Wednesday, June 27, 2007

That was Indu

A few days back during general chat, somebody said it is very easy to maintain a blog. Read a few blogs, take a few links from online news and your post is ready.
Sorry to say, I am absolute contrast to him. I do none of the things mentioned by him. Neither do I have time for browsing nor do I have to ‘hunt’ for topics for my posts. And give me a break !! I am not a news broadcaster here.

I have millions of my sane/insane thoughts on which I can write. And that was the sole purpose of having my own blog !! To give vent to my emotions, thoughts and views. Agreed, sometimes our views emerge from some news but not always. There are so many incidents keep happening around me that I don’t need to look anywhere else.

Today’s post is again one of them.

She lived in my neighbourhood. She was also my classmate. A short stature, thin girl, second among four sisters from a typical middle class family, she was like any other girl of our age except for one difference – she had a polio stricken leg. She walked with a prominent limp.. pulling up her dead leg with her hand. I still remember how she used to put her right hand under the knee, lift the leg up like a dead log and put forward.

We were sharp contrast to each other except for studies where we always tried to outdo each other. We two had different backgrounds, our upbringing was different... Me a serious quiet one and she a bubbly laughing girl, I was into athletics/sports and she could not even walk properly, we had a car to go places while they didn’t even have a two-wheeler but friendship doesn’t see any differences and so ours also blossomed within no time and we became very good friends.

After about 4 months they shifted to Pandara Road as her father had got a bigger flat there. Then after a few more months when new session started, she changed her school to a local one there, as it was difficult for her to commute.

But we kept in touch. We felt a true connection in our lasting friendship. Since it was extremely difficult for her to board DTC buses, it was for me to go to her place. I was in south Delhi, my school was nearby, at times it was difficult to take time out to go to her place but I did. Week after week, months after months it was me who used to take DTC bus for going to her place. It had become a ritual to spend a whole day at her place studying, discussing & laughing together.

Not even once did I ever think that I was doing something extraordinary for her and that now it should have been her turn to visit me. I never weighed friendship in those terms and till date I have not changed. I don’t think friendship can be measured in terms of equality. It can happen between any two persons of any age and any background. Our wavelengths should match - no other parameters are required.

Accept people as they are. Never expect anything, always give.. for, it is their wonderful friendship you are getting in return.

It was a grave misfortune for her that in spite of being given the polio vaccinations, the disease had struck her. Sometimes fate has a much bigger role in your life than you expect it to play.

She was extremely simple girl, always smiling and had resigned to her fate of one leg. She never thought it as a problem or a hindrance to her life. Maybe she was used to it. In difficult times she had taught me how to smile. She was the rock, my pillar of strength whenever I needed her.

Towards the final years of school, the frequency of visits had reduced. That was the time when we didn’t have cell phones. After schooling we moved further apart. She took up Arts in college and went for plain graduation as her parents didn’t want to spend money on her.. it was to be saved for her dowry. It made more sense to them having four daughters and because of her one leg status she was the most difficult one. She never complained and had become very quiet. In fact she used to make fun of her future and used to call herself ‘one-legged girl’. Probably she was trying to laugh away the oddness in her life.

During those years, my visits to her had become almost nil. We were both busy in our own lives. In the meanwhile her elder sister got married and now it was her turn. The parents had started groom hunting. In the final year of her graduation, fortunately for her parents, one guy was ready to marry her for a hefty dowry. He had a small cloth shop in Ghaziabad.

When I came to know about her marriage, I cried. I knew she, like any other normal girl, had dreams.. dreams to get married to a decently educated well-settled boy and this one was just school passed !! I knew her choice, her taste and I knew she was succumbing to her parents’ pressure and no one could do anything.

Nevertheless, she took her marriage vows in December even before she could write her final year exams next April. She was assured that she would be ‘allowed’ to write them but apparently it didn’t happen. I had taken two day’s leave from college to attend her wedding.

On her wedding day I saw the groom. I was shaken beyond words !! He was no match for her by any means. He was a widower and at least 12 years older to her. She was smiling but her deep tearful eyes were telling a different story. She knew I could read them without a single spoken word.

It was a pain for her to be draped in a Saree when she had to lift her leg to walk and how she had managed to go up the stage, only I can visualize now. She was literally lifted by her cousin brothers to the stage. As it always happens in any wedding, she was the centre of attraction… not for being the beautifully adorned bride but for being the POOR unfortunate bride.

After the wedding they shifted to Indore, her husband wanted to set up a big showroom with that dowry money. Then after good four months I received her first letter. Yes, it was a letter not an e-mail. She wrote how happy she was adjusting to a big joint family, wearing saree all the time and was in the family way. I could again feel the pain hidden in that letter. The frequency of letters reduced further and by the end of first year of her marriage it had stopped completely.
I completed my studies, started working/traveling, shifted my base to Mumbai and was completely out of touch from my earlier world.

Now, recently, I came to know that she has passed away two years back leaving a motherless child.

That was my friend... my one-legged friend. That was Indu.

Current song- In The End - Linkin Park

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Finally Back

So, I am back.. finally. Trying to settle down to my regular chaotic routine. Where was I ? Oh don’t ask me that. It’s my habit. Cuckoos do fly away sometimes. This Cuckoo is no exception, except that she records her experiences on her other blog.
I was also on a hurricane trip to Delhi. Oh Delhi, my Delhi. It was extremely hot out there with temperature soaring to 48+ degrees Celsius and poor petite Cuckoo felt like a tandoori chicken in an oven.

At a construction site I could see small children trying to kill the afternoon heat with a hosepipe. And I (the delicate birdie that I am) wanted to do the same.

Then fortunately, common sense (Well, not so common in me) prevailed…
Cuckoo !! Behave !! You are all grown up now, can’t shed your clothes like those little ones.

I know I know, I am a stupid silly girl and sometimes (well, many times) my pea sized logical brains are at their best trying very hard to reason it out.

No ? Don’t you remember my logical logics ? See here and here if I am lying.

Anyway, the point is that I am enduringly in love with that city, my first love, since the day I was born.. excellent roads, wonderful flyovers, vast space, big parks and what not ? Now, don’t ask about my other love affairs, I’ve had many. ;)

Sitting in the cab, once again I was awestruck looking at those magnificent flyovers. Oh I felt like flying over them ! One after another.. Dhaula Kuan, AIIMS, Moolchand. Since was already late, couldn’t even ask the cabbie to stop to click some pictures. Yet to experience the Metro train and those recently come up malls. :(

Anyways, there is always a next time & then I will fully enjoy and capture the heated oven.

Current song- Fiza, Udti Firti Hai Tu Panchiyon Ki Tarah – Sonu & Alka

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

तुम अनछुई सी

तुम अनछुई, एक कुल्हड़ जैसी
जो एक बार होठों से छुए जाने पर,

किसी से चूमे जाने के बाद,
आख़िरी सांस तक बस उसी की हो चली ।

और वो मेम, चीनी मिट्टी के कप जैसी
जो एक के होठों से लगने के बाद,
फिर एक बार धुलकर, सजकर है तैयार
किसी और के आगोश में जाने को।

As always, translation doesn’t convey the same meaning but it is some consolation for non-Hindi readers.

You a virgin, like an earthen pot.
Who after being kissed
and touched by someone,
don’t let anyone else claim you till your end.

She, like a cup of china clay
enjoys the intimacy with one.
And is ready again after a wash & a makeup
to embrace yet another one.

Current song- Aaja Re Aa Zara – Md Rafi

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

कहीं नज़र न लग जाये !!

Today I read a post on superstitions on Bellur’s blog.

Hmmm.. Nothing new about it. I know people are superstitious but looks like this mini train doesn’t want to be left behind. :)

Have a close up. I clicked it on my way to Elephanta caves.

Note:- In India people hang lemon & green chillies in their vehicles to drive away the bad omen.

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