Friday, June 24, 2016

The Dripping Roof

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She was old and sleepless.....Alone too. To while away her time, she would take things out of her closet, only to put them back again. She would fold the clothes, then undo them only to fold them back again. Habits monotonous but necessary.... 

That night however was different. It rained. She looked out the window. She strained her eyes to see if anyone was outside. The world around was too busy to notice her. Cars went past, splashing water standing in the puddles. She turned around and headed back for her chair. Just then, she felt a touch - slightly cold, but gentle. It trickled down her buttery face, melting on it as if in love. The touch awakened her aging senses. She looked up and saw the drops falling from her roof. Tiny drops, slow but persistent.... She stood there for a while. She lifted up her face as if in a prayer. The drops seemed to regard her, for they fell precisely where she stood, bathing her mildly. The kind caress of the drops probably brought a tear in her eyes too. She did not wish to run around for a pot or a bucket. The moment transfixed her there. For this night, at least, she wasn't alone anymore. 

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Day He Cried.....

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Whenever I think of my father, I remember his laughter. It was loud, uninhibited, and infectious. It reflected his carefree self in the most beautiful way imaginable. He was a man of few words. He would talk less, but whenever he did, it bespoke wit and wisdom. His personality had a charisma that made me want to be like him. It would often fill me with a strong yearning to see his confident gait, his appealing nature. There was something definitely addictive about him. And it wasn't just me who was charmed by him. One could say that being a daughter I was biased. But there were others around him, who met him and were awed by that star quality oozing out of him.

Being a workaholic, he would spend hours in his office. His office was another place that I absolutely adored. It was full of books. I would step into the office and be surrounded by them, wondering if one day they would be mine to read. I wanted to be a lawyer too, like him. In my imagination, I would wear a black coat and fight cases, winning them all the time, like him. I would win smiles, win people, be famous like him.

Needless to say, he was a strong man. He would never show his emotional side. Or perhaps, he did not show it in front of us as he thought that his sadness would pain us, or his fears would scare us. He was a human too - he must have had all the emotions we all have. But he was careful, I guess, always laughing, always smiling, always confident - even when he lay on the hospital bed, readying for his surgery. When he was diagnosed with brain tumor, it was a shock that shook us terribly. Mom cried. My brother hid his emotions and put on a strong face, but it all reflected in his eyes. I cried too. I had been like my father, shielding emotions and never crying. But that day, I had cried too. He stroked my head and said, " I fell sick at the wrong time." My brother stood beside and we both held his hands and could not say anything. He promised he would be fine. 

And he fought. A man of his strength would never give up easily. But being a human, he fell prey to side-effects of therapies, strong medicines, and surgeries. His smile never faded. My brother got married, and so did I. As my visa papers were not ready and my husband was flying back to US, I was not leaving my home right after marriage. I remember the day I got married, and told my father," I will be back in an hour." He smiled and shook hands with me. We were together. He never said anything, not yet.

The day I left for US, his health was not that good. I was leaving to a far-away place. I had wished it to happen, having chosen my husband. But it felt strange to leave my home, my ailing father, my anxious mom, my  brother, my bhabhi, and their newly-born daughter. It was a feeling only a daughter could understand. I worried about them, but like my father, expressed it not.

The day of the departure holds no memories other than that of tears held back, and goodbyes waved. My father had again not been that expressive. I knew not what he was feeling. But after having gone, he cried. I did not see him crying. But I can feel it, his tears and his pain. He cried and told and my mom he felt that with his daughter gone, everything was gone. As I write this, I cry too. I cry out of helplessness of not being able to hold him, and hug him. I did not know then that I would never see him like that again. I did not know then that after almost a year, when I would return, he would be unconscious, preparing for his final departure. I did not know what I had wished for in going away. Since then, I am scared to wish for anything. For I know not, what my wish will bring, if fulfilled. 

But I miss him. Every single day. His laughter, his black coat, his books, his office, his warmth. He never spent time with me like mothers do. He may not have changed my diapers like my mother did. He may not have spent sleepless nights trying to lull me to sleep. But he did run to the doctor in the middle of the night when I fell sick. He taught me to smile, to fight in every circumstance. I can never be as strong or charismatic like him. But I am forever his daughter, a gift I am thankful for. I carry his name proudly, hugging it as the only bit that is left of him. 

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

Thursday, June 9, 2016

शिकारी की संवेदनशीलता

किसानों के उजड़ते खेत 
शिकारी देख न पाया -
ढाई-सौ नील गायों को उसने 
अपनी बन्दूक से उड़ाया 

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This poem is in response to the culling of  Neelgais in Bihar after government approval. The blue bull is the largest antelope in Asia and considered a native of India, and has been ravaging crops and farms in the state of Bihar since long. What other options were available to the government? Did the Environment Department work on other options in the past, given the fact that Neelgais had been wrecking havoc since a long time? Is the sudden massive killing (culling) of the animal ethical? I don't have answers to these questions. Farmers' lives depend on their harvest. Their demand for relief is fair and urgent. But was this the only way out?

Blue Bull or Nilgai is the state animal of Haryana, my native state. This is a fact I discovered today while reading about them.