Being Human

This morning I took a BRTC bus. There was a little girl standing beside my seat. She was around five, not big enough to balance herself in a moving bus. To her mum, she was comparatively bigger than the other child. The poor mum could not take two kids in her arms at the same time. So, the little girl was trying to help herself. I took her on my lap and looked at the back to make sure that her mum knew that she was safe with me. To my surprise, I found the other passengers to be a little uneasy with this situation. Why? Because the girl’s dress suggested that she belonged to a poor family. May be her mum was a garment worker or something like that. I did not mean to start a revolutionary movement with my action. Being a Bangalee woman, to offer my lap to a child seems to be the most natural thing to do. Why does it seem so strange? Being completely unaware of the complexities of life, my Bangalee princess pushed herself a bit more towards me so that she could sit comfortably. I loved that!

Finally, when the bus reached my destination, she went back to her Mum. While I was trying to reach the bus door through the crowd, I had to get the attention of the women standing beside my seat. Being unsure about how to address those ladies (Auntie or Apa), I just said, ‘Excuse me.” That worked!!! The looks on their faces changed. Wow! My prestige among Bangalees was regained by some English words!

Can’t help but mentioning that this is March – the glorious month of Independence! 46 years back, we were united as a nation – we were determined to fight against all sorts of injustices and discriminations. Seems like a myth sometimes.


Magic Diary (Part 1)

November 14, 2012

Bibhu is no one of this world, but his power of analysis and feelings make me think that he too is a human being of flesh and blood like us. Nothing is needed to say to him, he understands by himself. This morning, when sitting in the dining table I was drinking coffee that he made for me, and then he told a very strange thing.

“Ritu,” putting his coffee mug on the table Bibhu asked me, ” I don’t know why it seems to me that you are getting pleasure by harboring a pain within yourself, isn’t it? ” An air of all- knowing psychologist was seen on his face.

“All these are nonsense. Why should I harbor a pain, why? Am I a poet or a beggar to sell my pain to live on?” His words annoyed me so much that I could not help being a little rude.

“Ah, a brilliant metaphor! But this so direct one, I am sure, will extremely enrage the poets.” Saying this, he burst into great laughter.

His laughter always sounds a little different, and pleasing to mind.

“Leave it, man! No one will mind it if he has a little sense of humor. And if he is a real poet, undoubtedly he won’t mind. However, let’s come to the main point, why do you think that I harbor pain within me?”

“It’s true not only for you, but for many others also. When an accident happens in a man’s life, he tries to ignore it, he cannot accept, and then all his mind and heart cry out together saying ‘no, it can’t be. And it ‘s, in the moment of affliction, the first reaction of every human being.”

” What’s the second reaction?”

“Anger. When a man gets into affliction, he becomes angry with the person who causes it, but if there’s no one to blame straightway, then his anger falls on God. Thus men get satisfaction by putting all blames on the poor Creator”.

I could realize very well that every word of these is true to my nature, though I did not tell it. Trying to show indifference in my tone as far as practicable, I asked,” Is it so, then what happens?”

“Then comes the most difficult moment. ” He said,” That means, the moment of taking decision. Some people decide to forget his pains, and find out various strategies as well to keep themselves away from their pains. But some become adamant and ponder over it day and night, all the time, with reason and without reason. This brings to them a feeling of sweet pain. When mosquito bites and if one presses with finger, he gets a feeling, and this is much of like that. You feel pain, but a little pressure on it gives a pleasure as well”.

This amused me much. “You did never experience mosquito bite, then how could you know this? Is there mosquito in your world?” I asked.

“When I come to your house, mosquitoes then bite me! You never use mosquito-coil”.

“Yes, because it burns my eyes, but do you think that to have that painful-sweet feeling I persistently have borne that mishap in mind?”

“No, your case is a little bit different. You want to forget, and yet you don’t do. I’ll make it clear to you in another day, for you need to get ready to go to your office.”

“Disgusting! The suspense is like the situation of a mega serial drama!”

Bibhu smiled a bit and got out of the room.

(To be continued)

The tale of the sower

All those dry faces with cold looks were ready to suck my inner strength. None of the motivational verses seemed to work. They are determined not to be influenced by any positive thoughts. They were so comfortable with their melancholic, mechanical atmosphere. All the verses on positive attitude seemed to be fruitless. I could sense an invisible solid wall between me and my audience.

This class is my least favorite one. Once in a month I visit this class just because I have to and it is a part of my job. I am being paid for it. I talk about values to these people. They listen to me just because hey are instructed by their authority.I can always sense the cold annoyance on their faces. They were just waiting for me to finish. One of them even reminded me about shortening the session. Such a tiring job!

What is the use of talking about values to these people? Suddenly, I saw a very eager face looking towards me the entire time. I never saw that face before. She was receiving each and every word of mine so eagerly. I immediately became energized. I talked more vibrantly. After the session, that girl shared her story with me. She shared that how these values session help her to confront the everyday injustice in a more bold way.

Her joyful eager eyes touched my heart. I needed that encouragement.  I remembered the famous sower parable. He explained how different soils received the same seed in different ways. Right before me was the good soil!

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Thank you, God! I love you!

Once upon a time the script failed….

Once upon a time, there was a scriptwriter who wanted to write the scripts for her own life. She designed the entire scene in her head and expected everyone to follow that.

Sometimes, she waited for her parents to follow her story line. She expected them to utter the dialogues from her script. Why not? They were carrying the same gene!

To her utter disappointment, she learnt that the generation gap could speak much louder than the dialogues of her script. Even louder than the gene!

She met her love and expected him to follow the script line by line. Why not? He was the most intimate friend after all!

To her greatest sorrow, she realized that gender gap could be much sharper than the knife. The lust in his eye overlooked her soul’s desire; it cut her heart in two!

She met herself. She expected herself to be the most faithful artist. Why not? She was the playwright after all. She will faithfully do her part.

Alas! She realised that narcissistic outlook could be much more confusing than smog. It would never let you know the thin line between reality and fantasy.

Then she moved her eyes to see the world. She looked at the lives around her. She recognized the best scriptwriter of all.

She understood that her life’s script was written by the Almighty.

Then she started living happily ever after with hope and joy- the inseparable partners of life.

Imaginary Reality

Sometimes I visualize many scenes in the middle of a dream. So many unknown characters. So many new stories. I hardly remember the whole story after being awake. Very interestingly, I have never been one of the characters in any of the scenes of those particular dreams. It’s not even connected to my personal life anyhow.

Still, it’s nothing like reverie or trance that Coleridge used to experience. That’s why I miss the opportunity of keeping record of the actions that keep occurring. Everything happens while I’m sleeping. The only option is to start writing after the very moment of being awake. Still, some scenes will definitely be deleted. The unity of the plot will be hampered. But, it would be fun to try it once instead of watching the play as an inactive audience while dreaming and sleeping at the same time. May be, I can add some thing to the extract of the story left  in my brain. It would be like showing a little unfaithfulness to the original story but that’s what we always do to most of our ideas and plans. We dream of becoming something and then end up being something else. We wish to have someone  who will understand us perfectly, will share same interest and the same level of intellectuality. However, in reality, we pass our life compromising everything with a “Would Have Been Mr./Mrs Perfect”. May be those unfulfillments  are the keys to creativity. What we can’t achieve finds expression in our works. For someone, the medium is word, for someone it is brush and colour. No matter what it is, it is all about that unfulfilled desire which forces us to create an alternative imaginary world.