Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Rush

You stand at the line with the rest
The stance which is almost perfect
In your mind you know this is no test
All fingers on ground, knee bent down
You know this is what you do best.

You know how this works,
On the count of 3 you run.
Looks easy isn’t it?
Let me tell you its not.
Not when you put feelings into it.

When the gun shot fires
You wait no second
You chase your desires
Looking no where but the finish line
To get the start lead your heart aspires

What you do every second
Now becomes a skill
Your breathing is burdened
You get that rush when you run,
You try not to look frightened

You huff and puff with the 1 second lead,
20 meters so far so long,
You know this is it,
And from the corner of your eye
You spot that maybe it’s not

One moment of diversion
And you very well know
What you want won’t happen
That is the moment
The one wherein you take the leap
And that moment is forever yours to keep

Its hard to explain in such a small space
The joy and kill of winning a 100 meter race

Friday, July 22, 2011

Two lives

Across the table, he sat with the most curious eyes ever. He kept looking at me. The innocent stare oblivious of what I was about to tell him was pricking me inside. Love and responsibility are two very different things.. Oh no.. that’s not how I want to start the conversation.

Eagerness showed and I gave in. I had to tell him. He was a part of it. Part of that starry night and all that was beautiful until I realized the repercussions later. Life teaches you so many lessons and how. Well, it was too late for me to undo what was done. As much as this was mine it was his too. Then why did I fear telling him? Did I sense a lack of maturity or plain disowning of what had happened?

I slid my hand from across my hair to my stomach and crossed my fingers. Eyes shut, deep breath and I told him. Told him flat and clear. I expected a reaction and who doesn’t? But I got none. All I got was a line “You may do what you want to do with it. I’m not going to be a part of this anymore”

Well, little did he realize that he already was a part of me. In such a way that every second it was growing and I could not let it go. But what could have I done? I was 17, a minor. I was at such crossroads in my life that one wrong decision would be a disaster for me. I could very well comprehend the gravity of the situation but there was hardly I could anything about it. My innocence was gone and in more ways than one I was responsible for it. It’s a different feeling when you don’t just think about yourself. There is a life dependent on you. On your very breath.

I clearly remember the walk down the stairs of the place where I gave her to them. She was beautiful. She was so tiny and so little. But according to my parents, so was I. I had to make them a promise that I would not try to see her again. Nor contact the parents who adopted her, who were to give her a good life. And I was asked to live one too. That night I kept thinking about her. Imprinting her face in my memory. She had my nose and those little dark eyes. I remember holding her for only a brief moment. The rest of that time I was blank. And now it was all coming back.

Today, 10 years later when I’m sitting across the table with my husband, I see her. The nose. It’s impossible that I would not recognize her. She stood tall in front of her parents and from the reaction I could infer that she was wanting to ask for something. Something that she feared she would not get. She slid her hands across her hair and crossed her fingers. And she spoke. The rest I do not remember. But I realized one thing, as much as she lives in me, I live in her too.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A place called Home

It’s a weird feeling when you go back to the place where you have lived for nearly 20 years of your life and find your house all abandoned. None to take care of it either. That’s the screw up of living in staff quarters.

To give you a brief description of the place where I grew up I begin by telling you a little story. I had invited a few friends over for lunch. When they reached the station where the board read ‘Mankhurd’, a quiet suburban area right before where New Bombay begins, some guy asked them where platform number 3 was. From where they were standing they could only see 2 platforms. They just gave him that ‘we don’t know’ expression and left and later made fun of me all day that Mankhurd was such a small place.

My only counter argument to that teasing was that- Atleast the place is ‘Green’.
Well, my parents worked for an institution called ‘Children’s Aid Society’, a social welfare organization which is affiliated with the Govt of India. This place housed about 1000 destitute children in a lush green campus. The children were aged from 1 to 20. They had all the facilities from schools, huge playgrounds, hobbies classes and of course a home where they lived. This institution is basically divided into 5 main parts where the children are kept according to age groups and sex. My mother and father both headed different institutions.

So, till the age of around 14 the only friends I knew were these kids. My evenings were spent playing games with girls my age and if someone asked me what has been the best part of your life, I would definitely say the stay here. It’s a different thing altogether to play kho-kho, lagori, kabbadi, langadi with a 100 girls all fit and strong. And in the post game chat sessions I used get a daily dose of how fortunate I was to be born in a house where I had a Mother, a Father and a Brother. These relations were quite unknown to these girls or rather hadn’t been as smooth as it is for us.

I have heard stories of how they were sold off to some stranger in exchange of a few thousands. And later how they were rescued and brought here. The kind of stories you read in the news papers of street children, beggars etc. Well, these were the lives of my friends.

Going back to where I started, I was standing in front of my locked house 2.5 years later after leaving from here and memories kept flooding back.
Suddenly I hear a familiar voice calling out ‘Pinky, Pinky…’
I turn around to find ‘Sultan’ standing right in front of me flashing one of the biggest smiles I have ever witnessed. Sultan is a boy from the MDCH.
In the latter part of my mom’s work life here she headed an institution called Mentally Deficient Children’s Home(MDCH). So you get the idea. In 20 years I have never found anybody as lovable as the kids here. Hell, they are mentally deficient. They are the smartest I have seen. Even after nearly 3 years the kid recognizes me and calls out to me. He has this habit of calling every other girl he knows as Pinky in our campus. Makes life easier for him and we used to like it too.

That one call out was enough for me to be nostalgic for days and here I am venting it out. The place, Mankhurd, is just beautiful. And the concept of housing where I lived was just lovely. We had row houses there with big gardens in front of every house. And each house for some reason had pet cats. Mine was called ‘manu’ and to describe her would require an altogether different post. And I choose to leave that for later.

When I was about to leave I took one last look at the house and for a second, I felt abandoned. It was the place where I spent 20 years of my life but I did not hold the key to the now changed lock.
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