Friday, June 24, 2016

How much will she tolerate?

“I put my paper today….Moudi!”, saying that Shalini broke down totally. The water flow was gradually increasing from eyes….Her sob was becoming louder and louder…. Thank God! We were in the corner meeting room. She was becoming uncontrollable….

I tried my best to console her….made her sit in a chair, gave the bundle of tissue papers….I didn’t have courage to leave her alone for a minute even to bring the water bottle for her. 

“I just could not manage anymore,… was becoming unbearable Moudi…..It’s been more than six years now…” She was still weeping….

“Did you go to psychologist….?” I asked her to visit a psychologist, last month…just before going for my vacation.

“No….I could not take him along…..”

I had to sigh…such a simple, innocent lady Shalini is….how lovely mother too and such an obedient, pati-vrata wife of someone, who probably never can harm anybody……I really doubt if someone can ever think that Shalini can put her paper this way!

It’s been more than five years, we have been working together……Though we work in different departments, almost everyday we meet for evening tea in the canteen and share our happenings, happiness and sorrow. What I can recall, just from her marriage only, her married life has not been going great guns.….

Shalini’s Mother-in-Law explained and infact, assigned the household work just from the next day of her entry into the new house. She described all rules right from the beginning, "Haamare khaandaan me kush ushuul hai...". Shalini had to get up in the morning at 6 am and prepare the breakfast for all six people in the family, all alone. Sometimes, she had to cook chapatti and sabji, sometime parantha or sometimes poha or dosa-idli. She thanked her mom as she learnt all these from her mother at home. At 8:30 am, she had to catch the office cab from the nearby gol-chakkar. Sometimes, her hubby - Raj was generous to drop her at the crossing…

Coming back from office at around 6:30 pm, she had to make tea for everyone….Though her Mother-in-Law used to make the dinner, it was her responsibility to wash the utensils and she was not allowed to go to her room until all household chores were settled.

During her pregnancy too, she had to continue the process. Though she was badly in need of rest after coming back from office crossing 30 miles, she did not have courage to counter her Mother in Law. Raj also used to support her mother’s common dialogue…. “Bachche hamne bhi pale hai….” 

Shalini used to envy her sister-in-law sometimes silently, when she used to leave her plate on the dining table only, after dinner, saying she couldn’t miss the TV Serial.

After doing all the work at night, when she used to go to her room and expect some good time with Raj, that moment, probably he used to be busy with his siblings, parents or with Whatsapp…Days kept going the similar way……She became alone amidst all family members. All six years, she never raised her voice....

Shalini’s sister-in-law marriage got fixed. Good brother Raj promised to gift her a diamond necklace on her wedding. Raj never discussed with her what was his income. He bought the necklace worth Rs. 5 lakhs by credit card. He asked Shalini’s all her hard-earned money to spend in her marriage. Shalini could not refuse, she handed over her ATM card to Raj, keeping some cash to buy stuff for her child. Then onwards, Raj had not return the card to her…..She had to ask him for cash when needed. 

Raj started spending most of the time with his friends these days and come back home while she and her son go to the bed. She got the smell of wine many times whenever he used to enter the room. They almost stopped talking to each other. She tried to approach him once or twice to go to a psychologist as I suggested…but Raj was very harsh in response.

Now, it’s Raj’s brother’s marriage. She was not a part of the discussion of wedding expense. But she could overheard, that Raj promised to his parents to spend Rs.15 lakhs, which included his and Shalini’s salary till date and rest he would take a loan. 

Shalini wanted to talk to Raj that now they need to plan for their own family, need to give their son admission in a good school. But, Raj declined to discuss with her, saying, “It’s my gentleman promise! If needed I will go to the road, but, still I will contribute what I promised……We will give admission to our son in a good school next year…… ”. Shalini was blank....what she should do! She decided to talk to the whole family next day....

So, she did so..... "I want to talk to you all.....I think it will be great if we can manage the wedding, keeping the expense according to our capacity......."

"Who the hell are you to talk about my wedding expense?" Shalini's brother-in-law fired up before she completed her sentence...

"I am your sister-in-law....Sanj! I have every right to talk in this family..."

" dare you??????"

"I will not keep my silence today Raj! I can't compromise my child's education with someone's luxury..."


A strong slap she could feel in a fraction of second....she could see the red eyes of Raj clearly. Probably, he was getting set to give her another slap.....

Her son who was behind her pallu started crying loudly......Nobody said anything, except her Mom-in-law...."Shalini!! This is none of your business....please move away immediately!!!"  

Many times, Shalini thought of getting separated from Raj. She had the capacity to lead her single life being a software Engineer by herself. But thinking of her son's future, she tried to ignore that thought. 

This time, Shalini was stronger….. She did not bury her anger inside her chest. She was determined to visit the court next day, to understand the procedure of divorce.....

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Who was He???

It was Spring Season. Flora and fauna were mingling so well to make the atmosphere mesmerizing.  Yellow sonaru, purple orchid, red gulmohar flowers, hibiscus…all were adding an alluring beauty to the landscape, carpeting nature with their lovely colors, fragrance and aesthetic splendor.

My Dad got transfer to this new place, few months back. We took one rented house. The backyard was huge, full of bamboo, mango, lichi, coconut, guava, jackfruit, beetle nut trees etc. The backside boundary was not even visible from our home. Our naughty minds and legs took me and my brother to the end of the backyard to discover one day that there was a bamboo stick fencing (jewra) and in between, it was broken. We could see a big pond surrounded by big trees in the other side of the boundary, probably 100 mtr distance from our property-edge. Next to that, a dense forest started.

My Dad says that one should see green landscape after getting up from the bed, it soothes the eyes. That’s why we kids used to go backyard every morning to see the greenery as far as possible. After school, we used to play around.

One Saturday evening, we few kids were talking about fishing... The discussion became so hot that it incited me, my brother, Sid and Jena to plan to cross the back frontier and go for fishing in the pond, next very day. Sid, who was eldest among us, probably 9 years old, bought a fishing needle from the nearby shop. We three other kids arranged one long stick and thread. We all planned that after lunch when our parents generally take nap, we would gather in the backyard and move towards the destination, silently. My brother was responsible for packing earthworms in a can as bait for fishes. 

So, action according to the plan…! We crossed the boundary very easily through the broken fencing…approached towards the pond…The shadow of the huge buniyan tree was making the water look extremely dark. There were so many birds in our backyard, but, we could not see any bird, neither any animal around. An unexpected silence was making the surrounding intense. Though we were kids, we could feel something different…Cold breeze was continuously hitting us.

Our brave hearts! We started our process of fishing…..Sid put the fishing stick on water…..
A huge splashing sound came from other side of the pond… if someone has thrown a huge stone into the water… We just thought what it was….but Sid assured, may be, it was a big fish….and we continued….

Suddenly my brother shouted…… “Run, run….Save you life…run fast….”…pointing towards the top of the buniyan tree. We too saw it……Oh my God! A good physic old man with clean white dress, was sitting on one of the brunches…and looking at us with red eyes…….

We ran and ran dropping all our stuff there……..We reached home……entered home and closed the doors….Alas! We all had fever for few days…….Our parents thought it was normal fever probably, as no one of us disclosed the fact….For many days, I kept dreaming of going behind the same old person towards the jungle......

We still wonder…what it was or who he was….!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

We could not go out of the Resort

May be not always, but the Environment Day today is compelling my mind to imagine and evoke the simple life, an adventurous spirit, and a renewed connection with nature again. These thoughts and some quick breaks from monotonous life to visit a wood or a wine country, a mountaintop or a shore, encourage relaxation and make me feel fresh for a while. I am sure, this happens not only with me, but with every human being with a heart!

Few weeks back, suddenly Preeti called me up on a Friday evening, “Hey, let’s take a break! Let’s go to Mysore tomorrow, to spend a night somewhere….” I had no reason to say ‘No’. Quickly, she booked rooms in a resort – ‘Golden Landmark’. I and Preeti conveyed the quick plan to our hubby-dears….Oh! Thanks to the Corporate Life! How easily they said ‘Yes!’ too!

Saturday morning, we started our journey at 6:30 am. Lovely morning it was! We didn’t use AC…kept our windows wide open all the way….fresh wind through the windows made our minds refreshed…our kids kept playing….No one talked about work…..We had our break-fast at Kamath dhaba. Filter Coffee was really special!

We reached the resort at 11 am. I had to say, “Preeti! You made my day!”. The entrance was awesome…both the sides were covered with big, huge trees….We were welcomed well. The service boys took us to our rooms through a small wood……Chirping of the birds, smell of flowers and fruits, all made us mesmerized. Just a thought came to my mind… that trees build community, fabricating and reviving the relationships that make up nature. The distinctive chemical signatures, aromatic compounds they release into the air and soil, attract the other living beings whose inter-relationships weave healthy landscapes, from invisible-to-the-eye microbes to winged pollinators to colorful songbirds.  Trees are really, the pioneers in forming those communities. Once their roots stretch into the soil and their stems reach upward, they invite pollinators and birds and all the other lives that sustain them and the life on Earth.

Why people don’t understand that??? Most of the people know, that we can’t survive without trees, but who cares! Hungers for ‘money’, ‘wealth’ are making people cut the trees. And why to care for next generations… does it matter to us if no human being survives after few 100 years…just live life while you are alive. Isn’t it?

Anyways, I am amazed to see how Golden Landmark is trying to conserve old trees, beautifully maintaining it’s green landscape. 







Happy Environment Day, everyone!!!!

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