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Write Tribe Reading Challenge 2019

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Invisible Strings Of Love - Part 2 (The End)

Wow, this is not uncomfortable at all. Rajiv thought in despair as Aryan left the hotel and he found himself alone with Shobana.

Come to think of it, it had been a long time since he and Shobana found themselves with each other without Aryan. The boy always had made it easier with his presence, cool and casual attitude and cheerful disposition.

Rajiv toyed with his food, thinking of some way to keep up the conversation without any awkwardness.

"You didn't like the dish?" Shobana gestured to his still-loaded plate.

"Yes I liked it. It's delicious." Rajiv wished he could find a way to tell Shobana that he found her presence intimidating and that's why he was too nervous to eat anything.

                                                                            -@-

Of all the days Aryan.. you had to meet your friends today? Shobana thought with irritation as she tried to eat nonchalantly though she was feeling awkward to be alone with Rajiv. The irritation was replaced with sorrow as realization dawned that Aryan would be leaving soon and there was no saying when he would meet his friends again.

To her disbelief, tears pooled in her eyes and she hurriedly sought out for the tissues kept in the table. She gently wiped her eyes, hoping that Rajiv was too busy toying with his food to see her. When she looked at him, she saw that he had leaned back on his chair and was watching her with a strange expression.

She took her time to calm down and then resumed eating. When he kept gazing at her, she couldn't control her irritation any longer and asked him curtly. "What?"

                                                                              -@-

There were many things that Rajiv could have said in reply. He wanted to say that he could never really see her cry. That it hurt him badly and broke his heart. That if it were possible, he would have done his best to never let a single tear drop from those beautiful eyes.

But what he really managed to say was, 'Are you crying because of my comment about your dress?' and then he cringed visibly as he saw the disbelief on her face.

                                                                             -@-

Really? That's all he could come up with? How can anyone be so dense? Shobana shook her head in exasperation. It made her want to tear up, laugh and scream in anger, all at once. But then, Rajiv had always invoked such deep feelings in her.

"Then why are you crying?" He asked, sounding genuinely perplexed and inspite of everything, her heart went out to him. The guy really had no idea of the functioning of a woman's brain.

"It's just that... all these years, I have been a mother. My days have revolved around Aryan. I never realised how time passed and when he grew up. And now he is leaving. He won't be there when I wake up in the morning. I wouldn't have anything to do. I have never learnt how to live without him.
Now that he won't be there, I don't know what to do." As she finished, the tears pooled up again and she bent her head, wiping her eyes with the tissues.

                                                                         
                                                                                 -@-

Rajiv looked out of the window of the restaurant into the garden and gave her some time to compose herself. He should have realised that Aryan's departure would break her heart. And his too. Not only would he no longer be able to see his son as frequently as he wanted, he now had absolutely no excuse to meet Shobana too. He badly wished he could do something to help. May be, reverse time, go back ten years, and stop my hand from signing the papers. 

He again felt the deep sense of regret and remorse that had eaten him from within for months after the divorce. He had no idea that missing someone could torture him to this extent. And in his case, there were two of his people. As the weekend visits and stays with Aryan progressed, he finally made peace with himself. But that never really had made him stop loving Shobana. She was and always would be the only and true love of his life.

As he returned his attention to Shobana, he found that she had stopped crying and was her usual cool self.

"Are you okay now?" He asked her gently and she nodded her head. Satisfied, he resumed eating and for few minutes there was silence at their table.

As the dinner was coming to an end, Rajiv desperately felt the need to do or say something that would ensure that he could meet with Shobana again. He had to meet her, for his own sake and for hers too.

                                                                         -@-

Shobana dallied with her meal, wishing that time would stop at this point forever, Then probably all would be well. Aryan would still be with her. And she could always meet Rajiv. She wished that she could tell the truth to him - that she had cried both for Aryan and for him too. Because there were two people, two most important men of her life that she would have to live without. She had no hopes that Rajiv would meet her in Aryan's absence. And why should he? After all, they had gone their seperate ways, ten years back.

"Would you like to have anything else? Desert?" Rajiv asked her, hoping that she would say yes.

She wanted to say yes, but ended up shaking her head. Thoroughly disappointed, Rajiv signaled the waiter for the bill.

                                                                               -@-

There was a deep sense of urgency in him now. Say something, think of some excuse to meet her, or to be with her. On a whim, an idea struck him and he blurted out.

"Hey... I have been thinking of going on Europe tour. It's a three-week tour and covers many countries. Would you be.... would you be interested in joining me?" He finished his statement in a single breath. Please say yes! Please!

                                                                      -@-

Shobana could not believe what had just happened. Had Rajiv really invited her for a tour? Three weeks with him? Would she survive? To her amazement, her heart replied Yes to this. Not only would you survive, you would be happy. This is what  you want. 

She looked at him and then with a shy smile, she replied. "I would love to."

                                                                      -@-

If he could, he would have jumped from his seat and shout out to the whole world. She said Yes! He would have danced then and there itself with happiness. But most of all, he would have pulled her to him and hugged her hard, never to let her go.

He contented himself with 'That's great!' and smiled back at her.

The waiter brought their bill and Rajiv tipped him generously. He felt like he owned the whole world now.

There were tour operators to meet, tickets to be booked and visas to be arranged. Which meant several meetings with Shobana. And then there were those three wonderful weeks that lay ahead.

And while none of them really thought that they would always stay with each other, there was now the hope for further meetings, and conversations, and the promise of some quality time spent together ... time spent with the person they loved the most.

And that's all they wanted for now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Invisible Strings Of Love - Part 1

"Mom, please relax. You look fine, beautiful in fact. And it is just Dad that we are going to meet now." Aryan smirked while his mother gave him an exasperated look.

"You know your dad well. Everything could be perfect, and yet there would be something he could find wrong with, or to criticize. That would be enough to set me off totally." Shobana said and again started searching for invisible creases in her kurta. Aryan shook his head and chuckled.

Ten minutes later, he saw his dad enter the restaurant. The not-so-old man cut an impressive figure, he had to admit. In his mid-fifties, his dad was a stunner with just the right amount of grey hair at the right places that gave him an uber-cool look. Dressed in jeans and a simple white formal shirt, he didn't look his age at all. He walked with the confidence of a man who had it all. Aryan felt his mother stiffen beside him and again smothered the need to laugh. He could never understand why these two had opted to walk out of their marriage when still, ten years after the divorce, they were madly in love with each other. Only, their love came out in the form of tiny skirmishes and conflicts and little explosions.

                                                                        -@-

"Hey."  Rajiv said and sat down on the chair opposite to them. Hey? that's all he can manage? Just a 'Hey'? Who is he meeting? His drink buddies? Shobana thought with irritation as she acknowledged her husband with a barely perceptive nod. He was looking good, she noted. Way too good for an old man. She chuckled at the thought of addressing him so. Oh, how it would wound his inflated ego! She thought with glee.

"Looking good, Shobana." She waited, for she knew that something would follow this compliment too.

"Though, I have to say, the color of your Kurta is a bit gaudy for my liking." He said this in the same tone that he had complimented her with, a few seconds ago. She shook her head even though she had expected it.

"It would have been a surprise if  you had liked it. More of a shock, if you like anything about me at all." She said icily and he just gave her a surprised look.

"All right guys, reserve the fireworks for later please. Dad, if you don't mind, I have to meet my friends soon. I don't know when the three of us will meet again. So let us keep it cordial, okay." Aryan said in a pacifying tone.

                                                                  -@-

This is not my boy, this is a young man talking! Rajiv thought in wonder and with pride as he took in his son's handsome young face. When did the years fly by? When did you finish your pre-school? Where are the weekends that we both spent together in my home, when I tried to get all the information about your mother from you, hoping that you wouldn't divulge our secrets to her? He resolutely brought his mind to the present. He had already made a blunder right in the first few minutes of their meeting, he didn't want to make it worse.

He cringed in embarassment as he remembered his remark about the 'gaudy' color of Shobana's Kurta. It was perfect. She was perfect, just as he had always thought about her. She was aging gracefully. Everything about her was graceful and lovely. So why couldn't he compliment her properly? He had just blurted about the color thoughtlessly. He didn't miss the disappointment and hurt in her eyes and badly wished that he could undo that moment.

Aryan was leaving for Canada in three days to pursue higher studies. Rajiv had spent the past whole month with his son as he carried out all the formalities, starting from student visa to obtaining currency. He had treasured every day with his son.

When Aryan had finished his schooling and moved to higher classes, the weekend visits had ceased. The past month had kind of made up for all the missed weekends and dad and son had had a great time together. And tonight Aryan had wished for a family dinner, just a normal family dinner.

Except that, their family had never been normal at all. There was too much of love, and thereby, too much of hopes, too much of disappointments... He could never explain how he and Shobana had mutually agreed to part on cordial terms, she getting the custody of Aryan who was just ten years old at that time and he getting complete visitation rights. He remembered the days when he would eagerly wait for the weekends, for that meant meeting both his son as well as Shobana. He treasured the few minutes that he would get to see her whenever he went to pick up Aryan from his house and when he returned to drop him off. 

Aryan kept up a polite conversation at the table and Rajiv was grateful for that. It made things easier, all he had to do was nod his head. Time and again, his eyes strayed to Shobhana, watching the way she ate, the way she looked at Aryan with pride and a little bit of nostalgia. He could watch her forever, if she allowed him to.

                                                                           -@-

Shobhana tried to concentrate on Aryan but she was fully aware of Rajiv's presence. There was something soothing about him. He always gave the impression that he would take care of everything. And to his credit, he had taken care. The daily fights over petty issues had taken a heavy toll on their marriage and it was with relief that they both had agreed to part mutually. But the divorce seemed to have mellowed Rajiv down. He started getting more involved in the family affairs after the divorce and watched over her and Aryan protectively. He had never missed a weekend with Aryan, as far as she could remember.

Before she knew it, Aryan had finished his meal.

"Ok people, I am sorry I have to leave now. I am meeting my friends at the cafe for dessert. You both please carry on."

Shobhana began weakly. "But.." Before she could say anything, Aryan got up and kissed the top of her head. "Sorry Mom, got to go. Don't wait up for me. I will be late."

He turned towards Rajiv and held out his hand for a shake. "Dad, you are dropping me to the airport right? No change in the plan?"

"Of course, I am dropping you. Wouldn't want to miss this at any cost. I will be there to pick up both of you by 3 in the noon." Rajiv shook Aryan's hand and clasped his shoulder. For a moment, Shobhana felt that Rajiv wanted to hug his son. She was very close to pitying him when suddenly Aryan hugged him hard. And just like that, her heart melted as she watched the two most important men in her life.

"Bye guys. Behave yourself, no explosions tonight, please. For my sake." Aryan winked at her and left swiftly.

                                                                             
(To be Continued and Ended in Part 2)


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Jab They Met...

To say that he was nervous, would have been an understatement. He felt his heart beat rapidly inside his chest and his arms felt slippery around the wheel of the car. He concentrated on driving safely. His thoughts kept moving to the meeting ahead. This was one-of-a-kind meeting for him. His first ever.

As he drove by, he saw a flower shop a few shops ahead. On an impulse, he parked the car at the side of the road and rushed to the shop. His head reeled from the sheer number of flowers and the sensory overload of colors and fragrance. What am I doing?, he thought helplessly. But still something told him that this would make a great first impression.

"Yes Sir, how may I help you?" The lady at the shop asked him pleasantly. The red roses drew his attention. There was something very beautiful about roses, he agreed. But gifting red roses seemed presumptuous. He glanced at a side and saw equally beautiful yellow roses.

"I will take a bouquet of these please." He gestured to the yellow roses and the lady smiled while nodding her head. Within minutes, he was holding a pretty bouquet. After paying the lady and thanking her, he got back inside his car, keeping the roses hidden from the sunlight that reflected in through the glass of the car.

"Hey guys, please stay fresh for few more hours okay." He said to the roses and chuckled. I am talking to flowers. Who would have thought! He shook his head.

If days ago, someone would have said that he would agree to meet a girl for an alliance, and would buy roses for her, he would have laughed out aloud. For he was a 'practical' guy and not a flowers -n- chocolates kind of person. But it had happened somehow. One of his friends had showed him a photograph of a girl, a pretty girl, given him all her details and asked him whether he would like to meet her and consider an alliance for marriage. Something about the photo had fascinated him thoroughly. The pretty eyes had fire behind them, and the beautiful smile showed strength and courage. He had agreed to meet her.

And today, exactly a week later, he was on his way for the meeting. Every day of the week, he had looked at her photo, first when he woke up, and then before going to sleep. She had invaded his mind totally, not allowing him a moment of peace or clarity. She was all he could think about.

The cafe loomed ahead suddenly and he had a temporary feeling of cold-feet. What if I mess up? What if she doesn't want to go ahead? What if we are stuck in the classic and awkward phase of 'I don't think this will work out, let us be good friends instead'? He shook himself of all negativity resolutely. He parked the car and remembered to take the bouquet.

There was a full-length mirror at the entrance of the cafe and he gave himself a once-over, for the last time. Khaaki - pants, black formal t-shirt, and hair - he gave up on it. It still fell over his face, much like Harry Potter's. Well, there is nothing I can do about it. She will have to learn to live with this mess. He smiled inwardly at the thought of spending the rest of his life with her. Then his practical mind, at least whatever was left of it, reminded him to not to get his hopes up.

He had arrived fifteen minutes later than the agreed time. Huh, as if I would make you wait! He mentally spoke to her photo that he had saved on his mobile. He booked a table for two and waited patiently for her.

Twenty minutes and several glasses of water later, he saw the door of the cafe open and in stepped his girl. My girl! every nerve of his heart sang out as he finally saw the one who had tormented him just with a photograph. He had to agree that the photo didn't do any justice to her. She was much more beautiful in person, with a classic grace and poise. Dressed in a green kurta and white palazzos, she looked like summer. No, make it spring. Or was it rain? His mind went into overdrive. He raised his hand to draw her attention and saw her wave back to him. He handed over the bouquet to her and she shyly thanked him.

"Oh, I used to love cricket too at one time. But I kind of lost interest in it. The players aren't the same anymore. Though they are good, they are not the people I want to be a fan of." She said with a smile while he nodded his head. There goes the fifth cross-mark. During the hour that they had spent together, they had discussed various topics and found that their choices didn't match at all. While he was all in for soft music, she preferred rock. His idea of a good evening was a nice conversation at a cafe, she was all for the beach. She was a movie-buff, he wasn't. He was into outdoor sports, she wasn't. And now they had realised that he was crazy about cricket while she wasn't!

His mood dimmed. While he fell more and more in love with her with every passing second and the differences didn't matter to him, he wondered whether they would matter to her. Unable to stand the tension, he decided to take a direct approach. He cleared his throat nervously.

"Look, there is something I want to say." When she immediately tensed up, he gave her an assuring smile. "Nothing to be tensed about. Please hear me out okay." She nodded at him and he started talking.

"I have always been a practical guy, not believing in love at first sight or flowers or chocolates. Romance is something that may never come to me easily. But ever since I saw your photo and learnt about you, something inside me changed. I have not been able to get you out of mind. I know that there are many differences between us, but I believe that we can work it out. It is a yes from my side."

She looked at him silently and he went on. "I know I am practically a stranger to you. So are you to me. But if you  are willing to give us a chance, let us at least get to know each other. We will go ahead with the marriage only when you are completely ready for it. I am leaving this decision up to you." He said and hoped badly that she would agree.

She stared out of the window, a strange look in her face. When she gazed back at him, he saw her discomfort in her eyes. He worried about the worst.

"That is really nice of you." She began hesitatingly. "But I hope you know everything about me." Her tone steeled in the end.

Oh yes, he knew and how! He knew that she was a rape survivor, that she had been raped five years ago, by the very person she had thought to be her boyfriend, and by his gang too. He knew that she had to attend various sessions of psycho-therapy to forget and leave the incident behind. He knew that her offenders were now in jail, after a long drawn-out case of three years and more. He knew the pain and suffering she must have gone through. But most of all, he knew the strength and courage that shone in her eyes and that, only that mattered to him and drew her to him. Nothing else mattered.

He nodded his head and said calmly. "I see a strong woman, a woman of courage and fire, a woman with whom I want to spend the rest of my life with, if she would give me a chance."

She kept gazing at him, apparently unaffected. But as he looked into her eyes, he saw hope kindle in them. And he also saw distrust and a slight tinge of fear.

"Trust me please. That is all I ask of you." He pleaded to her.

She smiled. A genuine, full-blown smile. "That I can surely do. It is yes from my side too. You asked me to trust you, I will. And I only ask you to be patient with me. It will take me some time to adjust to a relationship. I hope you will understand."

"Take your own time. I can wait forever." He somehow managed to hide the relief in his tone and tried to appear nonchalant though he could make out from her mischievous smile that she was not fooled by his charade. Suddenly the world appeared to be brighter and more beautiful than before.

"Okay then. May be we should leave now." She said and he agreed. As they waited for the waiter to bring the bill, he sat back on his chair, much more relaxed now. "So Madam, when can I see you again? Day after tomorrow, dinner?" He asked with a smile while she shyly looked down and nodded her head. He was about to suggest that they meet in the same cafe when she suddenly said. "Can you make it to the beach by evening? We can stroll there for sometime and have dinner later."

He sighed. And thus it starts! But as he stared at the eyes now filled with hope and happiness, he nodded. He knew that she now owned his heart completely and he was totally okay with it.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Marriage

He checked his reflection in the mirror again. White Kurta with matching pathani, and a colorful embroidered jacket over the same. I hope she likes it, he thought eagerly. He ran his hand over his hair, trying unsuccessfully to straighten it but as usual, it looked totally messed up. With a sigh, he shook his head, checked his reflection for one more time and left his room.

A steady stream of relatives greeted him as he came out of the room and he found himself being hugged and patted from all sides. With every minute he grew more desperate to see her. It was really important for him to meet her once before the marriage took place.

After what seemed like hours, he found himself standing outside her room, trying to not to attract anyone's attention. He heard loud laughter from the room and braced himself for the inquisition. He knocked on the door.

Rhea opened it. Oh, oh, I don't want to deal with this one now! He thought in despair. She crossed her arms and gave him a knowing look. With a smirk, she asked him. "What are you doing here? You are not supposed to see the bride. Nobody is supposed to see her now!"

He bit back a haughty retort and said with as much humility and patience as he could. "Look, this is very important to me. I need to talk to her before the marriage. Please... " He pleaded to her and gave her his best puppy-eyed look. She rolled her eyes in exasperation and shouted. "Girls, everyone out." She wagged her finger at him and said sternly. "Leave the door open. We will be standing out." He cringed and nodded his head in embarrassment.

As one, the girls marched out giggling and pushing each other out of the room. Rhea motioned for him to go inside and held a hand at the door before closing it half-way. She made a I-am-watching-you gesture with her pointer finger and middle finger and he chuckled inspite of himself.

As he turned, he saw her and drew in a deep breath. He had seen her since her childhood. He had seen her in braces. He had seen her in oily and pleated hair. Every time, her beauty seemed to grow before him. But today, she sparkled with joy. Her radiant face beamed with a dazzling smile as she looked at him with a mixture of surprise and wonder.

"You look beautiful." He said with a warm smile as he took in her bridal attire. Most of all, he took in her eyes, beautiful, shining eyes. He checked them for a trace of uncertainty or doubt. All he saw was joy and happiness.

"What are you doing here, Mr.Handsome? We are not supposed to meet before the wedding." She chided him laughingly.

"I just wanted to talk to you for a few minutes. I hope you are cool with all that is happening. The past two months have been a whirlwind affair with the sudden engagement and the wedding preparations. And today we are here!" He finished with a deep breath as the activities of the past two months threatened to overwhelm him completely. Though he had been robotic and had acted on auto-pilot mode, her happiness was important to him and he had done everything he could to make this time memorable for her.

"Frankly? I don't know what I feel. There is happiness, there is excitement and there is a strange kind of sadness too. I will be saying goodbye to a dear and familiar life and a new life waits for me. It is scary and exciting too. I am a jumble of emotions." She let out a nervous laugh and he was shocked to realise that there was an edge of a sob in her laughter. He opened his arms wide and gestured her to approach him. She walked towards him slowly and hugged him. He held her tightly, as if he would never let her go.

"Everything will be all right. Don't worry." He said to her in a gentle voice as she withdrew herself from his hug. She looked at him and ruffled his hair affectionately, as she had always done since many many years. "Thanks for everything. I don't know what I would have done without you." She said to him in a teary voice.

He was about to speak when the girls squad rushed in unannounced and urgently.

"Come, you are being called!" Rhea held her hand and started to lead her away. He held her other hand and stopped her. "Always remember, I am there for you, come what may." She pressed his palm gently and walked away.

He saw her leaving, the only person he had ever loved in his life, his childhood friend, his sweetheart - as she joined her fiance in the mandap. He saw her leaving behind her old life, and that would mean him, and embrace a new life. Without him. But most of all, he saw his life clearly ahead. A bleak life without her. He took a deep breath as the grief threatened to overwhelm him again. It is not yet time, he reminded himself. The time would come later, after she left. But for now, his best friend, his childhood friend was getting married and there was work to do. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Drive

"Shall we leave?" She asked him and he could hear the amusement in her voice. He set aside his hesitation and discomfort, put up a brave front and nodded to her with a smile. If she was okay with this, he would be okay too.

She gestured to him to get inside the car. He reached for the back door when she cleared her throat. When he looked at her, she smiled and gestured to the front door. He rolled his eyes and got inside the car, taking up the seat next to the driver's. She came on to the other side and got inside, taking up the driver's seat. He could feel her pride and joy as she held the steering wheel almost reverentially. After muttering what seemed to be a prayer, she started the car. He sent a silent prayer to the powers that he knew and tried not to show his fear or distrust.

She drove smooth, he had to admit. And he was pleased to note that she was driving very carefully, not overtaking any other vehicle by taking unnecessary risks and not racing when she could. All his fears were allayed when he saw that she took her safety very seriously. He wished to say something to her. That he was proud of her. That she meant the world to him. If he could, he would have said that he loved her. But he wasn't much into talking or expressing his feelings. He kept to himself, speaking only when required. He hoped that she knew what she was to him.

He bit back a smile. She had kept up her non-stop chatter since the car started, showing him places that she frequented with her friends, her favourite snack-bars and hotels and just about everything that they could see. When they crossed a bookstore, he saw her gaze longingly at it and shook his head in amusement. The female never ran out of books to read. She looked at him and they both exchanged a knowing smile.

She said the exact words that he was going to utter as a question. "I will come back to it later. I know you don't like shopping."

"I don't mind waiting in the car. Go ahead and purchase whatever you want." He said to her but she shook her head and laughed. "It will take a long time for me. I can never purchase books in a hurry, you know it."

"Oh yes, I know it and how!" He smiled when she laughed out aloud at his remark. And that was another thing that he could never tell her. That when she laughed, the world got brighter. Always. Unfailingly. Considerably brighter.

For the first time since he sat inside the car, some awful memories made their presence felt. He closed his eyes, trying to shake off the sound of the crash, the sight of...

"Are you okay?" She asked in concern.

"Oh yes. I am feeling sleepy, that's all." He managed to smile at her weakly.

"Okay. Just a few more minutes and the drive will be over." She said to him reassuringly and he nodded his head.

In the evening, at the usual time, he met his friends at the park. He was feeling much better. In fact, he could not wipe off the smile from his face.

"Hey, what is the matter?" His friend asked happily.

"I went on a drive today. In a car." He said and checked his friends' reactions. Some showed surprise, some showed shock, but underlying these expressions was unmistakable happiness in their faces.

"I know. Almost twenty years after my wife died in the horrible car crash." He said in a low tone, feeling as terrible as he did, whenever he spoke about the incident. But today, there was a numbing sensation to the pain he felt. It was there, but like a dull thud. It felt like someone had applied soothing balm to his heart to heal it.

Taking a deep breath, he cleared his mind off all negative thoughts and smiled. "I went with my daughter on her first drive. She drives really well. And the main point is, she drives carefully."

All his friends applauded with claps and pats on his back. He felt contented and peaceful. All was well in his world. His small world containing his daughter and some dear friends. That was all he needed to live. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Humanism - Let us not lose it!

I do not ask for luxuries or riches.
Only, when things go wrong, and it is not my fault, do not blame me or take it out on me please!
Or, when it is really my fault, go easy on me, like I go easy on you. Let a small mistake remain a small mistake, do not make a mountain out of the molehill!
When I ask for little things, like my favourite snack from the road-side vendor, or a sandwich at the stall, do not refuse please.
And if and when you buy it for me, do not crib about how inconvenient it was for you, or how unnecessary it was! It is in the little things that I find my happiness.
When the kid falls sick, do not blame me. I love the kid, as much as you do. 
When I plan an outing, and things do not go as per plan, do not make it worse for me by complaining and cribbing about the fiasco. You can be sportive about it, you know, and enjoy the moment.
I am strong, I know. But don't use this as an excuse to put me through emotional abuse. Even strength has an expiry date. Nothing can endure forever, not a strong mind or a strong heart. And not the strong person standing in front of you. 
I stay meek, I stay humble, I opt to go without a fight. Not because I can't. But because I won't. Do not take me for granted!
All the above pleas?
These could be from a troubled partner. And I use the word 'partner' because today, the roles have been reversed. If there are suffering women in a family, there are suffering men in another. Because anyone can be a victim of emotional neglect or abuse, regardless of gender.
Some of the above pleas?
These could be from a child pleading to his/her parents. Because it is the basic tendency of humans to take for granted, the people really close to us. It is easy to assume that the person we love the most will always be beside us, no matter how we treat them. The important thing to remember is that, it is not just necessary for our loved ones to be there, it is highly important that they stay with us, knowing fully well that they are cared for!
Some of the above pleas?
It could be aged parents pleading to their grown-up 'children'. Because it is easy to lose patience when you say a sentence for five times and your mother can't understand because she has a hearing problem. It is easy to shout when your aged father tries to do something but it results into a disaster as he no longer is able to do those tasks easily, which he used to do before. But it takes a high level of maturity and responsibility to remember that once upon a time, these people were young and healthy, they looked after us, raised us and still love and care for us! 


Let us be better humans first. Feminism, chauvinism and the likes wont matter if we lose our basic 'humanism'!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Two ends of a rope

- It's a chill brought by a cyclone in the neighbouring state. One part of the society roams on the streets with sweaters and shawls, eats spicy food and sips on hot drinks. The other part of the society shivers uncontrollably on the roads, trying to find some warmth, both from humanity and Nature. And Life in general.
- The vacations are over and the group of young children are happy and excited. While one set is happy because it is time to meet friends and enjoy in school, the other set is excited because it is now time again to sell books and stationery and earn money.
- The family is happy. They have moved into a new home. Everything is just what they wished for. Another family, staying in the same building is just as happy. Because the lady of this family has now one more home to clean, and thereby earn some additional money.
- They both were mothers, but only one actually gave birth to a child. The other one's happiness knows no bounds. While the surrogate mother handed over her new born baby and felt her heart break irreparably beyond measure, the other mother embraced the baby, feeling her heart couldn't take any more of happiness and peace. Two lives changed forever in a single moment.
The observing soul saw all these and wondered. Who or What is it that decides whom to place at which end of the rope?
Two ends of a rope. Bound by a single link, placed at opposite ends, with a world of difference between them. When they meet, they complete the Circle Of Life.