When the Wrong happens to THEM
WE are not bothered
WE don’t react
WE are safe
Well . . .
WE are not one of THEM
but WE forget . . .
The Wrong spreads its fatal wings too fast
Its mammoth clutches are too cruel and gigantic
and WE nurture the Wrong with our deliberate apathy
And very soon it forgets to differentiate between
WE and THEM
Moreover, when hooliganism spills on the roads
none remains untouched
WE or THEM
it affects all of us
WE or THEM
All have to face the consequences
WE or THEM
In fact, WE don’t know
for whom the bell tolls
what will be the Wrong’s next whim
what will be his next fancy
WHO will be his next victim
WE or THEM
strange are the ways of the Wrong . . .
the plain Janes
Some of them are miraculous
Others are meticulous.
But for sure,
they are not ridiculous
And all of them are real,
not fake even an inch
Some of them are real and raw
like the unpolished diamonds
But diamonds are diamonds
Solid, Real and Intriguing
and others are pristine and true
like dark woods or
Deep, awesome and curious.
But for sure,
they are not phony,
no, not even an inch.
don’t misunderstand the plain Janes.
I had to choose between
Him and my dreams
Obviously I chose him
Once upon a time
He was my biggest dream
And I knew
If he is with me
I can see many new dreams.
I had to reshuffle my priorities
so that I could stay close to him
And every time I did it happily
I changed with the changes in his life
Because I knew
Once upon a time
He was the only change
I wanted in my life
And I knew
If he is with me
I can change every change
into a new opportunity.
So I deconstructed myself
again and again and again
Just to be with him
I know loving someone this much is strange
He is my happiness
He is my love
And you know
Love is blind
Published in The Daily Post on Feb 24, 2019
Part I -The Atta Crisis
It was around midnight when exhausted and anxious Sia opened the door of the posh apartment in North Jakarta for the first time. Aditya showed her the place enthusiastically and waited eagerly for her reaction because the apartment was his choice. Sia liked it at once. It was spacious, airy and fabulously done. Every room was decorated aesthetically. She went out to check the immense terrace. The warm and amiable September breeze welcomed her. The view of the city-lights and skyscrapers at the horizon delighted her. She peeped down and a green luxurious golf-course excited her. She heaved a deep sigh. A smile came on her tired face when she thought that she would also be described as NRI now onwards. Shranya, their seven year old daughter was thrilled to see her comfy room, round fancy bed and a balcony of her own. Aditya was glad that Shranya and Sia liked the place. Relocating to a completely new country at the age of forty-two was tough, but he had to take this huge step because career-wise it was essential. He felt contented. That night they all slept like babies in the extra-soft beds of their new home.
Sia got up next morning with a mild headache. The long journey and hot humid climate were the culprits. All of a sudden she became nostalgic and homesick. Aditya made masala tea to cheer her up. Sia liked the gesture, but the comfort provided by the tea was short-lived. After finishing her tea Sia asked for the wheat flour. She wanted to make aloo parantha for breakfast for Aditya. Aditya got up confidently and gave her a one kg packet. Sia opened it and was flabbergasted to see the brownish coarse powder inside it. She checked the name written on the packet. It was written bogasari. She looked at Aditya and Aditya looked back at her in all despair.
“This is not atta. I can’t make aloo parantha with it. Hmm, Welcome to expat life!” she muttered to herself.
Anyhow Aditya told Sia not to worry much and they would have bread for breakfast. Aditya had come to Jakarta one month prior to Sia and Shranya beacsue he wanted to initiate the paperwork and settle down a bit before both of them arrive. He shifted in the apartment when Sia was about to come and brought some basic things from the nearest Indian shop. Though he had realized during his stay in hotel that food was very different in Indonesia, but he did not anticipate this kind of atta crisis.
That evening they tried all the three shops in vicinity to buy the correct atta but the only option available was bogasari. They were very disappointed. When they went to the third shop, the boy in the shop noticed their misery and told them that atta was not available in entire Jakarta. He also informed them that this kind of scarcity was a common problem for Indians staying in Indonesia. He laughed and said, “Madam, This is Jakarta. It’s not like Canada or USA here. To find Indian food items in the local market of Jakarta is as difficult as finding Indian news in Indonesian newspapers because market and newspapers both are filled with Chinese maal”.
Sia understood very soon that the boy was right about both the things. She also realized the peculiarity of Indian, especially North-Indian, food while wandering around Jakarta to buy groceries. She was not able to get all the items in her grocery list even after spending almost thrice the amount she would have spent in India. Gradually, she got to know about the quirky things people do to solve this crisis. One of the women in her apartment complex told her, “You know dear, we all buy atta in bulk and store it in refrigerators for next few months. It looks odd and ugly but what to do? Some rich Indians send their servants to Singapore by air every month to bring comparatively fresh groceries, but we can’t do that. Whenever we go to India we bring as many things as we can in our overly-stuffed suitcases, and the last option, that never fails, is to mix a little salt and oil in bogasari to survive”.
Sia got scared listening all this. She did not have any option so she somehow spent almost one month eating bogasari at the place of atta. She lost five pounds because of those hard and brown roties. She didn’t know whether she should be happy or sad. On the other hand, Shranya was happy because she got full supply of biscuits, chocolates and cakes as rotis her mother was making those days were really bad. Little Shranya thought that perhaps Sia had forgotten how to make proper rotis after coming to Jakarta.
However, after a few weeks atta came in the market. Women hastily informed each other on WhatsApp about this awesome news with pictures of brown and blue sacks of white atta. Sia also bought it in bulk and filled her refrigerator with big sacks of finely crushed white atta. Her craving for aloo parantha had become boundless and borderless by now. She felt ecstatic the next day when the first bite of delicious aloo parantha melted along with butter on her starved tongue. Thank God the crisis was over at least for a few months.
I got the shock of my life last night
When my mother saw me but failed to recognize.
Once strong like a mountain, now she is ill and fragile
Parkinson’s has taken a toll on her ability to survive.
Oh! What have you done to the woman who used to thrive with life?
Her once capable hands shake continuously
Making her unable and reliant; and this perturbs her profusely.
Her once high and proud head is now drooped habitually.
Her once unwavering and kind eyes are now all vague and lost strangely.
Oh! What have you done to the woman who faced every odd so bravely?
When I called her “Mamma,” she turned her face to me in vain
And tried to grope in the dark to get a signal from her brain.
I heard the angry pitter patter on the window pane of cold winter rain
I felt the cruelty of old age and tried to hide a tear of pain
Oh! What have you done to the woman who taught me not to feign?
Oh! Dear God! Something changed in those senile but still beautiful eyes
My mother narrowed her gaze on me, it felt like getting the most coveted prize.
“Don’t cry, don’t be afraid, my dear,” she repeated her old advice
Her words broken and unclear but still so wise.
Oh! See this woman who never fails to rise and shine!
You can take away everything from a MOTHER, You shoddy,
But not the MOTHERHOOD, embedded in every particle of her body.
This is the post excerpt.
Hi there. I have started this blog to talk about life: the highs and lows, the ups and downs, and the bigs and smalls. I think we all agree that life is strange and it’s the biggest surprise in itself. I consider myself as a serious observer of the mystery called LIFE and I want to share my observations with all of you as there are many who think like me. So I want to take some time off from my awesomely busy schedule to give a thought to life. I welcome whosoever wants to come along on this adventurous journey.