Ripped into headlines………….

Sumi balanced herself on the footstool,her face hidden behind the curtains, lest she be visible to the girl gang outside.She sighed as she saw them displaying their flairy,flowing  outfits. It was five in the evening and the girls had gathered for a session of teen gossiping. Sadly, Sumi was not a part of them.

She did not fit into the “hep” terminology of teens-with her oily hair composed in plaits, her shoes showing no signs of elevation,her lips way away from being glossy,her skirt touching her ankles and then her undemanding and straighforward orientation-all these just diminished her chances of being a part of that group.When those teens swayed to the rhythm of Salsa,she learned the mudras of Bharatnatyam.When they huddled for burgers at Mc Donalds, Sumi’s only source of entertainment was the inevitable Doordarshan.

Monetary or for other reasons,she never catched up with her teenage community. The only days when she would be seen hand in hand with the members of the girl gang was when exams were creeping forward,sending chills down their spines to beg help from Sumi. On other days,they would not even acknowledge her customary call.

Sumi got down from the footstool. She was tired. The last two days of the week which were eagerly awaited were consumed by the labourers who came to fix the communication device. After all the cleaning and mopping,Sumi’s back refused to calm down-it pained badly.

Monday morning dawned to find Sumi down with fever.

However she bundled herself up to face the Unit test.It was seven in the morning when she stepped out and Chitra aunty called out to her.She felt she heard three other calls.

She looked up at Chitra aunty standing in the balcony.

“Congratulation!!!Sumi”said Chitra Aunty. “I saw the workers.”she said.

Mrs Khanna and Mrs Chaudhary from the other block wished her as well,though usually they address her as Madrasan in their whispering tones.

Sumi hurried towards the her bus stop,to find three members of the girl gang standing there and smiling at her.

“Oh!Sumi they said,so you have left us all behind.You are the heppest of our lot,ain’t you?” and they hugged her.We would love to be friends with you.

Sumi laughed.

At school,her class teacher congratulated her.

Sumi’s fever titptoed to a  corner,as the day passed.Wishes had arrived enmasse.

All this for the telephone installed Sumi thought?The telephone connection at our home is the breaking news today,she told mother when she got back home.The one good news is that I am in the girl gang now.

“Yes,my dear child,the neighbourhood is happy and proud  for the lone telephone connection it has.”Mother said.

The little red and white communicator had ripped into headlines.

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She hard her mother open the door to Mrs Chaudhary.She wanted to make a call to her distant relative.

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The festival of lights……………………………….

Indu sat grim faced……

“I am so careless …………..I am not fit to be designated as the  Accounts Manager.”she  thought..

The maddening rush since the last three days had left her sick and feeble.

People thronged the Greater Kailash Branch of one of the prominent private sector banks…………..for discounted “Goddess Laksmi”embedded 24carat gold coins issued by the bank on the occasion of Diwali.

The branch was crowded……….the pleasentness of November soaked in the perfumated sweat of the diversity that got together to celebrate the festival of lights.

Cash withdrawal was the one of the major players which kept the branch staff glued to their screens.

Indu sat at her desk,she was the salary manager who looked after the salary disbursement of  multitudes of multinational companies which had their salary accounts there.And for the past one week her table was piled up with bonus cheques or the fringe benefits…………….waited for, impatiently by thousands of employees across India.

She was on the edge of breaking down,when the intercom buzzed.

She whimpered into the receiver.It was her branch manager………..

“Indu,come to my cabin.”he said

As she climbed up,she juggled to string together words to give a possible explanation……

“Come In Indu.”said Mr Murthy her maanger.

“Sir,”.As she started off as Mr Murthy intervened.

“See we need a possible solution,your anguish,regret or repentance cannot buy the festival fervor for 3000 employees.”Mr Murthy said sternly.

“But where on earth did you loose that five crore cheque.”Mr Murthy said in an incriminating tone….

‘Sir,can you give me the permission to talk to the Regional Manager of the company.”Indu said stoically.

“Daughter,”Mr Murthy said. “You can try.But I see no solutions.I shall not keep you in dark,But both you and me have to accept our negligence”

Indu stood up,she felt exhausted.She struggled to go down to her desk.

“This  festival of joy……has brought the inevitable cimmerian shade to my life..”Indu thought.

“Madam,your phone was continuously resonating…….Hum Tum,”the office boy said

“Sampat, I feel ill.I am not interested in any calls.”

The phone buzzed again.Angrily she just switched it off.Embroiled in thoughts,Indu sat at her desk,thinking of the uncountable families that were robbed of the joy of festivity because of her…..

She decided to call up the regional office of the company.Three attempts waddled her to the voice mail,no success.

She sat crouched.There was a tap on her desk.Indu looked up.

“Mr Mehra stood there,He took out a bunch of roses,.Happy choti deepawali ,he said.”

“happy deepawali”Indu said.

Mr Mehra was one of the oldest customers of her branch.

‘He handed out an envelope.What is it Indu asked……….Your blunder ,he said…….

“Sir,Please I might have… I have been disorganized since morning.I am sorry.”

“Open it,he said……………It is an aeroplane made by my grandson,when I came today morning”Mr Mehra said.

“Sir,I will……later……I have so much work accumulated.”

“Yes …you will have dear,you may have to sit through the night……..Open it….

Indu opened……………….and shrieked with joy as she saw that crumpled piece of rectangular paper which said “towards the midterm bonus of ……………………………………………………”

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Indu sobbed incessantly.

Child……….Mr Mehra said

The five crore cheque formed an aeroplane at the hands of a five year old and found joy…………spread happiness….

It will now segment itself to spread happiness to thousands of people……………………..the segments will segregate themselves to give solitary happiness to another thousands…………..those thousands would illuminate numerous homes on the joyous occasion,those illuminants would then fill millions of moments with euphoria………….those million moments would then huddle for many years for people to reminisce……………..those memory lanes would again gather infinite moments whenever these euphoric moments revive in memory,……………so with this cheque……you are going to spread………zillions of happy moments forever……………….

Cheer up,darling………..Its Diwali….the festival of light………

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To write or to be right

To be a mother is synonymous to be omnipresent and to juggle with scores of work that hover around you…….

“you are like a goddess.”mamma she said convincingly.You can do ten things at a time.Can’t you?

It was very much believable for her to ask mamma to do two things at a time.She said stood there as I picked up the laundry for the day.”Mamma, she shrieked…..I am hungry..I just asked you to make pakodas, you want your chutku to go hungry?”.I gave her a stern look.She giggled at me and asked me to buckle her shoes.The door bell rang,and there were her friends…….”her face glistened as she looked them,she dragged me inside and whispered into my ears,”mamma,will you oblige me enough to make pakoras for my friends too?”

And just as I would give her a yell,she planted a kiss on my cheeks and the mother in me flooded with emotions,nodded to her request.In a glance she dashed downstairs ,I could hear  and feel the effervescence in the air as they clambered and jostled with themselves…………

An array of question marks stood before me……in multitudes,taking robust and feeble features in their stride….the examination paper to be checked had broken the sole rubber band that wrapped them,poking themselves out of my vanity,the woollens were staring at me…..as if squealing…our innings are over…..its sunny today,the larder has been run over by mites…….they tried to grab my attention with the rattling sounds……….the guests for the night would check in any time……and my heart ached for my laptop…………..I just wish……I sighed!!!!

Half an hour later,the aroma of pakoras filled the air……….the  naughty clan……whirled up…….

The mother had won…….the teacher,the wife,the host……..had lost………………………..

This is not a contentious issue,but as a woman “we” ceaselessly scrutinise ourselves…….though we know our priorities but still,excellence is what matters to us……and as a woman,a mother,a daughter,a wife and as a manager……………..we still let the person who is at the other end win over us……cause we are the ones with boundless love and we love when our loved ones win…..

Their triumph is ours in every way..and I think most of you will agree………….

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A Leaf from my life……………….

The fortune teller,sat brooding over the placement of Rahu and ketu,I could see the spiral scribblings in Malayalam on a paper,but decided to let them be illegible……my eyes galloped over them as in a sprint race,the fear had invaded unfathomable proportions of my life……… This fear started the day…..when my fingers were forced to form words that expressed my inability to continue my services with the largest private sector bank.
I still remember the eighth day of the fifth month of the year,grasped in the tweezer grip of summer,burning like hearth…when I stealthily walked towards my branch to handover the ten lines that dictated the life of a recluse for me….……..
The answer to my innumerable questions lay in the escapades of these planets?Have they reigned in my life? I thought? They must have that is why I was here to learn from a stranger,the reason behind leaving my job…..
Two years had passed since I opened any account ,made drafts, cancelled payorders, played with tufts of currency.I loved my job,I l loved to slog it out there.I loved the FDRs, I loved the smell of new currency.the clatter of the money counting machines,the jingle of coins, I loved depreciation accounts, balance sheets,the opening of lockers ,the feel of cheques ……………loved everything about the job I was in .My work was my identity, the realization that I was recognized,…………………it was my most favourable companion…..
The two years I spent tending to household and to my children….. I lost myself somewhere,I became subdued,the voice inside went into hibernation,an extrovert and vibrant girl was quashed…..instead a new woman whose routine ventures grilled her in the four walls of the house,whose whimper died down in the bubbling rice…….came into life…..
I used to have that disheveled look every day,my conscience crouched,disoriented I went on from one chore to another,unable to comprehend where my life was heading towards,when the incoherency faded sometimes…..tears would trickle down drenching my clothes……the little solace came by way of the movement of those little hands and legs…….those angelic eyes and the honey coated call that rang in my ears “mamma……..”
The sole reason that made me feel that all that conspired was worthwhile…………………….
So there was I sitting expectingly before a fortuneteller……….questioning myself.Does he have the answers to my queries or I am the one who has masqueraded herself to be a perfect puppet,capable of
any acrobatics to be performed as commanded.

I investigated and concluded…….the conviction was done…..it was me……
He raised his eyes and asked,do you write?Oh!!! I was caught unawares.I said “I do.”
Stop that he said,”Otherwise bury your dreams of being a working woman.”Your scribblings turn away the job that come your way.”
My conscience was the interrogator….Life became a jigsaw puzzle…
Words had a way with me……they played hopscotch in my mind even while I picked up tossed clothes or dusted the window sill….They were a part of me,to separate them with me were to take the soul out of the body.
Further I sank………………….
I dread that phase of my life………….when I almost lost myself……and then it took 365 more days to convince myself and immense courage and the affection of the angel in my life……..the woman whom I call “amma” to drag me back to life….
I owe two lives to her……..

Those lingering thoughts
In they tiptoed and I fought
Messing up this sparing lane of mine
Groping with enlightened thoughts divine
Far in the dead night
In to the hollows of the creeping fright
They stalked……….
And I fled…………….,
Crippled and squeezed……..
I twisted and crawled………
Pushed and gathered………….
A handful of me…………
And then I grew……
Sprouting in sunlight milieu……
Folding in out…………
Crumpled and erect………
From docile to deft
Its me as I shouted aloud…………….
To enliven my life bereft…….
Spring did set in……….
As it flew and came……..
Another monster……..it said
You have tamed………..
Those lingering thoughts…….
Zigzaged their way
…..with my bliss
An irrefutable play
Drenched as I sighed………
Life must have giggled at my plight……….
But the spring never gave in
It cuddled me in its
Effervescent grin
Borrowed wings……
To fly and win
Craddled and rocked…..
with her tender strings
those lingering thoughts……
still tiptoe and throng
a brute from a minion……
still……..a tussle…..
to assign it to oblivion…….

Written for Project 365 at We Post Daily.Today’s prompt was
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And they lived happily ever after………

He was dejected,he never expected to be humiliated this way. He was  looked at him with a sense of adulation and reverence ,elicited from his ever humbling ways, his philanthrophist mannerisms and his warm and tranquility incensed demeanor……

Oblivous are his ways he thought……the year 1966 would make his eldest daughter cross the threshold of 24,which was considered a terribly grave situation for a maiden to be in.  Curious eyes and bizarre queries stalked and haunted their family.  Girls don’t even cross twenty in this hinterland, nor do they contemplate higher studies. when they enter the sanctum sanctorum called marriage. And here he was………palms cupped ,beseeched, seeking alms………for a conjugal bond for her daughter…..?

They had refused,the boy’s family.Vimala and Krishnan were in love……but the era they belonged to had uncompromising,unshakeable pronouncements towards the detestable (in their terms) maxim called “Love”.The boy’s family refused marriage,not because they belonged to different stratas-either in monetary terms or by the way of lineage but to save themselves from the shame of being a party to the taboo word “ love marriage”.The emotion called “Love” was forbidden and boycotted.Marriages were solemnized by the elders of the society and the  nuptial knot threaded not by the individuals involved but by their respective families.Unknown faces,concealed identities in mysterious circumstances huddled together around the sacred fire to be man and wife.A very common ritual in many Indian communities.

Vimala was his eldest daughter,a very intelligent,diligent and fiercely independent girl ,who was the harbinger of women’s liberation in many a  ways,in a chronology marauded by myriad laws heralding subjugation of the being who proliferates life.Her sheer feminism had given her the audacity to face the verbal lashing of words,which frequently invaded her in the bylanes of her small village.

However,Jan26 came crashing down on her,when Krishnan purportedly played mumma’s boy and refused marriage to her.The house sang a melancholic rhythm,as their acquaintance melodied like a village ballad,and mouthed every adult or child in the hamlet.Marriage seemed like a distant dream for his daughter.He felt a severe pain in his chest,sweat beads gleamed on his forehead in the moonlit night of Jan26.The fragrant breeze cradled him to sleep.

Morning woke him up with a pounding head and a burning stomach.The house wore a ragged sombre look.The chimney did not blow the black smoke and the hearth did not churn out delicacies as the culinary artist who would be at work in the wee hours of the morning lay grief stricken in the ruffled folds of her bed.Courage gave way to feeblenessy,love’s tangy tingling tinge,gave way to numbness of the heart,birds stopped singing for her and spring gave way to autumn.Life stood a t a dead end and she stood like a shadow clouded and cloaked in the hapless situation she was in.

Hours proceeded towards days,but nobody knocked at her door,not even to enquire about her health.Scathed and starved,Jan 29 found her staggering towards her college.Vimala did not have the courage to face her father,who somehow himself trudged towards work,his heart competing with the stomping of his feet.Both tried to dissipate their emotional upheavals,one had a wounded heart but the other stamped himself as a failed father..

Days stumbled to weeks,but His pain aggravated.A glance at his daughter rushed him to the day when he was humiliated,harassed and almost convicted for the crime of love that his daughter had committed.The night of February 4,1966 brought in its bounty the pain he had felt about ten days ago,when life entered a  cyclone and demolished and washed off the slightest glint of his dreams.The house slept as usual but He never lived to see February 5,1966.That night arrested his heart and it stopped playing the notes that  preluded life.

He had a cardiac arrest.

He died and Vimala almost died with him.Krishnan came running to her.His death had triggered of the decision which lay pending in the folders of his mind.Krishnan decided to marry Vimala though she was least interested to wear the sacred vermillion in her partition.But again the age old,weird customs won over every argument put forward.She subdued herself to every word uttered by her mother,who was burdened with the responsibility of raising another four siblings .She entered matrimony with Krishnan amidst the playing of nadaswaram (a musical instrument used in marriage)but with the guilt that she caused her father’s death.

AND DID THEY HAPPILY LIVE EVER AFTER ?

I leave it to your imagination……………

Love stories are synonymous with this age old adage.

Fairy tales draw their curtains with these six beautiful words,a sense of contentment prevails over,a calm veil over disgruntled hearts simmering with respective displeasures in their lives….

Happiness entices warmth,an ambience of pleasentness,caringly stroking ,as if in a deep slumber of ecstasy.Happiness embodies the most sought after sentiments of everyday life.So many expectations

hover around “Happiness”-of being receptive,of running  around in errands,clasping every breath in thousands and millions of lives that thrive,happiness is a dearest friend whom we never would want or like to loose,whose frown would toss you into a alley of scary demons and whose gladsome demeanor would give you wings to fly………………though momentous.

What is happiness to me ?

When my little one comes and hugs me I feel I am complete,children

make a collage out of your life painting them with colours of their smile and giggles,their mischief and  their sweet squabbles………………

Her success at every step,elates me. I relive my childhood with her and probably my teenage someyears later.Tears of happiness roll down my eyes when I see her on stage.

I am happy when I stroll down the park ‘hand in hand’ with the love of my life.I am happy when he says those three magical words after almost a century of marriage.

Happiness cannot be measured,it is there in every moment of life,it’s the individual yardsticks that differ.A solitaire cannot give as much happiness and contentment as a loved one’s hug.

 

 

AND I called out to happiness…

a friend I seek in distress and in merriness….

Hither come thee

A partner I want in….. in steadiness

They set to roll out the drums…

at your feet as everyone succumbs….

to live life rosy like ripe plums…..

O the conning comrade, I have

Lived in the mist of your dawn…..

Happily,gleefully,

Ever after………

With you

Like a queen sitting on a throne

 

This post was written for Project 365 program at We post Daily.The prompt for today was

”And they lived happily ever after.”