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Till Death Do Us Part…

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“I am so hurt deep inside. But, what’s new? Every time and almost most of the time it’s been like this. When you have been taken for granted that’s how it feels like! The pain is that much, when you were so much dedicated that you forgot your own sense of being.
These words from one of my closest one, disturbed and distressed by her marriage, pierces me reverberating and somehow making me reflect,

What makes a relationship tick then?”

If it doesn’t work…it simply doesn’t how much ever you toil for it!
No, I am not a relationship guru neither have perfect relationships. But then if someone, somewhere can get sense out of it, I did be glad to share few simple revelations:

1. “It takes two to tango.”
Any relationship depends upon two people. Is it as simple as it sounds! If you are the one who is toiling harder and sweating it out more than your mate, possibility is it will never work out and you will always be running around the circle in this vicious cycle unless you want to chalk out your own line and break the circle and venture into the thinness of unknown.
Most of the time it’s the fear of unknown or the pragmatism that instinctively sneaks in as what if it works ! The ‘one more chance’ thing keeps one hopeful and aspiring. Mr.Optimist plays a foul card here. Quite precisely, its futile unless there’s a balance to own, toil and persevere from both end sincerely.

2. “You need to be madly in love.”
Sometime it helps. It really do! It helps when you are a tad bit madder then you should be. Matter of heart and love is a mystery in itself and nobody has a say on it from the time you fall in love up untill the time you are growing out of it. Chances are that if you love the person that much, truly, madly and deeply ( no I am not humming the song here) , you might as well not give up and that zest will keep you intact. Being a hopeless romantic, you don’t have to worry about the balance cards here as you choose to be the messiah in the relationship matrix towards the quest of love.

3. “Let bygones be bygones.”
People talk and advice. It is a well known fact that healthy relationships need respect, commitment, loyalty, emotional transparency, romance and the list may continue to fill the next few lines, which makes or breaks the deal. Being creatures of flesh and bone with a soul too, most of us have scars or issues unresolved from prior time and past liaisons.
And when the past comes hunting in the present scenario, It gets evoked and impacts the reality that we are living in today. It’s unfair and perceptive to decree the liabilities of unfinished business into this distinct and separate tie up, especially when all it needs is loving care and tender nurturing. Working with our own insecurities while keeping an open mind but alert heart with the acknowledgment that no two people on this earth are alike, will make the path little less resistant though. Try your best to drop old hang-ups and issues before you trail towards the valley of loveland. Though it’s easier said than done but one’s conscious practice can seal the deal.

4. “The only thing constant”
The proverbial cliche ‘change is constant’ is not just a fancy word. When it comes to relationship, it can play a pivotal role. Falling in love is not the same thing as staying or being in love. It ain’t a piece of cake. Embracing the change that comes along with the alliance and being aware of the fact that sometime it takes consistent effort to keep the ball rolling is the need. Having common ground as a team and considering each other’s feelings and perspectives is recipe for happy partnership. Let your partner influence you; not like one having hold over the other but in a way that it honours and respects both parties interest in totality.

5. “For better or worse”
Love and marriage are totally, totally two seperate entities. Believe it or not, although it is imperative to love your marriage and the one you are married to, but love doesn’t conquer all.
Choose wisely. Family as a crucial social unit is the offspring of marriage. The very basis of society thrives on the simple fact that happy marriages lead to happy family and which in turn contributes to better stable society. Marriage is an institution in itself. Keeping other criterias such as physical attractiveness, comfort and moolah factor aside, attributes for institution like this rather demands intelligence, adaptability, reliability and compatibility for the long term haul. A noted relationship expert once quipped,
“If you choose someone with traits that drive you crazy or make you sad while you’re dating, then those traits will make you crazy or sad for decades to come. So you need to choose well, because most of the time what you see is what you get.”

We all come across junctures in our life, where we feel weak, vulnerable and experience momentary lapse of rationality. These are the moments which makes us aware that we are stronger and enduring enough than we know we are. How we pick ourself up when we fall is the true test of our character. In actuality there’s no right or wrong way to fix relationships as it deals with human attributes which has myriad shades and undertones ingrained in it. But recognising when it’s not working and being honest when it needs a fixing is the first step towards better bonding. Finding your own way that works, keeping in mind the crucial facts and cues that has lead you to where you stand today, is the prerequisite.
The saying goes ‘Marriages are made in heaven.’
The matter of fact is it has to breath, toil, persevere and survive on this earth only. It’s upto you and your partner in unison to build a heaven or create a hell out of it.

 

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My Birthdays

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A family is a unit. It’s an all encompassing medium which moulds, breeds and nurtures us into a being which we are today. The healthy development of family bond is vital to the well being of community and nation as well.

As a child, our parents are world to us. Saying so, there are about more than million kids who experience parental divorce each year, and infidelity is among the top factors associated with divorce. A child’s understanding of adult issues is very limited. Children at their tender age are incapable of comprehending the relationship dynamics. When a parent cheats on his or her spouse, a child feels as though cheated on and betrayed as well. Infidelity affects them deeply.

The emotional impact is deeper and has long- lasting impression. They begin to question the very foundation of their own relationships. The vicious cycle of shock, anger, anxiety, confusion, shame and then helplessness reruns again and again. The influence is such that the child afflicted, faces issues regarding trust, honesty and faith in future relationships all through out life mostly.

I present below a simple short story to illustrate how a child feels with this unexpected violation when being faced by parental infidelity, which was written by me few months back for an organisation devoted to social justice and welfare of community in large. The language is kept simple for the very fact that it delivers the internal conflict and dilemma of the affected child pertinently. The purpose of sharing this is to feel hard, feel deep and ask,

How infidelity can affect a child’s life?

Does it leave scars that lasts a lifetime?

Regardless, they are clearly impacted,
What if we ask children what they think about their parent’s infidelity?

“My Birthdays”

Tomorrow I am going to be twelve. My birthdays were always special. Something magical about it you know! For days ahead I would plan my dress, theme and flavour of the cake, list of my close girlies, whom I would call and invite personally. 

How I loved getting wished in the early morning wee hours. Papa would give me a warm hug and sing,
‘Happy Birthday to you….Happy Birthday to my Princess’ quite gleefully and then Maa(Mom) would stealthily place that gift under my blanket which I would uncover in a while. It used to be such a surprise! I love surprises.

Surprise it was. But this time, I just don’t want this one. I never thought that my life will change like this drastically forever. It’s been seven months since they don’t talk to each other properly except few necessities and unpleasant exchanges. We don’t eat together anymore. She watches her TV in bedroom and he, in the living area. There’s no family movie time anymore. Sometimes, he comes very late. Earlier he never did that.
I hear the bitter words and see the enraged expressions from distant. She cries and seems not at ease. Papa seems unpeaceful too. To tell you the truth, I too have lost my peace.

They think I don’t understand a word as i am a kid. I am just twelve. So, they give me all silly flimsy reasons. They used to tell me grown-up people fight and then make-up. But they never do that anymore. I know they don’t love each other anymore. Maybe they have moved apart. But Mom used to say
‘We are a family and that love is a thread which keeps us knitted and bonded together. And being a family, we stand for each other up until the last day.’
So what is it that changed everything?
Almost everything!
What happened?

I know what happened. I heard everything. He loves someone else.
Does that mean he don’t love us anymore?
Is he going to leave us then?
But I love both of them. I want both -Maa and Papa. We are a family – Maa, Papa and Anu.
What was my fault? I just want to have the same old family back where we loved each other deeply and ate, slept and watched TV together. I used to feel so protected and intact.
Now I feel hurt, insecure and vulnerable. You know, sometimes I feel so ashamed and embarrassed too to say the least. I used to think that when people love each other, they don’t break each other’s trust. They care for each other. They are committed to each other.
But Now I question,
‘Does LOVE even exist?’

He was my superhero.
Why he did that to me?
Maybe men are like this. If Papa can do that to us, any other man can. I will never trust a man anymore. I don’t want to marry when I grow up, not even a Prince Charming.
What if?

I know my family is broken and I have to live with this secret eternally, buried safely dearly inside my heart. I don’t know if I will ever feel secure again. Time might heal the wound but the scar will remain forever; ingrained.
It will remind me not to trust someone, not even a close one. It will torment me not to love someone ever deeply.
Today, I am sad.
I am angry and confused too.
In a moment I lost my childhood and with that my faith in relationships shattered. I feel unsafe and betrayed.

Anyhow I don’t wait for them anymore. I just pray if that wretched day could be skipped, or missed maybe!
Honestly sometimes I question,
“Why even I was born?”
“My Birthdays”
…………….will never be the same again.

 

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My Hamlet

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A quaint place –
In my heart
safely harboured.
Donning rustic beauty
Puerile, pleasant and warmer.
The road to my hamlet
meters to thousand,
But if I ever to reach
Close my eyes
And peep deep,
I reach my destination.
The place made me what I am
And it comes with me to where I be.

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Children and Freedom: How much is too much?

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There’s nothing is this world parallel to a mother’s heart; the seemingly natural role at times transcends and surpasses a form beyond natural. The unique mother-child bond which we share with our own one is as exclusive yet an universal feeling. Being a mother has made me accept things out of my way, realising the bigger picture and above all charmed me to embrace love in its supreme element – Selflessness. 

While at the beginning of my blogging journey I have penned down a write-up on ‘Children and Freedom’ from my personal encounters and exposure to motherhood, which with your grace was much appreciated. With great pleasure I mention that the article is being published in the acclaimed Huffington Post India.
For my readers and fellow blogger friends, I submit the link below. I would much appreciate your time and views. Stay loved and at peace.

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/chaitali-bhattacharjee/lets-talk-about-freedompa_b_8280458.html

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A Review: Let the Reason be Love.

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Book: Let the Reason be Love

Author: Tuhin A Sinha

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Genre: Love and Relationships

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This remains a conundrum – One that neither technological breakthroughs, nor the most passionate of lovers has managed to unravel. What some may attribute attraction to shared sensibilities or even a karmic connection, the fact remains that love comes without simple answers; it’s damn complicated.”

The blurb on the back cover of soon to be released latest fiction ‘Let the Reason be Love’ by best-selling Author Tuhin A Sinha seizes immediate attention and spawns requisite interest in me.

‘Let the Reason be Love’ is a topical tale of unrequited love and it’s forlornness; a stark version of modern day relationship and the not-so-easy interplay of emotional determinants in different layer and stages of it.
Somewhere the story even pitches to engage into a deeper introspection or dilemma of ‘what actually or truly love is?’ Throughout the saga, the strong emotional undercurrent which effortlessly flows and interweaves an entangled web of carnal passion to soul connection, contentment to heartache, trust to mistrust and even self-realisation to an extent, between the three main characters, weaves an enticing plot to dive into.

The Story:
The protagonist Rishaan and his love interests Kiara and Diya at different point of time and situation make relatable characters with their separate identities and inherent quirks and expectations. But they indeed share a commonality; an ever searching toil of filling the void in each one’s heart.
Rishaan is this dreamy, idealist, middle-classy boy-next-door. He is spontaneous, talented and great fun to be with but could also be extremely disorganised like most other husbands-in-making young men. Kiara as described by author himself is a spunky, liberated, free spirited Bengali bombshell. Someone who lived life with her own terms and brutally honest. Yet amidst the temperamental differences, the two begin their journey of relationship with intense infatuation.
Diya, to the contrary, seemed to be a strong, calm woman who is firmly in control of her life despite the chaos around. There is something very attractive about her femininity too.
Rishaan is drawn to her inwardly. Rather than carnal desires, shared empathy, companionship and long conversations is the basis of their bond. Since Kiara and Diya are bosom friends, how the interpersonal dynamics between the three creates stirring situation and the innermost feelings and universality of human reactions to love, betrayal and hurt is resplendently exhibited through the tale.
The end line of the story quips as :
Rishaan knew that life and Bollywood were indeed capable of throwing up some crazy surprises.”
I would like to disrupt my share of earful on the story here without further divulging any more details, trying not to spoil the reader’s appetite and allowing them to savour the original narration or compelling expression by the writer himself by reading the book itself.

Narrative, Style and My views:
This book was not a conventional pick for me as from past few years I have not indulged myself with fictions much. Yet it provided me an interesting read and sort of treaded me to nostalgia lane.
The simple plot, lucid free-flowing words and the identifiable characters with swift, zesty narrative style makes a light, engaging and easy read for us.
Characters strike a chord with the modern urban metropolitan readers especially Mumbaikars with everyday minute nuances(be it the quirky auto drivers or a smooth-talking boss in loveless marriage) and relationship dynamics being skilfully portrayed.
The beginning of the book will not disappoint the aficionados of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ likes, with expressions of some earthy, impassioned rendezvous between the lead characters.
Though it picks up a better tempo after first few pages but the twist after makes it engrossing quite instantaneously.
The author has added some vernacular lingo and famed movie songs to add his personal style. The book is an absolute page turner but somehow I wanted it to end differently. So there I was, a bit gloomy. But what the heck that’s not my novel or my story and the creative freedom belongs to Tuhin.
Finally, what strike me or made an impression on me is the way the story tried to explore the fragility and vulnerability of human relationship. That we are flawed being and with that comes perfectly imperfect relationships, which we agree or not but somewhere have to acknowledge the fact. No relationship is ‘happily ever after’. But then it’s our individual choice to persevere or not.
If all you want is a light, breezy and effortless but wistful read that takes you through that vulnerable, unpredictable, fallible love lane and expose you to the myriads of warm kindled sensibilities, soak into it. You never know after reading this, you might feel lucky enough for what you have or maybe what you don’t have!

About the Author: Tuhin A. Sinha is a best-selling author, columnist and a scriptwriter. Tuhin is widely acknowledged among the most prolific Indian writers with each of his four previous books, The Edge of Desire, That Thing Called Love, The Captain (formerly 22 Yards) and Of Love and Politics breaking new ground in terms of subject and treatment.
He is also a scriptwriter of several popular TV shows. Apart from his fiction novels and scripts, Tuhin is a keen political observer. His columns on Indian politics appear regularly in India’s leading dailies.

[This is not a paid review. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remains unbiased and uninfluenced.]

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To my MoonLight

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This one is going to be little personal; that corner of my heart, which has a softer, kinder and warmer touch in my life. Though I am always little jittery about writing things personal, being an introvert. But this kindred bond in my life with that faint, frosty beautiful bluish radiance of calmness and love like a moonlight holds my attention today, to let it out and share. Share what I always wanted to and be glad for what I have or am blessed with.

“Blessed be the ties that bind generations.”

She is the moonlight of my life and will always be, as I mentioned she is that antique little girl, with whom I share a doting bond and an affectionate link. She is my Grandmother, my Dad’s Mother.

Now she stays far away from me around thousand kilometres away. It’s not that I talk to her everyday but once in a full moon. But then when life becomes too demanding, even talking over a phone once a month surely seems suitable some of the time. But she is always there in my prayers. In my that self-made inner circle which consists of few of the precious ones in my life, she stays intact in there, always.

Why it is that I share such an exclusive tie with her? One of my very first early childhood memories, when she was not that old but a middle aged lady in her late forties may be, I remember distinctively how she used to make homemade kajal(modern day kohl) for me and my sister with great attention and care; kind of a traditional secret recipe mixed with pure charm. I grew up applying those on my eyes. That burnt castor oil traces still lingers in my sub conscious and I miss them dearly while applying my neatly packaged smudge free Maybelline colossal today.
As a saying goes in my homeland that applying kajal makes one’s eye appear beautiful. So I thank her today for filling my eyes with beauty; of beauty that encompasses pureness and richness of unconditional love. That beauty which surpasses physicality and reaches eyes of the soul and never smudges.

I always felt myself to be beautiful, though aware I am an average looking person. Somewhere this confidence in me was instilled by the loved ones all through out my growing up. Especially my Grandmother played a major role in this. She has always made me feel that beautiful. She made me believe that I am worth more than what life can offer, through her kind words. Today as a Mom, when I think deeper about it, I know What boost it did offer me being a child, having a belief on myself. So my earnest thankfulness to her to make me face those not so perfect days with the gift of tenacity through this faith that I can do it no matter what. I am always that twinkle in her eyes which shines brightly.

A Grandmother is a Mother with extra frosting.
And those days when I used to return back from my college classes, she will pull me to kitchen and put a succulent syrupy piece of sweetmeat; a mouthful of joy dripping all down my face, quite stealthily avoiding the prying eyes. As it was a big joint family and she didn’t wanted me to be devoid of these delectable relish before it’s been consumed by others. A sign of love which saw no boundary and is all pervasive and all powerful.
Thank you Grandma for imbibing in me the values of what love means which I can pass on as an inheritance; a lesson that you do whatever it takes to ensure that your kids are being loved and nourished.

And her innumerable tales with that warmth in her voice, which lavished my innocent tender years of growing up sprinkled with stardust. So how can I thank you for that priceless archives of imagination and a life beyond worldly that you planted on the seed of my mind in that impressionable years of mine!
Sleeping on your lap under the summer night stars or inside the winter blankets and listening to those inane yet virtuous fables will be treasured in safe haven of my heart ever, forever. And there were times when you fell short of a new story, even repeating the same ones still felt meaningful as if some zest added afresh or newness I found which I might have missed unintentionally.

And my gratitude for the innumberable times you stood for me, for against anyone even your own blood if they tried to hurt me in some way or other. Unconditional positive regard is rarely given by anyone except a very few and that’s what you offered me by trusting me effortlessly.

A grandmother’s love knows no distance.
And that special day of my life I was getting married to the man of my dream and you crossed 400 miles to be with me even if warned not to, for your deteriorated health conditions. I still remember what you said,
” How can I be not with my princess in this blissful day?, if I miss this then I will not forgive myself ever.”
And as I am penning these lines down, my eye are moist with tears but they don’t fall for the sheer strength of perseverance that you fostered in me through out the years with instances of grit like this.

And there are one and many more instances like these where you made an imprint on my heart with your loving, compassionate and affable selfless spirit. And I know I am your precious little thing that you will not bargain for anything or with anybody. And if in one line I can presume of what you assimilated on me, then that would be:
‘Never give up on Love’.
And I truly live with this surmise each and every day of my existence.

You are almost 85 now. As you have reached the autumn of your life and years of survival has wearied you down. These days when I call you and you still soak me with your warm loving words and then weep like a child grumbling and protesting why you should not be alive as being so primitive! That your eyes, knees, breathings and whole other systems are giving up day by day and that each day of existence is effortful and filled with pain at this stage of life. I hear but I pray and I still pray that you stay. That you don’t give up now. I know I am self-centerd in this but I don’t want to loose you ever as your love and affection is irreplaceable for me. We should all have at least that one person in our life who knows how to bless us no matter what and that’s what you are to me.

“They say genes skip generations.
Without my final acknowledgement, this piece of writing will remain unfinished and incomplete. I do remember when during one of your story sessions you revealed that how your Mother was a lady endowed with power of imagination and expression. You told me that she was a woman ahead of her generation. In those days of pre independent India, she was a connoisseur of words and literature and a gifted poet. Little did I knew at that point of time, what the word ‘Poet’ meant until I reached my School days.
But then sometimes when I write a verse or a note, and people ardently appreciate my effort or may be my skill, I wonder did my genetic code played a role in this. Surely, I don’t know the reason or have a clue for what makes me the way I am or aids me in expressing the things the way it is that might touch someone’s sensibility. But my heart do feel intensely grateful for what you passed on to me as a legacy knowingly or unknowingly.
“God Bless you My Moonlight, My Grandmother and Wish you Happy 85th Birthday.”

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Heartless

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It was the spring of 1992. The air was light and fluffy with smell of fresh blooming flowers and sun kissed warmth to start a brand new day. As he is getting ready for his college, the song by Phill Collins emotes through the stereo system:

♫♫♫ ~~~~~ You’re the only one who really knew me at all, So take a look at me now~~~~~~ ♫♫♫

While he is crooning and whistling along the tune, his heart raptures into this sweet pain and mind cruises to that tender reflection of hers. She is all that he could have dreamt of and asked for . The lovely, gorgeous angelic face, those magical engaging eyes, a dazzling killer smile to die for. Her infectious nonchalant laughter almost always fills his desire with new set of hope. The brown wavy hair which flows like a gentle meandering stream, and a sublime, alluring presence that captures his reckless heart and subdues his wandering mind that nothing in this world could have dared to.

“She is nothing less than a benediction
to his otherwise uninteresting recluse life.
She is the love what he longed for
every moment of the day and every single night.”

He knows her inside and out. She did share her treasured dreams, her toughest trials, the unseen prayers and even her innermost fears to him. She would call him and tell him how much she miss him if they don’t see each other for a day or two. They are inseparable. And the musing comes to an end as the phone rings and on the other side it’s no one other than his lady divine, which he no longer wants to be away from for even fraction of a second.

The eyes met but they have to wait as the lecture session continues. How much he looks forward to these few hours which fills for him, his Entire zest for the day! As the class gets over, she rushes towards him with that endearing smile on her face and clasps his hands tightly and securely as if he is the safest harbour. The craving look in her eyes to be with him and spend some sweet moment of nothingness is intense. The feelings could not be better as being mutual. They make their way through the crowd to find some resort to hang around to a place, little roomy and uncrowded, where they can talk and laugh and share their heart out in those counted times of togetherness.

As they pass through the archways and pathways, they find themselve in the lap of nature in the campus botanical garden, a place secluded and calm; like two lovebirds lost in the idyllic serene. He is so much over the moon and as happy as a sandboy. She looks pleased but then the eyes says it all.What’s with her eyes today! It has that eerie feeling with a vague, distant gaze, something which he never witnessed before.

When enquired, she unfolds that she is hitched to a guy through her parent and maybe these are her last few days in the college. As an hour pass by and the time for the next discourse, she gives him a warm caress…before leaving him alone there, just like that; dazed, dismayed and blown away…..

How could she?
How dare could she?
Is she that ruthless?
Is she that remorseless?
Is she that a gold digger?
Does love is just a plaything for her?
Does that love even matter to her?
Does that love exist at all?
Is she that Heartless?

As he stands there aghast and heartbroken….she walks away like a heartless.
Heartless!
But then how could she be heartless!
When in the whole world, he never did confessed verbally or uttered his insanely impeccable love to her.
And the words from the leftover song from morning reverberates all through his numb mind as if insulating him from his entire surrounding…..

♫♫♫ ~~~~~ How can I just let you walk away,
Just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh ooh
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave?
‘Cause we’ve shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You’re the only one who really knew me at all ~~~~~♫♫♫

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Ooh, Take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space ~~~~~♫♫♫

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Why you don’t want to get married ?

 

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Why you don’t want to get married?
You are 19. This is the right age. The younger you marry, better it is for you.

I wish I could tell you this but I respect you so….with her lips sealed, she broods over ….

“~~~yes I am 19…that enkindles me with a hope.
A hope to fly with my wings to chase my dreams.
A hope to be me and topple and stumble and arise and learn to live fully, by being me.
A hope to explore and to enlighten myself to face this resilient world ahead.
And a hope to grow; grow into a woman well-grounded yet with a voice. ~~~”

You have crossed even 18 now.
When will you have some wisdom?
Why don’t you understand it’s your life?

With a deep sigh yet unruffled demeanour, she ruminates…..

“~~~Yes, I am aware I am above 18(legal age for girls to get married in India). As far as legalities are concerned, are you aware that forced marriage is a violation of fundamental Human Rights? That implies I have the freedom to choose whether I get married or not, when to get married, and whom to get married.

Obviously, marriage will not infuse wisdom into my mind, may be time and life experiences will but how is it concerned with being married or not!
I understand too it’s my life and that’s why I don’t want to comply on this. Getting married is a choice and I reason out that I have the right to make crucial choices about my own life. ~~~”

Don’t you see, Nina already got married and nicely settled in New York. Why it is that you don’t want to get married?

If only I could tell you this aloud but I love you so as it might hurt you..words playing all over her mind, she is thinking….

~~~To make you feel better, perhaps Nina always waited for this Prince Charming from time immemorial. Or may be she was choiceless. This might hurt you though! Now I remember why in the whole world New York was her favourite destination! ~~~”

Haven’t you studied for 15 long years? What is it with all these unnecessary excuses you got? More studies? What is the use of higher studies, when after marriage all you have to do is to raise kids and take care of your family which is so important?

With a heavy heart and sullen face, henceforth she ponders….

 “~~~Oh yes I knew this was coming! Interpretations like this makes me feel numb at one side and on the other to revolt with whatever strength I got. It makes me cry, makes me scream, scream it out. But then I realise that somewhere you have lost your own voice, your own self with years of conditioned mind and prejudiced heart toying all over you. So I feel helpless for you and care to remain speechless.

Fifteen long years..let me rethink….that makes my sweet little brother got only three more years to pursue his education. But how on earth, can he be a doctor or an engineer as much as you desperately want him to be going by this ’15 long years’ logic. Or is it that he is entitled for more than 15 years to seek for whatever he aspires to be!

Now I realise that the scope for any kind of pursuit of knowledge and learning has to be eyed through blue&pink colour scheme(gender specific). How dumb I can get! It’s there for a long long time, so why question? Does it even matter if I say that I am all flesh and blood with a heart and soul too just as much as him!

And the thing you said about family; Raising kids and taking care of family is a big, big responsibility and requires tremendous maturity and endurance. I honour those family values. With kids, It’s like little life in your hand. And I am not prepared for it.~~~”

I just pray that everything is normal with you! I am asking you now, don’t play with my patience. Why don’t you put some words in your mouth and respond instead standing there mum like a figurine, from that time? 

With a colour of mischief in her eyes she playfully muses…

~~~Normal! What does that mean now! Oh, I so get it! Thank God you didn’t scout my personal diary which still got that post card of Cristiano Ronaldo intact… He is so…. I feel flushed now. Let’s talk something else~~~”

But then suddenly she collects her bearing. With those doleful eyes tearless yet drowned with melancholia… words floating all through her veins, she deeply reflects…..

“~~~There is so much to say. But will you understand what I mean to say!
Would you open your mind whole heartedly to embrace fresh new unbiased ideas?
Would you be my confidant and guide and let me be what I want to be?
I just want to live a fulfilled life. Will you take that from me just because I am a girl!
And have trust on me as I will never break your trust. If you would then I have so much to say…
As much as you think I am against marriage, to your surprise, I value marriage. Marriage is an institution in itself and it brings meaning to your life. With marriage starts a new chapter in your life,momentous and delicate and appeals for lifelong commitment and calls for two different shared life.
I don’t want to get married just to settle down. Neither I want to get married to follow a religious convention or to maintain a traditional belief.
I don’t want to get married to enhance my individual status or identity; just for the sake of being called Mrs…and definitely not for some economic or immigration benefit(I just hope Nina is happy there!).

At 19, I barely know myself. Whenever I want to jump the wagon or decide to get married, I want to do it for all the right reasons. I want to get married too but for love, for togetherness, for commitment, for a family of my own, for someone whom I can trust and devote no matter what, for time perpetual.

Haven’t you heard ‘Happily ever after’ is not a fairy tale….it’s a choice.
I will be glad, if you did rather asked me :

Why you don’t want to get married ‘Now‘?

How I wish I could have told you all this and more! But somewhere I am aware that it’s pointless and moreover I choose not to distress you so. ~~~”

This time you better respond as Why you don’t want to get married?

“~~~I thought….In my silence, you will find my confession and my utterance as I was sure you will understand that. But if you still insist…~~~”

And finally for the first time, she retorts aloud:

“Because, I don’t want to be another you.”

Only god can help you!

With a spring in her step and raring to go,  she picks up her Canvas Jute college bag and chuckles confidently,

God helps those who help themselves.”

 

 

Ref: The genesis of this short fiction comes from a real life incident. In certain stratum of society, the sad truth lingers; when a boy is born, there’s jubilation, songs of success and prayers for his bright future but with the birth of a girl, the first thing which crosses parent’s mind is her marriage. As if a girl is born to get married. An inexperienced, immature girl is emotionally coerced to get married in her early young age pressurised by these partial standards. It’s a vicious cycle and a blow to her self-worth. With this practice, a path towards individual aspiration and self-realisation is brazenly compromised just because she is a girl. How justifiable or reasonable is that?

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Yet Another Love Story…. (Release or Renew)

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(A Short-fiction story)

“Anything I say or tell him even if it’s with good intentions utmost or for our mutual benefit, it backfires. It backfires to such depth that I am wounded. In this living body I continue, but soulfully dead. I don’t know if it’s the same for others. Life has never been kind to me. First time while I was in my adolescence, I realised life treats you the way you don’t want to be treated. All our fears and apprehensions come in form of challenges we face. We face it with courage or bow down to it in fear; crux of the matter is you have to go through it. It’s inevitable.

When you love someone more than yourself, the risk is that much uncertain. But we take it as it might bring some solace or joy to our life and when that very someone becomes the reason for our agony, then we are left with two choices – ‘Release or Renew’. What’s more worthy in a relationship ? Renew in a relationship needs more than you; the effort of other person too whereas Release(let go) needs just you. Both are arduous to approach but then these are the only two doors open to us at that point of time.” So she mused.

Naina(Indian name meaning eyes) thought she will never be happy in her life again; as if the whole universe was plotting against her. But then life changed. What happened that night was nothing less than a benediction.

She fell asleep waiting for him on the cement patio….hoping that he will come and wipe her tears gently but with his rough patchy hands. With the hope that he will ask for his part of forgiveness shedding his doggedness and she in turn will appeal for some too, subduing her emotions. One warm sweet embrace and the time will standstill melting into eternity.

But that never did happen. When it was around the chirping of maybe the first bird that she woke up unexpectedly in the orange hue. It was dawn, about 5:30 am. Hairs dishevelled and salty-stained cheek…..she no more looked that beautiful. It was the least she could have cared for(her appearance) at that particular moment of time. She pressed the number. It was not reachable. May be some connectivity issue which is better than utterly switched off.
Connectivity is what they suffered from in their relationship. But in the beginning they felt otherwise at least she did, feeling intensely connected to him; physically and metaphysically and somewhere she was aware that he too felt the same. Unhesitatingly, she continued calling him. She got restless what if!

It was a trivial issue which lead to rudimentary ones like most of the times, but unlike this time they both lost their self-restraint. And it flared up deep and high. Naina kept on calling every minute and then, though unattended. All she could think is how could he do this to her!…after all these years of togetherness and love abound. They were married for seven years and courted each other for four more. Eleven years what she bargained for and where she stands now is almost wrecked.

“Marriage- this tricky eight letter word she gasped. The words from one of her favourite Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling ‘Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage’ reverberated on her mind which says:

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.

”How true and how profound”, she felt. Perhaps it was the time to Release, so she thought. It was a dead-end. She partly blamed herself but still partly implicated him. “Where the hell is Neil”?

Neilesh(or Neil as people called him) took a taxi. He was famished. All he could think of that time was some food to sustain him for the next hour or two. He went straight to the nearby railway station, the only place which can provide him with some helpings. The railway stall satiated his need.
He ruminated,” It’s time; time to bid adieu”. He closed his eyes and one last time he struggled to think of all the worthy times he had in this lifetime in a glimpse. His body was worn out without any sleep from past twenty two hours and mind numbed. His hands touched his pocket unconsciously like a zombie. He felt his cell inside his front pocket. He switched it on for the last time. There’s a ring. It’s an unknown number. Nothing to gain or to loose to answer that call, he thought unconcerned.

” Hello! is that Mr. Neilesh? …..”

The call was from the nearby city hospital, which both Neil & Naina visited in times of need and it lasted for about eight minutes. The message from the call was like a bolt from the blue for Neil. What was he thinking! What’s wrong with him! How could he!

And that sparkling radiant sublime face….those soft nurturing hands….her carefree laughter…her addictive smell…the aromatic servings…..list endless. He wanted to see Naina the very next second.
Few seconds were like years infinite. He got restless what if!
Neil finally assembled his courage and rang the bell breathlessly praying incessantly. The door was opened…..Thank god!

Naina was standing there, with no expressions at all. Without further ado they hugged each other steadfastly but gently as if aware of the presence of a third soul. As if their love has grown manifold in these few hours. Their eyes met and begged for forgiveness to each other.

Before she could say a word, Neil fumbled , ” I got a call and there’s a news to share with you.” She said, “Don’t as they called me too after not being able to reach you for number of times.A new shoot of life, a little one, an angel in disguise; their own child – all they have been trying and waiting for from past five years, has arrived and yes indeed the report came positive this time. Life will never be the same for them. From now on ‘Mommy and Daddy is the word or to say the world’ will be for them. It was a god-sent opportunity. And it was time to Renew.

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Reference: (WordPress has partnered with Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu to initiate Global Forgiveness Challenge to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life. The four fold path of forgiveness begins by telling the story of what happened, then grant forgiveness, and finally either Renew or Release the relationship. And the story is my humble dedication to the cause.)

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Great Expectations ( Stop Expecting)

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Stop Expecting as it will hurt you more….”

My one and only sister gave me the discourse over the phone. No, she is not the elder one rather younger to me by four and a half years. But sisters are sisters…..your partner-in-crime, your free of cost shrink and when in need your lawyer too. I know for sure she wants me to stay happy but somehow I have a different view on this.
How can I not expect in a relationship! To me, ‘Stop Expecting’ is like stop breathing.
My life starts at the morning expecting the milkman to provide me a milk pack, then I expect my six year old to be little more accommodating while preparing him for the day and he in turn expects me to entertain him with five more minutes of ‘Oggy and the cockroaches time’; to be specific his cartoon time. Then I want my husband to wake up on time and start his day without me pestering him incessantly and in lieu he expects from me to allow him ten more minutes of napping and be his snooze timer. The list is endless as the day moves on.
In fact few days back I read somewhere which I call ‘Happiness Formula’ and that do not require a mathematical genius to resolve:

“Happiness is inversely proportional to expectation”.

I rather liked this formula which states the more you expect the lesser happy you are. What I liked about the formula is the relative association. But is life that straight a road that I reach my destination of happiness without any twists and turns just by controlling my expectation gear! I doubt! But then i hear mostly this ‘Stop Expecting’ term and that in turn will make you happy.
One thing which strikes my mind when I ponder over the matter a bit deeper is that when I expect my milkman to provide me with some milk, I am asking for a milk pack, something visible or my maid to clean household properly – a thing which can be supervised from the end result. But when I expect my husband to be more diligent to me, my friends to be more accessible or may be my in laws to be more understanding, it’s something invisible and abstruse. So, is it the tangible vs intangible/visible vs invisible? Anything which is subjective pursuing obscure trail makes us quiver or take one step back.

So I muse it’s not about the expectations. It’s about the nature or the subject of the expectations. There is nothing wrong in expecting. For me expecting is like having a hope, which may or may not get fulfilled. If you ask me, having expectations is better than being hopeless in a relation. As long as I live I expect but I do affirm that balancing and modulating on what to, how much to, when to and from whom to might give me a happy feet.
This somewhere requires a more of an integrated approach. We just cannot wake up one fine morning to be expecting less from others or vice versa. Rather, If we try to uplift our spirit or attitude to be more compassionate, mature, empathetic and sensible, yes indeed that might help us in fine tuning our expectation mode and which in turn will give us lesser ache. So I understand whoever says ‘Stop Expecting’ to me that you care for me but kindly don’t ask me to stop expecting, rather tell me don’t over-expect or have realistic sensible expectations’. Suddenly my phone rings as I am finishing this article. I pick it up and on the other side someone says,

“Why the hell you did not call me from morning….?”

I said, “Sweetheart, don’t over-expect as I was busy”….it was my one and only sister, my bestie.