Friday, December 2, 2011

That's not funny

It was a hot sunny afternoon when I reached home for lunch after having a long chat with Patil at his office. "Why Late?" I had expected this question from Savitri. "I had been to Patil’s office. We were chatting about all the beautiful features in the world" I smiled. "That Patil doesn’t have any work. He just sits there in the office. His nephew Prasad takes care of all his business. So this fellow does not allow me to leave whenever I go there. He just needs someone to chat" I continued but I was not sure if she heard it completely. "You said we need to leave by six to catch the train. It is already 1’o clock. Come have lunch. I have lots to pack" she was tensed as she served my lunch. "Don’t worry, we will be there on time" I assured her.

We were late and we had to run and rush to catch the train. I could hear my heart pounding when I sat in my seat. Savitri was waving her saree pallu like a hand fan. She was sweating and so was I. Train started moving slowly and cool breeze was all over me. I got up to put the luggages in an order. "I had told you" Savitri started, "that we would be late. You do not have time sense. Remember we need to leave early to Kudli. So don’t keep talking like a chatterbox at your brother’s place" she frowned. "Come on. It happens once or twice. Otherwise it is always because of you we were late" I said sitting opposite to her. "You get ready soon and don’t spend too much time is dressing up. You grandson is a new born and he won’t be able to admire you" I grinned and saw her control her laugh. "Let’s see" she said and started looking out of the window.

I wanted to make sure I get ready before she does. I got up early, took bath and was ready by seven in the morning. But she was already waiting for me at the breakfast table. My brother was reading newspaper in the varandah who joined us for breakfast. "You are always in hurry" he said. "Couldn’t you have caught some more sleep?" he grumbled. "You don’t understand Shivu.." I said, "Your attige (sister in law) is eager to see her grandson and I cannot afford to be late" and winked. "Bus is at 7:30. We need to rush again anyway" Savitri reminded me seeing me relish every bit of the breakfast. We again ended running up to the bus stand.

It was 4 pm when I got up after a quick afternoon nap. Holding my grandson, making strange voices to make him smile and a heavy sea food lunch made me doze off on a bed. I could hear Savitri still playing with the baby boy from the other room. I saw Mohan, my daughter in law's younger brother watching TV. I asked him to take me for an evening stroll and we left the home assuring Savitri to be back on time to catch the bus back to Mangalore.

Mohan took me to a temple. We left our chappals near the guard and asked him to keep a watch. The temple was very beautiful. It was very big yet peace and serene. We starting talking for eternity, and it was already late when we realized the time. We grabbed our chappals and ran towards home. Savitri was ready and waiting for me. She looked worried for me not being able to reach on time. We had no time to talk and we rushed to bus stand. I avoided talking anything to Savitri and she too did the same.

Next day we had no plans and so we did not get up early. Our train was at 8pm and we had plenty of time. I got up late, had breakfast and decided to have a walk in the market. I went to the corner to wear my chappals and I was shocked to see my chappal being exchanged. I called Mohan to check if he had mine, but he dint. "May be it got exchanged at temple" Savitri said. I was very sad. I bought this chappal just for the sake of Savitri. "You bought this chappal for our daughter's marriage" she had said when she had seen me wear my worn out chappals. "After that you did not buy any for rest of our children's marriage. Now it is high time for you to buy a new one. At least buy one when you are visiting grandson" she had insisted. I was very disappointed for losing my new pair of chappals. I told Savitri it is all because of her. If I had my old chappal, no one would have dared to take it. I washed the exchanged chappal in well water and decided to wear it for the time being. We were on time at the station. Savitri slept peacefully but I could not. I was still thinking about the guard at the temple. "May be he might have exchanged it" I thought.

We reached home in the morning and I went to Patil’s office that afternoon. Patil and I get along very well and we meet almost every day. I sat and spoke to Patil for few minutes when Patil’s nephew Prasad brought two cup of coffee. "Uncle, is your pair of chappal exchanged anywhere?" he asked me. Where on earth did he come to know about this. "Err.. Yes.. How do you know?" I asked. "Oh uncle, I think you are wearing my chappal. I guess it got exchanged when you left our office few days back."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It was that day....

It was just 7 pm and there was haunting silence around. My wife was busy preparing rotis for my journey. But this time she was neither talking about the gossips she had with the neighbor in the morning nor she was nagging the kids for not studying. My son sat in the corner of the sofa just staring my moments, while my little daughter was roaming behind me helping me pack.

"Papa, your water bottle" – Aditi handed me a water bottle. "Thank you dear" I said n lifted my head just to see her pale face. "When will you be back papa?" she had a pain in her voice. "Just a month and I will be back. Days fleet just like that and your papa will be home". "How far is Ajmer? Can’t you drop by weekend?" it was my son with a puzzle block in his hand. "Oh! No! Sunny! You know how far Ajmer is. Don’t you? And why are you all so sad? I will be calling you all every day. There is no reason for you to be sad".

There was a killing silence again. "And you Sunny. You are not a kid anymore. You need to be more responsible now. Take care of your sister while going to school and do not forget to take her back from school." He shook his head in consent. "Aditi, dear you should not go near the well in the backyard while playing with friends. Take care of yourself. Do not trouble your mom." I said to Aditi who was now leaning against the wall. "Yes Papa" she said in a low mild voice.

I did not want to leave my family like this for a month. This is the first time ever I was going to stay away from them for a month. All were very dependent on me and I feared how they would run their daily routine in my absence. My heart was very heavy. But I could not express it to them. I am the strongest in the family and I was supposed to fill confidence in their little hearts.
Shruti packed my dinner and kept it in my bag. It was 7:30 pm and I had to leave. I asked Shruti to take care of her and kids. "Lock the doors safely" I said "and walk careful while crossing the roads. Give me a call in case of any issues. I will keep calling you all often." "You too take good care of yourself" she said "I and kids will be fine. Do not worry." She did not sound very confident. "It was my fault", I thought. I did not teach them to live independently.

Reluctantly, I left the house and I could see them wave at me till I disappeared in the dark. My steps were heavy. My heart wanted to go back home and console my family and give them strength. "How can they live without me for a month?" I wondered. "I should visit them in the weekend no matter what it takes", I thought.

Suddenly, there were thunderstorms and it could rain any time. I had to walk fifteen minutes more to reach the bus stand and realized I did not carry an umbrella. "Let me go back home and get the umbrella" I thought and walked back towards home. I was happy to get some more minutes to spend with the family.

I rang the bell. I wanted to see the happiness on my wife’s and children’s face to see me back home. My heart was beating faster than ever. After few minutes, my wife opened the door. "What happened?" she asked and before I could reply she said, "Just hold on. Nirmala is on the line. I will be be back in a minute" and rushed towards the telephone. I stepped in and saw my son engrossed watching Machester United hit a goal. I could hear my daughters foot step for a song from the other room. Everything seemed to be so normal. I was stunned to see the change. Sorry, there was no change. It was the routine. My wife came to me with an umbrella. "Be careful and watch your steps in the rain" she said. "The roads get soggy and you might slip". I smiled and waved at her and left the house. I felt light.

It was that day I realized how my presence or absence has nothing to do with anyone’s life. It is human nature to think and worry of how life could be without us. When we get our daughter married, or when our son moves out to a different city to work, we keep bothering about their happiness, their safety and want to protect them just the way a sea shell does to a pearl. But in fact, they will run their family in a much better way than we can think of. We can just guide them and say there is thorns this way or flowers on the other. But ultimately it is left to them on what they want to explore.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On "Prince Pankaj's" birthday

Aaj maine ek aisa kaam chuna
Jo Sooraj ko hi torch dikhaa baite
Sooraj ki apaar prajwalata ke saamne
Apna bhi ek chota sa diya jalaa baite

Parantu yeh shubh avsar hi kuch aisa hai ki
Humaare prince apna janamdin manaa rahe hain
Poore duniya aur suryamandal mein
Khushiyaan hi khushiyaan teher rahein hain

Isee khushi mein mai apna khushi bhi prastaav karna chahti hoon
Yeh kavi sooraj maharaj ko mein apna torch kavita dena chahti hoon
Toota foota hindi hi sahi, arth apaarth ki sandhi hi sahi
Jo bhavanaavon ko samjhe usee se sambhaavana lena chaahti hoon

Janamdin ke mubaarak ho Prince Pankaj
Is baar aapke saath hai Rani aur yuvraaj Akshaj
Har saal isee tarah janamdin manaate raho
Aur tumhe wish karne ka opportunity humein praapth karte raho…

Monday, September 5, 2011

One small question

The moments we catch are the memories made
Want to hold them tight and not let them fade
As I grab, collect and set up the task
One small question I want to ask… Is this true love?

Life is so perfect when I thought it could not be
It is hard to find and harder to see
Your deed leaves me with just one thing
A question of your true being…. Is this true love?

You lend your shoulder when I want to lean
And in your arms I feel so serene
You give your best to fulfill my dream
To me you are the best of the cream … but dear… Is this true love?

It is not lack of trust but just hard to believe
To find a partner like you when everyone change
I am stunned and I am dazed
I am happy for I am blessed… dear… I’m in true love!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

PRESENT - a gift

"How long do you just want to look back and smile?" he murmured as he opened my blog. "I want to read your fresh stories and whenever I open, you just make me look back and smile" and smiled at me.
Yes, it has been too long I published any article in my blog after publishing "Look back and smile". I get inspired by real life stories and incidents which are the essence of the stories in my blog. When I started writing the blog I had no clue someone would be so impressed with my writing which I believe is of "Chandamama" style that he would go to any limits to marry me. It means a lot to me, probably more than winning a best seller I believe.
He too has started writing the blogs and I am really dumbfounded by his writing style. While mine is a no bases just relax feel article his are thought-provoking, while I use laymen language he writes like an intellectual. Yet he admires my writing. "Dude, you got to be kidding" I tell him sometimes. While I write just to kill time and keep myself engaged, he can bring out some real good stuff out of his writing.
Can I get a real good story today? I thought as I climbed my office shuttle. "You find stories everywhere. Every person, every building, every stone has a story to tell you." I remembered some elderly person saying this on one TV show. "Let me see what story I find today", I thought and started looking out of the window with an outlook to search a good story among the abundant stories lying still out there.
The city was looking beautiful than ever when the first sun ray hit the tower. The slow moving traffic gave me enough time to surf through the building, vehicles and the pedestrians. There were people in jog suits jogging in the parks, kids practicing skating in the grounds, Ambulance running by to save a life, and trees enjoying the sunbath. "All these have a story" I thought, "but they are not telling me what it is." I sighed. Few minutes passed and the shuttle was on the expressway passing the mountains and meadows. I watched them all keenly but found no story.
My office bulletin board is usually the place where I find stories emerging out of chaos. But from past few days all the discussions were around the subject "GOD… is there??" The bulletin board had flood with the viewpoints of thousands of followers but none were ready to accept other person’s view. The person who had raised the subject was pleading everyone to stop the discussion but the fire was on. The chaos did not give me a story either. I wanted to shout "STORY… is there??"
I decided to have my breakfast and walked over to the food court. All the way through I was looking for only one thing – A story. I found the fresh green grass, colorful flowers, beautiful architectures, enthusiastic workers but no story. "Where on earth are the stories hiding?" I went to have a cup of coffee, after all a lot can happen over coffee. I came back to my desk, took the first sip and only then I realized how beautiful the present was. I saw those things today which I had never noticed these days on my way to office. The routine life had blindfolded my sight out of the beautiful world out there. Today, I felt the sun’s first ray, fresh air, beauty of the nature and of course wonderful coffee.
"Dear, no need to look back and smile" I wanted to tell him "because the present is beautiful, it is a gift".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Look back and smile

I got into the bus and was pleased to get the window seat in the early morning rush. The cool breeze made me feel better as the bus started moving. The to do list in my mind kept growing and I wished it was weekend soon. I will just listen to music, stretch my legs and relax this weekend, I thought. The very thought of it brought a smiling curve on my face. Three more days to go, I sniffed.

“It is too much. I cannot read anymore” a sweet young kid of around 9 years old was telling this to his friend beside him. The two kids had their Social Studies text book in their hand and as I sunk into my seat, they were busy reading their books. It was exam hours for primary school students and it was obvious these young soldiers were preparing for the battle.

“If I read more, I will surely get confused. I will close my book now” the boy repeated, but was unwilling to close it unless the other boy showed a positive vibe on closing the text books. The other stout little kid with big glasses reluctantly agreed with the first boy and closed the book. Both the boys put the books in their back bag. “I am so eager to complete this last paper. It is been more than a month now not playing cricket” the first boy glittered.

“Yes macha! Once this is done, we can play cricket throughout our vacation. Let us talk to Mohan, Sreeni, Teja and Deepak. We can form a team.”

“Bindu and Ashok will also surely join.”

“But Bindu will be going out with his parents. They are planning to go to Mangalore this time”

“What is the big deal? I am also going to my Granny’s place during the vacation”

“What?”, the stout boy was sad. “Are you also going to your granny’s place? You won’t play cricket is it?

“No you dumbo. I will go to my Granny’s place only for a week. She stays in Mysore. I told my father also. I won’t be staying there more than a week”

“Good. Thank God. We will meet tomorrow and decide the teams”

“Why wait till tomorrow? We can meet today evening soon after the exam. What say?”

“No Dear. That lady won’t leave us after the exam”

“Lady? Who?”

“Arey.. Radhika madam. She will start planning for vacational activities, home work and so on”

“Uff..Yeahh.. I hate it macha”


There was silence for a while. Then the first boy started it again.

“She was the supervisor for science paper. She was very strict. But luckily the paper was easy. I am pretty sure I will score out of out in that paper.”

“Is it? My paper was not so good. What was the answer to the third question on simple pendulum?

“Forget it. If I start talking about that paper, I will forget Social Studies”. It was very evident that the first boy was bluffing. He continued “I wish today it is Rakhi madam”

“Why? She allows you to copy?”

“He!! he!! She dozes off in the class room and is least bothered about what we do during the exam. It is very easy to copy in her presence”

“I think will be Shekar Sir for us today”

“He is also good. If you are caught copying just accept it when he asks you. He will not punish you if you tell the truth. If you do not accept your mistake he will walk you to the principal.”

“Oh! Really? That is good to know. Hey, it is our stop. Come let us get down”

The boys got down the bus and only then I realized how I was carried away with their conversation. I could see my childhood in them. The last day of the exam was always awaited. During the last few days of exam, I used to spend more time planning for vacation activities rather than reading. Even during my bachelor degree days, I used to plan to sleep for hours after the last paper but often enjoyed staying back late night partying with friends. Moreover exams seemed to be a big burden on me. Planning for some crazy task for the vacation made me feel big. As I look back now, I feel it is so silly. May be after 10 years or so, when I look back to my current state worrying about weekday, things to do list and just waiting for weekend to stretch my legs, I will surely laugh at myself and regret for not being happy during the days of joy and excitement. The very thought of it filled in energy. I got down the bus, with full spirit and walked towards my office with a smile.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Journey 2010

I still remember the day when I left
All my dear ones half across the earth
And stepped into a snow filled land
Wondering if it was really worth

It was cold and everything froze
Whiteland all thru was what I could see
I was alone and no one around
I was trapped though I was free

One day by my window side
Winter slowly slid into spring
I realized I was not alone
When my phone did buzz me a ring

I met one, two, three, four
It seemed like the spring leaf count
I roamed, I danced and I learnt
The way our destined life can fount

Then one day the leaves began to fall
With colors all around it was worth to watch
But I was sad, dull and scared
To face again the winter botch

But the winter now is sweet to me
With lights around it is pretty warm
With friends around who fill the charm
It promised me not to harm

But now again the time has come
To leave the dear ones on this side of earth
And as I look back the traversed path
I realized...Oh dear... It was worth!!