5

MADE for EACH OTHER

Made For Each Other

The screeching ringtone of my Nokia 3310 rattled me off my sleep…I disconnected and went back to sleep. The phone rang again… this time I made an effort to check who it was. With one eye closed and with the other one half opened…I tried to ogle at the name in the fluorescent green background. It was mom. I sprang up and sat at ninety degrees to the bed. I checked the time and it was 5 30 in the morning. I wondered why mom was calling me at this time. I answered the call… mom’s voice was shaking. “Please come to Ambala…he wants to see you”, was all she muttered in a feeble tone. I immediately realized that now is the time to go as his condition was very serious.

Mom was in her maternal home, Ambala. He was struggling with his life after a serious of paralytic attacks and prolonged illness. Mom didn’t talk for long but it was clear that the time had arrived for me to be there in his last days. I was at home in Lucknow during Holi break of 2005 and it was due in another three days. My father was still out of station. I informed my sister about the conversation with mom and told her that I will have to leave immediately. I, without even getting confirmed reservation…boarded a train to Ambala. It took me twelve long fretful hours to reach there.

My parents had parted ways some three years ago…and hence it became more so important for me to be around him in those days. As soon as I reached Ambala…mom came running towards me…started crying…hugged me…and immediately took me to his room. I saw a longing in his eyes…as if he was waiting for something…or I should say ‘for someone’. Mom told me that, “off late he has developed this habit of looking towards the entrance in anticipation of your father”. “He is really worried for me and wanted to see you before he finally rests in peace”, she continued. “He thinks that your father will have a change of heart and will surely pay him a visit in his last days”, she added. The doctors had given up any hope of recovery and they informed us that he barely had a week with us. He was my maternal grandfather.

The next day as soon as I woke up… I was at his bedside… and decided to spend all my time with him. He wanted to speak continuously but because of his medical condition he was struggling with words. I advised him not to talk a lot but he kept on insisting. His eyes guided me towards a packet of candies which was kept on an old small wooden table near the bed. He told me that he distributed candies and sweets every day without fail to kids after my maternal grandmother had passed away. People made monuments…wrote books…donated money…did many extravagant things in their lover’s memory…but this was his way of remembering and paying a tribute to his love, my grandmother. I was moved by his love…and don’t know how but ended up blabbering, “How did it all start between you and grandma”?

He glanced towards me and then turned his gaze towards my grandma’s picture that was hanging on the opposite wall. With flickering eyes…trembling hands…quivering and broken words he began…

I was born in Plassi village near Nangal in Punjab on 28th august 1932 to Sardar Shyam Singh and Kushal kaur. My father was a railway engine driver. We were financially quite well off compared to other fellow Indians in those days. We had a good home accompanied by large farms and real estate properties. My childhood was decent and got educated up to eighth standard, which was considered fine especially in the pre-independence era. It was not long before I was asked to marry, as the practice of child marriage was very much prevalent in those days. I was just eleven years old when I married your grandmother, Bibi Charan Kaur.

These days you people have all kinds of communication mediums, from telephones to computers…from emails to SMSs. You people at least meet each other…get to know each other…try to understand each other… before you get married. Can you imagine my plight, a boy who is yet to reach his teens…who is yet to even understand what is right and what is wrong…who is in sixth standard…who doesn’t even wear any undergarments (he told me frankly that he didn’t wear any undergarment till he got married) is asked to marry some stranger. Honestly, I didn’t feel anything…I was too small to. I was simply delighted to get the amount of attention and pampering that I was getting and the sweets and the ‘laddoos’ that followed. Everything happened so swiftly that by the time I realized what was actually happening, I was married to a girl whom I had never ever seen before.

I don’t remember the exact date but I recollect that it was around 9:30 am on a Thursday that we got married in a nearby ‘Gurudwara’. I was not even dressed properly for such an occasion. I was wearing an off-white shirt with brown vertical lines and dark brown trousers with a turban of the matching colour. She was dressed in a dark pink ‘Patiala Salwar-Kameez’. Her face was not visible but from her hands I was able to guess her complexion. “I was actually fairer than her”, he said with a naughty smile. If today I have to describe her then I would say that, even before her adolescence, she was looking very pretty and cute as if she was a ‘Punjabi Barbie’.

She was about eight years old when she tied the knot with me. Till today, I don’t know what was her exact birth date…all I know is that it is somewhere around 1935. She was also from Nangal in Punjab. Her father, Sardar Bachint Singh, was a ‘Lambardar’ (a term that doesn’t exist today but in those days it was related to panchayat). She was the lone survivor of the thirteen children that her mother gave birth to and hence she got lots of love and affection from her parents. The first time when I laid my eyes on her face, obviously after marriage, I saw that she was very naïve and innocent. As the days passed by I noticed other virtues that she possessed. I felt she was very tender and caring. She was a very hard working and dedicated family woman. She was brave and courageous but at the same time she respected everyone and obeyed everything what my mother ordered. She was an awesome cook too and prepared meal for the whole family without any help. I loved the ‘Gulabjamuns’ that she specially prepared for me.

We were too little to understand friendship or love of any kind leave alone the whole concept of marriage. But I must admit she really helped me through this. We started spending time together…began to know each other…I shared whatever I did in the whole day…she listened to whatever I had to say. She never complained about anything…just carried on with her daily chores with total devotion and then had an ear for me whenever I needed her. My mother never used to like her…she had a sense of dictatorship to her and she was always tetchy about one thing or the other. She was abusive and sometimes even hit your grandma…but a lady like your ‘Bibi’ (we all used to call her ‘Bibi’) enriched with virtues…suffered through everything…swallowed every abuse and punishment that was dished out at her without even uttering a single word. No one ever heard her raised voice against anyone…she didn’t even share all this with me then and it was when she was about to leave me for heaven that I came to know about all this. Soon we became friends…good friends.

From day one, my mom was extremely cruel to her. When I now think of it…I end up smiling as there were some incidents when your Bibi got the better of her, without even taking a single step against her. Bibi was incredibly fond of tea but my mother always deprived her of that too. Just to cope up with her addiction Bibi used to swallow tea leaves and sugar and consume hot water after that. This maddened my mother even more. It was normal for women to be confined and restricted in those days… but my mother was simply too much for anyone.

I still remember clearly that day…I guess two to three years into our marriage. I was done with my studies as my mother wanted me to take care of farms and help in farming. We (Bibi, my mother and me) were at one of the farms and working. It was late in the afternoon after the lunch that my mom started abusing her on some issue. She kept on hurling abuses at Bibi and her family but she didn’t even say a single word. This infuriated my mother even more. Before I could intervene…In the fits of fury she got hold of a thick bamboo and thrashed Bibi’s head with it. There was blood everywhere…her head was busted…and soon she fell unconscious. I, along with other farmers, took her to a nearby medical facility. This event was the biggest twist in our love story…actually you can say that this is where the seeds of our timeless love were sown.

(Just about then my mom entered and asked me to have lunch with my grandfather. She thought this way he will have something substantial for the medicines, as he was not having proper meals due to illness. He barely managed to have one chapatti. I asked him to take some rest for a while. Around 5 in the evening…he again continued from where he left off…)

Her parents took her home along with them after that incident. They wanted to end all ties with us because of my mother’s never ending brutality. By this time we developed a special bond between us and we were beginning to understand each other. I became a kind of rebel and revolted against my mother. My father loved me very much and was always supportive of your Bibi. He motivated me to leave the home…get a good job… and become someone of reputation on my own. I decided to leave home and go to Ambala in search of a livelihood and to try to get her back with me. When I was moving out of my parents shadow, I never realized that my biggest test…or I should say our relationship’s…our marriage’s…our love’ biggest examination was yet to come.

She decided that she was not going to leave me alone in this battle and made up her mind to support me in whatever manner she possibly could. Her parents were adamant not to let her go this time, so it was all left up to her to help me save money. In order to cut down on my expenses… she stitched clothes for me with bare hands, I hope you know that sewing machine had not yet reached Indian homes. She made suits, shirts, trousers, sweaters and what not… all without anyone’s help…with her bare hands. She tried to save every single penny that could have been saved.

There were days…and weeks…and months when we were not able to meet or hear from each other… and then there were seconds…minutes…and precious moments which we did get to spend with each other after all the limitations that were put on us and especially on her. My friend, Karam Singh, and her friend, Karamjeet, helped us a lot during those struggling days. With Karamjeet’s assistance she came to one of her farms… and waited for me… sitting on a tree for hours ‘n’ hours. When I did finally arrive, Karam Singh and Karamjeet kept a close careful watch to make sure that we were never caught. It was during these seldom meetings that I began noticing how beautiful and wonderful she actually was. I never really mentioned it to her that during these instants I literally thanked God for actually making my parents marry her. She was an illiterate but she was still as brilliant as an engineering graduate today with abundance of boldness and commonsense. During those days only I realized that our unique bond was now tied with ubiquitous love which made us inseparable.

By then India was granted Independence but our country was left in a very corrupt state. I decided to go to Delhi and stay with my cousin and look for some job. You won’t believe when I’ll tell you that I walked barefoot two hundred kilometres from Ambala to Delhi. There I applied daily for various job positions but since I had nothing to pass under the tables or anyone to vouch for me, I returned empty handed every day. One fine day I was noticed by Hari Kishan Shastri. He walked up to me and asked me about my whereabouts and my purpose of everyday being there. When I told him about the entire situation… he understood… and took matters in his own hand. He made me meet Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the railway minister then.

Her prayers… her efforts… my hard work… my knowledge… and our love did pay off and in the spring of 1954, I was appointed as a train clerk in Ambala for a meagre salary of rupees 60 by Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri. It might sound very less but it was more than enough for me to get my life… my love…my Charan back.

Time flew and few years passed by…

By 1960, she had given birth to our third child. I knew that it was time for me and my salary to get a raise… but for that I needed some decent educational qualification. She encouraged me to go for studies but to leave the job at that time with three kids would have been like committing suicide. She came up with an idea. In those days there was a new concept of night classes. She got me registered to one such class and made me sit with children half of my age. She was the sole motivation for me to study further and I did. With the help of those night classes I successfully cleared tenth standard. I know you will be laughing after hearing this…but in the sixties, just to pass tenth standard or to be able to put a signature in English or moreover to even understand English was considered an achievement and it surely fetched me respect in the society.

Difficult times lasted longer while merrier times just came in short spurts but they surely existed. We were huge fans of the movie ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. It was an epic in itself and the kind of romance that was portrayed in it surpasses the best what today has to offer. I am not sure but I would have watched it more than twenty times with Bibi. I used to go the cinemas even at 4 am just to be the first one in the ticket queue and still found people standing there earlier than me. But let me assure you, none of the shows would have been so much fun and joy if she wouldn’t have been there with me in them.

I didn’t speak to my mother for twelve years but during each of Bibi’s pregnancies I always wished her to be there. I cannot even describe what all pains she took to raise my children… to take care of them… to take care of me. She gave birth to a child in the morning… then by the evening she was again busy with the daily chores. Whether good or bad, my mother received every news about us through our relatives but somehow after all those years… her hatred towards Bibi never shrivelled.

(Mom brought the dinner but he refused to have it and wanted to continue telling me the story)

Five more kids later and some ten years down the lane…

During the 1971 Pakistan war, I simply saw a different quality in her. I knew that she was valiant and fearless but I could never imagine that she could go to such an extent. Because of an emergency she had to travel to Nangal. It was a four hours train journey from Ambala. I was astonished and shocked to see that she travelled all alone in that train as people refrained from using public transport vary of the Pakistan bombardments. It, even to this day, gives me ‘Goosebumps’ just to admire and accept this feat of hers.

After the war in the early seventies everything went quite smooth and okay. But destiny as always had some other plans. In 1975, I was transferred to Bhatinda. I was the sole earner of the family with a loving wife and eight kids. She asked me not to go to Bhatinda and stay with them. I was suspended for not obeying the orders. She said we could start something of our own but you don’t have to leave us and go to Bhatinda. She purchased two goats and started selling their milk. The money was slow but sure. In few months time… we had a herd of cows and buffalos. I was not contributing much; in fact I became a reason for most expenditure and because of me they kept on increasing. I fell severely ill during the summer of 1976. On her own only, she kept me and my family going. I realized that my love towards her increased several folds… and I actually began respecting her which was not how women were treated in those days.

In 1977, due to some turn of events and our good fortune I got my job back and that too in Ambala. I got my daughters married and invested in my children’s studies. We went from strength to strength. From a struggling poor household we now had good income sufficient enough to fulfil each and every of my child’s dream.

His eyes began to glitter…and suddenly they turned moist (I saw). He continued, “I guess it was 1987 or 1988 when she suffered from an unknown disease”. No doctor was able to cure her; they even failed miserably at identifying the disease itself. Her body became dead from below the waist. Her legs became numb forever (and the tears touched his pillow). It was as if God wanted me to take care of her and do my little bit for what all she gave me…and did for me. I read newspaper to her…washed her clothes…bathed her…fed her…and did everything possible in human limits to make her feel alive and cheerful. But I guess it was too much for her, she had suffered enough. She was born just to take care of others…love them…make them strong and above all believe in themselves. Her love gave me courage…was my support…and strengthens me even till today. If it was not for her…then I would have died long back. On 8th July 1992, she left me all alone forever. You know, till the day she was alive, she made it sure that we had dinner in the same plate and that is the reason why I hate having dinner without her.

I got up wiped my tears…wiped his tears…kept my hand on his forehead and requested him to please go to sleep. I don’t remember when I, sitting next to him, fell asleep.

Ref: 123greetings.com

Ref: 123greetings.com

I felt a hand rubbing my hand. It immediately brought me to senses. He asked me what time it was…I replied it was 3 am…I enquired if he needed anything? He gently smiled…took a pause…and whispered… “Ikk Gulabjamman khila de” (get me one gulabjamun). I resisted…but his weak eager eyes made me get one for him. He had it like a six year old…wished me ‘Happy Holi’… looked at Bibi’s picture… and with a smile on his face… fell asleep. At about 4:55 am on 24th march 2005, he left us for heavenly abode to be with his love…his best friend…his everything…his Charan.

For all those who love their Grandparents,

For all those whose grandparents have such a story,

For all those who have grandparents still with them,

For all those who don’t have theirs with them,

For all those who miss them,

And

For all those who want a story like this for them

It’s not a GOODBYE…

But it’s a GOOD BYE… aur han go to your grandparents and ask if they have such a story to share with you.

Manas ‘SAMEER’ Mukul

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0

Banquet on the Dead

Book Review:Banquet on the Dead

Book: Banquet on the Dead

Author: Sharath Komarraju

Reviewed By: Manas Mukul

First of all I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sharath for getting his second novel published within a span of six months. I was fortunate enough that Blogadda selected me to review his first book ‘Murder at Amravati’ but this time it was Sharath’s friendly gesture that he himself asked me to review his second one, ‘Banquet on the Dead’. I would apologize for the slight delay in the review as I was caught up with things. I have read the book thoroughly, infact slower than my usual pace of reading and I will try to be as honest as possible and do justice with the review of this Murder Mystery.

For me personally the cover page doesn’t have much significance this time, as was not the case with ‘Murder at Amravati’. As you flip two pages Sharath has dedicated the book to ‘Lakshmibai’ his father’s maternal grandmother. In the prologue we are introduced to two characters, Nagesh and Ashok, who are labourers employed to do the job on a particular day at the mansion where the whole story revolves. The prologue has their version of what they have heard while they were busy working at or around 1 pm on the day in question.

Just like ‘Murder in Amravati’, ‘Banquet on the Dead’ is also set in a small town, Hanamkonda. The story begins with Valmiki Nagarajan, the inspector in charge of the case, and Dr. Koteshwar Rao engrossed in a discussion where Dr. Koteshwar requests the inspector to have a re-look at the case. The story is all about the death of Kauveramma, whose dead body was recovered from the well which was within the same enclosure of the mansion. Everyone including the inspector believed that she has committed a suicide and was about to close the case. But it was Dr. Koteshwar, grandson of Kauveramma, who kept on persisting that he thinks otherwise. Dr. Koteshwar recommends Hamid Pasha, an unlikely ‘Hero’, to Nagarajan in his pursuit to find the murderer.

Nagarajan with his assistant, Hamid Pasha, sets out on unravelling the truth and to find out who the actual murderer is? All the suspects in the story are relatives of Kauveramma with more or less the same motive – ‘Money’. Many a times in the story there is mention of the huge property that kauveramma possessed and everyone who was living in that manor wanted a piece of it, if not the whole. The stand out thing in the story is although being a part of a joint family, most of the members simply hated others. Ironically as you read on you will get a feel that majority of them actually disliked Kauveramma and in one way or the other they wished her to be no more. The story has a lot of characters (suspects) and I will restrain myself from mentioning them and their relation with the diseased. Everyone had a motive and most of them had the means to commit the crime, it all rests on the duos (Nagarajan and Hamid Pasha) shoulders to unveil the murderer. Do they successfully do it, to find out read the book?

I must praise Sharath here in the way he brings out the most miniscule of details about a particular setting and even if one has not been to that place, he/she can very easily visualize how it all looks. The same is the case with the mansion in which most of the story takes place. There is a very vivid description of the mansion and the details are very well taken care of as one gets sucked into the story as if he/she is actually living the story. The diction is plain and simple and is a fast read. The build up to the climax of the book is good. Every time it keeps you guessing who according to you is the murderer.

This time I noticed more negative than positives, I am sorry Sharath but I am trying to be as honest as possible. The book with its 260 pages is way too long compared to most of the Indian fictions that are in the market these days. It becomes a drag in the middle and you have to be patient enough to reach the end. According to me, one of the major flaws in the story is the number of characters that are dished out. You need to make a mental map of the characters and how each of them is related to Kauveramma. By the time you reach the middle of the book, it becomes very difficult to remember just by the name that how was this character related to her. If one has read ‘Murder at Amravati’ he/she will find striking similarities between both the books, like the way Sharath has dealt with the investigation. Because of the build up, you gear up yourself for a shocking or surprising ending but if you want my take on it; you will be disappointed. Unlike ‘Murder in Amravati’ where it had an awesome twist right at the end, ‘Banquet on the Dead’ won’t serve you that.

This banquet instead of turning out to be a great feast it turns out to be an ordinary supper. One suggestion for Sharath, try some other genre also otherwise it won’t be long before people cast you as a stereotype. If I had to rate this, I would go with two and half out of five for Sharath Komarraju’s ‘Banquet on the Dead’.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

You can also reach to Sharath Komarraju at sharathkomarraju.com

12

Surprise…Surprise…Surprise…

Surprise…Surprise…Surprise…

“You know tomorrow is my first presentation ever”, she said nervously to me. Her voice was shaking and none of her friends were able to infuse enough confidence in her to make the presentation work. She rehearsed…rehearsed…and rehearsed…to the point that she began to forget everything… at least she felt so. It was left upon me to get that confidence back going for her. I reminded her, “Believe in yourself and think of how good you are and what an awesome presentation you are going to deliver tomorrow”. I knew that my words have a calming effect on her, but this time it was not going to last.

I decided it was time for me to make her feel that I am always there for her and I just don’t simply say that ‘I will be there for the smallest of things’. I immediately called her back and broke her heart (for that moment) that I have a company visiting my campus tomorrow and I will have to switch off my phone through the entire duration of the seminar and there might be a possibility where I would not be able to give her a call before the presentation. I checked the tickets and asked my ever so sweet sister to get the tickets done for me (don’t forget me being a student these days was unable to afford the price just a day before 😉 ). She managed to get one booked for me.

The next day I had an early flight to catch and she was still sleeping. So the best I could do was to text her, “All the best for your presentation sone, make me proud, phod phad macha dena, I am going for the seminar muah muah muah forehead”. I landed by 10:30 a.m. and her presentation was supposed to begin by noon. I gave a call to her best friend and told her about my plan to surprise her by visiting her just before the presentation and say, “All the best of Luv ‘n’ Luck to her face”. I knew that girls can’t be trusted when it comes to keeping secrets and her friend proved me right by spurting out every bit of my surprise. The news made her extremely happy as if she won a lottery. It was a complete turnaround…she was brimming with confidence…and in the process completely nailed the presentation and answered each and every question that followed.

She knew which hotel I (we) stayed in every time I visited her city as this would have been my fourth visit in the past four months. As soon as she was done with the presentation she didn’t even wait for the teacher’s response…immediately took an auto and reached the hotel. She enquired at the reception…took the spare keys in an effort to surprise me instead…and came running to my room. She was puzzled not to find me there. She tried my mobile but was switched off. She made a call to the reception but could not get any info on my whereabouts. Her face which was glowing with confidence and courage…now suddenly had an edgy and worried look to it.

There was a knock on the door…she opened…anticipating that it will be me she shouted my name. Less to her surprise and more to her shock it was police at the door. She was beginning to panic. The police informed her that a truck crushed a guy this morning and they recovered a bag from the accident site with a printout of booking of this hotel room with your name on it. She opened the bag only to find out ‘a Barbie’, ‘a box of Soan Papdi’ and ‘an envelope with confirmed booking for two days and two nights for a couple at the Marriot’.

She remembered, how, since her childhood she never craved for anything except for a Barbie, she had had many delicacies but it was the ‘Soan Papdi’ that made her taste buds go crazy and she visited many places around the globe… rested in many resorts but it was the Marriot which was the closest to her heart. It was all a part of the surprise that I had planned for my bestest buddy.

There are days when God gives you signs or omens which tell you what is going to happen and then there are days when even the Gods get confused what the omen says.

The police told, “The Guy was wearing this shirt” and handed it to her. She straight away recognized it to be my shirt as it was the same shirt in which she slept the last time I was there. Tears started rolling down her cheeks. The blood on the shirt made her scream…scream…and scream. There were flashbacks of, how every night before we went to bed, I always called her to say how much I loved…cared for her and will be there with her forever n ever n ever. She reminded herself of her decision to tell me that how much she loved me…and wanted to spend the rest of her life with me. She cried uncontrollably…gasping for breath…her shrieking voice made even the policemen feel her loss…her pain…her regret of not telling me just for once that SHE LOVED ME…

There was another knock at the door…one policeman opened it. To everyone’s disbelief it was me who was at the door. For a moment she thought she was seeing me just because of the sheer love for me. Without even caring for the standing policemen, who were themselves astonished, I started… Bubu…as soon as I landed…my bag was stolen…last night I wasn’t able to charge my phone’s battery…hence it died…but what’s this…why is police here and above all why are you crying guddu????

She stood up…ran towards me…grabbed me by the collar…started slapping me…kissing my face all over…saying I Love You…I Love You…I Love You.

For all those who believe in surprises,

For all those who like surprises,

For all those who like giving surprises,

For all those who like getting surprised,

And

For all those who will go to any extent to say that ‘All the Best’

It’s not a Goodbye…

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han go out there and give surprises…your loved ones actually love it and a HAPPY DIWALI to all of You…enjoyyyyyyyy.

Manas “Sameer” Mukul

7

KOI MUJHSE PUCHE…

KOI MUJHSE PUCHE…

wo pata hai bahut hi bahut hi khubsurat hai…
kash koi meri ankhon se puche

wo kitna maasum hai…wo kitna sacha hai…kitna seedha hai…
kash koi mere dil se puche

wo mujhe kitna samjhata hai….wo mere sath hardam hai…
kash koi meri dosti se puche

uski jalan me jo pyar hai….jo wo sabse chupa k rakhta hai….
kash koi mere mann se puche

uski ankhon me jo umeed hai…uske hothon pe jo haya hai…
kash koi meri ankhon se puche

uske hath me jo mamta hai…uske seene me jo apnapan hai…
kash koi meri atma se puche

uske chehre me jo kashish hai…uske hathon me jo tapish hai…
kash koi meri rooh se puche

uski baton me jo bachpana hai…uski hansi me jo shararat hai…
kash koi meri khushi se puche

uske jhooth me jo sach hai….uski har ek naa me jo han hai…
kash koi mere zehen se puche

uski hansi me jo mere jeevan ki khushiyan hai…uski baton me jo meri sansein hai…
kash koi meri dhadkan se puche

uski maang me jo mera sapna hai…uski mehendi me jo apna hai…
kash koi mere jeevan se puche

uski sanson me jo thandhak hai….uske ansuon me jo namak hai…
kash koi meri sanson se puche

uske khoon me jo mere kann hai…uski uljhano me jo meri bechaini hai…
kash koi meri bebasi se puche

uske chehre pe jo masumiyat hai…uski mehek me jo kasak hai…
kash koi meri hansi se puche

uski nazdiki me jo duri hai….uski duri me jo nazdiki hai…
kash koi mere ansuon se puche

uski god me kitna sukun hai…uski mehek me kitna chain hai…
kash koi meri neend se puche

uske mathen ki rekhaon me jo mera kal hai…uski achayi me jo mera aaj hai…
kash koi meri burayi se puche

uske hathon me jo meri lakeerein hai….uski ragon jo mera khoon hai…
kash koi mere akelepan se puche

uske pairon me jo meri kismat hai….uski ek han me jo mere jeevan ka maksad hai…
kash koi meri ankhon se girte in ansuon se puche

uski ek naa me mere jeevan ka ant hai….uske ruth jane me jo meri maut hai…
kash koi meri ragon me behte uske nam k khoon se puche

uske hath me jo gulab hai…uska khat jo mere hath me hai…
kash koi meri laash se puche

uske ek akhiri bar mujhe chune me jo mera MOKSHA hai…KASH KOI MUJHSE PUCHE

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

8

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota…

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota…

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To aap tak aake…apke sath chal pata,
Chahe ap kisi ke bhi sath hote…hamesha apka sath nibha pata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To apke labon ko chukar…bina bataye…apko chum ke chala jata,
Sindur na hoke bhi…apke mathe pe chamak pata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To apke aansuon me milkar…unhe pi leta,
apke rom-rom ko mehsus kar…apki rooh tak pahunch pata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To apki khushbuon ko sari umar ke liye apne sath le jata,
Apke mathe ki shikan ko mita kar…apka sukun ban jata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To us khubsurat chehre pe koshish karke…ek muskurahat la pata,
Apke itne kareeb aa jata…ki hume Khuda bhi chah ke juda na kar pata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To khud mit kar bhi…apke zariye jee pata,
Apke dard ko apne ander kahi sama leta.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To chah ke bhi kabhi apne aansun na dikha pata,
Aur kabhi khud mitna chahta to…apke hi ander kahi sama jata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To apki chai…apke pakode ka kaaran ban pata,
Sondhi si khushboo ban kar apki thakaan ko mita deta.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To dur reh kar bhi…apko hamesha dekh pata,
Apki palkon pe aakar, apki ankhon me khud ka aks dekh pata.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To apki jhulfon me ulajh kar…apki mehek ban pata,
Aur jab thak jata to apko bina bataye hi mar jata
aur ap chah ke bhi mujhe kabhi dhoondh na pate.

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota,
To sirf apko chune ki umeed me sari umar bita deta,
kam se kam apke nazdeek to aa sakta…apke hathon ko to chhu sakta…aur khamoshi se…apka sparsh leke zameen me kahi kho jata.
Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota…
To apke pas khud aakar…in shabdon ko suna pata…

Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota…
Kaash main wo baarish ki Boond hota…

Manas “Sameer” Mukul

18

SOMEBODY that I USED to know…

Somebody That I used to know…

Everything was perfect…I was there with her…on a weekend…on the Sunday morning. I took her out to a movie…which I promised her that I’ll watch only with her. We had a great lunch at our favourite ‘Sukh Sagar’ in Bangalore. We always placed the same order…as somehow we worked that it was the best combination that the restaurant offered. It was my most loved thing…to take her out to eat. As most of the girls today hardly eat…I took it as a duty…as my responsibility…that every time we will be together…she would eat nicely…at least to my satisfaction. After the meal…we sauntered here and there…from malls…to lake, from Majestic to Marathalli. Some stray clouds lost their way and ended up in Bangalore…making the evening a pleasant one. On my sister’s request we landed up at her place. She took it on herself to prepare the dinner for both of us. It was an awesome feast.

It was around 2 am that we decided to take a nap…and my sister gave a mat to Suhan and me as it was a small rented place that she lived in with only 2 rooms. It was the first time that in spite of her being there with me…I could not sleep…the whole night. Even if my eyes gave way…the uneasiness in my heart never left me…never allowed me to doze off. I looked at her…she was in a deep sleep…my arm was her pillow that night. The sight was so peaceful and soothing with the dim moon light through the window…embracing her beauty. If you are in love…it’s the best sight…watching your love sleeping right next to you…feeling secure in your arms.

I moved very close to her…so close that I was breathing in her breathe. I slowly started kissing her modestly all over her face…very small and minute ones…so that I don’t wake her up. Then I went to her cheeks…started blinking my eyes…so that my eyelashes were the only thing touching her cheeks. It was one of the most awe-inspiring feelings…it brought a little smile to her face…she knew that only I did this to her…to make her feel better…to make her feel wonderful…to make her feel loved ( for everyone out there in love…do try this…it’s my unique way to say…I love u). For a moment I even forgot the anonymous uneasiness that was disquieting me.

The weekend got over and it was Monday, August 3rd 2009 and it was time for me to leave for Mysore from Bangalore. I had to catch the early bus to Mysore otherwise I would have been late for that day’s work. I was busy tying the laces in a hurry…when…suddenly…I realized…droplets on my shoe. To my surprise…it was nothing else but my own tears. I could not believe myself…there was a smile on my face and tears in my eyes at the same time. She was standing across the room by the window. I looked at her through my tears…but to my shock…this time…for the very first time…she didn’t care to wipe them off. Everything that was circulating in my mind and body…from the night…started converging towards a centre…finally. I began to realize…began to understand…that this was all God’s plan…He was trying to make me understand throughout the night…that the one whom I am watching in a peaceful sleep…was about to snatch away my PEACE forever.

My heart began to sink…I gathered all what was left in me and walked towards her. She shattered me by saying, “Shammi…I am moving to Pune…and I guess this is the last time that we are meeting”. Every cell in my body cried out…every spore screamed… ‘why Suhan why!!!’. What did I do to deserve this? If loving and caring for someone insanely was a crime…then I was a criminal. I always told her, “the day you find someone better than me…you can go ahead and leave me”. I don’t know whether she found someone else or not…but yeah she did leave me. From that very day onwards…I m leading a fake life…to the extent…that today I don’t recognize which one of my emotion is real or fake. Every time I confront with the wind…a burning sensation lights me up…as if someone has put me on fire. There are days…when I sit n think n become silent…to the point that I want my head to blast into pieces. I feel as if I am beginning to lose myself and will end up in a mental asylum one day. And then there are those nights…on which…my wet pillow quietly informs me that I washed away the whole night with my tears. There are moments when I feel like…I should go to her and slap her for what she made of me and my life…but the very next moment I realize that I am in so much love with that soul that I even can’t imagine shouting at her. Without you…even the oxygen begins to suffocate me. Everything that is a PAIN today…was the only reason for my HAPPINESS once.

Someday I’ll go out in the open… ask the vultures…to come…and bite me…eat my flesh…bite by bite…instigate pain…just to get rid of THAT pain. One of my friends asked, “Is she still with you”…to which I always reply…yeah still with me…in me…as my soul. People say move on…forget her…to which I have one reply…I have moved on..it’s just that I can’t forget the only reason for my existence. It’s more like…whatever you say…the frequencies or the words always remain in the atmosphere…My love for her is more like that…It will remain…FOREVER. If ever I try to forget her…I find it difficult to LIVE…to BREATHE.

Every day I get up…the first thing I do…is to remember you. Every day when I go to bed…I think of you. Every time I eat…my first bite is for you. Every time I worship…I pray for you. Every time I read…I read your lines. Every time I hear…I want to hear you voice. Every time I smell…I want it to be your fragrance. Every time I close my eyes…I see you. Every time I see myself… I think I am alive…just for you. And if that’s not enough…every time I breathe…I just breathe for you…

Please relieve me of this pain and if not…then free me of this human life.

It’s now that when I want to take my heart back…I realize that it’s dissolved in you.

Chalo then nikalata hu….time to go out in the wind and see how much it burns today…

No GOODBYES today…It’s a SAD PAINFUL END…but still…

For all those who are in PAIN,

For all those who love someone like insane,

For all those who can’t let go,

For all those who will Love them FOREVER,

And

For all those who will die with their LOVE…

It’s not a GOODBYE…

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han no questions please…

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

12

CSAAM April 2011 – The BLEMISHED Buds…

The BLEMISHED Buds…

I was Strolling down the market…suddenly saw her. As soon as she spotted me in the crowd, she shouted out my name. She crossed the road and came to me. She was my friend and like friends do we did share secrets. The weather was gloomy with a depressive kind of touch to it. I told her…lets walk to the hostel as it was getting late. I could feel that there was a sense of restlessness in her that day. I enquired but she refused to say anything. It started raining. We started walking fast…but suddenly I realised she was holding my hand in a firm grip…an unusual one. I looked at her…but initially I was not able to realize and I asked her…what happened??? Her voice began to crack and I saw tears in her eyes in spite of the rain. She said,” I want to tell you something…I want to get the heaviness off my chest…I have been suffering from a long time and now I cannot take it anymore.” If anyone knows me…knows that I (Me) can never see tears in anyone’s eyes…and decided to listen to my friend’s grief.

She began, and what she told me blew me off completely. I have heard and read about child molestation before as well but it shook me to the core to know how she was molested and crushed since her childhood by her own uncle. She said that “when she was very young about 12-13, her uncle (father’s elder brother) along with his family visited them for a ceremony. She got dressed for the event…he saw her…complimented her…told her that she was looking like a princess…like Cinderella. As a normal kid of that age would do…she became very happy. He told her that he has got a special gift for her and for that she will have to come with him. He took her to the first floor…everyone was busy with each other in the backyard where the main gathering was. He closed the door of the room and raped that child’s innocence”. This enraged me…her hands started to tremble…I wasn’t able to believe to what I was actually listening. She told me that her uncle, the monster committed this HEINOUS act on six different occasions. Recalling all this and just writing about it is killing me… just picture what it would have done to her since that day on…and will continue to eat her up till the end of her life. Even if she tells anyone…even if they manage to punish that hideous swine…but no one on earth will be able to erase the scars it would have left…on her mind…on her body…and on her soul. She told me, “today he came and spoke to her dad about getting her shifted to his city for further education and her dad agreed.” She is shattered now and can’t even tell her dad what the reason for her denial is.

I was astonished at the way a girl, a child is bound by the norms of society, how she cannot confront anyone for her rights, her existence, and her lost innocence. There is nothing new to whatsoever I have mentioned till now. Finally after consoling her, When I went back to my room…I read a lot similar incidences and one of which made me feel disgusted to the extent of hating the human race altogether.

A small family…parents with one girl child…father unemployed…was left upon the mother to take care of the family…to feed them. She used to go to work daily while the father was responsible for taking care of the girl during the day. After some time the mother noticed that the child was always keeping quite. She hardly heard her voice. Seeing all this, the mother got very disturbed and decided to see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist understood the whole situation…she gave the girl two dolls and asked her to show to her what her father did with her when her mother was not around. The mother got shocked at the question itself. She was in a state of disbelief to what her daughter showed. She very well knew that her daughter is too small to understand and make up, what kind of acts the child is depicting with the help of dolls. Astonished…shattered…devastated she took her traumatized child in her arms…embraced her tightly…n kept crying forever. Later on, she divorced and filed a case against that inhumane…psycho of man she was married to.

We live in a society where we know, gruesome acts like this take place but often we tend to do nothing about it. In many situations, the mother has the knowledge of what a father is doing to her child but she keeps quite…just for the sake of it…for the name of the family. Many such childhoods have been crushed…have been abused to quench the sexual thirst of demons.

In about 75% of the cases it is someone very close to the child…to the family who commits a disgraceful act like rape, molestation or sexual exploitation. We cannot completely stop this…but at least we can make an attempt to prevent such things from happening. For example, if someone acts overtly friendly with you or your child…it is the first sign to get cautioned. These days because of many factors, the kids are reaching puberty way too early than before and this is where the role of parents becomes more crucial. It is the parent’s responsibility to realize when a brother and sister should stop sleeping in the same room (think about it). I am not saying anyone or everyone is like this but just remember it is your child’s whole life which is at stake. Remember that old saying, “Bache to bhagwan ka roop hote hai” (kids are like God). It’s because they are as pure as the Ganges…as innocent as the God can be. Once you sexually abuse a Child…it is like perpetrating the same with GOD.

Children are like those young n lively buds…which once blemished…will never blossom again.

For all those who love kids,

For all those who hate such crimes,

For all those who are against such acts,

For all those who will prevent such things from happening,

And

For all those who think a child is like a God

It’s not a Goodbye…
But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han create and spread awareness against child sexual abuse so that no more Bud is Blemished ever again.

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL