HOPE lives on  

Posted by Nitu in ,

[ Sometimes I feel hope is a meaningless delusion to bank on for living. Then my mind drifts around.. always returning back with some nameless souls, nameless stories, nameless lives which are being lived and written only on one thing..namely, HOPE ]

Kailash looks up to the sky. Every morning it is almost a ritual duty for him now a day. Last year the crop was not good as monsoon didn't arrive in time. He sees a few fragmented clouds getting heavier here and there. A smile crosses his lips. 'this time, Lord..this time'- he murmurs. Last year Narayan seeked his daughter Mamta's hands for Narayan's son. But Kailash couldn't commit it because of the poor crop.
Kailash summons his wife,"Roopali, can you come here?" She arrives. "look at the clouds"- his joy hasn't faded yet. "Our lands no longer will remain parched. We are going to have a good harvest this time. I am going to accept the marriage proposal for Mamta. The boy is good, suitable for our daughter. Aah Lord, she will make a beautiful bride." he continues.. Roopali smiles too. For 22 years Kailash's little joy, little hopes have been her source of living and happiness...

HOPE is happiness.

June in Kolkata is scorching hot. Baasu's feet are paining, the hands are burning. They have been sun burnt to a coal-black long before. Baasu gives in, "I can't pull it anymore." He decides to rest under a banyan tree. Even a little shade is a rare event in a city like Kolkata.
He mopes the sweats on his forhead with a corner of his lungi. For five years he has been cycling a rickshaw. For three months he hasn't visited his village home. Last time when he went he met a school teacher, his son Shantanu's teacher. The teacher reassured again, "Baasu, your son is exceptionally good in study. You should ensure your son's study doesn't get hampered due to lack of something. One day he will make you a proud father." Baasu is already proud of his son. Shantanu wants to become a doctor. The boy is of such a caring nature! He will make helluva of a good doctor. What a wonderful moment it will be when his own injury, bruises will be treated by his own son one day. Baasu remembers, as a kid he used to cry a lot when he got injected with a syringe. He still fears a needle. May be he won't fear anymore if the needle holder would be his own son. A smile appears on his tired face. He reassures himself, 'one day, one day..and that day is not far away..till then I will work hard on..no matter how much it pains..'
'Hey rickshaw, will you go?'- a female voice jostles his thoughts.
But he doesn't complain this time. Yes, he is ready for another pedaling..for another rupee..for another step towards his hope and Shantanu's dream.
He enthusiastically responds, "which way, madam?".........

HOPE is force, hope is courage.

She regains her consciousness..opens her eyes slowly. She still feels the excruciating pain below the abdomen level. She has no idea how long it has been since she entered the labour room. For a moment she felt as if she was dead. Her husband Anuj comes by, holds her hands in his palms. His gaze is trying to say, I am glad and I am sorry at the same time. Her haunting memories starts invading again. She looks at him questioning. Anuj shakes his head a little, a painful gesture.. saying 'NO'. She frees her hands..he lets them go..Silence reigns the moments...A painful distressed silence..for second time she has delivered a still baby.
At last she looks back at him..two grieved eyes meet another pair of eyes.. equally grieved. She holds and draws his hands closer. A silent promise was born..'Together we will make it someday, I ain't give up. You won't too.'

HOPE is comradeship in distress.

Her mobile starts ringing. She almost falls off the chair while reaching for the cell. It happens,girl..it happens..she thinks. After all she has been waiting for this call for the entire day..no, for the whole seven months to be honest. 'Sweeti, I am coming home.' He sounded so excited two days earlier when they talked! She is excited too. For this time they are planning to seed a dream.. a dream of their conjugal life..a natural realization of their togetherness.

A familiar code lights up the tiny screen.
'Hello..' - a sound that never losses the sweetness even though it is thousands miles apart touches her ear (she believes it lands on her heart directly, bypassing the ears.)
'Are you boarding now?'- she can't hide her ecstasy.
He is supposed to be heli-lifted from their base camp to the nearest civilian airport at this hour.
He pauses. No response. She hears a heavy sigh instead.
'You are coming, right?'
'Honey, I am so sorry. I am not making this time. There is an emergency situation along the Siachen border. We need to be deployed immediately ..........'
He says many more things. But her ears go deaf..her tears inconsolably falls on her newly mehendied(hennaed) hands..
'...I will be home soon. I love you..' he manages to utter them as someone is commanding him to board a copter.. a copter that doesn't bring him home..but sends farther away.. to a death valley.
Sometimes she doesn't understand this patriotism..serving a country. All she yearns for is a warm cuddle in his arms.
But she is an wife of a soldier.
She composes herself..says,'I will wait sweetheart. Take care. I will pray for you. Always. Come soon honey.'
They disconnect.

HOPE is wait.

Pretty long post huh..But I hope you have read them all..yeah, yeah I am a hardcore optimist :)

A promise unfulfilled  

Posted by Nitu in ,

Last night I saw a dream ..of a litle girl..of her giggles..of her quick steps..of her nameless exuberance radiating a house. I asked for a water jar..she chimed in before her mom could reach the jar..'Maa..I will do it..I will do it..'..she gripped the jar and refilled the water glasses for everyone. For a moment I felt it was true..for a moment I was lost into a paradise of unbelievables. I could stay that way for ever.

I remained spellbound even after consciousness awakened..long after the morning lights started penetrating through the window panes. The purity of innocent zest was deep enough to defeat all the high decibel noises ushering the day. It had been more than 17 years since the girl in my dream ceased to live on the earth. It has been a long time..with many ups and down..with many people entering and leaving..with many exhaustions and rejuvenations. But there is something time doesn't erase, something a heart never feels tired carrying of. The little girl is one. For she was my little sister, the "noor" of my family, darling of the neighbors.

When I was 11, she died of an undiagnosed disease at the age of 5. I promised her to buy a doll, a promise that was never fulfilled. The only thing I could do was to lay my piggy-banked amount beside her burial place. The act of redemption was for me more than her. To buy a doll I would need to go to a nearby town which was about 10-11 miles away. But I never ran those miles.

We hope the loved ones will be around for ever. Sadly many times they come only for a season, only for a reason. Hope is so misplaced sometimes. We postpone something for the next time, next occasion because we hope there will be a next time; not knowing what tomorrow holds. The next time never arrives sometimes.

It is never late to say someone how much you care about, how much you love. But make sure you are doing it today. If that requires running an extra mile, then let's run. Imagine what would be the value of a "Taj Mahal", if in her lifetime, Mamtaj never got a true feeling of Shahjahan's profound love.

We may have seven colors in our heart for someone. But we need a little more than a heart to put them together into a rainbow..to make them visible. And I believe it is worth doing so.

Men like UNIX  

Posted by Nitu in

Ok guys and girls, may be you already have it or may be not yet, but I just can't stop lolling. Assuming that you are above 18 and have heard of unix, time to lol now.

Do you want to know why men like UNIX?
Read these interesting commands!!!

Why men love UNIX!!!!

$ touch;

$ finger;

$ unzip;

$ strip;

$play ;

$ mount;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ mv;

$ halt;

$ core dump;

$ unmount;

$ sleep;

$ ....

and the best thing is.. NO VIRUS!!

That's why for anything you want to understand in UNIX you have to type

$ man

Any more trick to prolong the orgy??
Any idea how to command for multiple orgies !!!!
Come over..show your "commands for sex" to the world :)

The unseen grief  

Posted by Nitu in ,

Some experiences remain locked in our memory forever. Some days leave a lasting mark. We may forget which day of the week or what date, but we never forget what the day had to offer.

It was the last Monday. I had hosted two back to back small parties at my flat over the weekend. I had used up my utensils till the last spoon in the kitchen. Somehow in the morning, I managed to have my breakfast and rushed to the office. Most of the time this is the norm anyway, "the maid will take care of it". However, the pile of unclean utensils was much much bigger this time. So when I returned to find the same unclean pile in the evening, I was naturally upset. How come the maid didn't turn up? Or rather how dares she without informing!

Though I like to cook, I hate cleaning the dishes. I always consider this activity doesn't fall under cooking. With a sweating forehead (due to my anger or Hyderabad's heated temperature I am not sure), I cleaned half of the pile, again pushing the remaining to the 'take care' kitty of the maid. All the time, I was wondering how the maid manages to clean the kitchen without losing her smile, when I have lost the ability to manage my life on my own even for a single day. Am I starting to live a parasitic life? Or already I have been? The many vibes of doubt, self pity, disappointment started eating up the remaining hours of the day..

The maid is not more than 42 years, but looks like 55 old woman. Next day, she arrived in time. I could see her natural self, the same composed and calm face. Not a single sign that something had gone wrong, that her truant day had offered me a terrible day! Inevitably I shot out, "Why didn't you come yesterday? Don't you know you have more works on Monday?"

She speaks only Telegu which I don't understand. She said a few words. I didn't get all. But what I got was saying, "Babu, my mother died yesterday."

My anger evaporated into shock, shock vanished into sadness, sadness into self pity of my own callousness. How could I be so hollow in thoughts!

Just a few days ago, an anguished, emotional footballer's pictures had been splashed across all the media. Frank Lampard's heroic contribution had led Chelsea beat Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final. Only Six days previously he had lost his mother for good. The media called him "Hero". I agreed.

Now right there, right in front of me there was a person standing who was not less courageous than a Frank Lampard, whose unseen grief would never make to any news, nevertheless whose loss was not less than anyone else. Just because someone earns a few bucks more than her doesn't make her grief any less than him or her. Just because that someone is me doesn't give me a right to treat her grief to be shallow. Everyone needs time to grieve. I told her she can take a leave as long as she wants, that I can manage for myself. Not that I was doing a favor to her, rather I was doing a favor to my own compassionately dead brain cells.

But she refused.

I eat, uncle Sam whines  

Posted by Nitu in

[This post is a reaction to the recent comments made by the US president, Bush and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice on the recent inadequate supply of food items in US. Both have suggested developing countries like India, China are contributing to the shortage, because these countries are eating nutritious now. I don't have much expertise to debate the topic by picking up some points from how world economy behaves or functions, however I feel I can say a few words from my own personal experience.]

What happens when you eat from the king's plate? You are likely to get hanged.
What happens when you eat from his store house? You are likely to get imprisoned.
What if from his farm? You are likely to get whipped.
From someone's farm where he has been eying for the finest fruits? He whines..he shouts..he almost categorically blames, "you are doing wrong".
For we only have the right to eat when he is done. For we have been born to fill-up our stomachs always with the left-over and the fallen grains off his opulent plate.

Sorry, mighty king, I defy. And I have been deprived long enough to shout it loud now.

Getting reared in a village where the poor farmers sweat every nook and corner of their weak bodies through out the year, I witnessed an appalling fact. They always sell the finest crops or fruits that they produce (baring the small pie kept aside for festive days or farming related ceremonial events/rituals). Because that is the only way they can optimize their earnings and subsequently can buy a few more units of the essential items. All the time they and their children have to be content with the left-over. Even with my tender age, I could see this social injustice. I cringed to say, they deserve better.

None of the village children had the balanced nutritious diet. Mal-nutrition was widespread. What every town kid takes for granted now a day, those calorie, protein, vitamin enriched horlicks, cerelacs never went to a child's mouth unless he/she was terribly sick. The choice was evident, if you don't want to live naked, then you have to live with a few protruding ribs.

India has been the poor farmer for long long time, always exporting the finest grains to the rich countries. Introducing plenty of export rules and quality norms, the kings always have managed to get the finest breeds, the finest green tea, the Basmati rice etc. About two-third of Basmati produced in India is exported. Basmati- pleasant aroma, superfine grains and extreme grain elongation -the destination of this premium rice? Mostly UAE, UK and USA. And the takers of non-basmati rice are Bangladesh, Nepal, African countries. Not surprising, huh.

Today the poor farmer has garnered a few bucks. And with that it can afford to keep a good amount of its finest productions for itself. The kings call it act of imbalancing. Is it? Nay, it is about getting balanced. I have a stomach that can digests Basmati rice and a pocket that can afford it, why king's stomach is churning? I am claiming my daily protein intake today, why the king is fearing if in the process he is losing a little flabby fats!

Surprising yet the fact of beer and liquor. With my a few extra bucks, I am drinking like never before ( just pick up any recent liquor consumption survey in India). However, uncle Sam is not even blinking!! The reason is clear. Uncle Sam is producing and stocking them day and night in tons. When you can't miss a thing, you have to ensure the thing on your own, right? Aah, alcoholic Sam is smart in the matter of alcohol. But dear uncle, if you can't lose your those extra flabs, then produce more corn and rice.

By the way, uncle, if you have to eat daal-bhaat once in a week, that's not that bad. Rather, good for health. After all crores of India's population is living on them. Oh yes, how you will know this fact? Because aren't you a person like queen Marie Antoinette, who said, "what, they don't have bread? Then let them eat cake."

It is surprising that uncle Sam's lack of food is food for my thought today :)