Archive for May, 2011

A Dawned Reality?!

The city of Coimbatore has always been an educational place for all the young aspiring lads of the country. There are numerous educational institutions and premier institutions around the city and there was always a whole galore of boys and girls in large numbers speaking varied languages and different dialects.

In this same city on the national highway that connects this city with the other cities of Tamilnadu, there stands a much known educational institution of management, which was home for many students at a given point of time. The college had so much of life about it; it always looked like a fair with some or the other meet and college functions happening.  There were many stories that revolved among its students.

An old library building, it is so silent that the gloomy look of library gives you a shudder to enter in its complete serene silence…but the Librarian at the desk performing his task with few heads pondering over magazines and books beyond comprehension….!

The book rows stands out in the dim light and with the combination of the sunlight that is passing through the glass windows from above gives the place an heavenly odor….!

A lone slender figurine stands at the rack of books on world history and lost in thought. She is actually looking for a book of reference and not able to find…she had found it when she was there yesterday. Yesterday, yeah if he had not intervened as usual would not have left the building without the book and would have worked on the assignment.

Half-hoping he pops up again and half-hope of not to make him appear, she intensely looks at the books stacked. She is looking at the book, reading through the name of the book, the author, lost in them…did not notice the guy behind her almost close to her breath.

A hand clutches her left hand with vivid power that it actually aches…she turns around with a sudden shudder that runs through the whole body and looks at a person who stands taller than her and with the shoulders that can rest a troubled face and ease away the pain….looking at her teasingly.

She almost would have let out a shrill cry but recognizing him to be the person she had half-heartedly wanted to be there…she gives him a sly smile, looking into his brown eyes and an enquiring gaze.

She raises her eyebrows seemingly to ask him, “What are you doing? People are around and there is the librarian.”

For which, he replies, shrugging his shoulders, as if he is not bothered and does not care…with a louder teasing smile.

She says, “So what now?” with a gesture of her other hand. She had not struggled to let go of the hand that is being clutched.

He says, “Come closer, with a gesture of his eyes…and nods his head”

She gives him a sly smile and tries to move away from him, realizing all this while he was actually holding her hand.

She looks at her hand, his and then looks into his eyes. He is determined; he gently pulls her closer to him. She stumbles a little and then falls into his embrace and there seems to be no hindrance.

His embrace tightens and she finds herself resting on his shoulder as if nobody else’s business but hers and does not want to leave the warmth and the smell of him engulfs her. She is slowly losing control over her and he seems to stiffen his grip…then she wakes from her dreamy state and struggles to get out of the embrace.

Then, only she realizes how tight his grip is…she struggles in vain, with her pleading eyes she looks at him and he is just smiling at her helplessness. She tries to free herself; he is trying to gripping his control.

She pleads him and lets a soft cry, asking him to let go…!

He says, “No…stay this way”

She says, “No, let go…”

He says, “No, stay this way…”

She says, “NO…”with a louder voice that could attract a crowd and pushes him hard away from her and finds she is fighting with the air around and sitting awake on her bed.

She is shaken by this dream; she has not had erotic dreams as this since she got a changed status in her life and taken over more responsibilities of life.

She looks around for her bedside alarm piece and finds the clock striking five o’clock, an hour earlier than her usual time of wakefulness. She looks to the other side of her bed finding her husband sleeping blissfully without any awareness. Thanking god, for such small mercies, she knocks off her blanket, ties up her long hair into a knot and walks out of her bedroom.

She opens the door of the adjacent bedroom and finds Mira peacefully sleeping. She does not want to wake up her up; she closes the door, when she finds her trying to cover itself up with its blanket in vain when her motherly love pulls her closer to her.

She covers Mira with the blanket, tucking it along the contours of the bed; she slowly closes the door and walks off. She opens another bedroom door across the room and finds Parthi at his study table, trying to read through some text book.

The sound of his mom makes him respond a fraction of second earlier than his mom.

“Mamma, you up so soon….!”

“Hmmm…da. What are you reading?”

“I am trying to catch up with a history test today. Why should we read about some stupid tablets the King put up all over the place and followed some stupid religion after giving up war and conquering…why should we read all this story…mamma? It is so hard to remember them.”

“Son, unless we know what people ahead of us did, we would not be able to decide what we want to do and which is the right thing to do. So it is always necessary to know, what is good and what is bad and what other people did before us…! It indirectly tells you a lot of things. If you are not able to remember all the things that are being said…make some little imagination to what you are reading and make it interesting for you to read and enjoy….!”

“But beware you don’t carry off your imagination so that you forget what you are reading. Will get you a glass of hot milk…” Saying thus she walks away from him and her cascade of hair falls on to her shoulder making her look prettier than any women of her age………..!

“Don’t do that…leave it nah. You look beautiful this way…” this echoes in her ears and is stopped by its utterance and as if in a trance she is stalked at the door step.

“Mamma….Mamma…don’t do that…I keep telling you and you keep doing it….”

She is out of her reverie and finds her son looking at her fondly…she just nods her head as if acknowledging his request and walks off into the kitchen and sets the milk on the stove for a quick boil…!

Looking at the boiling milk she gets lost in the tiny splutters in the milk…!

It had been ages she had woken up to a dream like this…this was just not a dream, it was a part of her reality speaking to her from the past. There was so much fun and frolic in those days of college. She had been in her teens and was always full of life and kept lingering on the mind she spoke with.

She used to be the darling of the college and had a lot of fan following but none dared to make an effort to tell her…but there was this one person who did and that made a difference to her life as of now. She recollects the days in a flash, when she is distracted by a sudden movement at the kitchen.

She finds a shadow move closer to her from behind and the shadow places it hands on the kitchen slab clutching her from behind placing his arms rightly intermittently with her own arms and his breath is right close to her ears….the hot breath mixed with his smell…is making her heady and there he is uttering some words into her ears and she is not able to make sense of what he is uttering……….!

He slowly moves his hand to her hair and removes the knot; she now mostly does this act of her more as habit than a necessity…! Down goes the cascade of hair, soft and silky wobbling with the sudden effect of tension and it drapes her back beautifully with a swing…he rests his face on it for a second and moves closer to her ear to speak into it.

He is giggling and talking into her ears…“You know, I am reminded of the day when I clutched you close to me in the old library building of ours…I wish I could just travel to that time and hold you the same way. What say, darling?!”

She just laughs out aloud and turns around to cover her face on his shoulder and finds peace within…the embrace that lasted a lifetime and many more!

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Fondly, I remember the good old days…!

Small things in life used to give me great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction in the days that are gone by. Now, I have all the affordable comforts of life but still I don’t have the time to sit back and enjoy these days….

I remember my school days with reverence to them as I have my fond memories locked in there. I still remember the days, when I used to listen to the Vividh Bharati before leaving home and setting my watch to the time that was just read out….

I used to eagerly wait for the new film songs to telecast and wait till one song to be played. Listen to few lines of it and then leave however late it would be to school. The few lines would run in my mind and I would wait another day to hear the same few lines and wait eagerly for Saturdays and Sundays to listen to them in complete. But as fate would be stronger, I would not be able to hear them and it would be a Monday, when I hear them again.

There used to long and unforgettable debates on our favorite stars at leisure periods of school or during the breaks. The discussion used to be about varied topics of these movie stars, their upcoming films and songs that made your heart churn to the melody, new posters, their costumes, the heroine make-up, and a whole lot of aspects of the movie.

The Doordarsan serials, programs on DD2,the cricket matches, the Olympics, the games in summer holidays, the trips to hometown during holidays, the unknown relative marriages, the weddings of Akka’s, Anna’s, neighbors, uncles and aunts, the glory of talking to classmates, the long walks to the school and college. All these were fun.

Now, we get all that one desires for, new movie clippings, new DVD’s, CD players, mMP3 players, beautiful computer systems that play multi-media.

But where is the fun in waiting for the glimpse of your favorite hero, the new posters of the hero, the magazines that had loads of cine news, the cricket commentaries for the matches you can’t see, the long wait for the world cups, the glimpses of your sports star, the tennis matches, the tennis stars, the cricket matches during the final exams, the cajoling you get to do to your mother to watch them, and the final approval from dad to watch for few over’s and then back to the books, with intermittent scores or over’s…

What fun it used to be!!!! And to top it all the discussions about the bowlers and the strikes made by players on ground….with friends the next day!!! Watching the few over’s at a near-by friend’s house during breaks and the announcement of the score card during the physics and chemistry labs…asking a friend to run home and get the scores, the unnecessary leaves to watch matches, movies, and the songs that used to be played on those small and elegant tape recorders.

The happiness of noting the songs that we like on a piece of paper and getting it recorded on a TDK or Sony cassettes from a recording shop. The 90 minute cassettes and the 60 minute cassettes, calculating how many songs would accommodate in each, the blaring speaker radios on the events of the politicians, cine actors, birthdays and death anniversaries on the street corners, the fading sound of a long forgotten song travelling in the air in the mid-afternoons when you are deliberately asked to sleep to avoid the sun on summer holidays, the long runs in the backyards of the house, the scorching heat and sweat never minded.

Now, leaving the comforts of the house is a real problem. No kid wants to play in the sun, they want be in the air conditioned rooms and the sophisticated video games to play with. The fun of munching into a raw mango right from the tree branch plucked and wiped on the dress to wash off the dust and mud. The raw tamarind buds, the unripe guavas, the sapotas, the tender coconut water all from the gardens of the backyard and those competitions for the ‘Fastest Tree Climber’ title. The street corner games with marbles, tops, and try to beat the local guys in those games, it was a whole lot of fun.

The long lectures from grand mom and grand dad about playing with the local kids and the scorching sun, the unkempt promises of not playing with them the next day, the sneaking out of the house to join the gang, the small film strips lying the roads, the collection of small match boxes, the collection of stamps, the collection of one rupee coins, old rupee notes, different envelops, foreign currencies, flowers, and those small things that looked different or amused you.

Those stories and tales from grand mom and grand dad, of those days, the pre-independence days, the stories of the days when a whole gamut of kitchen groceries could be brought with just 5 rupees, the temple feasts, the stories of ghosts and spirits that tauter you in the night after everyone has slept and you cling to your grandmother and sleep tight till the broad daylight. The joyful rides in the city buses to the town to buy things that are necessary for you, easily available in the city.

The movies in the theatres that had only benches to sit and watch the screens with an L-shaped torn in the centre, the vendors selling peanuts, murrukku, the bad-tasting cola but fun to drink, the small kulfi’s, the salty ice-creams, the sonpapdi that the old man used to sell when he comes to our house lanes late in the nights ringing his bell, heard from far away lanes, waiting for him to arrive at your lane.

Surround the chimney light and ask for the better portion from the bottle, his murmuring that everything is the same and later he gives in to satisfy us. Those were priceless star-studded nights.

The clipping that always missed when you got up to wash your hands after a round of scolding from your mother after dinner or a meal, or when you mother calls you to stir something in the kitchen, or when you run to pick the clothes in the backyard when it starts drizzling, the fun in doing everything right and still watch the small clipping that appeared between breaks.

The Chitrahaar on Wednesdays, the Rangoli on Sundays, and the other regional language movies, the Fauji serial, the Buniyaad serial, the Humlog serial on weekdays used to be good and you always looked forward to watch it unlike today’s serial that are full of Saas-Bahu or Some break-up relation or someone taking the role of Sakuni and getting disorder in the family.

Those programs had a message and talked of the wealth of a family, the happiness in living together. The serials such as , Shanthi, Sukanya, teri kahani nirali, Udaan-A story of female IPS used to talk about the strength of women in a natural way. These brought out the goodness of being a female and how she can also be equal to a man. Then the legendary series of Mahabharat and the Ramayan by the two giants in the Cine field, Ramanand Sagar and BR Chopra films, were great entertainers….

The Doordarsan short films such as film on togetherness, the film on the importance of obeying the railway crossing, the importance of educating a girl child, the importance of family planning, those small and imperfect in today’s standards of film making were real good and it was fun watching them and they still etched a mark in your brain.

The books such as Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle, Tin Tin, the cartoon shows on DD, the Tom and Jerry, the Duck Tales, the Lonely Tunes, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, The Squirrels, The Mooglie of Jungle, The Charlie Chaplin comedies, and the Non-Stop Nonsense series.

Everything in life has a price; we gave up these small pleasures to be more comfortable and happy in life. With it came the advent of technology and more advanced features of life but none in comparison to the small and pleasurable deeds that we used to do. In vain, we lost the very essence of living it right…..in childhood.

As the Crow Cries, A Soul Wanders!!!

I can hear it plead and cry its plight
No different than mine…!!

Perched on a branch far away from the maddening crowd
It calls for the peace that it lost
In this concrete jungle and its lifelessness
It longs for the greenery and the bushes that it could roost on

I am also lost and desolate to find
A new abode, for the one I have does not entice me.

I knew a day would come when I had to leave and go
But sooner the better is I thought
Till the day came, I could no longer take it
Felt like screaming and crying aloud as you do, dear bird.

I understand your plight, for no one can see…
I understand and resonate the same with you

The world’s a no place for me and you…
But at least you could sit away from them
And laugh at the miseries and lifelessness…
What do I do? I live amongst them and don’t know what to do
At times, I feel it was better to be what you are…
Then only I knew what you were up to…

You could poo and fly away
I had to bear the flood…!!!

                                                          – KK