Thursday, January 22, 2009

Unbridled desires

If you break my skull and peep inside my brain with a book-light you will see those ‘three ungoverned words’ lurking inside the fissures of my grey box. They creep inside, like some worms, crawling in and out, creating confusion in my mind and sometimes creating trouble for me. Those three words “What happened next?” keep my antenna up for information and the results that follow are sometimes good and many times bad.

This phrase ‘What happens next’ hijacks my activities many times. Sometimes I miss my train, when there is a bitter argument at the railway platforms. I seriously want to know who the final winner is in an argument, will there be some karate demonstrations, or police interventions, I want to know about how and when does juggling of the muscles end. The facial expressions and the loud decibels of the participants amuse me a lot. I know, it doesn’t concern me and I should learn to mind my own business but I want to check if the reality is any different from what they show on Bollywood films. A free show is always appreciated and I feel good if I am convinced that I am not wasting my money watching those foolish stunts in films, it gives me surety that those scenes are actually lifted from reality.

And that is the reason why I like to watch reality shows and read thick novels till the last page. The “what happens next’ makes me come back to TV to see the progress in a story.

There is one show (presently) on TV that I think. I cannot do without. It starts at 10pm from Mondays to Thursdays. (No, it is not Saas bhi.. or any of those serial sagas of K…nor those ‘Desperate housewives’ or ‘Brothers and Sister’…etc, etc...those are outdated and nobody seems to be watching it anymore). Anyways, I wait for 10 pm, adjusting my dinner time to coincide with this show, canceling my late evening appointments (if I can) and cursing the traffic if I cannot make it on time.

The other day I was invited to attend the spiritual lecture on Vedanta which was to take place from 6:30pm to 8pm. Since it was ending two hours earlier than my show time, I agreed to attend. But my friends had other plans. After the lecture, they want to go for dinner and that too in some other restaurant further away from my home. (After the spiritual lecture, they should go home and contemplate on the points that were discussed, isn’t it?) I looked at my watch. They had already wasted twenty minutes discussing the venue. I suggested that we dine somewhere close by, fibbing I had to plan for next day and getting home late would delay me (I could not tell them about my obsession for that particular TV program and my real reasons behind my fuss). My friends were in no hurry to go back home and although they agreed to my suggested venue at a fast food cubicle, they had too many topics to discuss. They ate slowly, munching each morsel, discussing the topics (which would have interested me if I was not distracted by the red dials of my wrist watch) and they even ate desserts.

It was 9:45pm when I raised my hand to say a quick good bye. I hired an auto, cursed the traffic and the signals and reached my building compound at 10pm. I didn’t want to waste a minute more by climbing up the stairs. I was glad that my watchman has TV. I stood outside his ‘4ft by 5ft’ room and asked him to switch on the TV to that channel, quite pleased that I was not too late. He offered me chair, at the doorway and I craned my neck inside the room, halfway, watching the first quarter of the show in black and white.

And during promos, I climbed up the two storeys, 2-3 steps at a time, ringing my door-bell eight times, rushing in and jumping into my big soft sofa, in front of my TV, to see the rest of the program.

I have to satisfy my urge of “What happens next”.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Selfless charity

Trees and plants sees not the color of the skin
Nor the caste or creed
Selflessly it gives the peace
Under the scaffold of its shade

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Holiday Home

After ten long months Mr. Ghosh entered his house in Mumbai and this time he was alone.

Every three months (since last five years) Mr. and Mrs. Ghosh would come from Bangkok to spend two weeks in their house in Mumbai. This was their holiday home, away from their own family and friends, where they would come regularly to spend a quality time with each other. In Mumbai, Mrs. Ghosh never kept any maid nor rented a car. Such luxuries were reserved for enjoying in their home in Bangkok with their family. In Mumbai appointing a maid for just fifteen days was pointless. For fifteen days, they would pass their time, eating in restaurants, watching Bollywood films, visiting relatives and shop for Indian clothes to take back home for their children. They spend most of their free time at home, helping each other in cleaning and cooking, and in nagging each other.

“Did you dust the furniture?”

“Did you change the bed sheet?”

“Why can you throw away these useless things?”

“There is too much clutter here.”

“Remove the cobwebs”

“Bath room tap is leaking”

‘Fridge is stinking”

“There is too much work, I am not cooking today”

Both of them did their bit of work and at the end of the day, they compared notes and boasted about their own neatness at work.

At the end of fifteen day, the house looked clean and shiny and they would return to Bangkok to stay there for next three months.

But this time, after ten long months Mr. Ghosh enters his house in Mumbai and he has come alone.

He spends the first few hours sitting by the window, staring at the traffic. Slowly he gets up, removes the keys from his pocket to unpack his suitcase. He puts away his clothes in his wardrobe and then opens his wife’s cupboard.

“What should I do with all these sarees? I need to give it all away in the charity” he mumbles as he removes her sarees and her other clothes from the wardrobe, and spreads them on the bed. He opens the safe and checks the jewelry and the bank accounts. A photo album slipped out from the heap of clothes and falls on the floor beside his feet. He sits, squatting down on the floor and stares at her pictures.

Mrs. Ghosh is laughing

She is standing in front of Taj Mahal in Agra

She is adjusting her head scarf

She has no hair and is looking very thin and feeble

Tears blind his vision as he turns each page. He keeps the album on the bed and walks to the kitchen.

“Fridge is stinking”

“I need some help in sweeping and swabbing of the floors”

“There are too many cob webs on the wall”

He picks up the intercom hand phone to speak to the security guard in the lobby down stairs

“Listen, I need a maid for next fifteen days.” He says into the phone and then sits down by the window to stare at the noisy street below.

Friday, January 02, 2009

My internet friends

Many faces
Not seen, except
On the internet
A cyber space, that has
Just a virtual image
And a deep voice
A virtual hug
With emotion
An unposted thought
Sent across
Sending vibes
That touches the heart
Building relationships
That extends and seeps
Through this virtual space
And they are my friends
Whom I meet everyday
Through this
Unfeeling bright window
I stretch my hand
To grope for that touch
Of those meaningful words
That sounds so real
and I feel bliss and comfort
In having
My Internet friends.

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Thank U for this award
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