Monday, July 3, 2017

The Dog Who Ate Air




Today when Rajesh’s little son asked for a puppy as a birthday gift he readily bought him one. He didn’t have the heart to say no. Malti, his wife was surprised at the quick recapitulation. At night she asked him about it. “I didn’t want him to feel that we didn’t understand his need. I know how it is to how it feels when you realise that the world is not a fairy tail after all”, Rajesh was smiling and thinking aloud “These kids are not innocent like we were”. “This is still more perplexing”, thought Malti, “Why are you smiling while mouthing such heavy words?” Rajesh meanwhile had gone back in time to the when he was a three year old kid fondly known as Raju.

He remembered looking longingly at the cute white puppy that Col. Gupta’s son was walking along with their sahayak. Raju was an impish looking boy with light eyes and golden hair; he had a certain endearing air about him. Everybody just fell in love with his smile and incessant innocent questions yet he was also a very naughty kid who could be very dogged if he decided to.

“But why can’t we have a dog too?” He asked Dad the umpteenth time. They had just come downt o lift from their 6th floor flat in the housing society where they lived. It was a gated society in the busy city of Kolkota, mostly inhabited by Army personnel and a few Air Force officers. Dad again told him that a flat was not appropriate place to keep a pet but as usual he was at his adamant best.

Trying to convince the boy he asked, “Who will take him for a walk? You are very small.”  “Why don't we also get an orderly? Are you not an officer too?” Raju almost whined, “He can walk the dog with me”. Dad just kept walking thinking of a possible solution to this problem knowing that something had to be done soon. What he feared happened that same evening. Ma informed Dad that the boy had had neither breakfast nor lunch and dinner also was going to go waste as far as Raju was concerned. A declaration had been given that food would be partaken only and only when a puppy is brought to the house. ‘The Hunger Strike’ was on.

It was a serious event by all measures. A hyperactive boy, Raju ate to his heart’s fill normally. His remaining hungry, was a near impossible, really worrisome, catastrophic event for Ma. This went on for two days. Not only Ma but Dad also had to give up. “Ok! I’ll bring a puppy for you soon”, Dad exclaimed with exasperation. It was a major victory for Raju and hence the strike was broken with his favourite rajma chawal. Ma too had a sigh of relief.

Finally his wait was over and dad brought a beautiful puppy home. Its coat was jet black and shiny and it had a red bow on top of its head. Raju tied a string around its neck and proudly took it for a walk. He named it Blacky.

Blacky proved to be an extremely obedient pet. He didn't bark unnecessarily, didn't ask for food and didn’t even ask to pee. He walked very easily on the leash and was happy be steered in any direction. Mom and granny also were apparently happy with Blacky. Raju thought to himself, “Dad was worried without cause, mom doesn't say anything and granny is almost unaware of Blacky’s presence.” However he sometimes wondered why Blacky didn’t eat anything? Didn’t dogs need food to grow up?”

A few days later they were playing when Shyam his friend pulled hard at Blacky’s bow. After that however hard Raju tried the dog just wouldn’t bark. Ma was not at home and it was so perplexing for Raju that he decided to take him to Doctor Uncle who lived on the same floor. Unfortunately Ramu the doc’s servant opened the door and started laughing when Raju told him about Blacky’s ailment. “And what does he eat?” Ramu sniggered. “He eats air” Raju answered, “Every evening I tie him outside in the balcony at 7.00 for him to have his dinner.” Ramu laughed still louder, “Look it doesn’t even have legs. They are only wheels”, Ramu said holding his jiggling stomach while laughing. By this time other children had also gathered around and everyone started making fun of the poor boy.

Crying loudly and still holding Blacky to his chest he went running back. Ma was just back from the market. “Why doesn’t Blacky have legs?” he asked innocently. Tears were streaming down red cheeks when he related everything that had happened at Doctor Uncle’s home. Ma just looked at him and didn’t know how to explain. She was at a loss for words and tried soothing his nerves by distracting him. “Dad will explain everything when he is back”, she said.

While waiting for Dad ,he observed other dogs from the balcony and suddenly the realisation dawned upon him. He understood it all, this time he will not be fooled by a plastic toy which had wheels for legs and ate air. It was time again for the hunger strike regimen

“How times change”, Malti smiled warmly at her still endearing husband and they both went to have a look at Gaurav sleeping beside his new “toy”.




Thursday, June 22, 2017

Silent Tears

Life’s silent tears
Festering and unhealing
Causing eternal lacerations
Which fill eyes with dry salt
Love’s but a ghost
Eluding yet haunting
Chasing coloured-paper dreams
Which crumple sleeplessly





Thursday, April 6, 2017

Escape #AtoZBloggingChallenge letter #E




That slanting rooftop in the sun
Where slipping out from the rails
I leaned basking in the sun
And escaped from the world

From things that mattered to most
The gossiping aunts and uncles
From cacophony of cousins shouting
 The mundane and the routine

The  young green slopes in waves
The cascading sparkle of water
A slim road winding down the hill
And  tall pines branches beckoning

Those memories of years gone by
Oftentimes fondle my weary heart
When there's no escaping now
From the gray jungles of concrete


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Damned #AtoZBloogingChallenge letter #D










Every scar tells a damned story
A story which supposed her guilty
Guilty  she was only of loving
Loving unconditionally, giving

Giving each particle of her being
Her being systemically shattered
Shattered with  deeds and words
Words that bore deeper wounds

Wounds, bloodied red ugly stamps
Stamps marring her body and soul
Soul that loved was raked by terror
Terror blindsiding love left scarred








Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Courage #AtoZBloggingChannel




Following a  loose theme of things that have had an impact on my life

They say you have been brave
Yet I have also failed at times
I too have cried alone,  scared
To face the world on my own

A loving whisper, a stirring word
A warm smile, a touching caress
A stern rebuke or a bear hug
Sometimes brings courage to you

All you need is a belief in self and
Love and peace to see you through
And people who have faith in you
Who care enough to be with you




Monday, April 3, 2017

Brownish Blackish #AtoZBloggingChallenge #B

My take on the prejudice faced by majority of Indian girls as the beauty standards in our country are still governed by colonial mindset



Brownish or blackish
Or maybe wheatish
My skin is honey golden
Or maybe a dusky gold

Whatever it's tone
It is just  not enough
Because beauty is white
Brown only ugly and dark

Pristine cold plastic
The white is idolised
Coloured real warm
The brown stands ignored




Saturday, April 1, 2017

Ambition #AtoZBloggingChallenge






In setting the course of our life we forget to live life like it was meant to be. In following the fish eye we forget the beauty that's scattered around us.




He said,, let's go
We are set on course
Let's achieve that pinnacle
I will guide your path
My dreams, yours, ours
Let's  focus on that fish eye

I said, please stop
Let's take in the scene
Resist the relentless push
I want to make some art
My dreams are mine, not ours
I wish to enjoy the journey too





Sunday, March 12, 2017

ये शहर




मेरी सब शरारतों का गवाह  
मेरी उम्र से बस कुछ ही बड़ा 
इसकी बाँहों में खेली मैं बढ़ी  
इसकी राहों पे गिरी और संभली

ये मेरे बचपन का दोस्त 
ये मेरी जवानी का साथी 
इसके फूलों की खुशबू मेरी 
इसके पतझर के रंग मेरे अपने

हर मोड़ में कोई किस्सा सुहाना 
हर ईमारत में मेरा हिस्सा पुराना
इसकी हवाएं मेरी कहानी बांचती
इसके पानियों में मेरे दर्द के घोल 
 ये शहर मुझे भूल नहीं पायेगा 
मेरे दिल सा ही तो है ये शहर 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Again Found



A season  of delight
In a life full of woes
A rainbow of smiles
In the  dreary greyness
I drown and yet am ashore
Inundated in a deluge of joy 


Your  sparkle makes me 

New and resplendent 
Your fragrance makes me
Fresh and redolent of love
I die and  yet am reborn 
Entangled in the threads of life


Aroused by the mere touch 

Of your fingers on my skin
Scalded by the bare  heat 
Of your glaze on my face
I am burned and yet soothed
Rekindled by the again-found love