Wandering With Words

Random musings of a reckless soul.


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Born to Live.

She woke up, rubbed her eyes, realized what day it was and smiled. She hurried up to the terrace and watched the stars fade away and the sun pierce the darkness. The sky was filled with light, and she felt confidence and unbridled joy bubbling in her. As the sun conquered the sky, a smile spread across her face. Would the sunrise ever fail to awe her?

She turned around, feeling special and noticed that the earthen pots of water for the birds were now dry and empty. She filled them up, watered the plants and traipsed back to her room. Her phone lay by the side of her pillow, silent. She had switched it off last night. Leaving it on charging she went to freshen up.

While she made breakfast, she thought about what she would do that day. Mother was happy to see the breakfast ready and blessed her profusely. There was still time to pass before she stepped out of the house, so she went about doing daily chores and reading passages from one of her favourite books.

Finally she left the house. The first place she drove to was the café that served her favourite fudge. She ate it alone and knew that her friends would be so pissed off. But she had to do it- she needed this day to herself. She stayed in the café for another half an hour- watching the traffic outside steadily increase.
There was only one other customer in the café. A young man who sat at the other end, with his back towards her. He had a canvas bag with him – probably a college student. When she went to pay her bill, she paid also for whatever the young man had ordered.

On her way to her next destination, she stopped by a grocery store and bought a pack of toffees and two packs of cream biscuits. When she reached the Jamat khana, she paused. This was one of her favourite places on earth. It was a small building that housed orphans. She hesitated before entering. She hadn’t come there since her father had left. She hesitated because she knew she was now one of them. But she encouraged herself – if not today, then when?

The caretaker hugged her and spoke words of consolation. The kids were in Arabic class. It was a small orphanage cum school managed by an Islamic scholar. There were only fifteen children and each one’s story was unique.
When the class ended the children were just as happy to see her as she was to see them. Perhaps even more. They rarely had any visitors. Sure, the orphanage received generous donations – food, money, clothes – but seldom one’s time.

The caretaker brought tea for her and they all shared the toffees and biscuits. She listened to all their stories, ramblings and their wishes – some of which she would soon fulfill and some which she knew she may never be able to. Soon it was time for her to leave. They asked her to come again and she promised she would. And she meant it.

It was almost evening and she was to return home before it was dark. There was only one place left to go to. The Library.

She went around the aisles searching for a book. She had The Sheltering Sky in mind and was looking for it when something else caught her eye. It was ‘Five Go on a Hike Together’ of The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. She loved The Famous Five, having read those in school. It was perfect for reading that night. She got the book issued and left for home.

On her way she met a woman selling glow-in-the-dark-star stickers at the traffic signal. She bought two sets. After all, a gift was overdue. 🙂

On reaching home, she found her sisters waiting for her with a cake. They had done it in spite of her telling them not to. Family! She cut the cake, exchanged pieces of it and they handed her a list of people who had called on their numbers since her phone was switched off.
By seven in the evening she had retreated to her bedroom and changed into comfortable night clothes. She switched on her phone and started thanking everybody for their wishes.
Friends called up as soon as they saw her online on Whatsapp and told her how she was a mean bitch before wishing her lifelong happiness.

It pleased her most when she saw that among those who had wished her at the strike of 12 were some of her students. Their messages made her feel old but it also made her feel blessed.

After she had returned the wishes, she had a quick supper and sat down with her laptop to watch Rio 2. It made her day!

By the time the day came to an end she had snuggled into her bed with the book from the library while texting a new friend she had made.

She realized that this day – which came only once a year – was done. No celebration. No friends. No innumerable cake cuttings. No cream on the face. No long talks on the phone. No presents.
She did miss talking to those friends who called only once a year (which showed that they cared enough to remember her special day) and catching up with them. They must have called and given up.

But that day, in a unique way, in that quiet celebration, she had found peace and comfort which she hadn’t since a month. She slept feeling happy and contented. It had been a good day!

Until next year.


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Hakuna Matata!

Do you feel cheated

By life?

Has it ever occurred

Just when you set things right

Life changes the plan

 

Like when you were a kid

You didn’t find the one gift you wished

Among the hundreds you received

 

Or when you ended up being

Second in class

Even though you tried so hard

 

Or when mom makes boring breakfast

And there’s no ice-cream for dessert

 

Or when the hottest one in class

Is a ‘just friend‘

 

Or when you earn only enough

For a small car; not a big one

 

All those moments in life

When you had to settle for something less than best

Life is unfair, isn’t it?

But look who disagrees

The child who sleeps half naked

Near the garbage, under the trees

Well she says she is happy

And grateful for whatever she eats

And she insists:

Life never cheats.


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Faces of India

I love my India! 🙂

goingplaceslivinglife

Take a look at the people of India……their faces, their pride…their lives.

DSCF6164 Street food vendor in Agra market

DSCF5895 Volunteer in Delhi Sikh Temple kitchen preparing food for 1100 people a day

school bus School girls leaving Ghandi shrine in Delhi

nancyc Snake charmer in Amber Fort in Jaipur

DSCF6454 Little girl who started following us in Jaipur

13892146597_41fd90522d_b Craftsman in Agra inserting semi-precious stones into marble

13892166257_1f2c87aab8_b School boys, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13892168117_55244debd0_b Sikhs at Temple in Delhi

14075568961_6c5e24e3f1_b Doorman, courtesy of Nancy Leung

14075569551_5b9f99f2d0_b (1) Jaipur woman, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13892176439_3d1e6b176a_b Receiving the blessing, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13892181539_aabac79511_b Guard at Unknown Soldier, India Gate, Delhi

13892186019_b4e8821ae0_b kids on a team, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13892191918_2878195e7e_b Shop by the road, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13892199098_479392e1a8_b Street food vendor, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13892210000_36011f8d40_b On a motorcycle, courtesy of Nancy Leung

13907402167_517dea2d41_b Climbing up, courtesy of Nancy Leung (I think this is the winner of the being ready at the right time prize!!)

14075606161_3ed3e87589_b Wedding guests…

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A life that could bloom

Was brought to an end

Yet the soul was caged

In a body most abused

It was not very late

Neither was she on her own

Did she look like a bait?

Then why was she raped?

Why?

For she was a woman

And men were men

Why?

They asked her to dress up better

And to learn defense

Why?

Protection is not needed

When you keep to yourself your hands

And your dicks in your pants

How could you be superior?

Why?

For the sake of honor

In the name of rage

You kill your daughters

Why?

You subdue, you belittle

And try to bring them down

Why?

How would you survive

If we chose to fight?

And there may come a time

When we refuse to obey

For where would you be

If not for the women

 

Who gave you life:

^The mother.

Who made your childhood memorable:

^The sister.

Who taught you most of what you know:

^The teacher.

Who made your house a home:

^The wife.

Who kept your heart from growing hard:

^The daughter.

Then why? Why? And why?

Do you forget

Your life stands upon that of a woman.

 

Note: These lines and few other posts of this blog are very old : snippets from my journal/diary. The above lines were written in 2012 after this happened – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Delhi_gang_rape. 


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Colours of Life.

Image

 

 

“The stone rolled aside and I was born again.”

Memories have become vague.

But I remember lying in bed, scared. On a hot summer day, covered in sheets, I waited for sleep – the only reprieve for my dying soul. I pulled the sheets over my head and tried hard to hold back the tears that fought wildly.

What happened? Why the betrayal?

Strange cruel people in my dream repeated these questions. They cudgeled me with it and I couldn’t find an answer.

It was the moment in life when every breath you take hurts. The darkness around me screamed. In the land of grief, once again, I began to cry.

And then I heard the noise. It started soft but then slowly, as if to remind me of my grief, it turned violent.

My fingers closed into fists and my nails dug into my palm. I wished that it would all stop – the screaming in my head, the heavy pattering of rain and my heart.

But it didn’t.

Sleep continued to play coy and finally not able to endure it any longer; I pulled the sheets aside, swung my legs over the edge of the bed and sat with my head in my hands. The noise of the downpour was louder than ever. It wasn’t just raining, it was pouring.

For a reason I can’t remember, I stood up and walked stealthily to the terrace. I stood at the centre, allowing the raindrops to hit my face; to hide the tears. The last two weeks had been horrible. Perhaps I wished that the rain would cleanse me of the pain. Or perhaps I just wished it would drown me.

But the longer I stood there – with my eyes closed, hands still curled into fists – miraculously, the pain started to wane and the pricking of the raindrops started to feel sickly sweet.

I had never enjoyed rain until then, not in that way. I had danced in the rain with friends, walked in the rain, but never alone.

That sunny evening marked my friendship with Her.

Slowly my fists loosened and finally uncurled. But my eyes remained shut. “No,” said my mind. “The pain will return.”

“Let go,” whispered my heart.

“You will die!” argued my mind.

“You already have died,” said my heart, “It’s time to be born again.”

Once more I do not know why I paid heed to the heart that had caused me so much pain. But I opened my eyes. What I saw awed me and it filled me with pain but unlike the previous one this pain was sweet, very sweet.

She kissed me and welcomed me to this new world while I simply stared and continued to be awed. What I saw spread a warmth through my body and gradually for the first time in days, my lips curled into a smile.

I stood there for a long time, getting drenched, embracing the beautiful sight.

The Rainbow.

Nature became my best friend; and that’s how I was born again.


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I watched her stop and stare

While mother kept walking, unaware

She jumped and grabbed

From the rooftop of a silent car

A fallen flower

She ran with that burden

Her school bag

She presented the dying blossom

To her mother

And received a smile in return

And something in my heart

That had died

Was flogged to life

Ah, and I wished to be a child again!