Friday, February 25, 2011

To shout or not to?

Fridays are lethargic when it comes to work and energetic when it comes to browsing and wasting time. Today was different. Why ? I was stuck with something from morning to noon. By the time, I resolved the sticky problem I realized I had been sitting at my seat without even a rest room break for more than 4 hours. Yes, I did pat on my back and made my way to the rest room. When the demanding problems of ones life are solved, one tends to lie back and enjoy the sleepy afternoons.

I had already checked my G-mail and blog-roll a zillion times. Therefore, I checked if my bro  had dropped a mail on hot-mail.I landed up on this link, which popped up with MSN Live!

It takes only 2 minutes to read. I will wait.

You want to read it again to make sure about the ages of people involved?

After I read that, I wanted to maul the Indian Judiciary for its inability to effectively protect our children from pedophiles. Everyday, how many girls go through the same things in our country. As a small girl, I have had my share of face-the-bad-world experiences. I was too small to understand the enormity of a sleazy comment or an action. Still people did that. Pleasure? Insanity? Alternatively, lack of tight-slap-on-the-back?

Now do not ask me,” As a girl, didn’t your mother teach me to respond?” (Oh yes she had. Half of the time she responded and I stood next to her, bearing an uncanny similarity to a Doberman ready to pounce on the miscreant.)The point is, the people who do this to children and women did they not have mothers? Were they not taught; not to cross the line?

We talk a lot about bringing up girls. What about boys? An 11-year-old girl, she must have been hurrying home to watch Tom and Jerry and then enter the sleaze-bag. Every time she enters a lift and there is a man in there, she is going to shudder. That pedophile has scarred her for life. For a moment, I thought about a cousin, also 11 years of age in the place of the poor girl in the news. I wanted to tear him to pieces.

I have had hundreds of arguments with my parents on the 6 PM time line. Having called them tyrants and my home a “juvenile home”, now I realize their anxiety and their fears.
Sadly, I have to accept, my town is not safe. From 6 PM in 1990s to 6:30 PM in 2000’s, it is a small but a measurable change. Today I roll my eyes at my cousin who claims she can walk to her home alone after 6.I am being protective. I cannot be there for her always. I must trust her to handle the misbehavior. One thing I’ll tell my little sister is,” No matter what, it is not your fault, how some people behave. Nobody has the right to look or talk vulgar to you. Be Bold.” Yes, I will add with a wink,” Honey, if nothing works. Scream like your sister used to.”

So please, next time if you see someone misbehaving with a child, please raise your voice. Shout. Loud and clear, scare that scum. Every child deserves an unblemished childhood.

Someday, someday I know my old street,
Safe they would be for my girls so sweet.
Roam I will let them that night,
Till the first Ray of the next day light

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Mis-Adventure

Nobody told me,” You have a right to remain silent, any thing you say can be used against you” (In my case, these usages of my follies against me are perpetually for life).At a time, when repercussions seemed a far off danger, I had blundered. So badly, that it embarrasses me even in my dreams.

Like the way I said “THUBELYTHE” for tube lights when I was two, it is the wittiest thing for my parents. They laugh and laugh, take a break, look at me,”THUBELYTHE” and bursts in to laughter again. I sit and grimace and they look at me, searching for that humorous thing they had borne.

I think I trusted them too much to believe that they could deceive their only child, me. They made me believe that Amma would turn into Hulk and eat me, if I did not sleep by 10 in the night .Oh yes! Smart as a whip, I asked Acha*,”How could I be sure that she wouldn’t eat me when I slept?”Acha explained solemnly that Amma had no appetite for sleeping children. She had confided that eating sleeping-children gave her stomach pain. I nodded in agreement and went off to sleep by 9:30 pm. I was a total moron or a completely devoted progeny. I feel a heart wrenching love for my kid-self.

Apparently, it was not just my parents. Everybody in my family was out to get me. I loved mehandi. I used to put them overnight, until it became deep red. Ohh - the design was usually a big round and several small rounds around it. One morning, I ran out of my bed to show my uncles my little red hands that had been colored red by the overnight mehndi application. They told me that, it was not mehndi, but they were stains from the betel leaves my Grandpa had chewed. They briefed me how Grandpa had meticulously spat (in a design) on my little hands whilst I slept peacefully. I bawled my way to kitchen only to be whacked by Amma for being so gullible.

My dad had convinced me that he was an under cover cop and Mammooty’s best friend (I have a major crush on him. Proud Mallu, I know on whose side I stand.).I believed all that. Phew!

I do not mind being a fool, but being reminded of it for the rest of your life, that is cruel. Sniff! Sniff! I wish I had made some intelligent remarks in my early life. Some day when I become famous, people will read about my illuminating “THUBELYTHE” story, instead of some “kettle” incident.

When I saw my nephew say, “Shycle”, “skoodiver” and “fidge” (Cycle, Screwdriver and fridge respectively), I laughed indulgingly and told him secretly, ”Beware, my son, Grannies will remember and tell them your tales for generations to come..”

P: S:

Now it is my turn, call it sadistic pleasure. I had convinced one of my cousins that I am an ex-student of Hogwarts and that Harry Potter was my junior. She asked me some mumbo-jumbo about HP and I answered most of the HP-trivia (The trivia she did not know was that her 27-year-old cousin was a fantasy freak who had devoured Harry Potter cover to cover.). Backed by a couple of other mischievous cousins we had her at tears end when we confessed that all of us except her are part of Hogwarts and it was out of pity that we were telling her the truth. My uncles (the same ones in the mehndi episode) convinced her that we were telling the truth. 

*Acha-Achan,father in malayalam

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Debut

Honestly, If your kid was allergic to food (not a medical condition but one for which remedy comes in the form of application of well-oiled cane to the bare bottom. Should leave a red mark for maximum effect.) and resembles a wriggly earthworm, what will you do? Amma gracefully accepted the truth about me, at three years I was grossly underweight. With my uncanny sense of balance and flight, she decided not to put me in school and wait for another year. Much to my annoyance, against the will of a four year old, I was put into UKG. (Put. Like I was picked and dropped in to a jar of candies)

People of God’s own country; we trust our lives with Autos. Auto Rickshaw. The three-wheeled jet planes of my land with their yellow and black bodies, reminding me of honeybees, how I miss them!  For mango people or aam admi, it is their means of transport albeit at times termed a luxury.

Amma still thinks “catching” an auto should happen only when you are sick, a senior citizen or you have purchased 10 Kg of rice. (I do not try to change her. I like it when she tries to teach me the value of money). So it was not surprising when Amma arranged for an auto to take me to school.

My auto chettan* was a very nice person**. He always used to get me the side seat and at times, I did get to sit with him, right in the front. All this would happen later. This story is not about all that. This is about my first day at school.

No, I do not remember particularly the very first auto journey to school. Nevertheless, I clearly remember Amma in her black sari with red and green dots, my tiny cousin in hand waving a bye.

My school, it is a small one with only KG sections, a big playground and a stream behind it. Picturesque eh? However, between the stream and the playground is a huge wall that reminds one of the central jail walls. The constant gush of water and occasional glimpses from the top of the slides were the only proofs of the stream running by.
Anyways on this eventful day, my auto chettan put me into a class the end of the corridor. There were a lot of tiny tots like me. Some crying, some pulling and pushing one another and some like me, sitting as if we were going through a trauma. In short, utter chaos reigned the realm. I sometimes wonder how KG teachers maintain their sanity on such days or for that matter any school day!

The only person I knew was Vishalam teacher who was supposed to be my class teacher. I was a bit upset that she had not even turned up to meet us. I hoped she would come and give us sweets. She had given me two “mango bite” the day of admission.
After lunch, much to my chagrin and many others we were asked to lie down and sleep. While many slept, some naughty ones crawled around pulling shoes off the feet off the blissfully sleeping ones and hiding them. The restless child in me kept tossing around; watching the leaves moving with the breeze. I was bored lying on my back so I thought of lying down on my stomach.
That is when I saw her, Vishalam Teacher, in a white nylon sari with violet flowers. For me she was the most beautiful woman on earth after Amma. I called out, "Teacherrrrrrrrrrrrrr" I ran towards her, waking up a lot of fellow classmates. She took me by my arms and gave me a warm smile, which still melts me as I think of it.
She put me down and turned around to other fellow teachers. Here comes the revelation about the mystery of the missing teacher.” I was searching for this girl from morning. She is supposed to be in my class, UKG A. Wonder who put her in LKG. Is that you Mary, who did it? "
 Mary Teacher feigned a mock anger,"Oh come on as if I snatched away her. You keep your little girl.”
Vishalam Teacher smiled, running her fingers through my hair,” I guess the auto driver messed up."
I moved to UKG -"A" without much fuss. If Vishalam teacher had not come that way, I am sure I would have continued to sit in LKG until someone notified Amma about my absence in “UKG-A”. To date, it remains an enigma why my auto chettan put me in LKG.Probably he felt I was too small to be in school and put me in the lowest possible class owing to my well-fed-grown-up look those days...
*chettan: elder brother, bhaiyya
**Apparently, Last time I went home I met him. I was packing off one of little cousins to school. Guess, which auto uncle he was entrusted with?
TRIVIA: This was posted in a blog, which I owned in my poorvashram (So do not be surprised if you find this post elsewhere. It is just me in another avatar).I did edit the blog before reuse.Yet another blog in the blogosphere, it is non-existent. Only I know of its existence. Right now, it is my very own treasure trove of lost scribbling, from which I will pick stories at leisure when I run into a bloggers block.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Secret.

Are you sure that this is what we want?” the girl asked nervously, biting her thin lips. Unsure by nature he managed a nod conveying his decisiveness.” What if Mommee finds out? By God she’ll kill me.” the girl was shaking a bit.
He was unperturbed. ”Let her. You do not trust me. Do you?” he raised his eyebrows questioningly.
The girl looked at him and stared up at the cloudless sky through the rusty windows. The brilliant blue of the summer sky looked a mere reflection of her eyes. They were sitting in the wooden cabin behind the house. She knew that, Mom and Dad were out on their monthly shopping. .Nobody would come looking for her.
The boy demanded again,” Do you trust me or not?”
The girl hesitated. She did not trust boys. They were troublesome. Her mother had warned her in a voice sterner than ever. Then this boy; was it not supposed to be different with him? She stole a glance at him. He was cute in a peculiar way. She had loved his eyes the day she saw him first. They were the colour of honey. She had loved his brown curls too. And his smile charmed her even when they had a fight. In short he got his way with her; always. The best part was that, with him she never felt she was compromising, it felt natural. Just like it should, she smiled as her heart warmed up to him
But then he has changed a lot from their awkward first meeting, when her parents had introduced him.” Boys are trouble.” she remembered her mother’s ominous warning. Now the bundle of trouble was standing right in front of her in a worn out white shirt, blue shorts and mud-covered croc. His stance, demanding.
“Yes or no?” his voice edged by impatience, an annoying lineament she could only attribute to boys.
She shook her head, her short brown hair swaying,” Yes. I am ready. It is a little secret between us.” She smiled at him; two dimples formed on her flushed cheeks.” I trust you, Honey,” she added after a moment.
He smiled baring his pearl white teeth and then mimicking the zip-my-mouth act roared with a mock salute
“It’s a pact sister. Anything you say. Swear by my Ben 10 comic collection. I won’t tell a word to Mommee.”
Then the sister and her little brother dug a dark silent grave for the broken antique vase their mother had imported from France. The summer breeze blew through the cabin fluttering their identical brown curls.

PS:After this I could not help but write a similar one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Girl

No, Please.Please don’t do this to me.” She whimpered, pushing herself deeper into the chair as he edged closer to her and touched her face.
I winced in pain, watching the little girl crying. Her big eyes, filled with tears of agony searched for a pinch of mercy. She was small, in age and built, may be in her early teens. Her skin was smooth, the colour of honey, like that of her eyes. Raven black hair was disarray from the fistfight. She would have grown to be a very beautiful woman, but for…
I had never seen a girl fight like this. Normally they are terrorized and scared to respond.
“Honey, listen to him. He won’t hurt you.” I told her in a soothing voice, even when I knew I was lying.
God! I will rot in hell. How long should I lie to these young children to fill my stomach?
“No, he will. I know about all this. I’m not a kid”, she managed to squeak a response.
That was when he barked out of irritation,” Just get it over with, I really do not have time. Are you going to take all the time in the world? Listen young lady, either I take out those two molars so we can put braces to make you like a human or you can walk out and live like a rabbit for the rest of your life!!”