Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Stranger in Black...

As he walked towards his favorite pathway, Alan could not help but notice the heavy lump at the bottom of his heart. He could see the distant, cheerful silhouettes of his friends, at their animated best, walking towards the exit gate without him and every joyous gesture they made only added weight to his already-heavy heart. He turned at the junction near the Guest House facing the pathway and hoped the sneers, the laughs and the images would fade away- out of sight.. out of mind! But he knew he was hoping against hope... atleast with the latter!

Having walked a little more than 10 feet, he parked himself on the bench closest to the junction. The sun had not set yet, however, the clouds had covered it letting its radiance turn the sky, bloody orange and the tiny birds flying down to their nests in diamond-shaped patterns set the tone for a beautiful evening that awaited Alan. He looked around for familiar faces. A group of first year students were playing cricket in the gully beside the tarred pathway. A little further ahead, he spotted the regulars at various benches parked on either side of the pathway- the second year couple who could not keep their hands off each other, an elderly married couple who belonged to the same place as Alan and a group of old men who religiously met daily for 3 hours in the evening and flaunted their life and work experiences and discussed the pathetic plight of Indian and world politics and how everyone around could do little to improve the situation. Alan chuckled at them and continued to scan the surroundings. It wasn't a bit different from the usual and soon he was engrossed in his own thoughts.

The week that passed had brought with it a deja vu like never before. Growing distances in friendships were definitely not a novelty to Alan! However it was the last thing he contemplated in the final semester of his engineering studies. Madhu knew about his history of relations but still chose to ignore him and let the distances build. The reason was not something Alan could fathom and the more he thought of it, the harder he found to resist the tears.

Alan tried to break away from his thoughts, but in vain. His thoughts were broken (if they were) by occasional hi's from a few familiar joggers passing by or by the awkward glances of pity thrown on the lonely soul by a few groups of students who walked down the pathway.

"Maybe frienship is, afterall, a myth" he thought to himself! Or was he not good enough to be befriended? He could not conclude... An array of thoughts crossed his mind and before he could realize, a drop of tear flew down his left cheek. He quickly scanned the place for any kind of attention being thrown on him and having confirmed that he was unguarded, he wiped the tear away. He longed for a friendly pat... for a reassuring smile... He hoped that someone would appear out of thin air and crack a joke on him, like the usual... But none of them were meant to happen!

He looked at his watch. It was around 6 45pm. The picturesque view of the setting sun diverted his attention for sometime and as soon as he reached out for his mobile to take a pic, it started ringing. He recognized the caller as Sam, his only acquaintance he could remotely call as a friend in the campus. He decided not to pick up the call and let the phone ring...though he was amazed at his own ambivalent behavior. In pain, Alan hid his face into his palms. A moment or two passed by.

"Do you mind if i join you?" Alan looked up ... He saw a pretty girl, dressed in black, looking expectantly at him for a reply! "Of course not.. please... go ahead" He readjusted himself to make enough space for the girl. Alan's heart did skip a beat when she flashed a million dollar, dimpled smile at him. She thanked him and sat beside him with crossed legs and her hands covering her knees in a crossed fashion.

Alan looked around. He saw a few empty benches on the other side of the pathway. He could not figure out why a girl, as pretty as her, would come, sit with him when there were empty benches on the other side. He was definitely not breathtakingly handsome for someone to hit on him. Neither was he a popular figure among the student folks in the college for he did not quite possess any recognizable talent. Maybe she saw him shed a tear...He was confused...However, he felt nice about it!

Maybe the silence was getting eerie... " So do u study here?" she asked in a compassionate tone. It took Alan a moment to process her question and replied.. "hmmm yeah... I am a 4th year student here... What about you? I don't think I have seen you before in the college... " She hesitated a little to reply... "hmmm ... Actually, I don't study here.. I came over to visit my ..hmm... friend"
" Ooh... who? "
" His name is Rahul.. He is in the first year... "
" Oh I don't think I know him.. I haven't really had ways of getting to know them, the freshers... so why are you not with him... hmmm i mean.. as in... errr... where is he? " Alan hated himself for having phrased the question the way he did...

"He has these football practices... He is very particular about them... never misses a single one .. i guess not even when his girl friend is here, all the way from Delhi, just to meet him! " she sighed. There was an awkward moment of silence between them, only to be broken by her.

"This place is so beautiful... I wish I could come here everyday and just watch the sun, set" she said in a high-pitched tone!

"Oh totally... Its probably the most beautiful place in campus... I come here daily at around this time... The sunset is a marvel to watch from here... I kind of feel one with the nature when I am here.. hehe"

"So do you wanna go for a walk?" she offered... " Oh i wouldn't mind that" He smiled and agreed. They got up and walked towards the institute buildings. Alan was not sure if he had made the right decision in agreeing for the walk since if it was a pair on a walk... it ought to be a couple.. It was almost like a rule in the campus.. and he did not feel quite right about it... But he decided to go ahead, anyways

Alan noticed that darkness had begun to fall around. He looked at her... She looked more beautiful in the dim lights of the street light.... They gave her face, a certain glow, which moved Alan. The curls of her hair having mild battles with the soft breeze... the cherry red lips.. the dimpled smile.. the neatly drawn kajal on her eye lashes... Alan could not decide... what he was falling more for...

"Hello...kaha kho gaye ho janaab?" she waved her hands in front of his face and gave him an "I- know-what- u-r-thinking " look adorned by her dimpled smile...Alan passed a sheepish smile and to cover up... he quickly asked "so u are from delhi huh?" she nodded. " I am doing my bachelors in economics there in St.Stephens... " "wow.. thats impressive... I study Comp Sci here..." "Computer Science" he expanded seeing the blank expression on her face..

"oh so u r one of those geeks" she remarked...

"oh definitely not... i mean i sure am smart... but i am not one of those who u would see with books 24x7"
"hmm.. hey why don't u show me around the campus... Though I came in the morning, Rahul was busy with his classes and now the football matches... so I never really got to explore the campus"

"ooh thats sad... don't worry..I ll take you around!"

"I know it is sad but there are somethings u cant change...It hurts.. doesnt it? when your loved ones cannot spare time for u and u feel u r getting distanced from them" Those words shook me a bit. It was as if a sharp pointed arrow had just hit me below my heart and the pain was invincible. I could not help but relate her with me and the situations we were in... "Did i bother u? I am sorry I got a bit emotional... " she said

" Oh No.. never mind.. we all go through such phases... we all come out of it.. it is not a big deal!but you know whats funny enough.. even when u think u r losing your loved ones.. there is always someone else.. maybe a foe.. maybe an acquaintance or maybe even a stranger out there who is willing to hear u out and help u through it"Alan said and smiled reassuringly...

Maybe it was the smile or maybe the allusion he made, her spirits were lifted and both of them set out to explore the campus... He took her through the institute to the major hang out spots and the sports field where they spotted Rahul playing in all vigor and passion. They went through all the dark nooks, corners and roads of the campus and Alan always had one or the other story to tell about them. Alan could make out that she was very much fascinated by his anecdotes and he could not conceal his astonishment on how well they had hit off that he actually ended up mentioning it when they stopped at the cafe for a cup of coffee and a couple of muffins. She nodded, smiled and thanked him for the beautiful evening. Alan wished the evening never ended.He looked at his watch. It was around nine. He was not hungry. That evening, the hunger was of different sorts and it sure was satisfied by this pretty girl with her comforting words and friendly gestures... he felt like he connected with her more than anything else in the world... They had talked about probably everything under the sun... from movies to books to fashion to college to relations... and he discovered that they shared more or less similar tastes and views about everything... It felt good to feel accepted... for a change...

"Hey i am not really tired and i don't think i am hungry either... why dont we continue walking.. only if u r ready for it" Alan was not sure if he was tired or not... but he dint want IT to end... he smiled and they took off through the road that led to the girls hostel where she stayed... As they approached the hostel,maybe a couple of minutes later, he saw Rahul and a couple of his friends waiting at its entrance, possibly for her... Alan's heart shrunk... ofcourse he knew it could not go on forever... but he did not think it would end soon... Rahul opened his arms and took her into them and kissed her on her forehead and then introduced her to his friends...

"I am sorry, baby, I left you alone and went out to play.. but u do realise how important it is right.. the football tournament is less than a month away"
"Ofcourse I do" she replied... Alan did not feel she did."and yeah..I was not alone... He was there with me... He is a 4th year... Do you know him? He kept me in good company.. and we kind of had good fun"
"Oh thats nice to know u were not bored... hey i don't think i know u... I am Rahul " He forwarded his hands... Alan shook hands with him and said "Alan! nice to meet you... "

"Okay then.." Rahul said with an air of superiority... " I guess we ll go for a walk now" and smiled at her....well that meant Alan had to bid farewell... He really did not want to.. but he realized he had no choice...His "goodbye" went unheard when she interrupted and said "Rahul I am not really sure if I am feeling well... I am kind of tired and I want to rest... I hope u won't mind if I go to my room and take rest.." Rahul was taken aback and so was Alan... "Hadn't she just insisted on walking more cus she wasn't tired... ha whatever..." Alan thought to himself "Oh its perfectly fine baby.. go on we'll meet tomorrow" Rahul replied and gave her a good night kiss and left for his hostel... and Alan left for his hostel in the opposite direction ....

He had taken only a few steps that he felt a need to take a final glance at that pretty girl in black... and he turned back...She was still standing there... She dint look any less beautiful from far than from near... The curves were flawless.. As he was about to turn and continue... she raised her hands and waved a farewell goodbye at him from the distance... he waved back at her and walked ahead... A few steps later... before he was to take a turn at the junction.. he involuntarily turned back again... She was still there... He captured the short with his mind's eye and turned and walked towards his hostel....

It is interesting in life, how you befriend someone and you expect from the befriended, love and care, only to be left disappointed... but fate, as it always does, plays the aankh-micholi with u and brings with it strangest of strangers who offer you company and compassion like never before,leaving behind an eternal impression on you... For Alan, it was The Stranger In Black...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Where there is a Girl, There is a way! :P

Before I really go about writing this post, I wanna state that I am not a male chauvinist, neither am I a feminist and I hate it totally when people of the two ideologies strain their vocal chords to prove their point, over the other!(phew! bail taken!hopefully granted! :P)

It was a Friday afternoon and even being an hour early did not really help me get into a comfortable position in the long queue of people waiting to take their learner's license. Well the test had to be least thats what people around me had told me... however that did not really stop me from taking momentary glances into the test-guide i had been given earlier that day!

It was around 1:45 pm. I could not help noticing that i was sweating profusely(thanks to the sultry monsoon weather) and even being on the first floor veranda with an open side facing a barren land did not help much!

I looked around.. There was a group of guys, flocked together in front of me making it difficult to see what was happening ahead of them, in the queue. I even doubted if they were there for the same reason as I was.... Well I took a chance and slid ahead of them, as if I motioned just to see where the curved queue was heading! When they sensed that I was lurking around for more than 2-3 minutes, they started giving me weird looks and I sensed it would be better(for their vocal chords and my ego)(or thinking further, for their fists and my face) to return to my original "coveted" position in the queue! Before I returned I did notice that the person standing immediately next to the group was almost a meter ahead of them and it turned out to be a girl of around 18, who was constantly throwing glances of discomfort and fear back at them! She was one of those typical Malayalee mankas(traditional beauties) with hip-long hair (almost entirely soaked in coconut oil) tied in a mudi-pinnal fashion(hmm... its a mallu lady-hair style where u take 3 strands of hair, one each from right, left and center and inter twine them and let the rest of the hair flow :))well of course her light green colored churidaar with a neatly ironed one-time-folded shawl, pinned towards her left shoulder, covering the entire length of her salwaar, almost confirmed my doubts that she belonged to a typical mallu family which had its own share of narrow minded thoughts when it came to girls and their freedom! I really wished I took a place in that 1 meter gap but i guess I dint trust my physique much :P and yeah I dint wanna scare that girl either..

It was almost 2 when another girl walked in(with almost similar physical appearance as the previous) and she took a look around the place and decided to take up a position in that 1-meter gap with the least of guilt! "Noooooooooooooooooooo...." I shouted to myself! "Thats mine.. I spotted it first,you bitch! :x " "anyways you wont be there for long! those guys will anyways throw you off the queue in no time... I am pretty sure you wont be able to resist those looks! muahahhaha " I consoled myself!:)

But that was not meant to be! or maybe that was meant not to be! Not a single guy retorted.. on the contrary they moved a step back to maintain the 1meter gap! "losers :x"... A guy from inside came out and announced that the server was down and the chances of test being held today were dim! "wah! 1 hour worth wait for nothing! :x" But something told me I should wait a bit more and test my luck and I was all set to grab the spot right behind the girls if the group of guys left.. They,however, were undecided on their next move!

Suddenly as if a flock of birds had been shot at, they decided to leave the space in the most random fashion ever and I could not even save myself from their stabs and hits , forget grabbing the spot right behind the girls.. and as soon as I freed myself off their clutches i realized that the spots were filled but I dint really regret since it was quite a cute girl(pretty modern for kerala standards) standing right in front of the guy standing in front of me! Of course his testosterone levels were at an all time high and he had started his hit-on attempts right from the beginning thought it took sometime for them to see the fruits of success because the girl could not, even for a moment, take her hands and eyes off the mobile set into which she was typing in stuff as fast as she could making sure her mom(standing next to her) saw nothing of the text! In the mean time they had announced that the server was back on track(yipeeeeeeeee "at least one right decision")... One by one everyone made their entry into the cubicle where the test was bound to happen! Of course that wasn't anywhere in the near vicinity though! I amused myself with his on-going failed attempts to patao that girl(he even excused himself and brought her mom a chair from i dunno where!ha the old impress-mom-impress-daughter technique!)and the moment I thought i should probably lend him a helping hand in his endeavors (:P) the girl started showing interest in him too!

In about an hours time, i was at the origin of the queue and all 3 of us suddenly got confused as to where we were supposed to go! I inquired and found out the right counter we were supposed to go to! But the guy in front of me insisted on going to the other counter and of course the girl believed "her man" more.. lol... anyways i stuck to the right counter but the queue still had around 5-6 people in front of me! and soon the duo realized their mistake and got back... As i saw them coming I said to myself "i tooooooooold you...serves u right.. now stand behind me as a punishment for not listening to me":P.. To my shock the girl made a separate girls queue(wah! smartass!) and the guy stood in a peculiar way, semi-legged, with one leg in (now) the gents- queue as if he was there only to have a chit-chat with the girl and nothing else... soon her turn was up and she handed over her form to the person at the counter and said in one of her girly tones " Sir, I hope you wouldnt mind taking his form too.. he is with me" and waved a smile at him! The guy dint give a second thought and took it! "what the helllll! not again!!! as if the earlier queue mishap wasn't enough! :x"i looked back and gave a "you-loser!" look to all of the men standing behind me... well it took me another half an hour to get done with my tests and walk off that building!!!

As i walked back I thought to myself about the social set up in Kerala and the position women held in it! (this is where my bail comes into action.. just to remind you :P) I had met 3 entirely different kind of girls in past 3 hours, and all of them reminded me of the weird society we had set up for women in Kerala... Of course it is the most literate state in India especially when it comes down to female literacy and it has always boasted about its much-envied sex-ratio! But in spite of all these, when it comes down to dealing with men especially by a girl of the first kind I had mentioned, brought up in a typical mallu, narrow-minded, male-chauvinism- supporting family, she would find her mouth drying and knees shivering! The second girl who remorselessly occupied the free spot would definitely want to believe those MCP theories but would rather "turn the court" in favor of her benefits and take advantage of the social situations (where an act of insult to women is highly defined, forcing one to believe that it is more at the mercy of women than at men) which have in turn been formulated from these very MCP theories!The third one is an out right believer in equality of the sexes and maybe even one of those who thinks it is her responsibility to take care of her man than vice-versa!

And all these different ideologies are set against the backdrop of the "age of women liberation"!It sure does puzzle me how the whole women's liberation act is going to happen over the coming years (at least in Kerala) where probably every woman has a different interpretation of her existence and her strength in comparison to men! I guess that is where men score! They universally believe they are the better sex! I guess once women r universally made to believe the same, things should be much easier! But of course that would be an uphill task!

Now I don't wish to support any school of thought! I have and will always believe in the power women possess, however different it might be! "Where there is a Girl, There is a way"

P.S Well maybe the context is well applicable to all states and all countries. But I believe Kerala required its share of attention in gender issues for the reasons i stated above and u guessed it right! I am a mallu :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Survivor...

It was a bright July morning, a pleasant break from the otherwise dull and cloudy monsoon weather and it did bring with it, a hope that something good was bound to happen!:)"Nature could not have set a better tone to this!" said the old lady, waiting outside the Operation Theater, anxiously waiting to see the birth of her 7th grand child!

Inside, Dr.Radha was busy at her work, helping the mother deliver her baby with as little pain as possible!This was definitely no big deal for her, for she was a name in the medical field and the delivery had absolutely no complications!

"We are almost done here!" She exclaimed as the baby's head started popping out... seemed as thought nothing could go wrong!Suddenly,the doctor noticed that the baby had started turning blue! She could not think of anything that could have possibly gone wrong..hence she attempted to pull the baby out with utmost care possible.. She noticed that the baby turned bluer! Now that was not meant to BE!

After a moment of brief panic, she observed carefully! The reason suddenly caught her eye... The umbilical cord (the cord that connects the child to the mother through its naval) had unfortunately been wound around the baby's neck and with every successive attempts to pull the baby out, it got tighter around its neck making it difficult for the baby to breathe!She cut the chord off instantly,pulled the baby out softly and had it(still blue in color) delivered into the mother's hands "It is a boy ma'am!" She turned and reached for the door to let the family know of the boy's birth and as she walked she thought to herself "A couple of pulls more and the boy would have died!Thank God, he survived!"


P.S LOLOLOL... Everything that I have written above is true to THE CORE!of course the whole "nature" thing is all drama and i am sure you would have sensed that!(yes, vidya...go ahead and call me a narcissist) but the rest is all true.. lol

P.P.S Finally a short article!!! Yipeeeeeeeeee