freedom

Escape

Posted on Updated on

Small puffs of white dotted the sober yellow sky, not unlike a poet’s painting. She saw through the sun’s glare a shadow of herself- grey and lone.

She was alone. In the middle of a crowded city, in tense days and hot weather, she was blatantly alone. All the excitement, all the frenzy- a sheet of dejection was keeping her away. Not only was she alone, she was horribly miserable about it. Her boyfriend had ditched her on the first day after her assignment, giving her ample time to notice his absence. She wasn’t talking to her mother for fear of reproach on yet another of her bad choices, him. Her boss was conveniently mailing her petty tasks from his cruise ship, so she didn’t meet even him in her day.Ā  Bundled up in her apartment with small work and plenty time to kill, she only had her cat for company. The cat. How she envied it. How comfortably it yawned all day and slept peacefully. If only she could be as happy doing nothing. But she wasn’t.

In a fit of anger, she flung her mug at the wall, making a large brown stain and cursing. Well at least she had something to do now. The cat gave her a judging look and went back to sleep. Hell, she said to herself, I’m getting out of the country. I need some fresh air.Ā  Charged with the idea, she was boarding a flight to Kathmandu, fifty minutes later.

She was already feeling better with the activity in the last fifty minutes. And as the plane thundered through the sky, she smiled at the puffs of white that had depressed her an hour ago.

A plane rumbled overhead. She covered her ears and crouched in pain. It made her head whirl. It felt heavy cause of the dreams it carried; too heavy for her frail body and empty tummy. Even as the plane darts across the open sky she felt a yearning for it, like she belonged up there with it. But those only had been dreams. Where she truly belonged was the marketplace. This, unlike the open sky up ahead, was crowded.Ā  It was filled with people, litter and a Stygian odour. This was where she breathed, mingled and found livelihood.

Three children awaited her return at home, the eldest just over nine. Her husband, once a cobbler, had died just a few weeks after their eldest’sĀ  sixth birthday and when the youngest was just a few months old. Thus the burden of raising these children had been left on her shoulders. These same sagging shoulders that carried a basket-full of fruits, vegetables and other merchandise to the market everyday.

She scurries, struggling to stand as a customer inquires at her stall. Her emaciated body is covered by a beautifully woven sari. Her husband had bought it for her birthday. He had kept it a secret and had saved up for months to be able to afford it. She had treasured it, in-fact almost revered it and had saved it only for special occasions. Now, this her treasure was the only piece of clothing that she had that was decent enough to wear. The rest of her garments were either torn or heavily stitched.

Even surrounded by a noisy crowd, she felt alone. Her heart full of pain and disappointment. Yet she still lingered on a hope. A hope that someday, maybe someday things would turn out for the better. That hope was all she had; all that mattered. It gave her strength to face the children every evening and will every morning as she left them for the market.

This was her escape. The only plane that she knew that would carry her away from this abyss to the exotic petals of a faraway island flew only in her mind. Even so, with each plane that flew over the marketplace she felt her own plane flying somewhere in her dreams. She would then manage a smile because then she’d feel that someday she’d be just alright.

šŸ™‚
Written by Peter and Ruchika

But please just give the credit to Peter. I am NOT being modest, he did it really. So check him out, at www.thirdoracle.wordpress.com

 

Advertisements

The 65th 15 Aug

Posted on

The Independence Day patriotism has weaned off completely. I don’t feel as enthusiastic today for several disappointing reasons, so excuse me if I sound dull in this update of the 65th Indian Independence Day on the 15th.

As is tradition, the colony I live in organised a Flag Hoisting Ceremony, with the rose petals that flutter to the ground as the flag unfolds on its short mast. As is tradition, that started off a day of kite-filled skies, as has been done for the last 65 years of India’s Independence- flying the kites as free as us! So what happens is, all the people get on as high ground as possible, or if they can afford it, as huge grounds as possible, and fly their kites, and since that becomes monotonic after a time, the trend to try and cut each other’s kites’ strings ensues. This string, in Hindi, is called maanjaa. Maan, as pronounced in Tar and Jaa as in lalala… Yeah, the same in both…

Have you ever looked up at the sky and found it a very surreal expanse, like a painted top? Well that’s what changes magically with these kites. Look at the sky for a moment and suddenly it turns into a dome- like the clouds are now painted not on a flat top, but a wide wide dome, and the little kites that dance in it are like those little shiny nothings in a snow globe. It’s a sight. And if I hadn’t left my camera in another town, I could have given you pictures. By all means, if you can, visit India near the 15th of August, and let me know if you’re coming to Delhi.

Anyway, this is what happens basically, besides old freedom songs, martyr songs, nightingale voice shrilly songs blare out from hundreds of loudspeakers and all the roads light up extra special with tricolour (The Indian flag) strings of bulbs on the sidewalks and above the dividers. The camera… I wish…

And even though most of today’s youth is clone-skeptical of anything patriotic or ‘Indian’, everyone joins in to celebrate, maybe because of the mad kite-flying. Oh yeah- another part of it- when you finally cut someone else’s maanjaa, you yell in delight, “Aieee Woooo!”. It’s like a signal to Kite Runners that run, a kite is falling for you to catch. The words literally mean ‘It comes.’ That’s my favourite part. Because I’m master only at sinking kites, not flying them, and blessed with a loud voice as I am, I can shout out in better than many. šŸ˜€

This is basically tradition. But what is NOT tradition is young boys bursting out in cacophany, the National Anthem, in the middle of the day and fumble over the ending paragraph so they repeat it all over again, and sigh, again. I wonder how many people stood absolutely still when this happened and for how long. Though I wasn’t a willing accomplice, they were singing right under my house and I jumped and dropped a utensil in the kitchen and gave them the perfect crescendo. Did my bit, it appears. Half a minute later, it seems a friend who got late for this proposed performance came running to find the boys signing off but of course, his entry called for a Redo. Five times, ladies and gentlemen, five whole times these previously cute boys minstreled their neighbours without mercy.
Sweet Independence.

Ah, what else?

Oh yes- the poor pigeon.

See, there’s a problem with kites now. Where the human concentration is higher, the kite concentration increases likewise. That increases the cut maanjaa concentration, because we Indians are master players. So these strings eventually fall on land, and on trees and poles… And so do the kites, in fact, there was once a competition for the picture that showed the max number of kites stuck on a tree….

Anyway, this year, to my very great surprise, there formed a WEB of maanjaas on the ground soon after the flying began. And when I stepped out on my balcony, I found in horror, a poor poor pigeon stuck in an invisible bundle of maanjaas. We got him out, sure. But while it was stuck, its wings were bent in such a painful tangle, and it looked so young and scared that everyone held their breaths. I wish such accidents don’t become as much a tradition as kite flying in the years to come.

Though that hope is a little dangerous, as I tripped twice myself for the first time in my life, and that’s after I walk carefully. Something went wrong… but the people won’t let it continue, I know. The respect for Independence Day is too great for such trivialities to be allowed to occur.

So, Happy 65th Birthday India! And believe me when I say this, India earned it.

 

 

 

 

 

Back from the Dead

Posted on Updated on

Yup, that’s me! And may I saw very convivially this moment, that this is the first Test period I have had any problems in. As I have mentioned before, I had my first really bad Test and I really had to study many times which I usually didn’t have to do before. But thank God I did because if I hadn’t that bad test would have been the only good one.

But that’s okay. Things of the past. Forget what’s done and move on. Out of sight out of mind. Whatever you like, I’m just happy that this was the last test today and now I am more or less free till September when I will have a hell of a time giving actual tests, tough tests for the chapters already tested as well as some more and let me tell you this- I will have my hands FULL.

But then, September right? Lots of time to work… while in the meantime, I HAVE to get back to dear sweet blog who must have felt ever so marginalised as I opened it every day but left without writing because I was so preoccupied.

So, I’ll be back here now. And those of you who really have come back as I requested in my last post, I do feel ever so grateful! Yeah, I do! Because Stats have been a bitch lately and I hoped they only plummet because I wasn’t writing. Not because you had had enough.

So here I launch very officially and very happily- Happy Days Are Back Again! šŸ˜€ Wuah-ha-ha-ha.

And to prove with elation of the heart, I restart my relationship with Google Images! Even though WordPress writes in a teeny meeny corner somewhere that every time I do that I use some part of my limited memory space, but whatever. (Who could care less? And they should put this in their pretty little brochure of theirs which I should have known is obviously too good to be true. You can leave any time you want and all your content goes with you… You have all the control of however many pictures and videos and whatever you put…)

A Painting
I’m flying across the skies, oh I am, oh I am!!! And even though WordPress betrays, I sing on, Oh I sing on! Because what choice do I have? So just enjoy the pics while they- Laaaaaassssssstttttttt!

Ah. Happy times. Me putting in Goggle Images without finding the creator so I can give him/her due credit and hence being nicely widely open to be sued but still I do because I do. As I said, happy times. And wouldn’t going to jail make a mice little post? I only hope the jail’s not in India. Or the Middle East.

But no worries today! Not today! Specially after my buddies MADE it such an awesome day! And as tribute to them, I will name every single one of them! So sweet no? I know. šŸ˜€

So the paper today was Social Studies. My favourite subject, so it went pretty well. But just as it ended, my teacher announced she was distributing our Science papers. NOT my favourite. In fact, this is that one bad test. And it has a nice little sob story to it. When I was taking the test I was like- “Ohh! Puss! This is all! Cool. Done.” When it was over, one by one my classmates told me I had got everything wrong. Now that is shattering dreams. Just so you know how bad it went, I scored, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life, a staggering 3.5 out of 8 in physics!

Okay, past is past. Got to remember that. So the papers got distributed, I had a time with blank facial expressions, and that was when all of decided that we weren’t discussing our papers anymore that day BY RULE. (Anyone who wanted to would be told to please ‘Talk to the Hand’.)

And then we decided to spend the remaining time of the day playing kindergarten games and laughing like crazy. And we played all of the following- very happily-

Message to Message

Please tell me you don’t know what this is! Yes! Of course, I’ll tell you. So everyone sits in a circle, and links hands. And one person ‘It’ site close by.

Linked Hands
I couldn’t find just the picture but this is largely how it goes. One person puts his left hand in an upfacing cup and the person to his right will put his right hand in face down. And the chain continues. Try it! It’s a great way of holding hands!

Then It tells from which person to which person he wants the message to travel. Say, Ruchika to Ria. So I have to start sending a message from either direction by pressing lightly into one of my two links. And this has to go on till Ria without It catching any of us pressing the message forward. Cool, eh? Not when you are playing with guys like my buddies Sharad and Varun. Remember these names- these guys are the EPITOME of all things fun.

So what Sharad did… the message was to be sent from Vidushi to Vidushi (a complete circle) and sometime in between I got a message from Sharad who was to my left. So I passed it on to my right. It reached Vidushi and she started when it did- “But I have never even started!!!” Turned out, Sharad kept sending fake messages throughout, but oh, did it make the whole thing fun!

Eventually Sharad was cheating so much that we made him It. Now I’m linking hands with Varun and another guy Shaurya. Here’s the best part. Sharad was witting between Varun and me and till he didn’t realise it, Varun and I were sending messages from behind his back! And we even went as far as making fake horns on his head and what not, taking our own sweet time in the world.
Fun, eh?

Killer, Detective, Poor Common People

We make slips paper, as many as are players. Then we tag one Killer, on Detective and the rest People. We fold them all and throw them in the center and we all pick up one slip each. The killer has to stealthily ‘kill’ people by winking. The people when killed exclaim I’m dead. The detective tries to catch the killer. No one’s identity is open so should the killer wink at the detective, he’s so gone. And the fun thing is, we look around at everyone’s eyes and giggle incessantly. Enter Sharad again. When a killer became slow, he started winking himself. And the poor killer became a lost victim! šŸ˜€

Ria was a cunning killer. Only every time she got to be killer, for some or the other reason we called for a fresh throw. Shivam was a smart one. The EXPRESSION on his face! It would have melted Hitler’s heart- such boldness, as if it said I am the Killer, Catch me if you can!

Radhika, Sonakshi, Shubham, Ruchit and Shubhangi were the diligent people. Hardly ever did they catch the top slips, and majorly because Sharad would hide them in his hand and have them all to himself.

Sigh… Sharad.

Towards the end, we were all guessing who the Killer was, even the People were. And since I was constantly asking Sharad to ‘lean back please’ Varun had this notion that I was Detective. We placed a bet that if I was I would dance and if he wasn’t, he would. That was pretty stupid of him actually, because if I was the Detective I would know! Poor Varun! Got carried away petty bad!

So we ended our day with Varun shying away, and waiting for the class to thin and then climbing on a chair and doing a nice little jig for us. No comment. All smiles.

Only my day wasn’t over because on the bus ride back home, a boy acted all sick and about to puke apparently to play with another guy. Fells so good… to be back from the dead.

Sweet Freedom!

Posted on Updated on

Thankfully in today’s world, I don’t need to go on a freedom struggle to overthrow any colonizer anymore. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to fight for freedom anymore!…

It’s Wednesday night, and I’m going to school with my mom, dad and sister, and a packed bag in the trunk. I’m excited- partly because it is windy, partly because my school looks great at night and mostly, because of the adventure awaiting…

I am thinking about all the freedom I would have, all the space and all the time to do all I want! It’s going to be a great time… I pick up the bag and submit attendance, and load the bag in the trunk of the bus… The bus leaving for Solan… For Adventure Camp…

The minutes are mounting as we are waiting for all the children to collect… I am dreaming sweet dreams….

And then the bus starts and my sister rushes up to get a seat for her friends and herself…. I am already loving the space! I am romanticizing with the thought of having the entire bed to myself… getting an extra helping of pasta next morning…. reading into the night for as long as I like! SWEEEEET FREEDOM!

For a second, I jolt out of the pleasures, for farewell, which I do only too willingly.Ā  There is a whole procession of emotional mothers, softing fathers, and ecstatic siblings, all playing dumb-charade with their kids, across the thick-glass windows, some obviously out-doing the rest! I specifically stop mom from delivering what we call the “Caution Speech” and tell my sis to have fun… Then instead of saying the plain old Goodbye, I remember how she loved acting in the ‘Macbeth’ play and mime, “Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair”.

I am one of the best, and the “coolest” family-members present, and all the girls are looking at my sister and me ‘talk’, with starry-eyes! And finally, they are gone…. And as I sit in the car, the wind is cooler, and sweeter….

And here comes the trouble. It’sĀ  Saturday today. And dad has gone to… bring her back. Oh, these sweet days of boundless fun, of boundless freedom!