#4 – The Beginning

Sometimes I dreamed about Father. He looked thinner than when I last remember seeing him, and I always had the same dream. He pushing me to and fro on a swing in a lush green meadow on a spring afternoon, and we are both happy and shouting, and suddenly from out of nowhere a riot breaks out, people come towards us holding lathis and guns, and Father standing in front of me, protecting me from all of them, and shouting, “What do you want?” And instead of getting a reply, someone shoots him, and he falls. That was the dream. And the same dream kept on coming every now and then; I did not know why. This had never happened in real life. In real life, Father was quite different. He used to toil hard on the fields and by the time he came back home, he hardly had any energy left to strike a conversation with Mother or me. He used to eat, then take out a bottle of rum from one of his cupboards, drink and go off to sleep. He was very silent at home, no fun and no frolic, unlike the dream. Perhaps the dream was what I really wanted in my real life, only the former part of the dream though.

How I ended up in this city with Aunt and Uncle and Sam is a long story, and it starts way back with my grandmother. Grandma was nearly seventy and she needed treatment for her ailing back. It was not possible where we lived, and so Mother and Father arranged for her trip to the city. Since she was to go alone, and since that was unsafe given the current situations (riots had just broken up in Delhi and a lot of people were being killed unnecessarily, and a lot of trains were being burnt without any reason), my parents decided it would be nice if I could accompany her. Not that I would be of much help, they knew that. But then that was not how it all started. To start would mean to go to the beginning and explain how all of our lives intersected and how I am what I am today. It all started back in 1932 when in a small house in a corner of the world, a baby was born.

In autumn he was born and was a fair lad. A few more autumns came and went by and he struggled to live the way he wanted. For around him were talks of independence and wars. He saw Gandhi walk around, and did really consider him his idol, and in one of those fair summers, he learned how it felt to breathe freely. 15th of August it was and it was 1947, and the British had left India in the hands of Indians and then what we did of that all of us know. He married the prettiest girl in town and they had a gorgeous daughter who married a handsome man and they had a handsome son and thus I opened my eyes to this world. It all seemed distant now, yet to go to the beginning sometimes means to search for one’s roots, search what one actually came here for, and try to live up to that motto once you finally find out your purpose.

And so that was how it all began. My life. And a few years later, so it was that I was transported along with Grandma’s luggage to a posh town, where everything was ten times faster, where breathing required skill, and where being rustic meant you were stupid. Yet it had only started. As Grandma used to say, “Child, this is only the beginning.”

How It Changed Entirely

This is a sequel to Nothing Has Changed.

It is true that you change,
When people around you do,
Or else I wouldn’t be writing this today.
It is true that you change,
When I am absent,
Or else I wouldn’t be writing this today.
For coming back and starting,
From the point you left off,
Is never the same as not leaving at all.

You understood my eyes,
What they meant without speaking,
Now you can’t hear me,
Tell me, who changed?
You smiled at silly jokes,
Now you mock me with others,
Say I am stupid,
Why, who changed?

Goodbyes were meant to be happy,
Yet this time it isn’t,
I am sad and I’m upset,
But you wouldn’t know,
You are busy there, out with new ones,
And like old newspapers I’m trashed in a can,
Know that I’m sad to see,
How it changed entirely.

Four Letters

I see a smile on his face now,
A smile I wanted to see for a long time,
He’s happy, she’s happy, and so am I,
To smile and be cheerful, this is the time.
Now I know why the gods said,
They wouldn’t help me come what may,
‘Cause it’s not something you fight for,
It’s not something you can win or lose.
You don’t earn it either, and you don’t give it,
It’s just what the mind plays when it’s idle,
And when you get busier, you’ll forget,
That it existed, that I was.
He thinks he’s happy, I shouldn’t tell him,
How wrong he is, how wrong she is,
‘Cause I know he’ll be wronged, unfaithfully wronged,
And although they say there aren’t tears,
When men cry there’s only a fainter smile,
I’ll tell him that those four letters he uttered,
Will soon make him see what I’ve seen some times,
You never actually love anyone, it’s only
The love for yourself that you see in her,
‘Cause if you were to love one in this world,
You would love yourself, you should, you must.

Nothing

Sometimes I sit and I wonder,
What to write if ever I write,
‘Cause nothing happens in my life nowadays,
No more fun, no more life.
Gone are the days when you missed me,
And talked to me thrice a day,
Now you don’t even remember my face,
And I let it go that way.
Gone are the days when I thought about,
Convincing you of the fact that I love you,
Now I’ve just let it go, hoping some day,
You’ll realise and come to me.
Gone are the days when I cried softly,
Because my friends hurt me to the heart,
Now I don’t care, because I’m used to,
Giving everything and getting nothing back.
I wish sometimes I could go,
To a time some three years back,
When you were all that my thoughts comprised,
How happy was I then, how am I now.
Sometimes the smell of the past lingers around,
I stop sniffing then, I cannot bear it anymore,
And though I never told you that it was true,
I wish you’d know everything by yourself.
Sometimes I wish fairies were real,
So that there were more like you,
But being only one on this world, you won’t survive,
I’m telling you, I’m telling you.
Now I know you don’t know how I am,
And I know you don’t care either,
But I wish if we’d cross paths again,
I wouldn’t smile at you, you would neither.

We Stopped Looking for Monsters Under Our Bed When We Realized They are Within Us

To begin with, the title is not original. I read this saying somewhere, and I liked it. Next, a very Happy New Year to all my readers, though I know it is a bit early. I wish this new year bring in lots of hopes, happiness, success, and a new ambition in each of your lives. It has been a ritual for some of us to make New Year resolutions, which we definitely take care to not keep; however let me not delve deep into criticizing you, because it’s you who has made me what I am today.

We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized they are within us. Well, we all know where this heads too. A world, where corruption is our biggest possession, where our children inherit it from us happily, and move on to pass it to the next generation, is where we live, is where we love. There have been people who have tried to remove portions of this corruption, but, all in vain. For there is this conscience of ours, which has got used to corruption so much, that it has stopped pricking us; it thinks the way we think, and does not stop us when we do something wrong.

I studied in my junior school that whenever we do something, whether it be wrong or right, our conscience speaks to us. Well, to be honest, it has never spoken to me till today, and it has never decided what is right or wrong. If it would have, then I would have been a holy person, devoid of badness, devoid of ill-thinking, devoid of evil. And if there is one in this world who is devoid of evil, is the one who dies now, is the one who smiles after he dies, because as he died, he gave up his evil to the world, and the world embraced it and distributed it amongst themselves, happily.

Then who is to blame for all this? Is it those small children in the school who learn it while walking on the streets? Is it those college students who do it because they had wished to do so since they were in school? Is it those people sitting in the office who consider it their profession to practise wrongdoings? Or is it that grandfather who sits in the room reading a newspaper, on one hand saying loving words to this grandchild, and on the other hand dirtying his mouth at the Parliament? To blame are the elders, the older people of this country, who consider it their asset to practise corruption. They are those who say that we should stop corruption at grass root level, and themselves manure the grass. They are those whom little children hear whilst sitting in the other room, and decide to be like them when they grow up. They are those who slap their child on hearing that he used a slang, and have nothing to say when the child says he learned it from his parents. Our “sanskriti” speaks of respecting our elders, of considering them next to God. Does God go about murdering people? Does God go about plotting against his own family? Does God go about smiling at people and stabbing them behind their backs? Does God discriminate between people of different castes, creeds, and religions? If yes, I consider all elders as my God.

The whole point of my writing this is demeaned if people do not take a correct step towards the right after reading this. Saying things is easy, committing yourself to doing something for the betterment of this world is difficult. Kill the monster who harms you tomorrow; kill the monster who is within you today, because he harms you more than any other monster can. A very happy new year to everyone, and this year, let us walk on the path of righteousness, on the path of justice, and on the path of truth, once again. I hope this year we write more, we read more, and we encourage more.

Satyameva Jayate! (Truth alone Wins)

Those Complete Days

The cool breeze brought in with it an essence, an essence of happiness, a fragrance of hope, and a perfume of completeness, as I sat at my desk, completing my homework. It was less cold today, I hadn’t put on my pullover after waking up, and though after every five sums I went to my bed to feel the warmth of my quilt, the cool breeze still soothed me, and for a change, being wrapped by it felt better than the quilt. My mother brought in the tea, with two biscuits; I was not supposed to have tea empty-stomached, and sat by me for some time. Then she went off, continuing with her daily chores, whilst I sat at the window sill, looking out. Today was special.

The trees had just bore new leaves yesterday. They were small, they were green. As green as the eyes of that girl, whom I had seen yesterday under the tree, waiting for the rain to stop so she could resume her way back. She was wearing a white top, and a red skirt, and it looked more like a school uniform. She didn’t see me, I didn’t want to be seen either, for I felt ashamed to be spotted the first time with me wearing a vest and bermuda. I had seen her from the space in between the two curtains, which were at two corners of the pelmet today, allowing the light inside the room, so that I did not have to switch on the lamp to study. I gave one biscuit to the crow, one to the dog, and had the tea myself. They were always around at this time of the day, it had become a routine for them to get the biscuits. They did not wait for more, they knew they would get only one.

I heard the motorcycle’s engine start, rushed to the balcony to wave my father good-bye as he went to work; I did this every day. Sometimes I would go off with him when he left and would stop at a shop, buying myself a chocolate, and then walk my way home. My mother would be surprised when occasionally I brought in a samosa for her, not knowing that I had bought myself no chocolate that day. And as she smashed the samosa and mix it with puffed rice, put a spoon of mustard oil, and some onion, I would stand by her, smiling. That was my mother’s favorite breakfast.

Sometimes she would make herself a cup of tea after breakfast, softly so as I do not get to know about it, but the sound as the hot tea touched the dry heated upper part of the saucepan while pouring it, clearly alerted me, and I would rush into the kitchen, and she would smile, pouring the tea into two cups, and we drank half a cup of tea each, chatting throughout. She would ask me what I wanted for lunch, telling me the names of all the vegetables in the refrigerator, and I would choose one, and she would make something out of it for lunch that day.

I would return to my room, which was no more cool, but hot due to the asbestos roof heating up quickly. I would retire to my chair, take a book in my hand and continue reading, whilst my mother cooked for me and father, who would be shortly arriving then, for his lunch. By the time he would come home for lunch, I would already be sleeping; I needed a nap in the afternoons to keep me awake through the evenings. When in the evening he finally returned from his office after it closed, he would sometimes bring two jalebees for us, mother and me, and would smile as we ate them after tea. I couldn’t have it before tea; the tea wouldn’t taste sweet then, a phenomena I couldn’t reason out why.

Then we all went back to our work, mother to the kitchen, I to my studies, and dad, well, to the television. He needed some rest after the day’s hard work. In two hours we would have finished with dinner. Sometimes we played a game of cards before everyone finally felt too sleepy. And there it would end, another special day. Tomorrow will be special again.

The Cloud

You have been with me for the past one day,
And haven’t changed yourself since then,
As if you’d personify my dreams itself,
Only if you were a person.
I have seen you change from grey to white,
And the evening set you to a light pink,
And even tonight you’ve covered the moon,
Which makes me wonder,
Whether you wish to block out the light from my life,
Or you want me to be in the dark so that,
Your rains come as a surprise and replenish,
What’s over and out inside my soul.
I told you in the morning you look more like a demon,
But as time has passed, I figured out that I was wrong,
You look like a wolf instead, and remind me,
Of the girly story a Meyer wrote.
The wolf there loved a girl, you must know,
And I think you love one too,
And that is why you are out tonight,
To show her that your love is true.
Don’t drizzle down oh yet so soon,
Burden yourself tonight some more,
So that you burst so heavily on her,
She will come to me nearer.
You love her and I love her too,
And though the Meyer said so,
I am not a vampire.
I am a human, a human in love,
If that forces me to do things vampire-like,
It’s not my fault, to blame are you.