Monday, October 30, 2017

Heartprints

                                             
Susan was sweating profusely despite lying in an air-conditioned room. It did not help that she was in an unknown place, surrounded by people she didn’t know, speaking a language she didn’t understand. As another contraction hit her, she screamed out in pain ‘Mama!’ Her mother ran to her side and grasped her trembling hand.

‘Mama, I can’t bear the pain any more. Please get the baby out. Please’

‘Su, I just spoke to the doctor. It’ll be over in few minutes but until then you have to tolerate the pain darling.’

As the contraction subsided, Susan gulped in air as if the baby had been suffocating her. ‘Mama you have given the nurse instructions, right?’

‘Yeah, but are you sure that you don’t want to see the baby’s face? You can’t hate it so much, can you?’ Her mama asked her but Susan turned her head the other way. The tears rolled into the pillow making a wet patch.

No, she didn’t hate the baby, not yet. But she was worried that once she saw the baby’s face, she wouldn’t feel love for it. She’d feel revulsion, she would feel anger and she would be reminded of the horror of that night all over again. When she looked into the baby’s eyes, she would remember those demonic eyes on top of her, lids half-closed in ecstasy as she struggled to escape. This baby wasn’t borne out of love, rather it was the aftermath of a violent rape.  Of course she could have got it aborted but her orthodox Christian values made her believe that she would be committing a sin in doing so. She had decided to give birth to the baby and then put it up for adoption.

As another contraction racked her body in pain, all thoughts were driven away from her mind. She just wanted this ordeal to be over.

Susan opened her eyes groggily. A tiny bundle had been placed beside her and she could see a pair of small legs that were kicking steadily at her sides. Susan opened her eyes wide and she was about to call for the nurse when her eyes connected with the baby’s eyes. The baby was looking at her and the small puckered mouth was making gentle crooning noises as if to placate its mother. For a baby that was just born, it was surprisingly cheery and joyous.

Looking at the baby, Susan was not reminded of that terrible night. Neither did she go through the unspeakable agony that she had experienced in the last nine months. She could only wonder at the way her heart was suffused with an intense love and desire to pick up the baby and shower it with kisses. God works in miraculous ways and if He gives us pain, He also gives us a way to build courage and determination to overcome the pain. The baby was the miracle in Susan’s life, the balm that healed her wound. At last she had understood that.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
                                             (By E.E. Cummings)

This post was written for Write Tribe Problogger Challenge.
#writebravely #writeproblogger

Friday, October 27, 2017

Music Therapy

Today is the 8th post for WriteTribe Problogger Challenge and quite frankly I didn't think that I would survive. I had given up writing for around a year while I was busy preparing for my MA exams and I remember when I was writing the first post, I felt weird, typing on my laptop. It felt unfamiliar giving a voice to my thoughts.

And today's theme is a little different- we are supposed to write a post using a song as a prompt. It interests me because music is one of my stress-busters. I love listening to songs no matter what mood I'm in. And I'm a hardcore Bollywood fan- no Eminem or Bieber for me, no Sir. Give me Arijit or Kumar Sanu any day. But one singer I simply adore for his versatility, to bring alive any kind of song- sad, mischievous, brooding, romantic, nostalgic is the immortal Kishore Kumar.

There are so many of his songs that I love- the list is endless... Recently I have started using Hungama app on my phone, and I just love it. You can browse any number of playlists and there is a good collection of songs. I came across the below song during one such browsing session. I was listening to it in the office bus during my journey from office to home. And I was moved to tears. I had to control hard to stop the tears from flowing and embarrassing myself in front of my colleagues.





And it’s so damn hard to believe that it’s the same Kishore da who gave his voice to the rib-tickling and  funny song Ek Chatur Naar from the laugh-riot movie Padosan.

Coming back to Zindagi Ka Safar from the movie Safar- what I love is the lyrics and the soulful rendition by Kishore da. For instance the below lines-

Zindagi Ko Bahut Pyaar Hamne Kiya
Maut Se Bhi Mohabbat Nibhaaenge Ham

To give a little background, in the movie, the hero, Rajesh Khanna is suffering from a terminal disease and although he loves Sharmila Tagore, he cannot profess his love to his lady because he knows that his life is short. In the above two lines the hero says that he cherished and loved his life, but at the same time, he is also ready to accept death. To show true courage even while facing death and to welcome it with loving arms - this only a Bollywood hero could teach us.

This song reminds us that no one is immortal on this earth. Some may live a little longer but in the end, we all end up as ashes. The song also reminds us that there are some lives that are very short, that ended even before it began. The uncertainty of death and the importance of living life fully before meeting death as a friend is beautifully portrayed.

Do let me know if you love Kishore Kumar’s songs and if you have a favorite.


This post was written for WriteTribe Problogger Challenge.
#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monster

'Ok, it's time to sleep now. Good night baby,' Sara kept the book that she had been reading to Alex aside and kissed the top of his head. She pulled the duvet around his small body but Alex held onto her arm.

'Mom, can you stay till I fall asleep. Please...' Her 4 year old son pleaded.

'Alex, you know that there are no monsters in your room. Didn't we go through this just last week? Can you see that cross on that table? That's God's symbol and no monster can touch you because God will protect you. Ok?' Sara explained in a soothing voice to little Alex.

'Mom, I'm very scared. Please don't leave me till I fall asleep', he cried with tears in his eyes.

Sara sighed and sat on his bed. The trouble had started couple of months ago. Alex had complained of a monster that came to his room during night after he fell asleep. He would refuse to talk about the monster to his parents but he was so terrified after these incidents that he would plead to sleep in his parents' bedroom for the next few days.

The next morning Sara was preparing breakfast when Alex came in, still in his pajamas. He looked teary eyed and his eyes were red as if he hadn't slept properly.

'Mom, the monster is more powerful than God because even the cross couldn't prevent the monster from entering my room last night.' Alex whimpered while holding onto her legs. Sara's heart broke and she lifted him into his arms and pacified him until he fell asleep again.

Sara powered her laptop to check the CCTV footage. Few weeks back Sara was disturbed by Alex's stories of monsters and she had decided to install a CCTV in his room on a weekend when their house was empty. Of course Alex was not aware of it.

When she saw the feed from the camera her body froze in shock and panic. In the dead of the night, when Sara was deep asleep, the door to Alex's room creaked open. A shadowy figure wafted towards Alex's bed and gagged him with his large hands. As the figure bent close to whisper in Alex's ears, the bedside lamp threw a dim light on the monster's face. It was no monster who slept beside Alex and slowly slid his hand in his pants. 

That day Sara realized that a monster need not be a creature with two heads or a deformed body. A monster is as normal looking as you and me. It can walk amidst us and act as sane as anybody. The monster if it's there lies in the soul of a person and unfortunately there's no mirror invented yet that will allow us to look into a person's soul.


This post was written for Write Tribe Problogger Challenge.
#writebravely #writetribeproblogger
Theme for this post- Monster

Friday, October 20, 2017

Courage

‘Arjun, what happened? Why are you sitting silently and why is your room so dark’, Mridula asked while switching on the lights in her son’s room. She had been downstairs preparing dinner when she realized that Arjun had not come down from his room the whole evening. He had stayed put in his room after coming back from school. He hadn’t even asked her if he could play cricket with his friends like he usually did most of the evenings.

Arjun had changed his uniform but he was sitting on his bed forlornly. Mridula quickly touched his forehead, because like most mothers, her first thought was maybe he was sick or running a temperature. But he appeared to be well. Maybe something had happened at school. Arjun was a Class VI student and he was good at academics. But clearly something was troubling the boy’s mind because his eyes appeared red and swollen from crying.

‘You remember I was telling you about Karthik and his group’, Arjun started talking hesitantly.

Mridula’s heart skipped a beat. A few months back Arjun had come back from school and reported news of an incident that had spread like wildfire in their school. A group of boys had ragged a student in their school and all though there was no physical violence involved the ragging victim had suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized. The leader of this group, Karthik was a senior student, and he was also the son of the local MLA. Karthik was clever enough not to cause physical damage which could be used against him later. The abuse and bullying was more psychological and verbal.

Mridula along with a group of concerned parents had taken up the issue with the Principal but the spineless Principal had vehemently denied the occurrence of any such incidents within their campus.

‘Did they do anything to you?’ Mridula tried to keep her voice low, although she was already seething in anger.

‘No, it wasn’t me Amma. They got hold of Praveen, you know the silent boy in my class who sits next to me. I saw them when I was walking towards the school van. Two boys were holding Praveen and Karthik was emptying the contents of his bags and tearing the pages of his notebooks. Praveen was begging them to let him go but they were pushing him around and shouting lots of bad words. Instead of helping him, I fled from there. I didn’t want them to see me… So I ran as fast as possible... ‘ Arjun explained falteringly.

Mridula now understood her son’s predicament. Arjun was feeling bad because he had ditched his friend at a time when he needed him the most.

‘Arjun, you were too scared to think properly and you wanted to save yourself. I’m not saying that what you did was right, but even I’d have done the same thing if I was in your place. It’s not easy to be brave’

‘But Amma, I’m feeling miserable ever since. Praveen always helps in my class work. He’s a good boy and maybe, if I had helped him we could have escaped. Anything would have been better than running away like a coward.’

“But we can’t change the past, can we? I have an idea. We could go to the Principal and you could narrate what you saw. Maybe it would help put a stop to the menace completely”

‘Oh, like a witness’, Arjun pondered for a while. Mridula was silent, allowing him to come to a decision.

‘If Karthik comes to know that I have complained against him will he not make me their next target’, Arjun asked with a frown on his face.

Mridula had anticipated this question and she had an answer ready ‘Yeah, that’s a possibility. But if you and your classmates stand up against this bully, then Karthik would know that you are not alone. And there’s no guarantee that even if you remain silent now, you won’t be the next target of bullying. You can either choose to ignore what happened and remain in fear or you can choose to take action. But I promise that I’ll see to it that the Karthik is suspended from school if you speak up.’ Mridula had a few contacts in the media and knew that if she made a stink of this issue in papers the Principal would be forced to act. Like Arjun, Mridula had realized that you can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you cannot choose both.

‘Amma will you accompany me to school tomorrow’, Arjun asked after some speculation.

Mridula replied happily ‘Of course, my son’.  


 This post was written for Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge.
Today's theme is a quote from BrenĂ© Brown: You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Disobedience

Joe advanced menacingly towards Brett, his bloodshot eyes narrowed to slits.

“You dare to speak against me, boy? You dare to disobey me?” Joe loosened the buckles on his belt and coiled the belt around his fists. Brett cowered in the corner, with his arms around his head, flinching at the first whip on his legs.

Brett was 8 years old then.

Brett, now, is 30 years old and he has learnt the rules from his father. He knows how to tackle disobedience. Imitating his father’s actions, he loops the length of the belt around his hands, but this time it’s his wife and child at the receiving end. They quake in a corner, the same corner where Brett once, many years ago, acquired from his Pa, his lessons on “how to be a man”

Note: I’m not justifying domestic violence, because there is nothing that can justify it. But these people (both men and women can be victims of domestic violence) who raise their hands against their family have obviously learnt from somewhere that dominance is an appealing quality. And more often than not this violent psychology is a legacy that’s passed from one generation to next. Changes begin at home!

This post is written for WriteTribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge. The theme for today's post is disobedience.
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