Monthly Archives: August 2013

those scratched out things

writing one good piece,suddenly is an easy task.But continual writing,good or bad, is not at all that easy.There is never any dearth of thoughts.They seem to appear as easily and spontaneously as moulds on a bread;quick to grow,blotchy and many times a trouble.Life would have been so easy had there been a way to control these thoughts-a switch to turn the flow on when we want and off when we don’t.

How to separate so many interwined lines of thoughts!Those empty sheets of paper stares at her face as she sifts through numerous things that she wants to phrase.She thinks about that man whom she spotted on the bus stand today.He was a middle aged man,with grey hairs streaking his temple.He held a neat rectangle of a newspaper in his hand.His shoes were shiny and his trousers had just the right crease,may be his wife is very particular about the ironing,she thought.Most probably he works in one of those big offices that line the roads of this place.His face looked tired in the morning sun.Did he have a late night party and a hangover or may be a fight with wife?Does he love his wife,take strolls together or do they link their arms only when they know people are watching?Isn’t this how most of our lives are lead,doing the right thing when we know we aer being watched,conforming to accepted believes,accepted norms,accepted ways.We never do what we actually want to.In all issues,big and small,it happens,and happens most of the time.Forget about those big happenings of not going into the course of our choice or not marrying the person of our choice because Society created a problem.Looking into the more mundane things,how many times did we actually smile at a person when we wanted to yell and swear!How many times in a buffet dinner did we stop ourselves from a second helping because we were uncomfortable our Society’s raised eyebrows!Hasn’t every action of ours been altered to the convenience of this thing called Society?Even when we write,don’t we try to gauge how are others going to react to this,how good or bad will it be thought.And in this process,we end up modifying ourselves,our thoughts to suit the image that we want to potray.Then isn’t there anything that is pure and honest?Is everything tainted with a same urge of being fitted into existing social niche,of melting into the stream of people around us?

Night creeped  into that small room of hers as she sat at the table thinking,playing around with those thoughts that she had wanted to shut out just a few moments back,or was it hours?she didnot notice when the tree had outside her window had turned into a solid mass of black.Time for her,now was a vast ocean.It didn’t matter whether you added a few hours or took them away.It remains always that mass of absolute nothingness.She looked at paper on the table.The white paper had taken a yellow hue under the light.She unknowingly had filled it with doodles and scibbles.She never uses a laptop for writing..somehow the sound of pen scratching over the paper gave her a soothing feeling.The sounds of keys being hit ,tak tok toka tok disturbed her.Baba told that it was the hangover of her note-making practice.He never appreciated it,but she could never change it.You cannot doodle on a computer screen,was her persistent reply whenever anyone asked her that.And without doodles and scribbles on the margin,the writing looks so cold and impersonal!Everyone used to laugh at her serious face as she told them these.But she could feel the truth of these lines as the moved her fingers on that scratched and scribbled sheet of paper.They were the only proof of those thoughts which she was thinking but hesitated to put down.They felt like friends with a secret.If only waste paper baskets could speak,she thought.They would have revealed so many secrets.they would have told us about the guy in the medical school who wanted to become a painter and his parents never allowed.May be it would tell the story of the girl who had to work the whole night,secretly, to make sure her brother can go to school because their father had decided to leave them.These stories are a bit far fetched.It could also tell out about the lady who dreaded going to bed because she disliked the perfume her husband couldn’t stop using or about the man who used the perfume inspite of its typical scent just because his first crush loved the brand!But they could never tell this to  one another because we simply dont believe in telling things.So the dustbin that stands at the corner of the bedroom quietly watches the charade everynight.They too try to tell their thoughts,but thoughts remain as scribbles on the handmade papers of the fancy note pad.The maid sweeps them into the dustbin diligently every morning.And no one knows.

And tomorrow,it will be my story that is silenced,she thought as she crumpled the paper into a ball before tossing it out of the window.


1 Comment

Filed under Memoirs or Fiction?

The first entry

She had trouble managing the two huge suitcases.It was a big station but not so dirty or crowded as the Howrah station or the New Delhi station.It was the first time that she had taken such a long journey away from the quiet town nestled snugly amidst the silent mountains.

It was a small town,not unlike those numerous towns that you will cross if you take a journey through the Great Indian Railways.It had its own schools and colleges like its many replicas.Unlike many of them,it also boasted of a university,a medical college and engineering college.Those were the few possesions that the residents always flaunted to their not-so-fortunate neighbours.

The town also had its fair share of politics,literature and culture.Little magazines and poets’ meet;films fests and classical music nites all were sprinkled generously over the whole year.something or the other was always going on and people,most of them enjoyed it.It was best when something political happened.Then one could find the entire place opinionated.The ricksha-wala with hitched up lungi would be found discussing it with his suited customer,the vegetable vendor with the house-wife who is his regular customer,younger generation raving about it on facebook while the elders stirring a tsunami over their evening tea.Those were the time when she felt as if her town had come alive.She loved to think that her town was not cold and insensitive as the place she was going to enter.It had a conscience,thats how she wanted to remember her place.

As a kid,she and her friends always played in the clearing near her lane in the evening.They used to draw lines to on mud to play kabadi,hopscotch or kanamachhi bhow bhow.And everytime a scooter or cycle would pass blurring the marks,the game had to be started all over again.And when evening set in,how they all had to rush back home removing the dust from their clothes with their hands.She loved thinking about the ‘good old days’,in fact everyone does,she believes.

But now,as she pulled her luggage to move out of the platform,she could realize  that life was going to change.she wrapped the shawl tightly around herself and made a quick check of her handbag.”be careful when you go there”,all her friends who had took this journey before her advised her.”do not leave your things here and there”,”be cautious when you are on the streets”,”donot forget to check your bag every now and then,you never know when it gets stolen” and so it went.she nodded patiently as she was being bombarded with advice by this aunt,that uncle and those cousins.It was a family gathering before she moved to her new place.They had all come to bid her goodbye.Many of them brought her gifts.She remembered the warm smell of sweets wafting from kitchen as mom prepared a special dinner.Baba and uncles were busy discussing the prospects in new city and optimistic laughs could be heard every now and then.Some aunts had joined mom in kitchen to help her fry the ‘begun bhaja’ and the fluffy white ‘luchi’.She moved from this room to that,a smile here and a nod there,as every one gave their own bit of advice. She arranged the few belongings left into the almirah and replaced the key.Her collection of books were sorted and arranged.those had cartoons from her childhood to the recent novel.the parting blues were finally on her.Her mom  fussed over her last moment packings.”Please no more!i cannot carry all these” she had shouted to her mom as she had stowed in shawl in her bag.

It was early September.But a few spells of shower in the last week forced the mercury to dip below normal.She could feel an unaccustomed chill biting into her skin as she stood waiting for the cab.She looked around her.It was early morning and not many people were around.She felt afraid.A fear had began to grow inside her.It was the fear of stepping into the unknown.It was that churning sensation which comes from the knowledge of being alone.She had heard that there life divided into weekdays and weekends.Here men run faster than rats during day to booze at night.Here you never know it rained unless you see the glistening roads when you come out.”how can i make myself love this land”

The train of her ramblings were broken by the loud screech as a white indica rolled to stop infront of her.”Goodmorning madam”,beamed the driver through the window.The pick up cab she had booked had arrived.She was the only lady standing there with baggage,so the driver could easily identify her.He was a well built man and heaved the luggage easily into the car.He had a mustache and looked a nice person.He motioned her to get in.As she sat in the back seat,she tried to take in the ways of her new city.

The signboards on the shops were written in an unknown language.There were shanties lining the foot path.They looked familiar to her with their plastics and mats.Looking at them,she realized that is feature is common to all the cities in India.A lady could be seen squatting on the foot path along with her child.They were skinny.The boy was tugging at his mother’s sari,asking for something perhaps.This scene was so very cliche that it could have been anywhere.She really didnot feel anything new.Even she could catch snippets of bollywood music blaring from the tea and tiffin shops nearby.Dogs barked as children chased them with sticks.She could see the kettles being put on the stove as glasses were being cleaned.Air had a sweet scent mingled into it because of the flowers that ladies wore in their hair.

She was tired.Tired of the journey and the thoughts.She closed her eyes and sat silently as she sped towards her would be home.


Filed under Memoirs or Fiction?