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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Thunderstorm

the thunderstorm rages outside
battering the trees, the leaves
into meek submission.

they simply succumb.

चिंब ओली झाडे,
चिंब ओली पाने
भिजून निघालीत

 मनसोक्त !

they seem to welcome the assault.

take me...
they seem to say

मी चार भिंतींच्या आत,
बंद खिडक्यान मागे,
उभी ....

तो ओलावा,
तो गारवा,
हवा हवा सा वाटतो

हे बंध
माझ्या मनावरचे बंध
 मी स्वतहा घातलेले बंध.....
मोकळे करून टाकावेत?

त्या सरी मध्ये न्हाऊन,
चिंब भिजून जावे,
बेधुंद !

बंद खिडक्यांच्या फटीतून
वारयाची एक झूळूक
अंगाला स्पर्श करून जाते

एक शहारा,
उमटवून जाते

 a storm  rages inside of me.

 i know..
while those doors are shut.
while  the windows are shut.

i am safe.

behind  the binds,
the ones i have bound myself in. 

a step,
a tiny step into that storm,.
the raging storm,

i will be blown away.

cast away,
in the  whirlwind.

it is but a storm.
it shall  pass.

i will wait it out.

the leaves,
the branches,
the trees,

are standing tall once again.
mocking me.

we dared.

we experienced
the passion.

i stood behind the walls,
a silent spectator.
waiting for the raging  storm
to quell..
a longing in my heart.

the throat

एकूणच शुष्क

i am safe.

i wasn't battered,
i wasn't spun in the whirlwind.

the storm,
the thunder storm..

it has passed now.

i should be happy
i survived,
came out unscathed.

मग का हे रितेपण

Friday, March 21, 2014

Death takes some getting used to... no matter how many... or who ... it always hurts. it is the loss of the person .. as well as the reminder that any day it could strike closer.... and one day, you yourself

the mother and her daughter

 26th feb 2014

The mother was on her way to collect her daughter from the  coaching classes. The classes were just down the street. But there was this road which had to be crossed - heavy with traffic at all times of the day rash driving with no respect for rules . The mother wasn't really keen on taking any chances.

As she walked , she couldn't but thank her stars that the daughter was still open to the idea of being collected from her classes. She hadn't objected or even once thrown the typical adolescent tantrum.

The daughter came out of the building straight upto her and hissed.."Why do you have to come right up to the gate??. You could wait for me at the signal , up the road." 

The mother was livid and retorted... “If you really want to be so independent why don't you do the entire stretch by yourself? Walk home by yourself?”

The next day the mother once again was walking down the same street,,. to pick up the same brat from the same coaching class. On the way she saw two  little girls.. about six  yrs old. They were wearing the same school uniform as the daughter. They were prancing outside a store as their mothers picked up school supplies for them. The looked ever so cute in their tiny pig tails and pony tails.

The mother went back in time ..... Why Oh Why, do children grow up so fast ! Her own cute little bundle was now  a fire breathing teenager !

The mother was a running  a little late and she kept craning over the crowds in the street looking for her daughter. Yesterday’s insults were forgotten and her heart had been softened already at  the sight of the two little girls

Just  then, the mother spotted her daughter , she wasn’t alone. Walking with her was a young boy .  The mother tried to place the boy. He didn’t look like any of the classmates she had known.  But then she really didn’t think she would be able to recognize the boy as they all looked so different now from the cherubic ones  they had once been. They were growing up  too, sporting  young moustaches, pimples, a lanky frame….

Seeing her daughter with a boy, outside the background of school had shaken the mother a bit.

Looking at them from a distance, a bit detachedly... the daughter looked different. She didn’t look like the baby of the house anymore. She was a teen... a young lady.

She spotted me. I smiled at her and then at her friend. He smiled back awkwardly . When I
reached them,  they said their goodbyes and he walked away.

I asked her who he was. "From school?"

"No. from the coaching class, from another school," she said

I was trying to collect myself, when the daughter faced me and asked, “Can I walk with him? “

I looked at her hard, studying her face,  the expressions that flitted across . She was trying to act indifferent, but the look in her eyes was  almost pleading. I surprised myself and then her,  by saying a YES.

She happily ran ahead towards her friend, bridging the distance in a jiffy.

Bridging the distance... that was what I want to do with my  brat pack. Closing the distance between us .. or at least making the first move at doing so…attempting to build that bridge - of trust

The daughter and her friend were chattering away.. laughing . Soon her friend had to take a lane on the right, to his home  and my girl came back to me .

So what was the big deal....

For one.. until now, the frame of reference had been home, school and a circle of close friends. I keep harping away at her at home - 'you are a grown up girl' .. but to me she had only remained the younger child. I had not accepted that she had really grown up. Seeing her with another who was unknown to me,  was a first . The thought that soon... very soon.. her loved ones would include a whole lot of new people .  The thought that I might not approve but I might not have much of a say….... Ouuuchhhh !! That hurt. 

I guess , it is not so much about control, but that part of being just a bystander that is hurtful. 

It is time I grew up. I have to learn to  let go...


22 Feb 2014

i remember i was in primary school then,. may be 9 or 10 yrs old. it was around the end of the monsoon season.. Me and my friend Manju standing in the common balcony of our Shastri Nagar building. One of our past times in the evenings sometimes was to look at the dark clouds in the sky and look for the funny shaped ones... ते बघ झाड वाटतय... तो बघ राक्षस.. अग, ती बघ त्याची शेंडी...Those were fun times.

Saturdays are busy days for me, as i rush thru the ghar kaam, wanting to finish as much as i possibly can before 1.30. i need to reach my class at 2.30 pm . The next 3 hours , i switch off frm my biwi mode, my amma mode .. and i am no longer 45 yrs old either. i am a student, and in my mind i am a young gal once more. i struggle to reach class in time, i want to grab a good seat in class so that i get to hear each and every word. i am furiously taking down notes - not just the gist, but the entire sentences. i don't want to forget anything that has been spoken or discussed in class.

by the time the class ends at 5.30, i am exhausted. exhausted by the efforts of the day, the gyaan of the 3 hrs in class, processing all that info... i invariably doze off as soon as i get into the car.

today was one of the better days. exams are approaching and conversations with my twenty-something classmates - Post graduate, and Phd aspirants in their own right - were stimulating. what to study, what to omit,, how to split the syllabus amongst ourselves.. we were charged up

we said our goodbyes and then i was all my own. i put my head back and looked out of the window. at the sky. something was different. i kept staring. it was a 'sky blue' sky looking back at me and wait,... there were the clouds. and i realised yesss....... each saturday evening, it used to be a smoggy evening.. kind of heavy.

today it was a clear blue sky, a 'sky blue' sky speckled with white. the white of the clouds. a pure white in clouds. the clouds too were perfectly formed. not the cottony wispy ones - carelessly floating around.

the clouds today looked like they were deliberately shaped and placed. ok... at least deliberately placed. next to each other in a straight line. and then there were many such rows, one after the other. stacked systematically. symmetrically.

the sight was almost unreal. the sky appeared like a picture from my children's story books..

and just then a bird flew, and another, and then a plane glided across that beautiful background.

i was smiling to myself, self conscious, as i tried to take a picture.

see what i captured.


12th mar 2014

I must have been in class 6 or 7. It was our Marathi period. Our teacher ... Mrs Bhatawdekar , i think. She had taught us a chapter, which was something to do with the pampering one is subjected to when one is ill, “आजारी पडल्यावर मजा “, I think. the lesson was from the point of view of a child .

Having taught the lesson, we were asked to write an essay on the same theme. Some of us were asked to read out our essays in class.

There was this new girl who had joined our school that year and was in my class. She stood up to read her essay.. मी लय आजारी होते. मला लय ताप आला होता… she read out.

The teacher corrected the grammar,….. मी खूप आजारी होते . मला खूप ताप आला होता…

I remember the incident vividly. And also that girl with 2 long plaits…the plaits folded up... yet long.

In the later years, Louis D’mello Sir , used to take us up to the terrace of our school for our PT. He was teaching us the lejhim. I loved the lejhim. I loved the lezhim practice 1 …2… 3… 4.

After a couple of weeks he introduced some movement in the lejhim routine. 1..2..3..4.. then move ahead, swing the lezhim above the head in a circular movement.. and then a step behind.,.... i loved that. And I could never get it right. My feet and hands refused to move in co-ordination… I lacked a sense of rhythm. The new girl in the class... she did it effortlessly….. very gracefully. It was a treat to see her do the lejhim.

We passed out from school and went our separate ways.

Years later… nearly 2 decades later… . sometime around 2003 or 2004 , I think..i was in Lokhandwala with my friends. A car stopped next to me and somebody called out my name. I peered into the car… She stepped out. A slim young lady, with one long plait. It took me minute to place her. It was an unexpected meeting… , the school yrs were a past left long behind. She was that girl. “The new girl in the class “.

She spoke warmly. Very warmly. She scribbled her name and number on a piece of paper and gave it to me. I promised to be in touch.

The piece of paper was carefully placed in the inside of my wallet.

I came home kept the chit safely in a box in my cupboard. I would want to transfer the number in my telephone directory later.

i never did.....

In 2007, we moved residence. The chit made its way to my new cupboard, in my new home. and it remained there. safe somewhere.

Last Saturday, i was cleaning out my cupboard. . I found a pretty purse, gifted to me 2 birthdays ago. I thought it was high time i started using it.

As i unzipped it, to place my stuff in it, i saw an untidily folded piece of paper in one of the pockets.

I pulled it out carefully. Yep…,,,it was that chit ..which had a name and number scrawled across. The name and number which came to me so many times...the one i put away so many times...the one I had kept with me all the time .. the one i had never called.. the one , whom , now, i would never be able to call- That New Girl From That Class.

Today evening was one of those rare , relaxed evenings at home. I could hear the strains of marathi songs coming out from my parents room...Sa Re Ga Ma probably…Suddenly the husband mentioned Ajay Atul… one of my favourite music makers. I love their folksy tunes.. the folk instruments in their songs.. the dhol.. I remembered a new song of theirs, which I had heard only last week. The song was from a Marathi movie, Fandry.

I searched for the song on Youtube and we sat down to listen to it. The song happened to have a video attached to it with clips from the movie..A couple of moments into the song, and there was a lejhim sequence in the song .... 1.2.3..4 , move forward… lezhim swung up in the air ..1..2..3..4...girls in uniform...2 plaits.......

I will treasure this chit ,once again locked safely in my cupboard... her memory ,in my heart.

23rd Feb 2014

The SSC exams for the daughter are beginning on the 5th of march. the orals and practical examinations are beginning this week.

The daughter is a cool one.. at least she appears to be unflustered. i often tease her, calling her a sukhi aatma or "Miss Sukhatme"

today her friend visited her. she stays in our building and is her senior from the same school.

the daughter has her orals for the English paper tomorrow. their teacher had given them about 5 - 6 topics and had told them to be prepared with a speech . She had mentioned that there would be a 'chit system'. they would have to speak on the topic in the chit pulled out by them.

the daughter has prepared for all the topics and then some more - "what if another teacher conducts the test?' was her explanation. i breathed easy. the girl who usually believes in 'smart study' was seriously preparing for the exam, not leaving much to chance.

so the friend had come to wish her and pep her up.

the conversation :

the friend : " kitney topics prepare karney hain ? "
daughter : " 6 . mainey sab topic acchey se kiye hain."

friend : " paagal hai tu. koi ek topic acche se prepare karneka. box mein se ek chit uthaana hota hai, topic padh kar, woh chit phir se box mein hee rakhna hai. teacher ko kya pata, kaunsa topic tha chit mein.. phir jo ek topic prepare karke aayein hain , wohi bol kar aane ka !"

daughter was in splits.

me amazed !
every time we laugh together, chuckle, guffaw ....a moment of warmth that we share, i say a silent prayer dear child, ..... i hope u remember this moment..... let this moment remain a happy memory!!  ... of the good times we shared !