Category Archives: scrriblings
It breaks my heart to read about the Guwahati incident on the news. Then I follow the outcry over it, reading all I can and realize, the men are silent. I am not one to get on a soap box for the usual petty issues but calling Sexual Harassment petty is again something we have been trained to do. We are taught to turn our faces from stark, evil realities – the reason being that we can not do much about it. Sorry uncle, but not anymore.
This is my India. This is my country. No matter how vile and corrupt you claim it to be, I love it still and wont take abuse against her anymore. We call India, our motherland, the earth is dhartimaa, the Ganges Ganga maa and then our politicians fight about which city is the rape capital of the country. We reserve seats for women, in buses, in trains, in colleges making them inferior on the one hand and superior on the other. Women are finally getting their place in the limelight and we push them down. We laud a female astronaut of Indian origin, using her to show an example of the woman of India. Then you go and strip a girl in public on caamera, showing the true colors of the Indian man.
I have objectified women, I accept it. Through school and 4 years of engineering when women were demarcated as a different species, I have ogled at them. Bangalore changed that for me, the freedom to interact with them, to sit with them without drawing stares, to drive them home without being the object of questions, to contest them face to face in debates and arguments, to enjoy silences together and to make the right kind of noises. This also happens in India. This is the India I love, no matter how much you call it an influence of westerners.
Now Guwahati has just ripped to shreds what little was left of the Male Indian Hero, let us get over the shitstorm of media that will discuss everything but what needs to be addressed. We need strong laws and stronger policing. Castrate the bastards that are guilty of rape, not after years of courthouse drama but immediately. If a woman is felt up in your view, raise a voice. Make them, as Amit states here, carry a stone. I live in an Arab country and see women covered up and protected. They live a secluded life behind Abayas, their lives controlled by one man. I think of India and feel proud but now I wonder.
With Guwahati, we have outdone ourselves. We have taken India to the next level of lawlessness. Mothers, sisters please stay at home. Men, go grow some balls or as they say in Hindi “chudiyaan pehen lo”. As for the f***ers on cam, I am not likely to visit Assam anytime soon, but if ever our paths cross – I have a punch with ur faces on it.
Reality has a way of playing games with our dreams. Its nothing new, its been happening for ages now and it keeps going. Tara knew this, yet the hope that someday she would be married to Hari had held so true that she never doubted it. Knowing someone whos been there from the beginning of your memories kind of has that effect on people. We all tend to ignore the idea that people meet to part. Some people come in unnoticed, add meaning, often change you in ways you cant and then fade away. Hari wasnt fading away. Tara never expected him to. “Until Death Do Us Apart” – all those times she had heard it in the movies, she had pictured Hari being the man holding her hands. Not that she would be having a christian wedding, but the sentiment of it remained.
And now fate had thrown a curveball. Hari had somehow, out of half a billion women in the world chosen the one girl Tara hated. Why ? Well, the answer would be life. Sometimes there are no reason as to why we dont like somebody. Maya was actually very likeable. But Tara just didnt. From the first moment they had met, Tara and Maya had always been wary of each other. Okay, okay, I wont beat around the bush. Tara didnt like Maya because she thought they were similar. Not just similar, if they werent born to different mothers they might have been twins. They were both exactly the same height, they both had the same bone structure (the shape that turned heads in traffic) and they both excelled at one thing. That one thing that Tara loved – Basketball. Only problem was Maya was debatable better at it. Call it coaching, more natural ability or plain old luck every time the two had come face to face (and it was a sizeable number) Maya had beaten her. Often by a matter of points but it had happened. And somehow sport had a spillover to real life. The few times they had met off the court, there was a chill that both felt. Both avoided such meetings if possible. Each kept track of the other, knowing where they worked, what there common hangouts were and avoided these places. So yeah just as I said, Tara knew Maya. And when Hari described her, the hair, the eyes, the face – Tara felt that fate had played her a real bad hand. God had a wicked sense of humor and she wasnt finding it funny.
“So.. Do you think I can find her ?”, Hari asked, those brown eyes of his pleading her to say yes, “Do you know her ?”
“Why do you want to see her so bad?”, Tara said, avoiding the question and pleading with her own black eyes, ” Are you sure you even remember her properly? You just saw her once. That too under the influence of alcohol through a cloud of smoke.”
“I… I cant explain it. I havent felt this way before, ever. Its like one look at her and I wanted to take her into my arms and protect her from everything. Not that she looked like a lost puppy. But you know she just.. she was.. she… Oh how do I explain it to you?”
“Try”. One perfect eyebrow went up into an arc that all her male friends found cute but Hari didnt even notice.
“Well, you know how I am always cribbing about how my websites are still missing something. How they could be better? That your idiot brother was making me mad. Well, she was like that. She seemed almost perfect, like the true idea of a woman, at least my true idea of a woman, except that there was nothing I wanted to change in her. I just wanted that moment to freeze, wished that time would freeze, that was the one memory I want to take to my grave.”
“Stop being so melodramatic. You arent dying yet. The moment is gone, you are alive and she probably doesnt even remember you.”, Tara wanted to run away but this man held her in a spell. Him pining for someone else but her was pure agony but she couldnt leave.
Maya remembered him. His face, his hair, that darned half smile.
Chapter 5 : Here
The fairer sex is an enigma..
I dont understand even the one i call maa..
In their grace and beauty hides something..
of which i fathom nothing..
Speaking the same language as we do..
Their meaning i still cant undo..
Over and over to know i tried in vain..
how their power over men drives us insane..
We love them for every little thing..
For just looking at them makes our heart sing..
We secretly like them making us wait..
We like to watch their lovely gait..
One they say is made for me..
Wonder where n who is she..
The search is on and forever it will be..
Till i find the angel meant for me..
I posted this one on orkut a long long time ago and got quite surprising responses.. including a “To men” right back at me..
One without the other always damned..
Physical and mental differences i ponder..
Oh, the almighty did play a wicked plot..
Dividing us amongst our own lot..
A knight stands strong fighting his side..
On the other a lady scorned and weapons drawn wide..
Both in eternal battle engaged for now..
What attacks and counterattacks, and oh how?
One without the other incomplete..
Each in the other their match do meet..
From time immemorial to future unending..
One to the other is bound , body and mind..
Try as we may to escape it..
The thing is thats the only way we fit..
Two pieces of a puzzle simple..
Two faces of a magical coin till we wrinkle..
Fight it or embrace it choose u can..
But lie not to ur heart and to ur own clan..
For even in the deepest of hatred..
A little care and love has somewhere bred..
I have my reasons to choose my path too..
But logic gives me reasons few..
To ensue in a fight ages old yet new..
As always i stand by as i have no clue…
The Big Fat Indian Wedding doesnt work for me
I am not marriage material and hope never will be
For a truly haappy couple I am yet to see
And singlehood is my sanity, my will always freee
Its not that marriage is a terrible fumble
I just dont see the point to the whole gamble
Why have a bachelor bash before a wedding night
When every day can be a party in its own right
Kids I love and want my own some day
But marriage isnt necessary, I truth I say
Adoption is an option too that I like
Give a home to a crazy little tyke
The best alternative is still a dog, my own
A friend for life, who lick my worries till they are gone
Luckily the Dad seems to not care
The mother for now is fighting fair
But when the tears come and come they will
I might just swallow that bitter little pill
God save the Lady that fate throws my way
Every single second, every minute of the day.
Now dont get excited you all, nothing is happening. But the mother has started making more noises than usual, as she always does before a trip back to India. My trump cards are running out, and there was nothing else I felt like writing about so typeed this 😛
There are so many half told tales, so many unwritten poems, so many unsaid words, so many unseen places.. Some times life seems too short to get it all done.. But then sometimes it seems so damn long too. I guess its human nature to crib at things. But in the end, more often than not the memories that are left are awesome.
Luckily for me, my memory sucks. So I rely on half heard stories from friends about years that seem a blur to me. So my memories now are an amalgam of stories from different people, often with added masala and I love every bit of it. I think this blog was supposed to be a solution to that. Each post was created in the beginning to remind me of stuff. Most of the poems here hold a deeper meaning. Most of the posts in here are inspired by life. Most of the people in these posts were once my friends, some still are.
166 words into the post and I have no clue what I was trying to write about. Which was something I used to do too. My scribbling were once famous. Must start writing them again. Sorry readers if you feel let down, but do remember this blog holds no promises. So, if you got this far and are still reading, go read some of the other rambles and feel free to vent. Comments are free
This post is a result of multiple dialogues I have seen between my father and his friends/acquaintances over religion. My father is a staunch Atheist and hasn’t been inside a Church expect for the occasional marriages of cousins/relatives (in those instances for never more than 5 minutes). Most of his friends though are staunch believers (or claim to be so). I am an Atheist by choice, thanks to the attitude of “question-everything-even-if-you-believe-it” that my father and some very special teachers cultivated. I dont strut around saying it to everyone I meet but most of the poeple that know me, know I dont talk about religion or faith. This post is supposed to list the reasons why I dont.
As the Heading indicates, the three things above are very different from each other. I was born a christian, I will most probably die one. But I dont believe in Christ. I dont believe in any of the multiple names that have been created and are still being created for that invisible hand that people claim exists out there.
Religion first. Religion was set up as a method to create moral guidelines for the people. I mean when you move from hunting gathering to a more neighborly system you needed to lay some ground rules. The Gitas, the Bible, The Quran were all byproducts of years of refining the rules and regulations. It is pretty evident too that they have been altered as time moved forward. That is because as humanity and countries evolved, some of the rules had to change. New religions evolved too making moral guidelines that were easier to follow in the present time. So the question most people ask me is “Do you really not believe ?” most of the times with something bordering on shock rather than surprise. I tell the more intelligent ones that ” I believe, I just dont believe in God.” , an answer that leaves most people perplexed at best. Am hoping this post will shed some light, if any of them reach this far.
Atheism defined as a belief that God does not exist, is pretty close to what most people today understand atheism as but there is a big school of agnostics that get clubbed in. For all the so called agnostics that get here somehow, make up your mind. Grow a pair and pick a side. Unless you are a politician, in which case your party most probably will help you with it. Being an atheist does not necessarily mean you question everyone’s faith, make loud statements in public renouncing God, priests and other god men, or that you need to explain your stand to someone else. Atheism takes balls, the open admission that you have not external power to depend on, no magical being to blame, no hero to worship makes it a tough living. Which is one reason why most people prefer the cocoon of religion. Moral dilemma are easily solved, right and wrong defined. Please note that it is this definition or the permutation thereof that is used by various activists – left , right, hindu, muslim, christian for their own particular agendas. Not subscribing to any of them makes it no easier to watch what happens. It is just as hard. So why am I an Atheist ? I like to be held responsible for my own actions. I dont need someone to blame for my failures (not God, not my family, nobody). However my success does get shared. It is my effort, but it is the recognition that gets me the success.
Faith. Now this is a totally different ball game altogether. Having faith in something or someone is easily the closest I come to any form of belief. Faith is necessary. Faith is sibling to my other favorite Hope. Together they make life a lot easier, a lot brighter and a lot more fun. Faith keeps me going day after grinding day. Faith that someone will read this, hope that someone will understand. Faith that somebody else feels the same way, hope that I will meet some of them someday. Faith that someday religion will transcend boundaries set by its creators, hope that it happens in my life time.
Chapter 1 : Here
Chapter 2: Here
Everyone hates an encounter with the police. In India, this possibility manifests itself at every traffic signal in the form of a potbellied cop in an ill fitting uniform, mad at the world for keeping him standing in the sweltering heat. Maya though had to contend with something far worse. She was in a police station, that dirty, ugly building which is always busting with pimps and agents who sell every kind of service that is supposedly free. But none of them could coax Maya when she had walked in her head held high. Megha, her best friend, needed her here and here she was.
Megha was going through the rigors of a tumultuous marriage and after three years of unbearable coexistence had decided to end it once and for all. This report on harassment was the first step. Police constables in Bangalore are very accommodating to women like Megha, they knew she meant serious business when they first laid eyes on her. Maya, who had seen her go through all the crap, was sitting by her side (just as she had when Megha needed a shoulder to cry on), awaiting further instructions from the uniform in his pompous, broken English. Maya, you see, was a witness.
She had watched her friend try to fix what was a broken marriage from day one. The black eyes, the bruises, the pain had all been shared and Maya had stood up for her friend a couple of times. That ended when Megha got beaten up again for telling Maya about their “family problems”. The husband, perfect on paper, had turned out to be a monster of a man. The high profile job was excellent cover for a maniac, who expected total obedience from his wife. She was not to work anymore, Megha accepted. She could not talk to any of her male friends, Megha cried but agreed. She was not to wear jeans or T shirts, Megha had bought an entire wardrobe of salwars. Things started turning bad when He told her she didnt need to use the internet and cut the connection at home. She had protested, she loved the internet. It kept her in touch with friends, she skyped with her sister in the states and blogged incessantly. Without that Megha would not have survived. Thats when the beatings started. The first time, he had apologized the very next day, and Megha had felt he was just getting used to living with someone. The second time, the apology was shorter and half hearted. The third time, there was no apology. The fourth time, Maya had stepped in and this brought around a fifth and sixth attack. Megha had packed her bags and moved in with Maya. The very next day they were waiting to file the FIR. Today.
“Men are dogs.” Megha stated with a finality that made Maya almost accept it. But her mind flitted back to a face from yesterday night. Those eyes had stared right at her, in to her. She had felt a butterfly in her stomach. It flitted about again now.
Maya Rebello, decided this was not a train of thought that suited the occasion and let it be. That skill was what made Maya, Maya. Maya born to a couple from different backgrounds and religions, had been brought up like that. Her father often questioned her about random things that seemed absolutely normal.
“Why do you think the color green is connected to Islam ?”
“Why are there so many sects within Christianity?”
“If women are equal to men, why are there no female F1 racers ?”
The questions seemed random but had cultivated in Maya that curiosity to go beyond accepted norms. It had made her question the basic principles. It had given her the ability to detach emotion and personal bias from an argument. Which had worked pretty well for her. The best orator that her school, in fact the entire district had seen (as proved by the medals mom displayed at home), Maya had become an effective debater. Her joining mass media was not surprising for her parents or her teachers. The PR job for a small time NGO was a surprise. The company was unheard of, the role seemed to involve a lot of what could only be defined as sales pitches, it somehow didnt fit. But Maya had accepted the offer for one reason only. That reason was her boss. Ms. Monica Pande was the kind of woman Maya wanted to be. Strong, confident, successful and more importantly the kind of woman who was noticed when she spoke. The NGO worked to empower rural women, enabling them with skills and then supplying them with the raw materials to create products that had never ending demand.Maya had found a place where she felt she belonged, a job she loved and a boss she admired. Things were going good. Except this.
“Well, not all men and dogs are actually very faithful.”, she replied.
“Hmmmph !!! Maya, what the hell are you talking about ?’
“Nothing. There he wants us to sign something.”, Maya said , pointing. They duly signed in the form and equipped with a copy of the FIR exited the building. Sunshine never seemed so welcoming.
“Home now ?”. Maya asked. She needed a bath after the station.
“You go ahead. Dad lands day after tomorrow. I need to be in control before he gets here. Lots of things to do.”, Megha replied and was already waving goodbye as she started moving towards her car. The freedom from the shackles of marriage had given her a skip in her step. She seemed to be in a hurry, wanting to make up for lost time.
Maya headed home. The auto was at a signal when she saw him again. He was crossing the street, deep in conversation with a girl. He held her hand as they crossed. Sigh, maybe she had mistaken the look. Everything is not as it seems.
Their eyes met and the surroundings melted into mist.For the length of a few seconds it felt incredible, incredibly so.Then, as always, life pulled them back into its big bountiful, fold. The music blaring from the speakers, the smoke from a hundred cigarettes, the loud clinking of glasses and mugs, all of it made their presence felt. Noone seemed to have noticed how that fleeting moment had touched two lives, possibly forever.He looked for her after, discreetly searching the crowd for one more glimpse. She tried to stay longer, coaxing her friends for one more drink. It didnt work.
Even when he stumbled out of that neon lit universe of a disco, his mind was filled with that single image of the night. That haunting face, that smile below eyes crying for help, that little fringe she was trying to tuck when they had frozen in time. They say such is destiny, it gives you glimpses of something you have dreamed about without knowing what it was all your life. She, Hari decided, was his.
She had been silent all the way home. She laughed at the cues from others, mimicking the rest of the gang. No one noticed that she was replying in mono syllables. As she combed her hair before bed, she saw his face in the mirror: not the usual hunk women faint over, but there was an intensity to his eyes, a confidence in his face as of one who knew where he was heading in life. She slept fitfully, twisting and turning, held in that gaze that didnt break even after all these hours. He, Maya decided, was trouble.
PS: The beginning of my work of fiction which has died and resurrected over and over again. Am hoping this time making it public will make me being it to more than a few chapters. To what end ?? I have no clue