Short Stories & Poems

Indian

By Reeti Singh:

India, my country-
Became free tonight.
Not many years have passed,
We shall celebrate liberation on the 15th with festive delight-
Freed we were from bondages of the west,
Troubled and tested, all under great unrest.
Struggled and died, many a martyrs for this country-
Widowed and orphaned many then lived,
Wiped their tears and strived ahead-
Wept not tears till they drove away the guest.

Rose then here the devil within-
corruption and poverty simmered in sweet delight.
Employment a crisis, and death in face-
Picked up the sickle, all faith in place-
Rose then from here the nation within.

Some saw shadows, some saw light-
Some saw evil, some saw what was right.
Some saw their own pockets, some saw other’s plight-
Rose from here our nation, our pride.

India, my country-
Struggling still to its feet,
India, my country-
An emerging delight!
India, my country-

It’s a people’s nation,
Flawed in many ways, perfect in others-
Diverse in many ways, united still!

We crib, we jostle,
We haggle over a single potatoe’s price-
We stare, we oggle,
We spit at every corner’s respite.
We yell when we like, or respond not when not merry-
We kneel in front of our gods and stand up and fight when ready.

We, a nation where every human is not just a human-
But a kin-man, a “bhai”-
Where the neighbor is family, not a man-black or white.

We have our gliches, our flaws, our ways-
“jugaad” is our system,
Not the government’s bite.
we dwell not here, it is here that we live-
where every day is a festival,
at some beach or some hill.
India, my country-
Its vast and wide,
It is a pallete of coulours, a florist’s delight.
India, my country-
Became free tonight,
Tonight, six decades and four have now gone by-

Our country is now dabbed in some ways,
A delight in others.
India, my country-
Became free tonight!

My heart now fills with indebt-ed gratitude, martyrs and leaders-
Followers and people who lived back then,
Beared so much for us,
Went through grime!
A thank you note this may not be-
Well-composed not,
Mere scribbling from a glad-heart’s pen-
I care not now for words or structure,
Freedom is when you are free to feel and express,
And I feel proud to write a poem this absurdly (un)composed-
It is now that I know for sure and in all conformity,
India, my country-
Became free tonight!

Photo by Anshumaan Singh.

Sexual abuse

By Reeti Singh:

Crimson, blood-filled tears,
A gibbeted memory you left for me,
To keep with me for life.

Gibbeted while your hands moved ferociously-
Worked their way to your own profanes,
Regardless of my silenced, wrench-filled screamings-
Heedless of my days thereafter.

Your lips, that moved, where they desired-
Your tongue, smothering hot as fire,
Scars from burns received from your wretched wickedness-
Shall remain with me till my gibbeted end.
A gibbeted life I am determined to live,
Tears shall be salt water no more-
I shall pour blood in each drop that leaves my eye,
I shall muffle each sound that leaves my throat.

Gibbeted I shall remain, thereafter,
When I wake up from those day-time dreams.
Gibbeted I shall remain thereafter,
May peace be with you, for you need it more than me.

They say no hell’s fury is worse than a woman scorned-
I am however, silenced within.
Jolted, trembling in haste-filled retreat-
I escaped your claws, and now I sit here-
Gibbeted now, gibbeted then.
Gibbeted voice and gibbeted strength-
Silenced now, silenced then-
Here with nothing but the butchered, murderous scream of silence.

Ears none but my own to be slaughtered,
By the gibbeted scream of silence.
Naked, stripped, violated and empty-
Voided, lewd and bare,
Here I lie, come and take some more from me-
Bathe in my crimson, blood-filled tears,
Come, gibbet me more…
Aegis me from this hateful scream of silence…

Come bare me more,
Come bare me more-
Kill me then,
Leave me not after,
Chew me away, take my soul-
Gibbet me now, gibbet me more.

Hands_child

By Nandini Garg:

Some hands become treaties
That seal the fate of two nations,
Or the course of a river.

Some become weapons
Against the creativity of a questioning child.
Some become fly swatters
During a summer political gathering.

The same become applause
At the end of a speech
And also a beggar’s shame at
A traffic signal.

Hands, become starved desert
And hands become gobblers
That feed a parched soul.

A few become inkwells
That hold a pen all their lives.

Dancers to the music of words,
Lollipops, thermometers,
Gravels, sound amplifiers,
Tools for teenage pleasure
Amazement in a poetry night,
Respect in the battlefield,
Prayer in a temple,
Followed by an offering
And a blessing.

But, what is it,
Pasted on all these hands?

Is it the weight of destiny, or
Merely the depth of poetry
Of the Gods?

Loneliness

By Sanchita Gupta:

The setting sun and strewn sand,

The passing moments and the pain inapt.

Such is my condition.

Sitting by the desolate sea,

My only confidante and friend-in-need.

All the troubles are lounging in my mind

As if I am a paper boat in the storming night.

The shattered moments, the breaking apart

Are my only pals for the leftover parts.

A lifeless leaf, a wingless bird

Everyone said that things happen for a good,

Like a monk I have wandered, searching for peace.

My destiny is lost and so has its meaning.

A decade of tragedy is my life’s name

God has forgotten that he had once created me as well.

The same walks on the shore are a painful nightmare

It pierces my heart to think that I am still here.

Laughter is an unknown identity,

Passing vainly through me.

The gap between the fingers is filled by my own,

The wandering eyes, this wobbling mind,

A civil strife inside.

If this is life then, god forbid, what death might seem like.

The flowers have lost their blossoms

The butterflies have shed their shades

The moonlit nights make no goosebumps stand

And so have the winds and the rains.

The soft music is nothing more than a buzzing now.

My soul is waiting for freedom

Standing near the window of my eyes,

A speck of hope

A belief in god,

But still no sign of respite.

Love, happiness

Are all around me

Maybe I am the chosen one,

Hence, they are not meant for me.

Rotten grains

By Kannan G:

We’ve schemes and scams galore!
Grave negligence and more!
We’ve men who steal; men who feel;
Millions too without a meal!

Our farmers sweat and bleed;
Our leaders fill their greed;
Our Medias open our eyes —
We find rotting wheat and rice!

Millions of tons of grains
Go rotting down the drains!
Storage space deficiency
And crores of stomachs empty!

Millions of rats we feed
And plagues of disease breed!
So generous, see, our country —
Just crores of stomachs empty!

For years it has been so
We sow, we grow, we blow!
It shows our efficiency
And crores of stomachs empty!

Female Infanticide In India

By Anshumala Mishra:

Main hu ek larki
Main bhi ek insaan
Mujhe jeene ka adhikaar do
Na aadha na kam
Mujhe putra ke saman pyaar do

ghar ka chulha nahi, na hi jhadu katka
Mujhe padhne ka adhikaar do

Main hu ek larki
Main bhi ek insaan
Mujhe jeene ka adhikaar do

Main koi satyug ki Sita nahi
Jise shak ke karan Raam ne tyag diya
Na hi Kali Das ki Vidotma hu
Na hi main Dushyant ki Shakuntala hu
Jise wo bhul jaye

Mujhe Kalpana Chawla ban kar neele gagan ko chune do
Mujhe P.T Usha ban kar desh ka gaurav ban ne do
Mujhe Indira Gandhi bankar desh ko chalana hai
Ek safalta bhari kranti ko lana hai

Keval bhog vilaas ka sadhan nahi hu main
Na hi main dwapar ki draupadi hu
Jis Devi Durga Lakshmi ko pujte ho ussi ka karte ho apmaan Lakri ko Lakshmi kehte ho
Toh fir kyu Lakshmi ko bojh samajhte.

Nahi badhenge purasho se aage
Keval sath chalne ka toh adhikaar do

Main hu ek larki
Main bhi ek insaan
Mujhe jeene ka adhikaar do

Life

By Nandini Garg:

Far and far I tried to reach
But never could keep my silence asleep.
For better or for worse I did not know
That I had to surrender all my needs.

Time to time I came across
The different versions
Of all I knew, but never ever I thought
Of the roles that were kept for few.

Thinking of all the colours of life
As to how it turns into black and white.
Such strange roles do we all perform
That we don’t come to know as to when our parts are over after all.

The image we portray is familiar to all
But no one knows the pretentious of it all.
As another fact of life that comes our way.
We know our parts are not meant for all, by the way!

I play my part and go forward but something upholds me from behind,
Why can’t I rise, why can’t I laugh?
Is this how I am going to play my role?
I know you all are full of surprises and you have something stored in, for all

But one thing that always comes to my mind
If I am one of them all?!
Never said a word, sulked in silence,
Ever thought as to why?

The only answer was the river never stops
And always continues to sway.
What you are in life hardly ever matters,
What you think doesn’t as well.

Don’t believe as to what I say
You might get a better role than me to play.
Here are your chances, here are your goals.
Don’t surrender for the sake of all.

Choose your path, choose your goal
As there are many who don’t ever get to play a role.
Take an oath, take a path.
Lead the others and never follow blind.

Sincerity and patience is all that you need
As life is nothing but what you want it to be.
Be a fighter, stand with pride.
You are the lucky one
Who’s got two chances in life!!

women violence

By Reeti Singh:

Its been more than twenty days now,
I know am fine and safe now-
And yet, I feel
Chained and trapped and raging within
Just as does a wild thing!

Days pass just as they ever did,
Nights no more at peace.
Morns seem all bright and fine,
But evenings have me waiting.
Waiting and watching and feeling within-
Just as does wild thing!

I sit and wonder now,
Where I blundered and how?
Seek the answers in the white coats-
Or storm and hit and destroy within?
Just as does a wild thing!

You, my dear sirs!
The scavengers of my world-
You fed and drank and stole from it!
Just as does a wild thing!

I sit here now,
Numb and dazed within…
And yet I cannot rein the self!
The self now laughs and cries and howls and weeps within-
Just as does a wild thing!

I wish to move away from it,
I wish to move away from you, my dear sirs…
What you seek to take away from me
Is mine, and mine fair.
I resist when you try to steal from me
What is only but my own!
And yet you slap and whip and burn me up-
Thinking you can make me accept
That that is how you tame a wild thing?

No, my dear sirs!
You cannot tame me.
For I refuse to take you as my masters.
I refuse to kneel and submit,
I refuse to yield.
I will not keep quiet about this.
I will not let you escape under covers again.
You have wronged and dashed many a time enough-
Just as does a wild thing!

You shall be caught this once,
You will be tamed.
For my silence shall not protect you.
My tears will not wipe away your marks-
Your deeds shall be noted.
I shall sit bare and numb and for everyone to see-
Just as does a wild thing!

Not once, not twice!
Not four times may be enough, I know!
But you know not
What strength and anger and revolt lies within me,
This unfound, but found now.
No shame no dignity no despair lies within-
As I bare and bare again…
Not once, not twice, not four times is enough-
To make note of your deeds.
I seek to tear and rip and make you wreath-
Just as does a wild thing!

Tears drop, in an unstoppable stream,
Every night drowns in them…
My rage knows no bounds in the morns-
But the day bring silence and stillness within…
The day has passed-
The evening is here.
But where are you,my dear sirs?
Steal, steal and steal from me!
Beat me, wriggle me, make much of me!
Make your smoke- fires of me,
Burn me!
Dissolve me in your drinks,
Drain me now!
Steal from me, steal of me-
Snatch from me, snatch of me-
Tear my clothes and leave me bare-
While I scream and shriek and destroy within,
Just as does a wild thing…!

Img.

youth

By Nandini Garg:

Proud to be the slaves of technology amidst this peer pressure,
Reluctant to see his son join the bandwagon- a worried father.
Trying to impress the elderly, oblivious of the imperfection,
Sleepless nights, endless thoughts of much expected neglection.

Misunderstood most often, reprimanded more often than not,
Seeking freedom, trying to give it the best ever shot.
Hoping to unite the knots, a desire to succeed,
Trials and tribulations of life compel the young hearts to bleed.

The expectations are high, self esteem is low,
Interference and influence of the learned does show
That this stage is melodramatic,
Where every role is unique and symbolic.

It’s impossible to extricate from these chains,
Life shows its presence by inflicting severe pains.
Contemplating love with negative prophecy,
Sitting in the lap of nature is no more a delicacy.

Life must learn how to reciprocate,
Time should realize how important it is to wait.
The former has become nothing but a mere laughing stock,
The latter has been encased inside the dials of a never-halting-clock.

Gathering inspiration from random companions
Inflicted with toxicity close to oblivion.
Treasuring the memories of the past, tears are crashing down,
Remembering the most cherishable moments- they’d been renown.

By Rohit Singh:

Until the last moment arrives,
Nobody cares to dive,
Millions lurk aside,
Though no one cares to stride,
Heaps of platitude hunting across,

Millions still in a deeper frost…
It starts the day
A child is born
The first lesson taught was to just frown,
Over the conundrums,
over the enigma,
He learnt nothing,
But putting a sigma.
Grown up looking around,
Doubt and disgust,
Which surround,
No one does care,
He is where,
Some others would do nothing,
Simply stare.
His problems are just fake,
For someone it is a stake,
He didn’t get,
It was the same,
Which he did the other day,
For a game.
He gets that,
For which he paid,
Milk for milk,
Taint for taint.

Run my stallion,
Faster than you did,
Towards the bottom earth,
Towards the bridge,
Thy blue is looking around,
Destiny might be sending a sound.

Wasting thou seconds,
Is not a big deed,
But millions are watching,
So care is the need,
Wake up from thy dream,
To look around,
Things u lost were golden brown.

Success never comes in a mass,
There is but one life,
To fail and pass,
You will realize coming across,
Neither blessing nor the cross,
Neither priest nor the pope,
Could help,
To remove thy setting moss.

Remember the words of a great son,
Time and tide wait for none,
So until the last moment,
Sounds great fun,
Better move ahead,
And look for the sun…

communal violence india

By Anshul Kumar Pandey:

And he stood there
with his hair dishevelled,
his breath heavy,
his big eyes, watchful
but not watery
observing

as they tore down his village
burnt the houses
demolished the mosque
raped the women
and butchered them,
stole the lives,
out of his friends
and trampled on their
dead bodies
rejoicing revenge.

But he is a grown up now,
and he sees a village
a temple,
some women
quite beautiful, but not as much
as the ones of his village were

but there is no calm, no love
in his big eyes
which are, instead
filled with anger, vengeance
bitter memories
as he enters the village,
with other men

and as another child,
watches from a distance.

failing

By Nandini Garg:

I stood along
With the host of others,
In front loomed the peak,
Older than our forefathers.
The aim, everyone had was the same,
To conquer, reach the top,
Earn glory, or to fade in contempt.
There was no going back, in trying
Our best and yet failing,
There was no consolation,
For the winner has many fathers
But the loser has none.
We have to attempt to scale the peak;
It is our only choice,
Because only the people
Who make it to the top
Would people be listening to the voice.
To thwart us, the protectors of the hill are ready,
They are warriors, tough, ruthless and hardy.
Many shall perish, and only few shall make it,
And the rest would not even be heeded by the world even a bit.
The hill I speak, their stand looms before us like a giant,
The protectors stand menacing, ready to strike us with their full strength
One by one, we must beat them,
If we are able to be remembered by this selfish world,
Earn aureole and eminence.

Img: http://pravstalk.com/pravs-world-always-remember/

knitting

By Lakshmi Bharadwaj:

The cardboard box had arrived late that evening and I wasn’t particularly charmed. They had practiced hoarding these boxes like it was all a matter of safety, by some insane standards of measure. When another was dragged in, I was presumptuous enough to think they’d take it back to the storeroom to craft something of their proud garbage. But they left it abandoned at my feet, partially opened.

I wish, time allowing, I could explore the intricate mysteries of unopened boxes. You are quite a happy humbug sitting there idling your time–place a cardboard box beneath your feet and it changes the whole equation. Oh, the insurmountable curiosities that eat you, at the sight of these things!! Elusive opportunities slinking away and smiling, a weird temptation that refuses to abandon tugging–it is a compelling sort of gravity. I had to concede, and this would turn out all different.

I gaped at the little box that I had stumbled upon. The shadows were shiftless, somewhat solid. From within, the unknown fed anticipation and thousands of speculative wanderers traveled my electric roads, flashing their thoughts and disappearing again. Which might it contain? Books? A gift? An exotic foreign souvenir? A lamp? Kitchen equipment? Clothes? Woodwork?

It was a submersion into a well-known curiosity that hung tenaciously from the child-like mind, anticipating. I was eager. The hands knew no manners as they pried at the contents, and everything was scattered on the floor: a disappointing arrangement. But then, the blandest of prizes struggled to make itself conspicuous from among the rubble. I had chanced upon a prize, hiding in the spoils.

“Look, a sweater.” I held it close, and carried it away–a simple, oversized sweater, and a story, knitted with love.

Later that day, the reflection wasn’t anything that made me catch my breath in surprise. I could safely say that the sweater accentuated my hideousness by a very good measure, over-sized as it was. On its strands, a coffee-brown competed with navy blues and magentas, giving off a dull, obvious effect. But I liked it. I liked it for the warmth, for the simplicity, for containing me. I liked it for the imperfections, for knowing that I could be spilling my tea on it next morning and not fuss. There was an awful familiarity that was threaded into its fabric that traversed through it, and snugly surrounded all of me. I felt loved in that sweater. I felt happy, I felt me. It was just perfect for my winter days. Maybe not beauty-pageant worthy, definitely, but this piece of coarse wool would belong in my closet: my only sweater for now.

“It’s hideous. It’s used. Throw it away.”

It was brutally honest opinion, and I couldn’t argue the judgment of connoisseurs. But knowledgeable as I was, the sweater…came to stay. Varied excuses were pronounced, laziness showcased, the complaints whined and cloths arranged. There were a splendid variety of reasons to throw the sweater away, but no reason was simply good enough. Call it my attachment, but the sweater came to remain a permanent part of my closet. It was like retaining a lovely secret, because I knew I could never outgrow it.

The commonplace holds in it more pleasant, nostalgic joy that I seldom find in everything else, it is something of a particular rarity, something that we can overlook. And the sweater had come like some naive misfit in my heap of cloths: beautifully unique, absolutely special.

I wore it all through the winter of 2009, even to college. That, of course, could be termed as a loss of sanity: I risked not appearing human. But more worn the sweater, the less hideous it appeared. It became my personal invisibility cloak, the dull coffee-brown allowing for the effortless merge into the common masses, rendering me unnoticeable. I loved it for its apparent humbleness, for being so unmindful of fashion, design or priority. The coarseness had a brave, determined originality to it, and the sweater told me it’s story: when I was slouching on the couch, when I was hugging my knees in it, as I admired the snow when I was holidaying in Tahoe, on new year’s eve as I screamed my throat off to a song, as I flipped through my physics book spilling food all over it, as I walked home in the freezing cold, grateful for the crude wool that surrounded me.

It didn’t seem like much, but it actually was–my favorite sweater. And it was part of some spectacular memories. It travelled with me through so many experiences, always exuding an air of ancient, persevering love. I often wondered who knitted it.

A classmate seemed to notice after millions of years, “Seems like your grandmother knitted, no?”

It was an obvious generalization, and it would have been easy to lie as a justification. Yes, the only reason why I wear something so hideous is because my grandmother knitted it and it’s of a sentimental value. Or else, which fool would wear something so appalling? Instead, I told her I was absolutely clueless. She must have gone home thinking I was thrifty enough to pull off stuffy unknown sweaters from Goodwill store, but I didn’t really care. It just made me love the sweater that much more.

A few days ago, a guest was expected. The proud and proper dresses were all lined up and waiting. I picked the hideous sweater instead and smiled. I somehow seemed to look winsome. The guest had apparently been father’s good friend, and dropped by to say hello.

His exchange of pleasantries was the strangest of conversations.

“Hey, where’d you buy that sweater, if I may ask?”

It was an interesting question, and I had but an honest answer. “It came with a box of cloths that my parents bought home in a carton box once. I didn’t really bother to trace its origins.”

“That’s the sweater my mom knitted for me, couple of years ago, you know.” The amusement hit me like a bullet.

“Really?”

“Umm-hmm. Jeez, I didn’t know what happened to it! I searched all over the place for the sweater and gave up after a while. It’s very special to me. My mom was suffering with a case of dementia during those days, and was wildly hallucinating. Being left home alone was her nightmare…she found herself helpless, agitated and unable to distinguish the real from the unreal. During those times of horror and despair, knitting was something of a respite to her. It eased her nerves, and she did it beautifully. Even though everything appeared so confusing to her, there was a dedicated expertise to what she wove, it was so wonderful. It’s maybe because she knitted with love, you know? Every cross-hatch on that sweater was healing to her. I know that she cannot knit another sweater like that anymore… now she’s nearly blind in one eye. ”

When they said that history contributes to value, I guess they meant this. Somewhere, in the back of my heart, there was a gentle tug. It was like I had known the sweater’s incredible story somewhere, like I had realized its value: whispered in secrecy. And today, I found a reason–a reason for having retained the sweater as a favorite. I could now turn back to the classmate and complete the answer: “Do you know how special this is? It was part of a healing process for an old lady with dementia…but more than all of that, it was knitted with love.”

I had the answers. I had the justification. But I wouldn’t have the sweater anymore.

I watched the sweater leave me, as suddenly as it had entered my life. The guest didn’t ask for it, but I thought it was only too proper to have it wrapped up and returned. As I touched the coarse, shabby fabric for one last time, I was grateful for having experienced that love for at least that much longer. For all it’s worth, I knew today that the best sweaters weren’t the cashmere that you buy at extravagant shops like Macy’s. They are those which keep you warm not only because they are expensive. There is a magic ingredient to such things… and it’s called love.

The author is a contributor of Youth Ki Awaaz and blogs at http://lakshmibharadwaj.blogspot.com/.

rain love

By Denny George:

It’s been some hours
we’ve been playing this game
where she calls the wind
and I bring the rain

The wind blows past us
and asks her in pain
I’m here on your call, my dear
but where is the rain?

Embarrassed, my girl
she holds me and says
Oh wind! Have you no lover?
To win not, he plays

“I beg of you children
love is not a game
please quit this childplay
and call my lover — the rain

She’s angry with me
won’t heed my serenade
but to appease you lovers
she might just do the charade”

I pray really hard
in my bid to woo her
but all of it is in vain
since I’m not a believer

She asks me to calm down
and reprimands the wind
“Failed is your love, old man!
Don’t blame it on him”

Furious, he grows in rage
and moves violently,
assumes a crude shape
and pushes her gently

It stays with us
hovering in longing
pain ridden
moaning and roaring

Scared, she comes closer
I just miss her first kiss
as our faces almost merge
the rain hit her lips.

operation theatre

 

By Rachit Sharma:

Have you ever felt the Earth shake beneath your feet? You may get it wrong; you need not to be in the middle of an Earthquake situation to really feel this. I was undergoing the same trauma when I reached the hospital. I was given a green apron to wear which made me even more nervous. My heart sank while I changed clothes. Meanwhile, the lower (also green in color) the nurse gave me was of a larger size. Somehow I managed to wound it around my waist.

My heart pumped faster and hands shivered. Meanwhile, a fellow elderly patient who had undergone somewhat a similar surgery few days ago was busy narrating me his set of experiences. His revelation were cut short by the nurse (I thanked her) who told me that the time has come. A fact: I wasn’t taken into the Operation Theatre on a wheelchair; rather I walked freely without any support.

Just as I stood up I saw my mom, tears rolling from her eyes. I tried my best to control myself but failed and dissolved into tears as well. We both sobbed. The nurse accompanying us mumbled under her breath and opened the OT door.

Thoughts swirled inside me and I cursed God that why only “I”. Neither do I smoke, nor do I drink – so then why was I undergoing a stomach surgery. Doctors had told me on earlier occasion that Appendicitis is a general problem without much reasoning to explain its occurrence. Yet this reasoning did not satisfy me. I was continuously blaming God and weeping.

The OT was something different from my imagination. There was a big hall divided into three unequal rooms. In one room several beds were laid, patients were made to stay there before and after undergoing surgeries. In the other room sophisticated instruments were present. My blood pressure and few other tests were taken in this room. The last room was a store containing all the necessary and urgent equipments and medicines which are used in an emergency. You might be thinking where the rooms for surgery are? A gallery joined four OT’s with these three rooms.

The intern doctor assigned for my case took over my charge from the nurse. A minute later two more doctors (one intern and the other a senior) came in to check me. All three tried their best to pacify me and repeated hundreds of times that my crying would unnecessarily raise my blood pressure, creating implications in surgery. I was given tablets to lower my blood pressure. I requested doctors to operate on me only after giving me an Anesthesia which would block all sensation, rendering me insensitive to any pain.

I was getting restless inside the OT as it had been more than an hour since I got in. I was surrounded by a group of interns, a computer operator and a few nurses, all doing there bit to pacify me. They asked me several questions about my education, my hobbies, etc. to calm me and told me about the easiness by which appendicitis surgery is performed. Their constant efforts did make me feel relaxed; I even had some tea with them.

A ward boy asked me to follow him; he took me inside the OT. So, finally after all the drama I was inside the OT. Its quiet similar in appearance to what I have seen in Bollywood movies. It is full of big and small instruments, lights, and a lot of chemicals. A lady doctor greeted me and asked me my name. The ward boy asked me to lie down on the bed. Another staff present tied my hands and inserted a drip in my left hand. I was quiet accustomed to all this as from past one month I took nearly 30 injections through drips.

I heard a soft number being played in someone’s mobile present in the OT; I guess it was a Jagjit Singh Ghazal. Once again, I requested the doctor to operate on me only after giving me an anesthesia which could render my whole body insensitive. She asked me not to worry and enquired about my education.

I don’t remember what happened thereafter. I woke up when someone shouted my name. I tried my best to locate and reply to him and used all my energy to open my mouth but failed even to turn my face in either direction.

“Mera operation ho gaya???”… these were the only words I was able to speak in a very faint voice.

“Haan ho gaya, successful tha”… I got a reply from someone.

It was getting quiet hard to open my eyes. One and half days later I was discharged from the hospital and a week later I went for my industrial training. Today, I just felt like sharing my experience. Have you had a similar experience? Do let me know in the comments section below.

: )

discrimination

 

By Pradhija Sankarapandian:

An awesome day, it was. An unusually awesome one though. The usual chaos of a spinsterhood- weekend was on. Neeta woke up at 10 a.m., one of those lazy Saturdays. Her room partner Reema’s family was here in Bangalore this morning, to spend their weekend with the girls. Neeta walked by, with sleepy eyes, gave a warm, neutral smile to all of them — Reema’s dad, her granny and her sister — and stepped into the kitchen, led by the fragrance of her mom’s expertise.

“Do not go there, kid. Come on here. Let her cook. She is doing it in a “clean” way,” said Reema’s granny in her trembling voice. Neeta was startled and confused. Was that to do with her not having taken a bath yet — No, but Reema is in there and she hasn’t yet had a bath either. Then what was that all about?

“Hey do not mind. That’s how she is, always, very ‘traditional’,” — That was Reema now. That’s how she is — What does that mean? Does it have to do with her usual ways of treating people around? Well, Neeta has been into this kitchen for a thousand times already and it has not caused any volcanic changes in the world so far. So, what has changed now?

The forgotten differences, the caste differences, which the girls hardly consider as a barrier to interact with each other, has made its presence felt in her granny’s voice. They have been fed with caste, sans questions, sans doubts. Reema’s thoughts flew back faster than ever–to the days when she was asked to provide tea to the servant maid, in her ‘separate’ cup, witnessing the maid getting restricted from barging into the room of godliness (because she was born with the grace of another ‘inferior god’?!). She has been instructed by her grandparents not to visit her classmate’s residence because she will get ‘dirty’ spirits in her. So, yes, some one is inferior to the other, dirtier and filthier than the other, by birth. They were to Neeta, and now, she was to Reema.

She was startled to realize her ignorance towards the made up inferiority of people around, her not-questioning the disturbingly awful differences, her blind following of what she was expected to do — yes, discriminate! It hurts when you are subject to it. It does really hurt!

Neeta discussed this with people around, without really giving a thought into their birth tags. She was under a strongly rooted opinion that educated, high societal families do not have caste in mind when dealing with people, which is clearly shattered now.

Discrimination is right here, all over the place, not impacted by education, sensibility, experience, age, friendliness and of course by love too. She started questioning this, though there is less than little hope of bringing a change in the mindset of people in the near future.

She did not enter the kitchen. She did not stop smiling. She did not eat the food of discriminated preparation either. She went out, breathed fresh air and had food with a bunch of youngsters from families which had rooted unseen differences in them. She smiled at all of them. She smiled at the unavoidable but questionably harsh reality.

Image courtesy: http://www.wunrn.com/news/2008/06_08/06_09_08/060908_india3.htm

Indian woman

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy:

Dawn 5 am

Chinnamma wakes up. After finishing the routine chore of drawing kolam in front of the house she proceeds to make food for her family. Food just means food. It doesn’t mean breakfast. It doesn’t mean lunch. It doesn’t even mean brunch. When there is a difficult choice to make about which meal to skip, food is just food. She prepares rice & sambar, which is the routine meal of the day. On good days, she makes boiled eggs. On much better days she makes fried appalams.

Early Morning 6 am

She prepares coffee for the family and wakes them up. Three coffees in less than half litre milk. Very less milk. Less coffee. But lots of sugar.  She relishes the coffee before heading out to work.

Morning 6.30 am

She heads out to the neighbourhoods where she cleans the dirty dishes, sweeps & mops the floor and perhaps washes the clothes. She eats the leftovers given from the houses she works.

Before noon 11.30 am

She reaches home to finish the rice and sambar or what’s left of it. She wonders if her husband & daughter had enough, no matter more or less rice is left on any given day. Her daughter works in a garment factory. She is 17.

Afternoon 1 pm

She completes the chores at home and heads back to work. For more cleaning, sweeping, mopping & washing. She has to pick up one or two kids from school in the afternoon after which she heads back to regular work again.

Afternoon 3 pm

More cleaning, sweeping, mopping & washing. Again!

Evening 6 pm

She heads home to prepare dinner for the family. Left over rice from the morning. On good days, idli or dosa. On much better days, chapati with potato curry.

Night 8.30 pm

She has dinner with her family and shops for groceries for the next day. Chinnamma goes to bed.

Pre-breakfast: Milk, coffee powder, sugar. Approx cost: Rs. 15/-

Breakfast: Rice, Dal & vegetables in sambar. Approx cost: Rs. 35/-

Dinner: Idli flour, tomato chutney, coconut chutney. Approx cost: Rs. 40/-

Simple. Courteous. Candid.

Best summarizes this woman who spends less than Rs.100/- for her family’s full day meal. She is unassuming. But that’s not what makes it worth analyzing her life or even having a casual conversation where you do most of the listening.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them”.

– Ralph Nichols

A simple question like “How long have you been married, Chinnamma?” brings out beautiful snippets about her life that reveals her character. She is not good at math. She thinks she has been married for 25 years. She remembers getting married at 19 when her husband had been 31. But when asked her age, she says “I am 39 years old”.

Do you like what you do for a living, Chinnamma?”

“Not especially. If only I had studied I might have chosen some other profession. But right now, I like the people I work for & their generosity. Also, my husband toils all day long for a meagre income. Why should I complain about my job then?

My mother-in-law thinks we owe her for our whole lives. She would demean me as much possible. I have decided never to do that when my son gets married. In fact, he has all the right to live alone with his wife if he chooses so”.

Empathy.

“It’s better for us to think of our capacity and not lust over other people’s money just because they are rich. What’s ours will stay ours and what’s not will not. I worked hard to build a house but we had to leave town and find work in the city to finish paying off that loan. But two years later I repaid it all and I own my house now”.

Determination.

“My daughter has been working for 5 years now and she has started saving a portion of her income. Earlier she used to give all of her income for the family. Now I don’t ask her. She should have the right to think about her life and security.”

Understanding.

“My husband is generally not a complainer. Even when I use harsh words he would just keep mum and move away from the fight. So I try not to fight or be harsh at all. He doesn’t drink or have other bad habits. Kids don’t come with one till the end, it is one’s spouse that does and I just wish we would stay this way till the end.

Life.

Not every woman in India, especially a working class woman has a husband that doesn’t beat her up and extort money, let alone not drink or have multiple affairs. But most women and men like you and I have better lives. If you are reading this on any device — desktop, laptop, mobile or even a public computer, you are in a much better place than Chinnamma. Yet, how many of us think beyond our capability?

Chinnamma thinks beyond her capability not because she is not educated or falls below the poverty line. But because majority of Indian population doesn’t even come close to reflecting this way, even ones with a good education and the ability to afford a lot more than Chinnamma.

There are a huge number of very literate mother-in-laws and father-in-laws that pester their daughter-in-laws because they were once treated that way. Majority of parents think it is the right of a male child to put his parents’ well being before his own happiness and his family’s. Not all moms are understanding with their own daughter, especially ones that fall below poverty line. It has become human nature to be envious of people having more money than oneself. To lead a happy life, there are no mantras; it’s about a few simple things to be kept in mind.

  • Try not to burden others even if it is your own family
  • Let your kids do what they want — boy or girl
  • Try not to get any loans and live within your means
  • Expect nothing from others but do what you can
  • Identify and appreciate the good things you possess.

These subtle reminders in Chinnamma’s life help her be very content with herself, her family and her life in spite of all the turmoils & turbulence of everyday. The truth is there are many such Chinnammas among us. We just have to look closer and listen better. What’s amazing about such conversations is that they give us a perspective. Of life. Of what’s important. Of how lucky and blessed we are as compared to many others in this world. Of how we can do our part in changing something for the better rather than wasting time whining about anything trivial.

How many Chinnammas have you met so far? Are you one?

Image courtesy.

Sad faces

By Sandhya Nag:

The weather was warm, the coffee exactly the way he wanted it, but this was not what Nick had expected. He had not expected someone of that age to come and meet him in person. And he certainly hadn’t had the slightest idea why the man wouldn’t just speak out the terms. He had insisted on Jason reading the letter, and walked away, not even staying long enough to finish the coffee. When Nick opened the letter, the contents of the letter and the handwriting had no connection, it seemed, because only an angelic hand could’ve scripted the words in the way they were, but the content, the content! He had to make a decision. And, he made one.

Walking away was not a choice he could make, simply because this was about his daughter. When somebody was offering what he could not afford, he wasn’t going to turn it down, even after knowing the price he had to pay. He knew that everything comes at a cost.

Kendra, a devout Catholic, had her hands joined in prayer. The old man in the last row watched her silently. He’d been a witness to her grief, and he knew what had to be done. For him, it was a simple transaction- he had a problem, and so did she, and now, they were going to be each other’s solution. But of course, she wouldn’t know that. A frail and emotional mother would not understand that everything comes at a cost.

Coffee mug in hand, lost in thought, Jason didn’t look anything like the responsible elder brother that he actually was. The nice part was, he didn’t take life too seriously, which was just as well. The doorbell rang, and he went to answer the door. He was surprised to find his father standing there, his shoulders weary. He couldn’t remember the last time his father had done that. Not one day in those twenty years of his work.

Nick walked in, and pulled his son by the shoulders. Looked long into his eyes, and then gave him that letter. Jason didn’t understand why, but he didn’t speak a word, because he knew his father wouldn’t listen. He looked like a man on a mission, and nobody could stop him. Jason tried hard not to show the tears as he bid goodbye to his father. It seems, he’d just learned, everything comes at a cost.

Sandra slowly opened her eyes… Now, she could feel the light hitting her eye, and it hurt. But they’d promised her that this would be her last visit. They’d told her that they’d found a match and she’d be getting a bone marrow transplant.

Sandra was 12 years old, a thin, frail-looking girl, and hardly knew her father. The only people in her life were Kendra and Jason. Nick would come home to find Sandra sleeping, and his work demanded that he leave before Sandra woke up. She hated the fact that she had to visit the hospital every fifteen days, hated it that her blood had to be transfused every 15 days, hated the pain it would put her through. She knew it was because of her bone marrow-or the absence of it, but she hoped one day she too would be cured just like her brother. But despite her ill health, she mingled well with classmates, had a positive outlook to life and believed in God. Many students in class didn’t even know of her condition, they thought she was frail because she hardly ate anything. But those who knew her held deep respect for her in their hearts. On the outside, she was just another 6th standard kid, who had trouble with her weight.

And today, her wish of having a successful bone marrow transplant was fulfilled.

The time had come.

One- Jason broke the news to his mother, and she broke down. Not that she was very young, but that she had an untouched innocence about her, which was shattered today. It would be months before she smiled again.

Two- Nick walked towards the sacred palace-Pope’s residence. He’d travelled a long way from Rome to arrive at the holy city- yes, Jerusalem. He could not stop if he wanted to, so he marched right on, with only one thought-God loves the sinners. He didn’t have to do nothing, except be physically present anywhere around 100 yards of the Papal residence. His belt of course contained the timed bomb. 2 minutes left. He sat there with a calm composure, knowing his daughter would be well. He’d seen that the bone marrow was a perfect match. The results were all there in that letter he’d first received. 30 seconds… Peace.

And the explosion took everything in and around 500 yards.

Sandra, oblivious to everything, was just happy. She thanked the Jesus that her mother had taught her to believe in and drifted back to sleep. She of course, had a lot of time before she learnt that everything comes at a cost.

Image courtesy.

the end

By Samonway Duttagupta:

The whole night Rakesh kept looking at the ceiling fan deprived of a even a bit of sleep. Rakesh was not in a biological state of sleep but yet he had a dreadful night. He was engrossed into the world of his deepest and worst memories of his lifetime.

Hailing from the city of Kolkata, Rakesh Mukherjee was working as a customer care executive with a multinational company for the last three years. He worked hard day and night and his bosses were also happy to see this young chap of 24 years to give heart and soul into his job. But from Rakesh’s perspective, this job served some other purpose for him. For Rakesh this job was just to kill time and keep him busy and thus diverted from the dreadful memories of the past that haunted him all the time. He kept on working like a machine without a particular motive, ambition or any expectations for the future. But this was not the way Rakesh was three years ago.

He was happy and gay and a normal young chap of 21 with high dreams and aspirations. His parents were his closest. But happiness was not in store for him for a very long time. Rakesh was coming back from college with the excitement of celebrating his parents’ marriage anniversary. But on his way, he got a call from the hospital asking him to immediately reach there, for his parents had met with a car accident on their way back from the market. Exactly after five hours from the time he called his parents, he found himself standing at the funeral of his parents with stony eyes filled with extreme shock.

Since that dreadful day Rakesh had hardly remembered that he was alive. He remained lost, unable to recover from the shock and never aware of date and time. Rakesh spent sleepless nights, sometimes staring the way at the ceiling fan with empty eyes and sometimes working overtime at the call centre. He never knew when he was hungry- sometimes he even forgot to have his meals. Whatever food he had was just for the sake of what a human body requires for survival. In short, Rakesh had a pure soul battered down by the shock of that dreadful day when he lost both his parents together at a juncture of life when he was just completed his graduation and about to step into this world of miseries and hardships.

But his parents were not even there to see their son being one of the toppers of Delhi University in his graduation results. After graduation, Rakesh had to take up a job to support his living and that is when he took up this job in a call centre. More so, because, this was the time when even his “blood ties”, his so-called “relatives” turned their backs to this poor young boy and even went to the extent of not giving a basic shelter to this orphan. The only person that Rakesh was left with was kaka who worked in his household since his birth. Kaka was the only family for Rakesh who had taken a vow to serve him like his son till his last breath.

This was one of those many sleepless nights he had spent but there was something different in this night. The previous day in office he had come to know from his best friend Meena that she had a similar plight in her life but she had moved on and has learnt to live life the way she had always wanted to, chasing her dreams of being big. Meena did this with the thought that her parents had always wanted their daughter to be happy and had always wanted her to achieve her gals in life. And Meena knew that this was also the last thing that her parents could wish for their only daughter, before their death. So now, the only motive in life for Meena was to let her parents’ souls rest in peace by achieving her dreams.

Rakesh spent the whole night in a lot of despair. He could not decide whether to be happy or sad. He did not know how to react. He did not know how to forget the past and accept the reality that he was an orphan and yet move on. At the same time, his mind was putting forward the example of Meena. Rakesh’s stony silence and deep thoughts were broken by a drop of rainwater which fell on his cheeks.

Rakesh felt something different, he got up from his bed, walked up through the stairs which led him to the roof of his house, which showed him the first light of the morning along with rainwater pouring from the heavens. Rakesh walked out open on the roof and got drenched by the rain. He kept standing till the last drop of rain had fallen on his body. After that, he walked up to the railing of the roof and looked at the new metro line which was supposed to start that day. Rakesh felt different- all his pains, shocks and doubts seemed to have been washed away by the rains. As he saw the first metro of that particular line passing by, he could feel a new beginning to his life.

He could feel his Mother standing beside him touching his hand and on the other side his Father putting a hand on his shoulder and saying, “Son, won’t you fulfil our last wishes?” Rakesh wiped the last drop of tear in his eyes and had a smile on his face for the first time in three years. He made his mind to chase his dreams, achieve his goals and be successful in life. All of a sudden, he could feel that all his ambitions were presented on a platter by God and he just had to extend his hand to accept this gift. As soon as he smiled bearing this thought in mind, he got a call from his boss who was praising him for his dedication in work. Just before hanging up the phone, his boss asked Rakesh to meet him in his cabin as soon as he reached office as a surprise was awaiting him.

Rakesh felt as happy as a newborn baby. He turned around and started walking down the staircase towards his room happily. Rakesh Mukherjee felt that he was gifted by a new hope in life. He realized that day that after every dark night, one is always offered a bright new morning full of fresh hopes and beginnings. This is the very cycle of Life.

Image courtesy.

travel journalist

By Samonway Duttagupta:

The work present herein is entirely a work of fiction and has no resemblance to any person, dead or alive.

Ding Ding Ding Ding was the sound coming from the sophisticated Nokia N-95 lying on the bedside table right below the copy of a Van Gogh painting of a lush green field with a snow-capped mountain at the background. Rakesh came running from the bathroom with the half of his face covered with his favourite “Gilette Shaving Foam”. With a slight smile on his face, he stopped the alarm saying, “Tch tch, so sorry my little boy, I defeated you today”.

It was truly a victorious feeling for travel journalist Rakesh Mukherjee– the much awaited day of his life had come when he was being finally sent on his first assignment as a travel journalist to the beautiful places of Ladakh, Leh, Tso Moriri and Tso Kar. The last few years have been quite a struggle for Rakesh. We are all aware of the fact that media being not too much of a formal industry, needs certain contacts to get into, for a starter. So, Rakesh could not really start his career as a travel journalist. After a lot of running around for at least an entry point in the media, he finally got himself a job with The Indian Express. Life as a crime reporter was not too easy for Rakesh- seeing rapes, murders and robbery became a routine for him. Rakesh was discontent with his job but he never lost his mental strength to fight his way through his tough times because he knew that one day he would get what he dreamt for. He kept on doing his job seriously as a crime reporter because he believed strongly that the job of crime reporter would let him learn in-depth reporting.

Going in-depth of anything was what Rakesh loved since his days of graduation. He chose English Honours as a subject for his graduation but unlike everyone else, that choice was not made by him after pondering upon the future prospects of this field or how much this field of education would make him earn. He just chose this subject because something from within his being, some very powerful force inside him urged him to opt for this subject, not knowing what benefit it would give him in the days to come. As the years of graduation flipped through his life like pages of a novel, he realized that those years quenched the thirst of a soul which was looking for something that could make it understand the depth of Life, through the power of Literature. Rakesh never lost his hopes working in a beat which he never liked. Rather, he took it as a positive lesson that the Almighty was teaching in order to get tough enough to face the challenges of being a travel reporter.

He woke up every morning with the thought, “Today Mr. Raghavan will definitely walk up to me and refer me to the travel section”. Mr. Raghavan was a senior editor of The Indian Express and was quite happy about Rakesh’s dedication towards his work. One fine morning when Mr. Raghavan was on his way to office, he got a call from his long time friend- the editor-in-chief of Outllook, Mr. Vinod Mehta. Besides the regular chit chat they had, that day Mr. Mehta happened to tell his friend about a vacancy in Outlook Traveller in a very casual way. Mr. Raghavan was aware of Rakesh’s dream. So, the first thing he did when Mr. Mehta told him about the vacancy was spelling out Rakesh’s name. Mr. Raghavan told Mr. Mehta about how dedicated this young blood was and promised him about sending Rakesh to him as soon as possible. As soon as he entered office that day, he walked up to Rakesh, put a hand on Rakesh’s shoulder and said, “Meet me in my cabin in another 15 minutes”. As soon as Rakesh entered the cabin, Mr. Raghavan handed out a copy of Outlook Traveller’s latest edition and asked him, “Rakesh, you must have seen this magazine, didn’t you?” Rakesh replied, “Of course sir, this is one of my most favourite magazines.” With a slight smile on his face, Mr. Raghavan said, “Vinod, the chief editor of Outlook is a long time friend of mine and was talking to me about a vacancy in Outlook Traveller and I could not help but take your name. Rakesh, are you interested?” The next thing Rakesh did was to fall to Mr. Raghavan’s feet with eyes full of tears of joy and gratitude towards his boss.

So, here’s our very own Rakesh, with tears in his eyes, so engrossed in his thoughts of the recent past, that he almost forgot that he was shaving. He got a sudden jolt when his mom called him out from the other room for his breakfast. He looked up to the watch- he had wasted fifteen minutes. Rakesh did his last minute packing, got ready and had his favourite Bengali meal prepared by his favourite cook in the world- his mom. As soon as he got over with his meal, he took his parents’ blessings and left home for his dream assignment. This assignment was even more special for Rakesh because photography was one of his passions and he well realized that places he would travel would prove to be the best photographic expedition ever for him. So he could mix work with some pleasure too. Photography has been Rakesh’s pleasure since his college days. All the deep thoughts and ideas he got about life from his study of Literature, reflected upon his amazing photographs in which he expressed his perception of life through various metaphors.

As soon as Rakesh touched Leh riding his favourite Bajaj Avenger, he stopped at a small tea stall facing the beautiful expanse of mountains all around. With a cup of hot tea in his hand, Rakesh looked around and wondered how beautiful life was. Rakesh took out his laptop and typed down the first few lines of his experience till that time- he had already started working. The next thing that Rakesh felt was an itching to take some photographs of the spectacular views all around. With this thought, Rakesh took out his Nikon D-80 which he called his “Buddy” and started taking photographs with it. So day one in Leh was spent in taking some amazing photographs. After reaching his hotel that night, when he took a look at his shots he realized that it was not only fun for him, it was work too- he got the shots which were perfect to support his articles in which he expressed his views about the place. Excitement ran through Rakesh’s nerves and without waiting any further, he filed the first day’s story along with the supporting photographs and sent them to both his seniors Mr. Raghavan and Mr. Mehta. He got an immediate response for his work in which he got lots of appreciation from both his seniors. Rakesh was motivated by this and spent the next 5 days in travelling all around the beautiful places of Leh, Ladakh, Tso Moriri and Tso Kar and filed some amazing stories along with his best photographs till date. His seniors were very impressed with the kind of interest, dedication and sincerity this boy was showing towards his work.

At the end of the fifth day, Rakesh was a happy man when went to bed- his work was successfully done and he was all set to take his trip back to Leh, and from there, back home to Delhi. Rakesh started his journey back to Leh with a smile and reached there by afternoon. But the weather was totally different from Rakesh’s mood- it was a gloomy day in Leh. But, as always, Rakesh did not let the negativity of the weather affect his spirits, as he turned this weather into the best possible setting for his photography. But who knew that the skies would act as an irony for Rakesh’s mood. Leh was hit by the worst cloudburst in years, taking the lives of many. The last thing saw from the optical eyepiece of his “Buddy” was the deadly sky which made him die a painful death by falling flat on ground from the top of a hill- Rakesh died while working.

One whole edition of Outlook Travller was dedicated to Rakesh’s stories of this trip. His writings were so good that even the chief editor could not edit one single word from any of his articles. They were appreciated all around the country. Rakesh’s photographs won various awards and laurels- Rakesh was famous. But it was too late for him to see it all. Life was such an irony for Rakesh Mukherjee.

Image: http://www.cntraveller.com/news/2010/april/learn-to-be-a-travel-writer-in-morocco

By A M Radhika:

Naïveté to intricacy and then to simplicity
Do all feet seem to walk in the books?
While everyone scrambles and rushes forth,
The sounds call me again to rush along, then,
I guess I too am one of them,
And I learn by seeing, wide-eyed.

I try being selfless, selfless enough,
To run along, with the waves for everyone,
To care about the wheels carrying me around,
And to bring sun-facers their own ray of hope,
I guess the coaxing wasn’t enough really,
‘Cos I still remain selfish and watch wide eyed.

They’d make me jump over the high wall,
At one go, only one, for the greens beyond,
I had a pasture green enough, albeit the chains,
Cheers, now I turn into mistletoe they cry,
I guess I’ll forget everything around,
And put on, wear a gaze, wide eyed.

While all this is on, I see what
Didn’t ever happen to people around,
That with all the grey, they neglect the rainbow,
That Time is something artificial sometimes,
That rebellion and peace could be same side of a coin,
I guess that’s what I observe but again, wide-eyed.

Fear is what engulfs on such days,
Even of overwhelming happiness,
Of stepping out of the cocoon you made yourself, et al,
Yes, a state of mind and a powerful one,
But in a state of purity even fear can’t be scathed,
I guess I put up a constant fight,
With one of these selves of mine still, wide-eyed.

By Nandini Garg:

She wakes when the mankind sleeps
Toils while her inmates are tranquil.
She fights, battles and fetches for them.
Feeds them her bread.
Like a street hawker she is.

Withholding and drifting from those hungry eyes.
With sun shrieking in the skies.
Travels barefooted on blistering streets.
Doing every bit to make a penny.
Begging for alms, mooching off the bins.

This is still finer, until you see the other side.
Father passed away, mother re-married.
More siblings to fetch for.. More alms needed.
Mislaid another hour of her sleep and rest.
Setting on with the dawn and off with the dusk.

Sour eyes and esurient stomach.
Fragile and rickety bones get no rest.
Mother still not home and she’s put to test..!!
Retires to bed to catch a breathe.
No mercy for her as she’s a girl.

Comes in a aggressive step-father to seize away her esteemed assets.
She’s hit.. She’s scourged.. Strained, harassed and Wounded..
Lying on the ground.. She bleeds and cries..
The mother is late as a ritual it is.
And therefore the process repeats.

A hungry step-father squelches his thirst.
She bleeds.. She sobs..
She pleads for clemency..
But she has No right
After all she’s a girl child..!!

Days pass by but they provide No allay.
Her belly bulges.
A juvenile she is and another one she now depicts.
Mother locates and she’s thrashed.. Condemned and called names.
Mother smears her for the idiosyncrasy she could not retain.

But she abides in silence and dare not open her mouth.
More tears, injuries, pain, hurt and distress.
Such a fragile body she had,
And another frail body breathed inside,
But they could not fight with what was destined.

Innocence with her, innocence died.
With the progenitors watching from outside.
Proving Solace, comfort and respite to both.
After all she was born for it.
Born to be abominated.. hit and bruised..

Cursed and jinxed to be a girl child..!!
After all she was a GIRL child..!!

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