Owned?

The fault was in destiny. The day which bore her a burden forever. Cause when everyone was speculating a baby boy, out came a girl! The most common form of heartbreak once you get married. Everyone accepted her half-heartedly. The first thoughts associated with her? “She is a burden on our shoulders. To be married off someday.”

The years following her birth were not as deadly as the first day but she was still treated as a burden, constantly being reminded of it. While her brother had permissions to do anything, it was all vice versa with her. She was hindered for doing anything and everything. And the most common aphorism to follow? “You have to live with another family someday. All this would not be tolerated there. Hence be in  your limits.” Even before being married, she was bound by the idea of marriage. Her flight delayed.

All through she was taught how to do household chores. And above all, she was taught to be doctile. How she should never argue back. How she should not look anyone in the eye. How … blah blah blah. All this while she thought maybe marriage is the end to all this torment. Maybe it is not as bad as they show. Maybe …

And atlast the day did arrive. The burden was off from her parents’ shoulders. She was being married off. And she? Naive as she always was, she was dreaming. She thought her prince charming had just saved her from an unpleasant life and hereon everythibg would be smooth. Like a fairy tale. Alas! Life is no fairy tale…

With marriage came responsibilities. And soon it dawned on her that she had no help there. She alone had to manage everything. And then you could not say no to your husband. Angels will curse you all night. She wondered why was only the wife cursed? All day she toiled hard and all she got at the end was curse and displeasure? For what did she do all this then?

Gradually she realised that though she worked as hard as her husband, she had to work at home too. He won’t move as much as a spoon. While he got to rest, all she got was more work. And displeasure of in-laws too. She wondered why only a woman was supposed to work at home? Was God biased or humans? She forgot our society believes in male chauvinism.

As some more time passed she was blessed with a baby. A baby girl. All her in-laws cursed her for bearing a girl child. Blaming her for being responsible for this tragedy. But what was her fault in it? How could she know what she bore. Yet no one thought about it. And instead of celebrations there was gloom in her house. It was another tragedy for them. But not a soul remembered what she had undergone to bring the life to this world. No one acknowledged her patience or tried to share her pain. It seemed she was unwanted. Surrounded by a whole lot of relatives and still alone.

As the birth of girl was gradually accepted, life began to be normal. But when the baby would cry, it would be her job to pacify her. Even after the baby was born, she alone had to take its care. When it would cry in night, she would be awakened to pacify it. She wondered why her husband could not have changed a diaper or fed it with milk that lay nearby?

She soon resumed her job too. Now she was handling too much together. House hold work, office, a baby, in-laws and a husband. She kept wondering why she had to be subdued and doctile. She wondered why women were doomed to this fate. Why was God partial to her gender? If her husband could rest after office why could not she? Why could she not go out and enjoy? Why could she not live?  Why were all bindations imposed on women only?

She had no answers. All she knew was that it all was unjust. Whether God was partial or the society, but she deserved much better, much more. And one such day, when she was tired of asking for her rights, she broke off. She broke all her chains that didn’t let her do her choice. She flew off away that day. Cause that day she realised life could not be what people say.  And your husband cannot be God. A wife has as much rights to rest and recreation as her husband. But still women feel chocked up, exhausted and sick.

A caged bird never sings of green fields.

A bird in a case can never love it’s owner.

 

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A Ragging Incident

It all started with a simple introduction. They called it an icebreaker. “Why be ignorant about each other when we have to be together.” That was the first time we interacted with our seniors.
We were asked to introduce ourselves. Names, previous university and hometown. On the mention of hometown they asked to pinpoint the place of residence. I refused straight away. Why should some strangers know of my residence? What purpose would it serve them? What fun? But they didn’t see my point. All they understood was that I had misbehaved. Insulted the seniors. Hurt their ego.
Later that day, Her classmates displayed the first signs of trouble. Someone came in and asked who talked like that to seniors. When pursued further she revealed that seniors said it was rude to refuse revealing your address like that. Discussions on my behaviour had probably started. The feeling of unease settling in.
This incident highlighted me in the department. I could even see my classmates eyeing me thinking probably of my (muhnphat) behaviour. Faces of seniors even worse. That day I knew I was all alone.
A few days later seniors confronted me in department. Asking me how I could gather the courage to answer them like that. How could a junior survive in a campus with angry and annoyed seniors. I did not answer them for this. But I merely told them that my data is personal and I shall not share it. And if residential details were so important for our cordial relations, why wasn’t the guy first to be introduced asked to reveal his exact residential location? What was the reason for this bias? And yes, I also gathered the courage to tell them that a person is himself responsible for the safeguarding of his respect.
This all didn’t go well with them. The next thing to follow was a call at hostel. Seniors called me up to their room in hostel. They held me accountable for the humiliation they faced in front of all juniors as well as seniors. But that wasn’t my fault, was it? They tried to make me feel guilty, horrible and get me to apologize. But why should I? I was merely protecting my identity. And I have every right to decide how much of my personal data is revealed to strangers. But they were seniors. Seniors with a hurt ego and a revengeful mind.
Seniors would not have bothered me if it would have been restricted to that. But would that not be too simple a life? For the life of my miseries was destined long.
The seniors in hostel were warden’s favourites. She did as and whatever they said. But I had not anticipated what happened further. In a conspiracy with the warden they created issues for me. Everyday I had a new issue to tackle. For some consecutive weeks I was made to shift from.one room to another citing one reason or another. The warden would not even listen or understand. Tired of adjusting the luggage in a room every week I simply stopped adjusting them. All my luggage remained in my bags. In college everyone had started eyeying me. And my classmates were asked to stop talking to me by seniors. I was made to feel like an outcast. No one to talk to or ask for help.
As gradually as one could sense, isolation was taking its toll. Sometimes I found soothing in tears, on other days nothing. The most painful thing was telling my parents that i was fine and happy. Talking to them in a cheerful voice was the most difficult task.
And one day I climbed up the terrace and jumped. The world won. They had successfully killed all my courage and hope. Only light remained.

Painted in Red

They all sat together in a single room. Pin drop silence. All that could be heard was the sound of T.V. A news reporter was reading out the latest developments in the area. Developments not in the form of infrastructure or education but of situation. Of a situation that had led them to be locked up in their homes. Curfew. It had been a week that they had been locked up in their homes. First internet services were snapped and gradually all kinds of connectivity. One could not even know how a person was. No news source other than the national television. Indian television.

The issue with being dependent on Indian media was their non-reliability. They would never showcase the truth. They did cover the militant army encounters. They rejoiced on militant deaths. They showed their disapproval of people joining funeral of militants. But they never digged down to understand why an 18 year old would shun his studies and take up arms. They showed the angry mobs protesting on streets but could never gather the courage to bring forth the reason for their anger and anguish.

But right now they did not really have an option. They had no other source. The unrest was triggered by an encounter. And people had poured in thousands on streets for his funeral. Along with the prayers there was one thing that reverberated in the air that day. “Hum kya chahte? Azaadi!” This word, “Azaadi”, had compelled the forces to disperse the procession. Means used? Tear gas shells, pellets, rubber and even live bullets. That day a dozen more boys were killed. And hundreds others injured.

Tear gas shells are frequently used for mob dispersal. The proper usage? To be shot at an upward or downward angle of 45 degrees. But in this part of the world, tear gas shells were shot at 90 degrees. Right above the waist.  As if they were aiming it at people so as to cause injury and panic. More than tears by a gas, a mob can be dispersed by the realisation that a participant is hit by a canister and needs medical attention. From protests their attention gets diverted to calling an ambulance or arranging a vehicle and driving the person to care and safety. Similarly pellet guns are classified as non-lethal. On being shot they shoot out small balls ranging from 300-30. In most parts of the world they merely shoot 30 pellets at a time. But we live in an exception. 300 pellets are released from one shot and they are not as non-lethal as claimed by the security agents and the governing bodies.

Pellet guns did not merely cause death. In majority of the cases it caused something graver. It caused the death of dreams and hopes. Ideally they should have been shot below waist area. Instead every injured person with pellets was hit above waist. Most of them hit in head and eyes. Some wounds recoverable, others not so. The worst sorts of injuries were in eyes. And even worse the news that they had lost eye sight.

What was moving was an interview of a journalist with one similar patient. He had been operated upon but recovery of his eyesight was unachievable. When he was asked about his dreams, he said, “ Earlier I had but now everything is black. Nothing is left.” And tears had started gushing out of his eyes. Gloom. It was not merely the loss of eyesight. It was not merely a genocide. It was not a mere mob dispersing technique. It was intentional breaking of dreams, lives and souls. How could a democracy do this to its own people (and an integral part)?

The answer was more political than human. A solution which no one was ready to implement. Egos’ and personal motives stood higher than humanity. And the streets of Kashmir were forever painted red.

 

Gained

A feast, joy, party
gleeful laughs and memoirs
smiles, compliments and clicks
summaries on shirts.

With markers and pens they wrote
heartfelt last words to other
A eulogy before being dead
maybe the end was perceived bad.

With those last moments being shared,
cherished and captured for all good
in one corner stood alone
a soul, unattended.

The soul probably gained no friends
detached from people, from world
and as others tried to gather all
the soul wondered what it gained!

Adieu; Exodus; Farewell!

They had been the guiding lights
on the paths dark and dreaded
They had been those helping hands
pulling us out of dispair pits.
Like stars shining bright at night
giving hopes of a coming dawn
Instilling hopes of a better tomorrow
the feeling, “Together we belong”
When we cried being homesick
scolding, supporting, through thick and thin
like an elder sibling does
Their memories fill up the place
leaving a mark everywhere
They opened up the doors for us
so we could transit to the better
clearing the bottlenecks and boulders
creating paths for predecessors
Bidding adieu, leaving behind
empty places and a trial to follow!

FlashBacks!

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She woke up to the cry of baby
Maybe it is hungry
Calling for feed it must be
Then will it sleep peacefully.

She turns to her side only to find
The cradle is empty
She thinks for a moment, “where’s my baby”
A tear escapes her eyes

The fateful day plays before her eyes
How it had suddenly fallen ill
How it was crying in pain that day
How it refused any feed.

It’s feet were cold already
Medicines were being administered
They rushed to hospital soon enough
And returned with a dead body.

She turned and tossed in bed again
Haunted by its memories
How the cradle reminded her
Of her little angel

Amongst this she got out of bed
Her daughter slept peacefully
A smile donned her face so nice
As if adorning life’s beauty!

Praying silently for safely
Of long life of her daughter
She thanks God for what she has
And tries to sleep soundly!

Rise And Fall

She was meeting him for the first time. A huge hue and cry was made about it. The whole family had gathered. She was being taken to meet a suitor.  Marriage! She did not know how she would meet him amidst all these relatives. She did not know how to meet him at all! She was feeling so reluctant. Blushed in face.

The suitor impressed everyone well. Everyone felt satisfied. They both liked each other. Or was it so? How could someone decide in a single meeting whether to marry the person or not. Nevertheless, they were getting married. Joyous environment surrounded both the families. What else gives our families better satisfaction?

They were married soon after, without a long courtship period. Their initial period had that hesitation of being with a stranger. That sudden transformation of life due to shifting from one place to another. Well because you said yes! They hardly knew each other at that time. Almost nothing but each other’s names. As days passed by, they got to know each other. Everyday revealing a new aspect of their personalities. And as time flew by, they fell in love!

Maybe that is the best feeling for a couple. To realize that they love their partner even when they were strangers at the time of marriage. That though they were tied together, they are doing good by being there for each other. As days passed by, their love increased. They did small things for each other. Building home brick by brick!

Soon their love reached zenith! The point where they felt they were inseparable. Even a moment of distance seemed unbearable. They were obsessed with each other. One a drug for other. Addicted! It seemed as if they would choke to death if their significant other was not available or away. Maybe this is what they call true love. Maybe this was just an obsession. Why otherwise would a partner’s absence make the other uncomfortable?

We all have lives before marriage. We all have that individual space and dreams. Then why do we associate to our partners as much as to influence our decisions? Sometimes compelling us to even quit pursuing our dreams? Maybe this we called compromise! Where we live to make each other happy rather than just pursuing personal goals. Maybe love changes our priorities. Maybe we seek love more than any other dreams. Maybe…!

But in our society, or in any other society as a matter of fact, does true love really exist? Maybe nah! Their obsession proved to be very poisonous. She entered home a minute late and questions started pouring like rain. It seemed like she was questionable for every breath she took. Why, how, when, where, these questions became more common. Like she was owned by someone. Why had she talked to a guy? Why had she decided something without his consent? Why’s followed her everywhere. He turned into a typical possessive husband. Keeping an eye on her. Rather, spying! He had somehow become insecure. His wife was beautiful, confident and had enormous potential. Somewhere in his mind he felt that she deserved someone better. Maybe this thought made him do all this. He kept an eye on everything she did. Every call she made; texts she sent; people she interacted with. Doubtful.

His possessiveness had grown to the extent where he did not want her to even leave the house premises, leave alone going for a job. He wanted to conceal her from the world. As if someone was going to take her away from him. His fears seemed illogical but he could not shun them. Was this the zenith of love? Was insecurity intrinsic to love?

These illogical fears made him question her on every thing. That zenith of love seemed to be lost. As if it had gained a decreasing trend. His fears had started consuming all the love. Nothing seemed to satisfy him. She had to be ready with explanations and proofs. He could question her on anything and everything. Who knew what would irritate him the next time!

She could see his love amongst all this but then it all was too harsh. She deserved some respect and trust too. She had a life before knowing him and she still had one. But did marriage snatch it all? Had she lost her life due to the relation? Had she lost all rights? Did she need to snap all contacts from her pre-marital life to stay happy? Did she need to give all her time to her husband only? She had no answers.

With time the obsessive nature turned the relation sour. No day passed without a fight which usually started over nothing. Maybe because they had nothing left to talk about! Was this a way to seek her attention? A way to say “I need your care”? But was the method correct? Was it fair for her? Love never hurts someone. Only our behaviour, our way of expression does! And so did it in their life too.

There came a day when he got angry over something. Something which was not her fault at all. Something which could not be controlled. Inevitable. Maybe destiny itself! And that day destiny had strange plans. She just did not want to put up with whatever he said that day. Hence she replied back to his every blame, every taunt. This aggravated his anger further. In a moment of rage, he slapped her. Hard. Repeatedly.

She stood there, baffled! She did not know what to do or how to react. Tears streamed down her eyes as a reflex response. Her mind unable to think for a moment. And then, she withdrew! Walked away from him. In that moment it seemed to be the only way out. Later, she packed her bags and left. Not listening to any explanations or apologies. Not giving in. She knew she had already had enough and now she had to stand up for her respect. So she did.

And that day, the line on graph touched zero. They had become strangers again. Living separately, unaware of other’s existence.

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Unspoken and Unresolved!

He said, “I am frustrated. I can’t take it any longer. I call it off.” This came from him after remaining tight-lipped for two days. This separation was killing him inside. Heart broken. She had been pained too. In ways different from him.

There had been some huge miscommunication in their relation. The things that should have beautified it were intoxicating it. They were not able to synchronise properly. They loved each other but were not compatible with each other. Something was missing in their relation.

Their different upbringing and values were messing with each other. He had always been restricted in life. Bound by the responsibility of being eldest. He never had choices in life. He could have changed his ways now. He was no more bound. But he chose not to. Unreasonable. He feared losing his identity. Maybe he could no longer be able to relate to self. Or maybe he did not want to move out of his comfort zone. Inert. He could not see why he needed the change. Probably he did not want to grow at all.

She, on the other hand, had always been liberal. She had had all the freedom one could have. She was the apple of everyone’s eye. Pampered. Being youngest, she never really grew up. The kid inside her would show up every now and then. But she was mature too. More than what is expected of her age. Sensible. Being youngest was an advantage. Everyone felt she was too young to understand. So she was never locked out when serious matters were discussed. And secretly, she understood all.

He seemed to have no dreams. All he wanted was a job so he may take the burden off his father’s shoulders. She wanted to fly. Dreamt of everything one could imagine. He was timid. Cautious of what he did in public view. What he said or what questions he asked. Most of the times he did not. She did not give a damn about the world. It was her life and she would choose what she wanted. She would ask all such questions others felt were silly or were afraid to ask. Alive. And then one day they stumbled into one another.

Everyone knew they loved each other, even before they knew. Everyone could see that in his eyes. The way he looked at her, cared for her. And the way she desired his attention. Before they knew, they were in a relation. Everything was beautiful.

Then what went wrong? What happened that they had to part ways? Even they could not answer this. Somehow differences took toll of their relation. They did not know what acted as poison. But it seemed to be the end. There was nothing left. Over.

Maybe they should have talked out their differences. Left their egos aside. They should have learnt what the other one likes. Instead of being uncomfortable in what the other person likes, they could have shown positives to their partners. They did not bother. They should have smoothened out the creases but they were too negligent. Has any relation sustained blame? They should have acted mature! They should have valued their love. Bruised.

A Year of Care

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A soothing hand
footprints on the heart’s sand

A hearty laugh
someone who looks like a giraffe (to me)

Nocturnal talks
waking up early for morning walks!

Honey with lime
to the world don’t give a dime

That request to pray
“Someone somehow make my day!”

That urge to meet
that person sometimes I want to beat

Affection and love
acting insane, both hand in glove

Abusing friends,
calling names, setting trends

And that cry
welled eyes, throat dry

Moments of helplessness
“Can’t breath, I am choking”

Rushing in an ambulance
drip and an oxygen mask 😉

Creating panic amongst all
everyone dreads your fall!