Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Recreational Death"

So, while having a conversation with A about life, messy life and our messier head, I wondered if the concept of life is over-hyped.

It was just day before yesterday when I was out with D, and after a great lunch and coffee afterwards, we were passing by a magazine stand where she got a business one, and I a political one which was having a free health issue with it. Back home, true to my nature, I skipped the political issue and turned the pages of the health one. The theme of it was “Happiness.” Different people talked about different sources of happiness. But by the time I was halfway through it, I was already bored.

So, it seems that even the topic of “How to be Happy” can’t get my attention for long enough!

Anyway, coming to the conversation with A, she says she’s all messed up in her head. And it just randomly occurred to me that may be we give too much importance to life. To being sincere, honest, responsible, punctual, and all that. Being a teacher, I shouldn’t be saying this stuff. But somehow, it has always occurred to me that being too serious only brings more problems.

But the mind-blowing idea that came to me while talking to A was that of “Recreational Death”. Well, the nomenclature credit goes to her, for I could only describe the phenomenon, and she came up with the very advertise-y name!

If I was bored with living, the daily inhale-exhale process, then I should have the option of choosing a way out, temporarily! Like people take sabbaticals from job. Of course, at first people should try all the various types of activities and live their life and not think about boredom. But what if one gets bored in spite of everything, or rather, because of everything? Where is the option of taking-a-break?

So, there should be a machine or something, which could give us the opportunity to ditch the breathe-in-breathe-out for a few days, but keeping the body alive nonetheless, for when the soul comes back. And then we could carry on, all happy after the soul-vacation!


And in reply, A opined, “Tor matha ta puro geche!”

Friday, November 22, 2013

Poor Things

They made promises,
They refused to obey
The calls of life, the rules of love.
They were proud and they would say –

“I will remain yours forever”, said she,
“And I only for you,” said he.
“We won’t bind our love,
We won’t close it to life,
We won’t play by the rules.”
They said, in unison.




And so I watched them.
And then I laughed.
So, I thought,
Let’s just play along!

But they did try –
To hold strong in the face of rules,
Follow their own heart
Their one heart.
I watched as they broke down
And stood up, and smiled
At each other.

Would you think I would let them win?

They fell prey to their own words.
‘Promise’!
Now he loves her for he had promised to.
Now she kisses him for she had vowed to.

Love?

They are bound by promises now.

Monday, November 11, 2013

So, Why do I Write?




We disintegrate, in the smoke of your cigar.
We fall apart with my cold shoulder.
You embrace me, and I shrug.
You kneel before me,
I try to smile.

Inside me I feel the stone lifted,
With my independence,
But a greater hollow,
As you leave my side
After a kiss at night.

My body aches and it’s not a drowsy numbness,
The nightingale’s dead.
We cling to rhythm, to poetry, to pseudo-aesthetics
In our hearts we break into pieces as we breathe.

Is it me, or do you feel it too?
Layers of masks and faces,
Layers within me, layers I keep with you too.
I assured you transparency,
And I feel failing miserably.

My dreams I can’t find anymore.
I live in the moment, to you as I swore.
I block the past, the future,
I look at the present, for your sake.

The bleak tomorrow, the blotched last night –
I ignore them; and so I write.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What a Wonderful Life




                                                 How to make it a GOOD day

I am a teacher. And just like in any other job, every day is not really a good day. There are sudden spurts of work pressure, unannounced troubles to handle, duties which must be done even if one is tired. So, by the time Friday arrives, it's obvious that the body and the mind is tired. It's been a few months, but I have always known that I love this one thing - to be around young spirits and be able to interact with them and be a part of their never-ending energy.

And yet, by the time Friday arrives, I am tired.

So, while going through videos this evening, I found this one. It talks about all the beautiful things in the world for which we should be thankful. For a moment, my cynical brain said, "Of course it looks so better in the videos! The photographer is not showing all the bad days that he had with his producer and the bad weather and the financial blocks and so much more! Of course he just edited the bad parts and is showing how good the world is!"

But then I wondered, that even if the person had had his troubles, did that stop him from actually enjoying what he did? Even if he had to hassle with the producer to go to the various places and the finances and all of it, while he was actually there at the places - all the places and capturing the smiles - didn't he enjoy every moment of it?

Then how is my life any different? I remembered how happy I feel every time I enter a class. Every time I am explaining a story or a poem, and asking the students about them with which they can relate to the text, and the way they raise their hands and share their stories with me. Every time they bid me goodbye with a smile and a wave at the end of the day. Every time they wish me in the morning and I see their faces light up when I return their wish personally. How different are these gifts from the great beauties that this person has captured in his video?

And suddenly, I feel happy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Espresso and Stilettos




Your coffee is half and strong,
And you take full cup tea;
Your shirts are careless,
But your mind - you keep it free.

I find your bookshelf stacked
With fiction and poetry and travel,
You fix the radio and my watch,
You fail to fix my smile.

You are happy in the rain
And the clouds and the fog,
You smile at the street urchin
And happily find what he loves!

I run the day out,
Busy as a bee.
The days turn to nights.
I fail to smile at thee.

Our days pass by
And we forget each other.
We go on living as we were
The time when you were only "you",
I was only "I",
Before you and I became "us".

We meet after a decade.
Our eyes sparkle as we smile
That old smile
And we see the blank of the time faded.


We meet when we are grown
And have faces waiting at home;
I let you pass and you turn back,
And you see me turn back too.

And we walk on, heels and boots.
(Oh! How you loved your boots!)
I keep my smile intact,
And we keep up with the ruse.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Man

It came suddenly.

I was in the mobile accessories store, and a teenage girl was there with her father, choosing headphones. Her father prevented her from buying the small ones which go right into the ear-holes, for he thought they affect the ear drums more directly. Anyway, I quite liked the whole scene, the pink-over-black hassle and all. However, it struck me then that it had been 13years since I had been out with my father to a shop. While he was there, he made me feel like a princess. And it’s all because of him, that I still have the confidence to call myself one even 13years after his death. He has somehow instilled the faith in me that the world is a good place, with just a few bad people in it. We can’t give up on the good just because the bad are mixed with them. He taught me to chew with my mouth closed, not to talk while eating, say “thank you” and “sorry”. He taught me a thousand more simple things which have made me the person I am today.

I have just one photo with him. As a newborn. Otherwise, he was the photographer of the family, so it was tough to get into the same frame with him. Who would click the photo if the photographer is himself posing? Anyway, I think I am secretly happy that I have just that one photo with him. The most innocent one. He is looking at the camera, laughing, and I am wrapped in a red woolen blanket in his lap. I don’t look particularly pretty there, and he was in the late 1980’s style. But it’s probably the most beautiful photo I have been in.

As of now, no one has been able to fill his shoes. Pretty big shoes they are! Somehow, everyone falls short – well short – of filling up his position even to a certain extent, if not completely. And when I see girls around me, happy with their fathers, I can’t say that I don’t feel jealous. After all, what was the 12year old girl’s fault that she had to lose her father to a stupid heart attack? I have been raised as perfectly as I could have asked for, single-handedly by Maa. And she has done it all to keep me from feeling his absence. But a girl misses her father. It’s only natural. Especially when he was such a hell of a man!

While I was, I was a very possessive daughter. Would never let anyone get near my father. A classic Electra I was – or may be, I still am! That possessiveness has now been dispersed for some of my very close people, like my BFFs. And they bear the trouble amazingly!

Now that he is not here, and I have only a handful of memories, I wonder how my life would have been had he been alive. I know one thing for a fact that he wouldn’t have spoilt me. He had immense patience – never scolded a brat like me in my then life of 12years! He was an amazing cook. Back in the early 1990’s, he would cook chicken roast with lemon zest and momo for us. He was an amazing craftsman too! Someday, I will post a photo of the doll’s house he had single-handedly built for me. He was on his way to finish a children’s park, when it happened…

I remember an incident when I was in a cosmetics store with him. I saw this big palette of very colourful eye-shadows and lip-colours and asked him to buy it for me. This was somewhere in 1992. The price was Rs.150 back then, which would easily come up to something like Rs.900-1000 going by today’s rates. He asked me to promise him that I won’t use them, as they are bad for my skin. I promised him, and he got me the set! I mean, why buy the set if it won’t be used? Well, Maa was furious, to say the least!

By the way, he used to get extremely upset if Maa would beat me. He would always make me understand, as if I was some grown up.


I cling to his memories, because somewhere in my heart, I know that he is alive in them. As I used to live with my maternal side of the family while my parents lived in Bhutan, I got to see my father only twice or may be thrice a month. And, in the holidays. So, may be I got only 4years with him in total, if you count the days. But they are the most special 4years of my life. people tell me that he would have been proud to see me now. I wish he could see me though.

Sometimes, I know I would give up anything to have him back in my life. And yet…

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gnawing Thoughts Behind the Big Fat Bengali Wedding




The Yash Raj Films and the Suraj Barjatiyas have given us an idea since our childhood in the early nineties that marriages consist of food, songs, dance, family and all such rosy pictures. The hero and the heroine dance to the tunes of dholak. For those of us – the Bengali brides – the gaaye holud, ayiburo bhaat, benarasi etc surround the mind and block the reality of marriage.

Leave the in-laws, for not all of them are bad. Leave the other in-future troubles like kids, managing house and job etc as well, for the immediate concern is something which is of most importance. Having been an ardent fan of Pride and Prejudice, I still find it relevant to our marriage scenario. The blind search for groom is not my concern today. But what about the finance? While I was talking to my BFF (best friend forever) last evening, we realized that getting married is not at all the fairy-tale dream we used to think it to be. Cinderella was lucky to get a groom who would pay for her side of expenses as well. In real life, when the girl is from a middle class family – and whose parents have spent a considerable amount on her education – it becomes her responsibility to save for her marriage. But was it really wrong for Mrs.Bennet to be happy when she found that Lizzy would be marrying a rich man like Mr.Darcy and that too perhaps any dowry?

However, the catch here is that by the time an independent girl has saved some money for herself as a future provision and spent some for her family and luxury, she reaches 27 – she has hardly saved anything for her marriage or her future life and her parents are already asking her to settle down in the next couple of years.

My question here is, when you are educating your boy and expecting him to marry with his own money, you give him till 30-32years to settle down. Then when you are talking all the women's emancipation big words and educating your girl, then why the extra pressure on her to marry by 28years? The gynaecological stuff is understandable, but medical science has advanced far beyond such troubles. And anyway, our generation hardly thinks beyond one, to a maximum of two kids.

I understand the points-of-view of our parents’ generation. They have their logic. But to think that a girl has it easier is very unfair. She has to compete with equally talented girls and boys, she has to maintain a balance between work and home as well. If a boy comes at 10 o’ clock and has his dinner and goes straight to bed, he will be sympathized for his tough work schedule. But if a girl with the same work schedule does the same, she will be chastised for neglecting her family – even if it is her father’s side of the family and not her in-laws. And then we are given the biological ultimatum for marriage, which is another pressure in itself. I don’t say that boys have it easier. I say that we work equally hard, proving ourselves everywhere, within a tighter deadline.

And then there is the inviting of the whole world to celebrate the union of two souls. Of course, these blessings don’t come without a piece or two of criticism regarding the food or the reception during the wedding.

And what to say about the unnecessary pomp and show? Why waste lakhs for just one evening when you could use it for a good vacation afterwards? the trouble is just that I hate spending money for marriage. If marriage IS the union of two souls, why spend so much on showing off the bond? Just a simple wedding of family members and close friends should be enough. Well, I surely hope I get such a wedding!


Well, I might be triggering some opposing views with this post, but it was just my point-of-view. And after all, it’s my blog, right? I have every right to write what I want! :-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our Love Stories




“You accuse me of vengeance?” cried she.
“Haven’t you accused me of a thousand things?
Haven’t you demonized me
Accused me of the worst,
Only to salvage in martyrdom?” he retorted.
Cold.
His voice was steely cold.

Her conscience trembled in her.
She had done so.
To get back at him,
To cause him pain.
To bring poetic justice,
For the excruciating pain she received.
From him.

From him, she received love.
He said words which rang truth.
He did words which showed love.
She tried to trust.
But she did. All her life.
He chose to break it.
Once.

That “once” killed her.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Crooked

Being crooked by a rickshawala gave rise to profound thoughts.

The moment I was not careful, he charged an impossible amount of fare. My fault was that I did not fix the fare from beforehand. And though I could have argued with him after having got down at my door for having been dishonest and charging double the usual fare, I realized that it was, after all, my mistake. I was careless. I did not think of doing the usual – being careful.

And so it is with everyone around us. The moment we stop watching our back, we get a reminder – sometimes in the form of accidents or sometimes as betrayals – that we can’t afford a single moment of slack. It’s imperative that we work like machines. The basic honesty and trustworthiness has become so rare – and I’m sure that most of us regret it – that if we find an honest taxi driver or an honest maid, we become overwhelmed with the presence of goodness in human beings.

But this was hardly the case with our parents’ generation, let alone that of our grandparents. They could trust, without having the lurking fear of being cheated.

And can we blame only the poor economy for this? Isn't there a continuous degradation of humanity which has less to do with the fall of the Rupee and more with the rise of Capitalism? The want of more. Better mobile, better clothes, better shoes, more brands; you have the i-phone, you want the i-pad – you have the Metro, you want the Louboutin.

Am I any different? May be not. I have been thinking of buying a new phone for some time now. And after today’s experience, I wonder if my phone isn't working fine for me. I have all the required features in it. Then why do I need a new one? Anyway, this longing for “more” is hardly going to stop anywhere.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Innocence and Experience

Once there was innocence.

The laughter sparkled with the rays,
The games were fun, and the touch?
Oh! The touch was cool.

We didn't know when the worms came.
Seemed like a heartburn at first.
At times, slow pain eating into the heart,
Once or twice, the eyes were damp and foggy -
The sparkle was lost to this new-found doubt.

And then the worms grew -
In size and in number.
They went inside the skin, tearing away every bit of peace.
And the heart was caught, at last.
Pain, sharp words, anger, disgust.
We fought and again we did ;
The worms had gone into our hearts.

The loss of innocence -
This is what we live.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dhopash!

It was just this morning that I was thinking that the latest monsoon trend in my small town – in the suburbs of Kolkata – seems to be slipping on the ground. I hear random people slipping in their bathroom, or the veranda or even in their kitchen. Even the lane in front of my house has got so slippery that I almost saved myself from losing my balance the other day.

But I couldn't save myself for long. Visiting D’s house this afternoon, I slipped in front of her house and proved that the growing trend is, after all, true.

Here is how it happened.

I was never much of a pet-lover. My Dada once received a parrot as a birthday present from a cousin of mine. But Maa gave the ultimatum of one week – either the bird goes or we. Dada chose himself and his little sister over the bird. In Maa’s defense she said that birds kept in cages are not a good omen for the household.

The next pet in our house was a series of fish for my fish bowl. The first pair of goldfish died within a week. The next types – tiny and nameless (at least to me) survived – in turn – for about six months. Then one day I found the last three dead, all at once. I felt so sad that decided not to keep any more.

And I was never much of a dog lover. But I did warm up to a particular one that I named Bhulu, even though it turned out to be a “she”. I didn’t change her name. So, she was a she-dog named Bhulu. But she betrayed me after being fed from my hands for months. I know many dog-lovers out there will say that dogs are the most loyal of animals ever. And I am sure Bhulu had her reasons too. But for me, who is usually cold towards anything bigger than a rabbit, it was enough.

Anyway, after much digressing, here is how I fell.

I was trying to maneuver one of D’s dogs, aptly named lyadh-khor, and before I could understand what was happening while getting down from the rickshaw, I found myself on the ground, on the slippery mud. And all my BFF could do was to laugh out loud – LOL being her favourite phrase.


Thankfully I didn't get much hurt. But it made me wonder that may be there is something called fate. Just when I was being smug about saving myself from falls, did I get the fall of my day to remember that there is One smarter than the smartest among us!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Scribblings

Think of a day
When the sky is blue,
With clouds high
Above me and you.

You knocked on my
Door, as you thought
It was a day good for
A long walk.

You waited and you expected
Me to come with
A smile on my lips,
And a heart full of bliss.

But you waited and
Grew impatient. You used
Your personal key,
Letting go of the chivalry.

You came in my dining,
Found last night's dinner
Was there. Untouched.
My bed, you saw, was undone.

These are the days of abduction
And murders, you shuddered
With fear. You found
Me nowhere, without even a note.

I have come away,
Without telling you,
Or Mama and Papa.
I have come high above.

Not cocaine, I'm not high
On drugs. I got a call saying,
"This is Tinker-Bell,
Peter wants you back."




But I'm in the 20's,
Worse than the Jazz age.
Zelda and her friends
Have lost their edge.

My 20's are faded,
With fear of risks.
And building walls around me
With safety bricks.

I am preparing for the 30's.

Let me leave you to the 20's.
I am not made for them.
The last teen-year is
Where I live.

You will have a happy life,
And a prosperous retirement.
I am to my NeverLand,
Leaving the world to your amusement.

                                     ~ Simantini Sinha (23/06/2013)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Maha-faulty-Nagari @ Kolkata

My city is perhaps the most imperfect of all cities. It is not Mumbai - the City of Opportunities. It is not Delhi - the Posh City. Neither is it Bangalore - the Global City. My city is a simple city - the City of Joy.

I am not a hopeless nostalgic in my twenties, because I yet have a lot to live and a lot to know before I can sink into nostalgia. And I am not unaware of the many faults that my city suffers from. And yet, I love this place.

With a severe lack of respectable resting places for lovers, the love in this city still blooms every season. In the 70's and the 80's, may be it blossomed through handwritten letters, sometimes smeared with aator by some over enthusiastic lover. In these days, love blossoms through adda at CCD, text messages and FB status updates. Yet, we find joy in love.

We shout at the top of our voices, and we enjoy the silly fights on the road. The most recent blackening of the city has been the molestation of women, and it leaves many of us grieving. And yet, we love this city.

This city pays less, works even lesser and enjoys lyadh the most. Every alternate person I know is leaving the city for other cities, or even other countries. Someday, even I might, in my wander-thirst. But while I was having a text-conversation with N, a college friend long lost and recently reconnected with, I realized that I am not really as gaga over Kolkata as I think myself to be. Things are bad here, and I accept it completely. The politics, the lack of job opportunities, the roads, the transport system, the bandhs, the humid weather, the pnpc (poro-ninda-poro-chorcha), the mosquitoes... the list doesn't end anywhere soon.

Kolkata transport

Yet, just as a mother loves her wayward son as much as her perfect one, or perhaps a little more, I love this city. With all its incompetencies and flaws, bad-and-getting-worse politics, lagging behind work culture - everything. Even if I move out and go anywhere, my heart will be here - my home, my Kolkata.

I guess I am just passionate about my love for it like the city itself...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Sinha Family - Present Tense

Variety is the spice of life, they say. So, after posting much about serious issues on women's life and troubles, I have decided to do a few posts on my life. But I promise to keep it more interesting than it sounds! It won't be a boring autobiography. I will introduce some of the people who matter to me, and will make sure that their portrayal ends just before I tend to become tedious!

Will start with my family, of course! A post will be solely on my father, and that has to wait.

But here is my brother.

Reads a lot, watches yet more movies, hates my choice of romantic comedies & fantasy series & Masterchef viewing & that I ask him to take my photos every now and then! Teases me and my friends (read, Debjani. She'll be introduced later on) for laughing with no reason. Teams up with me to pull Maa's leg. Sometimes we have had these insightful conversations on topics ranging from politics to movies to cooking and career and family. Is a pretty good cook too!



After the passing away of my father, he somehow took up the role of the father figure. He has struggled a lot to be who he is today, and is the Self-Made Man in its truest sense. Got married last winter to a wonderful lady!



And of course, after he reads this post, he will feel secretly happy and not express it! I know :-)

And the last picture has already introduced my Boudi. A working lady, I see her transforming from professional to personal with such ease that I hope to acquire the quality as well. Has great PR skills, something that me and Dada tease her about! Is a pleasure to be with.



And I was saving the best for the last - Maa.


A beauty in her days of glory.


The first working lady of my life, she has made me who I am, whatever I am. She has inspired me to work and not remain content with aiming to be a housewife. She has taught me to handle home and work simultaneously. If I can sing, it's because she has made me do my riyaaz regularly. She has forced me to go into challenging situations and struggle and come out victorious. My fiercest fights are with her, my worst angers are with her, and my choicest dreams are with her. And references about her have come up every now and then in my blog - here and here as well and here again.

Sentiments aside, she watches news all day long - literally. Hates to cook, loves to eat boiled vegetables and fruits and have milk, loves vibrant colours - which, by the way, suits her powerful personality perfectly, is a fitness freak, reads voraciously, used to make lovely crochet pieces (will try to post a few of her handiwork pictures later) and is the backbone of our family.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tik-Tok, Tik-Tok



When something bad, or even good, happens all of a sudden, it’s easier to accept it. Or at least because you are not prepared for it to happen, it is easier to stay alive before it happens.

But when you know that something BIG is about to happen on a certain date, no matter how good it is, you feel worried. At least I do. And if I shouldn't term it as worry, then I can safely call it apprehension. A complete change of life, schedule, days, food habits, free time, environment and so much more.

Before you start on your guessing-spree, No, I am not getting married. This is more personal. Well, marriage is personal too, but this is more of career oriented. And what’s worse is that the change is supposedly good. The opportunities, the returns, the whole matter of not-staying-back-unoccupied is good. And anyway, 25 is high time to leave studies and get on with real life. Most people I know have not had the opportunity – rather luxury – of studying for so long without any worries.

But this is just useless worry. I know. I wrote in my diary too. I discussed with my friends as well. And yet, unless I am actually on it, the apprehension will not go. This is basically the hatred for waiting.

Wait! I know what this is! This is impatience! My original characteristic! Now I know why I am feeling so restless these days. Because I am impatient, silly!

Well, I will definitely feel better now that the problem has been diagnosed. At least now I can tell myself to be patient and not harp on the impatient part of me. By the way, do you remember how Alice of Alice in Wonderland (the book, of course) used to scold herself for being silly? I have this habit from her. So, now I can scold myself for being impatient and doubting good opportunities.


Phew!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Survival in "Songsar"

Maa says that we are a generation which is less bound by rules and emotions. That we worry less, and live more. And she also says that our families (songsar, in her words) will be less systematic (gochhano, again in her words).

So, this afternoon, I was having a chat with her, spoiling her afternoon siesta, because basically I was tired of studies, and also that talking to her gives me food for thought. Well, it’s more reasons-to-rebel than the regular food-for-thought. Anyway.

I have seen my Maa, all my masis and pisis, and some of my boudis, and kakimas, worry about things which don’t matter, and completely ignore what matters – they themselves. They would leave for a wedding but constantly worry if some window is left open back at home and if a sudden rain would wet the curtains. They would go to their sister’s son’s birthday, but wonder if the baai (kajer masi / maid help) would turn up the morning after. The list is endless, and grows on to become seriously frustrating.

Yes, I have no experience of songsar, and hope earnestly that I never become like them. Not because I feel I am better or superior. No. But because I have seen them give up so much of what they like, for the sake of this elusive concept called songsar.

What is songsar? I see K clutching to her son and daughter and husband with her existence, but they go on to live their own lives. The husband has his own friends and group of evening walkers. The son has shifted to another city with his wife and son. The daughter will be married off in a few months. What is left for K? What has she kept for herself, if not the constant obsessing over everyone’s health?

You will argue that it is love. The unconditional love of a mother. I say, if only she would love herself with a part of it, she wouldn't be sinking into loneliness. I see her trying to gather the parts of her songsar, but is it not an illusion?

Take any average Indian middle-class woman - working, or not. Every time they meet, they can't stop worrying - and sharing the worries - about their homes. I have hardly ever heard middle aged regular Indian ladies talk about what they like to do, or what they have recently done, or what movie they have watched, or anything exclusively related to them and not to their songsar. Those who do, kudos to you!

I am sometimes termed as stubborn. If thinking about myself and my own identity makes me stubborn, so be it. What are girls taught from the moment they learn to understand words? That your songsar is your responsibility. Someday, you will leave your parents’ house and go to a new place and you will successfully adjust yourself with the members of the family and build your songsar. And your songsar will comprise your new family. Amidst all this, where is the individual? Where is the person who studied, worked, reached a certain position in her office? Why does it all have to be buried under the eternal concept of songsar?

I feel good when I see women giving equal priority to their own hobbies, even after being a part of the career and the songsar. Reading books, writing, driving, watching movies as a part of daily life and not only as a part of quality time spent with the family. I just hope that they don’t feel guilty for living their lives.

I am young, and my thoughts will undergo phases as I mature. They will mature with me, and modify with experience. But I want to remain faithful to these ideals and beliefs till I am old enough to leave this songsar.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Post-Women's Day Post



On the 8th of March, I woke up and searched on the internet for a good quote on women's emancipation. Read quite a few of them. Texted one to the girls I know. Felt good about myself. Watched Monalisa Smile on computer. Felt better about myself. Also about the fact that I am educated, that I can understand difficult things compared to many people out there. Basically, felt smug.


And just 2 days later - today - while I was going out to the local stationery shop, I saw 2 ladies riding two scooties. After the immediate dose of Women's Day, I felt quite happy to see these ladies wearing helmets and driving scooties. Then the lady in the front said to the other one, "Okhane gele eto insecure lage..." (I feel so insecure when I go there..."


And in a moment I realized that Women's Day is not about how many degrees I have earned, or how many novels I have read. It's not also about how many women we have educated in a year. Or how many girls have passed out of schools this year. It's not a ratio between girls and education, or girls and career.


Women's Day is about the future when there wouldn't be any need to specify a day for a special sect or class called "female". If we at all need a Women's Day, let it be to make sure that we stand our ground - in school, in college, in office, on roads, and yes, in our own home. The day we start believing that we are "swayamsiddha" or complete in ourselves, that will be the real day of a woman. But being "swayamsiddha" doesn't mean we don't need men. Sure, we do! That's the way Nature has created the two halves of life.


But feeling insecure and guilty is such a regular part of a woman's life, that it sometimes saddens me to witness the daily dose of maddening attempts to become perfect in the eyes of others. It was this evening that my mother forgot to fill the drinking water and even forgot to tell me to do it. So, basically, in the evening she realized that we might not have enough water to last us the night. So she asked my brother to buy a big bottle of water, in case. This is a very trivial thing. But my mother was feeling guilty that how could she forget her daily work? And I felt bad. Not just for her that she felt guilty at not having been able to live up to the perfect role that she plays every day, but also for other women around me who, I see, feel guilty at not having been able to make everyone happy around them. And I think.


Why can't women make mistakes? We are human beings too. To err is human, after all. Why do we have to feel guilty if we forget to add salt to the food one day, when we have to check 50 answer scripts and submit to the school the next morning? It's not that I want to compare that if men can be lousy, then women can be lousy as well. Being careless or careful is a personal choice. But to feel guilty about such silly things can actually make us insecure. So I told Maa that it's OK to forget once in a while. After all, she does everything to near perfection every day.


I am young. Just 25. I have a whole life ahead of me. I know that there will be times in my life when I will have to be strong and strict to make sure that I don't fall into the trap of guilt. I may have to leave my child at ayaah's care and go for my job. I may not have the time to cook everyday because I will maintain a career for myself. I may not be able to attend every function arranged by my family because I may have meetings at my school. I may become "selfish" or "self-centred" in the eyes of others. But I want to have the hope and the firm belief that I will not compromise my self-respect, and I will not allow myself to feel guilty and insecure for thinking about myself and being conscious about my own needs. I will not feel sorry for making mistakes, because I will know that - like always - I will have learnt something from each of those mistakes and promised never to repeat them.


My Women's Day will be the day my mother will forget to do something and say, "Eta to hotei pare!" My Women's Day will be when I will see my child graduate and know that I haven't given him/her the time a housewife could have and yet would have made my child understand the fact that his/her mother has a life of her own. And so, I have a dream... :-)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lived Through Dreams




Some dreams, they are not to come true.
Dreams that shape your life.

Dreams fulfilled make you
Reach the end.
Dreams left unreached
Keep you going ahead.

Dreams left in the past.
Dreams lived in the past.

Fragrant with sweat and laughter –
Shining as the lake in hot summer.
Alive with pounding heartbeats,
With hurried footsteps
Eager to reach their dreams.

A thousand brittle dreams
Dreamt in acute life.
Stretched green richness and fast wheels,
Sleepy afternoons and leisurely cushions –
Dreams made in broken conversations.

Lengthened concrete with no dust;
Dust that creates dreams.
Rolling years of regularity
Welcome with stifled smile.

I look back for dreams,
Weaved but left to remain, just dreams.

Freeing The Self


Freeing The Self

We all have our demons. And sometimes, when we mistakenly think them to be our friends, we accept all that they try to do with us.


My demon is ambition. Students of English literature usually think of Macbeth when they come across ambition or the excess of it. But for me the tragedy is yet not that huge.


I want a lot. I desire a lot. And in the process I demand a lot from myself. A lot of expectations I have from my own performances – whether in personal life, or in profession. And I am quite sure that I need to start accepting the fact that once in a while, a little less than the best is excusable. But that should not be continued, because then it becomes a habit and one starts decreasing the upper limit to the level of mediocrity.


All these profound thoughts are coming because I had a practical exam today and something got to me and I could not perform the way I wanted to. Those who have done or are doing B.Ed will know my condition. Most of the acts of the course are calculated dramatic performances and when one has to enact a whole lesson’s “best” part after waiting for more than 2hours within 5-8minutes in front of professors, there are chances that expectations will not be met.


But the trouble is not that I could not achieve the best today. The trouble is that I have to learn to forgive myself for failing once in a while. I have to forgive myself for being human and not the superhuman that I want to be. May be just for this once, and continue the journey towards superhuman-ness from tomorrow.


But today, this very moment, I have to forgive myself for being human.