Wednesday, 26 March 2014

On playgrounds and bhoots.


 
I keep thinking of writing on my blog. While walking back from the canteen, while sitting through a boring class, while so many things. But, each time I turn my laptop on there’s always something more important to be written down. I have opened this new word document midway through writing a 3000 words report for my epi class. There’s so much to read and write that I am not able to ‘read’ and ‘write’ much, which is quite a shame coz people always take time out for things and people they love. Probably I don’t love to ‘read’ and ‘write’ after all. Anyway, there’s so much on my mind that I am really not able to focus on any one thing… so, I guess I should make it just a ‘moments’ post.
This is playground no.1


We had those big playgrounds in our school when we were young. The first had cemented flooring- the basketball and volleyball courts. We had a stage there earlier. Then we had those royal steps leading down to the second ground where there used to be Diwali celebrations before our school authorities awoke to the uselessness of fireworks in such a grand way. Then we had a third ground. They grew something there. Long grasses. God knows kis cheez ka grass. And the slope that led to that ground was one of the steepest slopes for me. I remember we weren’t allowed to go to the third ground usually. And there were numerous rumours among us about the possible reasons why we weren’t allowed to go down there. The most common was, as is obviously common among all children, there is bhoot in the ground. We even claimed to have seeing a girl comb her long hair at a window near the house and disappear the next time we looked that way (though exactly how it proves that she is a bhoot is something I must question my younger self!)So, anyway, we weren’t allowed to go to that ground. But, when we were, it was like Eid for all of us and all the kids ran down that slope (the one I was talking about before being carried away by the bhoot story)as fast as they could run, screaming at the top of their voices…All of us, except one child- ME! Coz I didn’t know how to run down a slope!!! I was scared like shit! And each time I had to ask some other child to hold my hand and walk me down the slope (there weren’t many takers for this helpful position coz it deprived them of the chance of running down the slope!).
A few minutes ago I was walking towards my hostel and I saw this tree on the way. It has a fruit-ugly and dried up and I don’t think it is fruity kind of fruit, but just a fruit biologically, if you know what I mean. It reminded me of that ground with long grasses. I could almost feel being back in that ground- from where we could see Central School. We used to play bhoot-bhoot (obviously!!! ) and ghar-ghar. Some of my classmates could make samosas out of a certain kind of tree leaves (I obviously didn’t know how to!) We played ‘batla poison’ (bottle of poison) and ‘kati patang’. Ahhh!!! We now have a big auditorium in the third ground. Mother Veronica auditorium. It used to be hot and windy down there (perfect for the ‘bhoots’ that lived in the ground).

No twist in the tale. This post ends here :P




Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Random






Life is going on. Alhamdulillah for that. But, every once in a while we come across people, things, incidents that make us wonder if there's any point in all this.
Like a big grey cloud that hovers on your head, sadness may be following you. Worse still if the sadness is not yours but of people around you. People you want to help, you try to  help, but can't.
What a helpless feeling it is- not to be able to sort things out for others.
Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Those 'manglik' kind of things. Why are the people around me sad? Why do I have to struggle always to make people happy. Or is it that this is all my job in this world is? To cheer people up. I can go on only that much. I can inspire, motivate, help, support only that much. Beyond that, I am no less a human than anyone around me. I too can crash and burn.
If only I could change fortunes, I would. If only I could make things alright, I would. If only I was God.







Sunday, 19 January 2014

That Mythical Top


We are not all meant to be at the top. We must realize that. And we must realize it soon.
A lot of people keep telling me that ‘if he can do it, so can you!’
I don’t think they tell that with any intention other than the best for me, but, still.. life is about choosing which advice you want to take and which to dump.

I, very personally, do not believe that if he/she can do it, so can I; just like I don’t believe that if I can do it, so can he/she. We all have our own place in this world, our own destinations and our own paths. While there can be similarities between my path and someone else’s, they can’t be the same in totality.
Off late, there has been much talk about how a group of people (which includes me) is not as good as we could be. How, we don’t do this and we don’t do that!! It kind of started getting on to me and so I thought of sorting it out for myself.
So well, this is how I do it…

I do admit that it would be great if I could be everywhere all the time. If I could excel in everything. If I could be at The Top- that Mythical Top. But the question which arises next is- ‘Can I?’

Some wise men and women out there would be quick in giving that clich├ęd answer of ‘if you think you can, you can!’
I am too unwise to even start considering that!!!
My belief- that core belief which we all have deep down in our hearts- doesn’t really lead me into that full-of-myself approach to life. I am of those who believe that life is too short to be wasted by being busy, busy so that you can do everything, do everything so that you reach the top, reach the Top coz that is where each one of us is meant to be.

I do not like being busy. I do not like multi-tasking. I do not like being everywhere all the time. I do not like pushing myself so hard that a fall beyond the edge becomes inevitable. I do not believe in The Top.
I am a grateful person. And the only thing I seek is happiness. Happiness, to me, is all that matters. So, if for someone happiness would mean keeping your head full of appointments and events and social obligations, may God give them the happiness they seek. To me, happiness lies in the uncertainty of life, however scary that is! To me, life comes in steps- which I believe in taking one at a time.

To me, beauty lies in the self and that which surrounds us and this beauty cannot be devoured.
I repeat to those who didn’t get it the first time-

Beauty CANNOT be devoured.
Beauty can only be savoured.

So, I am ever amazed by the so-called voracious readers who can read a thousand pages novel in an hour or two. I keep claiming that I love reading, but, I have read very few books in my life. Even in the days when I used to read like a crazy devil, I believe I have never gone beyond 50 books a year. So these people, the voracious readers, amaze me! They amaze me because I wonder if I, using my personal definition, would even cal them ‘readers’ coz to me reading is taking in the beauty of the words. I have diaries full of beautiful sentences that I find while reading. I started doing it long back when I was 11. Of course, mediums have changed and I use more of word documents now, but the habit doesn’t go. When I read, I read each word as if my life depends on it. I don’t just read sentences, I also smell, hear, taste and feel them. It is only when I combine all this that I can even call it reading. I wonder if my voracious reader friends do that!! And if they do, how do they find the time for it! Coz’ I bloody don’t! I am a slow person. I savour life. Each moment of it. I am a fire girl, a Sagittarian! You can’t change that about me!

So, in all this savouring and feeling every bloody un-feelable thing, I sort of lag behind others in many ways. And trust me, I do not even consider it lagging behind! I use those words to convey the message to my friends who wouldn’t understand a language different from this! I believe in, truly believe in, quality over quantity. I would never measure my life by the number of parties I attended or the number of ‘contacts’ I made. I would always treasure that one party with a ‘huge’ group of 3 friends and that stranger I met at the airport with whom I discussed “Midnight’s Children”. And just so you know, I talk a lot to strangers. Strangers are the safest people you’ll ever meet.

I can’t be good at everything, however impossible it is to not be good at everything!! Insert*sarcasm*

And I don’t mind it. I do not want to be the best in everything, be everyone’s favourite, have everything planned, reach The Top. I love to learn, to know, to work, to act, to do my part. I have so many wishes, I can’t actually write them down here… I work to see them fulfilled. But, I work and move on. My aim is the work. Not the fulfillment of my wish. The fulfillment of the wish should always be the bonus, never the aim. The aim should always be work. The more we free ourselves from The Top, the freer we become in general- to do things we like doing- the things that matter the most- the things that make us happy!

Like I already told, we are all here to be somewhere and it is not always at that Top. If everyone becomes a CEO, there’d be no worker to work for the company. And would there be a company if there were no workers? And if there’s no company, toh kahe ka CEO?
Some of us are meant to be in that high class group, some other in the middle, yet others in that group which is neither in the middle nor at the top but somewhere in between them. And much love to those of us who are meant to be at the bottom, everything else rests on us- we are the foundation of all structures!

Life WILL take us where we are meant to reach. That is our place and we’ll find it- ‘contacts’ or no ‘contacts’.

The more we treasure each position, the better we treat people, the more just we become. If we (please count me out) believe that everyone can and should be at The Top, we somehow undermine the positions lower than The Top. We undermine the students who cannot get good marks, the girls who don’t have blemish free skin, the children who don’t win in sports. We somehow restrict beauty, success and those high end abstract nouns to the superlative in each domain. I think that is very harmful.

I will not screw myself. I will not make my life busy as hell so that I can do things which are ‘considered’ appropriate and also do things which I like doing (leaving them is out of the question!). I do not mind if I do not reach your Mythical Top. I am fine where I am. I have heard that the view from The Top is awesome! But that’s just the view of it- the real awesomeness lies right there at the Bottom! The Bottom full of its flaws. Besides, the oxygen concentration is also pretty low!

So, you go ahead and live your life your way. I will continue to be amazed at your strange ways, but, I won’t question you, never! And you can judge me all you want but I am strong enough to be unmoved by the definitions of success and smartness that you throw at me! Thanks for all your suggestions, but my life will be lived on my terms. You may take me or leave me!





Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Christmas Without Rob...

The spoon was continuously swirling inside the coffee mug, her hand moving mechanically, while her mind had raced into another year- a year which almost felt like an era away, in a totally different world. A world where things were normal. Her eyes were transfixed on the lamppost shimmering far away on the lone road that led to their snow covered house. But, all her yes could see was her family. 

“HO HO HO”, laughed the Santa Claus to the two boys looking at him with starry eyes. Sean and Mark, 3 yrs old twins, were looking at this big beautiful guy who looked as if he had jumped out of their picture books! It was the first time they were seeing a Santa Claus in real, though daddy had told that last Christmas too Santa had visited them. They didn’t remember though and were mesmerized by the very presence of this well known stranger who had silently tiptoed into their bedroom, not knowing that the little boys do not sleep so early! They wanted to call their parents too but Santa told it should be a private affair. That they should keep their little meeting a secret! Helen smiled through the window pane! 
 

3 years had passed since that beautiful Christmas eve of 1977.

Helen sighed and blinked after what seemed like ages but continued to look outside the window at that lonely road which somehow seemed lonelier ever since Robert passed away that fateful night a month ago. It was as chilly as it was tonight. But, of course the chill of death is colder than the coldest nights! She now wondered how her boys would react when she broke it to them, when she told them that there wouldn’t be a Santa Claus coming tonight. She wasn’t religious nor was Robert and they had never really believed in going to the Church. Sean and Mark had naturally inherited their parents Agnostic ideas and never really asked about God, not that they were old enough to have many questions. But this was one enchantment Rob and Helen didn’t want to deny their children, what with all the excitement it brought! Of course, someday they’d know..someday they’d know that Santa Claus is as much a puzzle as was God, you never know whether to believe in his existence or not. But, now they had to be disillusioned, now that Rob wasn’t around to do his dress up at night!

She had written a short poem for them. A poem that sang of how their father had loved them, and how he could no longer come to them with gifts, how he had dressed as Santa each year only coz he loved his boys so much, how his love has increased beyond they could imagine but how helpless he was that he could not be physically with them and how they should rather be good boys and work hard to earn their gifts for themselves!! She was sad, yet she was happy coz now her boys could learn more practical things.

 Her spoon kept clinking against the mug of coffee which had now turned cold.
She heard the doorbell ring and heard her children run towards the door.
She, however, continued to look at that lamppost lighting that lone road leading to her house.
She missed Robert, his warm hug, his dazzling smile and those eyes… those eyes which held her entire world. How similar Mark looked to his father. She was sure he’d grow up to look just like him.

She pulled herself out of her reverie to attend to the doorbell and still holding the coffee mug, began climbing down the narrow stairs that led to her living room. And as she smoothed the wrinkles off her skirt, it struck her.

Her eyes crinkled and her feet nearly ran down the stairs. She was still on the last step when she saw them. Her boys.

They were gleefully looking down at the gift boxes. They held out their gifts to her and even as they ran to their mother, Helen was already at the door, still locked.

She opened the door and instinctively looked up at the sky, as if she, somewhere deep down in her heart, believed in that weird myth of Santa and the reindeers. There was nothing in the sky except a few stars struggling to shine their light from so far away…..
The road was empty.

No one had come down the road .. not for the past half an hour at least… not while she stood staring at that lamppost lighting that lone road which led to her house. Getting goosebumps she turned around to look at her sons.

“It was Santaaaa”, they screamed with joy!

“Oh!” was all she could mutter.

“Did he look like daddy?” she almost asked but somehow resisted her urge to.

She looked out again, her eyes now searching for something, anything, she didn’t know what.

With another look at her boys, she came in and went straight up the stairs to her kitchen…

A single drop of tear rolled down her frozen cheeks as she tore the paper bearing her poem.

Yes… Disenchantment could wait!



  ~Almas Kiran Shamim

 

Friday, 13 December 2013

26 Reflections..from the same mirror ....



1. Main aap hi apni premika, main aap hi apni saheli
 Aur nahi koi apne jaisi bas main ek akeli.

2. I have so few people in my life that the absence of just one more wouldn’t make much of a difference.

3. You have so many people in your life that when I move away, you won’t even notice.

4. I no longer believe.

5. I have a drivers’, but I don’t drive.

 6. I no longer kill lizards.

7. I ain’t sure if I still want to own a CRV. I am fast falling in love with Renault’s Duster.

8. I am a stone. And in ways more than just the meaning of my name.

9. I want to have children only so I can name them.

10. I feel detached.

11. I do not miss people. Even people I thought I’d never be able to live without.

12. I REALLY don’t like watching movies.

13. I wish to travel the world with someone.

14. I would be able to do it if I don’t first kill that someone in one of my fits of rage :/

15. English is my favourite subject.

16. Social studies is a close second.

17. I do not ‘jee huzur’ anyone. I DOOOO NOTTT ‘JEE HUZUR’ ANNNYYYONNNEEE! (just in case you hadn’t heard it the first time)

18. I want rain.

19. I want a catty too. All for me and only for me.

20. I am very volatile.

21. I don’t think I love you, miss you, care for you, think about you, send you flowers, mails, chocolates.

22. I don’t believe in friendship and friends.

23. I do not know what love is.

24. Giving my heart yet another chance to turn to stone. Coz if it doesn’t, it’s gonna crash …. Yet again….

25. I still do believe, I do miss people, I am attached, I am far from being a stone, I would never kill that someone…But, I’d never let you know all this!

26. This word document was created on March 8, 2013 as a “25 Reflections”. I have no idea why I didn’t post it then….Anyway, I am 26 years old now with no less than 26



Saturday, 7 December 2013

Those Clouds That Never Rained.





Hugging herself she sat on the window sill.
Looking across the valley.
Gazing beyond the horizon that deceives you into believing that the sky can meet the land.
It wasn’t a silent evening. It wasn’t noisy either.
Few can hear that which the wind speaks.
And for them, melancholy was the tune of the day. And she was one of them.
The sky was dark with clouds ready to cry.
She sat hearing the clouds being chased away by the wind.
The land wasn’t parched, but ever greedy for rain.
She sat pondering if this land deserves the rain.
But it never rained here. Not in this greedy valley nourished by the river.
She had seen dark clouds pass her by ever since forever.
The wind knew better. And so did she.
She wouldn’t break down. She wouldn’t lose hope.
She wouldn’t fulfill their wish to see her cry.
She was like those clouds.
Those clouds that never rained.

~Almas Kiran Shamim



Monday, 9 September 2013

The Researcher's Limerick.


There was a researcher from Partbelth 
Thinking of issues on public health 
The more he kept thinking 
The more ‘twas confusing 
Oh poor researcher from Partbelth! 

One Sunday seemed fun so he bucked up 
For topics, his mentor he ranged up 
The mentor then told him 
Some topics that bored him 
Sadly the researcher then backed up. 

Finally his brain he could steer 
Sample size, objectives were clear 
But the Technical guys 
Told it wouldn’t suffice 
From his goals he’s far more than near. 

Some way a sound topic he did find 
With tribal mental health combined 
But Ethics Committee 
Slammed some nitty-gritty 
Broken, the researcher near died. 

And then the researcher from Partbelth 
Decided to rather make some wealth 
So a limerick he popped 
As a writer he topped 
No more a researcher from Partbelth. 


~Almas Kiran Shamim 



P.S. This is my very first attempt at writing a limerick


Now reading ... "The Witch of Portobello" by 'Paulo Coelho'.

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