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Jul 28, 2013

While the phone Rang, to Hang or Hang on

She tightened the noose around her neck. Distressed, depressed, and in despair, she had decided to simply die. But now she was distracted, by the tring tring of the telephone's ring. Her mobile had a ringtone for almost every contact in her life. But the unused landline of the landlord, which rang a bland tring tring, left her clueless about her caller.

Instead of kicking her legs off the sofa's armrest, she inserted her fingers between the bedsheet noose and her neck. With the tip of her toe, she pressed the speaker button, to answer the ringing telephone.

"Yes? " she asked gruffly. "Good evening Madam" chirped a cheerful male voice.

 A telemarketing call??? Ohhh!! She just wanted to just maul!!

Yet when she spoke, her voice sounded calm, collected and cool. "I am sorry I am busy killing myself, so I won't be able to help you. Sell your insurance, credit card or internet connection to someone who wants to live. Goodbye!!" "

I know 3 people who killed themselves" He replied softly.

"Well I am not the 4th!" She retorted. "You may know my number but you don't know me!!."

"Anything I can say.." he began

She cut him off with  "Oh please!! Spare me the cliches!!! Its my life, my responsibility! I am not drunk or drugged..I just want to die. And definitely don't want to dispute, discuss, or debate, about it, with you.. " She moved her toe over the telephone, to disconnect..

"Hang on!" he cried.

"Have you written your note, cleaned your toilet and mentioned about eye donation? The three suiciders I knew, didn't think about it. You know what's worse than neighbors speculating about your death, its neighbors gossiping about your dirty house! Even if you think neighbors don't matter,think, is it fair to kill your eyes, when they can light couple of lives? Did you know, eyes are alive up to six hours, after death?"

She took in a deep breath.

"A breath she wouldn't have taken, if few seconds ago, she had hanged.
Oh death she would have gladly taken, if only, the phone had not rang"

But how many seconds and breath, of her time and life, could a sudden stranger stretch? The pain, which had been on hold, with a fury began to unfold. It shot from her heart to her head. "I can't handle it" said, the voice in her head and began to scream "I just want to be dead!!". Her heart pounded, the abandoned pain, tossed between her heart and head, wanting to absorbed and grounded, throbbed and tightened within her neck and throat, making it impossible to whisper or weep.

 "Hello??" he tentatively asked. "Hope you haven't mentioned in your note, that you were harassed to death by an anonymous caller...By the way, are you a celebrity, then I would be a celebrity for couple of days too....You know, why decide to die today when we all are going to die someday. ?" He jabbered nervously."I wondered whats the worst, feeling unwanted or being bored.."

 "STOPPPP!!!" she finally screamed, and started laughing hysterically. Just one swing, away from the armrest, she would be finally free. Yet her mind now, was far from her intended journey.

She wanted to Kick!. Kick, the first expression of her life. A simple act, within the womb, which had made her parents swoon and feel blessed about their boon.

But, all she wanted to do now was to kick away her life. Simply kick, she told herself, just like you would kick away a pebble, on a trail. But the pebble wasn't IN her trail. It was him, she decided. She had to first kick Him, for spoiling her final moments.

She thought,
"Oh Destination Death, you sent your knight to drown me through the trail of blues, and dark hues!
Yet Destiny drives me crazy me with this voice and keeps me afloat, grabbing my ankles. Irritating and distracting me, like a pebble in my shoe!"

Between Death and Destiny she stood, stunned, unsur,e and suspended. Mind or Body which did she want to swing? 

Another deep breath she took.
And untied the bedsheet from the hook.

 "I will call again, hope you won't die..goodbye " He had hung up, before she could tell him she had't hanged. 

So many things she now wanted to ask and say..
She wondered who he was, and why he had called her today.

Months later, she greeted the first rain of the season, with a song on her lips, and a dance on her hips..
As she  inhaled deeply the fragrance which the first rain brings,
she felt shot by a hopeful thrill.
She finally heard the telephone's tring.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda (Thanks BlogAdda for bringing back my blog)

Dec 24, 2011

Life Lessons for my Kid

Dear Kid,
While its your life, and you have to learn your own lessons, thought I could make it easier for you by sharing some lessons I have learned.


1.Life is not Fair
Instead of wasting your time thinking in terms of "but" this should not have happened, think "and" this has happened, what can I do now.

2.God Exists
Its tough to accept the concept life is not fair, with the existence of God. But just think of God as a Single Working Mom, who cares for her children but doesn't have the time and energy to do everything the children want or need. (When you are really mad at God, just think God is busy keeping some galaxies from colliding with each other).

3.Bad things can happen to Good people
The point of goodness is not to prevent "bad" things from happening to you. Goodness feels good, thats all.

4.Don't Laugh At Anyone.
This is perhaps more of my superstition, but just trust me. Think, if Ram hadn't mocked Kaikeyi's maid, perhaps he wouldn't have been exiled. If the brothers had not mocked Surpanaka, Sita might not have been kidnapped. And if Draupadi hadn't laughed at Duryodhanan in the Palace of Illusions, perhaps the animosity wouldn't have increased. Why give "bad" people one more excuse to get back at you. (For the person who insults, its written in sand but for the receiver its etched in rock.)

5.People don't like to feel Guilty.
If you are going to make someone feel guilty, atleast provide them an excuse for their action. Otherwise they are just going to resent you. The temporary "holier than thou" high you will receive, is absolutely worthless. (This doesn't mean don't stand up for what you believe. Just don't make everything personal. (Focus on the behaviour and not on the person).

6.Trust but don't believe.
Trust intentions but don't believe everything people say. If your friend suggests you a scheme, trust the friend's intentions.But that shouldn't mean, you should believe in the suggested schemes.

7.People and You
Swat away the mosquitoes, gently sweep away the ants, be respectful of the bees, don't waste time chasing butterflies, ignore the spiders, and most importantly learn how to not get irritated with the flies. And don't be ashamed to scream, when you come across cockroaches. And if possible, corelate this with people. (A tip, the flies are the good people who behave badly). And be prepared for one category to transform into another. Just when you decide someone is an ant, they decide to become a fly.!!

8.Decide if you want to be Happy or Right.(thanks Dr.Phil). 
For many years I thought I couldn't be Happy if I wasn't accepted as Right. Well now I realise, being Right isn't the Only way to be Happy.

9.Satisfied but not Happy?
Its not your partner, friend or anyone's responsibility to make you happy. Learn to generate your own happiness.

10.Patience can be a part of "Aggression"
When it comes to in-laws, just remember Sunil Gavaskar's quote "Give the first hour to the bowlers because the next five hours will be yours."

11. Career Choices
If you have to choose between "doing what one wants to do" and "doing what one is good at", choose to do what you want to do. Even if you fail, you will at least have the satisfaction of having done, what You wanted to do. And if you are confused about what you want, just imagine things going awfully wrong with your choice. If you are still willing to accept responsibility for it, you will know its Your choice.(Btw only in theories, Bosses want you to be perfect. Make a small mistake once in a while, they would love to correct you and guide you and prove to you, they are your Boss for a reason).

You don't have to feel great to smile,
You don't need an excuse or reason to smile.
Yet if you feel you do, just smile for a few seconds at yourself,
You would realise you feel good.
And what better reason do you need?
Just to feel good, many abuse their bodies.
Why go for that, when you can achieve it with a simple smile.

Think of Smile as a Single Run
And a Laugh as a Six or Four.
You need not hit a Six or Four with every ball
Even singles count.
Be glad you are not out,
Instead of waiting for a stimulus to make you smile.
Stimulate yourself with a smile :)


Jul 19, 2011

Caste, Culture and Speed Swayamvar

Saw this (Long) ad on some Tele Shopping  channel, yesterday night.

A black SUV drives upto a snow covered mansion . A foreigner (presumably American) opens the door for a tall,handsome Hrithik like guy. A British(?) Butler opens the door of the mansion, bows deeply at our Hero and takes the laptop bag from the assistant. Our suit-boot Hero, instead of going inside,sits on the patio and says,
"Hi I am Raj. Five Years ago, when I was coming to USA, my father took me aside at the airport and said, "Your mother is a heart patient, please, please don't giver her any shocks".

(Image of Raj in an aeroplane, mournfully gazing at the picture of his parents). " I knew what he meant. And I decided to stay away from girls."

Back to mansion patio, a grim Hero. "You see my cousin  had gotten into love marriage and his wife, wasn't, from, our, caste." Bitter voice. "Of course all Castes are Equal, but The Culture; its soo different. My uncle  was broadminded. After all she was a Doctor & her parents were well educated and settled. But it was so stressful for my aunty to handle all the comments  & train Her, into the Culture of our, Community."

 "At the airport i was met by Vijay. The boy I was supposed to replace." Image of a semi-bald guy hugging over Hero, in some US airport (Filled with fair girls in mini skirts and shorts).

 And he had only one advice for me."Dude, do Date". (Vijay's voice filled with despair )

Back to patio Hero, extreme closeup. "I was Shocked" Pauses.
Sad sitar background music."You see Vijay had his reason .He had not dated anyone in US. And back home when his wedding was arranged, the bride's parents did a backgroundcheck & the report suggested.. "
Hero looks around then whispers looking away "he could be"

After few seconds , collects and composes himself and continues "And 2 years without oil bath & nutrition meant he was also LOSING HAIR. So he had to rush back home to clear his name and get married before losing more hair." eyes widened to express Horror.

"I didn't want to end up like Vijay!" with a resolute expression and a finality. (Background music, couple of drumbeats).

Recovers, with a Smug Smile "Being a software engineer I did my research & few days later came across a wonderful website & fixed an appointment with their representative."

Image of our Hero meeting a guy from some bank ad.(Clean shaven, rimless glasses and a huge comforting smile. )

Back to patio Hero. "Ravi understood my dilemma immediately. He explained I could date girls,from my own Culture. Back home parents match horoscopes, exchange pictures within their Culture & then Meet, Eat & Discuss . While people like my cousin fall in love, then Meet, Eat and Discuss. Ravi pointed out I could enter my details and requirements, in their database , and get access to pictures of girl's who match my horoscope ,within - my-OWN COMMUNITY (widened eyes). All I had to do was to Meet, Eat and Discuss. Love absolutely not required!"

"And guess what, she would prepare the food. Back home one never knows who made the Bhaji, and if the Sweet is from a shop!1"laughs heartily.

"I was worried about the character of the girl. A girl who meets strangers..."
"Then Ravi mentioned that about Chaperoned girls. An aunty would be with us all the time!"

"I consulted my parents" pauses to wipe away a small tear from his eye.
"and they consulted their elders and astrologers. And we registered for a non-manglik, musically inclined, 22-24 year old, tall, fair, pretty, professional settled in USA (within our community) who would be escorted during our dates by an Aunty,  for just $5000."

"And during the trial period, if I was not satisfied with the girls I could always, get my money back!"

"The first girl was nice, but she served Bisibellabath with potato chips." rolls eyes.
"The second made fantastic puri masal. But her favorite actor didn't match mine!"

"Frankly my friends, I was deeply disappointed. Then I again talked with Ravi. He pointed out that a Speed Swayamvar, our cultural version of Speed Dating, was being organised in Pittsburgh for all their American members, with a separate Hall for each Community . I immediately registered.After all it was just 500 dollars!"

"And one week later I walked into a hall." Image of 50 dining tables filled with food and  pretty girls in saris and heavy ornaments, near each table with aunties, in the background and our Hero dressed in light blue heavily embroidered Kurta. (And background music, Tere Bin from Guru).

Back at the Patio, Hero, takes a deep breath. "Vazhakai Bajji, Thengai Chutney, Badam Halwa & Filter Coffee aaah..I was immediately drawn to that table. And when I tasted it I realised, I had met my Princess."

Image of Hero walking away with a girl, to another room with 2 giant screens filled with their smiling parents. To video conference, I guess. (Background music Shehnai).

Back at the mansion,door opens on cue and an Asin like girl wearing a big diamond necklace, in a pink sari & mehendhied hand, full of bangles,  brings some masal vadai (not sure which chutney) & coffee (or tea).

Raj, (our Patio Hero)munches masal vadai, smiles & introduces Wife (Princess), a Vice President in a MNC Bank.

She shyly hands him a gold coin, turns to the camera & explains."YOU can also help India grow Culturally. Even if you are married refer a friend to this wonderful website & you will get a 22kt gold coin when they register!'

Turns to Hero, who has drunk his heavenly coffee or tea.'You haven't told them about your friend Vijay."

Hero Laughs "Well when I heard they have centers not only across USA but also in Europe Singapore & Australia I referred him. He was so grateful. Now he is happily settled in Paris".

Image of Vijay with his own Princess grinning near the Eiffel Tower. (For the curious, his hairline has improved, whether due to Paris water, or stress free life or some fantastic hair oil, I don't know, thats probably another ad.) (For the ultra curious, I don't know why Vijay went to Paris).

Back at the Patio, a chubby 2 year old (in a  grey suit with red tie) comes out of the mansion, hugs them while the Hero says "Call Now!" numbers scroll for various countries. (duly noted by me).
Princess says "Protect our.."
Boy raises hand "Culture!" and they all high five each other then kiss the boy and laughing merrily, enter the mansion to live happily ever after.

The point of the Long Post? Wanted to find out if anyone's interested in protecting our culture and sharing a gold coin during the process. 

PS :The next speed swayamvar is scheduled  this weekend in New Jersey & Geneva & Canberra.