Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Bicycle

“Avni, Look who has come home.” I called out to my daughter. She came running out of her room directly into the arms of my husband’s sister. ‘Bua ji’  her voice downed as she hid her face in her bosom.
“My child, come here my princess, look what I brought for you”. Radhika picked her up and went to sit on the sofa. She was extremely fond of my daughter and had come this far only to see her. I lost myself for some time watching them bond. As they got busy putting the pieces together of the new puzzle she had brought, I woke up from my dream and went inside to make tea for her.
After a few hours, Radhika got up to leave. “Should I call Avni?” I asked.

“No let her play. I will say goodbye to her downstairs in the playground”.

Evening came and so came back Avni, this time holding hands with her father. “Daddy, you missed Bua, see what she brought for me” my daughter chirped elatedly. Our conversation was broken by a knock on the door.

“Hi Mrs Mathur”, our neighbor and also the father of Avni’s best friend Latha greeted me.

“Hello Mr Dhawan, come inside” my husband joined me at the door.

“Hi Sushant, actually it’s about Avni, I think she broke Latha’s Bicycle”. We were taken aback at this allegation and waited for him to continue. “Latha came back with this broken basket and handle and tells me that Avni was last putting stones inside them even when she told not to”. Mr. Dhawan was not a friendly man ,I remembered .

“Avni, come here dear”, we both called her together. She came out and stood before us.
“Child, did you break Latha’s Bicycle?’ Sushant asked her lovingly. She look quite perplexed and denied. My husband looked at Mr Dhawan and smiled. Then he turned towards Avni and asked her again.

“No one will scold you beta, you can confess. It’s okay.”

“But daddy, I didn’t do it. I don’t know” she replied confidently.

“Maybe, it’s a confusion Mr Dhawan. Did Latha see her break it?” My husband now questioned back.

“Yes, and that’s why am here. Maybe you should start teaching your daughter not to lie “, he spoke angrily.

“Okay Okay, we will sort it out peacefully. I’ll pay for its repair. “ Sushant went outside with him to settle the bill.

“ Are you telling the truth Avni?”, I asked my daughter sternly. I recalled that few days back she had broken my glass utensil top and had tried to hide it from us. I was scared that she might be learning some bad manners from somewhere and it had to stop.

"NO Mumma, I haven't. how many times will you ask me?, she replied angrily and stormed towards her room and banged the door shut.I was appalled by her behavior and instantly knew she was hiding something.  I expressed my concern with Sushant when he came back.
"You should talk to her and get it out of her this time.Its not right for such a small girl to lie so easily." I was a bit anxious.
My husband walked in Avni's room while I stayed back to let them be alone.after 15 minutes, I heard a little shout and saw Sushant coming out of the room. he looked at me and shouted.
 "That little girl  has become so smart. and the way she talks back.What has gotten into her? what are we doing wrong Smitha?"

Avni followed her father into the living room and I saw no regret in her eyes. Sushant picked her up and again asked
"Why are you not you confessing you did it? Its OK. we wont shout on you even if you have done it. but its bad to lie.tell us na beta, please" My husband Begged.

"But daddy I didn't do it" she was adamant.

"Then how did Latha see you break it?, Is she Lying?"

Avni became silent at this question and stared at her father. " I ,,I,,I put", she mumbled something in her mouth.

"see, now she's silent. what should I think about it? He looked at me bewildered.

"let her stay in her room and we wont talk to her till she accepts her mistake", I passed my judgement.

Avni silently went into her room and I could see tears in her eyes. How much I wanted to go hug her and forget all this but I resisted. its time she learnt her lesson the hard way. its one think to do something but to lie about it at his young age, It has to stop,

Next day while I was putting my husbands breakfast on the table . I felt a tug on my salwar. It was Avni. Her face was dull and eyes were swollen. I couldn't resist and picked her up and kissed her on her forehead.

"Mumma, I did it.Okay. yes I broke her bicycle. please don't be mad at me. Sorry" 

I couldn't even hear the last part and I jugged her tight.

"Its OK, my accepted your mistake. that is more important. Promise you will never lie about it".
Through the corner of my eye,I saw Sushant listening to us and smiling. he too came and kissed Avni and promised her favorite pastry for her apology

All got settled and we got busy in our lives. 

A month passed and Radhika gave us a surprise visit. it was Sunday and we all were enjoying our hot Bhajjis and tea.
"Hey Bhabhi!, which is the apartment of Avni's friend.? that small girl with spectacles?" she enquired.

"Latha?, why?" I asked her.

"Arey! nothing. remember my last visit here.when I had gone to playground to tell Avni goodbye , I fell on that girls bicycle and broke its handle and basket. Nobody had seen me so I just went off. but today again I saw her and felt bad. so wanted to give her some chocolates and a new basket if her parents agree."

My husband and me were shocked to hear this. we stared at each other and then looked at Avni .She was looking down and tugging at her skirt while biting her lower lip.
My world got silent for sometime as I heard Radhika's voice going milder till I could hear nothing but my daughter's Sorry ringing in my ears.

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Circle of life

"Stop Please, I beg you. Its hurting" Sheila was crying on top of her lungs and begging her husband Viren to stop beating him.But, there was no pity in Virens eyes. they seemed to be blood thirsty and would not stop till his body was tired.

After about an hour of beating ,strangling and using almost all the equipment in the house to facilitate the beatings and sheila's momentary and failed attempt to run outside the house and seek help from the deaf neighbors.It finally stopped.

There was sheer silence in the house hold now. The daily chores had started already and it seemed as if nothing had happened a while ago. The kids were tugged to their grandmothers chest mistaking them for their mothers milk filled bosom. before they could find out the difference and begin squealing, the grandmother thrust the malnourished and naked bodies in the lap of their mother .

Sheila is woken up from her stupor and finds her children in her lap looking hungry as ever. after the beatings,she had pulled herself to the farthest corner of the house and went into a deep trance. a place she usually went to after getting physically abused by her husband. her head was bleeding and hands were swollen. there were red marks all over her body. how much she wished she could die after one of her beatings so that this pain could go forever. but Viren beat her only to the last possible limit . He was that cruel.

She looked at her two children, A son and daughter, who were now happily filling their stomachs with the nutritious mother's milk and tried to smile.they were her only piece of happiness in this hell called home.she knew what would happen to them if she died. Viren was already in the process of looking out for another bride who could give him the new love he desired. She knew what was her future, yet could not do anything about it. she had to live for her children.

what did she do to deserve this life? Uneducated as she was, she blamed it to her past life sins. She got up thinking she would work harder to change herself to the way her husband wants and maybe this beating would stop. She was brought up  listening to her mother that the life of a woman lies in the foot of her husband. She has to do whatever he says and surrender to all his wishes. There is no 'what a wife wants' in this society. At that age she would not believe to these things but after getting married, right from the painful first night to every beating she got for all her mistakes or rather for everything she did, there was no way not to believe in what her mother had told her.

she wanted to change this but she did not know how and had adjusted to her life. Her only satisfaction was when she would hear her friend from neighborhood crying out in pain when her husband beat her. she was not alone is what she felt.but she would also hear her friends mother-in-law sometimes coming in between and after the beating sympathizing with her Daughter-in-law. nevertheless, she could never stop her son from beating.

Sheila stood up from her isolation and finally went inside the house to confront her mother-in-law. why did she never came  to her rescue? even when she knows that Viren beats her out of no fault of hers. she wanted to know why she never said a word of love and pity and showed some concern. OK ,even if she was not her own mother, but in the end she was a woman. a woman cannot see other woman in pain.
In front of her mother-in-law, she stood, waiting for an answer.An answer which made all her curiosity vanish in thin air.An answer which bought a faint smile to her face, a smile that made her realize what she she would be in future. maybe that is the circle of life.

"Even I was beaten black and blue from your father-in-law when I was your age. Don't worry, your turn to watch will also come."

Its time to Rethink: Its a WE world

Imagine a scenario

All your family members have just reached home after a tiring day out. as you enter, you sit down on sofa or directly go to bed or bathroom for a hot bath. but where does your mother/wife/sister go? she goes into the kitchen to make tea for everyone and start preparing for dinner. Have you ever thought why cant she rest like us ? or for once have you ,being one of the men of the house considered going to kitchen and making tea for a change?
I don't think so. !
or in other case when any guests come to our house, the head automatically turns towards the women to bring tea or snacks for them. Are the men not a part of the family? even if the guests are in deep conversation with your sister/mother/wife, they are only expected to get up and serve the guests.

A girl in India is judged on how many religious hymns she knows ,or if she play any musical instrument, or if she can paint. Are these qualities more important than  how the girl is from inside? Isn't' a girl who has played sports her entire life and cannot draw to please the so called society, a good girl?  The parents introduce their daughters to their future In-laws not by her education or her career ambitions but by the number of dishes she can make or her 'hobbies'.
People  also judge a girl on what she wears,how loud she talks,her laughter, her trying to sit between the 'elders' of the family ( by elders I mean the 'men') and in every small thing she does. I have seen many men getting bothered by women who are smart and knows what to talk and when.
 If a girl is seen trying to give financial,career or property advice to anyone, she's never taken seriously. The females are meant to look after the house and males go out to earn money. don't you think this has changed a lot now? so why cant she bring her own experience into the family discussions?
If a woman has chosen to quit and look after her kids and family, she's becomes just a 'house-wife'. Respect her more because she has given up her life to see her family's dreams come true. that doesn't mean she didn't dream big. she has chosen this for herself and if she had not, maybe your dreams wouldn't have come true.

This is my way of pouring my heart out for small matters in our everyday life that we see but never think about it.

we all boast that India has become a lot more progressive towards woman . To some extent, the situation has definitely become better than yesteryear, but there is still a long way to go. The problem with our society is that what we preach a lot but when it comes to our own family we do not implement what we preach. Robots will be roaming around in sometime and here we are stuck on 'Oh my god! she doesn't know how to cook' . I am a married woman and I can proudly say that I cannot teach my children ,songs , religious hymns or even dance but I will definitely teach them to be a good human being and I think that is beyond everything.
 I am not fighting to get some equality or for woman rights. I will be happy if we are allowed to be as we want to be and to break this men-women stereotype.
The time has come to ReThink.
A son learns from the way his father treats his be a good model to him.Teach him to respect the women and teach your daughter to dream.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

One Life: Book review of The Story of a Suicide

I was preparing for my class 12th term examination for the next day, when my phone rang. It was my school principal. Being the head girl of the school, she had called me to inform very sad news. One of my teacher’s daughter, who was also my junior had committed suicide and hence the exams were postponed. I was so stunned to hear the news that I could not speak for few minutes. There were so many questions in my mind and I was regretfully remembering the time when I had scolded her. My last interaction with her was not so good. The next day we visited her house and I was shattered to see the sadness. Our teacher was crying like a small baby. There were no words to comfort a mother who had just lost her child.

That incident changed the teacher tremendously. she was well known in school for being a harsh teacher who gained happiness by punishing the students. But after this, she became so soft, that we all were sad to see her this way. The whole year I was there, I never saw her raising her voice again.

This incident left me wondering what goes into the minds of people who think of killing themselves. At that point they only think of getting rid of their pain either mental or physical, but they don’t think for once about the people they are going to leave behind. They have to live with the pain of losing them forever. With their mind always trying to find answers, like what went wrong and how did they fail to see that their loved ones were in trouble. That pain is worse than killing oneself.

The Story of a Suicide is one such story. I applaud the author ‘Sriram Ayer’ for touching this subject with such honesty and brutality. The story is simple but the way its told is commendable. He is successful is getting into the minds of the young and describes beautifully the cause and consequences of their actions. It was a gripping novel and one cannot predict the end.


Sam, Charu, Mani and Hari are four young students whose lives get entangled to each other when they all meet at a prestigious college, KIT in Chennai.
Sam is a self-proclaimed tech-genius who has recently been dumped for being too into social media and paying less attention to his girlfriend. Charu is a senior in KIT who is a feminist with an I-don’t-care attitude. She is very moody and one cannot really understand what is going on in her mind or what is troubling her. Mani has had a really tough childhood and has come this far by help from people who believed in his abilities. Hari has also been sexually abused in his childhood by his uncle and his friends and was never able to share this with anyone.


Sam and Charu hook up and Sam falls in love with her but Charu is not a girl to get committed and ignores him. Mani and Hari too realize their sexual orientation and express feeling towards each other and become a couple. Hari even shares his childhood atrocities with him. Sam is hopelessly in love with Charu and when he doesn’t get his love reciprocated, he starts doubting that Charu is having an affair with Alex sir. Being the geek he is, he plans a revenge on her misusing his genius brain to develop something to expose Charu-Alex affair. His actions lead to a very major twist that changes the life of all four. 

As I said earlier the story is simple but the incidents that happen along leave a mark on the reader. The author has succeeded in exposing the minds of the young. The jealousy to see your loved one with someone else, the feminist young girl who hates men and writes aggressive controversial posts on social media, the society who do not approve of the gay community, the parents who force their decision on the children by blackmailing them on their lives and the actions of the obsessed hot-blooded young men who can go to any lengths to get their revenge.  In all this drama, sometimes the innocent gets trapped and succumbs to the pressing situation.

I relate most to the chapter where Sam’s girlfriend leaves him because he is over obsessed with social media. In today’s era we have forgotten the real worth of people and have deeply entangled ourselves into the hands of web.

As young people, the magnitude of our action out of jealousy, revenge, sadness, humiliation or enmity is doubled. We don’t really think of the consequence s and just do what we want to do. The worst possible thing to do is to kill Oneself

Whatever maybe the circumstance, however big the pain is, Committing suicide is never justified.

Anyone who has the slightest idea that someone they know is thinking about it, should confront and counsel him/her to get out of it. The parents should not force their dreams and decisions on their children. Instead they should understand and even have discussions to see what’s going on their life and what’s troubling them before its too late.

The novel hits you deeply and gives a strong social message. I would definitely recommend this to everyone.

You can read the full story at : The Story of a Suicide.  It is also available in audio book format.

                                             The Ad is chilling and gives goosebumps.

 This post is written for The Story of a Suicide an IndiChange initiative by Indiblogger and NalandaWayFoundation.

Pic courtesy: The novel Illustrations by Ghana