Sunday, September 14

The Warning


                       Team Name :  Maximus Dramaticus


Read the third part of the story The Enigmatic Exploration before proceeding please


                                                       ~~~~~~~
         
                              Meanwhile, the days were rolling slowly in yet another part of the country. Shekhar sat stooped forward in his study drenched in the caressing gaze of the setting sun.  The mellifluous twitter of the birds outside had transformed unfailingly to a hullaballoo at the mere cue of the changing shade, from a vibrant golden to a subtle grey. The playful chatter of Roohi hung loudly in the otherwise silent house so much so that it had almost become an imminent ingredient of any day
.
He sat staring at the blank screen infront of him, the silver rays emanating from the laptop screen dancing gleefully inside his eyes. Being a freelancer wasn’t easy. It had its perks- like his hands brimmed with one of the most precious assets in any writer’s life – time. But lately, the burden of inactivity had started to take a toll on him, he knew. Bouncing from one project to another, he was earning quite a decent sum every month, but then there always existed a tempting tug at the back of his heart to come up with a stupendous first novel, one that would take the literary world, or rather the commercial league of the same by storm.

‘ Papa, come play with me !’

Roohi’s enigmatic voice pulled Shekhar back from his reverie. He waved at her hopping outside, her pigtails jerking vigorously in the pale evening light.

 ‘ Don't go far, Baby’ He called out to her through the window smiling, wondering whether or not to hover over to her for another game of hide and seek.

Tara – Where was she! One whole monotonous day had passed since she called him up to discuss about the whirlpool Cyrus had dragged her into.  ‘I’ll be back soon’ – Her words echoed through him as a slow pang of pain slithered through his heart, urging him to reach for his phone in a jiffy. Being a journalist, Tara used to leave in search of scoops at the most unlikeliest of the moments. Yet, Shekhar felt an inexplicable uneasiness this time around, the reason of which he couldn't fathom. 

Just that very moment, Shekhar’s phone breathed his favourite  song signalling a call, the timing of which startled him given the torrent of dark images that hammered their way through his head since the day he knew Tara was out in a sinister world.

‘ Mr. Shekhar?’

‘Yes. Who is this?'

' I am Paresh - Cyrus's professor'

' Oh. what is it professor?'

‘I had been to cyrus's place a couple of times and came to know that he is staying at your house in Chuna Mandi now. You two are really good friends isn't ?

Shekhar nodded in reply bringing voice to his gesture with a soft grunt of approval. 

'And that is exactly why I called you now. Have you talked to Cyrus lately?’ Shekhar couldn’t help but notice the shade of apprehension that lingered in his words, quite unlike something he would expect from a person of Paresh’s stature.

‘Yes, I talked to him just yesterday. What is the matter, Professor?’ Shekhar lied in an impulse, not knowing why the words slipped through his lips hurriedly.

‘Nothing serious, Shekhar. Its  just that Cyrus has been missing a lot of classes lately. Being a law student out on an assignment this is not something odd, but what bothers me most is the air of tension and apprehension shadowing his movements and words since around a month and half back'

Shekhar breathed heavily through the speaker, his heart beats thudding so loudly that he feared those would be audible enough to be transmitted all the way to Delhi.

‘ Having gulped down book after book, facts after facts over the past few months, it would doubtlessly be a different endeavour altogether to be out on the front cracking a case for real, i know. I have seen students falter too many a time. But then, it should be part of the growing process right, a crucial part in his metamorphosis’

‘ Sir, could you be a bit more specific here. Is Cyrus out on an assignment? What assignment? I am sure he hasn’t mentioned anything of that sort to me’

‘Oh, I am very sorry, Shekhar. I deduced you to have known that Cyrus and one other student of his group are on a practical assignment right now, strictly speaking for the past three months. I had warned them sternly to work undercover, not to expose themselves or to attract too much attention considering the graveness of the case. I hope Cyrus sticks to my words for it is definitely a dangerous world out there. And that is precisely why i called you up, to talk to him to pacify his self to go slow and never to be over enthusiastic which a fresher like Cyrus tends to be given the authority and the privilege that comes with being granted the first case . Also like never before the academy has now come up with a new scheme which Cyrus knows well enough-  Brownie points based on their performance for the scholarship which they are offered for their internship abroad at the end of the last semester. Quite a temptation to work all the more, isn’t it?‘

Shekhar mumbled in reply, ‘And what case is he working on now, may i know professor, if that is something which can be disclosed’

‘It is a wrapped up case. Something which happened two years back. The vital clues got erased away one fine day forcing the judiciary to discard the case sans verdict. It was a murder case and it was no secret how the mafia dons showered their usual nastiness to cover up the proceedings of the case. ‘

The  soft rumble of the ceiling fan was all that could be heard in the overstretched silence that followed. Having promised Professor Paresh on having a sensible conversation with Cyrus, Shekhar hung up the phone.

‘See this papa!’ Roohi’s  enthusiastic voice was what brought Shekhar to his cheerful self once again.

‘What is it , baby. What do you have here? Is that a puppy that you are holding? Eh, it is a big brown dog or what. From where did you get it Roohi?’ Shekhar’s voice deepened which erased the smile that had dangled on Roohi’s lips.


 The golden tinge of the accessory that was clinging onto the toy's neck from a dainty chain brought a fresh tinge of pink to his cheeks - A razor! 


‘ One uncle left this at our gate while you were talking on phone’ Roohi looked down at her feet, visibly scared to look directly at her dad’s face which was crimson with an implicit emotion she couldn’t decipher.

‘Haven’t I told you not to take anything from strangers!’ Shekhar almost yelled, his voice fluctuating with fright as he ran to the backyard to throw away the stuffed doll as far as his almost drained body could .

‘But he is not a stranger ,papa. I have seen him somewhere’

Shekhar stared at his daughter who stared back at him, her beautiful large eyes welled up with tears which started rolling down her flushed cheek in torrents smudging the kajal lining her eyes.

                                                ``````````````````````````````

                         Cyrus winced as the sharp needle pierced through his flesh insinuating the fluid inside the syringe into the curvy crevices of his vein. A sudden bolt of pain shot through his head as he jerked it to glance at his hand which was being deftly handled by the woman in white. The nauseating odour of the room cleansed diligently with lotion and dettol irked him more than the wound on his scalp that was sutured tight. His senses slowly returned back to normal and his bleary eyes were welcomed by the sight of Jennifer resting her head on the table next to his hospital bed.

In no time, the images of the morning rushed back to his head uninvitingly.

 Listening to Tara he had gone back to his room to lie down alone for sometime. Jenny’s arrival had brought an unprecedented joy to his otherwise weathered mind. Jenny’s presence felt like an oasis amidst the the desert the pandemonium inside his head was, which had been bogging him down for the past two months. How he wished she was single! The tattoo of the fluttering butterfly on her arm was the first thing he had noticed about her . It so suited her attitude – vibrant, alive, always on the prowl for beauty in all its forms to satiate the photographer in her.

Nestling her thoughts inside , he had washed his face from the sink, the ice cold water easing the stress out of him when a dash of movement on the mirror  prompted him to turn back.

The scene unfolding swiftly before him had knocked the senses out of him!

                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`


Illustration sketched by Arvind Passey, team member. 

Read the next chapter of the story I warned you 

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”



Tuesday, September 9

The Silver lining



                                  There comes a day, as the body's work cycle makes a complete circle, when you feel the drive draining from your body. And by drive here i mean the demand of your inner diligent self to be the best in whatever you do and not that spark in you to be alive and smiling. Losing it is not worthless, nor should it sound tardy, for once in a while it would be the best sidetrack you take to reach your milestone the earliest, for it serves you just like a few second stop to recondition serves a racing car.


If a thought or an idea keeps ticking, nagging you at the back of your heart, consider it being deserving enough to be fulfilled. Whether true or not, this nugget has guided me for long since it dawned on me one fine day when the teen in me used to worship every paulo coelho book that came my way. The idol has since been replaced by quite many other authors, yet the nugget has managed to stay put.

So, as my biological clock started pushing and shoving me to take a break, i found my brain involuntarily polishing the nugget which got buried beneath an unnamed sulcus some time back. 

And thus saw the entry of these gems to the seemingly unenthusiastic world of another unrelated genre of books. An amalgamation of fiction and non fiction ( if medical books can be tagged so). 

Down with 'Another man's wife' i am already the happiest soul in the world. Sometimes, a book can fill that much dreaded vacuum in you like no other thing can - atleast in its own reassuring way. 

Sadly, i had to take to the new habit of reading a book few pages at a time owing to the many constraints.Harking back, that too had its perks. It helped me savour every page in its entirety as i was in no hurry to lap up the whole book in a few hours time, which used to be my habit otherwise, more due to ardor than impatience.


That said, let me wrap this account up. There is more to read and even more to learn. 


But before you go, is there something new you did this week ? Or maybe a new book you read ? Tell me about it:)

Thursday, August 28

The Belief



Far away, tucked in the sleepy downhill of one of the tallest mountains, existed a village named Lakora, peppered with dusky women and even duskier men. They spoke a language which was yet to metamorphose into strings of words written with a hearty soul. The hill peaks gave birth to sun every morning, well before six, showering the brightest rays on Mother Earth’s cheeks. The unrelenting cries that accompanied the same as birds fluttered their wings to distant places in search of food, settled into pleasantries at the warmth of the baby’s touch. 

This small space was intriguing in varied aspects. It was a mystery, the many dungeons hidden away in this murky of a place and the many secrets that had accumulated in those over the years.

‘ They brought illness to the family. They did. Those big blue marks!’, Buja stated explicitly. 

Lova listened to her grandmother, wide eyed as strands of jet black hair flung lower down onto her waist. She involuntarily caressed her pregnant abdomen, stretching her wrought, swollen legs on the steel cold cemented floor. The waft of spices being crushed at the nearest mill brought tears to her eyes. She suppressed a sneeze with the inside of her hand  as the old lady continued in her hoarse voice, diseased with abuse over the years,

‘ They kicked you a lot,Lova.They kicked you a lot. It never happened with the good ones. Terrible creatures they are - with blue sinful marks! But see, God exists. Never was devil of that sort delivered in this village after the aftermath that happened in Boa’s family.

‘ What happened to Boa’s family?’

‘ Not one member of her family survived the outrageous fire that broke out in their haystack years back the day that young girl gave birth to the ugliest little baby with the largest blue mark i have ever seen on its back, the last of that kind ever sighted in this village. Poor Boa and her husband. How happy were they before that dark cursed day!’

A soft groan slid through Lova's flushed lips. The tiredness of pregnancy was starting to take a toll on her delicate body, with each kick of her baby’s feet against her womb, every five minutes, sending a strange shiver down her spine. 

A torrent of deep burning thoughts rushed through Lova’s mind at the instant her grandmother shut her mouth up, a handful of betel nut leaves now engaging her tongue. Her village never had such a baby ever since? What were the odds of that happening? No one of that sort existed atleast in the near vicinity of the mountains. How strange! 

Lova shifted her place onto the armchair which gave her more space to relax while the baby moved inside with fervor. Her grandmother’s sordid words lingered in her thoughts as her heart started pacing to and fro in an arrhythmic pattern - 'sinful baby!'

A tiny droplet settled on her forehead startling her from her reverie. Huge black clouds raced towards her, wrapping her house in the heaviest of the blankets.

The next morning  Lova’s house woke up writhing in the wails of its occupants. Lova rested crying in her grandmother's arms as her distraught mother wiped away with trembling hands, the fresh blood stains on her daughter’s thighs.

' Why Lova, Why?' 

Lova muttered in between helpless sobs,

‘ The devil. It kicked me a lot, Ma. It kicked me a lot’

The fiery shade on Buja's face gave way to an implicit smile which dangled at the corners of her mouth. A blood stained death to a blood stained inception! Buja wondered at the tenacity of the belief that stained rooted over the years. She awed at how it stayed preserved amidst neololiberalism and modernity - safe in the manipulative hands of the midwifes or further yet, in the amateur quivering hands of the young hapless mothers. 

In Lakora, wasn't belief all that mattered ? 

Buja caressed Lova's restless locks as fresh strokes of pride blossomed on her cheeks. Her grand daughter had just saved them from a havoc. 

                                       _______________________
    

Monday, August 25

So, do you love what you do ?





                       I never yearned to be a doctor. But my parents knew better. They wanted our family to have a doctor who could take care of the members without having to go through the direness and hazzles of apprehensively rushing to a hospital not knowing what the diagnosis would be. Not that a doctor could treat a person solely within the confines of the four walls of a home, but nonetheless, if I were a doctor I would judge the situation better and would pacify the members for good – such were the reasons that formed the crux  of the long yearned for dream.

God listened to parents. True. He is there for me. I know. But He listened to them more than He listened to me.  I wanted to be a journalist or an engineer or at the least someone who could spent atleast five days of a month sans the worries of work. But, no. He made me a doctor. And then he flung me past the biggest hurdle that is the post graduation exam to place me safely on the other side.

So, do I regret that God listened to my parents more than he did to my prayers?

Life is an illusion. The things that we desire for the most cease to be worthy once we get a grab on them. On the other hand, something repulsive at first glance turns out to be a life long treasure in the course of time. Life is such.

So after toiling for one whole decade of my life I find myself  in a place where I belong to more than anywhere else. White overcoats, green surgeon’s gowns, cape and mask and emergency procedures. Life has painted itself white – Peace.

Peace? No, never. Three migraines a week is more that I can handle. Sixty hours a week. Sometimes more. Being a resident is no cakewalk- someone had told. I remember dismissing it with a jeer.

Being there for others is no easy matter. But then, isn’t that part of your job? Yes, it is. But I am pretty sure the number of doctors who sweat out day and night,without bites of food at times, far outweigh the ones who serve people solely as an ordeal.

Harking back, I feel I made the best mistake by filling up the premedical entrance application. I really did. How can I explain to you why? I cannot. I live the answer to the question. Every single day.

So, are you someone who love what you do ? 


Sunday, August 17

Wiping Away The Dust



One whole year. Unbelievably so ! A year passed by sans a single post on my blog. A year passed by with no creativity firing up my grey cells. A year passed by engulfed in the smoky mist of white coats. A year passed by trying to decipher the course of nerves, the worth of ganglia and the mechanisms that keep humans breathe with peace. A year since i embarked on my post graduation course in ENT surgery - A lot to say, a lot to share.

I wouldnt be here yet if not for two incidents that occured a period spanning the last two months. 

*  My school reunion that happened last week
*  For that wonderful, smoldering mail from The Tamarind Rice team ,letting this proud spirit know about their decision to showcase her article At The Bookshop at their literary meet ' Literary Lapses'


School reunions always arrive carrying a mixed bag of emotions . Nostalgia mounting beyond seams can be overwhelming at times and at other times they can leave you all brooding when reminded about the good things that withered away over the time. And this time, it came as a common query - ' Why dont you write these days, Maliny?' 

Oh, i missed writing ! I did. But these were months when the thought of sitting lost in a fluffy cushion typing away word after word, spewing posts felt like a luxury. 

And i am not yet sure how long away is my next post. Nevertheless, i badly need to satisfy my itch to write something this very moment and that too,with all my heart. Now that i have done it there are few words to describe exactly what i feel right now. Enlightened, maybe?

There are times when you need to sail with the wind. So that you derive as much power as you can to sail against it when your mind years for it the most. There are low times. There are duties to be performed. There are goals to be achieved. There is a time to toil. There is a time to let free. There is a time to celebrate.

Life runs a course. This moment,i realise that sometimes,it is fine to abide by the rules of fate. Sometimes it is alright to float and not to fly. But never let the spark die out. Let it burn within in the lightest of the shades. You never know. The very next minute might very well be the that perfect polishing moment you had waited for all along. 

Sunday, August 4

Delicious Tamarind Rice



Life might seem like a precarious boat ride on an enraged sea amidst cold showers at times, but still, interlaced with snippets of calmness granted by a sunny day and the pacifying hopes of the sight of a sandy shore past the horizon, the ride can transform into an enticing one at the most unexpected of times. Such a sliver of joy knocked at my door last week, while my days had gone haywire for a few irrevocable matters. For a writer, to receive a mail with the subject emboldened in bright letters which screams out that ' YOU WERE PUBLISHED', in any sort of medium for that matter, would be an intoxicating feeling sans doubt. And one such rewarding moment completely made my day when i received a mail from the Tamarind Rice people notifying me that my story was published in their July issue. 

Being their subscriber,i could read the issue wholly and all the more easily by downloading the pdf and it wouldn't be ornamental if i state that i was thoroughly amazed by the quality of the contents, a few by bloggers i read and enjoy on a regular basis too. The readers can vote for their favourite write ups in the vote and win section of the website and better yet, can be winners too in the process if you are lucky. 

In the August issue, they are breaking free from their usual norms and are sticking to a particular theme, the details of which could be found Here. Go ahead and contribute if your nerve cells have already started firing away at the mention of the theme!

Tamarind Rice, in my opinion stands out from the rest of the online literary magazines owing to the fresh and absorbing contents and the vibrant ideas that they come forward with every new issue. 

They say, 'Never to judge a book by its cover'. And maybe extrapolating the idea a little bit, here we could say, 'Never to judge a magazine by its title'. But i would advise each of you to unhesitatingly go ahead and judge this online magazine by its befitting title, for every little bead of rice in this particular dish is as delicious as it could ever get.

You can reach the magazine here at Tamarind Rice. I had re posted my entry in this magazine 'At The Bookshop' as a fiction on my blog by another name- That Final Arc. If you like the story, vote for me here at Vote and Win. 


Thursday, July 25

That Final Arc - Fiction


The overpowering scent of freshly brewed coffee hung invitingly in the air. It had been remaining so for the past few minutes, quite daringly challenging my alacrity - the alacrity of a professional who was unflinchingly feeding raw materials in constant streams to the contraption at hand, so that it would churn out the desired products in another blink of her eye. “ The elixir will just have to wait for another half hour more”, I muttered under my breath as the tantalized bundle of nerves in charge of my senses kept firing away diligently, seeking respite. 

It was close to 6 when I left my cabin, hurriedly sloshing down my throat a cup of tepid coffee. Half of my colleagues had already dashed for the cab which would take the employees to their respective homes.

“ Hey Maya, late as usual ? No shortcuts to success eh! ”

The clutter of the rattling keys that accompanied the raspy voice was allusive. I turned back and flashed my boss my widest grin before embarking on the elevator that led me to the lowest floor.

The sky was alarmingly pale that evening. No crimson tinge. No home bound birds. The scenario that but unraveled before me was entirely one that defied the signs of nature – public vehicles that swished past me emitted venom from every single crevice of their being and the pudgy man who knocked me down to the pavement was more a critter of a less civilized world than that owned by Mother Earth, thanks to the cords that drained him of his senses through his ears, both figuratively and literally.

The loud blast of an unidentified vehicle ( The latest SUV perhaps ? ) nudged me back to the problem at hand – That I was ten minutes late. And that unfortunately meant I had to wait for twenty minutes more for the next bus which took me home. And they say troubles, when they attacked you, they did so in torrents. The street vendors, all at once, started shifting their temporary workplace to more secure corners as bulky drops of rain started pouring down on the already weighed down world rolling before me, igniting both a fury and inevitability in the home bound people to move faster.

My eyes had already started vying with the cue of sleep, the frozen joints of my body badly in need of soothing. Sans an umbrella, the wisest way to evade the unwelcoming shower was to seek solace under the nearest roof and I did just that, undoubtedly and unerringly.

“ Ma’m would you like to take a look at the newest additions that we have?”

People had a way with pouncing on me from behind when least expected and as always I jerked my head in startle to the gleaming, albeit coarse face of a middle aged man standing right next to me.

“ Oh ! Sorry. I was trying to keep myself from drenching in the rain. Maybe some other time, if you will let me share an inch of your shop now till the rain subsides? Out of compassion of course?”

The chime of the golden bells left suspended from the entry door rang through the dingy, yet well cared to shop. A customer let himself in, brushing aside silver droplets of rain from his hair, though with an air of inquisitiveness, quite unlike the way I had barged in. Not caring to reply to my query, the shop keeper left my side, leaving me high and dry amidst a flock of customers who found their way through the shop with ease born out of practice. And that was what prompted me to look around and look around did I for the next few minutes.

Minutes zoomed past in a jiffy until that moment when the shop keeper startled me once again from behind.

“ So, are you from Kerala?”

“ No. Why ?!”

“ From the way you were sniffing the pages of ‘ The God Of Small Things’ a while back near the Booker Prize section, I deduced, however falsely, that you were intrigued by the theme of the book. “

“ I cant deny the fact that you were partly right. Indeed am i intrigued by the theme of the book, but that wasn’t the sole reason why I was found bonding with it”

“ So, have you read the book?”

“ A couple of times, yes. “

“ I see. Do you need anything from my book shop now?”

“ No, I don’t. I am not allowed the privilege of savoring the alluring pages of a newly bought book anymore. Working woman. Mother of a two year old. I guess that explains a lot!”

“Please enlighten me, will you ? I didn’t quite get the relation between the two.”

I watched the man as his sharp jet black eyes narrowed down to two slits, peering at me as if he was indirectly solving a riddle for me, a riddle which needed to be solved with utmost precision and direness. A desperate customer kept calling out to him from around the far dimly lit corner of the shop, perhaps seeking help to dig out his favourite book from the pile of Classics stacked against the edge. Ignoring the calls, he kept staring at me as if his next move depended wholly on my answer. 

I tried to laugh his query off, with a smug on my face, replying in a haste , “ You see, it is complicated. Reading was so much of a passion way back when I was in school and i used to be the happiest while cuddling up in my bed reading a new book. But now, the habit has died down or maybe I lost the drive someway down my neglected shoddy lane while I was scurrying past the polished highway in this mad race. I can squeeze in time if I need to at this point of time, but whether there be time or not, in the end, it is the inclination of mind that matters and unfortunately that is where i failed or rather that is where my life hassles failed me.”

“You cannot be truer ma’m. And maybe that is why only a focused few manage to live their lives the happiest while others live in desperation or at the least nurturing a slight yearning forever when all it takes is the right inclination of their minds to draw that final arc to perfect their life circle.”

As if it dawned on him just then that he had a customer waiting, he left my side, draped back in the cloak of a considerate shopkeeper, to lend his hand to the person at the far corner who was in search of that particular book he was dying to get hold on.

The street lay washed of all its sins at the mere touch of that steady rain. The parched sun had almost vanished behind night’s pall seeking a good night’s sleep, albeit not forgetting to hang his envoy, the round silver snippet of beauty, in charge of his kingdom while he peacefully slept. The city had r eclined back at the cue of nature and I stole a look at the book shop before boarding my destined bus. The shop keeper stood watching me from inside, his gaze implicit and his smile knowing. I tightened my grip on my newly purchased book, drawing it closer to me, before nodding a goodbye to the person who, out of sheer serendipity or perhaps even advertently, descended before me and slowed me down.
                                                 __________



P.S : Completely unrelated i know, still can't help but shout out that this is the 150th post :)

P.P.S: This story was published on Tamarind Rice, an online magazine, in its July issue. To know more about the magazine, visit their page Here. 




Thursday, July 4

Rivulet



A flash of beauty,
The crack of dawn,
Shimmering sun's ray,
The scent of rain.

A surreal soundtrack
Or a soulful note ;
They take me back
And leave me sour.

I tried my best 
To make you mine;
The fire in me
But,burnt me whole.

I let you go
As someone told
For if only you sought
You were mine.

 Counting tides
I waited days
But no one came
Nor anyone spoke.

Why didn't you notice
That i was gone ?
My screams had echoed 
Through mountain mounds.

Tears rolled down
Formed eddy streams,
Till my rivulet grew
And left you far.

Wasn't he right ?
Who faithfully said;
That things sans reclaim
Were never truly ours to claim.

And that was when
It struck me hard;
That life was such -
So undeniably real!
_______


Wednesday, June 19

Of Pinto And The Return Of Gusto


Certain phases of life hit you hard. Merciless would be the apt word to describe those, if i insinuate myself deeper into the pile of specific words in search of one that brings to life the shade of grey in its totality. Merciless, because they simply don't let you wriggle away free from them quite that easily as our confident minds assume. Merciless, because they smother you till your life starts effervescing into snowy white foams to eventually fade into nothingness.

No, i am not clinging precariously on the steepest cliff staring deep into the abysmal low. But yes, i am partly gasping in the suffocating clutches of a dire work commitment, from which there seems little escape for a few more days at the least. 

Those minute seeds of literary inclination, that had been sprouting enthusiastically, though which much effort and sans perfection, seem threatened of being uprooted in the heavy monsoon that has been literally pouring down on my hectic days. More often , as i have always realised when skeptical, it is either everything or nothing at all for me. Either i give something my best shot or i don't even to bother to give it a try at all. Either i read a lot, burning the midnight oil for several consecutive days sans impatience or dreariness, or i don't read a single line at all for months. The same goes with writing. But then, i am not a professional writer barged with looming deadlines nor have i ever been a regular blogger. Infact, i see this space as my niche, my haven where i unwind when the flow gets fierce or where i confide in while sitting idle on my couch, with a couple of hours to spare from my routine to set ablaze those mysterious nerves specilised to fire off contrived pieces of work. 

When the situation remains so, with much acceptance form my part, out of the blue, there descended a bright sunny day on my otherwise murky cascade of events, when i decided to order a couple of books from Flipkart, one among them being ' Em and the big hoom ' by Jerry Pinto.

You may have the urge to label me as pseudo intellectual, but i have to admit this that post a particular write up of mine ( find here), i have been focusing less on Indian English works, a decision born out of the inclination of a working person to stick to the safer side lest you would have to sit back and helplessly lament over the loss of  hard earned chunks of money or worst yet, the sight of that hardly available slot of free time slithering down the drains - Until, i came across a few articles by Jerry Pinto

It might sound stupid, but truly, i have not been much of an admirer of satire. Somehow, satire has always hit me as biased with the cynical inclination of the writer projecting itself onto me more than the mastery of the craft which is particularly proclaimed by most literature savvy minds. But, Pinto, unabashedly and undoubtedly i say, has succeeded effortlessly in proving me wrong and that too, to a very intense degree! Check out this article for example -  Blame It On Wordsworth.

Well, and that was what prompted me to grab a copy of Em and the big hoom. Halfway through the book now and like every good piece of literature, this book too has struck me deep, igniting a spark in me to scribble down something on a piece of paper after a hiatus.

Words are magical and a good book sprinkled with meaningful thoughts is insatiable. Probably, the best inspiration for a budding writer. I know that this post is pointless, but i feel a lot relieved now. The vacuum that has been carving up my insides is being slowly replaced with a sense of purpose. I am reading a good book. And i cannot be happier. 

Leaving you with one of his astoundingly powerful interviews, for those who felt i was vague about the gusto part on my post title and would like to have a more reasonable proof than my imperfect write up to consolidate the same. Watch it. You will read him for sure, if you haven't already. 





Saturday, June 1

Black Or White ?


Image Source : here

24-10-2002 : 10 P.M 

Bulky drops of rain slithered along the side window, cleansing it of its adherent dirt specks. Somehow the rain, instead of cleansing Shikha of her pain, drenched the pall cloaking her, weighing her down even more. A loud cry from the next bed struck her fierce. Was that lady crying out for her loss too like her? Shikha strained her neck to peek through the narrow slit between the drapes to see the doctor standing patiently beside the woman on the next bed. 

The next moment, Shikha felt the ragged cotton drapes shielding her from the rest of them slid from her hand, as a sudden pang of pain shot through her, a pain which would bring along with it a reason to cry over for a long time to come, if not forever. Before she knew she had drooped down to her normal state, drops of perspiration settling down on her lacklustre skin and droplets of tear clustering on her congested eyes.

                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~

25-10-2002 : 8 A.M

I rushed through the rooms to complete my morning pre rounds, lest the professor would  pounce on me unleashing her fury, oblivious to the presence of her patients watching us. And that would amount to an inexplicable and embarrassing situation, something which was extremely discomforting for me.

As an Obstetric intern, the last night had been hectic for me with a handful of deliveries to attend to; and in a way, undeniably harrowing as well. 

' What was that patient's name? Yes, Shikha.' 

In a flash, the painful sight of Shikha crying on the shoulders of her mother for her stillborn child retreated to my mind, a sight which could haunt anyone who witness it for a few days to come. Having dissected the scene all night, the incident had started descending on me as a shock by then, with a revelation dawning on me that never before had i the breathing space nor the state of mind during my duties to even notice such distressing interactions between the patient and his/her relatives.

As i entered Shikha's room to enquire about her condition, i was greeted by her son, a three year old, with the cutest face i could ever imagine.Perched on his grandmother's waist, he started clutching on my stethescope playfully and in between bated breaths, asked curiously about his mother who had been confined to bed to his awe for two whole days. 

" Can my mother come home today?"

" Oh yes she can. She is perfectly fine now"

" Can my father come home now?"

" He can as well baby. But we wont be letting you go home today. You need to take a couple of injections to keep you healthy", I let out a joke blatantly, not remembering how such a statement would create a havoc when uttered to a kid. But before long i happened to realise that i was conversing with a wonder kid, for he seemed the least fettered by my comment. Instead, he hopped out to the next room to play with the kids there, concocting illegible lyrics for a famous tune, at the sight of which a dash of warmth sprouted on his mother's otherwise sullen face, for once forgetting about her loss, however momentary that tryst with happiness be.

Sensing her face swelling up the next second, i continued,

" If a woman comes to know that she is carrying an anomalous child, it is always advisable to let it go at the earliest. In your case, it has been a spontaneous loss, something which no intervention could prevent for good. With God's blessings, you already have a healthy child, the sweetest and the most adorable one in that regard too. Isn't it better to be happy with one kid than giving birth to an anomalous child?"

She looked intently at me as i said this and the wry smile that had been shadowing hesitantly on her face widened to a beautiful curve, granting a fresh glow to her eyes, a sign which reflected a soul pacified after much torment beneath, as we listened to an imperfectly moulded 'shiela ki jabaani', sung in a way as if it were a kid's reply to every single question thrown at him, drifting to us from the adjacent room.

As someone said, a loss makes you appreciate your blessings like never before and sometimes, holding tight onto your blessings could be the only means to push your life ahead from the misery.

                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~

P.S : This is a work of fiction.