November 29, 2011


I did it!

It was like a mill around my neck, this not writing. 

If i am not writing, i am speechless. I cannot think straight and one day or another, i will enter into that deep crevice of being invisible. 

I like to spin stories, make something out of nothing, and liven a world that exists only in my mind. I want those characters to dance their hearts out if i cannot, sing standing on a cliff if i cannot, and cry if they have- if i have to.

So, because Christmas is coming and i cannot sit back and mull over what-nots and what couldn'ts, i have created a separate place for myself.

... where i can write. Just write.

Nothing else. 

I wanted to delete this blog or at least make it private. I hated it when i couldn't take time out for this space which is so precious to me, which has helped me open up, rather than just being a dead voice in my head. 

So, i couldn't do it. I couldn't delete it... i couldn't get rid of it because it is just something too dear to my heart... very close to being the person that i am. This place- this is my personal space for my personal things.

But, i created a new place. This new place is called Remnants of a Writer

... to save the last remnants of what i have in me.

November 18, 2011


Today i was riding my scooter and i almost missed being in the wake of an accident. That person behind the wheel was checking his texts, i suppose... he did apologise but it didn't seem enough. But, that look on his face, i know that he did learn his lesson. It was a face of fear, of not knowing what happened, and seeing his future before him. 

What people don't understand is that when they are driving rashly, it is not only their lives that they are putting in jeopardy but of others also. They have to realize that a life is precious, that no matter who it is, we just get one life and that life is marked with the importance of our dreams, with the shadows of our past, and the expectations of our future. We don't realize all of this until our lives are shaken with the dread of a death... of seeing someone carelessly playing with the lives of someone close to us. 

So, while nothing happened today, it just does not hide the apprehension that i will have on the road from next time onwards. You just cannot trust anyone out there... 

Saying that, i want to tell you how much i love riding Sassy. It has been a blissful few months. I have been riding on the highs of a freedom that wasn't there before. I like speed, i like the flaps of my coat bottom flying away from me, embracing the winds that you could only see then. I become a different person riding my scooter. I ride with a pride of being a girl, of being independent, of being the person who knows what.

So, when i ride, i think of my life from before. During our training time, Jyoti and i, we used to come out from work after nine. It was one such night... when the lights of the city blanked out the darkness of the night, when the honks were mellow, only letting light travel through. The tarred roads marking the success of a government that has been in power for over eight years now... and the flyover- the mark of architectural evolution. Turning into this scene--- i saw and i blurted out, "This is life." And, it was.

In that unknown moment of life that just happens without prior announcement, i spoke the truth. Because that is how my life was then- at that very moment. I liked the light hint of a dream coming true, the peace that launched itself in my heart, and my heart pounding to the excitement of this new found freedom. I was at the peak and i had my life within grasp. 

Nothing seemed impossible then. In that one moment of power, courage, and confidence, i learnt that i had everything in my resources to make my dreams happen. Because, who would have thought that a shy girl, with almost zero belief in herself would be riding her scooter in the after hours of the night, flashing headlights, honking to glide through traffic, while riding in a style that no one else could imitate.

Because, life has its way changing a caterpillar into a butterfly. Metamorphosis. 

And, because that shy girl turned out to be who she is today. Who she was that night.

And, all of this because of a scooter.

November 10, 2011

Not Even Close

I feel tired. 

Tired of the irrational rules, tired of the irrationality of the people with whom i am working, and tired of the numerous acts of indiscretion that the office is beaming with. It is only true that i am sick of all that is. 

I could grow out of this mess, tall and learned. It has been eight long months that i have been pulled into the chaotic work life. I am feeling like i have become disconnected with this place, this organisation. And, tonight, it was the height of what i could put myself through. 

I am not happy. I am physically tired. And, i fear that i have become so consistent with this innate hatred and mocking distrust that i fear myself. I have changed. I have become more bitter and more cynical that i had ever been before. 

Countless times, i would sleep at night, so sure that tomorrow, i would give in. I would leave this place, leave this mess. But, the morning would come and there will be work. In that brightness, i would forget the night before and i would think, maybe, i just could put up with this.      

There is no respect, there is no appreciation, and there is no respite. Every time, i complain of a creaking knee or a troubling back, i would hear my mother remind me that maybe this work is not for me. And, i have come to realize it. I am working under a kind of person who screams of professionalism, who wants everything to be in order when he is altogether otherwise. 

And, under this person, i am not growing. I am becoming a resentful person, who has no respect whatsoever for her employers, and a person who is becoming more acrid. I know, i was not like this with any of my bosses before. I just don't like this person. Boastful. Bossy. Disrespectful. Mean. Childish. Careless. That is enough reason. 

Meanwhile, i have been so busy with everything other than my own life. I have an exam coming up this fourth for which i haven't prepared anything. So busy with everything other than my own life. 

Tomorrow is a big day. Too big it seems when it wouldn't even matter to me had i already given up. Tomorrow, i am thinking of handing over my resignation. Tomorrow, i am thinking of saying things which have been shaking me up from within. 

I might not be patient. I might not be an exact grown up. But this is what i am. And, i don't find any strong enough reason to change myself for a person who is just another passing cloud.    

I might not be perfect but i am not even trying for that. 

Not even close. 

November 6, 2011

Best Moments

In one moment, the world changed around me. 

It is the month of November. A chillness rests in the air and it sweeps now and then to make us all realize that change is coming. It is one such day when the lightness of a Sunday is drawn out because you have to go out somewhere, get things straightened out and so on... 

So i awoke today with the knowledge that it would not be a typical Sunday. I would be out in the world like so many other people and it wouldn't feel to me that it is just another weekend that came and went by. 

But, today was no ordinary day. I was alive with the knowledge that life is a happy thing to happen. And, why not. I was fresh with the impact of Tangled that i watched last evening. I had finished The Godfather that very night and had also begun with The Lovely Bones. So, it was obviously a day i thought i could seize the world if i wanted to. 

Of course, i had other important things to do. 

I had to visit my new niece. It was one of the things that i had to do because i am an aunt now. That is what aunts do. They visit their nieces the very day they are born. I couldn't do that. So, i had to make the most of it today. I had to visit her, carry her in my arms, and promise her to be the aunt she can always come to. Anytime. 

So, i started out sharp twelve. It took me three trains and two hours to reach her. In the coziness of her warm room, there she was- all bubbly, packed in layers of clothes and baby towels. It is so amazing to see her in real. I have been writing to her every day, since i have come to know of her existence. I have writing to her about why she will love to be in this world, the things that makes life almost perfect. 

And, today i was dumbstruck. Why? Because, all this time i was telling her the best things of life and today, i realized that from now everything will be about her. Her presence makes our lives beautiful now. Our worlds knit into one to circle her- our center of attention.

Now, her milestones will be the cause of celebration. The sounds more beautiful because she is making them, the night more beautiful because she is sleeping peacefully, the days more beautiful because there she is following us with her eyes, exploring.

I held her in my arms. The warmth of her body brushed against the cold of my body, sending waves of euphoria- this is why people want babies. This is why babies make everything look perfect. Her cries are so loud, calling everyone's attention. Everyone running to her aid at every chance to be with her. Watching her sweetness, her turns, her yawns. 

In that moment, i could see the future of the both of us. I am that aunt who always has cookies when you are a kid, and while growing up that aunt with whom you can talk about boys, and with whom you can share the tangiest of secrets. One who would be there as a friend.  

She opened her eyes. She smiled.

Best things in life happen in moments. Small moments. 

November 4, 2011

A Ray of Light

When everyone else in the class wants to go outside and play, there is but one girl, who sits in one corner of the room- wide eyes, blunt haircut, and silent. One would not probably note Anshu- not that she is not there, she prefers to be rather the invisible kind. 

So, when Anshu became our Nanhi Kali, we wanted her to blossom. After all that is what a kali’s destiny is. Her story is one of those soul-stirring ones where one finds that life has been kind to them- that God is unjust. Anshu comes from a typical lower middle class family- a small house sheltering four to five people, with little or no sunlight, set among a row of similar houses. Anshu is the youngest of three siblings- a brother and a sister. Having lost her mother at her age, it shows on her. Her father works at the nearby temple as a security guard- the sole income generator for the family.

Anshu, a third grader, is one of the best students in the ASC. She became our Nanhi Kali on 5th August 2011 and ever since she has been consistent with her attendance attending almost all of our ASC sessions. Anshu has been consistent with her studies as well. She shows equal attention to all her subjects but it looks like she is more inclined towards Hindi.

When the other girls were finding it hard to read whole words, Anshu was already reading whole sentences or at least trying to. Her tutor has showed great acknowledgement to her interest and introduced reading sessions of forty-five minutes each day to better the reading skill of the Kalis. This freedom, to read what they want to, has given the girls and Anshu the motive to discover the pleasure in reading. Ever since, Anshu has shown a remarkable increase in her reading skills. Her numerical skills are also in focus. She is now learning the concept of place value in mathematics, which has already reflected, in her addition and subtraction competencies.

Her teacher calls her The Buddha. “She is the symbol of peace like the Buddha. Always refraining from class fights and heated arguments.” Maybe it is appropriate because that is exactly how Anshu is. Her shyness is heart warming and while she is yet to open up, she has been doing great. She has started to express her opinions equally mingling with the other girls of her grade.        

Project Nanhi Kali has entered Anshu’s life just at the right time. With only three months in the school, the project has already been an influence for Anshu turning her persona from introvert to that of the first bencher. However, it is not a one-way learning. Anshu teaches us that life is probably hard and yet, there is knowing that the sun will come out tomorrow. Or even better as Benjamin Disraeli puts it, “Life is too short to be little.” 

Project Nanhi Kali focuses on providing primary education to underprivileged girl children in India. My experience with this project has been overwhelming and entirely emotional. If nothing much, it keeps me grounded to a greater issue than just myself. 

PS: I wrote this piece as a Case Study for the Nanhi Kali Project as a part of my work. Pictures taken by me for the work.