Monday, June 13, 2011

Night and sky

The day my mother was supposed to return from Kerala with two other girls had come at last. I was eagerly waiting for her at the airport with my father.

For the past two days I was having an eerie feeling. I had this uneasiness and I didn’t know why. You know, sometimes you just know that something very bad is going to happen- That kind. I tried to push it away.

At night before I was about to sleep, the moment I closed my eyes I had disquieting visuals of thunderstorm and heavy rain running across my mind. For some unknown reason that picture had scared me. After all, it was only thunder and rain; I thought and tried to forget about it. But it lingered on.

The day arrived. Two hours before the flight was scheduled to arrive there was a huge thunderstorm; an unusual, unpredicted thunderstorm in Delhi. The flight was delayed as expected. My father sat there watching news on the TV. I too sat with him but my mind lingered on to the pictures my brain was creating for the past two days. It looked scarily same. The thunder and storm, the way the sky looked, everything had such an uncanny resemblance. There was a part of me telling me it was stupid of me to be scared. But in spite of me I prayed, only for two seconds, for then my father announced that it was time we left.

At the airport the board showed that the flight was delayed by 45 minutes. My father and I sat there waiting for the plane to land. And then it rained again, very hard. The time expected for the flight to land was well past. We sat there wondering when the sign would be changed to “Landed”. It was half an hour now past the expected time and still there was no news.

My mother was scared. She knew something had gone wrong. It started when they were about to reach Delhi .The plane shifted violently from time to time. Although this is common, this time it was scary. She had stopped breathing. She had two more girls with her who were travelling for the first time in a plane. “No” she had thought then, “I cannot get them frightened.” She gave a smile to the two pale and scared faces. It was way past their arrival time. They were still thousands of kilometres away from the ground, up in the sky, clueless if they would reach home safely.

The pilot then announced for all the crew members to be inside the cockpit. Everyone in the flight was scared. This never happened in any of the flights my mother took before. She looked around at all the scared faces. Silence. Silence all over. Such deep was the silence that if one could make the effort they could hear around them several hearts beating twice the speed.

The pilot said that they were about to land. Seat belts were fastened. Some took in a deep breath and started praying. The plane started to descend and just as everyone thought they were about to reach the plane swooped up with a jerk into the dark sky. Nobody had any idea as to what was happening. My mother had thought that it was the end. It looked even scarier because there was no crew member around.

In the airport, I looked up at the disturbed sky. To keep my mind away from wandering into unwanted thoughts, my father bought me a blueberry muffin. I found it too sweet and I felt like I wanted to throw up. I still do not know whether it was the blueberry muffin or the fact that I don’t know in what condition my mother is that I wanted to retch.

Up in the sky, my mother was still wondering how this would end. The other two guests with her tried to sleep it off. It was like a Sidney Sheldon story, a fantasy. Could this be really happening?

I had stopped breathing. Something was definitely not right. It was like a scene out of a novel. I looked at the people around me. Everybody seemed calm. I could not digest the situation. Could it be really happening?
It took another half an hour or so for the board to show that the plane had landed. I heaved a sigh of relief.

The pilot announced again that they were about to land. As they touched the ground the plane shook severely all over. It was not a smooth landing, but they landed safely. There was a split second silence and a collective sigh of relief and happiness. Everybody clapped; some laughing, some smiling and some clinging on to ritual. The crew members came out and so did the pilot. The crew members were wearing a look of mixed emotions- fear, happiness, relief, anxiety.

I saw my mother emerging out of the airport. I rushed to her and kissed her all over. She introduced me to the two guests and we left happily.

It was the next day the newspaper carried the story of the pilot. He said that he had lost all connection with the control room. He had no idea how to land. He kept taking circles up in the sky for a long time trying to regain the connection but failed. He called in the crew members and asked them to sit around him. He confessed that the crew members knew there was some problem but were not sure. The pilot said that he didn’t even tell his co-pilot that they had lost all contact. He said he was shivering and sweating all the time, but made sure he didn’t scare anybody else. He wanted the crew members to be around, that is all. But everything ended perfectly.

When I heard the news I did not know how to react. A near to death experience of my mother had bought me to realize a lot many things. I am at a loss of words. There are some feelings that one cannot explain. It doesn’t need any explanation. It is much greater. I had an overwhelming sense of-I don’t know how to put it-gratitude? Joy? I don’t know, I really don’t. I still wonder what would have happened if the pilot was clueless as to what to do. Or if he made a mistake? Or something or the other happened?

This post is for him as a gesture from my part. I want to thank him for bringing my mother back to me safely.

**I think I should put a halt. There is a new born baby in my neighbourhood. Time to play with him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

for my dear friend

I know I only think about you when I do not have any other option.
I know you will still patiently wait for me,
I know you will sit with me and listen to me,
And smile and console me,
You know I love you,
You know I love you when I want to,

But my dear, here I open out my heart to you
No matter what,
No matter how much effort it takes me to build this up,
I will.

With every ounce of my will,
I’ll make the effort to be your friend,

When the world crushes down on me,
I know you’ll be there.
Not reminding me of the many wrongs I did to you,
You will hold my hand,
And look into my eyes and hug me.

I know you will,
And that’s why this attempt.
This meagre attempt to say thanks.

To say thanks for all that you have done,
For being there with me,
For understanding me very well,
Even though I am hardly able to reciprocate.
I say thanks to you, and only to you.

And as I wind up,
I want you to only close your eyes,
And smile into the fresh breeze,
And I will capture that moment forever,
My dear friend.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flying To Freedom

Always wanted to fly, I had.
Yes always wanted to fly.
Though when I looked back,
My life was a dead sea.

And away from that place,
I had wanted to fly.
So far away into the vast blue canopy,
That my sorrows just drown away.

And with wings,
Like a white bird,
Like a cotton bud,
In the white clouds
I will hide.

Yes, I will hide.
Camouflaged perfectly in the happiness of the purity
And whiteness surrounding me.
I will pretend to be happy,
Yes I will.

It will bring me freedom,
The freedom to cry out,
The freedom to laugh out loud,
Oh yes it will.

Only if I could fly.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As her mother took her last breath in,
She rushed through the foggy mist,
Not able to breathe herself,
She halted, screeched,
Rummaged for water.

Hardly able to drink she was,
Spilling few drops on to the earthy ground.
She started her car again,
Seeing the trees pass by,
Her memories hit a flash back.

All the things came rushing to her,
And as the memories flowed in,
Also fell the first drop of tear from her dark brown eyes.

Her throat again dry,
She didn’t stop.

Promenading the hospital corridors,
She reached, ICU
She missed a heartbeat; the words gave her a shock,
Shivering she entered,
Only to find a ragged pile of pale bones.
The wrinkled hands rose in acknowledgment
Holding on to her hand,
Her mother smiled,
Which she was unable to return.

It was just as if her mother was waiting
For this last perfect bond to happen,

“MAMA!!’ she cried
Her mother heard it too,
The last words of her daughter,
Which hardly felt the way when she had first said it years ago.

The clock kept running,
There was nothing more to do,
She wiped her tears and got out of the room.

For one last time
She looked back at those same words
It made sense to her for some very odd reason,
I See You
And again for some unknown reason she smiled,
Just as the droplet from her eyes
Followed the beautiful curve of her lips.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Seeing the smile on her face,
Jumping with joy as we rode on
Looking at the trees running by
She clapped her hands
Widened her pupils in awe

I was too elated
Watching my child euphoric
I mouthed a prayer,
To keep my child always happy

And it was then that happened
A loud blast of black
Sent us all flying away

Refusing to let go off her
I tightly held my child

I fell harshly onto the ground
Bruises and blood marks all over my body
But my child was safe
Yes she was!
Safe in my arms

But then suddenly I couldn’t breathe
I couldn’t see
Dizzy blur
I could hear her screaming
Crying, shouting

She hit my face
Poked my eyes open
And the last glance I had
She was still crying.

And since long after
I didn’t open my eyes
She slept beside me
Tears still streaming from her eyes,
Hoping her mother would wake up soon
She yawned
And hugged her mother’s lifeless body.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Looking through the tear drop
That refused to fall off from my eyes
Clinging on to my eyelashes
It just held there my sigh

Looking back at the glass of mirror
That now lay broken, shattered
I stood thinking, reeling over and over again
To what just happened

Rushing, running, I had reached out to the door
Pushing strongly,
Breathless to see what happened inside

Those bright red drops,
Dripping onto the velvet carpet
From the pink pout of my own

Scooping my child
I ran to those white angels
They said they’ll try their best
To give me back my happiness

And after a very long time
I knelt and prayed
Prayed to all the Gods
And to the Universe
To take my life and let my heart live

My heart did beat
And as I counted the passing seconds
“I’m sorry, we tried our level best”

Thursday, September 2, 2010

what work does your father do?

The reason for giving such a title to my post is because this is the very same question which prompted me to write a blog post after a very long time.

I teach as a part time job. And also earn. To one of my students, who is in the second standard, one day, I was teaching a lesson -Family. After reading the chapter, I had told him to answer the questions given at the end of the lesson. He was beautifully answering all the questions when suddenly he came across a question for which he had no answer- what work does your father do?

He interrupted me and asked what to write as an answer. Now, let me inform you all that his father is unemployed and his mother is the breadwinner of the family. He continued staring at me blankly. I too had no clue as to what to say or do so I stupidly read the question out to him again- what work does your father do? When I knew that his father doesn’t do anything.

After an awkward pause, I asked him to answer the next question presuming there must be something about the mother’s job. But alas! None! No question about what work the mother might be doing! THAT led me to muse on this subject.
There are two questions that disturbed me.

One, Is it so easily assumed that a woman cannot be the sole earner in a family? It has also seeped into academics. It is almost like telling the kids that your father’s job holds more importance than your mother’s. What fueled my annoyance was the fact that there wasn’t any mention of the mother’s job in the book. And ironically, the lesson was named “Family”.

Two, even if the mother is working, is her job of less worth than her husband’s that it doesn’t even find place to be mentioned in an EVS book?
Why isn’t it still acceptable that a woman does work? That she also earns? And that her job is also important?

Why is it hard to digest that a man doesn’t work and that the mother is the one who earns for the family?

Moreover why is it so easily assumed that the father must be working?

I have no answers.

I have nothing to conclude.