Saturday, 9 February, 2019

A continual effort



It was 7am and Tanu was all ready for the day. Bathed and dressed in her crisp salwar kameez, she picked up her file and started off on the routine she had created for herself over the past few months. She waved to her roommates, who wished her luck whole-heartedly as always, and walked the lane that led to the main road. The ultra-narrow lane had rooms on both sides, most of them housing atleast 5 like her. The roofs leaked during mild rains and the rooms got flooded during heavy ones. They were together working on repairing it before the next rainy season, but that'll have to wait for the weekend, for her weekdays were full.


She reached the end of the narrow lane and as if a new world opened up in front of her, she stood facing a vast frontal area of an expansive tech park. The road she had to cross to get there was extremely wide and difficult, both really and figuratively. She stood there, staring at the building for the 8th continuous week. She stood there as all those 8 weeks before that came back to her in minute details - all the faces and grimaces and laughs she'd faced. They were pulling her down. Not letting her cross that road. Not letting her get to the other side. From a 5-member room in a narrow lane to a shiny cabin in a high rise building. She thought about those 8 weeks again. But she looked at herself in them now. Her persistence, her grit and determination, her belief on herself and her capabilities.
She took a deep breath. The security personnel was friendly. He'd seen her everyday for the past 8 weeks, fighting the ridicule and being persistent. He admired her for the no-give-up attitude, but wouldn't say it. He did let her in though. This tech park wasn't as security driven as most other places and people could still make an entry and go in till the reception of any company inside. What happened after that was no business of this man. So he would let her in anyways. She went in, for the 4th time to the 6th company's reception counter.

The receptionist could not believe it! "How many times have I told you! There's no vacancy for you!" Just then another lady walked in. Her face became a frown as soon as she saw Tanu. "What are you doing?? What does she want? Send her out right now! "
That's when Tanu pulled out her file and showed the lady her certificates and accolades and what was the kind of job she was looking for and why.
The lady first lost her grimace and then her expression changed to one of surprise! Tanu wasn't sure what the surprise was about though - whether about her credentials or about how SHE of all people had achieved them. The former she hoped, but it was the latter she knew.After looking through the entire file, the lady spoke much more softly now. She said, "We do have vacancies for the job you are asking for. Though you do seem qualified for  it, I'm sorry, we cannot offer YOU that job. I'm sure you understand."

Oh yes! She couldn't tick one of two check boxes in their gender column.
Did I tell you that earlier? Would you have read what you read the same way if I had?

"We do have some jobs in the house keeping division if you may be interested", she continued. 
"I have a post graduate degree ma'm and I intend to live my life by that. Would you, after completing your post graduation in sales, want to work in house-keeping?"
Her voice flared now. "How dare you compare you and me? No one would even look at anything folks like you show! I stopped and wasted time on you! Despite everything, understanding your situation, I take pity and offer you a Job, and you have the audacity to question me? To equate me and you? This! This is the sole reason you folks don't get employed anywhere! Someone takes pity and you want to sit on their head! GET OUT OF HERE!!"

Tanu walked out quietly. This wasn't the first time she faced a get out, but it hurt no less anyways. She went out, drank from the bottle she'd brought with herself, looked at a swaying coconut tree in the distance, took a deep breath, and walked on towards company number 7 for the 3rd time.

Art Credit: Street Art by Poornima Sukumar (Aravani Art Project)

Friday, 21 September, 2018

The Insignificant Animal

It is ok.
It is ok to just exist.
It is ok to not succeed
It is ok to not achieve
It is ok to not have a job
It is ok to not have too much money
It is ok to live life
It is ok to be happy by just being

Cos that's how we were meant to be!
It is us, humans who
Started off as an atom or two
Who was no different
From the chimpanzees, the baboons, the elephant!
Who spoke no complex language
Who bothered not to write down anything
Left nothing but paw prints on the earth
Went around for food searching

The same humans who,
Are now proud of the things we do.
The things that led to us
Defining our own acts
Leaving no longer prints of our feet,
But those of carbon in repeat.
The same acts that now makes us differentiate
Between us and others
Amongst ourselves
Within ourselves
We have our highs and lows
Of greater and lesser mortals
Where we no longer remember where we came from
What we did, What we didn't

When life was one
Living beings were all the same
The earth was beautiful and abundant
Providing for every species without a name

Who were You? Who was I?
We were all specs of dirt that came by
Brought together by nature
To be one with it in future

We have no identity, no we don't.
We are but sparks of energy that survive till we won't.

Tuesday, 2 September, 2014

Fear of Normalcy





Married, two kids, a wonderful husband
A beautiful life, Picture perfect
The normal bind
With a very positive effect

But I dare not be that way
I wish life was not that way
I wish life to not be normal
I see it as a sign of mediocrity

Live I will,
My life my way
Not the ever so treaded path
But make one anyway

Fear I have not
Of what I wish to do
Fear I do not
Of what will come out too

Fear I do not
To take the path alone
Fear I do though
Of being a Normal person

 Picture Credits: Rain and Sunshine, Oil on Canvas; http://trinathsen.com/

Thursday, 24 October, 2013

An Ordinary Man - Chapter 2




Chapter 2

After a whole day’s physical and mental strain, she was still in the kitchen, cleaning and readying the kitchen for the next day’s chores.

She washed the mixie vessel and the non-stick pan, which would be short-lived in the hands of the maid whose main weapons were Sabena and The tablet foil. She then added just a ladle of curd to a vessel full of milk and let it rest in a corner of the granite slab which acted as her regular work table. She transferred the remaining curd into a smaller vessel and put it near the mixie, which was the only empty spot nearest to the Kitchen door. She still had to put that day’s washed vessels in their allocated locations and fill the “vessel tub” (a tub allocated for vessels to be carried away by the maid) with those to be washed the next day, then ensure nothing unnecessary was still outside, put if any, into the fridge, wipe the granite and gas stove clean without a dot, switch off the gas, put a couple of almonds in a cup of water for Nidhi – she would bring the entire 800 sq. ft. of ceiling down if those 2 almonds weren’t right; she was trying hard to bring herself into a habit and it immediately became Akila’s duty to “encourage” her – and close it with the right lid allotted for that particular cup, have her usual tablets, change and then talk to her husband at length on the day’s happenings and eventually, hopefully, sleep for a while, for she had to wake up early the next morning.



Being from her village’s “Big house”, and yet traditionally rooted, she got her ways from the maternal grandmother and was quite proud of it. Amidst all that hullabaloo, she smiled.



*To view the entire series till now, please click on the link below*


Thursday, 4 April, 2013

Solitude

Here I am sitting in silence
My eyes closed, lips shut
My mind clear without a sound
 
Far away somewhere
In the distance I hear a drop
Fall to the ground
It would probably rain
It would probably not
Care I don't for neither, rain nor dark
 
Blissfully Solitaire
Calm and composed
Casual noises none so profound, none so stark
 
 
Few get to be alone
Peaceful and in calm cologne
Fragrant in nature's perfume
Pears, Berries, Flowers and Bloom.

Falling in Love could never be the same

All I thought of, was you
All day, all night, and in my dreams too
Revered was our Love
Together holding a treasure trove
However could you think of moving on...?
I never imagined we weren’t so strong!
 
Realise I did though, that
Am never to get the wonderful dame
Move on I did, but...
...Falling in Love could never be the same...
 

Sunday, 7 August, 2011

Perspective


"Two boys arrived yesterday with a pebble they said was the head of a dog until I pointed out that it was really a typewriter."

- Pablo Picasso

One of my friends lost his father when he was 14years old; another lost hers when she was just a baby.

Which is better?

And yet another, lost his dad just after his engagement.

Now?

A boy lost his left leg in an accident. His brother, in the same accident, lost his life!

Which is better?

A beautiful singer and actress, died when she was at her best. Another passed away well after her best, and when she had almost been forgotten.

Which is better?

A kid passed his exams but did not score well; another failed his exams

Which is better?

Life is full of such questions which we keep answering all through, but, do we really evaluate the situation truly or do we add our own perspective? Don't we prefer to reply to these questions with our own experiences? Don't we prefer to give just those answers that justify what we do and keep increasing our self pity?

Now let's take one of the above as example and see what the protagonist would have responded.

"One of my friends lost his father when he was 14years old; another lost hers when she was just a baby.

Which is better?"

The one who lost his father at 14 would say

"The latter is obviously better! She hardly even know her dad, and so would not have felt the pain of separation, whereas, I have had the best times of my life with him and knew the pain!"

"And yet another, lost his dad just after his engagement.

Now?"

"Oh! When he is that old, he would know how to handle the situation! He would at least have as much maturity to do so! Not like me...at a young age!"

THIS is perspective. This is the way an average ignorant human being works! And as for the response of the others, you would know better!

It is when we BREAK this barrier of self-pity that we actually see that all difficulties and hardships are one! God has not punished anybody! He has not given difficulties to a chosen few! Nobody is uniquely blessed either!

It is all how you see it! It is all how you take it! It is all how you handle it!

It is all in the PERSPECTIVE!

Perceive yourself to be big and you are big. Perceive yourself to be small, you are small.

Perceive yourself to be a failure, and you would never succeed ever!

Perceive yourself successful, you have never failed, just learnt!