, ranks in the list of my top most saddening days. I had visited my mom’s place. We chatted for a long time and it was a happy ‘chat together’ time that we had. I was about to leave from there when I received a call from that dog loving aunty who had christened Dinky. As I was about to leave, I decided to take that call later. My mom, curious as ever, wanted to know who’s call I had just avoided. When she learnt who the caller was, it reminded her to inform me about something. Something that would tremble the ground beneath my feet, something that would send my head reeling at an unknown/unheard of  speed. She told me that Dinky had passed away a fortninght ago… Now I knew, why my street had felt colder than usual. It was because, the warmth in it was gone. Gone forever.
After hearing to that news, I didn’t know how I reached my hubby’s car that was waiting by the corner of my street. I had difficulty in seeing clearly. I realised my eyes were filled with tears. I could not think of anything but for Dinky, her adorable face, her eyes that spoke ten thousand words & all of them decipherable! her unending happy tail wags on seeing me; her warm, wet licks that made you feel so wanted, so loved, so cared for; her angry, protective growls & snarls when she noticed any stranger approach me (i.e stranger to her)… These now, were only memories. Memories, that charred your heart, memories that stabbed your charred heart… She was gone. She was alone, when she left for her heavenly journey. Her friends who were the center of her universe, were not with her when she died. She died a lonely death. An irony. The one who never made us feel lonely even for a second, died all alone, with no one to comfort her troubled thoughts. I’d bet my heart & soul, that I would have been the last thought in her mind before her heart froze… I turned around to look at the street I was walking away from, the memories I was walking away from. I could see Dinky in my mind, in her hey days, galloping her way to reach me as fast as she could, as if she was participating in an Olympic sprint that would fetch her multiple golds if she won… She did win. She won the race, the race to my heart, she won my heart. She’d be in there forever, her memories locked up and its keys thrown off into outer space. She had made me feel special, made my life worth living, she was my confidential diary. Now she had left us all, to find peace. I can never repay in this life, for all that she was to me. My heart ached as I boarded my husband’s waiting car. He looked at me, concerned, for my face had clearly given away what my heart felt… I told him the reason for my sadness. After much failed attempts at comforting me, he said I was being too emotional & sentimental, that I was tooo attached to one dog. I did not feel bad for what he said, because I knew nobody could understand a dog’s love, unless they experienced it first hand. If not, then, to them, a dog is just an animal that bares its canine teeth at the drop of a hat or an animal that has no control over its wagging tail!
That night, I dreamt of Dinky. In my dream, it was a starry night & she sat besides me. She was that young, bubbly Dinky, nudging me with her nose to play with her, she pushed me down to the ground with her weight & licked my face warm…When I quickly woke up from my dream, I actually felt my cheeks wet and warm!! I don’t know if was the hot & humid Asian weather or Dinky. You know what I’d prefer to believe. If you don’t, then go get yourself a dog, or preferably adopt one of those tiny, button eyed pups that you easily find on the streets. You’d not only be saving their lives from prospective road accidents but, you’d also be saving your own soul too…
‘If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went…’
Keep a secret: Salma doesn’t know that Dinky passed away. I’ve saved her a heart ache, I’ve kept this to myself. She’d find it hard to digest this fact, as she already owes her one big one for repairing her broken heart once before…
(Dinky, Jimmy, Drumpy, Kolanji & other darlings: This one was for you all…)

Photo courtesy: Achala Paani

Rune: as the moon sets…

7 Sep
a dream pleasant, of love & togetherness- gone upon waking,
a dream conceived with silent tears, tears of hopes-happy,
each night a hope is drowned, each night a heart is charred
everyday, a memory- fond’s shattered, and
everyday only takes us away farther
a new dawn sows new hopes,
& every new sunrise awaits a night-happy

each midnight a fear creeps in, a fear of separation- eternal,
fear of becoming strangers again
a silent tear falls into the darkness,
for some tears remain unseen,
unseen by others and unseen as the heart wails,
wails like a just born

pain of a dagger buried deep in the heart,
the dagger of abandonment, of love and it’s symbol alike,
of promises made & words of honor
from foes turned friends, to friends turned lovers,
to lovers turned spouses, to spouses turned foes,
a love gone sour, a love gone bitter,
the mute heart has seen it all, the helpless heart has felt it all

everyday the heart sinks further, into the abyss of sorrow & pain,
for each day was never a night- happy
the soul’s deprived, deprived of love’s snuggle & embrace,
left by itself in a desert brazen, lies my soul in me, waiting for a

comforting soak, a soak called love…

some hearts break silently, unheard
in that some, is mine too,
for each night it breaks in silence, for each night was not a night-happy
everyday takes me away from you, &
everyday takes you away from me,
everyday a heart’s broken & everyday a soul’s killed

in deprivation, hope finds a way,
in callousness, love finds a way,
in the jaws of death, shall life find a way,
cos each new day without you, only makes me stronger,
and only helps me move on

each night a silent prayer is whispered,

a prayer in which love features,
each prayer seeks your well being & happiness
a prayer where none of this are heard by none,
for each night was not a happy night,
a night that the heart craved- of comfort & solace.
but love is still love, for with every new sunrise,
it continues to sow hopes, hopes for a happy night, hopes for a romance
revived.

Rune: Little teacher in the wall

7 Sep
looked as i out of my window, i saw it there
high up, in the crevice of a wall very old
with five or four or three leaves was a plant very tiny
roots that dwelled nowhere, with lashes from the weather mighty,
food so little, leaves so brittle, with stem so fragile, stood my plant
brave tiny plant- thought i, won’t last another day- thought i
night that day was furious, with rain & storm as its friends,
strong was the wind that swept the city blind.
night so dark, night so windy, night so wet and night so scary
took i refuge in my blanket, as every thunder made me shudder,
slept finally did i, got up only the morning next
peeped i out of my window, to cast a look at the little fellow
too bad it’d be gone, too sad it’d be gone,
that gone it would have- i knew too well
a weather so bad, it would not have survived
i had seen it everyday, i had seen it before i slept
but different was my morning today, & it was that way for the plant too…
unbelievable was what i saw, incredible was the sight i saw!
a flower in the plant’s bosom, nestled there in full blossom
glorious it was in bright red, victorious it was on the rocky bed,
and it seemed smiling at the world so dead
in its language it told me much, in its bloom it taught me much
my tiny plant showed me how to stand, showed how to endure
complain not nor cry it said, find peace in adversity, it told
smile at trouble, bloom in challenges
and break not nor bend at problems too big
in lonely suffer thee, but make many smile around you
at my brave friend, i smiled and
thanked it did i for a lesson well received
changed person was i, & changed was my outlook
more colorful appeared life, more acceptable appeared problems
for i had learnt to bloom, to give worries no room
i learnt all this and much more,
from my tiny teacher in the rocky walls.

a flower in the plant’s bosom, nestled there in full blossom…

Rune: Lament

7 Sep
What have you done O, Man?
explain yourself, what have you done?
plundered you have the rain forests and flushed out all the birds!
poisoned the oceans and suffocated my rivers divine!
What have you done O, Man?
What have you done to the only living planet?
butchered you have all the wilder beasts,
skinned you have the serpents and the young deer;
made your slave -the mighty leviathan & mammoths alike,
ribs and bones you pulled off the sabretooth, feathers off the gentle dove,
What have you done O, Man?
What have you done to my blue planet?
the gentle giants you killed, the rains you drove away,
stole the treasures from the ore, spilled oil on the shore,
hundred thousands lives you killed- accidents some,
hunting and poaching the others,
What have you done O, Man?
What have you done of my creation?
you turned ice into fire and caused burning fire to freeze,
magnificent mountains were swallowed, and made sweet waters spit venom,
the dense smog made all but you flee; flee to the brink of my planet,
you made my creations fall, what have you done O, Man?
what have you done to your fellow siblings?
slaughtered you have many in my name, i want not that ill fame,
feels not your kind, even an ounce of shame, as you set my blue gem on flame,
eaten you have the flesh, drank you have the blood of my children,
cursed you were by them as they withered and perished,
hell hath no fury like a helpless scorned, hell hath no fury like a mother & father scorned,
what have you done O, Man?
what have you done to the helpless?
the angels fled and so has the Satan-screaming that you are than him,
many times better at evil,
the flowers are gone, taking with them the honey bees, the dews have dried,
the mothers have cried, the children have died,
no melodies in the woods, no colored jewels in the seas, no paint splashes on the trees,
for there are no trees, no seas, no perfumed air…
you set my lands on fire, exploded flesh spiraling into the air, spilled blood all around,
vermilion’s favorite child you have become; cherished you have the color, so long,
there now is only blackness, blackness that has cursed you,
blackness that has blinded you,
blackness that has pained me,
what have you done O, Man?
what have you done to Me?
price expensive you will be made to pay, the hell will fall short of place,
torture will fear what you would undergo; pain shall shudder at what you will
endure…
punished you shall be for your callousness, your race will pay for the devastation by most,.
your kind i shall abstain from creation, your kind shall only face destruction,
awake O Man, awake from your insane slumber, awake before you wake in hell…

…as you set my blue gem on flame

My journey

6 Sep
I woke up when I heard my other friends crowing. Ah, it was morning, another new day. I got up from my place and unruffled my feathers. I spent a long time preening & polishing my feathers clean. You can call me Narcissistic but, I could not help it. I simply could not bear to see my white feathers with even a small speck of dirt over them. I would spend several hours admiring my snow white, fluffy feathers.
After I was done with my cleaning, I looked around for food. I was hungry & starved. The others around me were equally hungry too. The sun rose higher up into the sky and we are directly in the way of his scorching heat.  Since our enclosure was made of iron, the metal got heated up due to the sun’s direct unfailing rays. All of us huddled together hoping to avoid some direct angry rays. But sadly, the ones in the front of the row, had little or no escape from it.
Though I despised the idea of being so close to another one of my kind, the reason being my squeaky clean feathers would get soiled with too much proximity with other, i had no choice. If I didn’t, the sun would scorched me alive. The very thought of it scared me. I quickly found a place next to my brother and settled with him. I always felt so secure with him. Our hunger only added  more weight to our discomfort. Tired, hungry and with throats parched we all prayed for some wet clouds to wrap the angry sun. Our prayers were unanswered. Maybe, we dint pray hard enough, I’d prefer to believe.
It was not until late afternoon, did our caretaker finally showed us some food. Hungry as we all were, it was a stampede to the food tray. I did not want to fight the crowd, cos my feathers were too precious for me. I did not mind missing a day’s food if that was what it took to keep my feathers snowy white. I patiently watched as everyone of them ate & for the feeding frenzy to calm down. When I felt it had, I decided to make my way to the tray. How I wish each one of us had separate feeding bowls! I agreed that it was too much to ask for as there were more than five hundreds of us. Providing each one with a tray would be an expensive affair for my caretaker. I was very fond of my caretaker, whom I heard others call him as Maanja. He was the one who provided food to us everyday. I was only three months old into this planet and i was quite happy with the way my life was going. Eating, feeding & preening topped my list of activities in a given day.
One morning, I was rudely jerked out of my sleep. It was too early, I could say, because the sun was only barely rising up the horizon and my brother & friends had not crowed. We fowls have an instinctive way of knowing when it’s morning. The lights in our enclosure was suddenly turned on. It hurt our eyes as we tried to see & figure out what was going on. There was a truck that was standing next to our enclosure. My caretaker Maanja was there talking to its driver. I was always so happy on seeing him. Maanja meant food. Maanja meant, our starvation was gone.  We’d always wait eagerly for him to arrive and replenish our empty food tray. We always wished him good for the food that he gave us.
And then suddenly, Maanja opened the door of our enclosure and began picking each one of us and started flinging them into the waiting truck. The truck driver caught the ones he flung and stuffed them into number of smaller cages. I was taken aback. How can my Maanja, yes, the same Maanja who fed us everyday, handle us so callously? He picked each one by their wings and threw them into the truck as if we were vegetables, maybe cabbages. He threw us as if we had no life, as if no bones cracked inside us, when landed with a thud into the truck; as if we had no feathers that would painfully come off , when he caught us by our wings and hurled us into the dirty truck, as if the skin that would peel off our fragile legs when went reeling on the truck floor dint hurt us & take our breaths away with its pain. I could not believe that it was my Maanja who caused pain to friends. I snuggled to my brother in the far corner of my enclosure so that Maanja’s hands would not be able to reach to us. I was wrong. I was wishfully thinking. As I put up a fight to avoid getting caught by Maanja, it was my brother who got caught first, since, he was the more gentle one of the two of us. I was horrified as Maanja caught my brother by his wings and threw into the truck. My brother landed on one of those rusty cages that were in the truck and broke his wing & a leg. It began bleeding. I could not bring myself to believe what I just saw. I saw my brother, withering in pain. He could not stand up on his feet due to the pain that was caused by a fractured wing bone & a broken leg. As I continued watching dumbfounded, the truck driver, picked my brother by his wings and put him in a cage where there was barely any space for five of us. In this cage, there were already nine of them and he pushed my brother into that cage. I could see my brother in pain, he was choking in pain. His broken wing was badly folded and the tight cage door over him, gave him no chance to make himself comfortable and to rearrange his wing. His eyes clearly showed the pain he felt. He was having difficulty in breathing too. My heart ached. It was as if a poisoned dagger was being repeatedly pierced through it, each time I saw my brother that way.
Maanja now reached for me. This time I did not fight. I did not feel like fighting, like escaping. I had no reason to be fighting for. I surrendered to his painful clasp around me. His tight hold around me made me feel as if my heart would burst out of my chest and fall down on the sandy ground below. I wonder, why dint hold me by my wings too. He then flung me to the truck driver who thankfully caught me, but caught me by my wings. That hurt so bad, I wanted to scream, i wanted to claw out that man’s eyes from the sockets that held them.
He then crushed me into those over crowded cages. I could not even turn my head around. My neck hurt badly as it was positioned in a very uncomfortable way. I wanted to move but I could not. I felt sorry for my friends over whom I was, because I knew, too surely that, they were suffocated. I wondered how long I had to endure this discomfort. I moved my eyeballs around to find my brother’s cage. I saw him, his eyes were half closed, his head hung out from one of the railings of the cage. I dint know what happened to him. I tried cooing to him, but my coos were lost in all those strange sounds around me. Everybody were giving out distressed calls. My call was not special in any way, so that it could stand out from the rest of the voices and sounds. My brother could not hear me…
The truck began moving and I dint know where we began our journey to. I looked at my Maanja for one last time in my life, confused and with a hundred questions in my eyes, none of which he seemed to understand.
I hoped our destination would release us from all this pain and discomfort, that me and my brother would be together again. I kept looking at my brother’s face. I wanted to go to him, snuggle up to him, make him feel comfortable and do what I could to ease his pain. But, I could not, all I could do was watch over him… I watched him as if my gaze had a power to heal. I could never look away from him. I yearned, I longed to be by him…
And then, there a sudden jerk to the truck. And that jerk was so powerful that it shoved several cages aside. When I gathered myself to lock eyes on my brother again, his cage was gone. I could not see where it went. I tried moving my eyeballs to all corners (as i could not move my head) to see if he was there. When my rolled my eyes downwards, I saw something that made me want to die that very instant! I saw that my brother’s cage that was kept on top of another cage had crashed down to the floor of the truck due to the sudden jerk and it had turned turtle. I instantly knew what that meant. My brother’s head that had hung out of the cage was crushed. The weight of other birds around him would have snapped many bones in his neck! That was the last night my brother lived before his life was cut short in the most painful way.
I was wrong about this and how?,  I was about to realize it soon. Realize, that there were more painful stuffs that could happen . I did not want to live another day after what I saw. Memories of our times together haunted me. The warmth that I felt under his wings, that was now broken, were some of the best times of my life. When the truck finally stopped, the driver began moving all the cages to the ground. He was no gentle this time either. He began throwing the rusty cages that held us captive, on to the ground, which acted little as a shock absorber. One by one he began flinging the cages on top of another. I did not want to see my brother’s cage. When I knew the driver was now holding my brother’s cage, I cooed, hoping against my hope to hear my brother’s response. If he did not respond to me, it could only mean one thing. That he was dead.And he didn’t.
My grief felt like it would suffocate me. Nothing around me made me feel better. In fact it was like a scene straight of hell. All our cages were now rearranged by a stranger who had a small, strange, filthy shop with a wooden stump in it. I wondered what he sold there. My cage was now on the third floor, meaning, there were 2 more cages stuffed with my friends below me. My neck was was now paining so badly that I lost all sense of its existence. My eyes watered as the sun rays were directly on me. I could not run for cover nor shift my head to avoid the sun’s rays.
That was when I saw a lady with a basket in her hands and a young daughter by her side arrive at this small shop where we were all housed. The daughter looked so innocent. She was so happy to see us. She reached out with her tiny fingers to pet my friend but her mother quickly frisked her aside as if it were a taboo to pet us. I wished the little one all happiness in her life. She reminded me of my brother whom i adored so much. I was lost in thoughts when I felt the cage door open.
Freedom atlast! I tried to unruffle my feathers and shake all the dust off me, but a firm grip around me kept me from doing it. This man carried me inside the dim and dingy shop and laid me on that wooden stump. What was he doing? Why was he putting me on this stump? I was starved and I hadn’t eaten a grain of food since two days nor had a thirst quenching drink of cool water.
I was too exhausted, too heart broken to put up a fight with this stranger. I suddenly felt something sharp slice my throat open! I bled and bled profusely. My snow white feathers which I was so proud of, now had thick red blood all over it. An irony, the color of peace-white, was now getting covered by the color of violence-vermilion. The pain was excruciating, I wanted to scream but I could not. I felt I could take a hundred more of such truck journeys if I could avoid this pain. It was so unbearable that I did not even know whether I was alive or dead. My heart beats became more reduced, I gasped for breath. He then lifted me up by my legs and immersed me boiling water that scalded me alive. The pain that I now felt was like nothing that I had never experienced before. I would not wish even to my enemies, a pain like this. As I hung on to my dear life, half dead, I could feel the stranger pull my feathers off me. It hurt like a small match stick burn in an inferno. I pleaded with my creator for death to come quickly. A slit throat, a drown- that too a drowning in vermilion colored boiling water (colored from my own blood) which burnt my eyes and other parts out, was too much to kill any living being with. I felt God was being too unfair to me. So many pains at one go? ‘One suffering at a time please’, I wanted to tell my creator. Which excruciating pain am I supposed to suffer at one time? My entire life passed in front of me, before I my heart took its one last painful beat & before getting boiled to a pulp.
Though it took a long time, my much deserved peace was here, finally…
My soul saw the lady with the basket purchase pieces of my flesh from the man who slit my throat. He wrapped chunks of my flesh and put it in a dark black colored plastic bag ( which was also the color of his soul). Maybe he subconsciously chose that color because he knew he had done something he had to be ashamed of, some deed that he had to conceal. I heard the lady coo to her young daughter- ‘Today, I’m gonna prepare chicken gravy for dinner, honey’.

at Maanja’s farm…

Today, the 25th day of Nov’ 2012, is ‘International Meatless Day‘. This re-post is dedicated to all the birds and animals who are exploited & killed by the billions each day for human consumption, experimentation, clothing and entertainment. May God bless all his creations with peace, love, life & compassion & may the spirit of this day live forever!

Mobile Talk?

24 Aug

mobile trouble!

You know what? I’m sometimes forced to wonder if our mobiles have a mind of their own, ‘cos just when you need it the most, it hangs and shuts itself down with no signs of revival whatsoever, worrying the life out of you… and then when you’ve given up all hopes of it’s revival, lo! it jumps back to life, just like that!

hmmm… so, does it do all this just so we may pause, realize & appreciate its value in our ‘highly-dependent-on- technology’ lives?
Well, whatever may be the reason, the next time your mobile gets into a pranky mode like this, just remember- that it’s time for a BACKUP! 😛
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