Took My Breath Away…

The one time I remember my breath got caught and I almost choked feeling as if my ‘breath has been taken away’ literally and so has my soul, was when my sister threw my Haier handset across the floor. (Not what you expected but I was told we can interpret the meaning in any way! 😛 )

I am not being materialistic, that phone is worth less than a thousand bucks. But the 800 rupees that I paid to the dealer were the dearest bundle of notes to me. Not exactly my own ‘khoon pasine ki kamai’ but the cash I had saved by implementing my numerous miserly techniques. My parents don’t believe in indulging in luxuries and mobile phone for a teenager qualifies very much as a ‘luxury’.

They would pay 7000 bucks to let me go for Java training but not a penny for mobile mind you! And ‘there was nothing called pocket money when we were kids’. So I had to find a loop-hole. And so I did. To reach my college you had to master the art of standing in a local bus overcoming the smell of the Indian population or indulge in the ‘luxury’ of an auto. I declared that I won’t be risking my state of health in a local bus and would only go to college via auto. So pay me more! It worked and I managed to save bucks per day by hanging on to people/rods/bags etc in the town bus.

The other loophole was tiffin. Being in +3 you don’t expect me to carry around a tiffin box do you Mom? She retaliated by putting a Parle G in my bag the next day. I rebelled and was amply paid my canteen money. Needless to say my stomach learnt not to lose more energy by rumbling during the 2nd half classes.

I consoled myself by the fact that I wasn’t exactly stealing anything or duping my parents. It was a mere roundabout yet legal way of extracting money from them.
And so finally at the end of 2 whole months I had managed to save enough to buy the Haier handset, the cheapest I could get. Of course I had to tell them the whole story later & received ‘luxurious’ amounts of verbal thrashing from them.

My Faithful Old Handset

But I had my phone & I still have it, though in a very pitiable condition. And I can say that it has lived a full & fulfilling life, celebrating its 3rd birthday this February. Now most of the numbers on the keypad are unrecognizable thanks to the 1000sms for Rs30 scheme of Tata Indicom during those days. And button 4 & 6 put up a tough fight refusing to bend under your finger.

Still I love that set & see blood if someone mishandles it. No wonder when sis threw it off the bed it took my breath away!

“This post is written for BLOGESHWAR and Anubhooti

Guilty Until Eternity

He was at it again. The same penetrating stare that made me wish I were invisible. Or better not a woman. Not the only woman in this suburban office, sharing the small so-called ‘office space’ with that pervert. I ignored those lecherous eyes as usual and pretended to not care. I had a rent to pay, a family to take care of and I wasn’t going to let a pathetic loser stop me from accomplishing my goals.

“The boss wants you in his cabin.” Mishra said as he passed by my desk. Now what did he want? The project had gone well, it’s Friday for God sake! He isn’t trying to ruin my weekend is he? I dragged my feet upto his cabin, knocked and entered. “Well, Ms. K, I’m so very pleased with the way you handled the Sen & Co. project for us. I’ve another great opportunity for you to honer your skills and climb up the success ladder….” Groan, the ‘success-mantra’ speech again. Screw my weekend.

I moved out of the cabin 40 minutes later with a heavy burden and a matching headache. Thankfully Mr. Pervert was not at his desk so I could relax a bit. I’d been assigned another project to be submitted by Monday. Designed to ‘honer my skills’ it only meant one thing to me-working overtime on weekend! Who said money isn’t everything?

There was a short scuffling of feet somewhere behind me. I looked up startled. There was no one in the entire floor on this Saturday save for the dozing watchman, so who… I only had time to put down my pen when the chair I was sitting in was swiveled roughly & I found myself staring right into a pair of hungry eyes.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I managed to splutter. “Nothing troublesome sweetheart. Tell me why do you avoid me so much? Don’t you know how much I … want you?” his hand moved towards my face but I was quick to rise up from my chair & back away. “You better leave before I call the guard.”
“There isn’t any guard honey. I sent the poor, sleepy guy off. Why disturb his siesta while we have fun baby?” he walked towards me.

I put down the bloody paper cutter and stared at the limp form lying at the end of the staircase. Blood was oozing out of my torn suit. There was a deep gash on the right arm where he had tried to grab me, attempting to wrench out the cutter from my hand. My desperate hand had found it mark on his face & I’d managed to flee down the fire escape. He caught up with me soon only to fall down the stairs almost blinded by the blood spilling over his eyes.

I could almost hear the whispers, feel the countless hostile stares and imagine the plight of my family when news of this crime would be splashed everywhere. The local press would jump at it like hungry wolves & so would my locality.

And everywhere I looked the verdict was the same-‘Guilty until eternity’.

I wiped out the blood in the washroom watching the red colour flow down the sink. I threw away the paper cutter & wrapped my arm with my dupatta. I walked up to the lift & left the office.
Monday morning my boss got my resignation letter.

This post is a part of BLOGESHWAR 3.0 the topic being CRIME.

Guilty Until...

P.S: This post was the runner up at Blogeshwar 3.0 contest 🙂

Pride & Prejudice

Only on national holidays-the Independence Day & Republic Day common citizens of India are allowed to have the tricolour on their vehicles, buildings & maybe for a while on their minds. For on other ‘normal’ days, the fate of that tricolour is the least of their worries. I’m no exception. I was cribbing more about the loss of a holiday (Aug15 falls on a Sunday this year) than worrying about India! So when I came across BlogAdda’s recent topic-“Mera Bharat Mahan” (sponsored by Pringoo) I sat thinking, is my country my pride? Is my country great? I procrastinated & today finally decided to pen down my humble opinion.

Of course I’m proud of my country. If there’s one thing we Indians are never shy of flaunting, it’s our patriotic fervor amply displayed in all Bollywood flicks no matter what the storyline or who the producer is. I’d rather not risk some moral police cutting off my fingers for stating otherwise. But the pride is surreal. It’s just the moral duty as the citizen of a nation to feel proud & call your nation great.

When I was in school, the pride I felt for being an Indian usually displayed itself when some Chief Guest would unfurl the national flag and when the national anthem would play sending little shivers down my skin. But I must accept with due shame, that the pride was nowhere to be seen when the celebrations were over & I trampled back home walking on the little tricoloured flags littering the school ground. That is the state of India. Citizens walk all over it, her traditions, her culture & her pride.

As kids we used to play a game, with 2 players throwing a ball to each other & a player in the middle trying his best to grab the ball before it reaches the other’s hand. That’s the exactly how the economic resources, government aid & almost all other essentials are denied to the man in the middle-the common man. And no prizes for guessing who the other 2 players are.

If a popularity survey would be done, the words-corruption, poverty & crime-rate would finish in that order. For everyone seems to have a favorite when it comes to blaming the state of affairs here. You would ‘donate’ lavishly to the ‘international’ school where your kid is getting admitted & yet berate the corrupted system. You will give the job in your office to your wife’s cousin’s brother-in-law & then shake your head morosely at the poverty rate in India. You will add more water to milk & pebbles in the rice you sell but if your house gets burgled, crime-rate is high, isn’t it?

I’m not here to recite impressive statistics & share media-flared incidents of the shameful functioning of Indian government and the apathy of her citizens.

I am merely wondering who caged the Golden bird that our ancestors had set free? Who is responsible behind the invisible borders drawn all over India, classifying, categorizing & grading her citizens? Who the hell is making my country a laughing stock world-wide?

Oh, well of course it’s me!

I, good-for-nothing citizen of India, am responsible for this.

I have a voice & I use it well-for blaming the government, for raising slogans, for decrying everything in my line-of-sight that doesn’t bother me directly. And of course, I use it well, for buttering government officials & for smothering my subordinates.

I use my sight- exclusively for things that give me pleasure-the latest fashion, the neighbour’s daughter, the new TV next door couple has got.

I hear well-the latest gossip, the neigbour’s fights & heavy metal music.

I treat India the way your tenant treats your house-stay there, use all resources & if anything needs repairs call the owner (i.e. the government).

Lastly I’d speak about the prejudice carried by Indians. Their inferiority complex & their awe of all things ‘English’.

Our fascination for the tag of ‘foreign’ needs to be curbed. Foreign education, foreign job, NRI groom & foreign products. Brain drain can be stopped if you just shorten your horizons & stay put in India, giving back little of what you have learnt. Do you think the foreign companies would throw all their calls to India if we hadn’t been so utterly jobless? If India had enough entrepreneurs –the IIT/IIM grads, wouldn’t there be enough jobs here itself? If you went for Indian brands & not run crazy after the big names of foreign countries, wouldn’t Indian economy prosper? Why can’t we raise India to that height where others would look upto us?

It’s time we treated India as our home, our motherland & not some God-damned rented house!

P.S : This post is also an entry for Blogeshwar 2.0