कुछ लम्हे ख़ास होते हैं
यूँ ही दस्तक दे, छन से बिखर जाते हैं
सवाल खड़े कर जाते हैं…
वह पल पहले आता तो?
क्या यूँ ही गुदगुदा जाता?
या तब भी ओझल हो जाता ?
वक्त तब क्या करवट लेता?
रुला जाता या नशा चढ़ा जाता?
क्या बरसों की धूल से मैला हो जाता?
या अब सा नया ही रहता?
या इश्क़ बन जाता?
कि कुछ घडी का खेल?
खैर वक्त किसने बाँचा है…..
इन छोटे छोटे लम्हों को पिरो लो
तो दिल का एक कोना
हरा हो जाता है…
ऐसे लम्हों का इन्तजार रह जाता है
“Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach hard lessons, to do right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong”
So what does my daughter see when sees a ‘Mom’….Find out more on my article written for Women’s Web at http://www.womensweb.in/2016/04/mothers-day-ferns-n-petals/
I haven’t told you,
But I noticed….
To find my mojo, anew
How you persisted…
You stood by my side…
Insisting I decide…
You pushed me through the door,
Fly solo you said, go explore…
I notice your efforts umpteen…
To make me know my greens!
For the dreams that I care,
I’ve seen you say a silent prayer….
When my eyes threaten,
To spill that tiny little tear…
I have noticed how you despair…
At times I whine and brood,
You cook and clean…just to lift my mood…
Yes, I have noticed…but haven’t told you
I can see the weak protests that you do….
But then you go and splurge…
My little whims you do indulge…
For my triumphs and each new stride,
I’ve seen you swell up with pride….
I haven’t told; but I noticed your eyes twinkle,
Your face light up in smile…
I haven’t told you but I gloat and soar…
And I notice your passion and ardour…
O honey! You definitely are
My knight in shining armour…!!
There is a popular saying among the men in armed forces the ‘faujis‘…. “We work hard, we party harder”. What the others might not be aware of is that these men in uniform are big pranksters too!
One such prank not only showed me the lighter side of my husband but also reiterated that he meant the world to me.
Married to an Indian Air Force Officer, I was welcomed in ‘fauji style‘ into the folds of unit posted in Srinagar in 1999. Kargil war was fresh in my ‘civilian’ mind. The terrorist activity was also at a high in Kashmir Valley…. Jhelum flowed with her waters red..
The day I landed in Jammu as a new bride, there had been a fresh attack on the military base in Srinagar and there was a high alert. Men in olive-green army fatigues armed to their teeth could be seen keeping eye on every nook and corner. Deserted roads and closed shopping areas all were reeling under a pall of gloom. The tense atmosphere had already registered in my mind…and I was quite visibly disturbed.
After an overnight stay at the army transit camp, we flew to Srinagar. We were received by two officers who were the part of a prank that awaited me in the Air Force Station. Those two officers appeared very sad and quiet. Later in the evening one of them arrived at the door of the room we were putting up in…The prank was taking up its form. What I did not know was that my dear husband was also a party to the larger prank…!!
We were informed about a terrorist attack and that all hands on deck needed to report back to duty. Aby, my husband played along and psyched me further. He went away leaving me fretting in the room of Officer’s Mess. Late night I sat at the residence of Commanding Officer of the unit still worried. And then one officer walked in ….heavily bandaged, blood on his clothes, dishevelled, limping…. He told us that due to a landmine blast all in the vehicle were seriously injured particularly Aby and he was fighting for his life in the station medical centre.
I was totally shocked…. The other ladies were also a part of prank but they showed a concern causing me to panic. We all rushed to the hospital where the doctors scared me even more… I saw Aby lying on the table with blood over his chest, hands and eyes. As I sat near him shaking like a leaf, the doctor tampered with the wires of ECG machine. Soon enough the machine started showing a flat line denoting that there was no heartbeat !!
I had totally lost my cool and screamed for the doctor. The doctor did come and played the last cards of the prank. He very seriously informed me that I would have to resuscitate my dying husband by administering a mouth-to-mouth respiration!!
Without giving any thought to the doctor’s suggestion and not wanting to waste a single second, I complied though I had no idea how to administer a mouth-to-mouth respiration. No sooner I bent and my lips touched my husband that everyone broke into claps and Aby woke up from his supposed serious condition laughing….he kissed me back right there with everyone shouting “welcome to the Air Force”
With relief flooding me, I too joined in the laughter. With a loud “I love you” he folded me in his arms sealing our love.
I remember the evening as if it happened yesterday though it has been sixteen years now. We still laugh about the whole episode and he teases me no end.
And that moment of love and laughter and the twinkle in his eyes still tugs at my heart.
Book: Forbidden Desires
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Author: Madhuri Banerjee
The educated Indian women are slowly but surely beginning to reclaim their voices which were being repressed since many centuries now. They are now being vocal about their likes, dislikes, emotions, desires. They are no longer crying behind closed doors and silently bearing the ill behaviour meted out to them by their own spouses. They have become bolder and are not afraid to walk out of a stagnating relationship. They know what they want and are working towards having it.
The ‘Forbidden Desires’ is a story of such women who at some point of life have realized that they have been betrayed in their relationship but instead of wallowing in sorrow, they free themselves and dare to find someone who understands them, reciprocates their love and stands by their desires to follow their passions.
The story is of Naina who gives up her passion of having her own restaurant to plunge headlong into taking care of family in the process losing the vivacity of her marriage and is betrayed by one whom she loved most. This is the story of Ayesha who never got an equal commitment in her marital relationship yet kept trying to find sanity in her marriage. This is also the story of Kavita who despite being a successful working woman could not find enough love and respect within her marriage. And story is about Kajal who dares to break the society’s rules by desiring a married man, fighting for her love and yet choosing to not tie herself up in a marital bond.
These women walk out of their marriages to find a new love and follow their dreams. Their lives are entwined. They realise the futility of hanging on to a dead relationship which binds both the partners.
I will not deny that marriages do not go through a rough patch when you doubt whether there is anything left worth saving but honestly speaking I haven’t yet met women who have dared to give up on marriages… May be there are women in similar situations as the characters of the story in reality too but who still are afraid to call their marriages a farce…. Or it is possible that real women have not met a character like author’s ‘Pinky’ who sets up the situations and fixes the meetings and forces the person to behave in an out of ordinary way when they are at their emotional lows.
The bold step taken by the women of Madhuri Banerjee seems like a fantasy among the women I know. The story has a little glimpse of “Desperate Housewives” with the wives here being Indian.
I stopped being an active architect since the birth of my daughter and now I am a ‘housewife’ since last twelve years. Do I miss being a working woman? Yes I do…sometimes… Has it changed me into a wife with suppressed desires? I don’t think so… Most of the time I am pretty happy being at home indulging in my writing, painting, cooking and other house chores…. Has it driven away my husband to a more younger carefree woman for a wilder sex… Well I can safely say an emphatic no…you see he too has grown older and calmer and his physical fitness has also taken as much beating as mine ;p 😉 But then the book is not about my story!
The book has forced me to think what if I face any of such situation…What would I do? I believe women should take charge of their lives and not suppress their dreams but in real life how many women take any drastic steps? It is not easy to break the shackles of society and swim against the flow. And more importantly is it always right?
Madhuri’s women want more magic and more romance in their monotonous life. There are small snippets from life of each character which many of us might relate to in small doses. The book makes for one spicy mix of stories so well woven that I found it difficult to put it down. As they say gossip about other people always make for an interesting topic…and I enjoyed peeking into the juicy life of the four women and their affairs(now I understand why women are crazy about Ekta Kapoor’s serials and their hideously painted women)
Being a screenplay writer for Hindi Cinema, the author has belted out a crowd-puller of a story. It would not surprise me if the book becomes one masala movie.
Read it if gossip is your tea…
Book: The Best Seller She Wrote
Author: Ravi Subramaniyam
Publishers: Westland Books
Having heard about Ravi Subramanian and his financial thrillers I never made an effort to buy his books because once years ago when I picked up a book by John Grisham, my young mind refused to comprehend all legal jargon and the courtroom story after first few pages. Since then I have steered clear of thrillers which deal with subject I barely understand and that implies lawyer talk and finance…..The only financial thriller that I have read is Tom Clancy’s ‘Debt of Honour’ just because it was always there on bookshelf at home.
Since this was the first book by the author that I read so I had not much clue of what to expect and yet the tagline at the book cover ‘soon to be a motion picture’ gave me a fair idea that the story might be ‘one masala mix‘ like our movies!
And sure enough with the story revolving around a banker who also is famous author, a wannabe smooth-talking ambitious B-School graduate beautiful girl and a little detective-story-like twist almost at end, it is one crowd puller. The lead character and some events in his life have a strong resemblance to one certain popular Indian author. I couldn’t help laughing when the protagonist of story agrees to be a judge for dance reality show on TV and his wife comments:
“Don’t be so blinded by the arc-lights that you make a fool of yourself”
Now only the authors concerned would know better whether the comment was just a friendly jibe or not!
The story, basically about love, betrayal of trust between friends, between a husband and wife and coming back to senses of strayed man to reunite with wife is however very predictable; a famous much married banker turned author who falls for a sexual charms of a good-looking girl, his ardent fan and cheats on his wife. How the lead character gets into some sleuthing and resurrects his broken marriage is the little twist. Even though I could guess how the relationship would play out as soon as ‘Shreya’ the attractive fan started interacting with ‘Aditya Kapoor’ the author yet I loved reading the story with the backdrop of publishing world nuggets.
There have been many similar stories and many such movies so I did not find anything fresh except that the character was IIM graduate, banker and author. The few sexual scenes were not enticing enough and at times story dragged a bit. With all the promotions and hype surrounding the book, story is quite ordinary.
There are quite some inputs about the way publishing world functions. Using names of Anurag Kashyap and Nirav Sanghavi of BlogAdda also seems like a very into your face advertisement and again gives a glimpse of behind the scene requirements in the business of book publishing.
In all, the book was a nice package and with some sizzling song dance sequences thrown in would make one mass pleasing movie. With no heavy philosophy and no moral preaching, book is good bedtime read for young readers.
“Shoma, meri zara bandook toh lana( Shoma, bring me my gun!)”
I distinctly remember her words which sounded funny even then, back in 1984-85 when I was a 9 year-old who was witnessing violence among Hindus and Sikhs, in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Houses of Sikhs were being attacked and burned by Hindu youth and Hindus were being killed by young Sikhs who roamed with bare swords in their hands. One such Sikh man reached our door step while my parents were away on their duties as doctors in the government hospital at Ghaziabad. My grandmother stood near the door and shouted for me to bring her imaginary gun as me and my sister giggled inside the room hidden from the view. The perpetrator scooted off without getting a chance to harm us!!
Whatever little fearless spirit I have is passed on due to my strong Aaji. As far as I remember, this woman, my dear grandmother addressed as ‘Leela Aatya'(Leela Bua) by all and sundry even her own sons, always had silver hair, wore white soft cotton saris, pearl ear-drops, two light gold bangles in her wrist with a small safety-pin hanging in one of the bangles and a thin gold chain. She had this coin sized depression on her forehead…a reminder of a childhood injury.
I never knew my grand father….he died when my father was a mere 14-year-old boy. All the responsibility of four young sons fell on his wife… my AAJI.
She was one hell of a brave woman. When whatever property she had inherited from her deceased husband was lost in gambling and to the money lenders by her brother-in-law, instead of crying and feeling helpless, she shifted to her brother’s house in Gwalior for providing better education to her four sons. But she did not burden her brother with expenses, instead she completed her high school and trained as health-worker and mid-wife. She shifted to Nagpur and taught as primary school teacher for few years but later shifted back to Gwalior and worked in hospitals as health worker. By then my father had joined a medical college and could support his brothers and mother by taking tuitions of small school children after college hours.
Once when she was travelling along with a six-year-old me in second class sleeper via Kalpi, a small town in Uttar-Pradesh, some one tried to snatch her only possession in the dark of the night…her gold chain. She held on to the chain and did not let the thief get away with it. The thief had to release the chain when the train started moving again and pulled away from the platform. Her palm had a deep gash from holding on to the chain and I realised of her injury only when she woke me up the next morning on reaching our destination!
In another incident in 1984, when we had recently shifted to a new house and new city Ghaziabad, three men attacked our home when my parents were on duty. The thieves hit her on head with pistol butt and stole whatever they could lay their hands on. The fearless woman, locked me and my sister in the house and with the bleeding head in a heavy rain, walked to the main road, reached another doctor’s family who had a telephone at their house and contacted my parents!
Years later, in 2003, when my daughter was born, in spite of poor eyesight and failing health, she stitched frocks for the baby fashioned out of her soft saris! She even massaged the baby, cradled her to sleep and sat near me telling all sorts of do’s and don’ts of upbringing a baby.
My grandmother died when my daughter was three years old. Her memory had failed her and she was bed-ridden with many body sores. It was painful to see her in last few days of her life because I felt helpless as she lay in bed unable to recognise me… But her sloppy smile and a faint recognition that lit up her eyes on seeing my three year old daughter is the most important memory that I cherish….I feel satisfied that during her last few days my daughter could bring a little smile on her face.
Memories of her time spent with me and my sister are many…times when she pampered us, scolded us, protected us, made sweets and her special treats, feigned her annoyance, let us do her hair, told us stories, scolded our parents for scolding us…..
Her continuous struggle in life is an inspiration to never give up…stand up against adverse situations and take troubles by the collar….
I wish I had half her courage, I might have been more successful in life I guess……..
It is six in the morning…..a Sunday Morning. I have always lazed on other Sunday mornings but this Sunday morning is totally different. I could not sleep last night….how could I, knowing that the morning will bring along my last day…last to breathe, smell, see, touch and taste?
Today is the last day of my life !! Really? But I have hundred things to do….thousand words to say…. and zillions of moments to discover!! My two treasured possessions, eleven-year old daughter and an extremely handsome loving husband……Will they miss me? Will they remember me?
Whether they miss me or not, I have loads to do before the day ends….yes, things to do, words to say and moments to live!! I decide to write them both individual letters.
My most precious and dear daughter,
I love you a lot even though I keep pointing out your mistakes and tell you a long list of do’s and don’ts. But you see that is what mothers are like…. I point out your mistakes so that no body else can point you out as wrong. I tell you what not to do because I have made those mistakes and I want you spared of heartbreak though I know a person can best learn from mistakes. But I can not bring myself up to see you broken and disheartened…..
To be honest today I might be the one to break your little heart…..you see today is my last day and I won’t be there tomorrow to wake you up for school, cook your favorite cake, dress you up in your favorite gown, style your hair or to tuck you in bed with a big noisy kiss. So whether you hate the rules …the do’s and don’ts, here I am again with some fresh ones….
- I know you will study hard and become somebody important in society one day but DO NOT forget to enjoy the journey to success.
- I know you are compassionate and loving but DO NOT try to make each and everyone happy by suffocating your own happiness. DO NOT bend backwards for anyone to achieve something.
- IGNORE and FORGET those who hurt you…..it may not easy to forgive them but believe me such people are not worth your attention. So forgive too. World is very small….who knows when you might come face to face with those whom you hold grudge against…your anger will only hurt you not them.
- One day you will grow up and fall in love but DO NOT love to give up….commit and nurture your love yet NEVER let anybody abuse your love, faith, honor and respect.
- Making love is the most sacred and wonderful emotion…..casual sex is not. DO NOT indulge in wasting away this precious gift.
- TRAVEL, EXPLORE and widen your horizon. DO NOT let duties bog you down.
- Gossip is good to hear but dangerous to spread because it muddies the rumor-monger too. Listen and keep it to yourself and BE WARY of the person who spreads it and cautious of whom it is about.
I might not be the best example or the best teacher or the best mother there is…..but there is nobody who will be happier than me to see you succeed in all stages of life. So live, love and be happy always.
My dear loving husband,
Today is my last day…..I have been always honest and direct with you even if at times it has led to a big argument. You have been a wonderful, caring and loving partner to me and a wonderful hands-on father too. You are capable of doing everything even if I am not around yet I have few words for you too…
- You have to play my part too now…..BE mild and gentle to our daughter. She will be at a stage when she needs a woman’s ear to offload her growing up concerns….. BE that WOMAN for her. DO NOT let her be on mercy of others.
- Live your life…..
I might not be the best partner and support but my love for you has been true.
And I sit and cry again…..till my tears suffocate me and I feel a heaviness on my chest….I am gasping for breath…. Its only six in morning…..Do I have only this much time!!??………Suddenly a little sleepy hand lazily creeps out of sheets and clutches my thumb and another adult palm sleepily caresses my shoulder. I wake up with a start…
It was all a dream!! Oh! Thank God it was just a dream….I start crying and kissing both of my gems…… They wake up….
“Ummmm….Mamma its Sunday…why did you wake me up today?” says my daughter. My husband is more tuned in… he guesses correctly that I must have seen a bad dream. He folds me up in his arms, pats my head as if I am a little girl and lets me cuddle up resting on his chest…..
Sigh!! I have hundred things to do, a zillion moments to live and thousand words to say TODAY…. but this cozy embrace is to die for!