Thursday, January 31, 2013

PResENT mISssss !!!!

The one thing I despise the most is cleaning my shelf.  Puff of smoke that emulates when their habitat is disturbed and the sickening smell of rotten bugs give me a sickening feel.  I was standing before my age old wardrobe that never lost its sheen despite its cacophonous music at its hinges. Left with a Hobson’s choice, I was prepared for my battle. A small white cloth across my face making me a perfect cast for age old Jayshankar movies. At the recess of my book point, a small book glimmered despite laden by a continuous layer of dust.  At closer examination, the crest embedded on its cover lay majestically. The emblem of my school and it was my school diary with a simple motto- LIFE AND LIGHT. The sight of my school souvenir brought back my numb senses alive and soon I was flickering through the muddy pages of my diary.
                The pages had more remarks in red than my scribbled handwriting. Words like ‘Mid Term, Quarterly Half yearly exams, Report cards’ echoed my nightmares of my school days, which I badly missed now. Before I could linger my thoughts in that, I stumbled onto the page that brought back my wombs of my memory lane. It was the timetable of my 5th grade starting from Monday to Friday. A smile spread across my face, when I thought about the mornings after our brief vacation.  

                “The moment that I loathe the most is Monday morning! My bed sheet is over me wrapped like a cocoon while I try to gaze at the beautiful designs which appear like stars in a cloudless sky. The cries of my mom asking me to get ready while the hot water steams in the geyser.  

                 Impeccably dressed in a white and navy blue uniform with my hair neatly groomed and a perfectly drawn viboodhi on my forehead. I was sitting in my usual place near Subramaniam, who always stood first in my class. Toppers were seated next to mediocre students in order to help them, so that’s how I earned my spot. I never fell in the list of top 20 or the list of last 10, but in a group that is good for nothing. The  group that always needed a beating to push on.  

                To make matters worse, it was our first after our holidays that too it started on a Monday morning. Most of the students were silent owing to the fact that, we are likely to receive our answer papers of the Quarterly exams. I was mumbling my prayers while my friends let out a silent laughter making a mockery. Two friends of mine were prying near the door’s entrance trying to catch the glimpse of horror.

                Our Science Miss was never a horror but the big bundle of papers with twines entangled definitely wasn’t a pleasing sight. The two guys came running inside shouting, “papers!!! Miss has papers!!!”   

                The word papers made me sit upright, bringing my prayers to a sudden halt. Her strides were long and swift in reaching the dais. Once the bundle was laid in the table, she turned to face us with her traditional smile. “Students, this time my correction has been very lenient and I have awarded marks quite liberally. So I don’t want anyone standing near me begging for some more marks. Do I make myself clear?” I know this was a usual dialogue that every teacher iterates every now and then. She was no exception and joined every other in shouting “Yessss Misss!!!”

                She began calling out our roll nos. to distribute the papers and to my horror the papers weren’t in order. Whenever a roll no. slipped from her lips, my heart came to my mouth. Within couple of minutes, I knew I had to take a leak with my contents of my stomach doing all acrobatics. All the drama came to an end when my turn came and my marks hanging in thin air- 71 !!!

                I was tad disappointed that I couldn’t make it above 75, but still my mood wasn’t sober. By now Subramanian was eying my marks.

“You made 71! (With his eyes all set to bulge out from his sockets!) Good! I made only 86! If at all she awarded full marks for my long answer, I would ve touched 90 !!”

                I was looking for a perfect reply for Subramanian and I found one, “I don’t think she's mean, she has given full marks to me for that long answer! The diagram of yours doesn’t come close to a round bottom flask; it’s more of an elongated test tube”  

                I know I ve added more fuel to his burning rage, he was fuming and staring at his so called round bottom flask,

                “She can’t do this to me, I m going to ask her about this” he shoved me aside, moving furiously with the answer paper clutched in his arms. “ Misss !!! Miss!! You haven’t given me full mar…..”

            That smile never died when my school events unfolded before my eyes. Dust and bugs too joined me in this nostalgia. I was prepared to continue this crusade with more allergenic storms for company, leaving me with my 3rd grade report grade.

   Thank you all for joining me in my journey. If I was able to kindle your memoirs of your school days with a drop a tear ebbing your eyes, please share those etched moments.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beauty Queen

“This is a poem (hopefully it sounds like one, but it never follows the rules of a sonnet or ballad)of a girl who has been forced into prostitution by her mother. The girl depicts her horrific days and her menstrual cycle. I couldn’t resist myself from using the words ‘beauty queen & broken smile’- thank you- Maroon  It’s a shame to tag this as a tribute this to all women who trade their flesh, so it could be my *lullaby to you all”

*John-a slang refering to the customers who seek sexual pleasure in women
*lullaby- a soothing song to put a child to sleep
 *fille - french word for girl

This is my story,
a story devoid of fantasies,
but cloaked in robes of sorrow.
Story of unprecedented hatred
and confessions of a girl

Sitting in a lonely room
hugging my knees in desperation.
Staring the tulips across my window
a blanket of maroon petals, with their
heads down awaiting the dusk.

White linen barely covering
my feet; the finger nails manicured
with glossy pink to seduce punks
from neighborhood. A broken
smile basks my face fearing dusk

This is the story of
a beauty queen who is 17.
Memoirs of lost sleep and cut lip;
Mighty rewards from my voyeurs;
Story on this queen’s lost virginity.

Crooked under my princess bed,  
hiding and pleading my mom,
‘Not this time, mommy, No!!!’
Thunderous blow lands across
my face, leaving bruised cheek.

Bruises flag my face red, ceasing
the need to blush. But beads of blood
dot my skirt’s hem, marking
my menses. A much waited
vacation for this beauty queen.

This is a story of a girl
with a new identity- slut.
A new face with old scars,
A vacation with no *John’s thrusting,
but still this period hurts.

This excruciating pain pushes
myself into an oblivion, where
there are too many rainbows.
With my pain abating, I think
about my tomorrow as a whore.

In my low cut blouse and
cherry red lips to steal a glance.
Once again, I'm on roads
trying to find a John
who would hurt me less.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Seeds of attitude

If you could read this, then certainly the doomsday and Mayans calendar have been stuffed in trash cans. I m pretty much sure that either the Mayans misplaced their pencil to draft the calendar for 2013 or lost count after 3500! In either way, all the hype and unwanted chaos have ended in a sullen mood. But still the bad omen as predicted by Mayans left a scar in the faces of mankind by the ugly rape incident in Delhi. By now, every scum on the planet is ready to pour in their suggestions; on how the victim should have acted with six atrocious men or what was she doing with a guy at such late hours?

In the shoes of a feminist, there were protests rocking the nation on how to handle such sexual atrocities. Half the women in the country were ready to chop of men’s privates or send their heads to guillotine. On the flip side, many things go unnoticed either due to our ignorance or due to our attitude. Capital punishment or castrating an individual cannot put an end to all this dysfunctional behavior in men. A common misnomer, stringent punishments can eradicate social evil. Ironically it could damage the social fabric of a civilization.

I often feel that we were puppets dancing to the tunes of media and raise slogans due to the placebo administered by our society. During most occasions we fail to address issues which are quite unprecedented. The brutality experienced by the Tamil women in Sri Lanka was one such example to our malignant behavior. The war crimes of island nation went haywire in most western channels depicting the heinous crime of the century, but still no protests or candle marches were made condemning such intolerance.

 I felt ashamed that none of my politicians (or me!) had spines to march towards the Red Fort and raise their voices for greater good. This apathy of mine could be attributed towards all those who neglected the sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka. Having said all this, I was a mute spectator with a “teek hai” attitude. There’s a proverb ‘being penny wise and pound foolish’ which clearly applies to all of us. Let me narrate an incident which could substantiate my allegations.

“On a sunny day with people thronging in my area, my mom and I were busy negotiating a deal with a local vendor. The sun battered us, but still we were bargaining for ten odd minutes to save five rupees.  Finally, triumph and pride were basking my mom’s face, at the cost of saving 5 rupees and getting few rotten apples!!!”

Few weeks after that incident we purchased a SONY 40 inch LED TV at the cost of 55K, printed on the tag with no discounts or bargain. In another such occasion I was standing in a queue at a KFC outlet, waiting to swipe my plastic card for getting the wings of a chicken, not to forget the extra 14.5 % service tax. This is our attitude; we do things that catch attention or to trifle the society. The society that has taught us skills, to cajole acts pompously.  

Few days back when the government passed the bill allowing FDI (Foreign Direct Investments- except the expansion, I knew nothing about it!!!) in retail sector, there was a hue and cry from all merchants of our country. This move could be disastrous from the perspective of a common man, but still, we were not ready to shell out five bucks to my fellow countrymen (apple vendor). Despite that, we raise our voice to protect the interests of such commoner.

When Kasab, the notorious criminal was captured, we did nothing, but to watch the government spending more than crore rupees every day to keep him safe. No one knocked the residence of Ms.Sonia ji or Mr Prime Minister to question the death of 167 people. What shall we call this? Stupidity or did we misplace our senses? Every now and then sexual harassment continues in places which were once considered safe.

So far the country has executed 70 odd capital punishments, going by which we should have been a crime free country. The need lies in redemption of our existing human attitude. The systems of nuclear family and fables from our grannies have been scrapped. Our streets have more juveniles than piled garbage; wealth could be churned out from such garbage if counseling is appreciated, stressing the need for behavioral science.

By now you must thinking; the author has an aversion towards his country, in lieu with his latest developments.  I don’t want to add a blatant lie, by passing a comment “Proud to be Indian”. These thoughts could be an uprising in each one of us; why are we like this? Shall we not try to act consciously and speak from our heart? The question is out everywhere, but the answers lie within us. Man has evolved continuously sending back centuries, but the nature has remained the same. It never acquired the self fish attitude of ours, contrary it still served us selflessly with bright sunshine and blissful rainbows.