The Good Man

Good people come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have same eyes. Eyes that can touch the depth of your heart, and repair the hurt instantly. How fickle the words become then.

I always struggled to reach office on time, still do … Sometimes. Mornings were rush, I would sit with tea for long and then hunt around kitchen for spices and things. Trying to catch the leaving bus always spoiled my day. I would promise my self an early morning next day but the next day never came.

A kannad family lived next to us. Early risers! I always found them quite and sacred. Uncle was a hindu and aunty a Christian. They were a lovely couple who enjoyed solitude. Uncle always wore well ironed pants and shirt and left for office around 8:30am. He was a well read man, and looked intelligent. Somehow I have grown up with a belief that people who wear well ironed cotton clothes and specs are intelligent. And most of the South Indians that I have come across are highly intelligent and religious in their personal habits. So I always looked up to this couple. And uncle also had those kind beautiful eyes that created the fatherly aura around him.

Though I always avoided meeting people then, (being social is hell lot of a job for me.) I would try to have a glance, whenever I saw uncle or aunty walking out. They looked so pure, they made me happy.

One day uncle’s office time changed. We left together or often met at the bus stop. I would greet him and run for the bus. “Does he think, I am always in a hurry” I wondered. A week or two latter, the bus was late, uncle came to me and said ” it’s a long day. Prepare yourself for the day. If you began like this it will be difficult for you to move on”

Until then my work culture and my own behaviour had assured me that people always criticize others. Even in silence the manners are provocative, hurtful or sarcastic. He proved me wrong. In short simple words he taught me the most important thing as a doer. His assertion and gentleness affected me deeply. I was overwhelmed with his words which i knew were out of concern.

I lost my father when I was very young and as a child I always searched for that fatherly love in people. I have missed him in my decisions. And sometimes even missed that somebody who would just stand next to me. But we got used to it. For that one moment I felt if I had a father, so would have been the words.

A few days later he died of a heart attack. He had changed his office time to take rest.

How do people die in a flash!

It is three years now. I m glad that I was able spend those few mornings at the bus stop with him. Bless his soul.

Love for Aunty and their lovely daughter.

A Liberated woman…

During my early days in Mumbai when I was looking for a job, I decided to drop into an old boss’s office.

Nobody had told me this, but a 30 minutes wait followed by his busy schedule ………blah blah blah slapped on me

“Hello! Anybody, simply doesn’t  drops into anybody in Mumbai.”

Never mind, that day I met a woman, 40 plus may be. I thought she was crazy.  But today all my assumptions have gone wrong. She sat alone munching something on Andheri malls food zone. It was lunch time for most so I ended up sharing table with her.

Conversations resulting out of such interactions are most interesting. Unaffected by the opinions of past and fear of future, sometimes we end up discussing our own life. So when she knew I am looking for a job, here’s what she said.

” अभी कर लियो जॉब जी भरके, लेकिन बच्चों के बाद गलती से भी जॉब न करना। तुम्हे क्या लगता है, हुस्बैंड काम में तुम्हारा हाथ बटायेगा? अपनी चड्डी भी नहीं उठनी इनसे।”

I tried to tell her about how supportive my husband is and he himself wants me to choose but she interrupted.

“माँऔ ने तो पहले से बिगाड़ रख्खा होता है इन्हें बाकी कसर हम पूरी कर देते हैं……

आओ हम प्रेस कर देते हैं शर्ट,  मैं कर दूंगी आप रेस्ट करो। गर्म गर्म खाओ।

Though strong opinionated, she had the warmth of a mother so I tried to explain her about my idea of liberation but…

बिलकुल गलती नहीं करना, बच्चों के साथ जॉब करोगी न, सारी दादी नानी याद आ जानी है। और उसपे बच्चे ने कुछ गड़बड़ की उसकी भी ज़िम्मेदारी तुम पे। और याद राखियो, अगर ऐसे में कोई रिश्तेदार घर आजाये न तो सोना तो भूल जाओ।

Liberation की अम्मा आनी है घर में रिपोर्ट लेने?

अगर ज़रुरत नहीं है तो इतनी मथ्था पच्ची करके कोई फायदा है भला, ऊपर से ऑफिस में बॉस की सुनो। बच्चो को अच्छे से पालो और अगर लगे तो बाद में जॉब कर लियो।

My mother never told me all this. she always insisted us to study n do some good job. I could not understand how to react, but her unwanted advice could not be ignored. After all she held a good post in some airlines. She had her reasons to justify.

It’s been six years now. I am a mother to a 4 year old lovely daughter. And I still remember her. She sounded funny but she wasn’t lying.

She redefined the word Liberation for me.

Dancing Girl

Lost last four posts to low battery, now I am writing something else. Its a short story. Also working on a hindi story in my head. It’s good to give some task to the brain. Helps through the day.

The story

” The little girl tipped and toed and tapped, through the mornings…. Afternoons…… Evenings and nights. She didn’t even stopped at night. Her feet danced even in her dreams.

But,

One day, she hurt her ankle.

While climbing down the stairs she missed a step……”ouch”

That evening she couldn’t tip or toe or tap. That night she lay motionless on her bed , wondering what to do.

‘How about using hands’ her mum gave an idea with a warm glass of milk. And she took them both.

She stretched her hands and found them beautiful. She danced them around.

Left and right, up and down.

She danced her hands in the mornings… Afternoons, evenings and nights. Until one day when her legs were fine.

I did this story with my daughter, using my fingers on our tummies, but when the girl used her hands, my daughter too began dancing with her hands. She loved it. I have not copyrighted any story in this blog. I believe in karma and yes stories are for everyone. Feel free to use them in whichever form.

Happy story time!

The little girl

Today I came across a this beautiful girl in the bus to Thomas Istavan Utsa. What should I call her? The girl with hot chocolate dry hair, unpolished nails? Few where even broken at the edges. I could see the moon rising on one of her thumbnails. Maybe 11yr old. She looked thin……fragile. And that grew towards her eyes. I felt for my daughter. Such innocence wanes off with age. And this seemed a rare account.

Was she sad? Or kind? She was beautiful in anyways. Have I come across gentler people? I wonder. I felt like hugging her, cupping her face and telling her ‘betu, give me those hands, I’ll mend them for you. Let me braid those plain locks. Not, if you like them so. And give you a glass of water. It will help those chapped lips and dry skin. You know you feel like my daughter. And daughters are to be cherished and loved and kept well. May you get the best of a nights sleep. Your tender heart find its true love. And you have the best of meal every night. Bless you dear, feeling innocence is rare. May you live around people who are capable of acknowledging this attribute. Love you. Amen.”

Prayers

It was cold. Winter was on its way and there would be snow any moment. She stood in her niche, she had found in the station passageway. There were a few more like her and she was one of them, homeless, cold and hungry all the time. But there was one thing that differed her from others. She was the most irate soul. She would mumble jumble some words and swear at her situation. After all she was a woman, at her age women visit parlors and grumble about overweight. For most 40 is a self discovering age, post maternity but for her there was nothing left to discover. She wore a worn out jacket, paired with something underneath, a hat with threads peeping out of tiny holes and a pair of sad boots hanging around two white socks.

It was difficult to walk in those boots. After every 10 steps she had to stop and adjust the boots. One held on tight but the other one had a big mouth. That gave enough space for her feet to slip offq. If she won’t walk, she won’t get enough money that meant less food. “How will I get through the winters” she wondered.

That night was colder then ever. Everyone was cozy and fast asleep in their pieces of blankets. She held her boots in her hands and climbed up the stairs. “There you are”. She looked at the moon hiding behind the thick cold fog.

She lifted her shoes up and closed her eyes. “Dear God, please, can you get me a pair of shoes.”

Luckily, that night God was listening to all the prayers from Kalvin ter. At close quaters a woman bought a new pair of boots for the winters. She took her old but still beautiful pair of boots n packed them for a Christmas present.

She opened her eyes and found a lovely pair of shoes packed specially for her. “With love” She whispered those words. She wore the boots and waited for snow. This time she would make big snow balls. She thought.