Friday, December 12, 2014

It So Happened

This was a year where things simply went topsy-turvy. Lost a friend to honesty, my best friend got married and shifted to Mumbai, finally let go of a friend who had to be better forgotten, and then I finally decided to get married.

And then begins the process. To create one's profile, to select the criterion, to screen the profiles, to try to find out what I really want in my partner, and that frequent nervous attack whenever I try to figure out how it's all going to work out.

And can one deny the small heartbreaks? I have seen my bestie go through this rigorous arranged marriage process for around two years when she suddenly found this awesome man and then within a couple of months, they got married. I have seen her go through the failures, lose hope and pick herself up. I have seen her making the mistakes, lose her temper and yet continue to smile and survive. And now that I know I'm in her shoes and I will be facing probably the types that she met, and probably many unknown types as well, I wonder if I will be able to maintain faith.

I have been a firm believer in love - the kind that keeps two people together even against all odds and yet want to be with each other in the next few lives too. I had believed that only a love marriage can give me that kind of love, because in arrange marriages one doesn't get to fall in love and then decide to get married. It's almost always the other way round. But now I wonder if I am ever going to find that 'love' that makes me breathe. And even here, I take hope and inspiration from faith. I don't know what this faith comes from, but may be it's just an illusion. May be there's no such kind of love, and we all learn to adjust and compromise with time.

And all these philosophical words come because I am upset!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Of Faces and Of Masks

It’s so easy to assume that you know someone. Know, as in not where they live or what they do or who are their family members. But what they believe in, what their reactions to certain  things could be or whom they would approve or disapprove of. But if that person suddenly changes in such a fashion that they seem to be a stranger to you, then what do you make of it? Did you make a mistake in understanding them? Are they actually so good in camouflaging their real self? Are they confused as to who they really are? Or are they so easily manipulated?

At 26, I don’t claim to be a very good judge of characters, for I am susceptible to “first impressions” and “benefits of doubt”. I may get the hunch that a person is not trustworthy, but I scold myself on being disbelieving at the first glance. However, more often than not, I am cheated by the person or witness them cheating someone. And then I wonder, who is right? The ‘me’ trusting the intrinsic goodness in people, or the ‘me’ detecting the ‘out-of-place’-ness in that person.

For my whole life, or for the last 14years, I have been ridiculed at for being meticulous about my nails, or my hair or my appearance by a certain someone. And now, after being in company with a new person for the last few months, I am rather confused seeing the person completely changed, with stylish nail-art, straightened hair, and makeup that they had always jeered at. So, what should I make of it?

An experienced friend of mine opined that some people are rather brilliant at pretensions, and they make it so believable that they themselves confuse the thin line between appearance and reality. So is this it? All those clever lectures, all those books, all those philosophies – coming to this? Confused pretensions? And should I be proud that at least I have the courage to look into the mirror and differentiate between the mask and the face that I carry? But today I don’t quite feel happy being proud, because today I realize that I have basically failed in understanding the basic nature of one of the people I assumed closest to me.

I still would like to believe that whoever they are, they may be happy in whatever world they have built for themselves. After all, it was my mistake that I couldn’t understand who they are, and I don’t blame anybody for pretending anything. After all, we all pretend. Some of us can identify the face and the mask, and some get trapped in their own web. The latter are the sadder kind, I believe.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"She is my friend. She's my family. My insides"

So, as I am in her home for the weekend - after spending an eventful yesterday with herself and her mother,  shopping more and more in the various parts of the city – and sitting at her laptop, choosing the songs to be played during the various ceremonies before the wedding, I wonder. I wonder when did she become an important part of my life?

I met her more than 14 years ago, and was introduced to her through a girl who went on to be a close part of my life. But this story is not about her. This is about the girl who was not really my friend. She was my friend’s friend. And in the years following, we had been through quite a lot – good and bad. Silly quarrels, gossips, tuition together, being crazy in our own stupid ways. We bonded, and we fell apart. This time it wasn't quite silly. It was serious. But may be one fine morning, I realized that she is more important to me than whatever important reason had forced us to stay apart. It was a tough decision for me to take, but today I can say with immense pride that I had made the correct decision that day to meet her and then visit her place.

And then her family members became my family members as well. Her sister is no less than a sister to me. Her parents know that they have the right to correct me and scold me if and when required. And she is the little part of my heart which is anxious whenever it remembers that she will move to a faraway city very soon. And this time, there won’t be any turning-back-of-time. This time, we are actually growing up and this time I am ready to accept it.

So, who is she? She is the person to keep in me alive a part of my childhood. All of us should have that one person who is not the lover, not the best friend, not the sister – who is the 'soulmate'. She is that soulmate of mine. She is that friend who knows when to keep quiet and when to burst out. She is the one whose imminent absence makes me anxious for I don’t know what I will do without her.

She has found the man of her dreams, and I have never seen her so constantly happy. She smiles without reason. Even if she’s cross at something, if I take his name, she can’t help but break into a shy smile. She is one of the toughest people I have ever known. Tough, resilient, optimistic and practical. But she has this huge warm heart and that’s her biggest strength. She is the real Superwoman!

And when she was trying on the various benarasi sarees last week, I wondered how can the laws of the land allow such a cute doll to get married! Shouldn't they keep her in some glass doll-house, or something? But that’s the problem. This girl, who apparently looks like a doll and loves to get pampered, is a tough cookie inside. She doesn't give up on her dreams and ambitions, even though things might get rough or alluring to some other direction. And does she hold her ground!

I shouldn't lengthen this post any more, for I can go on writing about her, but that doesn't quite mean that I will have written it all. So, Debjani Chatterjee, you are complete in yourself, and you have crafted your own place in my heart among all the other people in such a way that this is ‘love actually’!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Resting too much, and hence, restless

Somehow, I have been getting quite a few days off recently. Count it as one of the perks of being a school teacher, or the troubles of being ill and having to take leaves for visiting the doctor, but the matter of the fact is that with Holi being on a Monday and other works falling before and after the weekend, I have been staying home for a few days.

And so disrupted, fleeting thoughts have been a common hobby. Sometimes I wonder about what I should watch on the TV, especially since our TV has turned environment friendly (everything looks green on that screen. Must be something with the colour gadget inside the big box) and since then I have lost interest of anything shown on it. And every time I find out something remotely watchable, I find Maa hooked on to it, watching the same piece of news broadcasted for the 17th time in the day. Basically I have stopped watching TV. Well, the other reason is that our internet connection has been upgraded, thanks to Dada, so now I can watch any programme online, without having to wait for it.

Next, I am trying to read my first ever John Grisham. Make a face, think in your mind that I am almost an illiterate for not having read his works till now, or just wonder how-could-she-not? Here again, the matter of the fact is that I am not a big thriller fan. Once in a while, a good book recommended is fine. But the reason I picked out this one from the school library is that now that the session is over, and we are having almost the whole day to ourselves, I thought a thriller might do justice to my idleness, and show how good an employee I am by keeping myself away from the inevitable yawns. And of course, there is the reason that I asked myself how-could-I-not [have read Grisham] ?

I ought to start singing again. I have been miserably lazy with it for the past 8 months. I simply must start with it. Well,  from tomorrow! ;-)

There has been a nice surprise recently! Got gifts from N, as I told her that they are my post V-Day gifts! Here are what I got!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Tough Task-Master

                                 The goal is farther yet!

Just when I thought I knew the answer to “myself”, I did things which made me all the confused. Have I done anything diabolic or severe? Not really. But it somehow feels like having revealed more than I could afford to. Not that I have shared somebody else’s secrets. What I talked about was no secret about me as well.

And sometimes I wonder if I am too hard on myself. I remember having read as a child in Alice in Wonderland that Alice used to scold herself, and accepting with surprise that I did the same thing as well. I still do. I scold myself whenever I falter even the slightest. I am strict and hard on myself, may be because I expect a lot from myself. I can’t forgive the mistakes which I know will affect me adversely in the future. It may be something as silly and apparently harmless as talking too much on one fine day when the work load is light. Like today. But I am constantly chiding my own self that I should have restrained my impulses.

And then, I am the one who acts almost always on whims and impulses. I am famous for being quick and impulsive with my friends and family members. I have taken a detour to my work place even though the straight road would have taken me half the time. I have got flowers for my mother on a plain day, without any reason. I have got a drastic haircut just because I felt like. I have cooked experimental food with no prior preparation and liked the whole idea.

And the same me is such a tough task master. And this is not only with me. Even with my students, I push them towards perfection as much as I can. Some respond quickly, some ask for help, some try to improve, and some are the least bothered. It’s not that I am a stern impersonal perfectionist. It’s just that I am not happy with anything but the best. If I am not getting the best, I try to work with the second-best and bring it up in quality. If I can’t be the best, I will at least be different. And I try to make my kids (I refer to my students as “my kids”, even though they are very typical teenagers) understand that getting full marks is not the goal. Knowing what you are writing and trying to add to it is becoming different. And though the position of “first” or “best” is temporal, as every time there is an exam, there will be a new topper, the ones who try differently will find satisfaction.

And this habit of mine makes me a natural non-favourite among the students who have the tendency towards “hall-collection” or “taking help” during examinations. It’s hard to make them understand when all that the parents are concerned about is their grades or ranks or marks, that “what” you get is far less important than “how” you get it. The satisfaction of knowing that each right answer and its marks belong to exclusively you, goes far deeper than the instant joy of getting high marks.

What keeps me going even in this position-oriented system is the enthusiasm and appreciation of my kids who understand the value of being better than what they were. They tell me every time they have achieved something – may be just writing a whole essay without anybody’s help, or explaining a passage in the class comprehending the meaning by themselves – that had I not pushed them harder, they wouldn’t have tried to make themselves better.

And may be this constant reminder that trying-to-be-better is not a crime still makes me hard on my own faults as well even though I take a break every now and then. Just like I play quiz or games with my kids once in a while to keep them energized in this mechanical world.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Fictional Autobiography

The fields were burnt to black,
Dead meats scattered through the land.
You could see children
Frozen to black
Just outside their huts –
And mothers calling them in frantic.

Just to the right, there you saw some men –
Eyes gorging out as they saw me.
They had heard tales
From their grandmothers,
Of the Black who did death
And chilled with her breath.

It was my first visit
To their pristine roads.
Years I had held on to the black.

Finally, I breathed out.

Friday, January 17, 2014

An Abstract Poem

I wake up to find my child dead beside my bed.
Blood clotting over its heart,
Some poisonous bite it was.

I don’t scream,
I don’t panic.
I had known it all along.
Womb so cursed was wrongly
Blessed with child so true.
God knew His work,
He did it.

And I’m back to my world.
Cold fog shrouding my breath,
I feel the old known damp death.
The few months that were warm
With the love, are now gone.
Gone for good.

I killed with my will,
My smile, my hugs, my kisses.
The love was enough to kill.

My breath is now black again,
My eyes yellow with decay.
And yes, I'm happy now.
I’m back in my death.