Sundari and Sha

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Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.03.52 PMThis post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’ 

Naren was pacing up and down the maternity ward. After what seemed eons, the nurse walked out gingerly. “It is a girl.” She said softly. She must have been wondering whether she would get any Bakshish. To her utter surprise, Naren hugged her tight and beamed, “The goddess has come to our house in the navratras!”. He gave her some money and rushed in, to check on his newborn and his wife Suma. The nurse smiled. There were some men left in this world! She thought, as she walked back to check on other patients.

Naren called his precious, ‘Sundari’. Sundari was born in a family which wanted only male progeny. Naren had been different. Work had taken him all around the world and broadened his thinking. He stuck out like a sore thumb in his ultra traditional community, with his new fangled ideas. But he cared a damn. After a son, he longed for a daughter and his wife gave him just that.

Sundari was pampered like a princess by Naren, though the relatives often cautioned the doting parents, that she might grow up to be a difficult one. God knows about that. She definitely grew into a heavy one.

Initially, Naren and Suma, thought it was puppy fat which might get shed by teenage. As a teenager when Sundari became bulkier, they thought, by college time, she would become svelte by peer pressure. Nothing changed, only weight remained constant. Naren and Suma tried to enforce dieting, but Sundari’s pinched and hungry face would melt their hearts. Naren and Suma would put her in a gym or under a yoga instructor. Her aching body and her tired bleating, made them break into an unhappy sweat.

All the weight containing measures were given up halfway, because parental love became overloaded.

Luckily, Sundari was an exemplary student all through, winning accolades and trophies. She was the teacher’s pet and the confidant of girls and boys.  Life was just great.But in the first year, at college, Sundari, was no longer in the protected environs of home. She often became the butt of cruel jokes. She shed many a silent tears. As soon she resolved to stick to a weight loss regime, it was exam time. Over hot samosas and cream rolls, Sundari was often seen holding court, clearing doubts of all and sundry, as she effortlessly cleared her exams with top grades. And the cruel jokes stopped, as she became the Gyan-Guru for all matters.

Soon, it was time to leave college, as most found jobs and their soul-mates. Sundari was again left high and dry, with no love interest in sight.

Vexed with her alone situation, Sundari decided to check into a Spa, before she joined work. Naren and Suma agreed and prayed, that she would get whatever she wanted.

On the first day at the spa, all assembled in the main hall, to mingle and connect. In that ‘large’ crowd, Sundari spotted a frail man.

“Very incongruous” thought Sundari. After the perfunctory exchanges, lunch was declared. It was beyond frugal. As Sundari, sat staring at her lunch plate disbelievingly, she never noticed the frail man sitting next to her.

“Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry. You can share my lunch. I won’t be able to finish mine.” The frail man had a deep baritone.

“Don’t be presumptuous!” snapped Sundari.

“I’m not! I mean it. I’m Sha! Without the ‘H’ and so I’m not a Hulk”  Sha declared, flexing his non-existent muscles.

Sundari laughed at this sight, patted his flat arms and almost immediately, felt ashamed. She had been a victim of body shaming all through her life and here she was, doing the same.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude” Sundari pleaded.

“It’s Ok. I’m used to this. You are?”

“I’m Sundari. Not really aptly named am I? Why are you here? You are thin! You can have the world! You will make all of us feel ultra miserable!!”

“Really? How about you walk a mile in my shoes before you form an opinion? I have this grand name and this puny frame. So all I get, whenever I offer any serious opinion or even mundane help is, ‘be a man first’. ‘We don’t need children’! Not so funny, is it? I see my friends having wild parties, but my delicate system can’t take it. Often, I end up being alone. All the girls want puffed up men. They don’t want to be seen with a delicate darling. Enough of my story! What is your deal, Sundari? Also finish my lunch, before the staff notices!”

Sundari and Sha, then spent the entire afternoon, walking, chatting and sharing. It was a strange bond. Plus they had so many common interests.

A week zipped by in connecting, load shedding and bulking up. Soon it was time to leave. They promised to meet each other after a month, to see if this new relationship had any meat in it, or if they could still continue their health regime. They wouldn’t talk to each other in the interim period nor try the social media, to keep track.

**********************************************

It has been five years so far.

Sundari often says dreamily, “You are the Sha of my dreams!”

And Sha lovingly replies, “You are the Sundari of my Sapnas!”

Sundari, having shed weight, after a herculean effort, continues to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sha is as bulky as he could be. He is now happy and contented with self.

Naren and Suma, run a fitness centre called ‘Weight and Watch’, cautioning the parents against overloaded love.

Bliss!

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Life

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

“Life is like a box of chocolates, we never know what you’re gonna get.” So said Forrest Gump’s mom.

Is it really?

Life is a bouquet of flowers for the romantic, a multi colored fragrance 

Life is a classroom for the teacher where lessons are given and exams taken.

Life is a crossroad for the policeman where incoming and outgoing traffic need to be regulated

Life is a hospital for the doctor where sugarcoated bitter pills are given smilingly

Life is an empty canvas for the painter, to be filled with his riotous colors.

Life is a puzzle for the angelic child, trying to fit all her pieces in.

Life is a nonstop race for the mother, acing at all her trials

And for me, Life is a…I’m just a mere bystander and a floater, soaking in the atmosphere.

Here today, Gone Tomorrow!

Rain

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

It was the pitter patter sound that woke Simran up. The sound of steady fall of water droplets, on her glass window,

The rain seemed to come down in sheets. Everything was wet, washed  and the leaves actually looked fresh and green.

This particular shade of green was something she had seen, way back in time, when she was carefree, young and deeply in love.

A period of time, when Simran used to hop onto a local to Lonavala, to trek the Western Ghats along with the love of her life, Raj, and the incessant rain would caress her curves while the mesmerizing greenery would intoxicate her.

Her utterly smitten Raj would share hot cups of masala chai with his Simran as they bundled together, quivering and shivering.

Simran Verma stole a glance towards her husband, Raj Verma, snoring away, utterly unmindful of the beauty of nature, dancing right in front of him, and sighed wistfully.

Her mobile sprang to life. ” MemSaab, Not coming for work today. It is raining cats and dogs”.

The phone was disconnected even before Simran could utter a word.

“Oh these bloody bloody *&^%* rains!!”

Never Too Late

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

She sat on the bed caressing his pressed, crisp uniform, wiping away the non-existent tears. The tears had dried up but the searing, gnawing, ache remained like a permanent cloak, sapping all her energy and zest.

‘Is it already a year? Wasn’t it only yesterday, that the moment the informer had called, he wore his uniform and ran to attend the call of duty, promising to finish his favourite meal later, when he returned successful?’

He never kept to his promise. A definite first!

Only a dreaded call ensued, a casket clad in the Tricolor arrived  and a swarm of grieving people descended into her empty home.

‘He embraced death to give us a second chance at life’, they held her and shed copious tears as he was given the ceremonial send off.

The number of visitors reduced to a trickle as the cruel time marched ahead and she was left alone, tending to her permanent sores.

Public memory is ephemeral. If this were to be the harsh reality where everybody had moved on, while only her world had been devastated, why did he take this step? Not one remembered his sacrifice and yet he never shirked his duty. Did he even think about her or the repercussions, in his last minutes at least?

Why didn’t he leave the call of duty to others?

As the dark evening set in, the phone rang.

“Namaste Maam, we are having a service tomorrow in the memory of your brave husband. The very reason, we live…Could you please come?”

She smiled for the first time in the day.

They had remembered. It wasn’t all in vain.  It is never too late to remember your martyrs or to salute them.

She cuddled the uniform once again, feeling his warmth envelop all over her. She didn’t feel lonely now!

When you live for others…You live on…For ever

 

An Unforgettable Friend

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

I carry your heart…I carry it in my heart

Thought the teary-eyed, recuperating patient, lying on his bed, in the intensive care unit.

In a split second, he was back in time and to the very place where it had all started.

They were childhood friends, who grew up with same tastes and who then developed intense feelings for each other. The boys knew, they couldn’t let the world sneak in on their secret. It wouldn’t understand with its draconian divisions of people.

So they masqueraded their affection as ‘close-friendship’ lest the hyper vigilante society separated them, punishing them.

They then decided that the first world with its more liberal outlook might be safe for them to disappear, to breathe free, to be alive.

The families definitely had no clue about this. Otherwise, all hell would be let loose.

They even acquired the requisite permits till a killer truck played the spoilsport, while they were returning from a night-show.

It is a perfect match. Both are of same age, build and height. Ravi has a chance to live if Sarath’s heart is used for implanting.”  The good doctor had advised.

Beta, I see my lost son in you.” cried Sarath’s mother, clutching Ravi.

I carry your heart…I carry it in my heart!

And in death, we are finally together, away from this rigid society’s judgements and rancor. Rest in peace, my love, my unforgettable friend. For now, I will protect you with my life” Thought Ravi, clutching his beloved heart.

I am Seshu

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We are having our monthly picnic in the hills now, as I speak to you.

I, Seshu, my twin sister Diya and her beau Raghu – Her Beau who is my best pal.

There they go again, hugging and kissing, right in front of me, as if I don’t exist, my views on this display of love, don’t matter! Anytime and anywhere is PDA time for these two love birds!

You must be wondering, why do I fret so. After all, these two, are my sister and my best pal. What else would one ask in life?

Ha! Ha! You see, God( if he exists that is!) has been flagrantly unfair to me. My sister Diya, is youth and beauty personified with the grace of a gorgeous gazelle. And I? Bound to a wheelchair, because of my cerebral palsy. Even with this disease, I am an Einstein when compared to my sister. She is a bimbette, you know. You could say a kind one at that. She looks after me with a smothering love! There have been enough times when I have wondered, how does it feel to snap her delicate neck, whenever she came running to bestow upon me, her innate, albeit grating kindness! If only my hands could derive the requisite strength from my burning anger at the unfairness of it all – She being the destiny’s chosen one and I, it’s cruel joke! But then, almost immediately, I feel ashamed at my vile thoughts as Diya fusses over me, narrating her – as is usual – a spectacular day.

Oh! how I hate this see-saw of naked emotions! You can almost feel my blood boil when the public goes gaga over her! How often have I heard them whisper conspiratorially to my father, (an unfortunate widower, who has to bravely bear the vicissitudes of life namely his wife’s death and thereby, looking after the crippled me!! )

How beautiful and dutiful is Diya! So caring! Can’t believe these two, are twins! Tch Tch! Don’t worry, you poor man. Your darling daughter will be the pillar of strength to your handicapped son! He will not be left alone. All will be Ok!

I’m not handicapped, dammit! I have a brain, I have feelings, my heart can feel love and conceal vitriolic hatred too, Thank you! Then, just to rub salt on my festering wounds, my father would come in and ruffle my hair, check the settings of my wheelchair! Eesh father! stop pitying me. They don’t make like you, even in the movies anymore!

To this saccharine sweet setting, to save me from further disaster entered Raghu, Diya’s classmate, as my savior. Raghu is virile, the quintessential Alpha-male. Raghu’s views and tastes match with mine. We would often chat about books, politics, events and he would read out to me, interesting excerpts. He was the first one to see a soul hidden deep inside my crippled and under developed body. He drew me out. I mattered to him, my opinions did.

Diya would often join us, not to contribute but to nod periodically and to eye her dishy classmate.There were fireworks all around. Between Diya and Raghu and unknown to all, my heart beat violently for Raghu. I would wait for him to touch me, lift me, help me around. Those were electrifying moments. But sadly only to me. Raghu had no inkling whatsoever of how I felt. I couldn’t dare let Raghu or for that matter, anyone else know.

This society wasn’t ready yet, for a brother and sister to have the same lover. But if my sexuality or my sexual preference made others uncomfortable or did not fit into the ‘usual’, is it my problem? Should I be the one, always adjusting and conforming to what is ‘Kosher’? Why can’t I be accepted and left alone? I am neither abnormal nor abominable. I just am!! 

As I vacillated between these extreme thoughts, Raghu proposed to Diya. Everyone celebrated except me.

Why good lord? Why? To have your sister touch what was supposed to be mine…All mine. Can you imagine the choking ache that sat permanently in my chest, in my throat? And it was open season now. That open, anytime PDA was enough to pierce my heart. Incensed at this new betrayal by fate, I tried to hog Raghu’s time, whenever he came visiting us, often asking him to help me out with various activities. Seeing Diya get irritated at my being a nuisance, hogging her time, somehow satisfied me.

Father, though, encouraged my growing dependence on Raghu as it somehow comforted him that there would be someone who would look after me, after he was gone.

All was honky-dory, till yesterday. I asked Raghu to help me change my shirt. As his hands struggled with my body, my fingers grabbed his hand and…You should have seen the revulsion in his eyes. As if he had touched a snake. His mental rebuke, killed me on the spot. Wordlessly, he walked out, closing the door behind him, leaving me to battle with my darkness, my demons, my insecurities. The longest hours of my life!

Today is the scheduled day of our monthly picnic in the hills. I thought, Raghu wouldn’t keep up with his date. Surprisingly, he did come but there has been no eye contact with me so far. Today Raghu seemed to hug Diya more, as if to drive home the point.

I am elated nonetheless, just to feel his presence around. I turn my head away, lest someone sees my hot scalding tears. I vow that I will do whatever it takes, to get the status quo back. He is just too precious to let go.

Now, please don’t advise me to forget him, to move on and that there are other fish in the pond as I agree to these already. The heart always craves for what it wants, you see. I don’t think I have the strength to tell father the truth, or to start all over, with someone else. Maybe time will be the best healer.

I move to the edge of the cliff. I can see the valley deep down. I turn back to see them kissing. Raghu’s eyes meet mine. There is that searing hatred in those black orbs…I know it clearly then, that it will never be the same again, come what may!

In a flash, I Seshu, am flying. I can feel the wind in my arms, my legs are dancing, mother Earth is eagerly waiting to embrace me.

I am one with the approving universe, finally.

A dream to remember

 

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Author’s note :  It is actually surreal that this week’s Write Over the Weekend (WOW) prompt, asks us to tell BlogAdda, about a dream that has stayed on, in our subconsciousness. A dream to remember, that often makes us sit up and wonder about it’s mysteriousness. I had this dream about a year back.  I wrote this note to self, all about it, lest I forget the dream, with passage of time.

I reproduce the same  here-

It was one of the most difficult cars to navigate. A mother-of-pearl-white, gigantic Ambassador. That too for a person like me, who did not know how to drive! Against my volition, I was just thrust into the driver’s seat and asked to drive…Just like that!

The controls were all wired terribly wrong. A bus-like gear system, clutch else where, an accelerator in place of a brake and adding to this chaos was the incessant traffic. Enough to break a person.

To my utter delight, I coped beautifully. I drove slowly, avoided collisions and managed to park in a beautiful, lush green colony with happy faces and gamboling children.

Alas, the dark night came in sharply. It was time to head back. The evening traffic and T intersection seemed impossible to overcome.  I then realized with a start, that I was in the rear passenger seat.

A pristine-white clad man with the most benevolent smile, was in the driver’s seat. He navigated with dexterity and cautioned me about an open door in the front, next to the passenger seat, where my first born was sitting.  As I sat transfixed, able to comprehend the gravity of the situation but simply unable to take any action, the pristine-white clad man shut the door for me and continued cruising along.

I saw that there was a steering wheel, clutch, accelerator, brake, in front of me, attached to the driver’s seat.  I tried to use them, to no avail. As the dream ended, the meaning of this entire sequence, hit me with a startling clarity.

All along, I had thought, it was I, who did the driving but all I had, were the dummy controls!

It was all along He!  And Him alone, who steered, navigated the course of my life and who watched out for me!!

Especially when the troubles hit me, making me paralyzed with fear.

So I could hope to soar, with renewed spirit and vigor, with a strong belief that I wasn’t alone in this journey of life!