Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When the sky cried…

The sky complained, cribbed and finally cried. After fighting for 3 months, it gave up to the indifferent attitude of the sun. Someone rightly said, “When the sky cries, the world notices it.” So did I!

I never liked the rains, given a choice; I would rather cuddle myself in a comforter with some soup/coffee and a book/ipod than soak myself in the rain. However, this has most often not been the case, I had to soak myself in the rain and bear the clumsiness. Last year, every time it rained, I had to soak myself in it. This year, I am praying and hoping that I will be spared.

Yesterday, I dosed off in the bus on my way back home when suddenly, I woke up to the sound of a thunderstorm. It took me a while to get back to my senses and I realised I had got up from my seat at a wrong stop. Thankfully, I had not got off the bus.

I stood near the door waiting for my stop when it started raining (the first monsoon rain of the year). I hurried to close the door, silently praying that it stops raining by the time I reach my stop. I was worried about my footwear; I was wearing my favourite moujris and did not want to spoil them. I was ready to give in to the exorbitant demands of the auto rickshaw person to save my moujris.

I got off my bus when it started pouring heavily. The sky started pelting hailstones. Yes, within minutes it turned from a slight shower to a hailstorm. A hailstone fell on my head, the force with which it fell made my little brain topsy-turvy. I looked around for shelter but found no shack or shade. To add to my dismay, I was wearing glasses that soon gave up to the tears from the sky. My constant effort of wiping and cleaning them turned futile because I was cleaning them with a wet dupatta. I managed to cross the road, escaping from being hit by a bus, auto rickshaw and a car. I could hear the drivers shouting “Humari ghaadi mili hai kya”, “Dekh ke cross nahi karsaktay” etc. I wish they could realise that I had no intension to use their vehicle to commit suicide, my eyes had given up in the hailstorm and I could not see anything in the dark. The strong splashes of water by fellow drivers added to my misery.

I managed to cross the road, standing under a flyover; I thought about how blessed I am to have proper eyesight. I thought about the blind and the difficulties they face in life. Thank you, God for giving me eyesight so that I could see around and cross the road everyday.

Under the flyover, I was constantly fighting the strong splashes of water that hit me because of the rash driving by some indifferent drivers and the huge hailstones. My body gave up to the water, thunder and winds; I was now shivering and my right hand felt numb. I thought about the poor who live under the flyovers, footpaths and slums. Thank you, almighty for giving me a house and protecting me from everything.

I could not take the strong water splashes, winds, hailstones that hit my body and face; I decided to move ahead. I knew my journey ahead was not easy; I had to cross the road again. I prayed silently and hoped to reach my destination. I did not want to die without family around. I gathered courage and set my foot ahead when something hit me. I fell and thought it was the end and prayed to the almighty that if I die, let my family know that I am here and help them find me as soon as possible. It took me a few minutes to get back; I looked around and found myself in the middle of the road. I could either; go back to my starting position or move ahead to reach the other end of the road. I decided to move ahead and reached the other end. I thanked my lord for helping me reach the other end of the road safely. It was like crossing the road with closed eyes; I could not see anything because of the hailstones that slammed my glasses and the water that accumulated on it.

I quickly ran to find shelter under a tree when I saw lightening that took my breath. My heart started skipping beats and the thought that it might be the end of my life on earth frightened me. The lightening with that strong sound made me miss my family and friends. I wanted to hug my mother so badly. I wanted to hug my family and friends. I needed them so badly. That moment, I missed my parents so badly that I just wanted to run as fast as I could and hug them. Thank you, my Lord for giving me parents, family, friends, and loved ones. I am so very blessed to have them in my life.

The thought of dieing in the middle of road without family and friends around was just horrible. I have no words and do not know how to express the feelings I had at that time. I was so damn scarred. The thought of dieing on the road was so scary. I was reminded of the people who died because of accidents, wars, or died without loved ones around. My heart goes out to all the people who had a tragic death. One day, we have to die; it is inevitable but nothing can be scarier than the thought of dieing a tragic death. God, I know you will call me back one day but please call me peacefully. Please do not give me a tragic end.

I just wanted to reach my nest; I so desperately needed a hug. I decided to walk as fast as I could but the regular walk of 5 minutes seemed like a herculean task. I was so scarred of the lightening; I started walking, stopping every time the lightening roared. Every time the sky turned on the lights, it felt as if it would fall and burn me. I braved through the water log that was up to my knees and finally reached home safely.

This time the rain made me realise that I am blessed, I am lucky and I must be thankful to the Lord for everything. Thank you, my Lord for everything! I am now mourning the demise of my moujris. :(

Friday, April 10, 2009

Generation Gap!

I am surprised with the title I have given to this post. A few days ago, I found myself on the right side campagning about the Generation Gap. Now, I anticipate seeing myself on the left side (hearing to the cries instead of crying).

I am amazed and speechless at the new genre of kids. Yes, you read it correct. I am calling them a new type or variety of humankind. Children today are fast, amazingly intelligent and energetic.

The other day, I was trying to dissuade my 4-year-old cousin from playing on the computer by making up stories and telling him that I do not have games on my PC. He insisted that I start the PC; I switched it on, confident enough that I will be able to dissuade him with my false stories. “Which operating system do you have, XP or Windows 2000?” I could not believe my ears (the words still haunt me). I could feel my confidence tumbling down in seconds; I failed to discourage him from playing. The little boy did not just play but also shared websites on which I could play online games.

I was baby sitting my niece and nephews on a Sunday when one of them (who is 7 years old) challenges me to play the Spelling Bee. He annouced: “give me any word and I will spell it for you”. I smiled and started with simple words like teach, nephew, and mathematics and so on. He laughed and said “don’t give me kindergarden words, give me complex words.” I did not want him to loose confidence and started giving words that were one level high like calligraphy, geometery, and trignometery. I was amazed at his vocabulary; he spelled all the words correctly, which made me think if I could go beyond three letter words when I was his age.

On another evening, I was excited to see my friend with her one-n-half year-old daughter. After our hellos, I asked her little daughter if I should help her remove her shoes. The little one replied, “I can do it”. I stood there thinking that she was probably shy or was trained by her mother to be nice and cordial. I was sure that in no time she would need my help to remove her shoes. To my surprise, the little angel removed her shoes and socks, placed the socks in the shoes and kept them on the shoe rack. I smiled and hugged her on her achievement. She was not only good at taking her shoes off but was also good in tieing her shoelace. I do not think I could tie my shoelace until I was in class I.

My 11-year-old nephew can add, subtract, and multiply numbers without a pen and paper. When I say numbers, I actually mean complex numbers. Throughout his vacation in India, he kept helping his mother convert INR to Dollars and vice versa. Infact, one day when we were driving he challenged me to play the number game. After the game, I did not understand if I should feel happy or sad that I lost to him by 45 seconds in multiplying 1482*32. Yes, he gave the correct answer before me. I am happy and proud that he is doing well yet sad that I lost to a 11 year old kid.

A friend at work tells me that she once gave her 2-year-old son his shirt to wash. She was expecting him to wash it in a traditional way (over the slab, imitating the dhobi), because as a kid she had washed clothes that way. To her surprise, her son opened the water tab, filled a bucket with water, and immersed the shirt in the bucket holding one end of the shirt in his hand. He then spinned the shirt in a circle, making the wooof sounds. He called his innovation the “Water Machine”.

With so much knowledge, intelligence and technology on their side, I can see these kids growing into Whiz kids! Are we prepared to sit on the left side and hear them cry about the generation gap? With the pace at which they are growing up and developing themselves into all rounded individuals, I can see them surpassing our methodical yet innovative thinking.

I guess it is time for us to prepare ourselves to see a completely new dimension of innovative and creative thinking that will bring along the generation gap cry. If we cried about the generation gap (how our elders never think like us and never understand our view) at the age of 18 – 19, I can see these kids crying about it by the time they turn 12 – 13. Are we ready?

Until now if we were working hard to abreast ourself with the latest to fight competition, its time we get ready to abreast ourselves to fight the Generation Gap!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

February 14th, 2009 - the Pink versus Saffron day

A phone ring disturbs my mother, who was enjoying the rare luxury of an afternoon nap. She grumbles and wakes up, answers the phone with an annoying voice. I, in a semi conscious state pity the caller and anticipate my mother getting frenetic. To my surprise, my mother’s tone changes from irritable to inquisitive. From another room, buried under a huge pillow, I hear my mother giving our address to the caller. I get back to my beauty sleep assuming that it is one of the sales/courier calls asking for the address.

In no time, mom rushes to my room and says, “you have a gift parcel! It will be delivered in 20 minutes”. I can make out the curiosity and anxiety in her voice. In an uninterested tone, I reply, “You might have been mistaken mom. It must have been those courier guys calling for the address. I had asked the bank for a statement to be delivered on priority.”

She refuses and insists that the caller told her that it was a gift parcel. I give her a deaf ear and get back to my sleep but she is curious and waits for the courier guy. Never did I see mom waiting so anxiously for any one (at least not for a courier person). Her curiosity makes my grey cells work doubly hard. I wonder if it is really a gift parcel.

Lying on my bed, buried under the pillow, I wonder who could send me a gift (that too on Valentines Day). Who could it be? A friend, someone from office, a shop I had visited recently, or may be a secret admirer. My grey cells in a few minutes felt overworked and stressed. :)

While I was still wondering who could send me the gift, the doorbell rings. I jump out of my bed and rush towards the door. My mother is even faster (faster than P T Usha); while I make my way to the door, I see mom already firing questions at the courier guy. Instead of signing the delivery receipt and taking the gift, she asks, “What is this and who has sent it?”. The courier guy loudly replies- “Madam, aaj V day hai na, issliye aaya hogaya.”

Mom takes the parcel and signs the delivery receipt. The guy at the door says, “ madam, photo lene ke liye bola hai”. Mom is furious and replies, “Nahi lena hai, jao”.

I am excited to see a huge parcel; mom hands it over to me and waits for me to open the card that came along with it. I am more interested in opening the parcel than finding out who has sent it. While I am busy unwrapping the gift, I hear mom saying, “who has sent it?”. “One second let me see what is in the box”, I reply.

I open the box and find a dark chocolate cake with a - “You’re the best, love you lots” message on it. Those words were enough for my mom’s curiosity to reach its crest. One look at her face and you could tell that they were thousands of thoughts running in her mind. :)

“Who is it?”, she asks. I look at the card, read it and have tears rolling on my colossal cheeks. I got so emotional that I completely forgot that mom was waiting to know about the sender.

“Who is it?” she asks again. I look at her, smile and say, “it’s from Arsh and Quds”. I am so touched by this gesture from my sisters. Mom replies-“Those girls have no work. What a waste of money. Who will eat this? Why did they send? V Day is not our culture and blah blah”.

I was surprised and started wondering when did my mother join the saffron brigade. My mom is not a person who would take sides and definitely not a person who would encourage the saffron brigade. While I am amidst my thoughts and hear my mom grumble, the phone rings again. It is my sisters on the other side of the phone. Without wasting a second, my mother starts her grumbling. I simply could not stop smiling and snatch the phone from her.

After I finish talking over the phone, without realizing that mom was probably upset and wanted to tell something; I head to eat the cake. I am completely engrossed in eating and a little later, realize that mom is not around. I sit next to her and share the cake. Initially, she refused but then grabbed a bite (I bet, the female gender cannot stay away from chocolate cake). :)

Mom was even more irritated when she heard my father’s reaction. One could make out her irritation/anxiety when she started telling about it to my father the moment he returned home after work. Her irritation knew no bounds when she heard my father say, “they are in US, they will probably have some influence”. My father had probably sensed her irritation and tried to be witty which only added to mom’s irritation. I jump in to tease mom and ask my father “why did you wear a pastel shade shirt today?”. My father laughs and replies, “I am supporting the pink campaign”. These words were enough for my mother to get frenetic.

Later, I realized that mom’s irritation was not because my sisters sent me a cake. It was because the courier guy had loudly declared that it was a valentine gift which made my neighbors jump to all sorts of conclusion. There is absolutely no smoke but the neighbors have assumed a fire.

I can probably understand (might not be able to relate) my mother’s anxiety. After all, it is not easy to be a mother of three young girls.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My amiga

While I sit to write my first blog, I can’t think of a good subject that could succeed to be the theme of my blog. Disappointed at not being able to think about a theme, I close my eyes and a number of color bands run through my eyes. From them, emerges a young girl in her teens walking through the door of a dead building (a new building that was quite deserted). I say dead because I had never seen anything so deserted in my life until now.

The thought of spending three years in a dead building with aliens around made me disheartened and my dreams sunk before they could even float. But now, my heart had a hope that I might survive. The girl walked in chewing a dead gum, holding a book (enough to use it for a full semester) and wearing a dupatta (which was the size of a bed cover). My disheartened face is instantly painted with a little gleam. My grey cells could instantly relate to the girl and I could somewhere identify myself with her.

We exchange pleasant smiles and sit across the ends of a long bench, ready to listen to a long lecture of "and all". I call it the "and all" torture because I had never heard a speech that was self boasting and full of "I"es. Bored by listening to the early morning torture, I look around to see the alien faces. My first stop being the girl sitting next. While I could see, many emotions around, the one thing that tied me with the aliens was the emotion of embarking a new journey of life.

Over the days, the girl who sat next to me became a friend, musketeer and a partner in crime. We shared every color that life had in store for us. Making the journey that we embarked several years ago the most beautiful and cherished.

As days passed, I developed a closer bond with the girl (who is now a friend), we practically did everything under the sun from studying to gossiping. Give us any topic and we can talk for hours and hours. Off course, we have difference of opinion, we probably debate on a lot of things but its a sheer joy to keep the communication rolling.

This blog is dedicated to my buddy, Asra Khan, who inspired me to write a blog and is probably the only person who reads every thing (from good to probably the most boring things) I write. Asra, this blog is to our friendship and is dedicated to our association over several years. I appreciate all the little things (the bigger ones as well ;)) you do and thank almigthy for the beautiful gift he has given me in you. Thank you!

Now that I have created a blog, I expect you to read and invite you to be my critic. You have an official role now, so, get to work.

To my readers, thank you for taking the time to read through. Please do drop in your comments and I will catch up with you in my next blog, till then take care and stay safe.