Saturday, September 24, 2011

On turning 28

As this day ends I feel drained. I feel old suddenly and judging by the fact my greys count more than my years on this earth I feel ancient. I am surprised at the gifts that poured from all over. I got more than I can expect and I dont think I need to shop for clothes this year though it's considered an understatement by many. I am just happy reading my mom's bday card msg. It amazes me that cards do express what people want to say.

" Your birthday reminds us of a girl who used to run around us, asking for some favours...
That girl has grown into a young woman, who is still 'running' not around anybody but running the house...... We feel proud of you, we feel so proud of our girl, shouldering her responsibilities so well"

I felt so much at peace reading those unexpected words today.

Just made some fish fillet in white sauce with sauted veggies. I hate fish but my dear ones do. It was worth those smiles on their faces. That's all that life means to me at 28 some smiles on some faces.

Thanks guys for all the wishes and the gifts.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In the land of gropers, gawkers and lechers part 1

Scandalous or lewd as the title might be, this is definitely a voyeuristic post. I think there's something pleasurable in reading about the abuses of another. I have often seen people relentlessly and unstintingly reading and discussing on every sex scandal and rape in paper. Same goes with every hyped scandal. There is something mystifying about the word 'expose' that makes half of us want to associate the word 'skin' to it.These series of candid confessions bear similar overtones. It is about my experiences, experiences of others I know and will definitely provide unnerving pleasure to exhibitionists. They are not tales of woes, they are tales many fail to accept, understand and empathise. But they are tales worth sharing or exploring through the medium of language. Very often I fail to express what those moments of agony or embarassment meant to me.And very often I have seen people greedily ask me to narrate them over and leave their seats saying " was that all".

I have been always conscious of my body. Though my grandmother claims her prodigies have been blessed in abundance with contours others would die for, I have found it disturbing. This makes me very perceptive toward gropers, lechers and gawkers. I am not sure in what order I hate them. I am not confident enough to say I am the best so please go ahead scan me with your eyes but I have friends who say so. But what I hate most is the fact that I could never slap a guy who hurt me through his offensive comments or looks.

Some weeks ago I was on a grocery shopping trip all alone. I could see that people were watching me on the streets and at the bus stop. At first I thought it was my clothes. I wore a Tshirt and Jeans. These people are workers and maybe they still can't digest a woman without a piece of cloth around her chest I said to myself. I got onto the bus and then it all began. I just had to get down a stop ahead so I did not bother standing next to the foot hold. My hand rested on a pole. And I realised someone was cupping my palm. I tried releasing my hand and moved it further down. But he cupped my palm again. I still wanted to beleive its a mistake so I continued shifting my hands as if it was an experiment testing the validity and reliability. He continued thinking it was a game. And then in a flash came out these words for the first time in my life " Kya kar raha hai madherchod" ( what are you doing , mother fucker). I felt elated , because the guy left my hand immediately. But the expression of amusement on his face changed to that of disgust. I looked around hoping someone would smile or nod as an approval of what I had just accomplished. But all I could see was people staring at me for having broken some unwritten code ' I used profane words' how unfeminine? I often wonder why women don't stand up for their own lot.

Sometime ago, I guess 4 years ago, I got into a bus for my field trip and the journey was a long one and I required to stop and change buses at different places. In one of those buses I had to share my seat with two men. One of them constantly spoke about some film distrubtion and production and the profit he had made recently with the newly released movie. I found his chattering amusing but the fact that he traveled in an ordinary bus made me confused if he was kidding. I dozed off and woke up after an hour. One of the men had left and the distributor sat next to me , he maintained a distance though. I started enjoying the scenery outside the bus when I well my seat shaking. As I turned to look around I saw this man next to me masturbating in broad day light sharing the same seat with me. He did not touch me , but grinned throughout and it then hit me it gave him great pleasure showing off in front of a woman. My heart ached when I thought of how aroused he would have been all the while watching me while I dozed off casually. I could not scream and as we were nearing the bus stand the bus hardly had few passenger. I called the conductor but he was dozing off ahead. I could not muster courage to ask this man what he was doing. I was scared he would state the obvious that he was having a 'gala time' and besides he had not laid a finger on me. I suddenly realized how violated I felt without him laying a finger on me.

This guy followed me grinning at me till I boarded my third bus.His face still is etched in my mind. My friends often ask me why these incidents happen to me alone, but these days I hear a lot more stories from my friends at the department which makes me believe it is not me alone. I don't know what this means, if women should not use public transportation anymore or what special scuba diving suits need to be made for our safety. I am sure some would label this a feminist post.

But then again " Tell me something I don't know".

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I miss you Becky

When I decided to name our first dog ' Rebecca' all our animal hater friends asked me why was I naming a dog after such an elegant name. I remember saying its the title of my favourite book ' Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier. I saw this book lying around my bed for few days and decided it was time it was shelved especially after my hubby declaring it uninteresting to him. I mused for a while at its cover page and my love for the name. I often joked with my friends that had I not named 'becky' I would definitely name my daughter 'Rebecca'.

I assumed Becky would live forever. I assumed she could take care of herself being the oldest of our three dogs back home. But, she proved me wrong and left us all today morning. It surprises me that I cry for her. I always loved our dog 'Rachel' and my partiality was candid even among my family members. Becky ceased to exist to me since Rachu arrived. I often felt like a step mom to Becky even as I fed her, bathe her I felt guilty of loving Rachu more.

But I loved Becky for her responsible and mature nature and cool temperament which Rachu never acquired and never would. I could write on and on about my dogs and though I stay away from home I feel close to them than I have to many human relations.

It could sound crazy writing an euology for a dog but sometimes animals teach you to reflect on human emotions. Beck suffered from sores for more than 6 years and there are times you felt she would scratch to her death. There are times my mom wanted to kill Becky because she could not stand her suffer. But in all those moments when we spoke to Becky in her eyes I saw love for us. Despite the fact we caged her , despite the fact we seldom touched her because of her sores, she wagged her tail with all her vigour. She loved her baths and suffered patiently through her illness.

She is our second loss following our dad and her absence shall always hurt. Like every death of a known one does to me I for once wish if I could talk to Becky and touch her once again and I believe her death has taught me to make most of everything, every relationship today for once you shut your eyes tonight you never know if you wake again to mend the fences or greet the world.

Thanks for awakening my soul .

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”- Anatole France

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I wait....

I wait ....
like the last strand to grey
I know it's inevitable
but I am not allowed before my turn
and so I wait.....

I wait...
like the last grain scooped in a palm
I know it's inevitable
but I am not allowed before my turn
and so I wait...

I wait...
like the last seed to splutter
I know it's inevitable
but I am not allowed before my turn
and so I wait...

I wait...
like the last breath to leave my side
I know it's inevitable
but I am not allowed before my turn
and so I wait..

and so I wait like them all to be the last
for once in life and to cherish all the ones till the lasts
as long as they last.....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Catharsis of a research scholar Part 4

Like Murphy's laws in research when you are all geared up you fail and when you head unprepared you sort of win the game. All these years I wrote up reports over a week and had sleepless nights before my reviews. This time I had no time and energy to fret.So I wrote a report in 3 hours and forgot all about the meeting. I repaired my cycle, did all my errands even an hour before the review. I never read the power point or report once and just went and did a last minute show. And it clicked !! And now when I think of it, it could be because I am immersed in work and gaining a lot of insights from field , presenting them seemed so simple. And secondly I am not scared of anything anymore. I am prepared to leave anyday and that's the worst that could happen. I start my day with those thoughts and everything around looks simple to me.

Apart from all this what's changing my life is 'fun'. I am unguarded these days and have done away with the self perpetuating torturous life. Over the past 2 weeks I did a lot of stuff I havent in my four years here. I was a dog sitter for a week. And pets are great stress busters. I went on a road trip to Pondicherry and had lots of fun. I cooked and partied, painted and read, slept and gossiped and started dressing up like college days. At the departement we rocked organising a flower carpet and onam sadhya and I felt young again. To end it I attended a meeting of few friends from Nagaland and felt a distinguished guest amongst another community. I also visited a professor's house for a gathering for which my friends and I spent half a day making a gift.

And now guess what........... The insti has a funny way of instigating guilt when you have fun, noone tells you anything but as I had written in a previous posts there are quite a few 'dementors' here and there to suck away your happiness and now I feel low and I have declared " Mission Underground"- I need to get back to the old form and I am in exile now. My comrades of course know my hideout but for the world ( read department), I am gone. But that was some fun for few days that has given me memories so fond to cherish from research days.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Animals are beautiful people

I have never had the opportunity to watch a chameleon this close and this guy seemed so friendly that he did not show his true colours or run away. Found him at Dakshichitra. Maybe the art and ambience has made him a relaxed soul. But then we humans aren't so after the harrasment by few kids who threw bottles at the chameleon, he resorted to climbing a tree for his meditation. I wonder what animals think of us humans.