Saturday, May 14, 2011

The New Goddess

He elects her to power. He is willing to fall at her feet. He does her bidding. Even better, he would like to do it before she bids him to. He wants to be seen close to her, to know her pulse, to know every thought.

He wants to be the queen's right hand man. He celebrates her victories and mourns her defeats - more than she does. She treats him like worm, he loves to squirm in front of her to please her. She calls him an idiot, and he is joyous for that one kind word. It shows she knows him.

He worships the very ground she walks on. He calls her his mother, she is his goddess, she is the queen of the land.

He can bear every scathing look, every harsh word, every humiliating moment, for he has a vent at home - his wife and his daughter.

Also read: Worshipper of Goddesses

Friday, May 13, 2011

Growing Up: Part II

My son was my daughter's shadow. Even if he was surrounded by other friends, he needed her to take him down, be around, include him in her games and bring him back home safely.

She was a little mother, even if complaining sometimes, willing still.

Then he turned 5. And he announced, "You go down, I will follow. Tell me where you will be."

I had been panicking that he will end up playing girly games, that he will only have girls for friends.

Today, he doesn't care if she is there or not. He goes down and comes up on his own. Plays with older boys, and complains he gets out quickly in cricket. But he is thrilled to be with boys.

But he is suddenly a little man. A rowdy, more like.

When my daughter grew up: Growing Up

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Smile, Some More

It is like the Sun
parting the clouds
After a gloomy day.

It is like the rain
pouring down
After a long hot day.

It is like meeting
A friend from past
After many years.

It is like eating
mother's cooking
After trying others.

It is like finding
the road one sought
After meandering in alleyways.

It is like catching
the train that's leaving
because one got delayed.

A smile is a balm
heartening and warm
on a tiring day

A smile is all
one needs to see
to make one happy and gay.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Blessings

He toiled day and night. When he was given the pay raise, he felt it was well-deserved.

He toiled some more. When he got his promotion, his colleagues congratulated. He knew many thought he had licked his boss's boots, but so what if it had required some diplomacy? After all, there was no reason for him to fight his superiors. And, hadn't he really bagged the three prestigious orders?

When he married the boss's daughter, people winked. His life was made, they sniggered. He had won her fair and square. The two had fantastic affinity and were made for each other. He learnt to ignore the sniggers.

His children went to the best schools. He made sure they went to the right classes and their talents well honed.

He looked at his bungalow in the city, his Benz, his family and his position with pride.

He had stepped up the ladder one step at a time. But his toil, his hardwork, his intelligence had brought him here. He thought it was time to take it easy and let the younger ones do the work. His record was enough for him to grow now.

Winds of change blew across the company. A new management wanted a young, dynamic team - a team that was hard working and smart. He was sure his contribution would be noted.

He saw his junior step over his shoes to become his boss. He felt a knot in his stomach. He met his seniors and showed his track record. He expected he was in for a bigger bonus, a bigger, cushy role.

He was shifted to another city. He had to fend for himself - look for a house, a car and a good school. His children decided to stay back, his wife thought it best to be with them. The bungalow was gone, but at least they could afford a big house here. In the new city, the cost of living was too high.

He entered his empty house and looked at the blank faces of his servants.

He went into his bedroom and the walls seemed to swallow him up. He felt his stomach churning, and finally, he looked up and cried out, "Why me, lord!"

But the lord thought the man knew his way around. After all he had grown on the merit of his hardwork and intelligence on his own!

The lord had other lost souls to attend to.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Smile

Modestly dressed
Looking sweet and shy
The girl swayed
From side to side
Her hands tied
In fists that were tight

Fear and doubt
Clouded her eye
Young and small
She didn't know why
This stranger gave her the toy
And opened her arms wide

She turned to look up
At the matron with lips pursed
Even angry, she was
Her safety net
She looked again
At the stranger in vain

No memory of the face
Of familiarity, not a trace
But it was that one thing
That drew her to her
The wide smile
That said all is well.

She smiled back
And her face black
Glowed and lit up
Like a 100 watts bulb
She was no longer modest
But a beauty in disguise.

They ran to each other
Arms open wide
Clasping tightly
Knowing rightly
That god loved
Those that smiled
Not minding
The sorrows that blind.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gora by Tagore

This book was part of my syllabus in BA Lit and needless to say, I did not read it then. A thick fat book in fine print, and with a wariness for Indian authors - even of the stature of Tagore - I kept away from it. Sadly, our lecturers too did not think it necessary to make it compulsory for us to read it. In the true spirit of preparing for the exams, they told us that this book was never part of the question paper. So though I bought the book, it lay with me for quite sometime.

Then I finished my exams, and was already in a job. I don't know what prompted me to pick this up finally. Maybe the fact that I didn't have anything else to read just then, or feeling pity for a book that lay uncared for...

It was an amazing book - for the depth of characters, the intricacy of the plot and the final twist that was stunning, and at the same time, so believable and so relevant in today's times...

Who am I to critique a legendary author! This post is not about the author but the character Gora. Maybe one of the reasons I could relate to the book so well was because I had a classmate just like this man - completely convinced in her version of the truth, armed with all arguments supporting her case, aggressive in her stance, willing to pooh-pooh what everyone else had to say.

Years later, she acted contrary to this conviction in one of the matters I know of. I am sure, like Gora, she was equally convinced about the opposite stance!

But it was an eye-opener at another level too. I suddenly felt that an RSS, a jehadi or a crusader is so because he/she is wired that way. They have to have convictions to hold on to, to push forward, to defend. If it is not one, then they need another cause. So if you take religion away from them, they will still probably find something else that they think is fighting and killing for.

Isn't this what make books classic - the timelessness of depictions, the great insight they provide into a society, into the human mind?

If we use this insight in our dealings with terrorists, will we find another way to solve the problem of terrorism? Instead of kill and kill some more, can their energies be channelised differently?

Have you read: Crazy for Cronin
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