Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Saki - A woman of strength

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.”

Emily Dickinson, a famous poet of all times, have clearly mentioned in her above poem ‘Aspirations’ that one never knows their true worth and value until an unexpected event hits one like a sucker punch. In the first stanza, she states that we all have a power to rise and shine in our chosen fields, be it women or men, till the situation calls for our true power. The true will shines and the spark reaches to the shadowy paths.

In the third line, she hits the nail that even we know our power and talent, we should try and plan and work assiduously in our path in order to achieve our goals and sustain the achievement. So knowing is one thing and planning and executing is the key thing that will provide us fruits.

As our aspirations envelope us, our worth glitters like a gold and our skills come to light. So here is a story of Sakshi. A girl who rose from the abyss and carved a niche for herself.

The sky was empty without any clouds yet the twinkling and dreamy eyes of Sakshi wrote so many dark stories that one cannot comprehend. The sun was scorching heavily and its light fell on the leaves and shrubs making it more visible in the blister hot summer. Some leaves withered and gave away and the story of those ended with the arrival of new hot day. My eyes followed to my hardworking and laborious neighbor Sakshi or Saki as I fondly call her when we sit in our teak wooded bench in the garden of our complex overlooking the waterfront.

That was like any other day, we sat on the same bench and went on talking about the topic which was hot on those days – School projects. As our children go to same Alma matter, we discussed at length over the various topics that encircled the institution. But that day was little different from the rest. She was a single mother who left her marital home to start a life afresh. I always wondered what would be her inside story but felt too embarrassed to ask or venture into a personal topic. Though we were friends for nearly a decade, I never thought to ask about the sensitive issue. But having said that, I gathered much confidence that day to check on her past. She was too sweet to listen and reply to my question. That was Saki. A bold, brilliant and beautiful lady who always listened to her heart. Her face always reflected what her heart said and never feigned happiness in front of me.

It was close to 3 hours that we talked, cried, laughed together on that topic that I lost the track of the time. The story about her past left me with tears that I couldn’t control it and let it fall like an overflowing water stream. She comforted me but I was not ready to get back to my original state.
It was long, long ago and Sakshi was married to a conservative family of Punjabi. We all have our own dreams and desires that cloud and shroud us before tying the knot. Saki too had built a land of dreams that she wanted to attain after marriage. But fate has its own plans as you may call it.  At first, she thought her husband has always cultivated a nonchalant way to his speech. But he was too fragile to stand up for his own wishes. That said, a man who cannot bring forward his own wishes and desires can hardly adhere to the dreams that his better half has built.  

Saki, like any ordinary girl, handled the things in a polite way. She agreed to what her husband said and her in-laws’ wishes. She had to cook food, clean the house and do all other sundry work that demanded more than what her strength could gather. She did everything without sulking. Her in-laws wanted a progeny within 6 months of her marital life. She had not experienced the marital bliss yet but they were too rigid in their understanding that none of the desires of Saki came into light. Saki did not know what to do. She couldn’t go on more by their ever rising demands. The demand for jewelry and money came gradually but the demand for child hit her like no other thing. She too wanted child and happy to be a doting mother but she wanted to experience the togetherness and love from her husband. The marital bliss that every women craves and yearns for. Moreover, she was asked to stop from the middle of her hot shot career and asked to look after the household. Her family was kept into dark and she was shoved inside a deep cave where there was no other life to hear or listen to her sorrow.

 The ill fate did not stop there. The growing discontent between the couple led to a new woman enter in her husband’s life. The husband who was hitting on someone behind her back marched forward to bring her daily to the household. Saki was shattered and devastated by this fact and her ill fate. But she was not the woman to sacrifice her own wishes and dreams for a family who did not pay heed to her. She gathered support by a NGO lady and slowly inch by inch, she made plans to run away from the family.

 She wanted to punish them but there would be so many Mitra’s (name changed) in the world who will do this again and again. The physical abuse, forced motherhood and butchering of her dreams and her profession led her to take a well thought decision of giving the diabolical man a divorce. They divorced a year later and she moved with her child (now a 10 year old) to a small rented flat. Her maternal units stood with her in all her decisions and gave a pat wholeheartedly. Saki became independent again with all her dreams attracting to her one by one. Saki, now an entrepreneur who holds a recruitment consultancy, shooed away her wealth of sorrow in a thoughtful way. The woman who has a smile on her face keeps all her sorrow hidden beneath it.
As the saying goes, no one knows of the hero within them until a different situation arises; we are all unknown heroes.

Saki is an unsung hero for me who inspired to be vocal to any crimes or injustice. The indomitable spirit of any woman can make a world shudder is a thing which I admire in her.
Saki had been a doting wife and polite in her manners. She even denied at first admitting to the fact of getting mistreated her very husband. But she finally pulled herself and slowly fitted all her broken pieces together to be born again as a Miss and no more Mrs. She is a man and woman and mother and father to her blossoming child and she encourages her child to listen to her heart and keep on working in developing her skills.

The next day when we met in her child’s birthday party, she told me one thing. We cannot anthromorphise someone but we with our effort and will, can change our own life to lead a happy life. So a change which is inevitable promised her a world of dreams. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Flash fiction - Love comes softly

The grey sky pondered with the thought if love can come and stay in its life forever. That day rain had come bringing in the dampness and washed away the tears that the sky was shedding. The light emerged from nowhere that gave the stars a tough competition. The light too brought in the much needed joy to the sadness filled sky. Only the soft showers were there to cool off the heat on the earth. The green leaves formed a thick blanket of hope to the sky as it danced in mirth. The vibrant flowers danced in meadows. The night fell on the silhouetted trees which looked as black as ink. The moonlight weaved a silver glaze. The sky stood in voiceless wonder and gaze as it witnessed the beauty that nature offered to her. With the night light, the hills and woodlands reflected new hues. The nature unveiled the promise of love and sky’s sullen mood was lit with merriment. There were no thunderstorms. No firecrackers. Only the soft and verdant landscapes which filled the sky’s heart with love. A new betrothal happened that day. “True, Love isn’t fireworks many a times. Sometimes, love comes softly”