Rush

They started their journey at a brisk pace. No one knew about their destination. Then suddenly, they picked up pace and took a sharp turn and from there they started running.  It seemed as if someone had opened a flood gate ushering a barrage of water. They jumped; they twisted their forms like a gymnast; they laughed; they cried; they embraced each other, and soon they touched the sky. There they hovered; they danced; they matured. And with equal grace then came down and landed on the soft surface of the earth as a new born would reach out to the opened arms of its mother. Then everything went silent.
He opened his eyes. His fingers were still resting on the strings of his sitar. The soft  breeze and the slowly moving tree branches approved of his music. He smiled.

Living Together- My Entry for the GetPublished contest

What does live in mean in today’s India? Is it just opportunism? Is it just all about sex sans responsibilities of marriage? Tamal and Jhiri, the protagonists of this story, thought otherwise. They were two couples in a live-in relationship. In the city of Hyderabad and away from their state and family these two Bongs from Kolkata have found support and companionship in each other. They have completed their nine months of live-in. Just when life was looking like a smooth sailing love story, a storm enters in their lives as Jhiri finds out that she is pregnant, despite taking all necessary precautions. The story is about their choices and their fight against all odds and all sharp turns of events in the only hope that they will continue to live their lives together.

What makes this story “Real”:

 In India live-in is now a common scenario. Many young people have chosen this to know each other better and to get a feel of marital responsibilities. It often happens that despite all precautions and plannings, unforeseen events test the resolve of these couples. Some dares to face them head on and together prove their faith in the relationship and some take the easy way out. Tamal and Jhiri took the first option to show how important they are for each other. Their journey also strengthen the bond that is love. The basis of the story, the pain and the emotions depicted here are real. Such things have happened and are happening to people around us. These journeys are never simple or easy, inhibitions and fear of the unforeseen haunts the lovers, and yet they move on, because moving ahead is life and moving ahead together is love.

Extract:

The neatly typed block letters on the report were unmistakable. You can notice them at once – POSITIVE. The eight-letter word is like a declaration. It is unquestionable and matter of fact. It is a confirmation of Jhiri’s worst fear.

“Shit!”

The expression came out of her mouth quite spontaneously, without thinking. In fact she can’t think. Just then she felt a much known touch on her shoulder. A very dear and very comforting touch. She looked at Tamal’s eyes, as his hands embraced her more tightly.

“It’s okay.” He was calm and yet firm. “But we’re not married, Tamal.” Jhiri could only mumble those words under her breath. No, she was not crying. She was strong enough to manage herself like she did in this foreign city till she met Tamal, her love, her life, and her biggest support. But this is different.

‘How could this have happened?’ Her mind was running fast and was trying to scan each and every past event to fathom what fateful night or day or moment sowed the seed of this so called “positive” news. What an irony, she thought, failing to see any positivity in this situation.

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

Note: I have followed the new rules and Yashodhara Lal’s suggestions while writing and editing the post.

Like this story? Want to see it in printed version? Then please like it here

Home is Love

Feels good to be home

I find peace in your bosom.

Hugging you  tightly only to get new strength

Am not that brave darling, no matter how much I pretend.

I know that you see me beyond my pretensions

With you am my natural self, primitive and honest.

Home is where the hearth is, or is it heart

The quote I don’t remember nor do I care,

But  I never doubt the love shown in your pout

Embracing you more often is a dream I dream about.

Frenzy and Hell

This feeling that I have occasionally what can it be called? Madness? Savagery? Sadism? May be all of these. I lose control over myself or over my actions. I become a person heading towards nothingness except destruction. I fail to express my feelings in words. I scream, the same guttural sound made by an ape when it got wounded. Running away from civilization feels like a blessing. I dream of breaking all relationships, breaking every barrier and taking a flight without the thought of landing anywhere.

It is like a bad dream full of violent images.  Like an enraged bull I keep running, destroying what I have built lovingly. Once the rage is spent, once the bull has hit the target, calmness engulfs. Amidst a pile of destroyed happiness and happy moments I sit, exhausted. My mind is blank. I am spent. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t have any answer, may be because I know the answers.

Is there a reason behind why I behaved the way I behaved? May be. But today I don’t even want to know the reason. All I am concerned about is the actions and the aftermath. Why do I hurt those who care for me the most? Is it because I know that they care? My wife, my parents—they are patient with me and often concerned about me. But still during those mad moments something seizes me and I readily grab its hand. It drives me like a typhoon headed for destruction. But I know I am not willing to destroy what and whom I love.

Every visit to a social site takes me to the realization of how much I am losing, and how much I have already lost. I know some of them I would get back, but I also know what I will never get back– lost moments. The world is moving, unaffected, unperturbed by my frenzy. Even now I wake up at night and want to undo the things I did in the past. But I can’t. I want to get out of this frenzy, now. I don’t want to stare at a blank wall or a mutilated relationship, never. There has to be a better way.  I know there are some hands that are extended at me, and I want to grab them. I need those anchors to get out of this hell. This hell is my creation.

I don’t know the date when I first came to this hell. What I know is, in the moments of difficulty and turmoil I sought refuge in this hell. I came here for emancipation, for guidance and for power. But, now I am really tired. I can’t take it anymore. The fire burns me, everyday. I sleep as if I am dead, utterly exhausted, without the desire to wake up the next morning.  I want to save my soul, before I am no more.

Realising Death

One evening as a child, I was lying on my mom’s lap staring at a ventilator and then it happened. The realization came and chilled me to my bones. Perspiration ran all over my body, and I hugged my mom tightly. I realized one day I will die. It will be the day when I will lose all contact with this world. I will hear nothing, see nothing and feel nothing. This is not a film and I am not a hero, it is stark reality. Death will come at the end.

I asked my mom, and she said yes I will and so will everybody. She ran her fingers through my hair. I tried to think the validity of the saying that dead people, our near and dear ones, keep watching over us from somewhere in heaven. I looked at the photograph of my grandparents. Is it possible to watch from that photograph? Is there a window somewhere that helps you to keep an eye on your beloved ones? The more I thought the nightmarish death seemed. I somehow managed to come out of the thought. But the thought keeps visiting me even now.

Now, the concept of afterlife or watching from above never appealed to me because I never believed in such a possibility. I read Geeta but the idea of soul discarding the older body and taking the newer one never rang true to me. I rather took to the Carvaka philosophy that my body is my soul. Once I am dead I will cease to exist. It is here that the fear of death took hold of me. I do not want to miss out life, and the experiences that it makes me undergo. Yes, sometimes I did wish to die but that was more emotional a thought than a desperate wish.

In fact my fear and realization of the inevitability of death has made me see the reason behind the belief in heaven and afterlife. It has also helped me understand that it needs unimaginable cruelty to kill someone and at the same time fathomless depression to commit suicide. We are all scared of death. We don’t want to leave the people who we love. It is difficult to accept the truth that the person closest to our heart will one day turn into mere ashes. Seeking refuge behind soul independent of mortal body gives one the satisfaction that not everything is lost. Even after death something of that person will remain. Something more definite than memory. After all, your memory may weaken with age but the soul of the dead relative will be always there. Even when we die our soul will continue to see everything. We will still be able to see our wives, parents, and children even when we are dead.

It is true this belief is comforting. But unfortunately I do not subscribe to it. That is why I am afraid to lose this world that I love. Afterworld is a myth, to me. I don’t know how I will react when I will lose those I am closest to.  I don’t want to die and I don’t want them to die, but that’s to going to happen. Death is a part of life. Roses wither without complaint. And I am sure given a choice dodo, Olive Ridley turtles and tigers would have said that they don’t want to die. But death is a part of life. When we accept the latter we promise to accept the other. When the time comes I will have to deal with it on my own; depending on my own belief.

Now, one can only imagine the depth of frustration and suffering that compels someone to take his or her own life. Unfortunately, nowadays suicides have become a norm. Every year board exam results also bring along a list of those students that have committed suicide. Many students end their lives merely fearing a bad report card. Guess they have never received a support system strong enough. May be their loved ones failed to show them the beautiful and colourful life that lies beyond the world of text books and grading. Someone should have told him how to become strong enough to accept failure and move on with life. Ending one’s life cannot be a solution. It is, rather, the destruction of a possibility.

We humankinds are very cruel. We can kill our fellow men without even knowing them. Our wars and our riots bear enough proof of it. Murders, killing in the name of caste and honour are rampant. Where is the honour in killing your loved one? In order to live a comfortable and respectable life we give importance to so many other things that we forget to respect and love life itself. Hatred covers our heart and we start to destroy human life as if it is dirt cheap.

Can’t we be more loving and more caring? If a person can care for a dog or a horse why can’t he care for a human being? Life is really short, and no one knows what lies beyond death. So, spread love as much as you can. At least try.

Looking for Support in Love!

 

It is tough to live in a completely unknown place far away from your home. It is made tougher by insensitive, corrupt, and mean people who make your life mesearable at every step. Our land lady has ditched us and cheated us big time! She did not support us during our most problematic time, and on top of that she has not paid us back the full amount of our deposit money. After Delhi Hyderabad has taught us we are outsiders in a different state. Once again we are reminded that the world only cares for people either with big bucks or with big connections.

Amidst all this gloom, despair, and negativity there is only one thing that is helping tick, and that is LOVE! Our love for each other. Our commitment for each other. I only wish I should have been more trusting and more understanding. I love you Koli! I love you soooo much. I know you love me too. That is why our fights break our heart and our sanity even more. After all it is the love and care that is keeping us sane in this Kingdom of insane.