Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bread

I once participated in a 3 sentence story contest. Came across it last evening while cleaning stuff from my comp. Don't think I have pasted it here...


It was a windy night, with the wind howling in the narrow streets and banging on grimy glasses of closed windows.

The little child walked slowly through those narrow streets but her occasional sobs audible inside the homes with paper thin walls had no effect on the families inside, for food was scarce for their needs as well.

No one saw the mad old lady living in a tent at the end of the street giving her only piece of bread to the hungry child, but everyone saw the child crying over the old lady’s body the next morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Children's Day!

It's children's day today and I realised that the child in me doesn't really want to grow up. Is that a good thing people?

Do you have that inner child whose eyes light up at the sight of a present from the loved one, who stares at all the fantastic ice cream flavours and can't decide which one, who looks up to mom and dad for approval, who carries dreams in their eyes... I think I do... :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

About this and that

Sometimes when you read a good book, its like a journey with a good friend. When the book ends you feel like you have had a great time and a pang that it has ended. I feel it with only captivating books. I'd spend long nights reading and actually feel a bit bad that the book ended. I wish that the story would go on and on and allow me to live with the characters and not just be a part of that sliver that the author intended to. And yet, I'd never analyse the why's and what if's
of the story. I could remember and recollect the story years afterward at times and yet I never questioned why a certain character behaved in a certain way. I do the same with people and situations. Taking things at face value has been instrumental to keeping myself optimistic. Now
I. wonder if it is a good thing. I never wanted to be the cynic who doesn't trust anything but being at the other end of the spectrum isn't the best either. Look where I started and where this post has led upto. I digressed like having fallen on a landslide! So lemme keep my musings away and come back to the pangs about completing books. I have read quite a lot in the last few weeks. Was missing it so much that I took time out to read. I realized I missed the act of reading a lot more thanthe actual matter. But I was a bit off the mark. None of the books I read left me with the familiar pangs, and I kind of missed them.

Same was the case with music. I went from being someone who had songs playing about her all the time to someone who did not even know what the music releases for the month have been!! Music is easier to be in touch with as compared to books and I want to promise myself that I
will go back to my musical ways. Finding music again has been like bumping into an old friend on a trip to the market. The delight makes up for the lost time and you feel like you wanting to soak up all your favourite music in a day. Has it ever happened to you as well?

On a totally unconnected note, I realized something very important a few days back. We have the tendency to hoard our beautiful, precious and favourite things for special occasions. Nothing wrong there now, we all do it. I had a bottle of a lovely French perfume that I bought
just before my wedding. That was my special occasion perfume and I didn't wear it often. It got pushed to the back of my wardrobe and went so farther back that even for parties I never bothered fishing it out, making do imstead with my everyday one. Then one day while
cleaning out the shelf, I discovered it again. I sprayed some on my wrist and the fragrance stayed with me the whole day, giving me little bursts of joy every now and then. In the evening when I got back home even hubby commented on it :)

My ordinary day turned a little less ordinary just by a few dabs of perfume! That's when I realized that some things are meant to be enjoyed and not stowed away. What do you guys think?Sent from my iPod

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tweet Tweet

I am so much into Twitter these days... bro calls it my new toy and I'd agree.... the good part about tweeting is that my obsession with fashion blogs has reduced considerably... :) I couldn't be more relieved... now I am an ABCD (A Bit Confused Dresser) coz I am experimenting with sartorialism... here's to retail therapy!!!

The weather in Delhi has cooled and after the 40degree summer, I think we are quite ready for it. Not so ready for the commonwealth, if the state of the roads is anything to go by... the traffic is so unpredictable you dont know if the journey is gonna take you 30 mins or an hour and 30 mins... am not a fan of delhi traffic so i dont pass up an opportunity to crib...

I did a 24 hour trip to Jaipur with hubby this month and the sad state on Indian Tourism saddens me. We had a long conversation about the places we have been to and concluded that India under utilises its potential in this area. Agreed that Incredible India is an Incredible campaign, but ground reality HAS to match up to the promises. Can the auto / taxi drivers stop trying to fleece travelers? Can information desks be more inviting? Can people help more? Can we get value for money? Can we have better trains? More frequent trains?

Speaking of trains, the journey began with unattended bag lying in our coupe. The mother of twins that shared it with us coolly informed us that the bag wasn't hers. A 20 year old boy left it there and went away before the train started!!! Can you imagine how we reacted? We got hold of the attendants, refused to sit there and demanded the TC (who never bothered to come there btw) We asked for the bag to be left at the next station. The attendant prob wasn't authorised enough but he was concerned as well. After an hour or so, the dopey owner of the bag saunters in, shaking to the beat of his ipod. We gave him an earful and he gave us a glazed look throughout... Kids these days! And the ppl around us were just not bothered. Probably thought we were over reacting. But what if that bag actually had a bomb? Wouldn't they wish that someone HAD overreacted? Whatever happened to being alert citizens and in times like these.....

What would you have done in such a situation????

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My first Love - Books!

This is the top 100 books to read list from BBC. -

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling

6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling

23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling

24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling

25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

27. Middlemarch, George Eliot

28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving

29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck

30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett

34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

38. Persuasion, Jane Austen

39. Dune, Frank Herbert

40. Emma, Jane Austen

41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery

42. Watership Down, Richard Adams

43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

46. Animal Farm, George Orwell

47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian

50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

53. The Stand, Stephen King

54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

56. The BFG, Roald Dahl

57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome

58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer

60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman

62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden

63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough

65. Mort, Terry Pratchett

66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

67. The Magus, John Fowles

68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding

71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind

72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell

73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

74. Matilda, Roald Dahl

75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding

76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt

77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins

78. Ulysses, James Joyce

79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens

80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson

81. The Twits, Roald Dahl

82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith

83. Holes, Louis Sachar

84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake

85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson

87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

89. Magician, Raymond E Feist

90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac

91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

95. Katherine, Anya Seton

96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer

97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez

98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson

99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot

100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

The ones in bold are those I have read and italics are on a must read list... 16 / 100 read is a bad score... :(

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sugar Free!!

Me: You added sugar to my coffee in the morning
Pantry boy: M'am this is sugar free, it will have no effect!!!

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.... :D

For those who don't know, I take no sugar in my beverages... i like them with the natural flavour

Friday, July 31, 2009

Juggling on a treadmill

Imagine starting to jog on a treadmill... a light, easy jog that allows you to carry on a conversation with your fellow jogger. That's the beginning of career for you. You may work the whole day, but you can definitely chat with others around you and not fall too far behind. You can always catch up.

Somewhere down the line, the treadmill tilts... you are now jogging on an incline - a rise in career. You jog faster, labour more to cover the same distance. Your work has become intense and takes more resources out of you. Some one hands you juggling balls... four juggling balls, your family, your friends, your own interests and hobbies and your health. You juggle these while the treadmill tilts more and more... as if that was not enough, someone yanks up the speed on the treadmill...! Not only is your work tougher, you also have deadlines (and sometimes insane ones).

As you move on in life, the pace just keeps increasing and the slope gets steeper... more juggling balls get added to your life... that's today's world for you!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Madhushala, Sartorialism & Awakening

Listening to Madhushala while working is not a good idea.... I have slipped into a philosophical mood every time I have heard it... so why do I keep listening to it, specially when i need action? Is it Manna De's velvetty voice or Harivanshrai Bachchan's magical poetry? I would never know... Music helps me keep sane on crazy work days, crazy everyday drives, cooking, chores I like, chores I dislike... basically, everything under the sun! :)

On another unrelated note, I realised that Harivanshrai Bachchan's name rhymes with his grand DIL... Aishwarya Rai Bachchan... funny, eh...

Have any of you ever had a sartorialist awakening? I seem to be having mine these days... am more conscious of what I wear than I was earlier. You know the transformation girls undergo in their teens when they suddenly discover fashion and make up and styling? That's happening to me now... a whole decade after most girls... a late bloomer if there ever was one! On my last holiday, I picked up a set of styling tongs and I am absolutely in love with them... i have curled, twisted, straightened and puffed my hair since getting the tongs and if I had my way, I'd use them everyday! My bro told me (actually commented my FB wall) on a complately unrelated topic that you are finally turning to a girl... I looked for corroborative evidence of it and discovered that I
  • read chicklit and fashion blogs (hmmm)
  • look at the charaters clothes and accessoceries on TV (errrrr)
  • give ladies on the street a once over (uh-oh)
  • can identify designer handbags at malls (gasp!)
  • screams at lizard sightings (shriek)
Oh God, I am a typical "girl"... but hang on, there is more to me... I also
  • kill roaches as soon as I spot them
  • despise too much mush
  • want to do water sports / adventure sports
  • agree that being a typical girl is nothing to be proud / ashamed about
So the last point basically makes it a non-issue...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trivial Wish List

My trivial wish list -
  1. A long leisurely shower
  2. A shopping trip with great bargains
  3. A little bit of rain
  4. A day with no chores or work
  5. Regular electricity and water supply
  6. Batter time management
  7. A more efficient brain
  8. Ability to shut off from work once I close my lappie
  9. Ability to actually close my lappie
  10. A DSLR... sigh
  11. An opportunity to shoot a great pic everyday....
  12. Zit free skin!!!

It ain't that long... this list of small little things that I wish for, to be happy.... is it?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

कयूँ खुशी नही रहती


ज़िंदगी की गलियों में अकेले घूमते हम
ज़ेहन में उठते सवालों का जवाब ढूंडते हम
सँग चलते हैं इतनों के
फिर भी तन्हा ही रेहते हम

खुशी के पल आते हैं
और चले जाते हैं
फुलझडी सी रौशनी कर के
दोबारा अंधेरा छोड जाते हैं

कयूँ नही रोज़ रोज़ रहता
वो खुशी वाला समाँ
कयूँ नहीं उदासी आते ही
रुख कर लेती कहीं और का

क्या ये हमारी फ़ितरत है
या दुनिया का दस्तूर
हम ही ऐसे जीते हैं
या सभी इतने मजबूर

Something i wrote long back... just found it while deleting old stuff from my comp...


Thursday, May 28, 2009

What? Why? How? When? If ever.....



Lots and Lots of questions in my mind right now...
And no time to think of answers...

But then again, maybe I do not want to know these answers....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Falling Flowers...


Fading petals, originally uploaded by anksy06.

The one thing with thoughts is that if you don’t capture them when they appear, they get lost... often to not return, just like a moment in time that never comes back. So I had this thought that was weird, way too weird. I thought of a flower that has fallen from a tree… When the flower was up at the tree, it made the tree more beautiful. Smiling amongst the green leaves, it was a symbol of the tree’s health, its bounty. After falling from the tree, it gets picked up and makes something else beautiful. At the feet of a deity, it inspires devotion. It could be entwined in the locks of a lady, adding its fragrance to her beauty. It could be added to a vase or a decorative arrangement, a gracious welcome for a guest.

But what if it doesn’t reach the ground? What if it drifts in the wind… twisting, twirling, and floating in mid air? It is no longer a part of the tree, and not a part of anything on the ground either. It doesn’t belong and is lonely in this whole universe… imagine being that flower… mortifying, no?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why did I pick the lilies?



Last evening, I saw a beautiful bunch of lilies... right besides the stairway to our house. There is a row of potted plants that we don't really maintain... I dont know how the lily survived, but yesterday, there were about 6 beautiful, long stemmed ones there... ruby red, smiling in the light of the setting sun...


And without a second thought, I plucked all of them and put them in a vase at home.... I, who am a big fan of letting flowers stay in the bushes... I have been thinking and can't decide why I plucked them and left them in the vase to wither away...








Tried a mango cake on this weekend... looked and smelled great... :) well, it tasted good too, but the texture was not light and fluffy... so I must be messing with the proportions.... have got to scour the net for a good eggless recipe... been wanting to do this for ages... sigh!











Saw Before Sunrise and Before Sunset back to back... loved the concept.... why don't they make romantic movies like that anymore? I honestly wish I could write that well.... I'd turn into a full time writer... :) It was a romantic's dream come true... a story based on a magical, spontaneous connection unfolding in beautiful locations in Vienna & then Paris.






The best part was that there was mystery and intrigue, the climax was open ended in both... as a viewer, I can decide how I want the story to end... in the words of one the protagonists, if you are a romantic you want to believe in the happy ending, if you are a cynic, you won't... How nice if we could choose what happens in real life too... if only, wishes were horses...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Zombied?

There is much work to be done, but my brain fails to process the information that is thrown at me. With much effort I get the brain to work, but my hands refuse to obey the orders it sends out...

I feel like I am living in a zombie state - going from one activity to another without creally living it. I have begun to listen to the dham-dham music as I used to call it. That is essentially music with very loud beats. After a while, I realise I haven't soaked up the song as I used to... I haven't lived the music as I used to. It faded into the background in a while and I couldn't tell when tracks change. I start an activity and dont take it to completion. A movie I began seeing last week still needs about 40 mins of my attention. A painting I began last year has patches of blank canvas staring back at me. Half written stories and poems call me to themselves all the time... I no longer get happiness out of these things. Sometimes, I feel I am doing this just to continue being the same person I once was... I am clinging to these things, not willing to change... and that seems to be a big reason for the way I feel right now...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Prayer...

After the burst of activity at the start of this year, I lapsed into non blogging again... well, big reasons too... life changing, not happy ones... having lived in a nuclear family far away from your entire extended family emotionally distances you from them... things such as marriages, births and deaths do not affect you the same way they would have had you been a part of their everyday life. And in the age when we grew up, telephones, emails, social networking sites were not readily available... You do tend to live a sort of solipsistic life... the self however extends to your immediate family too... But having said that, nothing prepares you for the loss of a family member, an immediate family member... I lost my mother in law and our family is still coming to grips with it...

My eyes are wet even as I write this, in memory of the lady who said I am not your mother in law, I am your mumma... Whenever I heard anyone say we dont get along well with the MIL, I would cross my fingers and knock on wood... for my 'mumma' had nothing but love to give... she was too young to go and put up a fight till the last ounce of energy... I never got to tell her how much I appreciated her, how much I had enjoyed bonding with her, how much I wanted to give back what I got and didn't get to do it...

All I can do now is pray that she be at peace wherever she is and her hand remains on top of our heads like it was...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Smoke

Almost a year of being married… the anniv is fast approaching and I am about to put up a very dark, very morbid post… before any of you jump to conclusions, hold your horses! This story (yay, my second this year!!!) was inspired from a pic (yet again)

It all began when V, an ex colleague and an excellent photographer showed me one of his photos. Before I begin on the photo, let me tell you that this man has instrumental in fanning my love for photography and opening up the world of photo editing for me! So, back to the pic he showed me. It was a shot of a cigarette dangling from a woman’s hand. The ring finger had a ring on and there were swirls of smoke all around. I don’t know why,  but the pic spoke despair to me… a kind of giving up on hope and acceptance of destiny. That’s what I told V and he kinda agreed… so while I was chatting, the story began to form in my head. Experience has taught me to write down when the idea strikes or lose the intensity and flow of thoughts. So that is exactly what I did! The next two hours were spent in writing this short story… it was 2:00 am when I finished and partially responsible for the neck pain I have had last week (that warrants another post though!)

I really wanted to put up that pic with the story, but well… something to do with the photographer and model’s agreement prevents that. I tried an image search many times, but found no picture on the net that produced the same emotions. That, I guess is the artist’s genius! And I can also sympathise with all the filmmakers who write a story with a particular artist in mind and the star rejects it! It was also freaky that the domestic violence awareness ads have begun on TV. I saw the first one right after this was done. But enough said, its time now for smoke…


SMOKE

Cold feet, Goosebumps all over and a thin veil of smoke around me. These were the least of my worries… more important was the dread - icy cold, lead heavy dread that slowly wraps itself around my heart. Its tentacle like fingers advanced when I was absorbed elsewhere and when they had the whole pulsating thing in their grip, they gave it such a major squeeze, I never recovered from it. That cold dread had become a part of my days and the evenings and the nights. I waited for the inevitable, because I knew it was coming. Even on days when it did not come, there was no respite. It was not an end, a mere break. What solace was to be derived from the postponement of misery? Especially when you know the misery will be back the next day, stronger and more forceful. The first time he struck me, I cried for hours on end. My eyes were red and puffy the whole day afterward and I pretended conjunctivitis at work. The dark glasses hid my eyes, the pain, the hurt, the sadness in them. What they could not hide was the strain in my voice. So I spoke little – very little. Those who cared did not get to hear my voice and those who heard it did not care. I hid behind a self created smoke screen, telling myself that there will be flowers and an apology waiting for me when I get back home. I’ll be angry for a while, but give in when he professes his undying love and devotion to me.

Today, I laugh at my naivety, my optimism and my inane belief in the goodness of mankind – especially of mankind. But there’s no way I could’ve known. I was young, not worldly wise enough and ridiculously woven into ideas of romanticism. Blame a protected childhood and hordes of Mills & Boons for that. What waited for me back at home was an evil shadow monster armed with a leather belt and spiked buckle. The welts on my back stung for years – they never healed. Every evening, he’d rip open the partly healed flesh, drawing fresh beads of dark crimson blood. He stopped wearing that belt after 2 days – it stank of blood and sweat soaked leather. He hung that belt proudly in his almirah and soon his clothes began to emit that smell too. No matter how much of Brut or Axe he showered upon himself, he was always enveloped in the perfume of stale blood and rotting, decaying leather.

The beatings wore him out usually and he downed 2 cans of pepsi after them. Ironically, he was a teetotaler and a non smoker. He was a well educated, highly placed professional in a reputed MNC that I had chosen as my life partner, almost against my parents’ wishes. “No vices” was the phrase I’d used to describe him to mum. No vices indeed. He didn’t need a plural. He had but one vice – to flag his wife everyday. But that took over everything else, a thousand times over. Husbands who smoke, drink or cheat on their wives can still be forgiven. But those who derive their satanic pleasures from seeing blood dripping across their wives’ flesh are not meant to be forgiven.

It was a matter of weeks in which I began to hate everything he did, everything he touched. I would shudder every time he stood close to me. The involuntary shiver of disgust was perceived as fear and his satisfaction bolstered his confidence, fanning the flame of monstrosity. Every belief he upheld in public began to seem like a façade, every word he uttered was laced in treachery. The very language he spoke seemed repulsive. That’s when I switched to Hindi. The first time we had met, he spoke to me in English and we had continued with the language even though both of us came from primarily Hindi speaking families. My switch from English to Hindi seemed to infuriate him and he was more brutal the evening I refused to answer him in the Queen’s language. He saw my action as a taunt and a vertebra bore the brunt. That evening I ended with a broken rib. I moved through my agony, as if nothing had happened. I knew he could batter my body, but would not break it. He was careful to land his blows where the world could not see them. After all, he had a reputation to protect. And since I had most nearly walked out on my family when they opposed our marriage, returning to them was out of question. I called it a quirk of fate, this suffering I had to suffer.

I vividly remember the day he was promoted. His friends demanded a party and he promptly threw them one. He arranged for everything himself – the food, the décor and the booze. I was informed an hour before the first guest arrived. I had to rush home from work and be ready to entertain his elite visitors. I was expected to be the perfect trophy wife – reveling in her husband’s new found success. That evening I saw his old self again, the one that had charmed me. He was an embodiment of charm - his words, his actions, his glances; his touches were all just perfect. He was the perfect doting husband. But the rose tinted glasses had been ripped away from my eyes long ago. I could see the knuckled fist when he had to be polite, the flared nostril when he uttered an endearment. I could feel the pressure on my arm when he held it. His hands were itching for his belt – his ever faithful belt, hanging in his almirah and waiting for his loving caress just before it scorched my skin. After the party was over, I received a verbal lashing for not being the perfect wife, for not displaying enough affection. While one part of me covered in fright, the other spat out in disgust. How could this man expect me to partake in his gross scheme after what he did to me, was still doing to me? He gave me a look, shook his head and disappeared inside. I waited for him to come out but he did not. I was frozen to the spot and dared not move. In the two hours I spent there, I passed through every emotion from self pity to disgust to intense hatred for the man whose snores now reached my ears. When I did get up, my hand brushed a bottle and it rolled on the ground. I leapt to pick it up. My hand clamped over it and the noise stopped. I waited for the sound emanating from the bedroom. The sound of his rhythmatic breathing, his snoring, a ruffle of sheets. There was none. None of these. The sound that greeted me was the soft creek of his almirah followed by muffled footsteps as he crossed the carpeted floor. I was frozen for the second time. The footsteps stopped. I knew he was standing right behind me. I could sense him and smell his belt. I closed my eyes, bracing for it to come crashing down on my back. It didn’t. Instead, he ordered me to pick up the bottle and stand. I did. He turned me around harshly and took the bottle in his had. It was a bluish tinged bottle with a clear liquid in it. The label said Bacardi. He read it and smirked. “Bacardi Nights” he said and thrust the bottle back in my hands. “Drink”, he whispered with a devilish glint in his eye. I looked up at him, slightly confused, unsure whether I heard his command correctly. “Drink” he said once more. I raised the bottle to my lips and brought it down, merely wetting my lips. Infuriated, he grabbed the bottle with one hand and my jaw with the other. Forcing my mouth open, he poured the rum into my mouth. I tried hard to not swallow it, allowing it to fill my mouth and fall to the sides. He kept pouring. I kept resisting. Finally, he left my mouth and punched my stomach. I gulped and the liquid burned through my insides like an acid. The horrible taste made me want to throw up, but the alcohol went straight to my head. Within a minute, I felt braver. I knew he would beat me and that I couldn’t do anything about it, but the fear had flown. The blows had started and I was not even aware of it. I felt something tickle my side and laughed. He, who was jabbing his finger at sides, was maddened. I don’t recall much after that, except for the fact that I woke up the next day with a headache. I had long since stopped noticing the pain in the other parts of the body. I knew I could not live with the awareness of that pain every moment. If every breath served as a reminder of the horrors of my life, I would die. And like each organism on this planet, the will to just be alive kept me going. I still do not know the reason I did not wither and break then. That would have been easier perhaps than to endure what I did.

Alcohol became my aide after that evening. I would already be high before he returned home from work and his beating would be a lot less painful. The mornings that followed were much worse, but I was willing to pay the price. I discovered the cigarette soon after, realizing it allowed me to get through the day. Dependant that I was on booze, I never took it before evening. I knew its role in my life, and was determined to keep it that way. There were only so many things about my life that I could control, I wasn’t about to relinquish that. In the evenings, I would often smoke before I drank. Holding the cigarette in my left hand, its unburnt end touching the side of my engagement ring. It looked out of place in my long shapely fingers, adorned by the wedding ring but felt just right. It felt as if it belonged. For him, flogging me had become a routine, something he did out of habit – like brushing his teeth or shaving his overnight stubble. But try as I might, I could not look at this as a routine. Perhaps it was this one thing that kept me sane then.

Today, my nightmare is over and I can’t believe it. No, I didn’t kill him… but I didn’t save him either. Last evening was another deception party – a gathering of a few elite officials and their wives. The Wasabi restaurant at the Taj was brimming with people and our table faced the entrance. I waited for him to take a place first and then proceeded to sit on the other side, wanting to put as much distance between us as I possibly could. He had his back to the door and when the mass of the bodies parted, I had a broken view of the entrance and the gallery beyond.

I heard the noise before I saw them - the gun yielding maniacs who open fired at everyone in view. The people shouted and tried to run helter-skelter. People on our table scattered and tried to duck below the tables. He was left standing as he looked around, tried to gauge what was happening around him. I saw the gunman turn, bringing his gun back in firing position. I was less than a two feet away and could have pulled him under the safety of the table. Perhaps he could have been saved. Any other wife would have done that, but I watched with bated breath. Every fiber in my body willed the gunman to shoot and the bullet to pierce the heart of my tormentor. The gunman lowered his gun once more. Perhaps he was looking for someone and the man left standing was not him. But then, another gunman entered. His face was contorted with a rage much stronger than his partner. He looked around the room and not finding his target, roared in anger. He opened fire at every person in sight, one lucky bullet finding its way where I had wished.

I have vague recollections of running, hiding and being rescued by black uniformed men after losing all sense of time. Others called it shock, I called it ecstasy.

I am back in the flat now, perched in front of the television, watching endless debates and the political drama around what the media calls 26/11 attacks. A bottle of Bacardi sits on the table nearby and a cigarette dangles from my fingers, touching the engagement ring yet again. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inane... Mundane....

Sometimes, your hand just itches to write…. There is a clouding of thoughts in your head and you don’t have a clear picture of what you wanna say… but the words, they just want to tumble out! This is probably going to be one of those posts… :)

Oh and in case anyone is wondering what this will be about, the answer is me!!! Me - stamped all over my blog in bold… I guess that is a result of the huge ego I have. And I do have a 100 foot ego. As long as I can still be nice and humble I deserve to have an ego…. What say? It’s been nearly a year of being married and living in a new city. One that was not alien to me, but not very known either. I think the magnitude of our country’s capital makes it impossible for anyone to be completely familiar with it… But part of the fun and the irritation of moving to a new city is having to discover your eco system in it… A tailor recommended by the family perhaps did not like my face; he spoiled 2 of my dresses… and expensive ones too…. So then I set about trying to find one, an enterprise I have failed in… am still trying, adding experiments to my wardrobe – not that I mind – but the dent I am making in hubby’s pocket just may begin to show in a while ;) Another BIG challenge – find a decent beautician! I know it sounds vain, but trust me – it is akin to finding an oil well! Specially when you have sensitive skin and are clearly freaky about hygiene and professionalism… a killer combo I tell you…! Though I must say I have been lucky enough to find a good hair stylist… new hairdo’s every quarter is something I have quite begun to enjoy! But this is the lighter part of the ecosystem… a more important one is your family, the household help, the groceries and vegetables…. I touch wood, knock it thrice, touch – knock, touch – knockkkkk… things on the family front are ok… did I say touch wood? If I could ask God to make things better, it would be around my entire family’s health… the year gone by was a dark one for that… and I do hope from the bottom of my heart that some of the changes get reversed…. Pray with me on that one… Health is Wealth are not mere words, it is a reality that a lot of us young ones fail to realise…

Oh but my pet peeve – household help! Eeeeks… I get nightmares about it sometimes and am at my wit’s end about how to deal with these people… I need another Godsend miracle here… truly…. From maid’s taking off at will to throwing attitude, I have seen it all…. And that evokes my temper like anything… I am not one to scream usually. In my 5+ years of working, I can’t even count 5 instances where I lost my temper and screamed at someone. With the maid, I have lost count! I think she is a psychic and knows my lungs don’t get enough exercise and is determined to give me some!!!

Ah, I have it out of my system and boy, that feels nice… I have been wanting to rant about this for I don’t know how long…. Feels light… Oh no, here’s another heavy thought bogs me down and this one is about – Ghajini! I agree they have made a nice film. Dared to be different with the concept, the treatment was authentic… Hiranandani was shown as Hiranandani, the road outside looked like Powai… Bandra reclamation looked beautiful and Amir’s office could have been anyone of the BKC buildings! For those who didn’t get what I am talking about – its Mumbai… the film did give me a pang of homesickness… sigh! Though I still wish I could see such a clean and gleaming BEST Double Decker, and one that is practically empty too…. But lets call that creative liberty, shall we? The violence is the film is thankfully devoid of too much bloodshed, but not of impact! In fact, it is so impactful that I woke up the next morning dreaming of it… not the best start of the day, I must say! Hubby too confessed he had violent images flashing thru his mind and both of us wanted to see a mindless comedy immediately afterward to was off Ghajini’s impact… But Sunday night with a packed work week ahead does not give you that opportunity… Damn the theatre, for not having any Saturday tickets… While hubby drowned himself in work, it took me Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen and 5 complete episodes of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai to get out of the headache that Ghajini gave me! My colleague A said it takes a minimum of three and a half weeks to cure, and I almost fainted at her words…. If Amir Khan ever googled for Ghajini and this post did come up on the 343rd page and he just happened to look at it, I am not sure if he’d be happy or sad…. Happy that his film is so impactful and sad that its not perhaps the impact he desired... I am sure he was not looking for the film to give its viewers a headache and leave them wishing for a temporary short term memory loss… which I did, just to rid myself of the headache. It must be tough – making something that people like and dislike at the same time!

Now that feels so so so much better! Getting all that out of me… :)

 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Interview




She was nervous and fidgety as she rode the escalator.

 

What if he screamed, refused the interview and threw her out?

 

Don’t be silly. He won’t recognize you.

 

What if he did?

 

He wouldn’t. Celebrity Reporter Dianne Cooper’s stylized self bore no resemblance to the disguised, teenaged DeeCee he had met. She had ascended in life. But then, so had he!

 

For the last five years, she had carried the guilt of having used him. It had been a one off incident. But, its memory kept her awake at night sometimes.

 

She pushed the image of his beckoning, lecherous eyes out of her mind. Years ago when he was a starlet breaking into the mainstream, his producer hid him in a small town till the release. Just to get DeeCee out of his skin, the editor of a local paper promised her a permanent place if she got him a scoop with the mysterious new star.

 

The town had one big hotel. Finding him had taken her a week. Getting him drunk and to bed had needed just another hour. Her Dictaphone captured every slurred syllable of his drunken speech. The next day’s headline read “Confessions” beside a picture of his unclothed torso. The story was picked up by papers everywhere. DeeCee metamorphosed into Dianne Cooper overnight!

 

Success’s sweet memory boosted her confidence while she waited for the star to appear.

 

He appeared and broke into a grin. “DeeCee, I’ve been meaning to thank you for the last five years”


I wrote this story as a part of a contest going on here. It is a short fiction contest where one writes a story upto 250 words inspired from the pic above. Hope you guys like it. And speaking of stories, the third episode of The Meeting is up at my story blog. Hope you enjoy that as well!