मुस्कान

भंवरे को फूल से मिलते देखा है,

नदियों को सागर से मिलते देखा है,

चंदा को सूरज से मिलते देखा है

धरती को अंबर से मिलते देखा है

देखा है अनजानों को अपनों मिलते हुए

फिर भी जाने क्यों……

तुम्हारी मुस्कान तुम्हारी आंखों से नहीं मिलती….

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Happy Valentine’s day…. with a tiffin

Valentine’s day has grown up to become Deepawali for lovers. At least there is Spark that doesn’t cause pollution. Never mind, there is this lot of woman whose indian husbands wait for that special day to make them feel special, but when that special day arrives they are reminded how special every day is. I belong to that lot and understand that ” on this 14th I am going to cut heart shaped carrots and fix them in the cucumbers.” (😅Thank u facebook)

There’s more. I would like to share with you the love story of our watchman. At least I believed so. Three years ago, when I was in Mumbai, every night at about 8 pm, our watchman’s wife brought him a tiffin. She would stay for an hour and leave. She religiously followed the schedule every season. And anyone who has survived, or not, in Mumbai rains could understand the height of her diligence. She was always there. Right there, rain flowing down her saree, winter giving the chill and summers….I, without fail, found her seated on that stone chair with the tiffin.

I gradually developed deep respect for them. They reminded me of my parents. Either papa would come for lunch or mother would take the tiffin for him. These days we are so busy we can hardly have our meals peacefully. Our education system has taught us one wrong thing “it has to be used to earn, even if we don’t need it.”Seriously, we don’t have time for us.

I really don’t know about the watchman and the lady, may be they were related in different ways. But they were having a lifetime. I take tiffin for my husband these days. It seemed funny and stupid first. With all those restaurants around, why bother? He can even carry his tiffin… Can’t he? And yes, where is the special day, gifts?………..

Life is too short to spend in what we don’t have….. So let’s have a tiffin and bless the watchman and the lady….and we have a happy Valentine’s day.

यूरिनरी सिस टम

With age and time so many changes happen in our body, as if it has a laboratory of its own. For women this change is very quick and definite, specially after pregnancy. For example Hairfall, it is so common that many accept it as a norm. Symptoms whisper ‘hello, may be you have thyroid, bp, arthritis…. ‘ But gets a voice only when it screams.

Here is a small story about a woman who postpones her nature’s call for house work and suffers. Its so common that I did not name the characters.

अपनी भीगी साड़ी को चुपचाप समेटके वो कमरे में आगई। आँगन में बच्चों की आवाज़ उसे परेशान कर रही थी। ह्रदय चक्र में एक सुई सी चुभी। पलकें कई दफे फड़फड़ाने के बाद आँसू संभलगए लेकिंग रुंधे गले के भंवर को निगलना बहुत मुश्किल लग रहा था।

“ऐसे कैसे” उसने सोचा।

बच्ची से नानी बनने के इस सफर मे कितना समय निकल गया पता ही नहीं चला। घर की रखरखाओ में खुद की देख रेख करना कोई कैसे भूल सकता है।

एक एक करके कई पल उसे याद आने लगे।

अभी कुछ दिन पेहले उसकी नींद देर से खुली थी, और एक के बाद एक सबके नाशते बनाते बनाते उसे बाथरूम जाने की फुर्सत हे नहीं मिली। लेकिन ये तो हर दिन की कहानी थी। कभी मार्किट में बाथरूम नहीं मिलते, तो कभी रोटियों से फुर्सत नहीं मिलती। उसने एहसास ही नहीं किया कि उसकी लापरवाही से वो एक नयी बीमारी का घर बन रही थी।

और आज, आज तो दीवाली थी। अब दिवाली के दिन कोई भला पडोसी को बम फोड़ने से रोक सकता है क्या? सब के साथ वो भी खड़ीं थी, फुलझड़ियां और अनार, चक्रियआं के टीम टी माते सुख में डूबी। उन्हें पता ही नहीं चला , कब पडोसी के बच्चे ने एक बेम फोड़ दिया। बम बहुत दूर था, बच्चे ने संभालके समझदारी से बम लगाया था। लेकिन ये सुख समाधी में कुछ यूँ लीन थीं की ईन्हें दायें बायें का कुछ पता न चला। ये यूँ हाकबकाईं की ईनकी साडी भीग गई। एक श राराती बच्चे ने अपनी हंसी रोकी और वो चुपचाप अपनी साड़ी स मेट के अ न्दर आ गई।

बुढ़ापा सबके जीवन के रिपोट कार्ड के सामान होता है। जवानी में क्या खाया, कितनी कसरत की, सब इस चलती फिरती ढांचेनुमा डिग्री में दिखता है। खुशी और दुःख चेहरे की झुर्रियों से झांकते हैं और सुकून की नींद आँखों पर लगे चश्मे से।

और इन्होंने तो अपने लिए एक नयी मार्कशीट तैयार कर ली थी। खैर, वो कपडे बदल के लेट गयीं। अब इस उम्र में कौन सी शर्म, सोचते सोचते दवाई के असर में वो सो गयीं।

………

‘डाक्टर! कोई ज़रूरत नहीं है। मै ठीक हूं,’ विज्ञानं की किताब से यूरिनरी सिस्टम रटवा दिया था बाबूजी ने, लेकिन वो टस से मस न हुयीं।

‘शर्म नहीं आती तुमको….. बच्चों के सामने ये क्या बकबकाये जा रहे हो’

लेकिन बाबूजी, बाबूजी तो बाबूजी थे ‘ वो अम्मा जी को लेके गए डॉक्टर के पास’ आखिर उनको भी उनकी गलती का एहसास था। जाने कितनी बार कभी उन्हें समय से खाना देने के लिये तो कभी सिर्फ उनके साथ के लिए अम्मा समय टाल दे ती थीं।

थो डा असर आयुर्वेदिक दवाई ने और बाकि घरवालों के प्यार ने दिखाया। लेकिन ये सब के नसीब में नहीं होता। इसलिए समय पर बाथरूम जाएं। एक रोटी बनाने के लिए आप अगर आज बाथरूम रोकेंगी तो आने वाले समय में बहुत सारी बीमारियां आएँगी। सबके साथ बाबूजी और घरवाले नहीं होते।

The statue of freedom

Despite some interesting episodes, this one came in late.

-I discovered, my kid had the power to turn our downstair’s neighbor into a monster, simply by stomping.

-Met two inspiring travellers who appeared more like saints in skiing suits.

-A father, brother and a son who wanted the world to think positively about organ donation.

-A woman who could have chosen SPF 30 with the perfect shade of foundation over road dust and icy winds…. inspired me with her simplicity and humbleness.

-I was overjoyed to find coriander in The great market hall after a search of two months. And instantly ‘I love you-ed’ the shopkeeper. Love at first bite!

-And the statue of freedom that stands upright on gellert hill in the Buda side of pest. This blog is mostly about this statue.

She is bronze and lifts up a palm feather. I always see her from the great market hall or when passing through the bridge. There is something very special about her. Just stand still or get that moment when you can see her….. only her.

You will actually feel her hair and her dress flowing with the wind.

Get the chill.

You know she looks like a sunrise to me and I can watch her for long, admiring, feeling.

It must have felt zealous, people would have cried and cheered when she was raised. I wikied, the palm leaf was not the first idea. There should have been a baby. Nevermind, the leaf has done the justice. Now she z not just a mother but a girl and a woman…. most of a man.

While most of the other statues one can find across Budapest symbolize power or grief, coz of the sufferings, people went through. She stands tall over others inspiring to rise….

‘O…………. hope is gentle as a feather, let it fly in the winds

Coz freedom, is not a matter of chance, but a consequence of blood and minds’

She is special to me coz she was raised in 1947, the year India became independent. Miracles happened at two place at the same time. Don’t call me maniac…. I am in love with a statue.

I haven’t yet clicked her so please help your self.

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.