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                       “Madam ji, gulab le lo, sirf dus rupaiye ”, saying this a hand clutching a pair of red roses sneaked in through...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 1 At Aarhus – A few mistakes and chasing “Goons” away

I have always been a loner; I have embraced living alone, visiting places on my own, eating to my heart’s content alone. However, when I reached my flat at Aarhus I didn’t feel as liberated as I usually do- mostly because I don’t enjoy cooking. There was no food in the house; I missed the coffee Harsh made for all of us in his apartment at Copenhagen, I missed Vinay’s home-made Theplas. That night I don’t remember doing anything else than just sleeping with my jeans on – something I couldn’t imagine doing back in India.

Aarhus is a lovely place. It doesn’t have a lot of people and there are only a few places where you’d find crowd in the late evenings. The three major buildings that help you with your directions if you don’t have GPS are – AroS museum, DOKK1 building and another building called Garrison F. I am not a fan of using GPS and hence, I enjoyed getting lost and finding my way back to my house using some buildings and streets as landmarks.

I remember my journey from Copenhagen to Aarhus was not that easy. I had confirmed from the app RailPlanner that a train was there at 8:55am. I checked the time and platform again on the display screens at Copenhagen Central Station. To be double sure, I asked the train information centre who confirmed that the platform was 7 and the time was 8:55am. And before boarding the train I also asked a security person there who confirmed that this was the train leaving to Aarhus. When I was aboard I had to stand for half an hour to let others sit since they had reservation and also since it was not a Mumbai local train where you could scold others to get your way out. People waited here patiently to let others settle in their seats.

The train went to the exact stations mentioned on the app. But when I got ready to get down with all my bags I see that the station was different. I recall there was a Danish announcement and 90% people got down at Vejle; I couldn’t find out if it was something I needed to know. After waiting for three more stations to pass I realized next station was Brande, 95kms away from Aarhus. I got down from the train to an empty station; Brande is a small railway town with a population of 7000 and only two buildings from where I could see.

I missed the next train to Aarhus from Brande which was just 12mins away only because I was on the wrong platform this time. There were only two platforms and I didn’t check the display screen this time. I just assumed that the platform I got down on wouldn’t be the one for a train going in the opposite direction – wrong. The next train arrived on the same platform and I missed it.

It’s been a year staying in Gurgaon and all I know is to not talk to strangers, not disclosing too much information. So, when I was finally about to reach Aarhus from Herning (I took a train from Brande to Herning) I remember being scared when an old man in tattered clothes and a colourful necklace made of beads, kept staring at my luggage. He finally said, “It’s too heavy, isn’t it? Where are you traveling to?”

I said I am going to study in Aarhus BSS, so I am here to stay for a year, and my friends would be here to help me with the luggage – I lied. He then spoke to another man in the train in Danish and they both started laughing. He kept reading my name tags on my bags without looking away for a second; I was uncomfortable. When we reached the station, the other Danish guy just went in front of me while the old man was behind me. Without asking, the guy in front of me just pulls my luggage and then I leave no second in between to say,”No. That’s okay. I brought it all the way here anyway.”
He then says pointing at the old man, “Yeah, I told him the same, you need to take it to your house yourself anyway.”

I am pretty sure he was trying to help but the old man did give me the jitters- the fearful paranoid woman that I am. When I had to go from the station to my apartment in Aarhus, I made sure he didn’t see me alone. Before I left I caught a glimpse of him walking leisurely in the station, observing people, observing things.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 2 and 3: 30,000 steps in the Search for the Unknown

Sometimes it’s great to wake up in the morning and be ignorant about the proceedings of the day. You sit and enjoy your cup of tea while someone else plans the entire day for you. Day 2 at Copenhagen demanded only one thing from me – to get ready for the day. While Harsh’s acquaintance, who we became friends with by the end of the day, Isa Oli had the day planned out for us, while our only job was to meet her at the Copenhagen Station.

Isa brought her friend and ex-colleague Stephanie along, and we went to see the famous bronze statue of The Little Mermaid. This iconic statue is more than a 100 years old, and it sits on a rock symbolizing Denmark – you may find its picture on many souvenirs in gift shops. Isa told us that the statue’s original head was once sawn off and a replacement was required to be made.

It was a great day for us - although every place in the city is beautiful, right from trivial things like the traffic to the greenery around, we visited some really important places. I saw windmills from a distance which made me all cheered up since I had always wanted to see one. Then there was the Amalionborg Palace where the Danish royal family lives, the Danish Embassy, the Opera House, and of course, great food at Papiroen. We not only crossed a bridge that was capable of opening up to let ships pass by but we also saw one opening and closing.

But apart from all the sight-seeing I was amazed also by how helpful Isa and Stephanie were in showing us around. I fail to understand why I see greatness amidst strangers and not amidst people I know really well. Is it that I take them for granted? They say we know the value of a person only when they’re gone, and I often understand people more in retrospect then when I am actually with them. I apologize too late; I realize the reasons too late. I am a difficult person when it comes to “dealing” with people. When it comes to places, most of the spellings of the places mentioned here in the blog are wrong because I just failed to find the Danish O easily and I am too sleepy to make an effort for the same.

Yesterday (Day 2) made us walk for 30000 steps; when in MDI, the maximum I walk is 12000 steps in a day and my average is 8000. By the end of the day I was tired by all the walking and needed a bed soon. Somehow, Vinay was not at all tired even by midnight and he wished we weren’t too. Thankfully Harsh’s shoes hurt (as evil as it sounds for me to be thankful about it) and we decided we were done for the day.

If you have taken an ISIC card for your Euro trip or are planning to take one, I might want to inform you that we could not avail any discount yet – not at Tivoli Gardens, not at Rosenborg Castle, not at Studenthuset.

The best Danish word I learnt is Tak that stands for “Thank You” – an utterly cute and simple word for conveying a simple meaning which we make so complex, so less said, so less heard. Today (Day 3) we just walked around the Central part of the city, mostly because I didn’t have enough energy left, and enjoyed some hot chocolate in the evening in one of the TGIFs. I tried some Danish cuisines like Smørrebrod (an open sandwich) and Kløbenboller both involved bread, while the former was bread with vegetables and topped with fillet fish, pickle herring or vegetables and mashed potatoes, the latter is embedded with raisins and cherries.

It’s a beautiful place and the best thing for a person like me who can’t cross a road in India without disturbing at least one more soul, is the traffic rules that are followed by the book. The days are long and nights are silent- so silent that it’s almost creepy to sit alone at home doing nothing. Today it rained all day, churning out various thoughts and emotions in me. While yesterday was a happy day, today was more of a conversational one.

A disappointment I created for myself was of assuming, which I remember discussing with a college-mate Gautam, that things are going to change – I’d get more time to think, I’d get more time alone, it would be transformational. I was disappointed to find that my thoughts and behaviour are still the same; well, I can’t expect things to change overnight anyway. Probably this trip can still turn out to be transformational or maybe this would be nothing but another long vacation full of various experiences – my assumptions will only put a lot of pressure on Europe, ain’t it?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Day 1: The Semi-solo Journey to Denmark

I have a lot to talk about – enough to not be allowed by the international calling charges to communicate over phone to my friends what I have to tell, enough that when I return to India there would probably be a lot more to talk about than the spare time I will get to do so.
So here I am, for those who are traveling solo or with friends to a new country; here I am, for my friends and family who would like to know my story.

I remember returning from Budge Budge, West Bengal to Guwahati, Assam alone once and then telling the entire story to a bunch of my friends while they sat in the hostel room listening to it patiently. That’s the exact way I usually like to narrate the events that happen to or around me.
Anyway, I start this journey at Delhi International Airport waving good-bye to my friend Shikha’s parents as they hug her and me. Since my Visa arrived a little late, I had to manage all the packing, Eurail pass, cards and cash in a duration of a couple of days. My parents left the day the Visa was received, which was actually supposed to be one day after my previous traveling date that had to be cancelled.

We enter the Airport to find another friend, Digvijay waiting there already. Both Digvijay and Shikha are my batchmates at MDI Gurgaon and are travelling to Hungary for their student exchange program. I, on the other hand, am supposed to report at Aarhus University, Denmark. Our flight was common till Doha, from where I was to go to Copenhagen (because let’s face it, flights to Copenhagen are cheaper than those to Aarhus) and they to Budapest.

Just after my boarding pass was taken I find a security personnel calling me only to find that I had left my wallet (that had all the important stuffs from my cards to ID card to cash) and my phone which I had just bought a day ago (with Insurance, mind you :-P) at the counter itself. Shocked by my own carelessness and the aware about the fact that I had to travel alone to Copenhagen and then to Aarhus by train, carrying all the luggage of three months, I decided, influenced by the duo with me, to buy a travel bag which is worn like a belt at the Airport. I ended up spending 1700 rupees on a bag that had a lot of slots to put various stuffs including my eurail pass (you find it for 600 outside Airport). I later realized it was just too big for me to manage and the belt was too long for my waist.
Anyway, the travel bag has been of great help as of now. Shikha calls it “code red”, that “you may lose anything but this”.  The clumsy absent-minded person that I am, I made a few mistakes like forgetting in which slot I kept my passport and letting my other phone fall to the ground while someone else gave it to me (yeah, I did that) but once I was all by myself at Doha I took great care of my belongingness. Sometimes when you’re alone you turn out to be more responsible than when you are with people who care for me. My ex-colleague and friend Rahul Ghosh used to call it – “putting your guard down when you’re with family.”

It was when I was on the flight to Copenhagen that I realized how much I was going to miss my family and a handful of my friends – the comfort and luxury of being around them. I went all emotional and it was then that I decided to write this. Because I tend to not show them how much I care, but I hope they know, I hope they read this.

The flight from Doha to Copenhagen was of 6 hours’ duration and was spent watching movies like The Intern (I absolutely loved this) and Mothers’ Day (which is not a great movie but it got me all emotional).

Once I reached Copenhagen I realized the counter to get my Eurail pass activated gets closed at 8:00pm while I was there at 9:00pm. One of the ladies working there who was helping others get their tickets automatically on the machines, checked out my Eurail pass as if she saw it for the first time. After a few questions she said she could activate it for me. So, she reopened the counter and did the same – God bless her.

Once I reached the metro station, there is a map to check out the routes which helped me realize that I couldn’t take the 9:15pm train to Osterport since Hellerup stands beyond that station. I waited for the next one at 9:24pm to Helsinger that would cross by Hellerup. I had no idea if it stops in each station mentioned but I got in anyway after asking a stranger.

The train was supposed to reach Hellerup at 9:53pm, so by 9:50pm I was standing near the exit door, alone, with my rucksack on my back, my laptop bag on my front, my travel bag on my waist, and one hand carrying a airbag sitting on my VIP bag and the other hand free to open the door by pressing the button.

I almost panicked when at 9:53pm the train stopped but the doors did not open. It was dark outside and I didn’t know if I reached the station and the windows are tinted or if I reached a halt before the station. At 9:54pm the train moved while the screen showed the next station. I panicked and asked the only person who was in the coach. She said that one of the doors doesn’t open and I wondered if it was the one I was waiting near. I exclaimed, “I think I missed my station – Hellerup”. She smiled and patiently said,” No, the train stops and then slowly goes to the station. We haven’t reached it yet.”
At 9:55pm the train reaches the station and at the click of a button the door thankfully opens. I have seen rush in the Delhi metro even at 10pm, I have seen a crowded local train station in Mumbai at all times; I was taken aback when I found that the platform was devoid of people. “Are we at a sub-urb? Is it too late to be traveling alone?”

I waited for my classmates Harsh and Vinay, who would be attending their studex program at Copenhagen Business School. It was when we met that I realized Hellerup is actually a safe residential area – an “upscale area” to use their house owner’s words.

When I was packing my bags and getting prepared for my Euro trip I was haunted by the fact that two Indians from IIM Calcutta lost their laptops, passports and eurail pass in Copenhagen. It was a relief to realize that I reached the Copenhagen residence of my friends with my entire luggage intact. Well there are two more journeys to cover with no one but myself and my luggage – I keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: False Ceilings

Author: Amit Sharma
Publisher: LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd (2016)

The title of the book quite intrigued me when I looked at it for the first time on social media- the cover did not. I hadn’t by then read any fiction that Amit wrote and hence, I was skeptical about spending my pocket money on his debut novel. I had no idea whether I’d like what he wrote nor was I earning anything to spend without thinking. Luckily, a few days later he asked me himself to have a look at his book – I knew what it meant – Free Copy!! I said yes to review his book, almost immediately. 

He has been extremely patient with me post that as I promised that I wouldn’t read the book if I don’t like the first few pages, and I would take time to finish it even if I like it. It turned out that being an MBA student doesn’t give you a lot of time to read fictions unless you’re a fast reader and you can do with few minutes of sleeping – I couldn’t.

My reading speed gained momentum only in the end of July when I fell sick without much energy to work on other affairs in the college. As soon as I reached halfway through the book, I began marveling not only at the story or the characters, but also the way it was written.

It’s Amit’s first work, and I didn’t expect it to be half as good as it was. I can’t imagine the work hours he must have put in this one, for every piece in the jigsaw puzzle he created fits just right as the story unfurls. As I flipped through each page I was amazed at the care with which each detail was mentioned.

It's a story of five generations - one secret traverses through the lives, cursing their lives, ruining what could have been for them. If the writer had chosen to not make it crisp, he could have probably written the story for as long as 500 pages. But we may blame it on Indian publishers for having an upper word-limit or the need for the busy readers to pick a fast-paced novel that made this book a short read. It’s fast-paced – yes, five generations, more than ten major characters, detailed plots and incidents, in just over 200 pages.

Enough with my assumptions now, let’s get to knowing more about the book-

False Ceilings has a unique way of story-telling. It creates suspense at the very beginning making you more and more curious as you read. To describe the characters, the writer chooses to describe the life story of each character first by dedicating a chapter to each one of them, helping the readers to identify how each person in the novel is expected to behave in various situations. Although it makes you realize who is who, it veils who is who for whom. I kept wondering how these different set of people could be related to one secret covered with a yellow cloth, hidden far away from them. The story impressed me more in the beginning as each character was being revealed in separate chapters, making me wonder if the writer was human to have thought of so much for 200-ish pages. Only when I had almost finished reading 3/4th of the book did I utter a long “ooooh” realizing the relationships of the various characters.

As the various eras are mentioned in the story, the country’s condition and its impact is mentioned too stretching right from the 1930s to the present and beyond – from the country’s independence to Operation Blue Star, from the old ways of life to modern technology.

As you connect with the characters in the story, you also constantly ask yourself what the secret could be. The answer lied in the latter part of the book - as the connections and desires of the characters became apparent; the various characters now became people with normal lives, with normal expectations, with normal relationships - imperfect and difficult.

I don’t want to give much of the book away because I would like other readers to go through the same emotions I did. But I knew, right from the beginning that the last page is going to be the answer for everything. I tried hard not to go for the premature spilling of beans – mostly, because the story was worth reading.

Eventually the reasons of each decision ever taken in any of the generations by any of the characters were revealed, including the heart-rendering secret.

I have loved books with ironical endings - you get what you need only when you don't need it, when every effort put in seems vain, every tear rolled was a waste of emotion, every question asked was nothing but a rhetorical. I loved this one a lot for the story-telling and a lot more for the ending, for it made me whine, it made me angry, it made me sad, it made me talk to my friends about the book although they haven't read the book.

There aren't a lot of books that leave an imprint on you, but this one surely did for me as I kept guessing the secret, I kept wondering what their lives could be like when they knew it.

The ending, thus, was bound to be a disappointment for me – because it meant, that there was nothing more to read about them – no Aaryan behaving in a way I would like to know more about, no revival of Shakuntala’s old and better self, no knowing more about Sunny’s business.

I could spot a few typos in the last few pages as the reader rushes towards the ending – maybe because the editor would too rush for it, I assume. However, it’s a book worth a praise because it’s too well-thought of to be someone’s debut novel. It’s a book worth a read because it has a good plot, written in a unique manner making the reader curious about what would happen next.

But remember to brace yourself before you reach the ending because that one is going to be heart-rending. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Inadequate

A world full of "certainties"
All the plans, all the vanities.
Where black covers the white
Suited in "confidence"- the constant fight.
A million roads I dream to take
One destination, knowing not I turn where.
A green veil covers for two years, some two decades.
But the "plan" awaits, new roads to make.
I pant, I struggle, I do my best
While they say,

"You are, dear, but so inadequate".

Friday, July 22, 2016

'Tis Not A Poem

He says 'tis not poetry what you write.
Where are the stories, where are the rhymes?
Though we look into each other's eyes for hours
From one sunset to another sunrise.
He says 'tis not love if we await another day.
Where are the words you and I didn't say?
He says 'tis not about my daydreams.
He says we don't hold hands very often.
For the world is filled with contemporary poets,
He says mine don't fit this world of substance.
Where does the heart of your poem lie?, he asks.
A poem's not a breeze, long, that doesn't last.
A minute longer that doesn't stay,
'Tis not a poem, 'tis what your feelings say.

A floating second on someone's news feed,
No dearth of meanings for those who read,
Not my stories but 'tis what I think,
I say I don't write poems, I just write dreams.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Dance in the Storm

She swirls around the same old swing,
Like leaves that float and fly for a new breeze,
The same park where benches lay adorned,
The same garden of memories, of love and lovelorn...
A gentle drizzle that comes every eve,
Does make her not smile nor blink.
She awaits the rain like a writer embraces metaphors,
A drizzle isn't for the child who dances in the storm.
Of rain that washes away the petrichor it brings,
A downpour of a hail of bullets, and she calls it spring.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Chasing Eternity

How nonchalantly we made promises of a love eternal And in the quest for eternity We forgot how to not forget each other, I had forgotten how it felt like To be in his presence, How he would talk of the faraway stars As we sit under the moonlit sky... I had forgotten his perfume And he had forgotten How my cheeks turn red Every time I caught a glance of him. In the quest for eternity I wrote a million poems, Letters I would not share... We had forgotten how it felt like To live in the "reality" people created. We left things unsaid Like we see in the movies written on ideas created by Shakespeare... I would cut my wrists, Drink wine to remember And recite Bukowski and Plath In the quest for the eternity they derived... But most of the pages life did unfold, Were nothing like the books he read, Or the poems I wrote... Life moved on, One memory after another... We kept forgetting Each moment we thought we'd cherish. Yesterday, I saw him again His picture on my "news feed"... I had forgotten how to love him, So I drop him a "like". He had forgotten how we would talk for hours To forget about reality, So he dropped me a "Hi". From late night talks to facebook chats, From long letters to simple "sup?"s We reduce, we obliviate, The magic of the stars, We forget the love And remember our quest for eternity Turn into a busy day and tiring night..

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My First Swimming Lesson

I found it strange
how men swam in the pool
without seeming to feel
even a tad bit uneasy
about their less than perfect bodies,
with proud paunches
wearing a swimsuit
that was nothing more than a boxer
While I,
Another Imperfect Woman,
Shivered in my suit,
Wondering if more than my contours were visible,
Even though it was dark,
Even though the swimsuit covered
what's "necessary to cover".

My first swimming lesson
And instead of feeling proud
for having dared,
for having tried,
A Million Thoughts
crossed my fearful mind.

The fat belly.
The fat arms.
Hairy armpits.

Thighs too flabby.
Hips too large.
Hold your breath.
Keep your head down.
Pull the suit's edges
Let it cover some more skin.
I need to wax.
I need to look thin.

My first swimming lesson
And before feeling
the fear of water
I felt shame.

And if perfection is the need
only for women.
Oh, I tell you, it's a disease
that brings nothing but shame.

So, as my feet touched the water beneath,
To kill the shame, to feel free
I realized what I really, really need.
I needed not to burn calories,
Nor a little waxing.
All I really needed
Was to not think.

Friday, May 6, 2016


(Because everyone around us pretends to be someone they are not and, maybe, so do we. 
Maybe the person you truly are is only when you're all by yourself.)

I hope it's you
The face you show me every morning,
For I have torn masks before,
I have detached pretty pink masks from dark red faces,
I have burned those wooden masks so that they can
Reflect the faces they hide.

They don't.

They veil a different anatomy altogether,
A face that only a mother could truly love,
A face that would push me to trauma for a few months,
A face that brings along depression and loneliness.
I have fancied those faces would one day turn white,
Or a lighter shade of grey or blue.

They don't.

They bathe with blood every night I kiss them goodnight.
They have bathed in the blood they stole from someone else alike.
Every time I pull out such masks
Stuck to their skin
Knowing not the thin boundaries
For they have, over the time, erased,
A part of me dies for ever.
I fancy that they would return someday
Digging graves for their fancy masks.

They don’t.

Every morning I wait
While I see prettier masks, coloured yellow and peach,
Hiding the red, the dark grey and the green.
I hope it's you
As I touch your face,
My fingers searching for boundaries made.
I fail to find the thin lines on your face,
I hope they are wrinkles of the man I date.
You steal a kiss and I check if it's blood on your lips,

I can't find signs of your mask, so I wear one instead.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Collecting Thorns

Jesse-James Black Photography

Tears not wept out from a long, long time
When days turn into meaningless nights.
She shall smile some other day,
Some other time.
Each word she writes holds a story within-
She shall make you read it some other day,
Some other time.
With a million stories so hard to tell,
Poems so hard to narrate,
She shall write it with each tear she drops,
But another day,
Another time.
She picks up thorns
The way you collect coins,
Found on a happy day
On an empty street.
She has made her own museum now
Of thorns that didn't pinch her skin,
But yet made her bleed.
Some day she shall spend those thorns,
Like you'd spend yours
On some crowded river-side
On a weekend away from home.
But she'd save those like you save your coins,
To let them loose only when she'd weep for the first time,
On some other day,
Some other time....

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Burning Bridges

Source: Levo.com

I set them on fire,
The pillars of withered leaves
Like promises long broken.
The bridge collapses
On a sea of grief.
I set them on fire
Like there was no yesterday
Looking at this morning
With remorse and a hidden pain.
Ages have elapsed
Like a strand of hair
That loses its identity over time,
Turning pallid painlessly.
I set them on fire-
The long tresses you so loved once,
Touching my neck,
And down my spine,
Once or twice, a gentle peck.
I have burnt bridges,
More times than I have lit a cigar
Or held you in my arms.
Today I pin them down,
I collect the ashes-
Another bridge to build
With grey pillars of
Infidelity and torture.
Love, they call it
While I prepare for it to kindle.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Umbrella Story

The thing about promises is that they can be broken. I was almost on the verge of breaking a promise before I sat to write this saviour blog-post of mine.

Courtesy: LinkedIn

The promise or the goal was that I’d ignore the negativity around me and write about the positive things, the little acts of kindness, love and hope on my blog this year. Two and a half months have elapsed and I haven’t written a word. In my defense, I was busy writing hatke marketing-related articles for Marketing Buzzar (You can find them here).

So like I promised in the month of January that I will write about people who help me restore my faith on humanity in this world of today, the person I pick today to write about is Suruchi Gupta, a fellow student at MDI, and her “The Umbrella” incident.

It so happened that we, the members of the Counseling Cell of MDI Gurgaon, were at a meeting discussing future plans for the college and also, our individual career paths when one of our seniors mentioned that on one of the days when we were in the first term and it was raining heavily, he had asked Suruchi, without knowing her then, for an umbrella and she, without hesitation, had offered him hers.

For most of my readers it might not seem that big a deal; it wasn’t a big deal for all the listeners in the meeting too. But for someone like I, who had once begged for an umbrella from a colleague, whom I had known, who didn’t even need it at that time but had refused without any reason comprehensible by me, it is a big deal. It is a big deal because we seldom find people willing to help others without any personal gains for themselves. It is a big deal because such simple acts of kindness are all that brings a smile to the faces of the one who needs it the most. It is a big deal because I wasn’t a direct “beneficiary” or protagonist in this incident, so this incident helps me believe that there are good things happening to other people worth appreciating. It is a big deal because, like the Professor in the Counseling Cell said, a few years hence we may not remember people we meet by their names, their “CV points” or their CGPAs, but what would we definitely remember is the umbrella and the one who offered it altruistically.

In the end, what matters is what we have done for people we know nothing about or who can do nothing for us in return.

Happy Practicing Kindness :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Four Year Old Blog Goals 2016

It's been thirteen long days since I wished my family a happy new year while forgetting to wish my blog the same. Nor did I celebrate its fourth birthday on 26th December 2015.

Often a times, I feel like one of those ruthless mothers who do not know how to take care of one's child or those fair weather friends who refuse to acknowledge their friends in need. So when I am all busy and preoccupied, my poor blog is out of my mind.

The reason might not entirely be the way I presented it to be for I did wait for something great to happen so that I could feel the pages of my dear blog with some food for thought. But sometimes great things happen every day or they do not at all, so that you do not get a chance to fathom it. 

Studying in a B school implies very less time for old friends and old habits. Blogging does take a back seat. But when every term I get to read so much about human behaviour, blogging seldom leaves my mind.

I come across so many people every day - each one carrying a wee difference than the others, unique in their own way. Some are those who always talk behind your back, some would always try to tell you how you're living your life the wrong way. I, however, would like to write about the good ones.

Gone is 2015 so I will keep the previous year's stories aside. During the process, I would also try my best to put thoughts of those people aside who could not bring any smile to my face. 

So although I am bad at making promises and worse at making new year resolutions, I do make innocuous statements of hope,

So, this is how I plan to make my new year work for me:

I shall write about the good people in my life, the objective of which would be to spread happiness, so that my readers and I focus on the kinder side of the world. Sometimes writing about good people may imply writing about new people - well, let's see how this one turns up. 

I shall also try my best to lose, and my fingers tremble as I type this owing to my fear of commitment, some weight so that I do not have to face the health issues I faced last year (and still facing). Now I think it's too early to define "some" but a healthy BMI is where my target would be.

Also, I shall keep adding more hopeful statements to my plan-
because change is what we all should seek, constantly.

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Murderer’s “Second Chance”

A tribute to the Nirbhayas of this world, to those who did not get justice, to Jyoti

They were my sisters-
Those two poor daughters of an Indian village,
Clad in what they call decent clothing for women,
Found one morbid morning,
Dead and hanging from the branches of the tree,
The same tree around which you and I had played once.

Yesterday I saw my mother, with tears in her eyes,
When she said she saw no hope
Of justice in this nation where once I lived.

“Avenge my death,” I had once said to my friends,
To the people who once loved me;
Maybe they still do
And fate must have silenced them.
Maybe the sticks they were beaten with
While protesting against what was wrong,
Have put lashes on their hearts, and locks on their mouths.

The same juvenile lad who had once
Watched me writhing in pain,
Probably, with a smile on his face, as I moaned,
I heard he is now going to start working soon.
And have a “career”, I heard them telling him.

He who then used that deadly rod
Is now going to use needles and scissors, they say.

Strange is fate that it gives second chances.
I, however, was destined to die.
A “career” I too had dreamt of -
A dream that ended with my life.

Tomorrow, who knows, the tailor boy
May stitch and earn,
Or he might get a “second chance”
To rape, kill and burn.

But the dead will stay dead, buried and quiet,
My sisters – they will wriggle in pain and cry.

It’s not about one boy or one death,
It’s about a thousand crimes and only a hundred reported.

Tomorrow, when young children would walk the streets with heads held high,
Who’d save their dreams, when the rapists would, this way, thrive?