A Writer's Life

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

You Know Me, Don't You?

You Know Me!

Whats right? Whats fair? Nobody knows...yet everybody says. We all know whats right for someone else. Yet when we are in trouble, we forget whats right. This is my story. A story where I was stuck between right and wrong. I wouldn't say wrong because for me that wrong was desirable. So the fight in my head was between right and the wrong desire. I made a choice. Right or wrong, it was my choice and my choice alone. Can we say that what we do is what we wanted to do? Not really! Coz, believe it or not, there are so many factors influencing our right and wrong.

Heart-broken, I was still happy. Happy because I felt relieved. Some sort of relief that you feel when you get back your freedom. Now I don't need to inform her my whereabouts. Now I needn't do things to please her or convince her the things I do to get her approval. Her nod is no more important to me. I am sitting on the park bench watching lovers all around me, smilingly. I am actually laughing on their follies...on their promises to be there for each other and expecting a shoulder to cry on when actually it is they who make you cry - the lovers! Sigh! Let them enjoy this blissful moment as much as they can, for as long as they can. Coz reality will be out soon and then these moments of lies will make you heart-broken, like me.

But my faint smile disappeared as soon as I said that to myself. There was a vacuum inside of me. I missed her. I missed those irritating phone calls every now and then, that shouting of her on the phone asking me to be home early. While I used to cook up stories to tell her when in fact I was just having some time off, sitting by myself, with a bottle of alcohol in my hand. I felt futile. I felt the pain when I saw my phone screen and didn’t see her number flashing there. I felt she doesn't need me anymore. I felt the pain in her not needing me anymore, not caring about me anymore.

It was just yesterday when everything was going smoothly, or rather roughly, in my case. Everything was, as usual, her nagging and all that noise but today it is all replaced with the voices in my head. I hear her loud and clear in my head only that I cannot hear her anymore in real.
The peace that I experienced a moment ago is vanished by these disturbing thoughts. I pluck a flower and now I am walking homewards again. I reach the street and I cannot bring myself to say sorry for the last night when I had yelled back at her saying ENOUGH! The lump in my throat is hard to swallow but I do so. I felt like I feel, when the guilt in us surfaces and keeps rising high until it reaches our eyes and wells them up with what looks like water but is called tears. I guess that's because it really TEARs upon your heart and brings the reality in front of your eyes for it to be seen unmistakably. I wipe them away because I live in a society where men are supposed to be tough and not cry. But was I? Was I really that tough...probably not! That's for her to say. I walk with heavy steps and heavy heart towards home. In my mind, I am thinking what should I say and will she say something first and will it always be like it was - her nagging and all...or did this happen only to change things and that their relationship needed this jolt. Everything I was unsure of other than my love for her, other than the mistakes I made.
I guess regular life does this to regular people like me. The sight of a beautiful flower awes you but not for long, until you finally put it in a vase and then forget about it. It's only when you’re in deep thought and you watch it on your table that you see and realize the beauty it holds and how it makes your silly choice of a silly boring vase look beautiful. She is that flower in my life, I now think I ignored.

Remembering about the flower, I looked at the flower in my hand that I had plucked from the garden at the park. Its pale and has lost all its color. I smile sarcastically to myself and think it's because it is in my hand that it has lost its beauty and has withered away like my wife did. Or didn't it realize it was never a beautiful flower in the first place? Is there anything like a not-beautiful-flower? It's just me. It's always me...I end happiness. I am the reason why a beautiful flower like my wife has lost herself to age even before her old age. I am the cause of all her worries and wrinkles. Thinking so and glad that I could bring myself to think so deeply and so rightly...I open the door with keys only so that I don't alarm her and can find her sobbing too, sitting on the bed. I open the door and sure as heaven, she was perched on the bed. She was all dolled up for me in her pretty pink saree...the color of rose, the color of her cheeks. She somehow knows I am home. She turns around partially with a nod. And I can see her smiling lips, the half of it facing me. I am confused yet happy. I wanted to know why was she doing this? Last night, I told her it was over between us and yet here she was...inviting me to her, waiting for me to get back to her. I call out to her and rush towards her, bending on my knees, facing her, holding her hands and kissing them briskly. I apologise for my unfriendly, unkind, unsympathetic behavior. All she does is smile in return, plays with my hair and says her usual dialogue, “Lets start afresh!” she always does this. She always starts anew. She keeps giving me chances. I realised how lucky I am. We spent quality time together. I got a call from my workplace and had to rush to attend to some business. I came back home late in the evening. I had missed 20+ calls from her and she seemed dead worried to know my whereabouts.

Every friend of mine, whom she knew was worried and looking out for me. I received stares from my neighbours with a ‘tch-tch’ expression from many; nodding in despair, and the disappointing look in their eyes, made me feel so evil and villainous towards my own family. As if I am an irresponsible man who doesn't care much about my loved ones. I was so furious at my wife for putting me through this. I felt like I am in some wanted list of people. I wouldn't be surprised if the police was out looking for me. I reached home somehow trying to hide my face, as much as possible, and taking quick steps and sometimes leaps. The door was left ajar and I saw my wife standing there, wide-eyed! Staring at me! Before I could say anything, she yelled at me and created a scene. Every neighbour stood outside their home to see the tamasha.

While her eyes were frantically looking for solace, mine were looking at the popping heads of neighbours in the narrow street of my colony. I was raged. Couldn't she have waited for me inside the house? Though late, I would have come home sooner or later. But no! She has to play the victim card all the time. She could have made a few more calls and I could have missed a few more calls...so what!? I know she was worried sick but I was too furious to comfort her.

I closed the door behind me and while she continued with her ranting, walking towards the kitchen area in our small hut to fetch water for me, I ran past her and took the knife from the shelf and stabbed her 4-5 times. All of this happened in such a hurry, I didn't realise what I was doing. I was tired of the embarrassment, I wanted her to mute. I couldn't take another word from her foul mouth. It all happened in a few seconds and not even a minute ago she was ranting and her noise was getting unbearable for me. Her shrieking voice was reaching my ears like a pointed pin, piercing me and i could feel my ears bleeding. But that was just my imagination. Yes, my ears were now warm but not with blood but with guilt. My shirt was stained with actual blood - her blood, and I could never wash away these stains, my sins...not from my shirt, not from my heart. The bloodied image would haunt my mind forever. What did I just do? I had come home drunk like always.

In the spur of the moment, I had killed my wife. The wife who loved me and the wife I loved dearly. I know it's hard to believe, even for me. I am insane. I wail loudly releasing my loss. I look at her now still body, the silence outside was actually echoing my insides...I was left speechless, heartless. I was losing it. I had already lost it - the hold on me, the control on my mind. No, no, no! This is not happening. I shout out her name aloud, wanting to hear her irritating voice. For once, that voice would soothe me. For once, I was dying to hear her. She was worried about me because once in the near past, I had escaped death while I was walking on the road, all drunk. This was what worried her the most. She wanted me to come home early and then do what I desired to ensure I am safe around her. And this is her reward. I desired her end.


Who am I? I'd say you know me. I am one of the many people you see around you. I am not just a slum inhabitant, I am also a person you know who lives in the Midas land. I deserve no introduction other than an ‘alcoholic, an abuser, inhuman, undeserving and a beast’.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Everything Short!


I am short of words to write about everything that’s short.

Not a great blog - this one, and definitely not an attempt to mock something/someone that’s short but just sharing my observation. Why this topic, suddenly? Well, just a thought...some experiences and some people in my life whom I know for sure are short but strong in every aspect of their lives.Like there is a popular saying about people who are tall have their brains in their knees, or something of that sort. Now thats for fun, right! So, what my observation is with people who are short is that they are really dominating. They want to ensure they are not brushed aside for their petite size and so have a very strong personality. They don’t just say things...they make statements. And I think they are very strong-willed, too.
Shortcuts are dangerous but definitely luring.
Short sentences, too, are more impactful. Sarcasm is short too. They are like the real punch on the face. Long sentences, on the other hand, are boring and the meaning tends to get lost.
Life, too, is too short as we realize, when nearing the end. There is always so much more left to see or experience, or learn.
Short haircuts are cool too. They make one feel more self-confident and in control.
Short-term courses are more loved too. The results are faster. ;)
The short deadlines at work...OMG! They really make you think on your toes and bring the best under pressure for most.
The short blurbs speak a lot about the contents of the book. Also, has the power to improve the sales.
Short is crisp. Short is neat. Short is noticeable. Short is simple. Short is definitely not long. And Short is “Short and Sweet”.
Having said that, I plan to shorten this blog a bit too ;)
Short summary: Think about it...when you’re short of words, you smile instead. :)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Its the LOUDEST sound ever, IT KILLS! its SILENCE (Part 1)

I am gullible so you can understand I am no friends with Silence...its not even a distant friend to me. Someone suggested I should practice silence to overcome my gullible nature. It will help me think. I did. And I must admit it turned out to be my biggest failure.

I was haunted...haunted by none other than my thoughts, the ghosts of my past. At first, I felt as though its helping me think, think about what I like, dislike and the basics that I never paid heed to, earlier. It was then that it occurred to me that I am disturbing my peace of mind. Its the LOUDEST sound I've ever heard...Yes, Silence is what I am talking about!!! 
It shrieks in my ears. It is a piercing sound. Ever tried to listen to the sound of darkness? well, darkness does make a sound...its dangerous...its like the sound of a bee...the sound you hear at the end of a bell ringing...it leaves you with that feeling, that ear ache.

I made a mistake. I confess. I trusted silence to be my friend and shared every thought with it. Only to know that I was heard. I was HEARD not by silence but someone who also practiced silence; whose presence I wasn't aware of. Silence betrayed me by sharing my secrets with HIM...he was none other than my ghost, my past. My past overheard me cribbing and complaining to Silence and whenever I was with Silence, the ghost of my past, my image, came flashing in front of me: laughing at some distant memory, mirroring my happy past and the best times I've lived...mocking me for having come this far...scaring me to confront the present I've created.

A sudden loud noise comes from nowhere and I am relieved of this pain. I see myself in lights, among young people dancing, making merry and suddenly I see myself there...its my past again. I press my index finger on my ears...trying to drive away that sound...and here I am, sitting in the dark, silent room again. I see images...I see a lot of them. And try to drive them away but Silence screams into my ears...so loud, bringing back the wrongs I've done...I cant shoo it off...I have found a way. I am going to fight Silence. I get up and start moving towards the door. I can see the corridor is well-lit from the light that crawls into my door from that small gap at the end of it. I now run towards the door and a hand on my shoulder stops me.

I am scared even before I see who it is...I feel trapped. Its only when I turn, I see a bright white light...the brightest I've seen so far and I see a hand calling me to come and hold it. Its not scary anymore...I feel I have alighted...my muscles aren't feeling tense any more. I feel like I've woken up from a slumber. I feel so beautiful. I don't know where I am but I do know I dont have to worry...I'm in safe hands.

Just when I start feeling at home again, I see myself spiralling downwards into a long dark, black tunnel. I can see nothing and I feel dwarf-like. I hate to fall...I feel like we feel in the dreams when we fall from a great height. Suddenly, I am floating. Its scary. I cant see a thing. I am just floating, scared. I hear the chant of OMmm...and I try to see above me, from where I could hear the sound coming from. I cant see a thing but then I feel a touch...not a direct touch, but as if someone is touching me, soothingly. I go back to sleep with a smile. This goes on for awhile and I feel I'm gradually gaining my size and am no more dwarf-like.

Wait! something is pulling me down...again a dark tunnel but I can see light. I am suffocating...I cant reach it. Please...help! I feel like I am covered in plastic...its so suffocating...huh! pl...ease.....I cry the loudest and I try harder to get out of the tunnel...suddenly, all lights...its pricking my eyes but I feel so nice. So good. So relieved! Someone is looking at me as if I am just out of comma...and is speaking to me. But whats this...I cant talk...no matter how much I want to say, I cant talk. Again, silence! but then suddenly, I sense a touch...different this time, I feel calm, safe, loved, and I go back to sleep...I know before I learn, its my new MOM. I am re-born.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Silence - Part 2

Silence is hardly a prayer...

I feel silence is for the strong minds and meditating they say brings peace...
but to meditate, we need to practice silence first...
And silencing our thoughts seems the hard part
My attempt at being silent may look successful from the outside but from within...
it is as if I am alone at the Jallianwala Bagh and being massacred brutally with bombarding negative thoughts, guilt feeling, bad remarks and comments from every side. 
I once said that silence is helping a gullible, like me, relax my anxious mind and is also helping me reflect on what I was about to say, introspect myself...and so on...
But no sooner did I say it, I remember having felt exactly the opposite.
By being gullible, in fact, I am able to release the pressure mounted within me. By expressing anger and disagreement and by arguing, I feel relaxed from within until the new stress comes to the surface of having destroyed relationships while talking, whatever came to my mind.

No wonder Gautama Buddha had to reside in the woods to attain peace. Should I really pursue silence or let my mind speak to me? 

Sure, I find enlightenment when my surroundings quieten and my thoughts speak aloud in my head. I feel as if the wise inner voice in me finally got its mike to speak the loudest I've ever heard so far. It seems the quiet night outside is being a good audience to my loud conscience. 
but by then, the damage is done. Ta-Da! 

I've never heard the wise in me speak during the day. it requires quiet times and the silent-me is going to break soon someday. it is only when I am on the verge of breaking down, that the dawn breaks and with the first light of the sun, comes my old routine with new challenges and I've forgotten what my conscience said during the silent hours, only to be haunted again during the following night. 

Uff this confusion!!! Silent or not, I doubt I am going to make it peacefully throughout life. 😔 Silence is my best friend, pointing out at my mistakes, but I prefer the noisy background to it because it does not allow me to see the darkness that the night offers, that the silent hours of the night offer to me by showing the darkness within me.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spooked

OMG! I don't know what made me do this...but I googled up the haunted places in Mumbai, India. The paranormal or bizarre things have always caught my attention. And the result spooked me. This was in the year 2003 and I was studying in Ramnarain Ruia College of Arts and Science. There was this one incident I never shared with anybody as I brushed aside the whole thing as just a strange, inexplicable feeling.

It so happened that it was some cultural programme that day and I had to change. So, I went into the ladies common room and we had a very tiny room-like space within the ladies room for changing. I went inside and no sooner did I enter it, I was feeling very uncomfortable. I could sense some presence in that little room, which was hardly a square foot place. I kept turning my head only to see the wall behind me. But I can never forget the weird feeling I had. And no, it was not just feeling claustrophobic, because I know that kinda feeling very well. This one was different. I just wanted to get out quickly.

If I am not mistaken, I think that presence was right over my neck. I don't know and I am not very certain about the facts but one thing for sure, that the feeling was very scary. And when finally, I opened the door and let myself out quickly, I couldn't look behind. As if my inner voice stopped me from looking back into that space. I still wanted to go back and see for sure nothing was there. However, I left it there. I never paid heed to this whole episode and it was buried somewhere inside me. I don't know...maybe I felt it was just some weird feeling of being cooped up in a very small place.

But today, when I read an article on the haunted colleges in India, I was left aghast. My college was listed in the article and the mention of that very room along with some other room number S26, which I am not sure of. But the changing space in the ladies room, OMG! now it explains everything...about that feeling I had. But what scares me, even more, is that I was THERE! :O

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Age-Old Moral Stories with a Twist

The Hare and the Tortoise  -The first in the series!

Long ago, as we know, the tortoise won the race, only because the hare was over-confident.
Ever wondered, what if the hare would have finished the race using his natural ability of being the fastest little animal? The tortoise's determination wouldn’t have helped, right?
Slow and steady doesn’t win a race but can complete a race. It is the hare's mistake that came handy for the tortoise.

Now, read this new version of the story.

It’s 2017, as we know, after so many years the tortoise again wins the race. But how? If the hare is fast, the tortoise is old and wise. He is 150 years old and slow; slower than a snail.
In order to win the race, the tortoise plays a psychological game. He plays a trick on the hare. The race begins as it must, and the hare runs as fast as he could. He realizes soon after that the tortoise is left behind. Not wanting to repeat the mistake done by his forefather, he wants to ensure he reaches the finishing line first and then take some rest. So he runs and reaches the finishing line and there are a few animals there who cheer aloud for the hare. The hare is happy and now waits for the tortoise to reach so that he can see the look of defeat on his face. the tortoise appears after a very long time and the hare laughs at him for losing this race. The tortoise looks sad but keeps walking with his face down. The hare loves the loser look on the tortoise's face.
The tortoise, however, keeps walking and later, reaches the finishing line...the finishing line??? Yes, the finishing line!

The tortoise had created with his friend's help a new line that was way before the actual finishing line. His friends were there to cheer the hare to flatter him and boost his ego. When people say you win, doesn’t mean you win...never go for flattery...and never belittle your challenger. Everybody is skilled...nobody is skill-less...the tortoise couldn’t have beaten the natural skill of the fast running hare but he could beat him in wisdom. So when people praise you, know the difference between actual praise and flattery and know that the race never ends. To begin with, there is no race. Excel is what you must and you can enjoy the winning experience all throughout your life. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Coping with the Death of a Loved One

Nobody can be buried to an extent that they become a memory, a fragment of our memory. Isn't is ruthless? That the person we loved so much and who loved us, even more, is no more…what is ‘no more’ when they were alive were they ‘any less’? then whats with this thing called death…where does it take our loved ones?

What is the purpose of this life, in which, we come from nowhere land and disappear back there, after living half a dozen decades…yes, that’s how meager it is, as it sounds…’half a dozen decades’. What do you want me to call it? LIFE? Isn’t that like giving too much weightage to these years…nothing but an experience for the soul, perhaps? Then why does it feel so much? Why does the pain exist…what I can see is nothing but the face of my loved one and her voice is all I hear. The care, the love, the presence of her cannot just go away. Her scent, her motherly care, her affection is all is left of her…this world, this planet doesn’t need her? Is she a star? Why do we always look up when someone passes away, expecting them to be there somewhere when actually we left them on earth.

Is a person’s life equal to only some tear droplets? An entire lifetime of love now only a few tear drops. How can we just move on when all the person, once alive, did, was to remember you, think about you and love you. Their full-stop is nothing but a small comma in our life sentence. That’s it? Well, a life sentence it is, like in the jail terms…because all your remaining life, you will have this vacuum left that nobody else can fill…and it is a life sentence for it is full of loving memories that now give you pain.

RIP Nimu Maasi…Is all I have to say…and the things left unsaid are too painful to express…a knot in my heart…a knot! I miss you and I wish I told you I love you, before you left us. I wish you a life that is full of life. Your journey with us doesn’t end here…I will live your memories every day.

You recited the dohas and narrated the Ramayan epic to me…but I don’t remember any of it, just your face all lit up when I answered your question about the moral of the story…all I remember is the way you gave meaning to this epic and brought the characters alive. The bhajans you sang in your melodious voice was not a prayer for me, but an opportunity to hear you sing in trance for your diety. It was always about you, Maasi…ALWAYS! You may have forgotten your acts of kindness and love but as a child, all got imprinted on my mind and I know, what a beautiful person you were…I think the RIP is not for the ones who are gone but is even badly needed for the people whom you leave behind. It is the souls of the living that are in pain and I cannot rest in peace without that lump in my throat and sorrow in my heart.