Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oh wow!!!

Thats what I say when I get anything unexpectedly....

A big "Oh WOW" and an even bigger grin :D

So what did I get now? Nominations!!!

When Saba posted about Bloggeratti, I thought this is cool...... I was looking forward to voting......
When Saba asked for entries, I thoght I should enter..... at least for the best template category...... when I was writing, I ended up sending entries for most categories......

And then, the wait for the nominations began.......

When Saba said nominations will be out, I had a teeny-weeny wish that my template be nominated.....

But when the nominations were out, I had not one, not two, but three nominations!!!!!
Thats when I went "Oh WOW!!!!"

I have been nominated for-

Best template!!! (Blogfrocks zindabaad)
Best fiction!!! (
Kaya's story - the first I ever wrote)
Best humor!!! (
Red roses)

And so, fellow bloggers, my heart goes Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

ps - Not a bad time to ask for votes!!! so if you like what I've done, please do vote for me.... the bloggeratti rules are up at Saba's blog and Anubha's blog.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Progati - The tale of Progress (Part X)

After approximately a fortnight, here is the next episode of Progati - The tale of progress. As promised, its longer and sooner than the last couple of episodes. The links to the last episodes are in the previous post. ( Just feeling lazy to post them again, he he! :D )
I worried about getting home in this weather; I worried about the kids getting home from their activities. My kids did all sort of activities at school - drama, debates, singing, dancing, sports -just like Rewa. Unlike me, they were free to do whatever they wanted, and unlike Rewa, they were not forced to do them. The right to choose was a wonderful gift my children had. And only now, when I heard Rewa' story did I fully appreciate it. The right to choose meant you could do whatever you wanted, and it also meant that you didn't have to do what you didn't want to.

"What are you thinking?" her words brought me back to the cafe.
"About something both of us didn't have", I was still glancing out of the window.
"Whats that?"
"The right to choose", I turned to face her and for the first time since I had known her, my gaze met hers. All those years of looking upto Rewa were behind me. I had realized she was as human as I was. She had her flaws like all humans. She wasn't the Goddess that I had once thought she was. The expression in her eyes was intense. I knew that she agreed with me, but would probably never admit it.

She surprised me, again.

"Yes, we never did have that."

My cell phone buzzed at the exact moment and that allowed me a chance to hide my surprise and avoid gaping at her. I answered my phone. It was Abbu.
"Where are you?"
"Close to college Abbu. What about you? And the kids?"
"When I saw the signs of the approaching storm, I went over to their school and picked them up. Don't worry, they are fine. Aftaab also called. He has started for home. When are you coming?"
"In a while. I'll call you while leaving"
"Ok. Should I ask Aftaab t pick you?"
"No Abbu, I'll get a taxi. Don't worry. If there is a problem, I'll call you"
"Ok. Be sure to call me"
"I will. Don't worry"
"Ok. Bye"
"Bye"

"That was Abbu" I told her. "I have kids of my own and he still worries as if I am a little girl"
"You are lucky", her voice quivered when she said this.
"Yes, I know"
"I don't have anyone to take care of me - except Rachna"
"Why? Nabin doesn't take care of you?" the words were out of my mouth before I could stop myself.
"No. He doesn't think there is any need to."
"Why?"
"Because he married an intelligent, independent, steel-willed lady, who doesn't need to be taken of."
"But you are an intelligent, independent, steel-willed lady. Aren't you?"
"Yes, but even an intelligent, independent, steel-willed lady needs to be taken care of. And Nabin doesn't think thats necessary. I guessed I impressed my independence too much on him. I always wanted him to think that I can do everything. I don't need anyone, much less a man."
"Then why did he..."
"Marry me?"
"Yes?"
"Because I wanted him to."
"You...."
"Yes"
She paused a while before going on. Took a breath and said "If there was anything mami hated more than Rachna and me, it was taking spending money on Rachna and me. Other than basic necessities and school fees, she didn't spend a penny on us. Rachna Liked to read. She wanted books. They were expensive. I liked to play. I wanted sport shoes. They were expensive. Rachna wanted to join the library. That was expensive. Everything we wanted was expensive. Each and every thing that we wanted. Each and everything that we needed." Her voice was bitter. Her face was like a filmstrip, with expressions passing over with every word spoken.

But there was no self-pity. She wasn't feeling sorry for herself. She wasn't crying. Perhaps the clouds saw that too. They were shedding lesser tears.

"And so, I decided that if they weren't going to give us any money, we had to earn it for ourselves", she said "I wasn't sure how, but I was lucky. Like Alice, I found my magic hole."
"Magic hole?" Was this too emotional for her to handle? Why is she speaking gibberish?
"Yes", she giggled at my confusion.
Rewa never giggled. She had this dignified chuckle. Not a schoolgirl giggle. But hen again, this wasn't Rewa. This was Progati. And I didn't know Progati. But then, did I know Rewa? No, I didn't.
"Yes, I found a talking rabbit. Mrs. Krishnan. Do you remember her?"
"Mrs. Krishnan...... sounds familiar", I was trying to place the name.
"She was the English teacher at our school."
"Oh yes. I remember now. The lady who spoke with a lisp."
"Yes, she was my talking rabbit, and she showed the magic hole through which I found my wonderland"

Her delight shone through her eyes. I guess Mrs. Krishnan was another person she cared for. She was as animated talking about her as she had been while talking about Rachna.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Progati - The tale of Progress (Part IX)

For those of you who are still following it, here is the next part of Progati: A tale of Progress. If you guys have forgotten what has happened so far, well i'm giving the links to the earlier parts:
Part-1
Part-2
Part-3
Part-4
Part-5
Part-6
Part-7
Part-8

This episode is again a short one, hope the next one will be longer..... and sooner! :)



"Your troubles?"

"Yes, my troubles. All you people thought I had a fantastic time. Didn't you? You thought I was the independent Rewa, the free spirited Rewa, the Rewa who had no responsibilities. But you couldn't have been more wrong. Rewa was neither free-spirited, nor was she free of responsibilities. Rewa was an innocent girl, whose innocence, family and happiness were robbed from her at one stroke. The first twelve months at my mami's house were the worst days of my life. She treated Rachna and me like dirt. She didn't care whether we went to school, whether we ate our meals, whether we were living or not..."
Her voice trailed off, and I felt she was the eight-year old Rewa once more, reliving her hell.

"And one day, I got the solution to my problem at school. I was picked up by my teacher to perform in a school play. It was more like stand in the school play actually! But it was the route of my escape. I spent that whole afternoon at school, and when I returned home in the evening, my aunt didn't even bother to enquire where I was. I realized that as long as I was away from home, my aunt didn't bother about me. So, in spite of my stage fear, I began participating in as many plays and dances as I could. Soon, I moved to debates, sports and what not. This is where I met a lot of people and I realized I could be a real charmer if I wanted to. That's when the stubborn Rewa transformed into the popular Rewa. I kept Rachna with me as much as I could, and my aunt was happy to have us out of her sight as long as possible. That suited me just fine, for when we were out, both of us could forget the venom she spurted out at us. Rachna was the intelligent one, and she began spending as much time in the library as I was spending in all my various activities. Did I tell you that she is now doing Ph. D in bio-informatics at Georgia University?"

She was proud of Rachna, almost as a mother would be of her child. The pride showed in her voice, her eyes and her expression. She was the mother goose and Rachna, her goose ling.

"Yes, you did", "only about ten times" I wanted to add, but decided that this wasn't the time for humor.

"I always wanted her to be a doctor. She is so intelligent and so hard working. She used to study all the time. I was heart-broken when she had to give up her medical seat because uncle wouldn't fund her education and I couldn't get loan. That happened two years after we moved from your locality. Uncle bought a better house in a better locality, but mami's behavior towards us didn't become better. I was working in a small accounting firm at that time, and was paying for Rachna's education and all of her needs. I didn't have the money for Rachna's medical education, and she had to give up her seat. That's when I decided that I had waited enough. There was no point in waiting anymore. That's when I asked Nabin to marry me!"

That was surprising. She asked Nabin to marry her! Even though no one had given me an indication, I had assumed that it was Nabin who had asked her to marry him. This was so unconventional. But then nothing about her was conventional, wasn't it?

It was only then that I noticed, heavy raindrops had arrived to give company to the howling wind outside.