I

I know. I know. I know.

I really do.

I care. I care. I care.

I do honestly.

I want to. I just want to. I do.

I mean every word I say. I do. I did. I always did.

I mean. I actually mean. I mean it, really.

I love. I love. I love.

I just do. I really do. I sincerely do.

But

You see

Oh! you don’t see

I can’t even if I want. I really can’t.

You can’t get it. You really can’t. You could never get it.

I knew you would never see. You couldn’t see. You never did.

So, I never said. I never did. I never ……

You see

oh! you don’t see.

You can never see…

Ah! whatever!!!

Advertisements

His story

I was a weak student, mam. In school I was made to sit in the first bench. I was sitting next to a bright student and the teacher always discriminated against me.

I felt bad. I felt discriminated against. I grew up feeling inadequate and not smart.

Today when I stand here and I am able to speak. I feel good.

He spoke in a soft searching tone and when he stopped speaking, the class applauded his honesty in sharing.

  • Sorrows diminish in sharing. Share, speak up, spread the word. You will meet a kindred soul somewhere.

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

Jithu had lost all his confidence.

He is a special child, you see, he needs a little more love and affection than others and a lot of patience.

When the teacher constantly filled his sheets with red corrections and wrote big zeroes on his answer script, the brightness in his eyes dimmed, he looked tormented as if he had failed somehow.

I was afraid of antagonizing the teacher and the management who always welcomed me with open arms, so I kept quiet initially. But soon, I broached up some courage and approached them with my problem.

The management came up with a solution, they said,’Why don’t you prepare a question paper based on what you teach your son? Give it to us and we will print it out without letting him know. He will be tested on this.’ I was thrilled. I knew Jithu will now turn around. So we both worked really hard.

So this exam was different. I had set the paper and we had done a lot of practice. Infact, Jithu rocked it. He is slowly regaining his confidence. I am glad I spoke to the teachers. Soon I will join his school and I will be able to support him and others like him.

These are the words of a cancer survivor, a young mother of a special child, most importantly a feisty woman who has faced the challenges of life boldly. We laughed over a few jokes and she said, ‘when can we meet?’ ‘Soon,’ said I. Friendships like these need to be nurtured. We both have agreed to do just that.

  • Express. Express. Express. Articulate your problem, more often than not the other person is willing to help.

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

Where is the facility for sports? Who cares for young people like me who love to play? Why are we always asked to study?

Who do I talk to? No body understands me. The young man vent out his frustration.

Life is tough, he said sagely. However, I have learned to provide for myself and my cricket coaching, isn’t that amazing?

I hope my father feels proud of my achievements and witnesses my success. I am working towards it.

  • Keep up the hope and keep up the efforts. The road to success is carved by steady and consistent hard work.

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

I am not able to go out with them. Nor can I spend money that easily. I have a lot of limitations. Sometimes my academics also suffers, but when they stopped talking to me, it hurt me a lot, the young boy spoke softly. Friendships matter a lot to me.

I guess it is time to look for new friends. I hope there are others who I can get along with.

He kept on talking and then he said, I have started writing these days and it is helping me.

It is ok. I can live with it. I am strong.

  • Move away from negativity. Choose people and places which are positive. Give and get courage.

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

Different people, different settings, yet similar stories of disillusion, disenchantment and the effort to live on boldly.

A little love, care and understanding towards fellow human beings will make this world a better place for all of us.

Towards a better tomorrow!

Towards more pleasant stories, his and hers!

Towards more sharing and more listening!

Cheers!!!

It’s time to go A to Z!

Goodness! it’s going to be April. A chill ran down my spine.

It takes a lot of discipline to be able to write every day on a topic starting with a letter from A to Z.

Every year I try, sometimes I give up towards the fag end. Some times I plod to reach the very end and feel elated for having completed a difficult feat.

It’s time for the annual Blogging challenge and I have been asking around for ideas.

Some suggestions have come my way.

Some have been challenging, some have been so daunting that I doubt my ability to live up to it.

Yet, try I will and if I fail at least it is not because I didn’t try!

Cheriya Lokam

ചെറിയ ലോകമാണ് എന്റേത് അവൾ പറഞ്ഞു. അങ്ങനെ ആരെയും ഇതിലേക്ക് ഞാൻ ക്ഷണിക്കാറില്ല .

വന്നാലോ പോവാൻ പറയാറുമില്ല പിന്നെ പുതിയ കണക്ഷൻസ് അല്ലെങ്കിൽ പുതിയ ചങ്ങാതിമാർ എനിക്കില്ല .

ആകെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നത് ചെറിയ ഒരു കുടുംബം . വളരെ സ്നേഹത്തോടെയും അഭിമാനത്തോടെയും ആണ് ഞാൻ അത് പരിപാലിച്ചതു.
എന്നിട്ടോ
ആ പറഞ്ഞിട്ടെന്തു കാര്യം
സഖി ഒരു നീണ്ട നെടുവീർപ്പിട്ടു
ഒരു പക്ഷെ അത് കൊണ്ടായിരിക്കും
എത്ര മേൽ ചിന്തിച്ചാലും
ആരൊക്കെ പറഞ്ഞാലും
വീണ്ടും മനസ്സ് അലിയുന്നതു.

മെയ് ബി ഞാൻ ഒന്ന് തൊണ്ട അനക്കി
പിന്നെ എന്തിനാണ് നീ അവനോടു മാത്രം ഇത്ര മമത കാണിക്കുന്നത്
ഞാൻ ചോദിച്ചു
എന്ത് പറയാനാണ് ചേച്ചി
അവൾ തുടങ്ങി
കുട്ടി പ്രായത്തിൽ തുടങ്ങിയ ഒരു മോഹമാണ്
ഇപ്പൊ മാറും
ഇപ്പൊ തീരും
എന്ന് വിചാരിച്ചു
പക്ഷെ പ്രായം കൂടുംതോറും
ഒട്ടും പ്രോത്സാഹനമില്ലാതിരുന്നിട്ടും
എനിക്ക് അവനോടുള്ള ഇഷ്ടം എന്നും കൂടിയിട്ടേ ഉള്ളു

നല്ല ഭ്രാന്തു തന്നെ
ഞാൻ ചിരിച്ചു
ഒന്നിന്നും കൊള്ളാത്ത രണ്ടു മനുഷ്യരെ ഓർത്തു നീ ഇങ്ങനെ… ഞാൻ മുഴുമിച്ചില്ല

കാര്യം സഖി എന്റെ പ്രിയ മിത്രമാണ്
കൊച്ചു നാളിൽ നിന്നുള്ള സൗഹൃദം
കൊച്ചു കൊച്ചു സ്വകാര്യങ്ങൾ
മനസഃശുദ്ധിയും കാര്യാ ഗൗരവവുമുള്ള കുട്ടി
എന്റെ പ്രിയ തോഴി

കഷ്ടമായി
നല്ലതെന്നു വിചാരിച്ചതെല്ലാം അവൾക്കെതിരെയായി
എങ്കിലും മിടുക്കി
പിടിച്ചു നിന്ന്
മക്കൾ രണ്ടാളും പഠിച്ചു മിടുക്കരായി
മൂത്ത കുട്ടി ജോലിക്കു പോകുന്നുണ്ട്‌
ഇളയ ആൾ പഠിക്കുന്നു
മൂന്നു പേരും സുഹൃത്തുക്കളെ പോലെ കഴിയുന്നു
പ്രായം ഒരു പരിമിതിയല്ലാ
വാക്കില്ല വക്കാണമില്ല

അപ്പോൾ അയാൾ
എവിടെ യാണ് അയാൾ
ഓ അത് പറയാതിരിക്കുകയാണ് ഭേദം
സന്യാസത്തിലാണ്
ഇന്നാ പിന്നെ നിനക്ക് വിവാഹ മോചനം ചെയ്തുടെ
എന്തിനാ ഒരു വിലങ്ങു
ആർക്കു വേണ്ടിട്ടാ ചേച്ചി, സഖി മെല്ലെ പറഞ്ഞു
നോക്കണം
ചെയ്യണം
ചെയ്യും
പിന്നെ
എഴുത്തും വായനയും ഇത്തിരി സോഷ്യൽ വർക്കും അതാണ് എന്റെ ലോകം

ഓരോ ജീവിതത്തിനും ഓരോ രീതിയുണ്ട്
ഓരോ കർമമുണ്ട്
ഇതാണ് എന്റേതെന്നു ഞാൻ വിശ്വസിക്കുന്നു
ഇതിങ്ങനെ ഒക്കെ പൊക്കോട്ടെ
എല്ലാറ്റിനും ഒരു നല്ല നാളെ ഉണ്ടല്ലോ
അത് എനിക്കും ഉണ്ട്
വരും വരാതിരിക്കില്ല
ഞങ്ങൾ മെല്ലെ പുറത്തേക്കു നടന്നു

ഏട്ടൻ വിളിക്കുണ്ട്, ഞാൻ പറഞ്ഞു
ഞാൻ ചെന്നാലേ മുഉപ്പര് എന്തെകിലും കഴിക്കു
പോട്ടെ സഖി
വരാം ട്ടോ ഇടക്ക്. ശരി.

Sorry doc,I gonna do the Google search!

A few months ago, my teenager had a sprain and some swelling on her feet. I went to the local trusted physician for a check up. The gentleman doctor advised rest but also raised a panic alarm when he pronounced the name of the said ailment that I almost fell off from my seat. With high anxiety and rising sense of helplessness, I reached the medical shop and asked for the tablets.

The girl at the counter informed that the prescribed medicine was not available. ‘Give me for today’, I insisted. ‘No, mam, it is steroids. So it is better that you take the entire course. I will get it for you by tomorrow’.

‘Steroid’!!!, I staggered and walked away in silence.

We went home. I called up my mother and reported the events of the day.

As usual my mother in her rather nonchalant manner advised, ‘ Heat up some water. Put some salt into it. Ask her to dip her feet in the salt water. After some time, tie that crepe bandage and keep the feet elevated. She will be fine in some time.’

I realized my tensions literally vanishing and I heaved a sigh of relief as the real doc has pronounced that ‘all iizz welllll’ 🙂

What would I do without this wonder woman?!!!! Seriously!!!

Next day, I went to another expert that my physician had recommended and sat waiting in trepidation for words of more wisdom. The smiling lady said, ‘it is nothing actually, ask her to rest completely. Send me pics of her feet and if things don’t improve, we will see.’

Surely enough, my teenager was back to her bubbly self and I regained my peace and calm.

Yes, I know that not all doctors are to be blamed and not every time. Yet when doctors prescribe steroids as easy to take medicines, you do wonder.

In another instance this week, I chatted up with a friend after a long time. She told me of her inability to join me as she was suffering from excessive bleeding during menstruation. As is the normal practice, she went for a checkup. The doctor told her that she has to get her uterus removed and advised her, almost insisted that she get herself admitted immediately for the operation.

In fact, one of the nurses callously commented, ‘Why do you need a uterus anymore?’

Agitated,appalled and terribly disillusioned the family decided to go for a second opinion and called back home in Kerala. The family physician in Kerala advised that she should at no cost remove the uterus. She was warned of further complications if it was done.

Said my friend, ‘I will take it slow. I know that my body will heal and with the right treatment, I will be back and bouncing’.

With good folks around, happy friends and a happier family, what can not be healed after all?

‘And a treat is in order’, I reminded her.

A doctor has put up a sign,’ Don’t confuse your google search with my research!’

Fair enough! but we can still use our brains, right!

Of disagreeing with Plato

In the Republic, the eminent Greek Scholar, Plato chooses to ban the poets from the society on the argument that they are far removed from reality and that they induce passions and corrupt feelings through the magic of sweet rhythm and music.

Really! not really, so I thought as I watched the enthusiastic participation of young people in the cultural fest at the college.

Yes, it was a cultural extravaganza with a well lit stage glittering like a queen, the vast spread of the campus all lit up and blushing, young men and women scouring the place, friends hanging out together shaking a leg, sharing food, jokes, laughter and more.

Across the sea of faces of young people was a sense of purpose and a sense of joy. They looked happy to be relieved of the burden of learning even if only for a day and took to the event with excitement.

In the event that I was organizing, which was sketching, many young boys and girls came on time, and mulled over the theme given to them and produced some very creative and engaging interpretations of ‘Reflection’.

I asked the student volunteers how was it to be a part of this event, they said, ‘it was great to see different perceptions of the same theme and how patiently and carefully each artist worked on their craft’. That observation was enough to tell me that perhaps this is the biggest take away for these youngsters today, to work at your craft with patience and be able to think originally!

After the Treasure Hunt, where the young lot was sent scurrying across the campus, chasing clues and deciphering them in groups of three, the students all blushing from the heat and the run panted as they spoke, ‘we had lot of fun and though we didn’t win, we made new friends!’ Apparently the last clue was of ‘the place they fear to enter’ and they rushed to the dean’s office whereas it was the main stage!, they laughed as they said that.

At the evening DJ night, the youngsters and the adults let their hair loose and danced to the tunes releasing many stressful hormones and replacing it with some happy feelings and experiences.

As the day drew to a close, I realized how important it is to have a stage, a place to discuss, deliberate and express oneself for the young and the old alike.

Now, come to think of it, what avenues of self expression do the poor have in this country, where do they go? why can’t there be more competitions or contest or just fun fest which are affordable to all?

Perhaps given a chance a child or an adult would not want to turn to violence! Maybe more avenues of self expression and self exploration is the way to curb violence!

Perhaps Plato was wrong after all to sagely advise that poetry and modes of self expression are corruptible in nature!

Of how your body speaks

The tall boy spoke well. He spoke with passion. His words precise, measured and his stance commendable. Yet, as his index finger moved furiously, the audience received him with mixed emotions, awe at his speech and an unease at how his body spoke.

One of the most prominent speakers on the national media tends to use his index finger a lot while speaking . Does it affect perceptions about him? Here is my two bits.

While the current prime minister is no doubt a go-getter and has a vision and a passion to bring betterment to the lives of his country men , I believe his using the index finger while speaking, moving it up and down as if brandishing a cane in the manner of a school headmaster does not sit well with the persona of a national leader.

For better success may be he could use more open hand gestures and totally avoid the use of the index finger while speaking.

This I say as a layman who has observed his rise and his frequent courting of hate and bad press.

Of going be-kaar

I grew up in a middle class family. My parents did not ever think of buying a car for themselves. Initially it was not affordable and when it became affordable, my father reasoned that it is going to be a white elephant… who is going to maintain it, feed it, clean it and drive it around? After all was the auto rickshaw not so ever easily available, accessible and affordable? This was definitely a sensible argument and no one could counter him.

During the years when my brother was sick and was in need of help for mobility, we did often think of owning a car, but again those years were of excruciating pain, none of us were in a mindset to take any firm decision, and I despite being older was still a school teacher who considered a car, a luxury.

We did struggle, often a great deal. My mother broke down in sheer agony and helplessness many times, considering how most places became inaccessible and most travels impossible for my brother who was now wheel-chair bound.

Thankfully, father had a trustworthy friend, whom we call Krishnettan who was always willing to drive us around in his cab. Krishnettan not just drove my parents and my brother around for his numerous visits to the ayurvedic treatment centres, allopathy was not a choice, since they had already given up all hopes of any kind of recovery, he also lent a helping hand even as many of those we would have expected to be by our side chose to turn away.

Those were times of pain, nothing is more painful than to have to watch some one you love suffer without being able to do anything to reduce that pain. We all experienced that closely and somehow it changed all of us for better or worse.

When I thought of buying a car for myself, my brother had already left for his other home but my parents rejoiced at my ability to do something ‘rather elite’, on my own. So did I too, feeling empowered and blissful as I cruised around the city, cheerful, even in the most peak hours of Bangalore traffic, enjoying the feel of the steering wheel in my hands.

I liked it when I could pick and drop my parents who came visiting from Kerala, or drop my daughter or take her around or sometimes though rarely be privileged to drive around my friends or colleagues. I must say, I did thoroughly enjoy those moments.

In fact, I even fancied turning into a cab driver for the sheer joy of driving and some good conversation.

But then something changed and I started questioning the need to maintain a vehicle for myself, adding to pollution and traffic when enough cabs were available at reasonable cost.

Thoughts were soon followed by action and I decided to go ‘bekaar’ , and sell off the car… And it does feel good.

Sometimes, selling off, getting rid off what is not useful creates more space for what is productive, creative and more happy….

Will I regret this decision, may be, may be not but it is good to change equations and see how life turns out, how you respond and how you are perceived…

So long, as I enjoy being ‘bekaar’,what is that you would like to let go of?

PS: Of letting go!

With a twinkle in her eyes

She spoke to me with a twinkle in her eyes. Listening to me intently, brushing off every excuse and filling me with positivism.

She took me down the memory lane and around her life with its own struggles and how she finds joys in between and how it is all worth its while. I made excuses complaining of the generational gap, but no, she would hear none of it, till I finally just sat hooked to my seat and to the twinkle in her eyes and the lilt in her voice wondering where does she find all this energy from!

As we talked I could feel myself getting recharged almost visibly and smiling with absolutely no reason, surprised at her spirit, in awe of her enthusiasm for life and in admiration of her ingenuity.

I looked at her in surprise when she said, “I got it from you, mam’, ‘you do that to me every time’.

I was surprised, shocked even, really, how? I wanted to ask her but I kept quiet because it was so good to just have her talk so animatedly, sharing her life story, punctuating it with suggestions for me, a decade and a half older to her but still so unsure and lost…

We had a mixed meal of random items, then she asked, ‘so what do you do on Sundays?’

I said, ‘Like I do a lot of cleaning, scrubbing, rearranging, washing and stuff’. ‘Oh,’ she said mockingly, ‘what an interesting life you have’ and I blushed crimson in embarrassment!

‘There is a world outside your little universe of cleaning and scrubbing, go get ready to explore, travel, watch movies, read books, go’ she said, ‘I will ask you next time!’

I sighed thinking of what would I do without these souls of pure love and nodded my head not even able to thank her for her time and her timeless wisdom.

There is always a way, if you want to find it… hmm I thought to myself.

We find excuses only because we want the excuses even more than the way out! Strange then that we complain so much!

Ps: of friends and friendships!

The Veneer

It is all about putting up a strong veneer, invincible, impregnable, strong, standing against the storms.

It is what Anu decided to do as she set herself against the year, the new year, you see!

Swinging her butt to the new and old of hindi film songs and romancing the handsomest in her fantasies, Anu sashayed her way into the new year, all made up and up todate.

Saris procured from the flea markets in New Delhi with gota patti, laces and more, with bell sleeves and sleevelessness, back-full or back less, a young spirit in a life style that is a copy of Sabyasachi she made her mind to show it to them, this year.

New year resolutions, my foot! ‘I am gonna live my life, dammit’, she declared loud and clear, and we laughed at the feisty woman pretending to be flimsy.

‘This too is me’, she explained for my sake and I pretended not to hear.

Cheers to your new year, happy and happening!!!

Dance or no dance, love or no love, just live life every moment with the veneer in place. That be the goal.

‘2019, don’t miss your chance to unload the gifts!’