Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Burns 1

She stared at the girl in front of her. Her face was covered with marks of a severe burn. She had dark hair, a fragile frame and was miserable to look at; except for her eyes, which showed vitality, will; a sign of hope and determination.
Sara walked away from the mirror, after finishing her 10-minute routine. Every day she would stare into it; On some days, the marks would seem less intense, sometimes they would be so prominent. Her image as reflected by the mirror would define her mood for the entire day, sometimes the other way round. After this, she would pray to God, not that she exactly trusted in Him, He had let her down twenty years back. Her entire family had been wiped out in the fire accident that broke out in their colony; she was left alone with pain in her heart and marks on her face. In spite of this she would pray, because she had no one else, she hoped someday her life would be fine, someday there’ll be someone to care, the only hope that kept her going.
She left for work. She was a sweeper for the City Corporation. All day long she cleaned all the areas allotted to her, sincerely. Her duties were fixed. Start sweeping at 6 am near the City garden and follow it up with the four streets branching out from there. She would finish her job around 9. After that she had to clean inside the garden. This was tough. There used to be morning joggers, students studying, mid-housewives talking, kids playing, teenagers exercising etc., but most of these people seemed so insensitive to the presence of dustbins with ‘USE ME’ tags on them. Still, she never lost patience with them because these were the people who kept her grounded to reality, who told her what life could be, for her too, someday.
Really tough situations for her when a playing kid would look at her and scream out for help or start crying to its mom about a ghost it witnessed. She would immediately walk up to the mother and ask for forgiveness. Some mothers would generously tell their kids that it was only sweeper aunty and that she is very friendly. Some would curse the Government for its insensibility in appointing ugly people in a park frequented by kids. These were the moments when she would curse God the most. The other times would be in the late evenings, when she would encounter the drunkards. But this was never as severe, her burn marks would let her escape with just verbal abuse, unlike the physical or sexual ones that other girls would suffer.
And this was how she lived, the life of an untouchable….
Sometimes she wished she could better have been handicapped. People had so much sympathy for them; there were institutions to care for them, Government laws and allowances to protect them. The Government didn’t seem to realise that being ugly was a handicap- a terrible one at that.
For twenty years now, she hadn’t felt the touch of a human on her skin. She had forgotten what it would be like. She yearned for a touch- of some form, of any form- caress, hug, tickle, slap, smack- anything. A touch which would tell her that someone claimed ownership over her, she was someone’s possession. There was someone who would love her, hate her, someone to whom her presence would make a difference. A girl in mid-twenties, she was in full bloom; she feared she would wilt like a flower unvisited by any bee, wasting all the nectar she held in her bosom. Still, she lived on….
It was the monsoon season.

Amidst heavy downpour, she was trying to clear the fountain outlet in the garden where dried leaves clogged the drain hole... (To be Continued) 

Saturday, June 15, 2013


The birds aflew, a bright sunrise,
Amidst the sound of animal cries,
Buds, a bunch, blossomed slight,
Hoping to spread their fragrance wide.

On the topmost branch of the tree,
Was a crowd of butterfly and bee,
For the new bloomed bunch,
Was quite a lunch.

Down came the showers,
Making the flowers sad and averse,
No more would anybody care,
Suppressed will be their scent and flare.

One of them still smiled,
This is not it, it chimed,
I am sure all this is a scheme,
I have a purpose yet to screen.

Down came the rain, harder and harder,
All of the bunch became sadder,
The one still believed,
A path somewhere would lead.

‘Tik!’ the stem broke,
Two flowers fell down the slope,
One held on to the lower branch,
But the one fell right down on the ranch.

The flower stuck on the lower branch chided,
‘Your hope is a concept, blinded’,
The one on the path replied back,
‘I’m sad, but haven’t lost track.’

Hours went past, a small girl came near the tree,
‘What a beautiful flower!, I’ll take you with me’
So went the flower home,
And adorned the Lord’s crown.

Situations in life come by,
When we feel quite dry,
All is well if we realise,

A fall is necessary for a rise.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happiness...!!! ??? !!!

What's the goal of life?

Career, money, luxury?
Fame, Recognition, Power?
Love, Relationship, successful marriage?
Self-satisfaction, Contentment?

All these are things or a state of being.... But finally, we live by the emotions we feel or the emotions we display...
So, what is the goal of life in terms of emotion?
Single-mindedly, it is Happiness, hands-down.... 

If happiness is the ultimate goal of life, and happiness is just our perception of things, then most of the people (most, because, not all have yet learnt the art of perception) should be happy…
It is obvious that it is not so. I feel there is something basically wrong…

At this point, one of friends gave me an enlightening and valid point…
“Whose happiness is what matters… And that is where most people make a mistake”
Brilliant, yes… We can’t live our life by other’s definition… Then at every point, there’ll be a clash on whose happiness we’re trying to achieve…
But then to what extent can we pursue our own happiness? Specially if it is in conflict with the definition of people whom we care for?

Let me give an example:

It is a festival. Mom says we need to go to the temple. But there’s a special programme on TV you want to watch. What will you do? You might think it is a small thing and simply leave with your mom… or she might think it is a small issue and let you stay… But what will you do if this happens over a long period of time, say everyday… or if the magnitude of choices is several orders greater.. like your career or your life itself….?!

The point I’m trying to make is, how much do we let other’s influence our definition of happiness? Or do we even let them influence it at all? If we do that, is it selfish? If it is so, is it fine to be selfish?

Here, I feel, such behaviour is not selfishness, but rather an attempt at freeing ourselves from the hassles of expectations. It feels a lot better to be alone.

But the next question is, what if there are people you owe things to? Like your mom, dad, friends? To what extent do you try and make them happy? Basically, do you owe them anything at all? These are difficult questions.
Yes, your parents did do a lot for you… But did they do it for you, or because it gave them contentment and satisfaction (ultimately, happiness?) in doing those things for you? So, then do you still OWE them things? Or is it an illusion?

Or is the world itself an illusion, or MAYA…? And we are folks caught in the web, spun by our own ignorance, strengthened by our lack of perception?

Maybe, a few rays of light are filtering down to me… I wish they would enlighten enough to know that there’s a lot more outside the web I’ve spun around me…