Friday, October 31, 2008

A short story about relationships - not far from reality...! contd


Shabana and I enjoyed at Mr & Mrs Quadri's sprawling house. Mrs Quadri was a great hostess and made us both feel very comfortable. She had a teenaged house maid, who became my best friend for that week. Mrs Quadri took us out for movies, hung out at malls with us, and bought us some fabulous sets of clothes. Best of all was our daily visit to the ice cream parlour. she bought me my favourite flavour every day. I think I became an addict of Baskin Robin's Butter Scotch ice cream. We were genuinely sad when the week long vacation came to an end. I could barely envisage reliving the usual life at the orphanage.

My first thoughts after reaching back home (orphanage) was to find ways of getting out even if it was for short visits. Soon I was friends with an auto rickshaw owner who would wait for me at the corner of our lane. At first he gave me short joy rides.....while all girls were on the play ground for evening games. I slipped out without any one's knowledge. Shabana was my ally. My joy rides got longer as we went out to eat ice cream, so Shabana had to cover up for me. Some times I would bring an ice cream for Shabana. My new friend's name was Raju. He was fat, burly and dark. He became the envy of his friends whenever I would be seen with him. One day as I alighted from his rickshaw and he drove away, one of his his friends came up to me with a box of chocolates. No one had ever given me a gift before. I was on cloud nine as he drove away saying ' I am off to Bombay tonight, tell me what you would like me to bring for you...?' I was touched by Sammy's warmth, but said nothing. 2 weeks later I was seeing Sammy regularly, Naani and some of my friends were aware of my wild flights to nowhere with Sammy. Then one day, just like that Sammy disappeared. Several months later I found out that he was picked up by the police for chain snatching. Raju was back in my life, but I had lost interest in him. Naani was secretly passing all information to Mrs Mallya. So one day when Raju was around, Mrs Mallya arrived from nowhere, and called Raju in the office. I think a long discussion followed for 2 hours. I found out later that Mrs Mallya was at first annoyed with Raju, but when he told her he wanted to marry me, she was fine. I am 15 and certainly not keen to marry Raju who is past 40 yrs, and has 4 teenage kids and a wife of 17 years. Mrs Mallya was beginning to worry about us, and wanted to send us to a rehab center......! I was not bothered....but my craving for Butter scotch ice cream, Bhel puri, pani puri, and kebaabs was unsatiated. I had been eyeing the food stuff cupboard regularly, so I could take away some of uncooked provisions, as I was sure that the corner shop grocer would happily give me cash for grains. But the chance did not present itself; besides Shabana was against anything of this sort. So one quiet afternoon while Naani was asleep, I pocketed (it fit in just fine) the spare gas burner regulator from the kitchen and exchanged it with the grocery man for Rs 50, as that would buy me a butter scotch ice cream....!

When they found out about the regulator, all hell broke loose. Shabana and I were shifted to a an isolated single occupancy room on the ground floor, away from all other inmates. Mrs Mallya was going to address us after a week along with another trustee. A week passed by without any punishment. I was suspicious that a more profound punishment was awaiting us. I was aware that Mrs Mallya had already called Chaacha over and requested him to take us back, but he had refused. I was contemplating on contacting Raju, but decided against it, as the idea of spending life with his wife and 4 children was far from appealing to me. During this period Shabana's high school exams were held, and when the results came she had flunked in almost all the subjects. Another week later Mrs Mallya arrived with 2 other trustees whom we had only seen on dais during eid functions etc. The 2 gentleman seemed in a hurry at first, but later spoke to me at length. I was told that this was my last warning, and if I continued in my ways I would be handed over to the Police. Mr Feroze was highly connected socially. He said ' The police chief is my friend. I have already discussed your case with his opinion you would be worse off in police lock up, and are sure to become a confirmed thief, as the inmates there who will be your companions, are all charge sheeted thieves. We want to give you another chance Hina, so make the best of it...!' He sat close to me and spoke with authority. His phone rang and he got busy answering it. I looked at Shabana who was engaged in a conversation with the other trustee, and Mrs Mallya was busy organising tea and biscuits for the guests. When he finished his phone call, Mrs Mallya placed a cup of tea in his hand and he placed his mobile phone on his side. I had not the slightest difficulty in picking up the phone when they all got up to leave. It looked like an expensive gadget , his phone, and I visualised getting a lot of money for it.

10 days later, A Police jeep pulled up the slope, and atleast 4 officers alighted. after half hour of paper work with office admin, Shabana and I were asked to accompany them. Mrs Mallya was not around. We were taken to a dilapidated structure - the police station, which had various police officers and a big lock up. Several men were in the lock up, but we were shown by a woman constable to another 10' x 10' enclosure. That was the female lock up and we were the only occupants in it. Shabana was crying continously, and I felt sad too. At night we were given bread and wada to eat. The lady constable was elderly and warned us not to allow any male police constables inside the enclosure. After a few hours it was very dark; some one knocked on the door but we did not answer....! The night passed without any incident. But the next evening was different. Shabana was shifted to another room, they said it was more comfortable. But soon after midnight she was back in the dingy enclosure. One look at her face broke my heart. Her clothes were torn and she was bruised all over. She was sobbing uncontrollably. That was the first time in my life that I felt remorse......I had no words to console her. In the darkness I cried with her...! We both cried together.
But my thoughts were far far away ..... to the nights/days when I was a very little girl. My mother would always shout at me for having thick black hair full of lice that would crawl all over my dirty pillow each night. she would scold me for dropping food parts around the little room which was our house. Father always told her not to be so hard on us. That would anger her more, and she would hit us with a stick. My father would be angry, but not enough to make her stop. He would go away each morning on his auto rickshaw and say to her ' I would rather stay out all day and night than to come home to this hell. Outside my friends laugh at me for keeping you here. The whole world knows what goes on between you and that labour supervisor at the construction site' and he would be gone. That day the labour supervisor spent the entire day at our house with my mother. And that night my father came home very late. Mother was sleeping in the kitchen and the supervisor was waiting in the room. As the sound of auto rickshaw stopped and my father's footsteps were heard, the supervisor hid behind the iron cupboard. Mother asked him if he would eat dinner. My father did not reply, and got ready to go to bed. Mother kept asking him many questions, but he would not reply. Suddenly the Supervisor came out from the hiding trying to strike at my father. Father was on his feet, and soon they were embroiled in a tussle. Shabana ran to the loo outside, and kept calling me while both the men were involved together. Mother rushed out from kitchen and shut the door on Shabana, while gesturing me also to go out. I was rooted to the ground. Many things were happening at that moment, but the one thing I remember most was that while the 2 men were at each other mother picked up the round sickle knife from kitchen and struck my father with it. He groaned aloud and slipped to the floor. I screamed and ran outside where Shabana was sitting in a corner in the dark......We never saw father after that. It was always the supervisor visiting our house. But a few months later the police van came and took them both away. That day Chacha took us to his house....!!!!

Now Shabana and I have been sent to remand home, where I have learnt to mingle with some smart friends. Shabana rarely talks to other inmates, and silently seeks my help whenever hardships befall her. I have made useful friends inside this remand home, who would do any thing to help me. Life was going on pretty well until one day, I saw who was cooking in the jail kitchen. My eyes almost fell out,but there was no mistaking the woman there. She was unmistably our mother, and her demeanour confirmed her identity. She wore a colourful 9 yrad sari, with a red border and she was chewing pan (as was her habit), while feeding special lunch to the Remand home supervisor. No that was not the man with she had killed my father. This was another man. I knew what favour I would ask of my friends in the jail. They would be willing to kill her if I wanted them to. But do I want to? I think so.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gorgeous Girls of Glamour...!

A smile that launched a million poems....!
................Parvathy !


It's a festive day in India...what better than to blog about the most beautiful girls of 21st Century ?

These are the gorgeous girls of glamorous India....!

They were all seen together at Lakme Fashion week in October 2008.

..................................Dia Mirza.!




................... Diana!!





.....................Alesia !!

.............Anchal Kumar !!



Monday, October 27, 2008

A short story about relationships - not far from reality...!

Hina is a 13 year old girl. I have known her through my visits to the orphanage. Whenever I have spoken to her, I found her to be a lot like her other colleagues albeit a bit too casual, giggly and uncaring specially in the presence of a visitor, when all the other inmates are on their best behaviour.
I wondered about Hina.....what makes her different from others...?
This is Hina's story, as I saw through her own eyes......!

My suspicions were not unfounded about going to the orphanage with chachhi and chacha. They told us - me (10 yrs) and my sister (14 years old), that we have been lucky to get admission in a great school with full boarding. It was a hot, sultry afternoon as we set out first in a bus for 6 hours and then in an auto rickshaw towards this new boarding school. From the way chacha was giving directions to our auto driver, it was obvious he had visited this school several times before. Although I wondered why the school was so far removed from the big city area if it was a great school, it didn't bother me much. It was mot important. But when the vehicle actually stopped in front of a huge building I was impressed by Chacha's choice. He must love us, I thought. After all we were both his brother's children. My sister seemed a little too quiet, I thought. As we approached the office, we were met by a solemn looking lady, who seemed to have difficulty smiling at any one. Though she was greeting our guardians, her eyes kept darting towards me and my sister. I heard chacha say, 'Mrs Mallya is in charge of everything here. I do not want any complaints regarding your behaviour or studies'. He left abruptly with a fleeting look at us, while chachi had already begun sliding her huge body into the vehicle which was waiting outside. It suddenly hit me that we were actually abandoned by them. What was this place...? who is Mrs Mallya...? Where was the school/boarding.?.....I soon found out everything.

Mrs Mallya was immediately glad that she need'nt smile any more. She was in total command of the state of affairs at 'The oprphanage' as I found out very soon. I figured out a lot many things very soon...Chacha was not going to look after us any more. He had admitted us here - this was an orphanage that ran on charities. All the inmates here were girls, and each of them was a deprived child - either of a mother or father or both - like us. We all shared a common bond of being a deprived lot. There were 51 girls including both of us. Mrs Mallya was not on board the orphanage, in fact she was the chief trustee, who lived in town and ran from post to post collecting funds to run the O. She was obviously doing this to attain a superior place in heaven, when we all die. I felt no gratitude to her. My sister always found ways and means to please Mrs M, but it did'nt seem necessary to me. If she was doing all this to go to heaven, she will be rewarded by God for her work. Why did I have to be grateful to her? I thought. To me she was a hard hitting, crude, and selfish old hag. I hated it most when she would walk into the hall asking for me. I would be sure, Naani had complained about me, and a boring lecture from Mrs M was forthcoming. My reaction was always planned. I just heard her out without responding. Her barrage of words also seemed pre planned. She would start by asking me how I was (as if she cared...!), then tell me about how I need to work harder on my Math, and English (she was wasting her time ...!) Sometimes she would add 'your sister is showing good improvement. So why can't you also improve..? haan...? (Coz I could'nt care less). And when I did'nt respond to her myriad of questions, she would bring up the most deplorable subject.....'and how long are you going to wet your bed each night? This is a hopeless situation. You have been told to wake up during the night and go the loo even if you did'nt feel like passing urine. It helped last week. Why have you stopped getting up and going to the loo....? answer me...?' I was'nt going to discuss this with her, even if she questioned me a zillion times. I hated her most for bringing up this subject. It was bad enough she sent me to that bad doctor in a dingy lane with Naani who kept looking at my boobs all the time and stroking my back feeling my body every where. He asked me questions about why I wet my bed at night and what did I feel as I was wetting it. It was disgusting of him. His smile was sickly too. Now Mrs M kept talking about it again...' do you want to see the doctor again, may be he will give you some medicine this time....' 'NO' I said, without hesitation. I promised to Mrs M that I would wake up each night at 3.00 am and go to the loo with Shabana, my sister. We both shared a room with 2 other girls who were also sisters. They had lost their parents in an accident when they were returning from a wedding in a truck which fell from the mountain road while the driver lost control. Our room mates were in class 6 & 8 and were among the best behaved lot. They scored good grades too. Mrs M was of the opinion that we both would benefit by sharing room with them. That week Shabana woke me up at night, and accompanied me to the loo. After a week I was too sleepy to wake up; besides I was sure I did'nt need to go to the loo. But the next morning I made sure she told no one that I had'nt gone to the loo. It threw Mrs M completely out of gear when bed wetting continued. She wondered the cause of it all...! At first I was releived that the whole thing was off my head, then slowly I felt even triumphant.
As time went by I got accustomed to life in the Orphanage. Chacha hardly ever came to see us; but when it was summer most children went home to their other parent or some distant relative. For a couple of years Chacha was good to us, but not chachi. She would openly tell us we could have continued staying at the Orphanage. Mrs M was beginning to worry about other inmates about our influence on them, I could sense from her talk with regular visitors. One evening a professional councellor was called to meet us. My sister and I had separate sessions with the counsellor. She first took me out in her car for a drive. On the way she bought me Ice cream. It was an expensive ice cream and I had never tasted anything like that before. She asked me to talk about myself, whatever I wanted to tell her....She said she would consider buying another ice cream too. I realised that I need to talk if I wanted the ice cream....' I like all the children in the orphanage.....Noorie is my best friend (noorie 6 yrs, had joined us 2 weeks ago).... I would like to improve Math & English, but I find it tough....can I get private tuitions for it...? I try to be a good girl, I like to be well behaved, but I cannot do it always. I try but I fail. Some times I like telling lies....I will try to be cleaner now onwards....etc. After the second ice cream, I realised that I can be myself. 'I know my father was a good man....He used to drive me around in his auto rickshaw....we used to laugh a lot...' yes, I remember him, because my sister has a photograph of him. ....' Then she asked me ....'Do you remember your mother...? ' I said'yes'....Would you like to be with her if she came out of jail and took you home..? 'NO" was my reply. She looked surprised. So I told her ... 'she will kill me..!' She looked aghast..." she killed my father"...! my counsellor thought at this point that I was telling a lot of lies, and she decided to take me back to the orphanage. I am told she prescibed anti depressants and some calming tablets for me. I have been eating them since months.
This year Chacha and chachi were going to attend a wedding in summer, hence we were not to go to them during this summer. There were 4 other girls aged 6, 7, 7 and 11 yrs who had no where to go. Mrs M allya's endevour was to get one of trustee members to take one each girl to their own house for a short duration, say a week. Shabana and I went to a senior couple's home in the city. They were rich folks and ate wonderful food. be continued !

Friday, October 17, 2008

Relationships misunderstood...!

How do you tackle relationships based on 'one sided commitment'

For that's how it always is. No matter how much one keeps loving and giving, he only takes and hurts....keeps hurting till I cannot take it any more.... so what do I do...? Coz even giving keeps getting tougher, but loving may be optional.

He has a nasty fall one day. I drive him to the hospital as he is in pain. xray at the hospital shows a fractured portion in his spine; he is admitted in the hospital......for further course of medical attention required. I sign up forms (for hospital admittance) that I am his relative (wife), and will be there at all times. Our kids are away in far western countries. Investigations begin....I am hanging by a string of hope, unrelenting to my worst fears. Things are getting a little bumby as far as diagnosis, medication, and clinical examinations are concerned. But what happens to the realtionship. He screams at me, to get out of the hospital as he wont have me around, for no apparent reason except that he has had a fall not me. Perhaps it hurts him to know that I am not bedridden, or hurt. The screaming lasts well into the night, when I cant take it any more. So I tell him to shut up....and if he goes on any more, I would call up our children and his sister in far off countries and let them know about his unbearable behaviour; and then jump down the 10th floor of hospital building. 'I dont care what hapens after that...' I tell him. That does the trick, and then there is silence. But I cant sleep.....introspection begins...! I am sleeping on a tiny bed near the window, and the wide window sill is a couple of inches away from my bed. Just unbolting the window sill, and rolling on to it would be enough to end my life....the thought sends a shudder down my spine...... I worry about my thoughts. What worries me most is the introspection that at some point I actually felt being invited by the window sill and it's proximity to me....!

I am not able to understand my feeings...!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Art of relationship....!

Curriculum at school teaches you math, science, art literature, even sex education. But no one has text books, class rooms, faculty, or manuals that address the most important issue of life - relationship management. As we go through life, we need to adapt ourselves to new gadgets, new lifestyles, new surroundings, and unheard of issues in Politics, finances, society, natural calamities etc....!
How about some one write a legit manual for school kids in their lingo, on how to have healthy relationships free from break ups. And then follow it up as a basic subject for undergrad students....for is'nt that the most vulnerable time of one's life. it would go a long way in breaking boundaries of individual complexes, and behavioural problems among youth. It would prepare youngsters to get into relationships with more confidence, and commitments. Children born out of such relationships would certainly be more balanced, and homes/families would be united at all times....!
Hatred among teens for their progenators has grown to a humungous volume. Some times even parents atrocities are not be continued.