The Diamond Nose-pin

The diamond nosepin shone bright. His smile was tender. Her enthusiasm infectious.

‘You should meet him, you really should.’

She insisted when she came to know that I was going to be in town.

‘Miss’, she said and I teased her, ‘where did you pick this up?’

‘It is like that here miss, she said, no, mam..’,she struggled.

Why don’t you call me chechi, that would be really nice,’ I prompted.

‘I will get there miss, no mam’, she blurted and we all laughed.

Meeting her after 5 years meant that I was also meeting this young bright lady happier and in a place of contentment.

‘You know well, mam, what I have been through and maybe it is my good karma or my mom’s prayers that I am here today in this place, with this man’. She pointed to the young man sitting next to her,

‘He is my love, my savior, my friend and much more.

The young man blushed a little at the flurry of compliments hitting him. He looked like a gentle giant, protective, caring but ambitious for her and her daughter. They made a perfect picture.

‘My daughter is so happy mam, she wanted to meet you too.’

‘You know what, when I thought about a second chance, my best friends thought me silly’.

‘What if things go wrong again?, my relatives asked’.

‘Are you not too old for all this drama, some one commented, why can’t you concentrate on your daughter’s future?’

‘But mam, I wanted to find someone and live happily. I was insistent. I registered on a matrimony site and checked up profiles. With his, it clicked right at the beginning. Our first telephonic conversation was really special’.

‘It is worth a try, it really is’. ‘I tell this to everyone, I have almost become a brand ambassador for second marriage, my friends tease me!’.

The twinkle in her eyes brightened the shine of her nose pin and the diamond studded earrings.In the soft glow of the hotel lights, they looked adorably made for each other.

‘I like the slow pace of life here. I like to take Tania to tuition and karate classes. I like taking care of her guinea pigs.’

‘I am glad I took this chance, this girl has made me happy and her daughter has given me what I always wanted, unconditional love and respect. I am thoroughly enjoying this phase of my life and want it to last forever.’

‘We will drop you back, chechi,’ she said, ‘don’t worry, you are not going to miss the bus back to Bangalore’, he added reassuringly.

This is an interesting phase in my life when I am regularly running into my old friends and thoroughly liking it. When time or distance has not dulled the warmth of friendship then such friends are truly special.

So, I think. What would you say?

Thoughts &TECH

If thoughts

reached out to another

they perhaps prefer

to hang out with each other

have long conversations

and have long walks

before falling asleep in each other’s arms

than being muffled in pages and boards

chained to lifeless screens of patterns atrocious

numbing the need of a man for another

faking it out on platforms across boundaries

technology connects

oh! really!

if connecting to distances

distancing from neighborhoods

building delusions

imprisoning in deliriums of dandiness

was what it is touted to be

then who would be lonely anymore!

who would prance across platforms

in search of amorous adventures

or mutual understandings

or familiar hugs and kisses

or a digital thumbs up

Well! who is to tell that!

Shut up and listen

Youngsters walk in sometimes so hurt and unable to contain their pain that they struggle to say,’I need to talk to you, now’.

What is hurting these young people? Some of them who look so confident, courageous and proud to the point of being arrogant. The facade speaks nothing of their inner struggle, the struggle to meet expectations, their own , their parents, some snooping uncles and aunts and the teachers, of course.

How can we help them? I am not sure. But listening closely and being connected makes a difference, so I have noticed and experienced.

‘I look like this but actually I am ‘spoof, nothing inside’, said a charmer and I wondered why it should be so when she radiates such pure energy.

‘I am in a relationship and now my boy friend has broken up with me. He won’t pick my calls . It’s been five years and its always me who has to patch up. I can’t take it anymore. And my mom is so busy I don’t want to burden her with my stories. What do I do? I have no friends’.

‘I have been crying endlessly in the hostel room. Been alone since I joined. Not a soul to talk to. What do I do?’

‘No body likes me, you see. They just turn around when I come in. I can’t take it. The only boy who talked to me has now stopped even looking at me’.

Far away from their homes, in a totally alien environment most of these kids are going through much avoidable trauma, avoidable only if there was just someone to hear them out.

Mostly all they look for is a willing ear. A pat on the back and an idea or a task to work on.

‘I know I am really good. I was a topper. But this is not my thing. What do I do?’

Some times I wish all of us just stopped and listened to at least 2 people around us every day.

Perhaps we can help make this world actually a better place!

And I always thought college kids were sorted out somehow!

And I realize they are kids and need support, help, counseling and love like a child, in fact does not every one around us need that, some times at least!

Maybe, maybe not!

But just turn around and spend a hour a day listening. You will be surprised at what you are able to do for others!

A Happy Second Innings

My young friend was upset about her students. She said they make inappropriate comments and the management is not even ready to reprimand them. No body is, no one cares!

She asked me for my suggestion and we picked up our conversation from we we had left years ago.

Why would the management care? The revenue comes from the students and if the school was to complain to the parent it is sure to boomerang.

She has just put in her papers and feels that schools don’t deserve or respect honest, talented teachers like her.

I listened to her and suggested that there is no way she will be able to change the system by stepping out of it. Students are what they are, young and often reckless and usually don’t receive much attention or mentoring from their busy parents. Perhaps this is their vent!

Who is to blame them?

Who can blame the teacher who feels offended and disrespected to the point of deciding to quit teaching altogether. None, of course.

May be it is just enough to treat these as occupational hazards. School teaching is one of the the most rigorous and demanding of jobs but it too has its rewards.

While we closed the conversation, she spoke with a lilt in her voice of her second marriage, her daughter’s happiness and her own joy of good company and some laughter..’. and ‘it feels so right to have someone to care for you’, she added.

Why does society make such a fuss over second marriages ?She mentioned how she was vilified for her efforts to secure her home by friends and relatives but ‘the happiness I have now is mine. I need not explain this to anyone, ‘she smiled.

Come to my new home mam, she said happily.

Stay happy, I said wishing her well.

Talk about sliding doors!