Thursday, March 26, 2020

Unsettled Love

He settled his expectant gaze outside the old wooden window,
special rays from the fireball called the sun,
made right angles through the window,
fell straight on his palm spread out on its own.

His tears slid, on the cheeks faking up a smile,
they rolled down on puffed up wrinkles,
eyes expelled any stains of a happy smile,
emotions swelled up only warlike kindle.

The desperate urge to own all moments with her,
exploded a balky silence, pecking on his time,
 eyes stuck to the window, longing for her,
was it ever possible again, life behaved like a mime.

And she was walking towards him, off his dream,
he cleared the blur off his twinkling eye,
she vanished in thin air as quickly as his dream,
was it her by the window? or in his mind. But why?

His claims on his unsettled love paced in his heart, 
one look at the palm.. would she come ever in his life?
The lines on his palm scoffed at his heart
        for, she lived in his heart, not in his life











Saturday, March 14, 2020

Simply One Afternoon Story

Look for the green afternoon bat!!

Outdoor games were a regular norm some years ago and indoor games were considered not a typical tendency. How the trend reversed now! Thriving in the generation of gadgets, "planning" outdoors is what seems like a luxury. For the very fact that it has to be "planned".
Like in 1990's we as kids simply belonged to the front yards or streets or parks, and an indoor game had to be "planned". At least true in my case. And my old buddies would be smiling reading this.

Once upon a time, indoor games were a luxury. Outdoors were the norms.

Last week, it was simply an afternoon affair in the park for me. Regular playtime for my 6-year-old Kukku. I had to ensure he is addicted to the outdoors to rest the television. While YouTube could be educative, some of the channels that are being run in the names of children, do not convince me anytime.

Sitting in the park, on my yellow torn chair I was hitting the laptop keyboard vigorously. It was pleasantly cool winter noon, at 3pm.  I had to hog on some sunlight for Vitamin D as ordered by my orthopedician. Kukku pedalled his cycle hard, like some policeman on duty. 

Just then he noticed a group of boys flying an aeroplane  made of thermocol. Kukku cleverly parked his bicycle near theirs and with hands in pockets moved close to them. The next moment the toy pane landed on the ground kukku grabbed it and flew it off stylishly saying, "Hey guys look at this."! Whooosh the plane made a nice little fly, took two turns and landed on the ground.  Boys clapped. Except for one boy. It was his plane. And how could kukku make himself a hero there while he was hogging the limelight with other boys around him asking him to share the toy!

However, they continued to play. Whenever he got a chance kukku picked and flew the plane and somehow he made it better and better. Just then, the mother of the toy plane owner walked up to them and asked for the plane from kukku. From a distance, I was smiling, wondering kukku should not be poking his nose there. However, I thought too soon. The mother called out to his son, "Mel, look at the technique how this boy flies. Come on". Handing the plane back to Kukku she made some gestures and kukku nodded fiercely. 

The next 2-3 take off's happened with kukku teaching some techniques to Mel how to hold the plane, the direction of the wind, etc. Finally, I noticed Mel smile. In no time, Mel made a fantastic take-off, and I could see all boys run enthusiastically. The cold war between the plane owner and the uninvited guest ended.

My laptop had gone to sleep. I let it be. With hands-on chin which is my favourite style, I noticed these fantastic pilots. After running around with the plane, finally, they got on their bicycles and pedalled away for few rounds around up and down the slopes,  and the curves in the park.

 A few days later, we had an uninvited visitor at my door. I do not generally react to the doorbell, kukku attends to it, as most times the army of young boys march in looking for him to play in the park.  No time or season stops them. And today, Mel was at the door "Can kukku play with me"?

Looked like the boys had their share of the sweet lesson on the ups and downs of comradeship.

The gen-next is obsessively overwhelmed with gadgets, the fingers can't stop fidgeting with smart screens. So did I think.  But it definitely isn't true for all.

As goes the saying "more the merrier", kukku and gang have been growing in number. Irrespective of nationality or any biases.

My victory is over those video channels on YouTube run in the name of children which mainly market toys and other related stuff. Marketing of branded toys and products could be a bright idea, but I keep Kukku at safe distance from such channels. I still do not mind kukku hanging upside down a 5-foot tall tree trunk like a bat!

So this was simply a one-afternoon story. Many such are lost, untold. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Stereotyping The Stereotypes



Most times, we confuse the traditions and the culture with feminism or stereotyping. I have debated on such topics and also on topics like "multitasking- a man's cup of tea or a women's expertise!".  And to realize, that few of my life experiences are neither of the above four topics. We simply end up stereotyping stereotypes. We define our life.


[Photo courtesy: indiaforums.com.] A cute meme to go with, courtesy google.


Dating back to the late 1980s, the old, fragile lady that she was with hunched back, black strong glasses, few remains of teeth. She had the best warmth, wisest words, love-filled talks, and compassion filled life. My great grandmother, who affectionately held my wrist, and with her failing vision, she would sense my wrist, hair, and cheeks and admire, "you are now doing metric.?"
For that generation studying in Grade 10 meant doing a metric. "Nah, still in 7th", I would tell.
She would then pour out her wishes. "OK, once you finish your metric is when you will marry and I wish I live to see that".  At times she would simply rephrase it as "I will witness your wedding and then go". Her go meant straight up to heaven. Her path to heaven had one last event, that was my wedding.

I still do not conclude this as a stereotyped formula. I was brought up in an educated family that never preached me, ideal orthodox feminine model, however, my great grand mother's wishes touched our brahminical family matrix and her beliefs.

But, the contrast happens when we decide where to draw a line. I mean, today, my male friends do the dishwashing every night and I do not envy their working wive at all. Working full time or not, I prefer he be away from the chores. That is my choice.

At times, I find it funny enough to realize this. One of the best domestic fun times for my kids is when they, with their father sit back and decide "MY" travel to India. Yes. When it was time for my travel alone to India on a personal call, my kids become too empathetic with love. Both are exclusively at my service how I should extend my return ticket and how they will find their comfort in my absence in Doha.

Be it a major missing, yet they wait to showcase their skills of self-survival. I wasn't skeptical about that but I was aghast how the scenes changed sides when their "father traveled'! Both seemed absolutely different. Now, he is the busy bee as for him, Work is worship. It is fine with us. But the envious part is when "he" travels. He walks in the home from the office one evening and announces "tomorrow is my travel on work". Wow.
That would be so unlikely with me. "I am traveling tomorrow", if I said this, I would be traveling max to the Lulu Hypermarket. Huh. Not out of the country.

How at times, I wish I could pack my bags too without making a lengthy to-do list and the endless calls to the cook and the maid, and lesser said better but the unending instructions to my kids. I can still do. But my life is my choice and I have made mine. My own "stereotype". Some call me a saint, some alien. It is not important though.


I mean I could be straight silly basically. Or simply "be like a girl", myself. Analyzing those school time race days of mine, I had finally managed to race the speedy Gonsalves of the school almost till the finishing line once. But collapsed just little before the line. All I had to do was get up, and run crawl or drag myself touch the finishing line to hold the victory trophy. And there he was, my classmate, yelling,  get up and run. In desperation, he almost wanted to hold out a  helping hand and I sensed that. "Stay away from me you, yeah", that was my attitude towards him, and by then all the runners had touched the finishing line.

Ahh. Let me blame my generation. winning was not my priority. I was more conscious, about "you boys, stay away from me." Like I am an untouchable. So foolish as well! Years later I tell my mirror, "you foolish girl, you missed the win you deserved".  And my ego says "never mind, my great grandmother would be so proud of me".

She often caught me to question "I again saw you running around with the brats around the temple". Yes. Staying in the temple surroundings we all "brats" ran around like scattered mice playing serious random games, calling out each other names, at times yanking at each others collars or hair even! But my argument with my great grandmother was " how did you spot me from the grilled windows, from a distance of at least 10 m distance". But what I failed to notice was her extraordinary skillsets of analyzing me with her failing eyesight. 

And somehow, I shared a special bonding with her. None of her instructions affected my thought process, on not to mingle with the brats and "stay indoors like a good girl". Yet I became her favorite, feeding her snacks that were forbidden for her health, in the absence of other family members.

However, over a while, stereotyping the stereotypes got some fruitful results. I fell for her charms and almost stopped being a brat. By the time, I was doing my "metric" I would sit by her side as a pet dog, as I studied my subjects for the board exam that she so much waited! And she sat hunching her back with her dark cotton saree, folded hands chanting random mantras. In between, she would talk to imaginary people all by herself self and I would simply stare at her and smile to myself.

I was no longer on the streets pushing my cycle pedals for hours with my friends, or in the basketball courts all afternoon. And the other way too was a surprise. She had turned more insomniac with age, and stopped asking about my wedding!

It took these thoughts of mine to the realization that "stereotyping" was a phenomenon to be so obsessed with. For some, it is a miracle or a taboo, for a few an entire career, sometimes a debate topic. For the rest, it may be the big bang gender stereotype challenges and status quo. An unexhaustive list as it may sound.

To me, stereotyping stereotypes became a realization.