Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Why do thy cry, o, ill-fated one?
In your dreams, your thoughts, you must’ve pondered.
Thou love was the country’s warrior son,
So into her arms he has wandered.
Why do thy cry, o mother of the brave?
You gave birth to the suffering soil’s son.
His life, to you, was a dream come true.
But dreams are short, reality has begun.
Why do thy mourn, his lovely neighbours?
Thou tears won’t take him forth
or back to you, for when he was called,
good bye were his last words and he gave no oath.
Why do thy mourn, people of his country?
He was no one to you, no one you have lost.
He was but another soldier, merely a name
of the many who die at your cost.
Why do thy weep, now that they are gone?
Melancholy moods and memories remain.
They came like the sunshine into your lives
and as you look on, left like the rain.
Why do thy weep, for what are these tears?
Are they mementos of that broken heart?
Are they shed for the lives yet to be lost?
Or memoirs of lives being torn apart?
Today you cry for the one who sleeps, while,
yesterday he cried for the one who slept.
And tomorrow you will cry for one
among you, until to cry, none will be left.
Why, why weep now when the next moment
you’ll hear a gunshot, never to cease?
And yet another face, another life, another tear
will be lost in this ridiculous war for peace.
You cry now, as though you were helpless.
But the truth narrates- you are to blame.
You shouted and screamed for more metal;
the soldiers fought while you played your game.
And now you cry and mourn over their loss
as under the soil’s blanket, safely they sleep.
Safe they are, from the wrath to befall you
as the war for peace continues and still, you weep.
Friday, February 15, 2008
25th June. Last day of my second semester holidays. I had to pack my bags and leave by the 2 ‘o’ clock train. My lovely month long vacation had ended and I wouldn’t be home for at least 6 months. Emotions running high, Amma (for ppl who don’t know amma is Malayalam for mother) trying her level best not to look too upset; all bags were packed, locked and we were ready to go. Achan (Malayalam for father) was supposed to reach home by 12:30. But as always work bogged him down and rushing at the 11th hour; he came hurrying at 1 ‘o’ clock. Rushing the baggage into the car it was VT station (Mumbai) ahoy. I really didn’t want to go back, especially not after fighting with Achan, but last minute rushes always got me tensed. The argument that ensued in the car was inevitable I guess. As much as both of us hated to fight, we hated admitting a fault. Like father, like daughter!
Now Achan was the kind of person who wouldn’t let his emotions take control of him; especially if it was the kind that led to tears. He would never cry. Or let’s say he wouldn’t admit it even if he did. Deep down I know he missed me when I left home, but he would NEVER let it show. Amma was near to tears. You could see the tears welling up but she was trying her best to keep a straight face. And Achan? He didn’t look the least bit sad. One could look at him and think he was going to see off his boss instead of his daughter! Me? I was talking to my brother, listening to last minutes of Hindi songs and trying not to think of the days ahead at college (I should probably mention here that I despised my college. If it weren’t for my roommates I would’ve dropped out in the first year!)
Amma finally gave in as we reached the station. My brother was still holding together. Achan was walking in front of all us with me tagging behind, my suitcase strolling along. And then suddenly, Achan turned around and held my hand. He gave me a huge smile and started walking. All of a sudden I didn’t want to go back at all. I hadn’t walked holding hands with my father for a long time; probably not after my 5th or 6th standard. Later he got busy with work. It was rare for us to go out on family outings anymore. Either he’d be busy or I’d have classes. And now, after all these years I had grown up. Grown enough to travel all alone from Mumbai to Chennai by train (in most families, this is still a big deal for a girl!) I was doing my second year BE and walking, holding my father’s hand. This might seem very trivial to you but somehow it felt like a big thing for me that day. Five minutes and a lot of crying later I was off. Back to Chennai. Back to college. Back to the hostel.
When the train reached Pune a few hours later, I saw this middle aged man walking on the platform with a little girl- his daughter for sure. The girl couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12 years old. I couldn’t help smiling even as I felt a tear roll down my cheek.
I so wish I could go back in time- to the days of the 5th and 6th standard when we used to go out together every so often; spend time as a family; when I had fun with my Achan. Everything just changes so much as you grow up. There are so many things you wish wouldn’t change but you cannot help it. Time just slips by and you stand there like a helpless onlooker wishing for it all to stop but then again, unable to do anything about it. And all you can think of is to say- that’s life!
And in the hustle bustle of your daily activities, you sum up all those feelings into just one line... i love you dad :)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The sky was a reddish orange. The bright yellow sun had turned into a dark orange and was preparing to go for a gloomy red, slowly melting into the distant horizon, hiding itself from the world around and pushing it into the sad darkness. The time was only 5:45.
Early winter breeze gently played with her hair as she stood outside the hostel gates gazing up at the flock of birds gliding towards the sinking sun in the darkening sky. She gazed up unhappily wishing she was one among those lucky birds who flew freely towards their homes- wherever it be. She gazed up enjoying (only partly) her last fifteen minutes of the world outside after which she was to enter the tall iron hostel gates that rose behind her. It was study time at 6 at the hostel and she was expected to be in her room. She could come out only at 7 the next morning. For one last time she looked at the fortunate flock, wished she had wings to fly and heaving a deep sigh, entered the hostel. The day had ended.
But then when had it started?? For days didn’t ‘start’ or ‘end’ anymore- they just kept on coming; repeating. Tuesday after Monday followed by Wednesday and so on; the monotonous cycle just continued because that was how it was supposed to happen. It never made any difference to her…now.
For her life had taken a HUGE turn. She used to be a free bird- with a huge circle of friends, jovial attitude, ability to think and speak independently, living life to the fullest, loving life to the fullest… but then, that was what she used to be. Engineering and life in her college was perhaps the worst thing that had happened to her. Her college stood upon certain rules and regulations- no… loads of rules and regulations; in fact, countless rules and regulations that could take the very soul out of a person. She knew that for the coming four years, life was not about living but surviving.
Does she sound like a prison victim? Or a war survivor? Well, almost. She felt jailed. In the name of education she was being harassed and to think she had paid for it all! The words used might sound too harsh or extreme, but for her it was still less said than what should be said. At times she felt like crying out in frustration. But then, who would she cry on? For the rest of them, her friends, room mates, were also going through the same thing- the never ending and daily replenishing list of rules, prying eyes of the squad, threats from lecturers and the ultimate deadly fate- meeting the directors...
She hated going to college, though coming back to the ‘emptiness’ of her hostel room was no happier a thought; but better still. Right now, standing behind the gates, as though trapped inside for life, she thought of her family- her mom, her dad and most of all her brother and a smile lit her face even though the distance they were at, pained her. Now she knew how lucky she is. Her mantra? The hope- that 4 years from now she’d be set free. She would then embrace life for the way it would be with a determination not to look back.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Half past eight, you open an eye.
One look at the clock & you let out a cry.
"Eye yo,late again", you stumble out of bed,
trip-down, crash; you got a bump on the head.
You rush 'bout the place; splash water on your face,
an hour and a bath later- ready for daily rat race.
Breakfast forgotten, you rush to the car.
Keys forgotten,you rush back-nothing good so far!
Hum a tune and you turn the first right,
it turns a whistle as you're stopped by red light.
You start again and dare a quick look at the watch.
"brilliant!" you think as your boss screams in your head; top notch.
Half an hour later,post a bad rendezvous
with the boss, your smile turns goofy; 'is this deja-vu?'.
Yet you keep up hope, "bad days aren't rare",
you get on with work with a small prayer.
As the day crawls by & things get in order;
you run around the place with better things to bother.
Things seem to be fine; of what's to come you have no hunch.
You order chicken and get broccoli for lunch!
And so starts again the next cycle of agony,
still you keep smiling, 'it's just a bad day honey!'
And so i have finally taken my best friends advice and decided to blog....and dedicate every meaningless bit of crap that i post here, to her :D
she has been telling me to do this for ages, so what better time than now...its her birthday on the 16th.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWATI!!! :D
(surprise surprise!!... now u know what your gift is!!)
and now for the 'weird' blog name that i have.. slateumchalkum is supposed to be pronounced as slate-um chalk-um which is slate and chalk in Malayalam... it took me 2 days to come up with this name(pretty long time for a pretty lousy name you'd think) after the humble slate and chalk that almost all of us must've used long back at an age where we confused our b's and d's and could not spell 'elefant' right; the black flat scribble pad on which mistakes where forgiven(hint hint!! :P). i chose to name my blog just that, for most of the stuff here will be scribblings (obviously not literally but don't blame me later if most of the stuff here don't make much sense,.. its a slate... ill try erasing it!! :P ).. and to show that the slate and chalk will not lose its charm despite the advent of the latest magic boards..
and like most beginners, i don't promise to be regular.. but will try my best to come up with something now and then..
until my next post...