Heatwave Madness

I saw her that day again. I can never stop looking at her. Each day. Everyday. From the moment I laid my eyes on hers.
But I know it is her. How can I forget how she looks even behind those layers she wears to hide.
Hide from me. The only one who loves her more than anything in the world.
I know she looks at me. I can feel her gaze on me. My face. My hair. My body. My feet. I know she is looking at me like I look at her.
This is the only chance I will get to take her away from them.
Those people who use her only for their own profit never carrying about how she feels when they put her through this.
No one is looking now.
I will save her from these demons and give her a life she deserves. We will leave this place forever.
She is made for the heavens but what am I but a mere mortal.
This is the closest I can get to her now is the time.
I pulled her hand and dragged her along with me.
Why is no one chasing me?
Why are these people only staring at me but not doing anything?
Is she not worth enough to give a chase for?
Now finally she is in my arms. My hands are touching hers. We will never be separated again. Forever.
She is smiling at me. She is always smiling. My angel in heaven.
What is happening?
Why is her hand slipping mine and breaking apart?
Why are her feet giving away?
Why is she dying in front of my eyes when our good life awaits us?
“Good Evening. A man name Shahid died due to heat stroke in Old City. He was working a in a garments shop and was last seen dragging a mannequin from the adjacent dress shop and running on the road. The local people in the area said he was a quiet and shy person who kept to himself and this was the first time they saw him shouting and running fastly on the road before collapsing near the fountain with the mannequin. This is the 7th person who has died of heat wave that blows through Telengana lately. In other news the Minister of…..”

Debit card – take 1

The day I paid something I used my debit card for the first time.

I was from a Home. Home means not a home but a shelter for orphan and semi-orphan kids. I studied there and somehow I got a scholarship to do engineering and I got placed in this company. It is near the Home that I grew up in. But I never visited that place after leaving it for my studies. I don’t want to also. It brings bad memories.
I stay in a modest PG here and I managed to hide my true upbringings. I fear that they will feel pity for me and I don’t want that. Back in home I have to share things with all the other kids and I didn’t like doing it. Shared books, notebooks, clothes, plates, tumblers. I have to fight for the things I needed to use. But now I am going to earn.
This going to is because this is the first month after I joined this company and today is my Salary day. My palm are already itching to get the money. Rather the balance that shows up in my card. Everyone here is wearing good clothes. I am going to get myself good dresses this month. and rest of the money is for PG and travel purposes.
I have already checked the dress that I wanted to buy. It was in a retail shop near my PG and it had such good color and the design. And it can be worn 3 ways also. A coat, pant and shirt and they give a skirt also with it. But it costs a little more than half my salary. So what I can buy this first dress. My first new dress. I have to soon get out of this second hand dresses. This is not even fitting me properly.
Yes. Its 10AM and I got the message that the money is debited to my account. I am going to that shop in the lunch break and get it.
Pahh!! why is my manager giving me lot of work just today. It seems that the day you get salary you should work more or what?
God!! please its already 2 in the afternoon I need a break. Ok I will skip lunch and then work super fast and reach the shop.
Finally I reached the shop to buy that dress.
What??!! that dress was sold just now. What is this cruel coincidence.
Who? That small girl is carrying it down that road.
Ok she looks like a street child I will talk to her like that English lady that used to come to our Home and talk and she will give me that dress.
Where is she going ?? She doesn’t look like she is living in this costly apartment.
“Why is are you so late?? If you don’t work well today also you will have to go to sleep without food.”
That stupid fat lady is shouting at the child. Who does she think she is?
I will talk to that girl and ask her what.
Oh she is one of the girls from the Home. How can this lady make her do house works , she doesn’t want to study? This lady adopted her from Home but she said not to call her ‘Ma’ but to call her ‘Madam’.
Now I can do either the easy way or the right way?
Who needs a dress anyways? Anyway she was looking like me when I was her age. And that act that I gave the fat lady that I am from the adoption agency and police case will stop her from pursuing me.
The first thing I did with my debit card. I paid the school fees for her. Pari is her name.

Sita’s Sister : Not another Story of Ramayana !!!!

Having a boring week is when you can stoop at any low to read a book. This is how I ended taking up ‘Sita’s Sister’ by Kavita Kane.

The basic premise is still the same, Ram a godly virtuous man takes a wife Sita after a swayamwar involving stringing of 8 ft bow and returns to his kingdom only to be ousted by his step mother so that her son Bharat can ascend the throne. Which makes Ram exiled in a magical forest where Sita is kidnapped by Lanka King Ravana and how Ram fights Ravan with his vanar(monkey) army to take back his wife.

But this whole story is said and seen by Sita’s sister Urmila, wife of Ram’s brother Lakshman. Urmila a character which didn’t have enough scope in the original epic is the protoganist in this book, a different perception to the whole story.

To a person who has read different versions of Ramayana from old to new this was a fascinating concept which could had so much potential to be more than its mere title. But alas this book were like sour grapes for me. The author failed to tap the creative descriptions of that era and was mostly like reading something of out a rom com book. The emotions were there but the grandeur wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Four sisters marrying four brothers should that too princes and princess of mighty huge kingdoms should have something to show for it in the book. Instead a mere page described the wedding with rishis and royal people around.

Urmila our narrator and protagonist was tad too modern for me. She was supposed to be a princess in 3000 BC but instead her character was like any other 20th century Indian woman I had met. I even expected her to go back to her menial office job after Lakshman had gone exile with Rama.

With so many potential details that this book can offer it finally resorts to the emotion of abandonment by Urmila as the most noticeable in this book. The author could have researched  more that could have made this book a better read. But the story always relies on the main characters Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Kaikeyi, Manthara to move it forward. It doesnt show any original thought that Urmila had eventhough there is a repetitive characterisation of her that ‘She is intelligent and well learnt’.

So my boring week has come to a boring conclusion with this book. I am still looking out for more books to make my life tad interesting.

La vie en rose. Hopefully !!

Lab Rats: My hand at Short Story 101

We don’t have a name. We don’t have a form. We don’t have what you humans associate anything with. But we are here. We are closer to you than you think. We are in the shadow of your lonely satellite you people call ‘Moon’. We have been watching you from our space station. From your microorganisms to monkeys, things started changing when monkeys we dismissed as a lost cause started walking upright. That’s you Humans.

It would take 39 continuously progressive generations for you to decode us and our message or even find us. We were of the conclusion that your civilization was bound to destroy yourself and your planet with your incessant war cries. But with your need for space travel fuelling you to use all your exhaustible energies, you are turning desperate to search for something that will help you sustain your technology. You have a radiant star. When humans develop their first solar powered space vehicle to reach the end of your solar system we will come forward to join you in our group of Space citizens. But now when the wave of light from Sun hits your planet you humans go to the beach, put on your sunscreen, chew malt candies and enjoy the radiation. You have a long way to go, you biped mammals. Only when our home star died in a supernova we build our civilization till we reached the peak of technological advancement which allows us to view you as our ‘Lab Rats’.

Life without ‘Onions’

Today the costly commodity in India is Onions.

The price of 1 dollar in Indian rupees is 66.

But 1 kilogram of onion from the street corner local store is 80 rupees.

I am a self confessed foodie. I need my daily dosage of onions in dosa, pav bhaji, raita and the other indian foods that make my mouth water thinking about it.

Now life is bereft. No onions for 25 year old working woman. I have to make do with a picture of onions on my fridge door or stare at my onion wallpaper on my mobile while I eat.

In all this meanderings I saw that onions will be given at a subsidy rate at the supermarket. My heart knew no joy. But no it was not to last. Those looked more like toy onions that any edible ones.

When even the onions leave you , you will know money cannot buy everything even onions.

Off to finish off my last 3 onions.

Only “Love Stories” allowed

Thank you Chetan Bhagat for making reading a mass phenomenon. Thank you Ravinder Singh for such sky rocheting book sales. And many other authors that I have failed to mention here who are our brigand of modern Indian writers. Thank you. 

So , after all the thanks I want to say ‘Why love stories?’ I know love stories sells but why only them. Why aren’t there any stories that make us go beyond the romance and one siderelationships.

With the advent of self publishing and easy access to advertise them I see a rise of people who want to write , publish , get famous and make a movie out of it : in that order.  So with the rise of our desi writers and the ambition to make it big we are assaulted with the rote story of boy meets girl and the resulting chaos. 

Every person has a story to tell.

But it doesnt have to be , that the heart break experienced is converted into a book so that ‘it will show your ex how far you have come up in life(writing a book about it) , ‘like he/she missed the best thing that happened to them(the writer)’ . 

So now every person should have a disclaimer before dating someone, ‘The following incidents about to happenshould not be manifested as any format as story, article, blog, tweet if it does not work between us’ 

There may also be a reason for this. In India, love is frowned upon. The US can conqueor LGBT but here telling one’s parents that they are in love is a big deal. So Love is usually unrequited and forbidden. Things that are forbidden are more dearer than anything. So you have love in movies, love is TV shows, love in news reports , love in books too.

Where love is a crime , it pays more to write about them. 

But I have not lost hope yet for my Indian love stories. Now mythology is slowly getting into our books. Now we have the love stories but with gods, goddesses, flying objects, angels, jinns, asuras, curses, magic in them.

Tomorrow , tomorrow and tomorrow, it is. 

No Love in “Love Marriage”

There was a book hiding in plain sight in my lending library on one of my ambitious days to read world literature and be ‘sophisticated’. It was ‘Love Marriage’ by V.V.Ganeshananthan. Leaving Naipaul and Khushwant Singh for another day I took this pale turquoise book out of the ‘Indian writing’ and never knew that this book will change my perspective Tamil expatriates.

For so many people I know, getting a chance to go abroad and settle in some foreign soil has been a dream. Something they were taught to dream of and some kind of a ‘heaven on earth’ enigma in speaking English and earning green currency. But imagine that if to do so is to deny the children of the next generation the simple pleasures of childhood filled with cousins , grandparents, favorite aunties and not so favorite thousand relatives. Never to listen your children speak your language. Never to actually joke with them because you and they have a different mother tongue.

This book is about Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates reminiscing of their home and how distance and time never come in between family. A girl finding the meaning of marriage through her stories of her parents , grandparents , relatives marriage on the eve of her cousin’s arranged marriage. While reading this I came across what was considered important in a marriage across time. First it was the need to provide for the family was considered the requirement for a “good” catch. The next generation fixed wedding based on the family tree and affluence of the family’s status in the hamlet. Then comes the time where good looks matter more than polite table manners. The swagging cad has better marriage prospects that the village doctor. Then it talks about the present where the marriage expects everything mentioned above from a person to be the right choice.

It was more like a journey from Jaffna to New York to Toronto to know that each and every person has a story to tell, about themselves or the others or the ones before them. About what not only the life of a terrorist but the family around him suffers with him for the cause. Where every life taken is reciprocated and at the end what are left but the a scattered family across the globe trying to find their identity and happiness in the phone calls and post cards.

I relate most of the things I read with my life. This also brings me all the parallel life instances that I have encountered. Everyone would definitely have a cousin with an American accented native language of yours or you are that cousin. Asking meaning and the reason behind every single ritual in the wedding. Trying to force feed the food condiments their parents had when they were their age and list goes on.

Even though this book didn’t have the lighter moments that I have mentioned above it took me a long time to read this because the book was not in chapters but in short stories. Where reading a page may accomplish a beginning, a middle and an end.

Just like this post where there is a beginning a middle and a end.

Ciao until the next book.