Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Entering sixty.

Entering sixty is fun when you value smiles on faces, much more than the gift boxes.
Entering sixty is fun when your nerves get tired, but your mind doesn’t.
Entering sixty is fun when you enjoy spiritual talks as much as the movies of Meryl Streep.
And when you can read young minds perfectly well, putting yourself at their level.
When you know what your family needs, and try to fulfil them.
When no more you want to remember the goofed-up incidents, you have had with the people you love.
And when you still remember your first crush, and don’t know the person still living or not.
When you recognize the appeal on your patients faces that they want to get treated but have no money, and you are happy to help them unconditionally.
When you ignore the biker who just have damaged your car’s bumper, and you can foresee the cause of his hurry.
When you tried to learn a foreign language you wish to travel.
When you give a hand full of money to the bagger without counting it.
And when friends, thirteen thousand miles away, whom you met only once wish you on the day.
When you put the responsibility of being happy solely upon yourself.
And when you know for the sure, that people can die at any time, without giving a hint, and it only disturbs the lives of few very keen to them.
Life is good when you miss a call from your mother on your birthday, but know it would never come. And you accept it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I knew I was marrying the right person.

“Here comes my beautiful doll,” said aloud my uncle who was standing on the veranda, and hugged me with his two big arms placed around my chest, for quite a longer period than I can tolerate. I had just returned from the school and was tired. Not liking his behavior, I tried to escape from his grip successfully and ran into the house.
I used to like being with my uncle ‘Raghu’ until I turned twelve, and had started differentiating between an innocent, fatherly caressing from a shameless awkward one by my uncle. Once I complained to my mother about his frequent abusive gesture, but she straight away rejected my allegation, saying, “Don’t take it seriously ‘Deena,’ since your father died, he loves you more than ever, I think you have misjudged him.” Then I knew that mother was more concerned about the bills and school fees uncle was paying regularly every month, and less worried about my feeling of being embarrassed. I was sure that uncle Raghu’s intention was not good. So I tried my best to avoid being with him, especially when we are alone. My uncle, though knowing that I was aware of his immoral intent, had shrewdly continued his shameful act considering the fact that two of us will never create a fuss being completely dependent on him, financially and socially.
My father died of tuberculosis when I was ten. He was a certified drunkard, obviously not earning well. Often he beat my mother being drunk and out of money. In my childhood memory, one scene was permanently imprinted, ‘my father beating my mother who was crying sobbingly.’ Since my childhood, I had been very amazed about this ‘Crying’ phenomena. I had seen almost every woman in my neighborhood in this ‘crying mode’ at one or another time. Even my class teacher ‘Sarla Madam’ did sob once in front of students when she had a problem in her married life. To my surprise, I never ever saw a man crying in any such situations like women do. So I firmly believed that crying is solely a women’s business. After my father’s death uncle ‘Raghu’ took care of us as my mother was illiterate and didn’t know anything other than housekeeping. Uncle had a small house where we lived, having a franchise of cable TV under which few boys were working as maintenance workers. They would often come to our home to meet him when he is not in the field. ‘Ranjit,’ a good natured, dark complexion boy was one of them who acquainted well with me and my mother. Soon he became my friend with whom I shared my problems, especially about uncle’s behavior.
Uncle brought a new office in a nearby commercial block in the year I passed my twelfth. On one summer night, half-drunk he tried to rape me while I was sleeping on the rooftop. Anyhow, I escaped from him and started sleeping inside after that, no matter how hot the weather is. On top of this, I was shocked to know that ‘Raghu’ convinced my mother that I would work with him at the new office and there was no need for my further education. I instantly understood his plan to possess me with this trick. I also knew that my mother will never believe or support me.
I was in a deep depression when I told this critical situation of my life to ‘Ranjit,’ my only friend on whom I could trust. We were alone at my home. While listening to my story, promising help, solacing and embracing me ‘Ranjit’ aroused my sensuality. In my confusing status when I was fighting between the sorrow and ecstasy, he crossed all the barriers. I came back to the reality only to find out that my best friend had flown away robbing my virginity, leaving me alone to face the fate. Words spread all around the colony, giving me a bad reputation. ‘Who will marry her’ was the question asked by everyone.
A few days later, by the effort of a mutually known person ‘Ranjit’ came to meet me. At the instant he saw me he started crying vigorously, begging forgiveness for the unjust he had done to me, and offering himself to marry me. He pleaded mercy multiple times sobbingly. His eyes were spilling tears profusely through his cheeks and neck. I had never seen anyone crying so tragically in my life, not even a woman. For an instant, I thought that he might have made a prank of some kind to marry me. But I gave him a chance only for the reason that ‘he can cry.’

That day I came to know that ‘crying’ doesn’t fall only to the women’s domain, man can also cry if he owns a heart like a female. Today, happily married with Ranjit, I strongly believe that only those who knew to cry can value the tears of others.

*A true story as told to the author.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

'Bey Yaar' Hisab Chukte

‘Bey Yaar'  is another Gujarati film by a talented director Abhishek Jain. His successful debut film was very much appreciated and liked by critics as well by viewers.  Gujarati cine goers were eagerly waiting for his new film and let me say that he didn’t disappoint them. Storyline, direction, photography, locations, actors, plot, script or dramatization everything is perfect. It will do good business considering the good efforts put behind making the film. It would not be wrong if I say that Abhishek has set a new benchmark for the Neo-Gujarati films. Gujarati movie lovers like me stopped watching Gujarati films since long time being fed up watching the same village based folk stories, songs and plots again and again. I see a silver line on top of the dark cloud of monotony of this industry, and am hopeful after seeing this movie. I cannot imagine even in dreams a ‘Van Gogh’ or ‘Pablo’ being mentioned in any Gujarati film of anytime and that too in a lighter, enjoyable manner. The story of three friends revolves in a good space and speed weaving threads of emotions, humor, fun, family values, romance, art, thrill and suspense. It would be unjust to people who are going to watch this movie in the theatre if I uncover the whole story here, but let me assure you that this is a totally different, must -watch movie of the year. The director is well groomed by a veteran showman of Bollywood ‘Subhash Ghai’ but in spite of that he keeps his identity intact and ignited his own sparks while choosing frames. Some of his shots are excellent, especially when ‘Jitubhai’ a father slapped his son ‘Chetan’ [Chako] and told him to leave the house, showing that the stolen painting is not much important to him compared to the faith broken by  his own son. It is excellently filmed scene. But the scene I liked much is of a curator Y.B. Gandhi [Manoj Joshi] standing between the glass partisans quoting ‘one should not play blind in business.’ It didn’t occur to my mind until my daughter sitting next to me pointed out that Manoj Joshi stood there with multiple mirrored images of faces, having a cunning smile only to portray the ten headed Ravana from the saga Ramayana, a perfect villain. Kudos to the director, actors and photographer. Amit Mistry played a memorable humorous role. He is a stallion for long races, I have no doubt about it. This movie has cleared the bad debt, a stigma of monotony labelled on Gujarati film industry and now ‘Hisab Chukte,’ as the last dialogue spoken in the film. All in all this is a fantastic movie for all cine lovers, Gujarati or Non-Gujarati, with little knowledge of the language. I highly recommend this film to all my friends. It is still running amazingly even after many months from its release. Go and enjoy it in theatres.  Let us spread the spirit of Gujarat and Gujarati in the world.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The regret.

She came to my clinic with her three children; two of them were ill and she too. While I was preparing medicine for them, three children were making chaos in the clinic. One opened the lower cabinet under the table and pulled out some stationery, second was busy climbing to the grill over the window, third smallest one was shouting something in slum language. I was getting irritated, against my nature of being calm in such situation. But all three of them seemed a real pain in the neck. Mother was feeling embarrassing. She was weak and coughing heavily. I asked her, how she was managing with these kinds of children at home. She didn’t answer and tried to control the trio unsuccessfully. Top of this she didn’t have enough money to pay my fees. I became upset and frustratingly told her, “Do you know what the real problem with you are? You have more than you can handle”, I was stating about her children.
She didn’t answer.
I was about to give her a small lecture on ‘self-induced poverty ‘but hold back myself. She was avoiding an eye contact and looking to the floor.
She paid only half of my fees, and promised another half, next day.
Before leaving, she paused at the door and said, “My husband has a good job, but he left us for no reason. I am living with my old aged parents who work as a housemaid to three places. Three pregnancies were never my choice, but obligatory on me by husband, and now he is not taking care of us. My poor parents are not capable to look after me and my children. Lack of care and education made them such disobedient and mischievous. I am sorry for the troubles they created.” She looked hurt. “I will pay your dues tomorrow,” with these words she left, seizing the hand of her smaller one, who was still hanging on the doorknob.
Only after she left, it became clear to my mind that she was not the main accountable person for her deprived situation. The real culprit was her careless, flee-away husband.
Suddenly I regretted for the comment I have made just few minutes ago, ‘You have more than you can handle.’ But my regret was in no way capable to heal the bitter feeling, I have just contributed to her already wretched life. The regret, which was so weak infertile and meaningless.