Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Colourful Dreams.

A snowy day at St.James Park, London.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sketchy dreams

PS: Writer's block.

Perhaps the Unsure ascetic lapped up an idea of his dream (holiday!) home somewhere in the state of enchanting Tamil Nadu.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Big Lives, Small Lives

He held the bar in the Metro train, clung to it aimlessly and rarely looked up from the floor. Jay Srivatsava, 23, looked clean, lean and driven in the morning. He lands into the train lost within the crowd of the first compartment, 07:43 at Kashmere Gate. In his journey he accompanied a big herd of hunting souls and disembarked at Netaji Subhash place, 08:09. He was different from the herd by looking like an arbitrarily satiated hunter not interested in finding his prey.

Bhumika Singh, 27, watched this guy with ardent curiosity. She has been doing so for about seven months now. It was a let out for her as She waited in the morning for a glimpse of him. She kept staring at him sometimes. She was curious and felt connected with him for some illogical reason. She assumed that he was her friend.

He was in the dark about Bhumika.

He did not realize that the spaces of his life were being keenly watched to be preyed upon everday during the journey.

She had to sway through the demonic Delhi man-world with religiousness. She boarded at Kashmere gate 07:43 and got off at Netaji Subhash place 08:09 on the way to her work place at the ITL towers. She looked healthy, tidy and ready in the mornings. She pushed her way through the wholly intrusive Indian populace to find herself a safe haven within the compartment, wherever she finds intrusion in a minima.

She had been preyed upon all her life since the time she remembered. The Brothers and Sisters of Delhi have never been frugal with their intrusions on Bhumika completely choosing to oversee the sindoor that adorned her, signaling her as ‘taken’.

The testosterone dripping Indian society had given her enough attention that she long ago had started to escape the realms of reality and live within her imaginary idea of perfection. Her ideas of romance as a young girl were upbeat with dreams and aspirations adorned with happiness and unending bliss.

At a later date, she was married to a same caste guy who from a distance looked to Bhumika as the gateway to her dream life. He was educated, handsome and made the cut with her parents. They married and moved into Delhi when slowly her dream life started souring and went out like the Delhi dust. He was aggressive, dominant, egoistic, abusive, adamant, insecure and chauvinistic.

Her life was becoming a never ending dark cave and the methods of the Indian societal norms were stifling her. Her parents deserted her for she is no more a part of their family. Her relatives gorged on her misfortune and condiments were plenty.

Bhumika Singh five years ago came straight out of a fantasy world. She was borne out of a rich lineage from Haldwani, blessed with sufficient wealth, respect and beauty to keep her genes desired at all times and places. She grew up through her life to turn into an object of much vaunt: fancied and grudged in equal measure. She lived her life with as much panache as the Almighty desired and the mortals that surrounded her were left fighting with themselves to ignore her superior aura.

She was born on this earth for a big life.

An excess force of praise and admiration was destined to pull down an upward march for this special soul in the form of her marriage to the undeserving man.

Two years ago, Jay Srivastava was 21 years old in the final year of his graduation at S.N College, Allahabad when his life took a topple. He had been in love with his childhood friend Prachi Aggarwal.

She told him that she loved him too beyond measure. Her beauty had captivated him since they both grew up enough to understand attraction. Her sight soothed him like the monsoon that negates the mid-summer hot air winds of the Prayag city.

His innuendos with her gave him immense pleasure and drenched him in satisfaction.

With her, he lived like the happiest man on earth.

His politician father existed for his money and thug power. The mother was lost in club activities and lived for her prestige in the guise of social justice. Dr. Vinay Aggarwal, Prachi’s father had a public fall out with Jay’s father 5 years ago leaving the two families taking Vendetta stances at the drop of a hat.

When Jay was caught with Prachi enjoying the scene of a setting sun in a boat near the Sangam on the Yamuna, Jay heard the impossible knell. All hell broke loose with him being disowned by his family with no remorse. Prachi got married to a Silicon Valley IT professional next month and Jay went through physical torture by his father which forced him to flee from his home.

Jay’s friends who swelled his social stature and strength earlier disappeared like a whimper, leaving his devastated and destitute. So Jay set off to Delhi. He settled in a flat near the INA market and found a job at an air ticketing agency in Netaji Subhash place. Since the mishap, Jay has taken himself into a shell and rarely communicates with anyone unless necessary.

Bhumika Singh was an exemplary employee for her corporate employer. She worked tirelessly at work. She had an enviable life, one thought, a doting family, a glamorous job, education from the premier institutes and loads of fanfare.

Far from the smooth exterior, deep inside her lay a strong woman who liked to pursue her dreams.

After many personal readings and admiration of Jay, Bhumika made her move in public. She went close to him in the crowded Metro and clung to the bar next to his. Her intrusion into his personal space forced Jay to take notice of the guest. He was greeted with an acquainting pair of eyes. He forgave her peccadillo assuming that it was innocence and let her be in his space. Bhumika was surprised by his apathy.

Next morning, Bhumika found a spring in her step to work. In the train after finding her way to next to him, she closed herself more with him. Jay felt her breathing on his chest and neck. He was forcing to let himself enjoy it. After a few struggling minutes, Jay relented. He could not help admitting that he was comfortable with Bhumika in his space.

Bhumika smelt victory. To the rest of the thousand people in the over crowded train, it was just another day of their mundane existence. For Jay and Bhumika, it was going to be ambiguously catastrophic.

Bhumika soon discovered that Jay is mentally disturbed and spoke rarely. Nonetheless, Jay let her occupy his close proximity from 07:43 to 08:09. Bhumika felt safe there and recharged herself after nights of torture and pain in the hands of her beastly other half.

Their relationship was limited to this much.

After a month of traveling their lives in each others acquaintance, one morning, Bhumika invited Jay to her apartment right away.

She was waiting to intrude further into Jay’s existence. She assumed that it might alleviate her off her distress.

In his mind, Jay was willing to follow his only friend Bhumika blindly.

Inside the apartment, her broken dreams insisted her to seek a parallel dream that could only be lived and now. He obliged.

Her illogical attraction to him made sense now when she completely gave herself to him. He would take her to the places that she never went and only naughtily dreamt about as a young girl.

He left her reeling under the benefits of her creation. This saga continued in the coming days. She signaled and he followed. Understanding his monetary wellness, Bhumika thrust money into Jay’s hand. Jay obliged to accept and went away.

Bhumika’s attempt to talk with him proved futile. His eyes conveyed all that it had to. Jay found a companion in Bhumika. Bhumika wasn’t sure.

He would mechanically reap the crops that had grown up between the seasons. He would have her till all that was left was the carcasses of the day and the soul of the night.

Bhumika and Jay carried on with their lives as usual other than justifying nature whenever Bhumika decided. One night when Bhumika could not take her husband’s abuse anymore, she was thrown out of the house.

She sat outside the apartment in the park and wept. She wept about the changing times and changing fortunes. She hated the society and its norms. She wished she was invisible and did not exist.

The people she knew her liked her for a reason, for her worldly existence and the paraphernalia of her persona.

She thought of Jay. He loved me for nothing. She called his mobile. It was 01:30.

He meets her at 03:00 and takes her to his residence. It was at the terrace of a five storeyed building, a room and an attached toilet and bathroom. This was the tallest building in the locality, so it gave the room and the terrace complete privacy. He gave her his bed and slept outside in a cot.

Next morning Bhumika and Jay left for work. Two weeks passed and Bhumika was recuperating from her broken marriage. Her husband tried to contact her again only to be told that it was over. She switched off her phone and cut herself off from her past.

Jay took care of her life as a guardian angel and Bhumika could not stop noticing the soft gentle underbelly of the silent marauding conqueror that she once knew. He stayed away from her physically and showed no interest.

As weeks passed by Bhumika was feeling better and able to focus on her work. Her evenings would be spent cooking rotis and sabzi in a little stove along with Jay. They spoke little, yet enjoyed each others presence.

Bhumika was busy in this no-frills little life.

With time, Bhumika understood his well-to-do background in Uttar Pradesh from his lifestyle. Jay was showing signs of opening up. He spoke more and seemed rejuvenated. He even laughed once at Bhumika’s joke. Bhumika’s feelings towards Jay were more of respect than like before. Jay also tended to her needs of daily existence with utmost care.

It had been two months since they touched each other. One Saturday when Jay was having his cup of tea and Bhumika was reading a business magazine, the weather lightened and showed signs of rain. The tangible wave of happiness associated with the first monsoon swept across Delhi. Delhiites danced in their minds as did the birds and animals.

When the first drop fell down on the terrace, Bhumika turned and saw Jay. Their eyes shared the joy and their want appeared again in their lives and shot up instantly.

The rain that the Almighty promised remained elusive but its purpose was well served. The cot that Jay slept in the open terrace lay there bearing witness to nature’s idea of complemetartity. Their energies while they joined impressed the rain Gods because very soon it started to pour. The couple then moved to the Bed inside.

After the showers, an hour later when Delhi laid down in bliss, Bhumika walked out through ankle deep water that had collected in the terrace. The sky was clear and it reflected on the water in the terrace. There she lay in the cot, the image of a woman in all her fullness, the way she was created, the way she was meant to be, uninhibited under the bare sky above and below her.

Jay’s basic instincts were livened up and his fears of humanity allayed by the after shower winds that swept across his terrace paradise. He was at her again to write yet another story of their lives.

When it rained again, Bhumika welcomed it and let it wash her, expecting with closed eyes that it might wash off her past in ablution.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ruksana Part IV - The Beauty of the Unseen.

The sun cast its effect though the glass panes at the passenger lounge, Trivandrum airport leaving me scurrying for some shade and quiet. A wave of sadness cringed into my mind as I was about to finish the 15 days holiday that had been a much awaited fun filled jamboree and carefree life at my hometown.

Another eventful year awaits me at work in New Delhi with new horizons to explore and career hurdles to cross.

Holidays meant
- Meeting up family, showing elders that I care, seeing the cousins grow, getting accustomed to new nephews and nieces.
- Soaking the sun at the beaches
- Those rides through the countryside in the Royal Enfield ‘beautiful’ Bullet
- Swimming in the river
- Boat rides into the sea
- Going to the paddy fields and trying to catch crabs and do fishing
- Playing the church organ at the family church
- Watching the sun rise at the Kanyakumari
- Watching the sun set from atop the Marunthuval malai
- Playing blaring music in the Amby and driving through the estates at 5 AM in the morning.
- Bathing in the water falls
- Eating piping hot milagai bhajji (chilly bhajji) after the shower in the water falls.
- Riding through the chilly wind on the highway
- Visiting my teachers of junior school
- Sleeping very little

I did all that. This hometown holiday is my favourite stress management tool. It transcends me across epochs of my destructive personal growth and fading innocence. It makes me feel young, harmless, innocent and good. It also reminds me of my roots to reiterate my identity.

My silent lamenting at the lounge was disrupted when a child that was running about had a fall on the floor. This child had captivated some passengers including me with its histrionics. I admired her energy and cuteness for a while. I also noticed the mother who kept the child entertained by playing child like games. I appreciated the beauty of that mother-offspring relationship.

The mother was using a toy bell to create a beat to which the child responded by thumping her foot that had an anklet.

After enjoying this beautiful scene, I returned to my fatigue driven soliloquy to be rudely awakened by a squeal from the child. She had fallen to the ground and was sobbing uncontrollably. The parents were doing many things to appease the child.

I noticed the mother clad in a black burqa was showering the child with kisses to calm her. This irritated me as I don’t endorse this kind of parenting where the child is tended to with God like religiousness. I believed children should learn from their own mistakes.

My mind knew that something was amiss and that intruded my sanity. I wriggled my mind and exercised my eyelids to clarify my surroundings.

Isn’t this lady known to me? I thought.

Who is she? Is she someone I know? No. I don’t have burqa clad contacts, no friends, Then? Is she a television actress? Or a social activist?

I tried hard to not teach myself that it was her. She was Ruksana, after 20 years since I last saw her.

I was startled. I went near her and smiled. She smiled back and said ‘Jay’.

I was sheepish. It felt funny. I have never felt so humbled but it felt good. I had momentarily changed into a 9 year old boy again. How the hell did she know my name? I asked her that and she said she remembered my very well.

She introduced me to her husband, Sajjid. He was a bearded man who smelt like a Gulf malayalee Muslim. He seemed happy to meet his wife’s friend. I couldn’t imagine that Ruksana ever had a friend. I gathered my composure.

She said she remembered my bicycle, my car and my gate-keeping habits. She also remembered my parents. Achanum ammaiyum sugam thane? (Are your parents well?). I said they are fine. I was shaking my head in disbelief.

I was startled by this confident and affectionate lady. She asked me if I was married and wanted to know why I wasn’t. She then said that she imagined that you would have been married by now.

I wondered why she had to think about me. I often remembered her.

She asked me about my brother. She wanted to know what I do to earn my daily bread.

She was happy to see me and she made sure that I knew it. I believed that she was happy.

Throughout this rendezvous, I noticed a pair of tiny, beautiful eyes looking at me from near Ruksana. I bent down to say hello to this now calm child. I was greeted with glee and was pecked on my cheek.

Those young eyes that I saw exuded power, power enough to pierce my existence and levitate me. I fought hard and asked her name.


She had those eyes, the eyes that I so liked to see from varying angles when I was a child. Those lost pair of rubies that failed to understand my offer and yearning for friendship and company, the eyes that defined pleasure when I was young and innocent.

‘No’ I thought. These eyes are different. Farnaza’s eyes were happy and willing to give love.

Ruksana used to have the same eyes, strong, healthy but without happiness and uninterested to give love.

Farzana is a sweet child.

I then quizzed Ruksana about her life. She said she was adopted by Sajjid’s uncle from mallapuram who then educated her to class X. It was then that Sajjid fell in love with her and his uncle decided to get them married. Sajjid owns two restaurants in Dubai.

I loved the glint in her eyes when she explained to me her fairy tale life.

I saw Sajjid and my face was gleaming with respect and adoration for this man. Subconsciously I offered a handshake to this gentleman who brought happiness into Ruksana’s life.

I knew Ruksana was happy.

I was happy to see her.

I never prayed seriously as a child. I never prayed for Ruksana but I often questioned her existence with God, who I believed was her creator. I asked him the reasons for her miserability.

The 9 year old with whom I wanted to play with was away in a world that I didn’t understand and despised.

The 9 year old evoking affection with the aura of a beautiful soul but could not give it out to the people who wanted to share it.

She may have prayed hard asking God to relieve her of her misery or perhaps God just relented to answer my many questions.

When the final call for my flight to Delhi was made, I bade my good byes. Sajjid hugged me and called me Jay bhai. I took a picture of the family in my camera. I was happy.

I sat at 40, 000 feet looking out and trying to come to terms with the beauty of the unseen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ruksana Part III - The Shattered Dreams

"This is the continuation of the extract from the memoirs of a 9 year old boy called Jay. This story is about childhood innocence, child labour, God, miracles,and affection/love. This part is about how the 9 year old boy discovers the difference between his dream world and the real one. It can be best enjoyed if the many parts are read in proper sequence"

I like and dislike the rain. They bring good smell and sometimes schools got closed due to rain, so we can enjoy at home. I hate rains in the night as there is a power cut immediately and the thunder shakes the glass windows. I cannot sleep when it rains because of the sound. Amma told that lightning killed somebody who was outside their house when it rained because lightning is like electric shock. As it rained outside I lay awake and tried hard to sleep. I then went hugged my amma and went to bed again. I then thought of Ruksana. I wondered whom she would hug if she did not fall asleep. I wondered if she was scared of thunders. I felt sad about her.

In our house, we have ventilators for air to come in. They are near the ceiling and big enough for my hand to pass through. Sometimes in the night when I cannot sleep. I lay awake in my bed listening to sounds and thinking something. I can hear my family members snoring and my paaty (Granny) coughing. I sometimes hear the mosquitoes singing during rainy season, otherwise there are more than hundred other insects that make sound outside in the night. I think one of these sounds could be of a snake.

I guess that thieves will be dressed like the clowns that come with the Santa Claus during Christmas season. I think thieves will also be roaming around the house in the night and one day they will come and poke their face in the ventilator and scare me. They may also bring long bamboo sticks, poke it through the ventilator and touch me. My cousin from Delhi is a liar and she says that there are no ventilators in her house.

To avoid seeing the ventilator I close my eyes and turn my face to the other side of the bedroom. I then think about good things in life which I think is called dreaming.

I dream about good things. I dream of many situations that made Ruksana happy. When Ruksana was happy, I was happy.

I wish she could come and play with me. I wish she could come to school with me. I wish she could come and play with my brother. I wish she could do her homework with me. I wished my amma would give payasam (Kheer) to her. I wish we can go shopping together, cross roads and go shopping in the main market. I wish I can buy her lots of lacto kings. I wish I can dance with her like Rajni and Khushboo. I wish I can fight against rowdies who mess with Ruksana, just like Rajni.

Last Friday, appa came home in the evening with burotta and erachi(chicken) from Three star my favourite restaurant. As we were eating it I was sweating from the head as the erachi was hot and tasty. Appa told us that we are shifting to another house, bigger, better and closer to his office. I jumped at excitement at the thought of going in a truck as dad said we will move our things in a truck. I have never travelled in a truck before and I want to do that. That news made the erachi taste much better.

After some time I remembered Ruksana. I felt sad. I realised that I will not be able to see her anymore. My head was aching and I wanted to run away into the toilet where no one can see me. I wanted to cry and so I cried. I felt very very sad.

I assumed that I am in love with Ruksana. I now understood many love stories that I read earlier without understanding them.

My love with Ruksana will end. I will not be able to see her again. I will not be able to be her friend. I will not be able to give her chocolates. I will not be able to see her again. I will not be able to show her my winning races in bike, car, van and bus. I will not be able to see her again. I will not be able to gift her new clothes. I will not be able to see her again.

Later in the night I vomited. Amma said it was indigestion. I was crying. Amma gave me gelusil and I went to sleep.

To be continued

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ruksana Part-II

The open mind.

"This is the continuation of the extract from the memoirs of a 9 year old boy called Jay. This story is about childhood innocence, child labour, God, miracles,and affection/love. It can be best enjoyed if the many parts are read in proper sequence ."

"I get bored easily when I am not doing anything so I want to do something all the time. I stand outside the house and see the road. But it is very sunny in the afternoon and amma allows me to go out of the house only after 5:30 in the evening. So, inside the house sometimes I just sit and play with toy cars and start my own new games.

I once played a game with bikes. Suzuki samurai vs. Hero Honda sleek vs. Ind Suzuki vs. Rajdoot vs. Bullet vs. Kawasaki kb 125. I just sit outside the first floor balcony and count the bikes that go in the road and the bike that crosses the maximum number of times in that 2/3 hours will be winner. My dad has Ind Suzuki so I always support it to win.

When evening comes I will go out and climb on top of the big gate and sit there and watch the road. I wait for Ruksana to come out of her house as she also will come out with aunties and babies and sit in their porch. It is a great feeling to see her for the first time after the previous day.

There will be a lot of buses in the evening in the road and they are full of people. Some buses have nose and some did not. I wonder if that altered the top speed of the buses. These buses are made in Hosur. My aunty works in the factory.

I also like to see the rare TATA Sierra and TATA Estate. I want to buy that car when I grow up.

When Ruksana is outside her house, I want her to see me. She does not see me and smile because we are big children now and boys should not talk to girls. I talk to Jaffer’s sisters but Ruksana is servant so she always keeps quiet.

I want to show Ruksana that I am strong and brave. I also want her to know that I am intelligent and I know many things that she does not know. I want to see her smile and play. I want her to be happy.

Many girls see me when I am doing something in school and they like it. But I didn’t like it. I want only Ruksana to see me. So, I try many ways to make her see me and I see her. I want to be like a Hero to her. So, I do many brave things and try and make Ruksana see me.

For a long time I wanted to try and walk in the other side of the railing of the porch in the 3rd floow terrace like a circus man. One evening my parents went to see my aunt in hospital who had given a cousin for me. I was standing in the terrace and studying geography and suddenly saw Ruksana. She saw me too. Immediately I got down on the other side of the railing in the porch and walked the distance from one end to another. At one end I turned back to see if Ruksana was seeing my fearlessness, but she was not there. I got dejected and climbed back into the terrace. I then noticed my neighbourhood ‘thatha’ (old man) watching me. I was happy that he saw me walk and smiled back at him but he was looking at me seriously with wide eyes. I understood that he was angry and ran away.

I was hoping that this thatha does not tell my parents about what I did but he did. My appa told me in the evening not to do it again. I knew that appa was scared and I am not. I have already showed Ruksana how I can climb down on the sunshades earlier.

I like to go to car workshop and see ‘Annas’ (Big guys) who are coloured black because of oil and grease. I also want to be like them. They also drive very fast, both bike and car. They also go under the car which I find very brave. Sometimes when our car is parked in front of our house and when Ruksana is out in her portico playing with babies, I go under our car and stay there for two minutes. My parents do not know this. I come out and see if Ruksana saw it. She must be thinking that I am strong boy but she never wanted me to know that she saw it.

It is very scary under the car as there are many sounds coming out.

Our first floor also had a balcony which had railings that shook. When Ruksana is standing in her house, I hit the railing with my hands and it shakes. I know I am very strong. I wondered if the ‘annans’ (Big guys) in the neighbourhood could do that. Ruksana always saw that and turned away as usual.

Last weekend I did a poster pointing of my house sitting in front of the house. This is how famous painters do painting. I saw it in Trivandrum beach. Ruksana saw me once but I sat there from 2’O clock to 6 ‘O clock in the sun as my parents went to a marriage. I felt sad that she didn’t see my painting. I fell sick next day and didn’t go to school as I had fever.

Today also I will go and ride my Bicycle if Ruksana is there. I am not allowed to go to the road and can ride only inside the compound. I can draw all numbers with my cycle, ride super fast and ride without holding the handle. I can also stand on the seat and ride. I will ring the bell when I am doing this so that Ruksana will see me but Ruksana does not see always. She sees me and turns away.

I play cricket and bat/ball. My father does not like me playing with other boys in the locality as he thinks they are ‘pattikadu’ (country rogues) and do not wear shirts. I have a cricket bat that my amma made with a ‘matta’ (dry ripe coconut leaf midrib). I also a have an original cricket bat but I don’t like it. I wanted Four Square Bat but appa bought Ajay Jadeja bat from Jabalpur. I think it is duplicate. Jabalpur is far away on the way to Delhi.

I also play bat/ball with two red coloured bats that appa bought from Ranchi. Ranchi is in Bihar state. He said that the bats are used to play table tennis. I and my friends play bat/ball with plastic balls and ARUN ice cream balls. I am the only one in the locality who has had ball ice-cream. I tell my friends that it tasted the best and that they have not eaten anything as tasty as this. I sometimes throw the ball high in the air so Ruksana will come to know that I had ball ice-cream but Ruksana did not want to see it. She will be talking to somebody and was not interested to see me play.

I want to do something special and make her see me. I will think about some idea and plan to do more things to make her see me.

I want her to smile.

I want her to laugh.

I want her to play.

I want her to be happy."

To be continued

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Ruksana the beauty
Part -I

"This story will appeal to people who feel strongly about child labour, gender equality and pure love. It is an extract from the memoirs of a 9 year old boy who lived in a small town called Marthandam in kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India."

My name is Jay and I am 9 years old. I study in the 4th standard at the Good Shepherd Matriculation Higher secondary School in Marthandam. I am a very good boy and a good student and everybody knows it. I do not study very hard, but I hate getting beatings and other punishment at school. I like reading, listening to music, drawing, painting- poster colour, making houses with cardboard, riding my bicycle, Atlas Rambler-It has seat large enough for me and my brother. I also like to play with my old toy cars although I do not tell this to my friends because they laugh at me for being childish.

When I grow up I want to become a driver and drive fast, very fast, super fast. I want to have many cars, bikes, vans and buses. I will have taxi stand also. I will be like appa when I grow up. People call my appa, ‘periya saar’ (Big Boss) and all people in his office are scared of him.

We don’t have TV at home because I am scared of watching it. We had a Solidaire colour TV and I used to get scared when I saw fight scenes and snakes and car accidents. Appa then sold it. Now I am a big boy and am not scared of those things now.

I do not like food other than snacks. I hate breakfast the most. I eat a lot in marriage parties, restaurants and other houses. My amma hates me when I do that. I like banana chips and mixture from Lakshmi Vilas bakery. I also like lacto King toffee. That is my favourite and I like it more than the fivestar. It is thirty paisa and I always go for a shop in the Vetuvenni junction to buy it. My amma always buys four of them for 1 rupee twenty paisa. Amma says not to buy 5 paisa sweets from other local shops as they have no cover and can cause cholera. I always wished I had the whole packet of lacto king, 100 of them for myself. That should be great.

We live in a big house but my friend Jobin has a bigger house. Our house looks beautiful. We have many neighbours and all of them like us. Recently a joint family full of Muslims have come to live in the big tiled house next to ours. There are many children, at least 6 belonging to three uncles and aunties. There are some babies also and the big children study in my school. I know them as Ismail, Jaffer, Thahira, Murshida and Shaheena. They are very fair in complexion as they are Muslims.

There is another girl in the house. Her name is Ruksana. She does not come to school. Jaffer says Ruksana is poor and is his servant. His servant is my most favourite member in his family. I like Ruksana.

Ruksana is strong and brave girl. She goes to a local shop down the road to buy bananas for Jaffer in the morning all alone. She also goes to buy milk. She always wears a pavadai and chattai (Skirt and shirt). She takes care of the babies and carries them around. She does not smile. I have not heard her sound yet. She is always in the family but does not go out in the car with them. She does not go to school. I want to talk and play with her but I cannot because she is poor and is a servant. I cannot talk to her because she is Ruksana. I like Ruksana. I wish she was my friend.

I like to read. I like to read story books, comics, Reader’s Digest, newspaper –Indian Express and Dinamalar and weekly magazines. I also like seeing pictures in Hotelier and Caterer. This magazine shows very costly hotels from foreign countries. I don’t understand everything that I read but I still read. Off late I have started reading newspapers as I have finished all the books in our library at home. I have read from Fairy tales, fables, classics, Tamil poetry and interior decoration. Dad is not buying new books. So, I am reading Tamil and English newspaper and the associated magazines.

I do not understand many articles but I still read as I didn’t have anything to do in the weekend. I noticed the word ‘Kaadhal’ (love) in many articles and asked my amma what it meant. She told me not to ask such questions again but I asked again as this word was found everywhere in the magazines. She told me that Kaadhal means love and that it is a bad thing to do. I said okay and thought to myself not to do love.

I also came across another word ‘sex’ in many articles. I asked my amma what it meant. She went into the kitchen saying that she had work. My appa stopped buying Indian Express next week and he said he does not have money to buy it.

I also like reading comics and ‘Mayawi’ (Phantom) is my favourite. I know Mayawi is strong but I am sure my appa is stronger than him. I will now tell you a secret. I don’t know why but I sometimes like to see Mayawi’s wife Diana. I sometimes keep seeing her picture where she was wearing a swimsuit. It made me feel good.

I kept thinking about love. I wonder why it is wrong to do love. I then think about Ruksana. I did not know if what I did with Ruksana is love. I didn’t want to ask anyone.

To be continued

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jawaharlal Nehru and the Poets.

The Discovery of India by Shree Jawaharlal Nehru, Chapter 4, Epics, history, tradition and myth. 99. Penguin books.

Gradually the days of the Vedic and other gods and goddesses receded into the background and hard and abstruse philosophy took their place. But in the minds of the people these images still floated, companions in joy and friends in distress, symbols of their own felt ideals and aspirations. And around poets wrapped their fancies and built the houses of their dreams, full of rich embroidery and lovely fantasy. Many of these legends and poets fancies have been delightfully adapted by F.W.Bain in his series of little books containing stories from Indian mythology. In one of these, The Digit of the Moon, we are told of the creation of woman.

‘In the beginning, when Twashtri (The divine Artificer) came to the creation of woman he found that he had exhausted his materials in the making of man and that no solid elements were left. In this dilemma, after profound meditation, he did as follows: he took the rotundity of the moon, the curves of the creepers, and the clinging of the tendrils, and the trembling of grass, and the slenderness of the reed, and the bloom of flowers, and the lightness of leaves, and the tapering of the elephants trunk, and the glances of the deer, and the clustering of rows of bees, and the joyous gaiety of sunbeams, and the weeping of clouds, and the fickleness of the winds, and the timidity of the hare, and the vanity of the peacock, and the softness of the parrot’s bosom, and the hardness of adamant, and the sweetness of honey, and the cruelty of the tiger, and the warm glow of fire, and the coldness of snow, and the chattering of jays, and the cooing of the kokila, and the hypocrisy of the crane, and the fidelity of the chakravaka: and compounding all these together, he made woman and gave her to man’.

In line with F.W.Bain, contemporary poet, J.J. Judilson writes about the practical implications and limitations of the divine artistry by the Twashtriji.

He Rules The World; She Rules Him..

Herculean was his built,
lilly-ean was she to the hilt.
Together they made the frame,
immortal, perfect to the hall of fame.

He ruled the world,
king of the herd,
she sewed him bad,
goregon to the unlucky fad.

Conquered were the nations,
manicured were her nails and mansions ,
skyward were his passions,
pampered were her bashes and bastions,
stone was he in war,
pearl he becomes in the sinful hour.

Wise ,wise,wise said the masses,
ripe,serene and silky were her trespasses,
wineful and sinful,bashful and soulful,
berserk,sinister,but only a handful,
for this monsterous,material lady,
he was just a big sugar body.

The world was his hunting ground,
he shoots the stars with his hissing sounds,
on the search for the wider horizons,
rubbing shoulders with the lesser scions.
the night brought with it a melancholy tune,
she was there with him in her ,
ant ruling a sand dune.

Miserly was he in art,
masterly was she in it, lady Mozart.
reptilian would be her ganglia,
avia would be her crania,
into his heart she will crawl and fly,
still he will be ,till the moment he dies.

The laws of nature are few and crude,
the silence, the truth is not new and few.
harsh is the reality,
mushy is the incredibility,
bickering on it will not make you a deity,
move with the flow, be it fast or slow,
he will always move the world, she will always move him,
merrily aho...

This poem was written by the author at Agfest 2006, an annual festival at college, in 30 minutes at an extempore creative writing contest. It won the first prize and the 'attention deprived' author managed to garner a few fans in the campus.

PS: This is what writer’s block does to me.

PPS: should allow only a certain number of posts over a period of time. is unfairly biased towards people with verbal diarrheas and lets them unfairly steal the limelight from the constipated ones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet another sleepless night!

- When the world seemed too hard to conquer and there was nothing left for me.
- When I knew that I am my own enemy and yet I did not have the will power and motivation to fight it.
- When I realised the enormity of my mind and its capitulations and yet looked helplessly at the time that passed by.
- When I had an awestruck expression on my face at life’s endless questions and challenges: simple yet ambiguous, small yet compound.
- When I felt like I am my own and the whole world, seen and unseen, was conspiring to see my back.
- When some of the dark, unwelcome clouds refuse to cease shrouding me and pass by me leaving me clothed in cold despair.
- When my actions mocked at my dreams and the rest of the world only cared to enjoy this humiliation and disgrace.
- When I did not remember my self, I lost my mind including the talents associated therewith and the whole world accepted my distorted self as my self.
- When mediocre mortals had to stoop down to decide the way I was and I had learnt to accept them as life’s lessons.
When I knew that I could trust God yet had self doubt and overpowering fear.
- When I harboured the pain of hosting the Big fight between God and Satan within my body and mind.
- When I felt helpless although I knew that my duty at that situation was to take God’s wonderful side, remember his promise and rest in peace.

PS: This will pass too.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kargil and India.

Chetan was watching NDTV and was angry. The images on TV disturbed him terribly.

Chetan Batra had just arrived home after an emotional trip to the Kargil district of Kashmir. He accompanied Barkha Dutt, the famous journalist of NDTV to shoot a program that will be aired to commemorate the 10 years anniversary of the Kargil war. The reason for Chetan’s participation was to involve in NDTV’s endeavours to honour the many martyrs of this war, one of which is Capt. Vikram Batra, his brother.

The cause of the Kargil war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LOC) which serves as the de facto border between the two states. During and directly after the war, Pakistan blamed the fighting entirely on independent Kashmiri insurgents, but documents left behind by casualties and later statements by Pakistan's Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff showed involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces. The Indian Army, later on supported by the Indian Air Force, attacked the Pakistani positions and, with international diplomatic support, eventually forced withdrawal of the Pakistani forces across the LOC.

Vikram Batra was a fine young man who was the second of the two sons of Mr and Mrs. Batra in Dehradun. Young Vikram was brilliant, smart, diligent and attractive personality in school. He scooped away most of the awards in his school during the prize distribution ceremony. He was an all rounder, good in academics as well as sports and extracurricular activities. His drive to achieve his dreams took him to the Indian military academy in Dehradun in 1995 where he was trained to be an officer in the Indian army.

Capt Vikram Batra of 13 JAK rifles was nicknamed Sher Shah by his colleagues for his raw bravery and energy. He was leading a team that was entrusted with recapturing a strategically key post 5140 that was taken over by the infiltrators. Braving extreme weather conditions and an unfriendly terrain, his successful exercise at 5140 on 20th June 1999 set off a chain of more successful captures by other Indian troops and himself.

However, in the early morning hours of 7 July 1999, Capt. Vikram Batra was killed when he tried to rescue an injured officer Lt. Naveen during an enemy counterattack against Point 4875. While dragging Lt. Naveen back under cover, Naveen pleaded to Captain Batra to let him continue the fight in spite the injuries to which Captain Batra replied "Tu baal bachedaar hai!! Hatt jaa peeche," ("You have kids and wife to look after! Get back!"). His last words before succumbing to his injuries were, "Jai Mata Di." ('Hail the Divine Mother').

For his sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery and leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra the highest military honour posthumously. The award was collected by Mr. G.L. Batra, Vikram’s father from the then president Dr. K.R. Narayanan.

The loss of Vikram Batra has left an uncomfortable void in the Batra household. The silence of the pain caused by loss still reverberates in their residence in Dehradun where the family currently resides. They had lost their most precious jewel as a price for the security of this country.

Vikram was a patriotic young man who successfully chased his dream of guarding his nation, India. He took pride in his abilities and his zest for living a meaningful life. Vikram’s favourite line “Yeh dil maange more!” (My heart asks for more!) which he used during the military operations to motivate his team has now become an iconic battle cry that sweeps across the country and still remains popular with millions of Indians.

On the TV screen, a woman was being molested and forcefully stripped by a group of men in Patna. Tens of men and women were watching the spectacle in the street, muted and not coming forward to help the woman. Police arrived 30 minutes after the incident was reported to them by the media and watched the shameful incident for another 30 minutes before intervening to rescue the woman. The whole fiasco was telecast live on national television with utmost shock and much interest.

Chetan was angered by this disgraceful incident and the apathy of the spectator men folk in the vicinity. He didn’t have words to explain this mishap of civilization in this country under broad daylight and national media coverage.
He painfully remembered his brother and his supreme sacrifice for this country. He reminisced the difficulties that the armed forces have to go through for the security of this country. He felt cheated by his country, his motherland. He burst out crying.

He cried for his brother. He cried for India.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The voice, The questions.

Picture: Neda Agha-Soltan

“If the earth were a single state, Constantinople would be its capital”- Napoleon Bonaparte.

“If I were to depict all the earth’s womanhood, Nazia would be my model”- Ahmed Rahman.

Ahmed Rahman wrote this in his diary before he went to bed that night.

It had been a great day for this 37 year old photojournalist from Tehran who was in Istanbul on work compiling a project that compares the architectural similarities between Tehran and Istanbul in a historical perspective. He had previously worked on more adventurous projects for Lemar TV in Iran covering the war in Afghanistan and travelling to other countries in conflict including Iraq, Israel and Palestine. The Istanbul project was like a paid holiday for him as architecture had always been his second love after journalism. He was also thanking his stars that day for bringing him to meet Nazia.

His priorities in life and his order of commitment fell like a pack of cards when he first laid his eyes on her. He had met many girls in his life over different phases and with different tastes, but none had captivated him the way Nazia did. Nazia Sajjid was touring Istanbul with a contingent of Iranian tourists. Most of them were fellow students of Islamic philosophy with her at Azad University in Tehran.

After the initial introduction at the lounge of hotel Larespank, they chatted on common interests. The well travelled man that Ahmed was, he managed to capture the imagination of a well read, dreamy and forward thinking Nazia. Her every unanswered hypothesis in Islamic philosophy had a definite explanation supported with real life examples from around the world from Ahmed who was a devout Muslim following the same school of belief as Nazia’s. It was sheer coincidence that they both went to the Community High School on Kucheh Marizkhaneh near Jaleh Street but with a 10 year gap between them. This brought them closer and they opened up with each other in individually unprecedented ways.

Nazia’s imbecility in expressing her mind was somehow seemingly fulfilled by Ahmed’s expertise with his camera. His photojournalism had dazzled Nazia off her feet and his widespread experience in war zones kept her glued to his speeches. His narrations of real life stories from the war zone moved Nazia and brought out her well ruminated questions on life and human existence.

Nazia's good heart brought her a tendency for protection, care and creation. She filled the void that Ahmed thought was ubiquitous in the world: the apathy, the difference to respect for humanity, greed and selfishness. She was empathetic and perspicacious with Ahmed and amidst the rugged desert that this world was for Ahmed, he felt like having found an oasis.

Before they had realised, the magic of the Byzantium made them to fall in love. The musically trained serene voice of Nazia had tied Ahmed in a million knots as they walked the streets of Istanbul. She was singing and he was showing off his Motrebi style dancing.

Nazia had many questions for Ahmed which she repeatedly put forward to Ahmed.

- Why does man have to thrive by not letting another one thrive?

- Why does man have to live by not letting another one to live?

Two months later: Tehran:

She telephoned him before going out to protest against a suspicious national election result. She was largely apolitical, but realised her responsibility with a few million other Iranians who also suspected foul play. She told Ahmed one more time how she cannot wait to get married to him.

After sharing romantic vibrations and feeling the love over the phone, Nazia told Ahmed, “Good Bye, I am leaving now, I love you.”

Later in the day a Basij sniper shot Nazia on her chest with a sole aim of sensationalising the protest rally and gathering International attention. As she lay down in a pool of blood, a doctor who was a passerby calmed others down and tried emergency life support procedures. She died within three minutes. Her last words were “I am burning, I am burning”.

Little does anyone know what she meant with those final words: Was it just an expression of the physical pain that she underwent or was it a summation of her quest in life and her surprise at the discovery of her own life’s end?

PS: The death of another young girl called Neda Agha-Soltan on the streets of Tehran in a similar set up has been captured in video and is available on youtube.

PPS: Why does man have to thrive by not letting another one to thrive?

PPS : Why does a man have to live by not letting another one to live?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What is ?

What is

In the praising of the Lord?
In the green of the summer breeze?
In the cracking of the autumn leaves?
In the people who acknowledge the purity of the moon?
In the man who stops to see the sunset?
In the woman who rises to see the sunrise?
In the unspoken words with your beloved?
In the unconditional presence of your family?
In the telephonic voices that moves you to tears?

In the magical smell that motherly love adds to cooking?

In the encouragement from your father?
In the strength of your mother?
In the wisdom of your grandfather?
In the chiding from your grandmother?
In the maturity of your sister?
In the pat on the back from your brother?
In the happiness when you think about family?
In the gloom that you are in when a friend is sad?
In the tears that roll down when your dreams are realized?
In the miracles of belief, determination and strength?
In the unexplained acts of magnanimity?
In the glorification of creation?
In the fullness of life, the way God wanted it to be?

Yes. It is LOVE. To every single human being..
Love is

  • In the praising of the Gifts of the Lord,
  • In the green of the spring breeze,
  • In the cracking of the autumn leaves,
  • In the people acknowledging the purity of the moon,
  • In the man that tops to see the sunset,
  • In the woman that rises to see the sunrise,
  • In the unspoken words with beloved,
  • In the unconditional presence of a family,
  • In the telephonic voices that moves you to tears,
  • In the magical smell that motherly love adds to cooking,
  • In the encouragement of a father and strength of a mother,
  • In the wisdom of a grandfather, chiding from a grandmother,
  • In the maturity of a sister, the support from a brother
  • In the happiness when you think about your family,
  • In the hope that when the gloom that grips you when a friend is sad,
  • In the tears that roll down during the national anthem,
  • In the miracles of belief, determination and strength,
  • In the unexplained acts of magnanimity,
  • In the glorification of creation,
  • In the fullness of life, the way God wanted it to be.
Lets pray and strive for Global peace.
Jayant Judilson.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ruminations: Sometime, Somewhere.

Do not mess with the righteous!
Do not harass the helpless!
They are guarded by God,
The ultimate guard.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ruminations: Sometime, Somewhere.

Is Violence Justified?
If sparing the rod means spoiling the son..
where do we draw the line?
How much is enough?

Flying away!

The angel flew away into the clouds,

The pain in my heart seeps,

abundant emptiness shrouds,earth leaps

I close my eyes and float in the ocean,

An ocean of memories , of a life, moments unlived, unseen

dreamt in heaven, sincerety, emotional elan.

Did I hear that time flies?

My time has been maimed with lies.

I didnt ask you to adorn my life,

Nor could I promise to adorn yours,

My thoughts cramped self,

T'was a request for an expression to praise and marvel,

One that fixed me, taxing in emotional upheaval.

Lost in clouds, are you?

I see you , each moment, rich and anew,

Shant I open my eyes, leave one bit of you nice,

Dreading to let go the pain of you,

curbing strength's rise, seeing darkness as your disguise.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The abstract scientist turned 24 on 1st May.

One of my best friends Vivek Khare sent me these pictures from Ambala, on the auspicious day. These are supposedly his gifts.

Thanks dude for the wonderful presents. They are the only ones I got this year.
It is special.