Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Bridge Builders of Modern Age

In a chasm where the sullen tide never stopped, there came a bridge builder who persistently worked and came forward to build a bridge to pave a way for the future trespassers. He already crossed that way but leaving all his duties in hand, stood there to help others. A good Samaritan isn't it? This is the famous poem written by Will Allen Droomgoole which earned significant and rave reviews in the era where poetic literature was the food and soul of writers and poets. It sends out a message to be generous and helpful towards others.  

If one wans to illustrate the above mentioned popular poem, what is better to choose than the flood affected India's fourth largest metro, Chennai. The culturally inclined city which is known for the historical locations, holy shrines and ports was severely affected by the heavy downpours. A simple idiom ' Raining cats and dogs ' cannot define its intensity. There was lot of damage for the rich as well as poor. The natural disaster proved that everybody is equal and there is no classification as rich and poor. Everybody became poor in a matter of seconds. The cars, debit and credit cards, money, big palatial house, and status was totally submerged in the sullen pouring waters. Families were displaced all over and some of the families who remained together could not make it and lost completely. The pours alone were not heavy but the grieving hearts became heavy too. The gory act of nature drowned plenty of homes and still maintaining its hold in the act. There was moist felt in the social networking sites too and not only in the eyes of those displaced people's eyes as it came forward to join hands when no amount of coverage and public attention was given to the gruesome calamity which shook heaven and earth. Even though things were far from normal and the roads are still under several feet of water, humanity found a bigger place in everybody's hearts. Though lives of so many children ( physically abled and disabled) have turned nightmare, they learnt a bigger lesson through this. That is how exchanging love and help gains valuable points than anger and violence.  

If respect is what one bridge builder earned in his life and even though it is based on fictional account of the poet, for me, Chennai's people spirit is the image drawn and a role model set up for the future mankind. Now I can say that I have seen and known many bridge builders who are from different walks of life. Salute to humanity and zeal that drew them together in the toughest time in the last 100 years.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A New Day has come

The wintry morning smelled of new blossoms. The air grew moist but touched the skin gently. The blue radiant sky with thousands of birds all over went on to make a picture so perfect that one could paint a memory worth millions of years. Such was that day when that very moment left  us with new whiff of air. A new thought, a new idea, a new leaf , a new cream that surrounds the milk, and all things were new. The sunlight beamed and gleamed and the shadow of divine light entered the drawing room filtering the shades that were drawn. The light was new. I heard that rains were lashing the city of Chennai and  I could hear the sounds of water lapping in Mumbai. The sound of rain was new. The birds in front of my balcony huddled and rested in the thick nest that they made yesterday. They were all of four and together their happiness saw no bounds. The nest was new. The sprawling green lawns enveloped the vibrant flowers. The hues of green were new.  I took in the freshness of air that filled my senses and went in to develop a march of energy. The energy was new. The pavements were grey but the greenery never stopped to bring a new life. The life was new. The milk was boiled and I made a quick cup of coffee. The scent of coffee wafted in the air and entered the nostrils. The coffee scent was new. He came and today our togetherness spoke many volumes. The affection was new. Suddenly I was new. I breathed newness and the lips touched the corner of my eyes. My smile was new.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Endless Night

“The roses and lilacs bloomed
So were her dreams and aspirations
But the storm came, without warning
And with that came her ending”

We all have aspirations and dreams that we want to build and nurture. What if our dreams were shattered? Not by our own actions but by the external factors. The dreams that grew with us, the wishful thoughts that swirled around us each moment and the happiness that has been derived out of it. How can one do this to my friend and Junior? How can one be inhuman towards the feelings of others? These were my first reaction when I read what happened to my 24 year old friend and Junior in my Alma matter. I couldn’t sleep that day. I tossed and turned and could not believe in the story that glared on the walls of Facebook. I was finding lies in the whole matter of truth as I know that girl personally. “I wanted to do Ph.D.”, “I love pets, and I find my soul in their happiness. Look at these pictures. These were taken in my place which houses two dogs and one kitten”, said she in a cheerful manner. She sounded in a blissful state when she talked about her parents. We all girls found comfort in our talks during those busy hours spent in hostel and college doing our assignments. Who would have thought that such would be her destiny after 2 long years?

Sapna (name changed) hailed from a beautiful place. A place which is known as Abode of Shiva. Dehradun. She was married right away after her MBA to an upper middle class Punjabi family. That was against her wish as she wanted to go abroad and do Ph.D. as I already mentioned above. She fought with her parents but parental units did not pay any heed to her wishes and desires. And they arranged for a royal big fat wedding that calls for gem encrusted ostentatious dresses for bride and groom and elaborate baraat and where everything screams money and class. These type of weddings often serve as a litmus test showing where they stand in the societal class. Wedding was done. Till that time Sapna was half way convinced with her situation and got adjusted to the spotlight that the day put on her. The sun was half way close to the horizon. Literally that was the situation with Sapna but her appetite for quest for happiness in the new alien world grew extremely at an alarming rate as the hors d’oeuvres came in the form of her husband’s showy love for her. It was all glitter and gold for 4 months. New outfits, showering attention, exotic vacations and expensive gifts. She was in the gilded throne for that period. But the truth always peeps out too soon.

 The husband who poured her love and care did not get impressed with her wish to study further. Her dreams were slowly reaching the grave. Yet she did not give up. She took this matter to her in laws but they too turned a deaf ear to her feelings. They, including her husband, shut her out from the external world and asked her to be a royal Khandaani bahu who breathed gold, walked silk and applied paint. It was just 4 months into the relationship of heart but the heart never came into consideration. The heart which was cornered and lay drooping its eyes in front of the family honor and silly obsolete mindset was slowly losing its equilibrium. And that black day came when the news flashed that Sapna was no more. I got up, washed my face, thinking that I had a nightmare. She was ruthlessly murdered by her in-laws because she couldn’t draw more money. She had the same fate as sone ki chidiya. The dowry was not enough. But what about the promises? Those sacrifices which she made. She was the only child of her parents. They were shattered, cheated and everything came like a sucker punch.

This was the fate of my friend Sapna. The dreams and wishes to study, do something out of her career, walk ahead in life, know more things, write a book, do research and many such things were gone with her. The sun was fully set and ahead lay an endless night. The dark shadows that lurked in her life in the form of marriage and stupid customs and traditional beliefs never got her anything. And our gender stereotype worshippers will not point their fingers to the money eating parasites but would raise questions to Sapna.

What if Sapna was allowed to study further? What if she did not follow the stereotype? Would she have faced ill fate? Truth be told, the beliefs are laid down by us. The rules are drafted by us. This over generalization or defining roles for the genders, most of the times, makes life difficult for the fairer sex. Till the time of early Vedic period, women were treated with great respect and had everything in favor of them. But the later Vedic period saw no comfort for women and that era defined some ill rules and structure for women which we are still following them. They are treated among the lower echelons of the world.

Also gender stereotypes would have a negative connotations and would corrupt the minds of younger generations. This societal norms or dictating patterns that a certain gender should follow, has ruined by friend’s life. The clans would patronize the stereotypes till women claim rights for themselves. So there should be a change in how we see men and women. The roles should not define them but they should work together to give the roles a new meaning. So let us start a new thought, a new pattern where Mars and Venus together blends and create a better place to live in. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Blindside

Her eyes pierced me like a wooden knife. It did not leave me injured but took my breath away in a minute the same way I had done with her in her teenage years. It scared me, I could not take it anymore. The early years flashed in front of my curious eyes. It was all past but something was still waiting to get finished, I thought. I had hurt her every time she came close to me. I ignored her. The ignorance which killed her in the past was my failure in the present. I spoke no word of hurt but my silence infuriated her to a larger extent. Her graceful eyes still searched something. That something which she expected out of me. The slender and lithe figure made her look elegant and that touch of beauty did not diminish in this age too. She kept her eyes transfixed on me. As if she asked me. She questioned me. My silence. I couldn't meet her gaze and averted my gaze. But truth appeared like a rock in the sea of betrayal. It did not move but stood as a testimony to my doings. I collected my thoughts and continued to meet her gaze. The eyes ambushed me without warning. Emotions pressed together in my mind. I thought I will apologize for whatever I have done and regain her trust. She might understand. And let go the past. The hurt. She was holding a stick which supported her to walk and move. She came forward. Her legs moved. Inch by inch. It slowed down in front of me. The stick came right in front of my figure when she was stopped by a very English looking gentleman. She quivered. The smile of the man comforted me. They moved ahead. As if something was forgotten, the man walked behind. He stood in front of me and said in a serious tone, “Uncle, sorry. My mother cannot see. Sorry if you were hurt.” I stood there dumbfounded. My eyes searched for her attention. The eyes saw me, yet they did not see me. But even if they did not, they did reveal the truth. She loved me. She is not blind. I am.