Wednesday, December 31, 2008

what a day!!

While everyone has new posts out regarding the new year, i thought i'd bring out a post on the best day of my life.. my birthday!!!
and what wow fun it was this year,,..
i got THREE separate birthday parties!!! yay!!!
i want to thank all you nice people for dropping in your wishes... mmmuah!! and a big hug :D
and i want to thank kartz for sending me thisand also picking out this adorable teddy...

thank you soooo much karthi :) a HUGE thanks and hug :D

thank you niceguy251 for being such a darling and sending me a beautiful card. That was such a lovely gesture.. thank you ever so much!

and of course, my dear friend Vinay. Thank you for being such a sweetheart and posting this on CK.. i LOVED the poem... this is one the sweetest things anyone has done for me.. i can't thank you enough!

and there are so many other lovely people in the world i want to thank.. i dont want to miss out on anyone here.
rohit, megha, shilpa, swati, geri, shvetha, brindha, unni, vishnu.. you guys made my day extra special... what would i do without you?? love you.. ooommmah!!! also, arvind for wishing me almost everyday the whole of december :P aye... i like you so much ya! :D big hug to you too..
and also, my family, the bestest family in the whole wide world.. without doubt! ]
undoubtedly, i'm the luckiset prson in the whole universe (nope.. you guys dare not argue! :P)
anyway, here's thanking all of you for wishing me luck and love.. THANK YOU!
and this is for you :)

Friday, December 26, 2008


John had tagged me loooooong back with this.. was trying to put it off for as long as possible. considering it's the year end and richa has tagged me again, i thought i'd take it up. i've tried to be a smug smart ass with this though :P  

1. If your lover betrayed you what would your reaction be?
I'll kill him.. off with his head!

2. If you could have one dream come true which one would it be?
The one where i become Priyanka Chopra :P

3. Whose butt would you like to kick?
Arjun Singh! eeeeaaargh "pataaak"!!!!

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
geez... i have no idea! hmmm... maybe get a make over. everyone's getting one of those of late nai?

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
that's not something you can predict, is it? 
never have till now, but who knows what's to come?

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Loving someone and being loved by the same person.. that's blessed!

7. How long would you wait for someone you love?
Not very long, the moment i realize it's futile, i'll move on.

8. If the person you like is secretly attached, what would you do?
(i don't think i like these qs very much :| ) 
whine and cry about it, irritate all my friends, sulk for a few days and then move on. 

9. If you could root for one social cause which one would it be?
sexual abuse of the girl child.

10. What takes you down the fastest?
bad breath, talking to men who believe beauty is skin deep and when ppl tell me, ohh ur so chubby and bubbly! God how much i hate that!!!

11. What I loathe most in people
It's difficult narrowing down to one single thing you know :P
but picking one thing at random, i guess i'd say, hypocrisy. 

12. What's your fear?
that i'd never lose weight!!! :O
that apart, failing at something i desperately want.

13. What kind of person(s) do you think the person who tagged you is/are?
richa: strong, sensible, someone who doesnt fear to voice her opinions and a real babe who believes in the inner beauty of ppl. girl power go go!!
arjun: haven't got to know him much, but from what i know, a sincere blogger.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
ooooohhhh tough one! why why whyyyy can't i be married and rich??

15. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
scream at my dad for waking me up so early (early being somewhere around 9 :P)

16. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who would you pick?
the one who is absolutely crazy about me and adores everything i do.. that would be the perfect pick :)

17. Would you give all in a relationship?
i haven't till date, but henceforth, if there is one, i would want to.

18. What's eating you now?
MBA!!!!! eye yooooo :(

19. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
i answered 18 questions!! pls pls let me bunk this one? :D

20. Tag 6 people...
right so, if you guys haven't already done this, i tag

Monday, December 22, 2008

yay yay YAAAAAY!!!

first off, his highness kartz ;)  passed on this award to me.. yay yay!! thankooskoos :D =D

i'm keeping this one to myself :P  
cuz i'm in a selfish selfish mood!
cuz i'm damn damn happy!!
cuz it's december!!

and my friends came over a few days back and gave me a surprise advanced birthday party(YAY YAY!) .. so that i can celebrate my birthday throughout the month.
is that cool or what?? yay yay yaaaaay!!! i'm so so happy :D

 Tis' the season to be merry :D indeed!!

Update: stupid of me to not have mentioned... birthday's on the 30th.. yippeee!!! :D

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OH MY GAWD!! she's size ZerO!!

This is a post I should’ve posted ages back, but well I didn’t, out of fear that my close friends would call me a hypocrite. And now I thought I should. So here it is!

It was a fine Saturday morning. I wake up to the birds chirping, sun shining, coffee brewing, a nice smell ensuing, etc etc etc and I pick up the paper. As always, I throw away the main Hindu paper and spread the Weekend section in front of me to catch up on the latest Bollywood/Hollywood gossip. Lo and behold! The main story there is ‘Kareena Kapoor has attained size zero (taaliyan taaliyan!!). Personally I thought she looked horribly anorexic in the pic (apologies to all Kareena Kapoor fans but anorexic is a polite term I’ve used. The precise reaction that my brother gave after seeing the pic, if I remember right, was eeeugh!!) And of course, there was an entire write up dedicated to lolo’s or bebo’s or bimbo’s, or whatever that is she is called, feat. Bravo. Very nice.
And then, sometime later I was watching TV and I came across a very interesting report in one of the leading news channels (darn it, I don’t remember which one it was, would’ve loved to shred the channel’s name and reputation into tiny shreds of parched meat like pieces :P ) . Yeah so well they were excitedly talking about a movie to be released, Tashan (if they had known what an outrageous flop the movie was to be, I’m sure they wouldn’t have wasted so much time on it… or perhaps, going by the present state of news channels, they still would’ve!). And what were the two most important things they were discussing about the movie? 1. Kareena Kapoor’s new vital statistics. 2. Kareena Kapoor- Saif Ali Khan relationship. Wow! I would love to comment on point #2 but that would be digressing from the topic, so we’ll come back to oh-so-thin Kareena’s new size. The protagonist was gushing and blushing and basking in the glory of numerous compliments that were being bestowed on her by the pathetic host, fans, viewers and some ‘inside’ Bollywood people who had (surprise surprise!) to comment on something as dumba-dumb-dumb as this. And all this while, she looked like she was going to drop dead the next minute.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Kareena Kapoor. My fury is directed against all those people who are promoters of the size zero bandwagon. Pick up any issue of any woman’s magazine, and I assure you there will be at least one article on how to look sexy/glamorous/thin. Not fit, thin. Yes, I plead guilty; I’m one of those numerous people who are affected by the get-thin-to-look-good propaganda. No I am not thin. I know I’m not fat as per the norms of fat (as my friends have tried to tell me in vain) but in a world crazed by the size zero phenomenon, I’m obese :|   and that fact has not been a very comforting one. I may have been a good student at school, a good friend, a kind person, and have had numerous virtues but in a world obsessed with getting thin and looking fab, I was a loser. And trust me; I’m not alone in thinking so. I have known girls who were way worse than I was and who took this very seriously- slimming pills, crash dieting and going to gym till your body cannot take the stress any longer- all this is not new to any one. Most of them are very pretty girls, but God decided to let them have some meat on their bones, (oh no!). Seriously, so what’s the big hullabaloo about? 
Media, as always the culprit, and fashion shows have tampered with the definition of good looking so badly that it is no longer what it used to be. Good looking implies being in shape. And if that shape happens to be anything other than an hourglass shape- oops... you’re out! Staying fit, which doesn’t imply getting rid of all that is fleshy from your body, is a forgotten concept. Yes, I agree one has to look good when in show biz, but why the brouhaha about the size? I mean, I had never thought Kareena Kapoor was fat in the past, if anything, she looked better then! The heroines of yesteryears weren’t size zero, and well they looked far better than our present day heroines. So what’s my point? That the obsession with the whole size zero thing must stop. Not everyone is born a model, hell that’s why they are models! So Kareena Kapoor slimmed down- why the fuss? It’s not like she invented a machine that will blow up all terrorist camps with one click of a mouse (now THAT would be worthy of some fuss). If the present day media (and youth) stopped giving so much attention to looks and focussed more on basic intelligence, fitness, general awareness and overall development, we’d probably have a more informed generation next (that knows that our president is not Sonia Gandhi and that Bihar is not the capital of Uttar Pradesh and that Madras is not another name for South India, which is again, not a state), which is by all means a better thing than to have a circus of stick thin, weak anorexic women (and men too, wanting to look muscled up and beefy).
On that note, I’m going to have a cheese pizza and a chocolate ice cream.
(and to all those people who accuse Vidya Balan of being fat, screw you!)
Pic courtesy : bestpicsaround

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

yay yay!

tadaaaa!! and i have been awarded (*mwaah mwaah*), yet again by vinay/ leo.. (a mega huge thankooskoss to you :D)  i feel so happy :)  (*sniff*)

What is this Proximity award about? 

"This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

AND NOW, the passing on of the award to 8 dear dear dear people whom i have befriended out here :D

swati (cuz she is my bestest friend, and the best there ever can be!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It was Meera, Nafeeza’s neighbour’s daughter who had first told her about it the next day. ‘Nafeezumma, did you hear about the bombing and firing? Its all over the news, come home and see it on TV. There has been a terror attack in Delhi.’ Nafeeza hurried over to Meera’s house. There it was, the horrific images playing back to back on the TV. Images of blood splattered across the ground, clothes, shoes and baggage drenched in blood strewn across, relatives of the victims huddles up, their faces grief stricken, many of them crying, some too shocked to react. Fire and smoke were emanating from the building nearby. Nafeeza watched in horror as journalists and reporters frantically tried to brief the viewers on what had happened. ‘How can people do this Nafeezumma? How can people be so cruel? Look at that small kid crying! Why does this happen?’ Meera looked at her old and wise neighbour who always had answers for her. But Nafeeza could not say anything. Indeed, why would anyone want to do all this? She knew the pain of having lost a child. And now, probably two. Why?  She had no answer. Quietly cursing the evil times, she left from the place.
'Ameena, could you come here for a moment?’ Nafeeza called out to her daughter.
‘What happened umma?’ Ameena asked irritably. She was obviously annoyed at having been summoned when she was busy at whatever it was that she was doing.
‘Could you get me a glass of water child? I had a bad dream today’.
‘How many times have I asked you not to sleep during the day? You worry so much and you keep thinking about bad things, then why wouldn’t you have bad dreams? Hold on I’ll get you water’. 
‘I saw Afzal’, Nafeeza whispered.  
Ameena gave her the glass of water and pretended not to listen.
‘I saw Afzal in my dream Ameena. He... he doesn’t look well’. Nafeeza accepted the glass with trembling hands. She shivered slightly. She looked at Ameena for some response but Ameena remained passive. She appeared to not have listened to anything her mother had said. 
‘I’m talking to you Ameena. Can’t you hear me?  I’m telling you that your brother is not well and you choose not to listen? How can you not care?’
‘Umma! He’s been gone for 7 years now!! Seven years! We have no idea where he is, no letter, and no calls! If he were still alive, surely he would’ve tried to contact us by now! I’m tired of telling this to you umma. Please get this into your head once and for all.’
‘Afzal would never have spoken to me like that. He was not a good student but he was a good kid, my Afzal. He’d never have let you speak to me like that’, wept Nafeeza.
Ameena looked apologetic now. She sat next to her old mother, ‘umma, I didn’t mean to be rude or hurt you. You are worrying yourself for a lost cause. We’ve been trying to tell you for two years now. Haven’t we searched enough umma? See how weak you have become worrying yourself? Where is that old strong umma of mine? You’re not one to live a lie. All I’m saying is once you accept the truth you might be able to handle it better than being hopeful and worrying yourself. I love you umma.’
‘I have hope Ameena. That is why I’m still talking to you. I will never lose hope Ameena. Nothing and no one can survive without hope. Your brother is out there somewhere and I know he isn’t well now. I’m a mother, I’d know.’
Ameena shook her head. She has known her mother for 19 years. She was not one to give up so soon. And all along when the rest of the family was convinced that Afzal was no more in this world, Nafeeza never listened. She would always accuse them of not caring enough. That, had Ameena’s father still been alive, he would’ve found out about Afzal’s whereabouts. Nafeeza believed that her son was trapped somewhere with no means of escape and no way to reach them. And she fiercely believed in it.
Nafeeza was old and weak and arthritis had rendered her unable to walk without a limp. If it wasn't for her tremendous will power, she would've been crippled by now. But she wasn't someone to give up so soon. It has been years since her husband died and she had looked after her children all by herself. Her first son had died of a hole in his heart when he was only one. Now she had two daughters a son. The eldest daughter was married to a man and lived in Dubai. The youngest daughter, Ameena, had finished studying and was at home. Her uncles were searching for a suitable groom for her, which wasn't very difficult. Ameena was a beautiful girl, much like her mother and had many suitors. As for her son, Afzal, Nafeeza had no idea where he was. 
Three blasts-gun fires without ceasing-3 terrorists killed-2 still inside the building. Nafeeza was still trying to grasp the magnitude of the event the next morning when her brother ushered her into her room. ‘Did you see the news paper Nafee?’ 
‘No iqqa, I saw the news at Meera’s place yesterday…’ 
‘They are looking for an Afzal’, her brother cut her short. Nafeeza stopped abruptly. Her eyes shot at her brother, first with shock and then disbelief. She struggled for a minute to come up with the right words and then slowly said, ‘My Afzal would never be part of such an execrable deed. That is not how I raised him.’ 
‘Oh Nafee, we don’t know where he has been for the past 7 years. How do you know this is not our Afzal? I’m sure people are talking now Nafee. Everyone knows we don’t know where Afzal is. What do we tell them?’ her brother snapped.
‘Tell them the truth iqqa; that we don’t know where Afzal is. But the Afzal they are looking for is not my Afzal. I know for sure.’
‘Ha! Your Afzal was never good for anything. I don’t think I have any doubts. He is not good for anything else. He was insecure and ashamed of himself. He sounds like someone who would do something like this’
Nafeeza tried hard not to scream. ‘You thought he was dead. You all thought he was dead and gone. How can you be sure it is him now? You never appreciated the kid when he was here. Stop blaming him for everything. He is not with us now; leave him alone at least now! Let him be, please iqqa. I know my Afzal will not do such a heinous thing. He will not. He surely will think of his umma. He may have been an under achiever but he was a good boy’, fought back Nafeeza. ‘Leave me be iqqa. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. You can tell the whole world whatever you want to. But I know it isn’t true. My Afzal is a good boy’, she said storming out of the place.
There was not a single day that Nafeeza did not worry about Afzal and his well being; even before he had gone missing. As a child, he had been bad at academics while both his sisters where outstanding students. When his father was alive, he would always compare him to his sisters and mock him for being beaten by two girls. He was a subdued child, who preferred staying at home than going out to play. The neighbourhood children laughed at him for being a milksop. But in spite of all the jeering and sneering, Afzal preferred to stay at home, lost in his world of books and poems or talking to his mother. Nafeeza had a natural soft corner for this child of hers. She believed he was timid and was artistic, but artistic men were never recognized in their own time. She believed her son was special and had the makings of a great man, but her husband used to laugh at her when she told him so. ‘Haha! Afzal? No no Nafeeza, don’t fool yourself. He is a shy boy, not fully grown. He cannot survive on his own. Look at him; he prefers sleeping on your lap to getting dirty in the mud. He is a boy Nafeeza, a boy! How can a boy be so?’ he used to say. His father did love him, but never believed he had any special qualities. Nafeeza often suspected that her husband was ashamed of his only living son and that pained her. She loved Afzal more than her other children for he was always with her and seemed to love her more than he loved anyone else. She loved him more than anyone else because he was mocked at by the others, and she didn’t want him to feel neglected. Afzal was her everything. Yes she loved her daughters, but Afzal was special.
And yet, seven years back when one of his uncles had slapped him for not being able to get a job, he had left her without a word. Initially she had thought he had gone to the lodge nearby and that he’d return the next day. But he never did. She waited for days, weeks and months, hoping for a letter or call from her son but none came. The rest of the family tried to search everywhere, or so they said, but Afzal was nowhere to be found. They had no hopes anymore, not after these 7 years that a boy so attached to his mother could stay away for so long. They were assured that Afzal was dead. But Nafeeza didn’t believe that. Something told her he was alive, and now she worried for something told her he was in danger now. 
She was not going to believe her brother. What did he know? He never knew her son like she did. He would never do such a thing. So many murders? Surely he wouldn’t. He believed in the goodness of deeds. He was an artistic kid who loved the beauty of nature and its creatures. He could never kill someone. He was a timid and quiet boy, not a rebel. He wouldn’t bomb buildings and shoot at people. He wouldn’t even hold a gun in his hand. Why did he have to? He would think of her, his sisters and all those people who loved him and cared for him. But then, did he know how much they cared? Had she not shown enough care, given him enough love? Didn’t he know how it felt to lose someone you love? He had heard from Nafeeza; about how much she grieved his brother’s death. He would never kill anyone. No he wouldn’t. She was sure of that.
But the fact remained that he had been missing for seven years. Nafeeza knew nothing about his whereabouts or what he did for a living. What if??
NO! She dared not think about that. She might have had as well thought him to be dead. Dead and gone than be associated with such God forbidden evil deeds. She was confused and old and very weak. Her mind was playing tricks on her. Even if the entire world thought he was a terrorist, she wouldn’t believe them. She couldn’t believe things had come to this, her son, her only son, being termed a murderer. 
Even if it was him, it wasn’t his fault. He was a neglected child. No one had accepted him for what he was. That would’ve been the reason he was misled into everything. People would understand that, wouldn’t they? They’d forgive him. He was Nafeeza’s son, everyone loved Nafeeza. She was a nice loving woman and her son had made a mistake, that’s all. But to kill so many people? Was that a mistake? Should she report him to the police? But her only son! What if he was indeed dead? She would be torturing him even in his death. What was she to do?
And she cried, like she had never cried before. She cried for her Afzal, for her deceased husband, for her first son. She cried for everyone she had lost. She cried as the entire nation mourned the deaths of many innocent victims. She cried, hoping that would wash away her son’s sins. She didn’t want to believe it was her Afzal, but iqqa had been so sure of the accusation. What if it was indeed her boy? She cried for long and then slowly drifted off to sleep.
‘Umma!! Umma wake up. Its Afzal, Afzal is on TV. They are showing Afzal!’ Ameena’s high pitched screech woke up Nafeeza from her deep sleep. She had been dreaming of a happy family of four kids and a mother and father. 
‘Umma come to Meera’s house. There is something you have to see. Afzal… he is not dead. His photo is on TV. You were right Umma… he was in danger... He… he is in Delhi…’ she tried to mange before running off to Meera’s place again. 
Nafeeza sat still on her bed. Afzal’s photo was on TV. Her iqqa had been right. Her Afzal, her sweet child was a criminal?? Nafeeza felt numb. She had given birth to a criminal? He didn’t deserve to live then. But he was her son. Her favourite child, how could she will him to die? She was torn between morality and motherly love. She sat there, her eyes moist but too dazed to cry. And then she heard another yell, ‘Nafeezumma!’ She slowly raised her weak body from the bed and walked towards her neighbour’s house. What was there to see? Her son being branded as the most wanted man of the nation? What was left in it to see? She aimlessly walked towards the house. And there she saw him, his photo on the TV. She did not hear anyone around her as she looked at the face she had loved so much. She looked into the eyes that had given her hope and sunshine. And she slumped into a chair nearby.
‘Umma Afzal iqqa is a hero!!’ screamed Ameena. Nafeeza was suddenly shaken out of her trance. ‘What?’ she asked, perplexed. ‘Umma look at the caption! Local boy saves hostages. He helped the army! He is in the hospital but doctors say he will live. Umma, Afzal iqqa is a hero! The country is so proud of him!’
Nafeeza couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her son, her only son was a hero. She had been right all along. She had believed he was alive. She had believed he was not at fault. Her chest swelled with pride. It wouldn’t be long before she talked to her son again. He will come to her, as a man who has achieved something and he will get a hero’s welcome. All was well. She thought about her husband and brother, and a little smile spread across her wrinkled face. She hugged Ameena and Meera and cried. 
‘Why are you crying now Nafeezumma? Isn’t he fine? Aren’t you proud?’
‘Yes sweetheart, I’m proud. I’m very proud. I’m very happy. God is kind. I’m very happy’.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I, Woman Of Today

Forgive me mother, for I no longer stick to your ideals.
I have foregone the customary path.
Given in to the wildest of wrath,
Come out unscathed and
embraced all that you call fiend.

Forgive me father, for I’m no longer your little girl
or the delicate maiden you thought I’d become.
I am not afraid to walk out into the sun,
in the open to a world that was once scary.
None of those warnings intimidate me.

Forgive me my country of birth;
Forgive me if it is up to you.
For I do not believe endurance is my virtue.
I have endured enough, enough have I suffered;
Now I come of age, wary yet unruffled.

Forgive me world, for I have broken barriers.
I am no longer what you want me to be.
I am no longer the silent voice of mutiny.
For now I speak out in a voice loud and firm.
I fear not your stares or words of criticism.

Forgiveness I ask not of shame or defeat
Forgiveness I ask for I tread the forbidden path
I am no longer ‘the weak’ that you chose to disregard.
Long gone is the day when I wept in a corner.
No longer at your mercy, I am independent and stronger.


and after that looooong hibernation i have finally decided to scramble out of my big lazy burrow. so here's a very energetic HELLLLLOOOO!!! 
before i post anything i want to thank bhai (with that glass of delicious milky cut chai!), vinay, kartz, princess mia, arvind and trinaa for missing me and checking my blog for updates. here's a big hug coming your way for not forgetting me.... thank you!!!!!!
i have been really restless, irritated and irate of late due to innumerbale reasons and was hit by an unfortunate bout of blogger's block (:O tch tch tch!). poor me? yes i agree!
anyway... i knew i had to get back to blogging to keep myself busy.. so here i am.. (yay!!) and i'm sorry i'm out of date with all your blogs. will start reading everything i missed out on.. promise!
will post something tonight :)
(PS: can you get extra glasses of chai when you come, bhai? ;) 

Friday, October 10, 2008

In Wonderland

Helllooooooooo... female! Where do you keep drifting off to, every now and then? Did you even like, listen to what I said? 

Huh? Oh yeah... mmm... I think the pink dress would do just fine.. 

What? You want me to ask my boyfriend to wear a pink dress to the party? What’s the matter with you?

Oh! Oh... Mmm... Sorry I thought you were asking me what you should wear.

Err... Yes I did, like, 15 minutes ago! Now I asked you what you think Aman should wear. Gawd woman! 

Err... oh yeah... he... err… well I don't know... hmmm...

I know! He should wear that new blue shirt of his! He looks like, I don't know....he looks sooooo wow in that, doesn't he? Awww... Thanks for all the help babe!

Err… yeah... no problem. Any time!

Yeah... and you should maybe like consult the doctor or something... I thought it was plain day dreaming but girl you're like, you're absolutely losing it! It’s like, one moment you're here and then god knows where! Are you sleeping well? You’re not on one of th
ose diets are you? That’s like sooo not done re... doesn’t even help... that could affect....

But she wasn't listening anymore. She had drifted off already, into that private world of hers where no one else bothered her. The rest of them didn't know how good it felt to be all on her own, in a place that was custom made for her and her alone. She could live her own dream, free of all the daily worries that bogged her down. There were no bills to pay, no deadlines to meet, no entrance exams to crack, no pending phone calls to make, no unpleasant people to put up with, no relationships to bother about, no roles to play... nothing! Oh what a beautiful life she had there. If only that was real life! There was always a strange feeling of mental peace and content whenever she visited her own sweet wonderland. She could feel the warm sunshine on her face or the cool tickle of raindrops on her ears (or maybe sometimes both together) and enjoy it to her hearts will, all whenever she wanted it. There was no hurry to get anywhere. 
Time was but another option at her disposal.
She knew that she probably looked oddly foolish then, a dazed faraway look on her face (and that goofy smile she wore that she was totally unaware of). But she couldn’t care less. She was not happy in real life, she owed at least this much to herself, didn’t she? A moment or two (hmm...or maybe ten, twenty, err… fifty?) of tranquillity to a mind that is often tormented by evils of worldly bonds and commitments- not much of a compromise, is it? People say it’s alright to dream when you’re in love. But that is reel rubbish; who has the time and freedom to dream in real life? And if it’s okay to look like an Eskimo lost in the jungles of Zaire when you’re ‘in love’ why not otherwise? Who would know the difference anyway? 
‘What’s up with her? Why does she look like an Eskimo lost in the jungles of Zaire?’ 
‘Oh she’s in love’ 
‘Aaahhh... Understandable’ “wink”
There! Problem solved! 
Right now she was drifting through the clouds, far above the Himalayas… hey! There’s Julian, the great monk who sold his prized Ferrari… oh wait! Is that Brad Pitt with him? Ohmigosh! Brad Pitt!! So he left Angelina Jolie to be a monk? Geez! hey Julian! yoohooo!! 

Ahem…hello?? madam??? Did you even like, listen to what I said?  

 Oh sorry... I was thinking of Brad... err… bread… didn’t have breakfast today.

Aaahhh... I knew it... diet again eh? Stupid female! Blah like blah
 like like blah…

Cruel world... doesn’t even let a person dream in peace!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Faded Colours

His life wasn’t all bad. But it was not exactly what you’d call extraordinary. He went to college, like everyone else; was an average student, like everyone else; had a decent number of friends, like everyone else; went out for an occasional booze party, like almost everyone else; all in all, life was good. But at times he felt there was something lacking. Something told him that his life could be a lot more colourful had it not been for that missing element. And he couldn't understand what it was.
He talked about it to his best friend. Well, best friend because he spent most of his waking hours with the person, and not really because he confided everything in him. His friend suggested maybe it was because he had no girlfriend. Most of the people his age had girlfriends, not any of his close friends but that was just because either they were not interested in the daily drivel associated with relationships, or preferred booze to girls or well, they had no takers. But him? He just had not felt that way about any girl. He didn’t have the so called Greek God looks but he was fairly good looking, presentably so. He had loads of friends, but none so intimate that he thought he could spend the rest of his life with or even attractive in that sense of the word. He considered this possibility for a while… well, it did sound plausible but then he was not the lovelorn types so he dismissed the idea almost immediately. Yes it would be wonderful to have a girlfriend, to have someone you found attractive, charming, loveable, smart, and all that, all at the same time. But that couldn’t be the reason for this void feeling. That was stupid.
And that’s when he met her. Social networking sites have proven to be better at match making than matrimonial sites of late. As the trend goes, it worked for him as well. It was not love at first site (or first chat). It was a feeling that grew gradually and beautifully. He didn’t remember when it first hit him that he was attracted to this childlike yet occasionally mature whimsical girl. She was not ideal; she was not without flaws. But he couldn’t see them. He was the laconic, subdued guy and she was the animated, chatty girl. He was the guy who always obliged, never got on the wrong books of anyone, never hurt a fly while she was the girl who always spoke her mind. He was the patient listener; she, the vivacious speaker. He was the level headed bloke; she, the spontaneous spitfire. She filled his life with music and colour. She talked about places he had never seen, people he had never met, tunes he had never heard and cultures he had never known. He was amused by her endless stream of topics and her inexhaustible energy. He fell in love with her love for life. He knew then what had always been missing in his life. No, it wasn’t a girlfriend. It wasn’t just any girlfriend. It was her. It was her zeal. It was her presence. Was he in love? He couldn’t tell. For he knew not, what was love. But for now, he knew she was the single most important thing in his life. It was like his life had a renewed meaning now that she was in the world. He did not feel the void anymore. Nights were filled with the sweet tone of her voice; dreams were filled with the hues of her moods; and morning was another reason to talk to her, to see her.
And so they remained, for quite a long time- inseparable. He suddenly discovered a talent in him that he had never known existed before. He took to painting. He was, unlike her, the kinds who did not pour out his feelings to his near and dear ones, so he found another way to vent out his feelings. The sunshine that she was shone in his paintings; yellow and orange a beautiful mix. The night skies in his paintings lighted up with silver stars that were her laughter. It burst onto the trees as cherries in his next. Her hair ruffled in the wind that blew the scarf off the little girl in his painting. He listened to her as she spoke and he drew her in his paintings. He listened to his paintings as they spoke to him. A time came when he knew not what he loved more, her, or his rendition of her. Love, is such a beautiful thing.
But, somewhere down that beautiful cobbled street, he failed to listen to her completely. Mesmerized by all that she was and all that he wasn’t, he did not see it. He did not see that she was the butterfly who went from flower to flower, giving it reason for existence. The flowers bloomed, bore honey and coloured the bushes in wait for the butterfly; it gave them a purpose, a meaning to life. The flowers lived when it was graced by its touch. It meant no harm, but it could not stay on forever. It had its own reasons perhaps, or maybe it didn’t. But the flowers had to live on.
It was late when he saw the signs. Her laughter did not sound so merry anymore. The colours started fading. His paintings started a transition from yellow to brown. The night skies became pitch black. The morning sun had set and the eerie moonlight cast ghostly shadows in the deserted alleys of his paintings. The bright sparkling waters became dark and still. The bells didn’t toll. The music stopped. The little girl in his painting had tears in her eyes.
There was a note where they had found him lying- still as a rock and cold as a stone, bathed in a resplendent blend of colours. His palette lay beside him, upturned and empty. There was only one line in the note – ‘my paintings; they stopped loving me.’
And somewhere a girl lost her laughter, silenced by a cruel fate.

pics courtesy: lizzy forrester

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Divya Needs...

I've been tagged by the great one blessed with an extra funny bone, Chriz. this is funny, simple and easy, and since i have no new posts in mind, this becomes a reason for you guys to still keep coming.. 
-----> help! i'm dying : (  
here's the thing- i type my name followed by needs (divya needs) and google it and list out 10 of the answers that Google God gives me. 
so here goes!

1) Divya needs advice - Muscle Building & Natural Bodybuilding Forum
    - yes i can do with some advice but err... no not this kinda! 

2) Divya needs to explain everything to Amar.
    Amar who???

3) Madhuri and Divya doesn't need plastic surgery because they were born as the natural beauty. 
    - yeah... well.... *blush blush*

4) Divya needs. submissions. Deadline is first Monday after Spring Break.
    - uh huh! you heard that!

5) Divya's "Helmet Hair Ishtyle needs to go... ASAP!!
    - helmet hair? me??!

6) divya needs a stylist desparately !
     - oh no : (  i don't like the way things are headed now.

7) divya! ur ass needs to come home like rite now!!! I miss you!!!
    - aaaaawwwwww : ) that's so sweet : )  : ) 

8)  Divya needs to slap the shit out of Priya.
    - errrmmm.... priyaaa!!! i'm so so sorry : (

9) Reasonably good-looking Divya needs to concentrate on expressions more, though she did quite well in nrittam
    - you know.. i am selecting the best answers ; ) 

10) divya needs some new hair ...
      - no no!!! i LOVE my hair!! why's everyone after my hair?? :' ( 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Making a Difference...And How!

Girl 1: Sadhana (6-7 years of age)

Father-carpenter. Mother- works as a household maid. Originally from UP. Settled in Chennai. Both brothers study in English medium schools. Father drinks up his earnings and a good share of the mother's money. The rest hardly suffices for brothers' education and two meals a day. Domestic violence is a daily affair.

Girl 2: Keerthana (5 to 6 years of age)

father-passed away. Mother- works as a household maid. 1 brother, 1 co-brother (born of the second wife of father- this fact Keerthana is unaware of), both brothers studying in English medium schools, financial status of the family is too poor to support Keerthna's education.

Girl 3: Kalaiselvi (10-11 years of age)

differently abled by birth. Father- works at a flower shop, mother-works as a household maid. 2 brothers. One working for daily wages. Much of the meager earnings are spent for Kalai's treatment. Not much is then left for her education.

Girl 4: Sridevi (11-12 years of age)

father-passed away. Mother-out of work. one sister-discontinued studies after the 8th std and works currently. Tsunami victim.

Girl 5: Jansi (10-11 years of age)

father-works at a cycle repair shop; chain smoker. Mother-works as a household maid. No steady income for the father. Domestic violence is a routine affair. Brother in the 6th standard. Meager wages for the mother.

And there are so many more similar cases. These girls were among the few who I met at the Olcott Memorial High School. This is a free school for the poor; free in every sense of the word-right from breakfast, lunch and pure drinking water to books, uniforms and bags to a free learning environment. So efficient and loved is the school that it was termed ‘a school for the poor that the rich may envy’ by

I had recently been to the school where I spent an afternoon with some of the girls. It was such a wonderful experience! They were all too enthusiastic to talk to me; to tell me how important the school had become for them, that if it were possible they would continue to study there for the rest of their lives. If it weren't for the school, these girls would've had to probably lead uneducated childhood lives doing household work or grow up, oblivious to the existence of alcohol/drug abuse treatments and get married off to a drunkard, who would then treat them like dirt. Thanks to this school however, now, Sadhana wants to be a doctor, Keerthana- a police woman, Sridevi- a collector and Kalaiselvi, a software engineer. Education, I believe, can turn the world around.

Apart from other things that the children thought were unique to their school, there was one person whom the children held in high esteem and who, they believe, and now, so do I, is the heart and soul of the place- the headmistress of the school, Mrs.Lakshmi Suryanarayanan. Truly speaking, there are very few people like her in this world. Let me tell you why I say this, for instance, take this one case. She gave up her job in a school in Mumbai to become headmistress of Olcott School, 10 years back. She was paid Rs.25000 then. Now she is paid Rs.5000.

I have never, in my entire life, ever, seen so much dedication and love for one’s job. She was a lovely woman, quite unlike the headmistresses I’ve seen in the past, who were either too stern or too busy to meet. A charming woman, her grey hair tied in a bun, she had an aura of sophistication with an unmistakable air of affability about her. Even while I was in her office, I saw a few children who came to her with problems such as no school bag or a bullying brother. I was amazed at how she tended to all of them with such love and patience in her voice, like a mother and her child. Mind you, I’m talking not of a class teacher; but the head of the entire school!

Excited that I had gone to the school to learn about the school and meet the children, she gave me a detailed account of all the schools’ accomplishments and how far the school has come since its start in 1894. She is also a chief trainer with the Asha Foundation. A woman who has truly laid down her life for the service of the poor and needy, this terrific woman doesn’t even consider her life a sacrifice. She modestly claims that her service is no sacrifice for she has been provided with a beautiful house within the campus of the school and above all, she believes that the love of her children and the staff means much more to her than money and material wealth. There was not even a glint of artificiality in her tone when she said so. After tea at her place, she showed me, with such childlike eagerness, all the educational artifacts like puzzles, story tags, etc that ex students of her school had made for use in the school. It was endearing to see her devotion to the cause. And needless to say, very inspirational too.

This post probably does not tell you much. Honestly, I can’t tell you how happy I was to spend time with those tiny tots who have probably gone through a lot more than most of us in life. We, the lucky ones, sitting in our air conditioned offices/homes, commuting by cars, owning cell phones and laptops are unaware of the hardships faced by these tender aged blossoms. I don’t know how to put to words, the zeal and commitment that flickered in the eyes of the headmistress. I really can’t find the right way to tell you how beautiful a feeling it was to be thanked by those girls for having visited them and shared with them an anecdote and toffee or two. Perhaps, if you got the chance to do so too, you’d know too!

photo courtesy :,

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Blessing

Devipradesham is a small village in the interiors of Kerala. Almost all of Devipradesham is green - vast carpets of paddy fields, fresh fruit smelling banana plantations and of course the coconut trees. There are only a few inhabitants; almost all of them farmers, who tend to their fields. The people are simple with simple needs, unaffected by the nuclear deal or the economic growth or fall. Devipradesham is and has always been a fertile land, and that keeps the people happy. They have always had their steady source of income… come rain or sun. For them, life is always normal. The rich people of Devipradesham have sons and daughters in Mumbai and London and America. They never stay in Devipradesham anyway, apart from occasionally sometimes when they like to come for vacations or when they have some property dispute. 
It is a small place; a happy place. The people attribute to the main deity of the region- The Devipradesham Bhagawathi (the goddess of Devipradesham) or simply Bhagawathi. It is said she is a powerful goddess. When happy, She blesses in generosity and when crossed She punishes severely. Evidently, the people of Devipradesham kept Her happy and She saw to that the people were blessed in abundance of prosperity and peace.

The priest of the Bhagawathi temple is the most respected man in Devipradesham. And then there is the oracle, the Velichappadu. With a red cloth tied around the waist, sword and anklet in hand, bells jingling as he enters a frenzied hysteria of movements in an almost mad man like dance, his long hair let loose, the Velichappadu is the messenger of Bhagawathi. He tells the people when She is angry. But things have been peaceful for a long time now.

Entertainment is maybe an old Prem Nazir or MGR movie that plays once in two weeks in the old run down ‘Nanuttan Talkies’. Everyone in Devipradesham knew and liked each other. One hardly heard of any fights or brawls except for maybe when there is a huge difference of opinion during the daily rendezvous of the males of Devipradesham at the ‘Kallu/Toddy’ hut. But they never carried grudges. They were all good people and everyone knew that.
 Well, this is the case now. And has always been the case except for one time. There was one woman who the people of Devipradesham didn’t like. She had stayed on in the old tattered hut on the outskirts, far behind the temple of Bhagawathi. Mothers told their children that Lakshmi would cut off their noses if they didn’t eat their food. Lakshmi was evil; not one to mingle with.
Veena Warier was a budding psychologist. Her grandfather was from Devipradesham. Her dad had moved to the city after marriage for his job. She had only heard about Devipradesham from her grandfather but had never been to the place. She had heard of the fields and the people and the temple and its festivals. She had heard of the tales of miracles of the Goddess and the Velichappadu who slashes his forehead with the sword smearing it with his blood. A budding writer, she wanted to capture the beauty of Devipradesham in verses of her own. 
She wanted to tell the world about this peaceful simple village and its many tales. She wanted to narrate to her friends, the magnificence of the idol of the Bhagawathi. And so, one day she decided, she had to go to Devipradesham. And so she did.
It was around 7 one morning at Devipradesham. Veena was at the tea stall or ‘chaaya kada’ after her morning walk. She was staying with Unni uncle, son of one of her grandfather’s old friend. The house she stayed in wasn’t a big one but Unni uncle and his wife Janaki aunty did their best to keep her comfortable. He had asked her not to go to the tea stall because girls of her age didn’t do so but a whiff of the early morning milky tea and parippu vada had drawn her  to the place one morning and she was addicted to the place since then. 
Kanaaran, the tea stall owner told her stories about the people of Devipradesham. He was a nice man, well into his late forties. But of course, no matter how sweet he was, free tea was never an option! One such morning when Veena was savouring her milky tea treat, a lady in rags crept next to her. Veena didn’t see her at first. A low, throaty voice had startled her, ‘could you please buy me some milk?’ Before she could say anything, Kanaaran shouted at the lady away from the stall.  ‘Chi, naasham! Go away, shoo! You aren’t supposed to be here. Get lost. 
Go on now.’ She wore a fading grey cotton saree, torn in places. Her hair was a tangled mess. She seemed to have a problem standing up straight. Her hands and legs trembled and she looked very frightened of something. She stood there, looking at Veena, her eyes pleading, ‘Please could you buy me some milk? It’s for my baby daughter.’ But Kanaaran shooed her away before Veena could do anything. ‘Real pain she is’, Kanaaran said after the lady had left. ‘Don’t you talk to her, she is bad omen. Brings bad luck to everyone.’
‘But she was only asking for milk for her daughter.’
‘Oh don’t believe that. She doesn’t have a daughter. I told you, she is mad. She keeps seeing things no one else can see and keeps hearing voices no one else can hear. She’ll try to meet you again. You are new here. But steer clear of her. Cha! She spoilt my morning.’
‘What’s her name?’
‘Lakshmi. Now don’t ask me more questions. I have a lot of work.’
Veena left then. But something troubled her. She kept thinking about Lakshmi. Something about her eyes had deeply touched Veena. Her eyes had seemed so genuine. There was genuine despair; genuine love for a daughter; genuine concern. She seemed in real need for some milk. Veena found it hard to believe Kanaaran’s story. Somehow, to her, Lakshmi was not lying. Lost in her thoughts, Veena was walking slowly towards Unni uncle’s house when someone tapped on her shoulder. Shocked, Veena turned around to stare at Lakshmi’s face. She caught hold of Veena’s arm, her eyes wide, darting from left to right. ‘Please, do something… my daughter… she is crying… no food… crying…help…please’, Lakshmi blurted. Veena stumbled, frightened, she pushed Lakshmi and ran; Lakshmi’s voice still ringing in her ears.
Veena couldn’t sleep for a few days. Lakshmi’s distraught face kept giving her nightmares. She couldn’t write those beautiful descriptive poems she wanted to write about Devipradesham. She found it very strange, but something about Lakshmi struck her as odd. Maybe it was her degree in psychology urging her to look beyond what seemed apparent, to understand the person that Lakshmi was. Then again maybe, she was being overly obsessed with a lady who was indeed hallucinating.
At lunch the next day, Veena asked Janaki aunty about Lakshmi.
‘Lakshmi? Poor woman. The villagers banished her a long time back. Being an outcast can drive anyone mad.’
‘What about her daughter?’ asked Veena.
‘Daughter? She doesn’t have a daughter. Although she thinks she does. She had given birth to a dead baby. People say that drove her mad. Poor woman, she used to be such a beautiful girl, you know? Very pretty and a very nice lady too. Fate, what else can one say?’
‘What about her husband?’
‘She was never married. Nobody knows who did such a terrible thing to her.’
‘Didn’t anyone ask her? No one cared to find out?’
‘That’s all a long story Veena. There were many accusations made. It was all very messy. I remember the day she was banished. Bhagawathi had been so right! Few months after she was banished, she gave birth. And that too to a still born girl child! All bad signs. But Bhagawathi saw it all and warned us. We had to banish her, or else she would’ve ruined the entire village’s blessings.’

‘What?? Bhagawathi foresaw it? She told you?’ asked a baffled Veena.
‘Yes. Lakshmi was a devout Bhagawathi devotee. One could always see her at the temple in the morning and evening. You have seen the Velichappadu, haven’t you? One evening the Velichappadu of that time got very angry during his thullal. He predicted Bhagawathi was very angry. We were all very scared of course. That had never happened in a long time. All our wealth and happiness is Bhagawathi’s blessing after all. She sent the message through him that Lakshmi had sinned and that if she wasn’t removed from the village soon we all were to suffer. The priest immediately arranged for it all to be done. He was a very strict man. A lot of people were punished and ways set right during his time. And that Velichappadu was the best seer that Devipradesham has had. The priest and he were very close to Bhagawathi. We were all forewarned of the wrath to come because of them after all.’ ‘Amme… Devi… Mahamaaye’, Janaki aunty prayed.
Veena was amused by the superstitions of the people. She didn’t like what she heard of the priest and the Velichappadu. But the people believed so strongly in them and their Goddess! ‘Isn’t all this a bit too difficult to believe aunty?’ she risked the question.
‘You townsfolk will never understand. Devipradesham Bhagawathi is very powerful. She knows everything, sees everything. It is She who gives us in plenty so we all obey her. She talks to us through the Velichappadu so we obey him and the priest of course.’
‘And so you banished Lakshmi which is what drove her into madness.’
‘I’m not arguing with you. Lakshmi was banished because she was a sinner. Her punishment is her madness.’
But Veena had a strange intuition. She somehow wanted to prove her wrong. For some reason unknown to her, she wanted to see justice on Lakshmi’s side. What was wrong with her? Who was Lakshmi? Why did she feel so attached to her?
The next day morning she was at Kanaaran’s chaaya kada again, asking him about Lakshmi’s tale. He seemed a bit annoyed, as though he was reminded of a personal tragedy but obliged nevertheless. ‘The priest and Velichappadu then, were staunch believers. No one has known Bhagawathi the way they have.’
Veena couldn’t get much more out of him. She couldn’t believe him and neither could she completely believe in the Bhagawathi being such a visible power. Blind superstitions, she thought. She was about to leave when he said, ‘but it is queer how they died a very strange death. The priest tripped inside the temple and fell on Bhagawathi’s sword. Freak accident you might say. We found him at her feet, his head drenched in blood. And the Velichappadu died from the wounds on his forehead. That never happens. A Velichappadu always slashes his forehead with the sword in his hand. That’s the ritual.  Nothing ever happens to them but for a wound. No one knows how that could’ve happened to him. It’s as though, Bhagawathi had punished both of them for something… but that’s unlikely, they followed her every command and were very pious.’
Veena shuddered.
She got some milk from Kanaaran. She had to meet someone on her way home.
Lakshmi’s tattered hut was behind the Bhagawathi temple. Veena had an eerie feeling going to the place, crushing thick bushes and wild grass under her feet. The place looked every bit neglected. ‘Lakshmi?’ she called. ‘Lakshmi I have got milk’ and as an after thought added, ‘for your daughter’.

She heard something fall inside the hut and then Lakshmi appeared at the door, or what was once a door. She peeped outside first. Veena didn’t miss the mixed emotions on Lakshmi’s face. She looked confused first, then her eyes shot up in amazement, then there was fear in them and then tears.
‘Here, take it.’
Lakshmi hurried towards Veena, snatched the bottle from her hand and rushed back in. Veena followed.
There was nothing inside. Veena saw four or five old utensils, a few spoons and a jug. She saw a mud plate with a burnt wick and a form made of clay in front of it. What sort of mad woman worshipped God and lit lamps for idols? And then she saw a cradle. Hung from the ceiling with a pair of coir, the cradle was an old lungi tied at both ends. Lakshmi was standing in front of the cradle; Veena couldn’t see properly as she had just come in from the sun. As her sight adjusted to the dark room, Lakshmi returned the empty bottle to her and smiled. The smile looked out of place on her rugged appearance but Veena could see what Janaki aunty meant when she said Lakshmi was once a beautiful girl.
‘The baby stopped crying. Thank you’, she said.
Veena smiled. ‘Let her sleep then’. Veena didn’t know what else to say. She wondered why she came there. She felt stupid. What was she thinking? This is a mad woman! What if she just stabs her then? Or hurt her in some way? She was about to leave when Lakshmi spoke, ‘Bhagawathi Herself sent you to me’. No one has spoken to me in 23 years.’
Veena didn’t know what to say. Up close, Lakshmi hardly seemed mad. Tears welled up in her eyes.
‘You are the first one who stands so close to me. I am not mad you know. After the priest banished me, I have been called mad. But I am not. I have not sinned. He did. Why would Bhagawathi punish me for what he did? But she punished him! She took his life didn’t she?’ and she laughed; a strange mad woman like laughter. Veena was beginning to see why people avoided Lakshmi. If she wasn’t mentally deranged, solitary confinement had upset her for sure. She felt scared.
‘Are you scared child? Don’t be! You helped me. You are from Bhagawathi. I won’t hurt you! In fact, I won’t hurt anybody. I never could. But he banished me for fear that I would ruin his good name. And Bhagawathi punished him! People think I am mad because I tell them I have a daughter. But they pretend not to see my child. Wouldn’t I have gone mad if I didn’t have my baby? They told me my baby was dead when she was born. I cried so much that night! I had no one. They had banished me. My parents didn’t want me. He didn’t want me. And now my baby was dead! I cried all night. I asked Bhagawathi what I had done wrong. Did I not pray everyday? Did I not do everything to keep her happy? Did I not go to the temple everyday? I did! Did I not believe in her? I did! Was I not nice to everyone? I was! And yet she took everything away fro me… she took my baby away from me!’
Veena wanted to run away from there then. Lakshmi seemed to be talking to someone after a long time and she had a flurry of emotions coming out of her. Unable to contain her fury and her agony, her feelings that had been bottled up for over two decades came rushing out. Veena didn’t know why she came there, what strange feeling had brought her here? What queer sense of attachment had she felt for Lakshmi? Was it all just the qualms of the psychologist inside her? Or was there some power beyond her controlling her then? What rubbish! Devipradesham and its people have made me superstitious too, she thought. But then, she did feel a weird sense of belonging, didn’t she? What was it all? She tried to edge away from the place but Lakshmi caught hold of her arm.
‘No don’t leave yet! Don’t you want to see my baby?’
‘But you don’t have a baby!’ Veena shouted. ‘For god’s sake woman wake up! Your baby is dead. It always has been!’
Lakshmi stopped abruptly. Her lips quivered. Her eyes darted. Veena thought she was going to either break down or faint.
But suddenly her face hardened. She closed her eyes and spoke, ‘no. they told me it was dead. And they all left that night. I cried all night. I pleaded to Bhagawathi. What sin had I committed? And you know what happened? She told me my baby was not dead. She told me to sleep and I did. I woke up next morning to find my baby fast asleep in that cradle. They had lied to me. My baby was alive. She told me.’
Veena had had enough of this craziness. She was mad enough to come to the woman’s hut let alone listen to her tales of hallucination. She felt stupid to have come. The woman was evidently mad.
‘Ok I’m leaving’, she said.
But Lakshmi tugged at her arm, ‘please come and see my baby before you go. She had been crying for two days. You quietened her today. Please bless her before you go.’
And Veena decided to oblige. She could see herself smiling stupidly and blessing an empty cradle but she thought she might as well do this one last thing before she left Devipradesham the next morning. And as she walked towards the cradle she noticed the bulge in the cloth. She could see the dim silhouette of something inside. There was something heavy inside. The lady must’ve placed bricks in the cradle, Veena thought. And then, to her shock and horror, she saw it and she felt like she was hit by a bolt of thunder. The cradle was empty. There were no bricks; there was no baby- just an empty cradle that weighed down. She gaped, tried to speak but nothing came out. Lakshmi stood by her side, smiling, ‘isn’t she beautiful? She is Bhagawathi’s blessing; her miracle.’
Indeed thought Veena, as she stood there unable to comprehend the situation.   There was something in the cradle that apparently only Lakshmi could see. Was she turning superstitious? Was she hallucinating now? No, she knew she wasn’t. Then? What was the possible explanation?
‘If it weren’t for my baby, I would’ve gone mad, I would’ve died. So Bhagawathi sent her to me’, said Lakshmi.
Had She? Had She indeed punished the priest and the Velichappadu? Had She indeed blessed Lakshmi with the sole purpose of her being? Then why couldn’t anyone else see it?  And what was Veena to do with all this?
‘Wha… what's her name?’ asked Veena in a barely audible croak.
Lakshmi looked at her and smiled, 'Veena'.

photo courtesy: challiyan, jk10976,self