Monday, February 21, 2011

When do I get to live my life my way?

What does a "family" mean to my generation?
What does a "family" mean to my parent's generation?

What does a "friend" mean to my generation?
What does a "friend" mean to my parent's generation?

What does "My Life" mean to my generation?
What does "My life" mean to my parent's generation?

The answers are almost opposites!

Let me be frank here, I'm confused about why family is supposed to be more important than friends especially when it's  friends most of us are emotionally attached to. Family acts more like a bank, an ATM, financing our lives more than having an emotional connect with what we are.

In many cases, families play the role of a villain!
Stopping their children from doing what they exactly want to do!
All this in the name of protection and love!
Is it that friends care any less that's why they don't step in and stop?
Do they love us any lesser that's why they aren't against our wishes and desires?
Or is it that they know us better, that's why they support us?

Today, I might be taking some decisions because of what my family wants out of me.
Tomorrow, my children, will not do something , just because I want them to do so...I better have a reason for my advice for them!Even if I have a fair reason, they might not take my advice!

I find my generation  sandwiched!
Between my parent's generation ( who want us to listen to them) and my future generation ( who won't listen to us)....
Am I ready to be sandwiched between my parents having their way and my children having theirs?

When do I get to live life my way?
When do I get to live life my way?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mee Sindhutai Sapkal Bolte

My mom happened to attend a series of talks by social workers in our hometown , and this woman, Sindhutai Sapkal had come to deliver a talk. This happened around 3 years back. My mom was totally moved by her story , so were the rest of the people who had come for the talk.

That day, when mom came home she told me her story and I felt so foolish for not attending the talk. I felt bad for not having met this great woman while she had come to my hometown. And I wished to see her, some time, somewhere.

I heard about her from my mom once again when I was in Goa. I heard that they are making a film on this woman! And I am waiting patiently for its release/ to get hold of a copy.

I'm hoping I will be able to achieve at least 1 % of what this great woman achieved, without the resources...without anybody's support!

In Short Sindhutai Sapkal is : ( Info from Wiki)

1. An Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for her work for raising orphan children.

2. Childhood nickname "Chindi" meaning torn cloth. She was named thus as an unwanted child. She could only attend school until 4th grade, attended part-time due to other family responsibilities. She was brought up in abject poverty. Got married at the age of 9. Her husband abandoned her at the age of 20, and she left home with her infant daughter. She later donated her biological child to the trust Shrimant Dagdu sheth halwai, Pune, only to eliminate the feeling of partiality between her daughter and the adopted ones. As of 1998 Sindhutai Sapkal has nurtured about 1042 orphan childrens.  Many of the children that she adopted are well educated lawyers and doctors, and some including her biological daughter are running their independant orphanages. One of her child is doing phd on her life. Till date she is honoured by 272 awards. She used all that money to buy land to make home for her orphan children. She has started construction and still looking for more help from world.

My choice!


"Why not?"

"We don't like her. That's why."

"How can you not like her before even meeting her?"

"She's ....just...."

"Educated! Well aware! respectuful.....isn't it enough?"

"No. We do have educated , respectful girls in our community, in our country, don't we Siddhu?"

" Yes. But I love Ceona."

"What about us? Have you stopped loving us the moment you started loving her?"

" Maa......"  Siddharth looked at her with painful eyes, "Don't make me choose maa, please!"

" I've known this the moment you met her Siddhu. It's been a year , hasn't it?"

"Yes. I met her a year back."

" You don't call home that often, you don't speak don't need me anymore, do you?"

"I need you maa....Do you think things would be different if I let you choose the girl for me?"

"I'll be able to speak to her at what? She doesn't know my language and I don't know hers!"

Siddharth laughed a bit, "You will find a way around to communicate with her maa, just meet her once...just once!"

" How? Sign language?"

He took a momet to answer," Yes maa. Sign language....She can't hear, she can't speak!"

This news made Maa go mute for a few seconds.

He continued," On a brighter note, you will always be the one to speak and tell her what to do! Your daughter in law will not fight, nor complain about you, hows that? "

Maa was touched, she held Siddharth's hand, " But she won't hear what I say as well! Anyway, I guess this should work......when do I get to meet her?"

"Soon Maa"

The after-thought on this story:

Siddharth came in his room and relaxed on his bed...he was glad about the way things had gone with his mom. Just then the phone rang.

"So , how did it go?"

" Fantastic!"

"Maa agreed?"

" She wants to meet you as soon as possible!"

" Wow! How did you manage that loverboy?"

"Hmm.....Ceona, there's just one glitch that is in favour of everybody if handled carefully."

"What is it?"

" I told Maa you were dumb and deaf!"

"WHAT? WHY? How could you?"

" Look honey, relax! I've actually done you a favour. You don't have to talk nor listen to her, she'll talk to you, but there never is a scope for a fight!"

Just then Maa opens the door of his room, " Is everything fine Siddhu?" She keeps the ironed shirts on his table.
"Yes Maa."
"Who are you talking to?"
"A friend...."
(In the back ground Ceona is screaming at Siddharth!)
" She sounds like a woman to me..."
"Yes she is Maa..."
Maa narrowed her eyes," Careful Siddhu! You might think you'll get away with double timing on that poor simple dumb girl, but your mother still has her ears in perfectly working condition! I will not tolerate you cheating on Ceona...I will protect her as my own daughter...come what may!" She banged the door of his room as she left in fury..., "After all, how many mothers are lucky enough to have a daughter in law who listens to everything they say? I will not tell Mrs Khanna and Mrs Dixit about her disabilty...they will be so jealous of me! Gori bahu, that too one who listens to everything!" Maa relaxed on her bed with thoughts of a beautiful future and about how she will protect and care for the dumb and deaf Ceona!

Ceona continued screaming into Siddharth's ears the rest of the night.

Siddharth wished Ceona actually goes dumb in the process or that he goes deaf...either would save him from what lay in the future!

*Lost* ( Random letter to somebody part 3)

Dear Somebody,

I just hate this part of my life's's when I feel myself going into the dark corners, going deeper into unknown depths, hitting rough surfaces.....its when I feel alone, its when I feel abandoned....

Why do I feel abandoned?
Why do I feel as if I have nobody I can call my own?
Nobody I can depend on?
No-one I can trust?

Whether I'm surrounded by people at a party or playing a card game with my friends,
I know that when the time runs out, people will pack their bags and leave...
They'll leave...
They'll leave with their loved one, they'll leave with the one they call their own....
And it's just me with the cards, me with the empty glasses...
Maybe sometimes I will have some company...but I'm so sure he won't last my lifetime!

I have this strong desire to lock all my friends in a room and keep them with me forever!
I want to tell them.... "No! You can't leave....Not until I let you!"
I cook for my friends sometimes and I love to hear their happy chatter while I cook with all my love...
But I know, no matter what I do, They will leave...they have to....

I'll change cities, and places and I'm so sure I'll make new friends....
But at a point, all this makes no sense!
You accept someone as your own one day and the next day he walks away...
And you are left searching for a new friend, a new house, a new set up...
And just when I know that there is someone who'll hold on to me,
Just when it's time he tries to hold my hand tight,
I swiftly pull out,
I back off,
I slip from his hands and disappear into the darkness...into the same dark corners I hate so much, I let myself slip into the depths of the unknown and hit the rough surfaces.....I love this part of my life's story, or do I hate it?



Friday, February 4, 2011

The Right v/s The Wrong ( A story)

He came for his usual morning jog on the white sand a few steps from his Restaurant.
It was 8am, the sun was shining bright, the sea looked serene and calm, and the clear blue sky marked it as the perfect day!

The day started late around this part of the world called Goa, with the parties going on till morning.
Just a few people, mostly fishermen were seen on the beach at this hour.
Today though,Richard was a bit surprised to see a young girl sitting on the sand with a camera in her hands, busy clicking pictures of the sea.

Something about her did not let him take his eyes off her......She was a simple looking girl with  long curly hair, long legs and a petite figure.
Something inside him naturally made him change his direction towards her , he had never done anything like that before. He always maintained his distance from women, or else they might misunderstand his move towards them. But today felt like a different day, just with the presence of this girl around him.
He sat down next to her.
She did not notice his presence. she did not realize he was watching her. She seemed busy clicking picture of a couple taking a bath in the sea. He looked at her subject of interest for a long time, and finally realized he would have to make some special efforts for getting her attention.

"Hey, you don't seem to be a tourist around here!"
" I do not want any boat rides, no Dolphin rides, thank you!" She said without looking at him, she said without taking her eyes off her camera lens.

" Hi I'm Richard, I run that Restaurant called 'Adventurer's Inn'...that one back there. I have never seen you around here...."

Now he got her attention. She turned to look at him, and studied him, but did not say a word for a long time.

"Are you by any chance employed by that restaurant to pull customers?" She asked carefully.
"Nope. I own it."
"I'm sorry, I don't really understand. How can I help you? Or is this another way of trying to hook up a girl?"

He smiled," I don't know really. I come for a jog here everyday, and this is probably the first time I see a lady..... like you, with a that....this early on the beach."
"See, I don't know why I'm sitting here, trying to make a conversation with you, trying to know you more...but something inside me pulled me towards you!"
"Honesty! Wow! Women love honest men , don't they?"

He looked away from her, he did not like the way she tried to judge his intentions. It wasn't her fault, he knew how men on the coastline treated a single lady.
Still, he couldn't let go," Would you like to have a coffee with me at my restaurant? It's just on the beach, a few steps back there actually."

She almost ignored his invitation and looked back at the sea.
" That couple you see in the sea, they are my friends , I've come with them."
" Oh the one you were photographing?"
"Yeah them!"
"Okay, you can call them along too...." He thought the girl was trying to take a safer stand.

"Na I wouldn't like to disturb them...."
"Romantic setting...isn't it?"
" Yeah! It is...." She kept looking at the couple. Richard realized that the girl had sleepy eyes, maybe she was tired, or had a hangover from yesterday's party...he couldn't tell.
She continued talking," but they are having 'Tha Talk' in there!" she said simply,calmly.

" They are? In the middle of the sea? Isn't that a bit bizarre? I mean a place like that for a break up?" He couldn't believe it!

But she was calm, not taking her eyes off her friends, " I don't know if they are breaking up....they've been in a relationship 8 years now....its not easy to break up!" She turned to look at him now," Have you ever broken up with anyone?" She asked innocently.

He smiled at her child like curiosity. " Haven't you ever?"
" You have to fall in love 1st, in order to break up. Isn't it?"
"Nope! You have to be in a relationship in order to break up!"

She took her time to think.
" I've never been in love..." There was a bit of regret in her voice.
"Why not?"
"I don't know.......I think I'm a bit too careful with my heart....I don't give it away that easily!"
"Oh! Lucky you! For the rest of us, its too difficult to tame our wild keeps jumping and running around like a monkey!"
" Oh I wished I could be that way at least for a day......just let go and fall in love and not look for perfection and criteria...just for the know what I'm saying?", She seemed to be breathing heavily, deeply.
" And why can't you just live for the moment? What's stopping a young beautiful lady like yourself?"

 She pointed at her head with her index finger, " This! My stupid head! My head that is too carefully programmed wouldn't let me lose focus from my busy career oriented life!"

" But you are here right can relax, take a chill pill!"

" yeah I have! I have taken an anti anxiety, anti depressant chill pill! But even that doesn't stop this Hitler Head of mine....Do you know I'm a Doctor? I'm a Gold medalist who did nothing other than studying and scoring marks.... Do you know what they call me? They call me a Scholar! And they laugh at my back! Now I'm 24, and I'm getting married in a few days time......and all I would do my whole life would be the right thing....... always! Only the right thing! For once, I want to enjoy my life, for once I want to make a mistake , for once I want to have a dirty secret!"

He was losing her now, he couldn't really understand what was so sad about being a young beautiful Gold Medalist Doc?

"So ............." He was trying hard to frame a proper question, " ....Get over your fears, and do wrong!"
"Like what?"
"Ummmm...... Do you drink?"
"Well! You could do that!"
" But that's nothing wrong! I want to do something that is wrong! You know actual wrong! Hard core wrong!People cry and make such a huge deal about having done a mistake in their life. I have seen people attempting suicide because they feel they are guilty of something..........what these idiots don't understand is, how important it is to make a mistake in life! How important it is to have wronged! It makes us Human , Damn it!.....I want to be human! I don't like perfection. I want my mind to allow me the liberty of taking a chance, and to have miscalculated and to have wronged, and learn from that mistake!"

"Oh come on, you must have wronged sometime, somewhere."

She hopelessly shook her head," No I haven't! Have you?"

" Well!Does cheating on my girlfriend count?"


"Does taking LSD and forcing my friends to take it,count?"

She looked at him suddenly," Yes! Totally!"

"Does falsely proving an old friend a thief to own a restaurant count?"

"Jesus! It totally does!"

"Does getting a girl pregnant and abandoning her in the 7th month of her pregnancy , in the middle of nowhere, count?"

She plainly kept looking at him for a long time.
He stared back at her, " Does..."

"Stop it! Just stop it! How.........How do you sleep at nights Richard? How can you eat and digest that food? How do you get through each and every day knowing you are doing so much wrong?"

He looked down at his hands, " Wrong is all I ever saw. Wrong is all I ever did!"

"You have a choice Richard! You always have a choice to make."

"And what would I get for choosing right? Sitting like this on a beautiful day and regretting having been right my whole life? I rather continue being wrong, if that's letting me live! Your righteousness is not letting you live, but all my wrong deeds are letting me not just live,but even enjoy my life!"

She was quiet, she was thoughtful.
He kept watching her while she did her brain storming.
She sat straight now, and all her tiredness from her eyes was gone. Her eyes shone brighter! Her calm was broken as she got more restless.

"Richard, men like you deserve to be behind bars! You do not deserve freedom!"
" Men and women who know how to enjoy this small life deserve freedom young lady! And those who know to only sulk and cry over their successes need to be behind bars! They don't use their freedom to feel the joy anyway."
"I don't need to do any wrong in order to feel joy Richard!"
"But that seemed to be your contention at the start of our conversation. I remember you saying, in fact regretting just a few minutes back that all you would ever do in your life is the right thing!"

She looked at him with some hope now, " You made up all those wrongs to prove me wrong, right? You've made your point Richard! That was Smart!"
" You think I can make up wrongs just like that, one after the other, without having the intent for it?"
" If that's what you've done, or you think about ....then I must say you have a very sick mind Richard!"
" I do...why do you think I came and sat next to you?"

She gave him a very dirty look, collected her camera bag and her sandals and stood up at once, " I don't want to be dumped on my 7th month of pregnancy Richard!"
" Na....not everyone gets pregnant!", He said sheepishly.
" Bye....Hope not to see you ever again!"
" That's unfair...I told you the truth about my life to prove a point and now you run away from me? Hey, at least tell me your name."
" You don't deserve to know it!"
"Alright....You don't run away, I'll move myself from here!" He got up and handed her his card, "you can keep my card. Come drop in my restaurant sometimes. We serve good food and play good music at nights! Your friends might enjoy it! And don't worry, I'm not in a habit of stalking girls...though I'm sure that's a pretty good 'wrong' too, what say? I could add it in my cart of wrongs,huh? Ta ta....take care you beautiful photographer ,doctor ,gold medalist, righteous lady! wow! That was long...real long......"
He smiled and jogged away in the other direction.

Veronica looked in his direction till he was out of sight. She wanted to make sure he was well on his way and not following her. She suddenly realized how stupid she had been to come on the beach by taking the anti depressants! She had been so stupid to take those pills in the first place. Suddenly, the world felt like a better place to her. She had been not keeping well for over a month now, ever since she heard the news of her marriage being fixed. She did not understand why she was not keeping well all this time? Who had grilled this thought process in her head?

"Hey Vero,everything alright?" asked Kristi who was holding hands with James.
" Nice to see every thing's fine on your side Kristi!"
" We have finally agreed to get married by the end of this year!"Announced James!
"Oh really? Wow! Congratulations you guys! That's great news!" Veronica hugged and wished Kristi and James.
" Who was that cute guy you were talking to?" Kristi had noticed.
"Some restaurant owner." Veronica looked down at the card in her hands, it read -, "Adv. Richard!"
James: " advocate huh? what did you two argue about?" 

"Oh well! Wait a minute........." Veronica turned back to see if she could spot Richard. He was gone. She looked down at the card again, Adv. Richard! Now she realized where the list of "wrongs" came from so naturally.....He did not have to think much. It was probably what he was hearing, seeing and reading all the time.

His number was there on the card, She smiled!

Kristi: "Tell me bride-to- be, what did you argue with that lawyer?"

"Oh ..." Veronica was still lost in thought, going over their conversation in her head, " We discussed the 'Rights' and 'The Wrongs' of life!"

James: "You mean you discussed the law?"

Veronica smiled, "yeah we discussed the law. Anyway, lets get back to our rooms, its getting hotter!"

Veronica , Kristi and James headed back to their hotel. veronica turned a couple of times to see if there was any sign of Richard. there was none. "Hey we could come to his restaurant for dinner tonight!"
 The plan was made! She couldn't wait to meet him again!

Her head was telling her,"The choice is always in our hands! Life is what we make of it!"
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