Tag Archives: family

Do We All Become Our Mothers?

What do we become? What becomes of “me” in the future?

It is a silent night as I am sitting with this question that has sprung out of my memory, relapsing from the thought of a movie I had seen quite back – In the end, do we all become our mothers?

My mother is a strong woman with determined thoughts. I for one am a passive person with a bundle of ideas for thoughts. Can I then ever meet up to become the person who has created me?

Generation gaps and ageing are two of the most common words teenagers and young adults use to cover up for their dissimilar ideas with their parents. It is quite agreeable that such an assertion saves the rejection of either; but it is also true that it does not accredit the unbreakable relation which the both share. Fortunately, our ancestor did not fail to recognize this ever lasting bond. So, if the Divine had created man in his image – Was I created in the image of my mother too?

As I wrote the last sentence, my mind was driven to Alice Walker’s book “In Search of Our Mother’s Garden”. This was not so because I find myself in the midst of the oceanic question – “Who has given me meaning?” –  but because a large part of me sits beside the very garden it searches and yet wanders to find purpose elsewhere.

So, can I agree that I am NOT my mother and in the end I might NOT become like her too; but in the journey which lies in between both – I am sure to become that half of her which could not come to be…….

Yet, isn’t that akin to saying – WE ALL BECOME OUR MOTHER’S MIRROR

 

Thank you for reading!

Let me know your thoughts about this question 🙂

The Trevelyan and his Tin Heart

Once upon a time, a good many years ago, a traveller set upon a journey and this magical journey was to seem very long when it began, and very short when he got half way through it.

He travelled along a rather dark path for some little time, without meaning anything, until at last he came to a beautiful child. SO, he said to the child, “What do you do here” And the child said, “I am always at play. Come Play with me!”……  #CreativePrompt


Tired from his lonely journey, the traveller decided to enjoy the little event of company which his dark path provided, perhaps to keep him motivated. But the attire of the child was rather peculiar. It was the first time in his days on the road that the traveller saw a garb made of sack and ropes. But it wasn’t just the clothes that made the little boy different.

“What do you think, mister? Would I eat and sleep tonight or would tonight be the day for playing ‘Pretend’?”, asked the soft voice in the sack. Awoken from the perturbed and judging thoughts the traveller sat down and replied, “I fail to see how the two are related. dear friend.”

“Oh! You are lost! That’s why you are here, aren’t you? said the boy with a contempt which was unexpected of his little self. He then started arranging his little “dimes” and “nickels” in rows, as if he was indifferent to the emotional turmoil he had prompted in the traveller’s mind.

In the farther corner of the road, he erected a little wooden box upon which he placed a tin can. After being satisfied with his arrangements he said, “Let’s compete. The one who knocks the tin can from this distance becomes the winner and the loser gets to say goodbye first.”

“I can never say goodbye” though the traveller and for a moment he recalled the night he left home to travel. For in that despicable night, he had let go of himself and all that life had given to him for the fear of being an invalid burden on the ones he loved. “So, I would win” decided the hassled traveller. And the two players started to aim at the tin can dime after nickel, but only to fail.

“Won’t your parents mind you talking to a stranger, dear friend?” asked the traveller as he tried a shot.

With a placid smile on his face the failing competitor replied, “I was born to the world not to my parents. And thus, with the world I live. Yet, I keep for myself a warm and cosy house”.

“I wish I had a house too. A place to call home. But I am nowhere – life has abandoned me” said the aching spirit of the traveller as he failed to deliver his next shot.

“Funny you should say that, because in front of your open eyes the picture stands so clear. Don’t you realise life isn’t an incident but an event that occurs for you? And the aim of that good life is that tin can, whose fall is the only indication of what was earlier possessed.”

Hearing this, the traveller dawned to the uselessness of his journey. In his final chance, with shaking hands, he shot the nickel to a victory which was proclaimed by the clatter of the tin can. “Oh! I won. I won, little friend” he said with a melting voice.

“Indeed, you won” replied the little audience with a smile that spoke more than words. “And yet, I wouldn’t have to say goodbye either. For you stay in my house…”

“I don’t understand!” said the puzzled traveller.

“For you share a memory with me, you now live with me in my house. So, no matter whether you are here with me or not, we shall always share the same roof – that of the house of my heart.”

And in that moment, the traveller only saw the light at the end of his dark path and wondered as to how his tiresome journey ended in a moment of reprise.

“I shall always play with you my dear friend. That I promise!”

Saying these words, the Trevelyan picked up his tin can and glanced at the little figure waving at him. What followed was a parting that was embellished with the feeling of pain and yet secured the warmth between the embracing hearts. With his head to the front and his heart trailing behind the traveller passed silently into a memory of the worldly child’s dream.

 

Thanks for reading! Do let me know how you like my reworked extension of the creative prompt. 🙂

A Picture for a Thousand Words

This is a picture from my trip to my hometown in the mountains of a hilly State in India.

If only the women knew they were being clicked 😉

I believe that the symbolism of this picture surpasses the ones of all others. I easily compare this scenario with that of Beckett’s Waiting For Godot – where two tramps of middle age while away their time pondering about the uselessness of Life.

So, my caption for this picture is: A world full of wonders in a fist full of moments!

 

Tell me what’s yours!?

How I survived 20 years without Facebook!

Yes! the title is a slice of my life. For the 20 years that I have lived with my family, friends, friends’ friends, acquaintances and extended acquaintances I have SURVIVED without succumbing to the communicable temptations of “socializing” on Facebook.

“How might ye do that!?” Is precisely the question I have heard over my years in school and college from different mouths and unexpected faces. And my answer to all has often been an innocent smile with four words, “YET HERE I AM!”

Not that one can deny the good which has been caused by the network of Facebook, but one must also agree that the purpose of its making is more often than not ignored to promote the “interests” of who own or use it. It is thus, that gaining more “LIKES” on a selfie which you had clicked in some fairly odd posture over a risky wet rock by a dirty beach (which has been carefully manipulated in the picture) becomes more important than addressing one of your many friends who is has been involved in a tragedy recently and is online blurting his/her loneliness over his Posts.

But who said Facebook is all full of narcissistic people looking to gain attention! (At least I didn’t). I sincerely applaud the efforts of all the social organisations and aware citizens who use the platform for spreading information and awakening the conscience of the people towards humanitarian goods. I definitely haven’t forgotten the Versova Beach cleaning mission which was single-handedly publicized through Facebook. But I have also not forgotten the numerous cases of teenage boys and girls who are bullied, harassed and even pushed to self-loathing by the “FEW” who misuse the social network.

Now you must wonder, HOW did I actually evade all the cons (and a few pros) that Facebook could have provided to me. Well let me tell you: –

  1. SOCIALISE (I MEAN REALLY!)

Even before Facebook existed (in fact before Zuckerberg too) socializing was never inter-mediated through any source and the word “society” clearly meant an assemblage of people who met, chatted and displayed their developments to each other FACE TO FACE. It has only been after FB that people have started talking in terms of “UPDATES”, “POSTS”, “BLOCK” or “FRIEND REQUEST”.

 

  1. REHABILITATE FROM ADDICTION OF SCREENS

This is my personal favourite! Keeping yourself away from the screen would not only make you more aware but also more concerned towards what you can find ahead of the monitor! Reading books set in different areas of the world is another form of rehabilitation but nothing beats the experience of touring and travelling! (As a starting point, begin with reading the travelogues and journals) 😊

 

  1. FIND YOUR HAPPINESS IN REAL TIME THINGS

I admit this is probably the most difficult thing! But after you calculate the minimal amount of time you spend with your family over dinner, the few memories you make with your pet in the park, the rare adventures you undertake with your friends and the understand the poor dynamics of your space in the world of others – you’d definitely try to find the good that is there in real-time experiences over “virtual” ones.

 

  1. BE YOURSELF (NO CONDITIONS APPLIED)

Most of the teenagers turn to virtual spaces with their “pout-y” selfies and “dangerous” albums since they cannot find belonginess in their immediate company. So, you must realise it isn’t difficult to be who you are! I admit there would always be people who would let you down and try to chisel you into becoming what you are not. But that mustn’t stop you from chasing the people that accept you in your sincere form. Remember – there is always a YIN for a YANG

 

  1. WRITE

Lastly, but most importantly, pen down your experiences in the form of a diary! Let your best memories and shared experiences be there in the written word so that you can visit them anytime. This would push you for looking ahead to the good days and if not anything else, give you insights about your new plans.

 

I think I must clarify this right away that I am not against Facebook but I am just against the increasing gaps in communication. With the virtual world the world has become an even larger place since everybody has become alienated from each other.

What I see are “programmed masks” and what you get is “programmed artificial intelligence”. Something’s ought to give so why not give out time to our people!

 

Thanks for reading!

Do let know what you think about these views!

The Elegy of a Man and Stray

Even though I have never been blessed with a four-legged friend, I felt like dedicating a word to their companionship.

In the cold, all light and grey,

The story of a man and stray.

No thing can give the warm bed

To the one left alone at birth,

Than what he gets from crumbs of bread

And a wooden, shiny hearth.

Owning just a tea shop

The Man himself is not unbound,

Family of four lovely lives

Comfort, though is not profound.

In the world all large and held,

Two lives that strangely dwelled.

Give life to each other at dawn,

And meet daily in a phantom lawn.

Thus, the bodies of godly love,

Chat under the sunshine dove.

Complement each other’s new start,

And all these talks are just in hearts.

Yet the two solitary loons

Tired of life, meet at noons.

Eat food and share with each

In a language no one can teach.

Dawn of the day soon ends,

And as dark, the moon sends

The Man begins to leave for home

His humble place, his only dome.

Funny though how he waits

In the cold that kills and shakes.

To farewell his four-legged friend

As he comes from the farther end.

Giving the crumbs the man proclaims,

“We’ll meet again” to whom he tames.

After dinner they leave again,

To end their life’s new begin.

Thus this way the two stay,

And ponder my pen as dawn’s gay.

For is it only life that lays,

The love between man and strays?

Or is it in the times of need

That men can find stray friends indeed…..

A Flavour of Sweets

“Who are you?

Do you want to know?”

Abdul was making his way through the squeezed-in streets of Old Delhi when I had asked this question of him. The fat sweet shop owner passed a sharp glance at him as he entered his shop to begin the day’s labour. As always, I was most disinterested in the chores Abdul was running through the damp shop. His urge of cleaning all the tables and waiting on the customers was incomprehensible to me. He had been doing that every day with the same energy since the 5 years that I had known him. “Why do you have to keep doing this? Do you really believe THIS is all you can be?” I would inquire, but in vain.

At home, I have always enjoyed the freedom to pester him for his indifference towards me. Mother has been really ill lately. She’s coughing half the time of the day and sleeping in the other half. So, every time she gives instructions for the things to be brought from the market I speak in his head the loudest I can. It is delightful to see his face redden with anger as he feels embarrassed to make his mother repeat her words. Oh! How much I enjoy my glorious moments!

But there is something exceptionally wrong with him today. I have been hovering in his mind since the morning and yet he hasn’t silenced me even once. I troubled him during his afternoon sleep and especially during his precious sneak into the school for over hearing lessons. Yet, he did not respond. Perhaps he would think something after this plum of a person scolds him for coming late.

“Welcome Sahib! Have you arrived already? It’s just 3 pm. Why don’t you take some rest and return by the evening?”

“That is in fact a good idea, Abdul! He is letting you take a few hours off by himself. Just say YES and leave.”

“I am sorry, Murari ji. My mother was not feeling well today. So, I stayed back with her to take care of her for a while.” And like every day, Abdul has put his wrong foot out today as well. But why should I care. He’ll have to take its humiliation all by himself. It is not as if I am bound to this plum man.

“Everyday the same excuse! I curse the day I employed you in service…….” Here we go again. I don’t understand why he even goes into the effort of repeating the same banter. It would spare me so much pain if he just checked Abdul’s reason with his mother. “Of course, he isn’t lying! If only you could care to investigate, you selfish man”. I don’t understand any of……

“What have you done Abdul! Where do you think you are going?”

“What is happening to you? I can’t understand a word you are thinking in the midst of your anxiety. I need you to calm down.”

“Home? You’re running home? How do you think that can help? You have just shoved the plum man and run off with a box of his jalebis. How do you think he’ll bare that!?”  He isn’t listening to me again.

But why should I worry for mother’s scolding. He’ll be the one culprit of the theft of jalebis. He’s been the one who has betrayed his conscience – mislead ME – and served his interests. The Law would not spare him. The plum man might already be looking for a policeman!

But what would I do? I can’t even present my case.

Here’s mother! I’m sure she’ll teach a lesson to Abdul.

She looks frailer than she was when we left her for work. A drink of water might just rejuvenate her spirits and make her sturdy enough to beat this Abdul!

“Go ahead! Offer her a glass of water.”

Mother doesn’t look so well to me. Her hands are shaking and her voice is failing.

“She should better lie down, Abdul.” She’s pointing at the jalebi box. I think she’s asking where it came from.

“A Lie! What a liar you have become Abdul! I wish I could tell mother how you bought that box by exchanging a fist with the plum man”

She’s asking for a piece of the sweet. I don’t blame mother. She looks too tired to scold him right now. Maybe a bite of the jalebi might make her feel better. I think the only place where Abdul’s and my thoughts intersect is – in the smile of our mother. Perhaps, the Plum Man does have something to be proud of. His sugary sweet has indeed lit Abdul’s face. For the first time in today he is finally thinking about his reminisces – the good old days when father used to bring these jalebis on the first day of the month. I haven’t seen mother smile at us like this ever since father left us here.

That was then. And here we are now. With mother lying on the same old cot and smiling at us with the same touch of sorrowful warmth. She raises her hand to bless us. Only I can see that this blessing could never be more misleadingly disguised.

“What do you cry now Abdul? When you know it was you who chose to embitter her final breaths with the stolen bite?”

He isn’t thinking anything anymore. Where must he be going? The street outside is as alive as it can be during the twilight. He stood there in the middle of the bazaar and looked around him. Faces with innumerable masks leading to oblivion. And there! Mother shined down at us in all her glory. The stars were shining and brighter still, because mother could always illuminate her company. Yet, has anyone found her there?  Why would the world care of another passing in the realm of unattainable sweetness? Murariji’s shop is open and full of customers who cannot notice him passing by.

In the squalor of the Past, the glimmers of the Present are serving to set new touchstones for the Future. While here he stands.

Down here were the peccable tangs of sweet life and up there the impeccable scintillate of eternity!

“You stand in their midst – as their temporary custodian.”

 

 

 

Photo credits: http://www.anapnoes.gr/mia-mitera-den-chriazete-syntrofo-gia-na-megalosi-charoumena-pedia/

Chapter Five

Words of wonder, words of might,

I’ll be always in your sight,

Stars are grey and sky is white,

Wake up to the morning light!

 

She was humming the rest of her mother’s song because she couldn’t remember the words. He on the other hand sat still on the rock and listened with his eyes closed. The repetition of words could not touch the heights of memories onto which he had descended. For both of them, the song held a special place. They could hear their mother sing it when she cooked the meals, strolled in the garden, laid down on her sick bed and even when she sewed dresses for their bears. So many fights had that song resolved in minutes, for none of them could afford to make a sound as their mother sang.

“What a failure of memory! How could we forget the song!?”. She felt distraught after giving her hardest thought to the next stanza. No matter how much She tried, the words couldn’t crawl from her memory and reach her tongue. It felt as if there was a surge of words for which She couldn’t remember the sound; and when the sound came to be the words were lost in the air. Her frustration was unreachable – at least for the boy.

Unlike her, He sat with his eyes still closed and his body swaying to a mute music like the flames cheering the heart of fire. “What could He be thinking?” She asked herself. And when She couldn’t find the answer by herself, She sought it from him instead.

“Which song are you swaying to? Do you recall the mother’s song?”

The boy did not open his eyes, nor did He stop his swaying. From the complacent smile which He held on his face, He merely said, “I don’t remember it, of course! But I don’t need to either”.

She moved closer to the “swaying-pendulum-of-a-boy” and tapped his shoulder three times. But it wasn’t to stop the boy and return him from his musings. So, She stood by his side and started to enumerate all the ways that could interrupt his sway. After a successive line of petty ideas, She settled on the one which held the most promise and least activity – a splash of water! So, She collected the biggest coconut shell the island could hold and filled it with a taste of the salty waves.

With the notorious bowl of her plan between her fingers She told herself, “If I don’t count the 5 times that I fell over my back in the water, I think this has been by far the best plan!”.

She tip-toed her way near the oscillating boy and smirked to think about his face drenched in the cold, salty water. She stood behind him and raised the coconut bowl right above his head. As She waited for him to come under its target, the boy suddenly stopped and opened his eyes to look around.

Finding her behind him, He turned his head and asked “What are you doing?”

“Nothing! I was just standing and looking at the ocean” She said as She tactfully put the coconut shell by her foot. Her conscious smile made him suspicious, yet He chose to let it be for another time and pulled her by the hand to sit on the rock. She hesitatingly sat down beside him, looking at him eagerly.

“Do you want to hear mother’s song?” He didn’t wait for her nod and said, “I’ll show you how you can hear it in your memory. Just follow my steps”.

This time He waited for her nod and She smiled to show her approval.

“Great! Do you remember listening to mother’s song at her birthday? Do you recall how we sat together on the sofa as she sang to the party? I need you to close your eyes and imagine us sitting right there. It wouldn’t be difficult since both of us hold that memory the dearest! Just try! Close you eyes and hold your knees like I do and then just recall!”

She scoffed his idea in her head yet played along thinking lest her laughing might hurt him. So, She sat eyes closed on the rock and looked into the darkness ahead of her eyes. To her surprise, soon the memory of the mind trickled its way onto the darkness ahead of her. A bright light first, then a hazy figure of a woman – her mother as she recalled, standing in her white party dress. She could not see the other figures but her mother stood in the front – strong and beautifully! As She looked on, She heard the whispers in her memory turn into silence. And from the silence arose a feeble resonance. Coming from far deeper in the darkness and echoing in her mind. HER MOTHER’S SONG! She pushed her way through the binds of eyes and shushed her confused mind’s noise.

The more She left her self, the more she caught the resonance! As her mind lost its shackles, her mother’s voice started to ring like music in her ears. What a splendid song it was! A music that came from her heart to her soul and a song that rang with the chords of memory!

Splash!

With a sudden flush, the darkness was washed away from its portrait. As She opened her wet eyes and put away her hair, She saw the boy laughing wildly over the sand. It seemed that He had found the water filled coconut shell.

“You can’t out smart me! I don’t see why you even try M.” He said as He wiped his tears of joy.

But She remained still on the rock. Her agitated face opened her thoughts – “Was it a dream? Had I fallen asleep?….I cant feel my hands and legs. Did I hear mother’s song?”.

She could barely comprehend him as He collected the shells around her feet and said, “What are you thinking? You look so pale as if you saw mother. Oh well! Good for you I’ve run out of water. So, don’t mess with me again!”

Words of wonder, words of might,

I’ll be always in your sight,

Stars are grey and sky is white,

Wake up to the morning light!

 

He trotted off in happiness singing their mother’s song. Though, She sat firm and wet on the rock, only to close her eyes and anxiously look for her mother in the emptiness of the mind.