Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Solitude Haunts...

I love being lonely,
Oh! Yes I do.
I drift within my own self,
But at times I lack a cue;

I love the gentle caresses,
Alighting on my face like dew,

'Tis my fingers on my cheeks,
I so wish it were you...

I love being lonely,
The thrill to exalt, and be 'me',

Still, what 'they' think, what 'they' feel,

Creates immeasurable anxiety.
Oh forget it! All I need is a mirror,

Have me to talk and see.

Silly, confused woman, 'tis your own image,
In which you seek company.

I love being lonely,
Wrapping around myself my arms.
I close my eyes, I feel complete,

I lend myself warmth and calm.
Yet a knot and two faces in my heart,
Whose hugs took me by storm,

Foist on me the realization,

Solitude haunts; does never charm.

Might be a bit messed up, but it is to assert that I love the presence of every single person in my life...and i CANNOT survive with even one of you turning away from me....Love you you for giving me so much of love... forever indebted...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Demure Indian Woman

Sooti chhaan, rang mahal maa,
sooti na aayo re janjaad,
sapna re bairi, jhootho hi aayo re.
Dag dag mehlaan ootri,

gayi gayi samad-tadaav,

Kurzaan e mhaaro, bhanwar mila de re.

You see her in fields, you see her in mountains. You see her laboriously working her way through a soop to free grains from impurities, you see her pumping air out of her lungs into choolha so
her her family is fed. You see her sowing the fields, you see her weaving cloth. You see her all around you- yet, the presence you don't appreciate!

The above quoted lines are from a folk rajasthani song, which i have been singing since p
erhaps i was eleven. The beauty of this song would fill me, the melody of it would escape my lips even before i knew it. In my head for the past many years, it took a long, long time when the actual beauty and worth of its lyrics dawned on me. Now this song wasn't confined to regional music competitions; now it had acquired a meaning- and a beautiful one that is. Now i had started comprehending a life which i knew would never touch me; but wouldn't stop fascinating me either.

Rajasthan has always been a place that has enamoured me- beckoning me with all its varied hues and vibrant cultures. More intriguing for me have been the native
women of this land, and the lores and traditions skirting them. I associate them with a typical kind of appearance- long, bright, flowing ghagras; intricately woven cholis, with sunlight reflecting off the embedded mirrors; odhnis in variegated colors, swaying to the command of the flowing breeze; and heavy, (coveted) silver jewellery.

Spotting any of them on my way to Jaipur transports me into the world of my imaginations, centred around them and their lives. Most of these women are married at the age when we, the proud urban class, have still not got a hold of what it means to be a women. My aim here is not to express dissent to the phenomenon of child marriages- yes, they are rampant in Rajasthan- but in this article, I am trying to reflect on the bountiful feminism, leaving aside all rage and frustration for having been treated as inferiors. These womenfolk are very muh snug in the lives they lead, and have carved around themselves, with discontent not getting any place in their busy schedules.

It is apt to relate an anecdote here, that was told to us by Dr. Suman Sharma (Dept. of Pol. Sc. Moti Lal Nehru College). In an i
nterior village, somewhere in India, a counselling group intiated a programme on family planning, that they intended to air through a locally operating channel, and were looking for a suitable time slot for the same. When they went out to survey, the menfolk were convenient with almost any slot. The problem occured when women were approached. Assumed to be easily bought, it is the women who were tough customers. Morning time- "No, no! we've to send our kids to school. Too much work." Later- "Husbands leave for work, have to lay their breakfast." Afternoon- "No! Have to clean house, make lunch, wash clothes, and carry lunch for our husbands in fields." The other hours during the day weren't much different. After much discussion and persuasions, only a half hour slot could be identified.....Oh! Our benevolent mothers and wives....

Anyway, so the song quoted at the beginning voices the sentiments of a married woman, who has been pining and praying for the return of her beloved for many years now. Nothing, absolutely nothing has lessened her love, devotion, and commitment towards her husband. Sitting in fields, lost in thought, she reflects on what it would be like when 'he' returns. She envies the other females on the common village well when she goes to fetch water, because they all chatter away about their husbands- the gifts and care and attention they recieve. When she cooks, she worries if her husband has eaten. At night she can't sleep. She tosses and turns at misses him, and wonders when will he be back.

What a contrast it is to our new age woman, for whom, sustaining a long distance relationship is like an unconquerable feet. Here we are talking of a woman, who is not even keeping in touch with her beloved, her only communication being an occassional letter, nothing more, that comes and makes her heart dance. When she gets frustrated, she turns to all elements of nature, searching for omens that night predict 'his' return. The innocent women in her is even prepared to bribe the Almighty with all she has, only to get her beloved back.

Sitting in the snug zones of our cozy, comfortable living rooms, we look at these women with contempt. We pity their lifestyles, we call them 'not-ambitious', we distance ourselves and our innate feminine nature from them. We think ourselves superior. We think we are sensible, for we make wiser choices in life. This, however, is not the case. These village women have sensibilities of their own, ambitions of their own. Being a good homemaker, a good wife, a good mother is what their ambitions and aspirations comprise of. We call their vistas constrained. If their sensibilities do not conform to ours, we have NO right to scorn at them. These are women, grounded, simple, and living lives much more virtuously than we ourselves ever can. Their biggest asset, in my view, is their 'simplicity'- their loving, caring, and giving nature. They don't demand for themselves. The just know how to make someone else's life better, even if it is by killing their own desires.

My song, that has so
rt of stringed this articles together, concludes with a couplet, which suffices to throw enough light on the love these women hold for their husbands deep within their hearts. Love, which is so giving that it doesn't for once consider that their husbands might be so lost in the better lives they lead in cities and towns where they work, that they might not even be thinking of the wives they've left back home....

"Kaaga sab tan khaaiyo, chun chun khaiyo maas,
Do naina mat khaaiyo, mohe piya milan ki aas."

(She pleads to the scavengers, that should she die waiting for him, feed on all except her eyes....her eyes still, just once want to behold his form in them)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

You Matter To Me...And You Matter A Lot...

I had been browsing through random images on google, when i stumbled upon this one. I dunno what is it in this pic that made me stop, and keep looking at it. It was just a matter of seconds before I realized that my eyes are moist. Guess I have been a bit senti for the past two days; this pic was a mere vent....

When I started this blog, i had started it, may be because i wanted to opulently display my writing I realize- I suck at writing! I don't say this because i am this overtly, irritatingly modest female, who is looking to devour more compliments by degrading her own self. NO! I have been through a number of blogs, written by my friends, who seriously intimidate me by the way they write- what they write, and how they write. I am nowhere close to justifying the tag 'blogger' which many of my friends have enforced on me.

Also, this blog was started with a different idea behind it. What it was, i don't exactly remember. However, today, i feel this blog is my platform for writing things, that most touch my heart, the moment i experience them (the 'perception' of my blog in my own mind is due to change a million more times before i die). In fact, what most touches my heart are people around me. Any, and everything they do, or say, makes me what i am at that moment.

This picture for me is what determines the ideal relationship between two friends- silhouetted against an overcast sky, sit two friends, laughing and enjoying the moment. For them, the fact that an imminent downpour is on its way is no cause of worry. In fact, they revel in planning an adventure against what could potentially be a torrential rain. This is exactly how i view my relationship with my friends. Happens, and happens again that my life is overcast, and an ominous grey sky portends a devastating storm. It is then that i visualize me and my friends, sitting down, and devising plans to counter the storm better. We don't confuse each other with hollow claims about the storm being avoidable, or the sky clearing in a matter of seconds. We know it by the decree of Providence- there are such troubles in life which are inevitable, they key lies in standing up bravely to them. And, of course, emerging as a stronger and better person when the worst is over.

Blessed am I, for i can claim i have such friends by my side, who help to accept my realities with a grace which i would otherwise not have managed for my self.

This do i express why it makes me cry. It makes me cry because it makes me aware of the presence of this really special friend in my life, who for the time being, has averted her gaze from my face. I know its temporary. I know she'll be back with the same smile, which quite literally is the sunshine in my life. At times i am made sad with the thought that i can never uniquely own her, because of the ultimate heart-throb of a million that she is, but then i console myself with the thought that none, not even her, can stop me from basking in the brightness that she spreads around herself. Its kind of silly, and kind of weird, and i am well aware of it. Still, i have no clue how to battle myself in moments like this, when i am virtually left alone, because the relationship between us is such that i can't approach anyone else to console me. I know, at times i am a horrible friend, but i am also aware of times when i am selflessly there for my friends- a thing on which i pride myself.

I know not in what words, or what gestures i explain the value she holds in my life. I know that even without saying, she knows exactly what is there on my mind, and in my heart. Yet, I can't blame her for giving me these few moments of pain. I love her irrevocably, and she is one of the four people around me, whom I consider my bulwark. Her absence leaves not just a crevice or a crack in that wall; it creates a void. A void which I have no idea how to fill.

Am sorry, i know not for what. Ridden with anxiety, am not good for anything. I dunno whom to talk to, so i resorted to this medium. I dunno when will she see it, but i hope she comes back soon enough. It's not a situation so grave as i have made it sound. In fact, people might murder me for my silliness, for the way i am taking the whole incident on my heart. But oblivion has never been a place where i could find my foothold, and as of now, i am totally unaware of what is happening.

I guess I am a hopeless case of dementia, and i know far too many people will agree to this.

I know you didn't want me to cry...but do you really think i can help it?