19.10.12 | Post by Abhisek
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16.7.12 | Post by Anshul Gautam
Smiles are treasures that have its stretches in between edges of our lips. But the impressions it can lay is unfathomable. A mood setter or flowery ambience creator I should say, but the terminology can’t be better defined, it can be felt on our every lively cell. This is what the action smile refers to. Rather than just being an emotion, it is like an intervention which focuses blooming. And the blooming refers fondness; the fondness of something, anything or it could be just nothing. Smile is an emotion that interposes bad times and good times. There is no obligation for smiles. On the contrary, it’s a saving plus income you do without any necessary taxes against them. Benefits are innumerable. Results are colorful.
30.3.12 | Post by Nilanjana Bose
There’s a story behind every deadpan
face, every flicker of lashes, every clench
of jaw. Yes, there is. You can
divine it if you want, wrench
the sense out of it and every lesson,
long drawn out, painful, inch by inch
or dismiss them all, what’s to fathom or to listen?
My story is told in just a few
words, very little really needs
expression. There was an allure to the blue
darkness, and the spread of electric seeds
somewhere above and far behind you
and they unequivocally decreed
where I should go, and what I should do.
And so I pulled away in an awkward search
skirted past without making any eye
contact. Didn’t give in to the urge
even once to look back, didn’t confirm or deny
what could have been made into one verse
of a ballad or a song. Didn’t try
to set any of it into tune or in words.
Words when left alone are good
at being single and poker-faced. Music
finds it harder to be blank. It’s understood
that it’ll take sides. Be merry, morose or cathartic
it’s simply not great at being neutral hued
so I left all notes alone. But couldn’t find or pick
words willing enough, stand-alone enough, and subdued.
My story doesn’t need much telling, it’s everytale.
Of star-sprinkles on the columns of dark.
Of people brushing past, searches that fail
each of them lighted by an initial spark
that burns out up close. Of details
that are painfully accurate, yet don’t leave a mark.
Of tunes that can’t be made to fit the scales.
27.3.12 | Post by Suvanjana
A little girl was jumping with joy, holding her father’s hand in one hand and a chocolate in the other. She was not too small almost in her teens but her innocence made her appear smaller than she actually was. Her family along with her mother, grand parents and brother had gone to visit a famous Kali Temple in the district of Bhirbhum. They were on a weekend trip and had plans of going for a little sightseeing once they finished offering the prayers. She was very happy, firstly, because it was her post-exam break. She had been cramped at home all this time and was enjoying every moment of the trip. Secondly, it was a family outing; she could do all that she wanted and her granny would save her from her mother’s scolding!
She could see the temple from the moment they entered the narrow alley leading to it. Both sides of the alley were littered with shops selling all kinds of articles with the picture or name of the Goddess Tara inscribed on them; starting from pens to key chains to photo frames and large posters…. You could get them all here. There were some modern things of utility too, like torches, costume jewelry, hand bags and a number of edible items like sweat meats of all kinds, and shops selling hot kachoris and jalebis too were aplenty. She was making a mental note of all the things she wanted to buy and have once they finish offering the prayers. The day being a Saturday, which was supposed to be the best day of the week to offer prayers to the Goddess Kali, the temple was thronged by millions of devotees. There were people everywhere!
Sounds of ‘Joy Ma Tara! Joy Ma Tara!’ resounded all over the temple. Thousands of devotees had thronged the Holy Kali Temple to offer their prayers to the Goddess. The prayer hall, which offered a clear view of the Goddess’s idol, was covered with a human carpet. The crowd was so huge it seemed like an entangled mass of human hands and feet, all trying to get a glimpse of the goddess in the process of being worshiped during Aarti.
Among all this noise, the pleas of a girl barely in her teens, was getting lost. She was small in height and was trying desperately to break free from the crowd, the smell of human bodies and the disgusting touch of the man who was freely roaming his hand all over her. She shouted for her mother ‘Maaa….!’ But there was no one listening. She tried to break free, meanwhile the noises around her increased and the rants of ‘Joy Ma Tara! Joy Ma Tara!’ was getting louder and louder. With the increase in the decibel of the noise, the man was getting emboldened in his vile act. In the crowd she had somehow lost grip of her father's hand and got plastered in front of this man. With all her strength she tried to move out of the crowd. After a lot of struggle somehow, she broke loose and sat down on the floor. From among the web of human legs she managed to crawl to the side of the prayer hall, which was a little empty. She leaned on the wall and started sobbing! All her innocence was shattered in one blow!
What was her fault? Like all devotees even she had gone to the temple and had plans of having a good time with her family? Is this what her family had prayed for? How can human beings be so cruel?
21.3.12 | Post by Nilanjana Bose
Here I was, with my poet and his silence and his poetry
And all I could think of being was consumingly angry!
“So it was you all the time, what a mean trick to play,
You subjected me to some weird, arbitrary contest,
The very idea of which I frankly abhorred and still detest,
You said you didn’t live here, you lied to keep me away.”
His smile wavered not a bit, his eyes remained gentle,
“To love silence one must rise above being judgemental.
Be patient even when baffled and blinded by disappointment.
Now look inside and tell me, even though arbitrary,
If the so-called contest didn’t help you find your poetry,
If it hasn’t taught you better how to remain silent. ”
“A one-line poem is as close as you can get verbally
To silence. Reaching the destination finally
Is surely less important than feeling the journey?
Anywhere you feel like stepping off can become the end,
But not to feel the topography – the bank and the bend,
Not to stumble over stones, now that’s a loss of poetry.
15.3.12 | Post by Nilanjana Bose
So, this was it? The end of the road, the search was finished?
With confidence and strength both severely diminished,
Nothing achieved except perhaps an ability to précis refined.
“Um….did he leave a forwarding address, where did he go?”
The guard shook the helmet this time, “Sorry wouldn’t know,
And couldn’t tell if I did, security would be undermined.”
Again I came away empty handed, this time there was no task
To baffle my brain, no unanswerable questions to ask,
No points to argue, and no-one to argue them with.
The spark-less poetry now dropped all pretence at lyricism
Days and nights swung by in a hollow arc of cynicism,
Reward for hard work seemed really just a myth.
10.3.12 | Post by Nilanjana Bose
“Okay, okay” the guard said, nodding his severe helmet,
“I understand. You want to meet your favourite poet?
But you must first write a single line poem for me.
I have a job to do and you have got to qualify
A single beautiful line must suffice and signify
Your talent. That’s the rule over here for gaining entry.”
“A one line poem? Now that’s a bit weird
There’s the matter of rhyming that has to cleared,”
I argued with him, that inflexible, dense guard.
“And then there’s the scheme and form and feet
Your silly rule will have most people beat,
It makes no sense and it’s far too hard.”
9.3.12 | Post by Suvanjana
‘I have a surprise for you!’ whispered Joy in Sirin’s ears. Sirin had been sulking the whole day, it was their marriage anniversary and both of them had to leave for work. Joy had a pressing client meet, which he could not give a miss while she had a deadline today for submission. Though their Companies would not shut down if they did not go to work, they were not granted leaves by their respective Bosses! Such was life!
The news of a surprise did not make her jump with joy instead she looked at her husband demanding a more detailed explanation. ‘You always keep saying that there are too many people around…. So today we will go for a candle light dinner and a late night movie after work. It being a Saturday tomorrow, there will not be any hurry. And then… We will spend the evening together watching a movie. What say? Happy?’ Sirin was so happy to hear the plan that she let out a little shriek and hugged Joy with all her might.
‘But, there is one little thing… that we have to keep in mind….We can’t tell anyone about this plan….otherwise it will not work out. Everyone will want us to stay at home for the evening. We will get back from work, and then just say that we are going for little drive, and then get the plan going. What say?’ Sirin was already feeling the adrenaline pumping in her veins. A lie to cover up for a dinner date with her husband…. How exciting was that? She was reminded of their days together before marriage and how they met each other without letting anyone know…. Wow…it would be really nice…she thought.
All charged up for the plan tonight they left on their separate ways to work. The primary task at hand now was to leave work early…. No matter what may come! Sirin was thinking if need be she will submit her resignation and leave early…. Resignation… No…No… that would be a bit too much… may be she will be a little sterner in her request to leave early! Joy had a more friendly work environment at office and it would not be a problem for him to leave early. So now, the success of the plan depended totally on Sirin.
The long hours at office were passing in a daze with Sirin checking the watch every few minutes. By the second half of the day she could not take the strain any longer and almost broke out in a fight with her team member over an issue. Her Boss summoned her to his cabin to ask about the issue. That was the icing on her cake of worries… however; she calmed herself and tried to give him a sane justification of her reaction. Although not fully convinced, he let her go and carry on with her work.
At 5.30 in the evening her phone buzzed with an incoming text from Joy: ‘Leave now… or we will be late. I am on my way to home!’ She knew that…. She knew that all too well that she had to leave soon, but she was yet to get her permission. She peeped into her Boss’s cabin to see him laughing heartily over the phone. That was, by far, a good sign, he was in a good mood and she could get her permission. And right she was in assessing the situation! He did not cause her any more worry and gave her permission to leave in 10 minutes sharp. Happy was too less a word to describe her state of mind… ecstatic was her mood! She rushed to her work station to wrap up the pending stuff and give some instructions to her colleague in case her work encountered some problem and rushed out of the building to reach home.
4.3.12 | Post by BongMama
This weekend, I finally got to finish the Allison Pearson’s novel “I Don’t Know How She Does It.” Although the movie was, pretty good but reading always made my adrenaline pump. I personally loved the story since I sympathized with the concept of a frazzled woman who juggles two worlds. The story highlights a problem that every working person faces: The Comparison.
You definitely know what I am talking about: the guilt feeling and blow that you receive to your self-esteem when an outsider passes a verdict on you. They usually draw the conclusion from a distance rather than looking what is going on inside. You are no exception even I faced the same.
We all live in a glass house and that is a reality. It is hard not to compare yourself to everyone who surrounds you. Between family, Facebook and even community, we are surrounded by stories and images that tell us about how others’ are living their lives. Unfortunately, these frequent social comparisons lead to destructive emotions and unhappiness along with behaviors like regret, guilt and ultimately lying.
It is what you do not see matters the most. A rich and full life involves a number of trade-offs. No matter how “successful” a juggler you appear to be, you can never do everything well. That friend of yours who shows the brilliantly well-kept living room will definitely have the rest of her house in a mess. Again, maybe she stays at her home for only 8 hours each day. Or else, she might have not got that promotion last year.
The art of doing a successful trade-off
You will never be able to know what trade-offs someone has made when you observe them. The exterior projection is never true. Therefore, when people compare you with something they do not fully understand does never make sense. Neither should you compare yourself with anyone since you do not know what he or she actually is!
Fellow working Ladies, can we please be more compassionate to ourselves? Instead of worrying about how one can stack up against everyone else, can we take a few minutes to get clear our own priorities each day or maybe once a week? Once we start reorienting ourselves, even the worst comparison will look relatively painless.
I would love to see a lot more compassion from one Lady to another. Just because something is a priority for you simply doesn’t mean it is my priority. So, for a change let us all please stop the judging game and lets show some respect for all the trade-offs each of us make.
29.2.12 | Post by Suvanjana
Pradip was supposed to reach Hyderabad today. He must have reached by now. A flight from Delhi is not supposed to take more than two hours, three at the max. Then what is keeping him from calling me? He should have reached well over two hours by now…mused Aradhana. Pradip was gone on an official trip with strict instructions for her not to call him suddenly. He would take time out and call her. But that was no excuse for making her worry so much. Aradhana picked up the phone a few times then kept it back. She feared making him angry. Maybe he was actually busy and not getting time. She would wait… what other option did she have?
Aradhana was sipping her tea and stared hard at the scenery outside the staff room window. A Biology teacher at a reputed school, she hardly got time for luxuries like this on weekdays. Her weekends were also packed to the full, both her children were appearing for the Board exams this year; Aarti was in Class X while Arun was in class XII. In order to keep them in a tight schedule, she herself had to adhere to a strict routine and constantly keep track of their studies. But today, no matter how much she tried her thoughts kept meandering away from work and took her back to her past and her memories. Tired at last, she kept the glasses down from her eyes and started staring outside the window to welcome the unabashed flow of memories.
It was sometime in their college days, Pradip and Aradhana were the most-talked-about couple in campus. They complimented each other like a ship and its anchor. They were the favorite students of their professors too. The college fests seemed colorless in the absence of Aradhana and Pradip’s duet songs; they were talented in the true sense. Enjoying each other’s company and competing for grades they reached their final year. Love between them was evident and they had taken that fact for granted. A week after their final exams they sat at the college grounds sitting back to back with each other, so that neither could see the face of the other.
‘Now that I can’t see you…you don’t need to be shy with me….tell me something… what are your plans for us?’ questioned Aradhana playfully. ‘What plans? There are no plans…. Let’s see who bags a job first’ replied Pradip’
‘That and all are fine….but what about marriage and plans about us in the future? You do have some plans…right?’ This question jolted Pradip from behind her, and he sat straight facing her with surprise in his eyes. ‘Wait…wait…you are going too fast…what marriage? When did I ever tell you any such thing?’
Aradhana was clearly embarrassed at the question, she somehow managed: ‘You never said any such thing… but isn’t it evident? I mean after we get jobs you do want to marry me…Right?’ asked Aradhana with a lot of doubt clouding her eyes. Pradip was caught off guard. He swallowed hard and said: ‘Look…. I love you a lot but I am not ready for marriage….. I have to look after my parents and family…. Get a job…buy a Flat then a car maybe….I don’t know what exactly…but marriage is certainly not there for at least five or six years’ Aradhana looked defeated…it was, as if, someone had hit her hard.
‘All that is fine with me… if you tell me so…. I will wait for you…. But you don’t want to marry me…..right? And there is no concrete reason for that…..isn’t it so?’ she replied with tears choking her voice. All her friends had warned her that she should clarify their relationship status before proceeding but she had always thought that their relationship was way ahead of all these things. She too had an ambition; she also looked ahead to a secure future but with Pradip. Without him, all her dreams were incomplete. She looked at Pradip and saw how helpless he was looking, trying to conjure up a reason why he couldn’t marry her. There was actually no reason behind it. In that one moment, she realized how wrongly she had interpreted all his actions and their relationship. She realized that as a guy he was a little immature and felt sorry for him. She tried to ease the tension: ‘It’s ok….you don’t need to look so guilty…. Stay normal please….. I understand….’ she assured holding his hand in hers.
That was then and this is now. Life had taken so many unexpected turns. Now she was married to one of the most wonderful and understanding persons and had two lovely children. She was even successful in her career. What more could a person want? She had found friendship in her marriage like she had never thought before. She could not ask for more, her husband was actually her friend. They shared all things small or big, good or bad in life.
She had never felt the need to hide her relation with Pradip from him. Although they led separate lives they could not let go off each other. Aradhana had reconciled her fate of living without Pradip as her husband but they had never lost touch with each other. Abhay, her husband now, came into her life through a marriage arranged purely by relatives and family. On the first day itself, when he had come to see the prospective bride, Aradhana had told him about Pradip and how she cannot bear to severe her friendship with him. Although certain, that this confession would scare away Abhay, like all his preceding suitors, Aradhana was stunned when he did not object to any of it and rather agreed to marry her happily. That was perhaps, the best thing that could happen in Aradhana’s life.
Up until her marriage, she did not feel how much she needed to be loved and cared for. Abhay was all that Pradip was not. Over the years her relationship with Pradip took a more maternal turn, her love for him changed from that of a lover to a good friend, who cared for him like a parent or an elderly relative. On the other hand, Abhay slowly seeped into the cracks and crevices of her life and held her strongly like the roots of a Banyan tree on a dilapidated wall of some old house. Pradip never married, but he did remain a part of Aradhana’s life, Abhay welcomed him as a friend into his life too. With time, Aradhana became a happy wife to Abhay and a loving mother to his children.
Her phone beeped. She picked it up to receive a mono-syllabic text from Pradip saying ‘Reached’! She was about to reply to his text when the phone rang again. It was Aarti calling, she picked up without delay and her daughter’s voice hurried on:
‘Ma, where are you? I’m waiting for you in front of the school? Have you left?’ Caught off guard, she hurriedly replied: ‘I’m on my way…. I was caught up in some work. Don’t go anywhere…I will be there in a minute!’
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