Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inked for life

Of the many crazy things I know I am sure to do in my life, a Tattoo was probably the last thing in the list. No, I guess it was not even there in the list . And how it turned out to be among the first few I actually did is still a mystery to me.

But now, over a year later since I got inked for life, I am ready to write about it :) ! [The final step was when my parents actually admired it.. though they have forbidden me from getting any more !]

In fact until a few years ago, I had no clue about the whole idea of tattooing. And even when I did come to know about it, I dint really find anything captivating about it, definitely not for me.. a person who till date creates a huge drama in a hospital if the doctor refers me for a blood test !

When nichu walked in one fine day and proudly displayed her first tattoo..I remember how aks and myself yelled out at her.
And in less than 4 months I was on my way to get my first tattoo done :)

Going back to the transition in these 4 months, I guess it was more of my craving to do something different, out of the ordinary. [This explanantion dint hold good while explaining to my mom as to why I got the tattoo done ;)]

Come to think of it..I never really had any reason for getting it done. It was an instinctive impulse and the only remorse I had was for the amount it costed me !

Nevertheless, the reactions of the kids in my hostel in complimenting me on being a 'cool didi ' ;) with the tattoo or the way I have managed to inspire the next generation in my family [who by the way have allowed to title me to be the first person in the tattoo genre ;) ] is more than reason enough for my tattoo adventure ! And I am proudly admiring my new addition ! :) Now all I need to complete the look is a few pairs of rugged clothes and a mexican desert and I am good to go... to flaunt my new look !

Ps: If any of you wish to get a tattoo done, I would recommend darkarts studio in bangalore. They do some of the most amazing designs I have ever seen, comparable to the miami ink and LA ink ones !

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Was it me who changed you....?

She looked at the colorful portrait in her hands. The smile on her parents face in the picture spoke volumes on their happiness at welcoming her, their daughter, into the small family. She was 6 months old when it was taken.

They named her 'Diya'.. the light of their lives.

Now, five and half years later, she cannot remember a single day when she saw the smile on her parents face. The only happiness and joy she ever saw was all plastered on the multiple portraits and framed pictures which lined the walls in the house. The people who lived in the house did not reflect it on their faces.

Today, when she realized it has been a long time since she saw her dada, out of curiosity, she asked her mamma about him. And she always got the same reply from her. 'We need our space baby'.

Her 6 year old mind could not fathom what that meant. After all, it was a huge spacious house they lived in. It had so many rooms that even she dint know the count of it. Moreover, she was always ready to clear out her nursery room of all her toys if her dada would like to have that 'space'. Anything to have him in the house.

Without giving her a chance to ask any more questions, her mamma walked out.

She went back to browsing the album in her hand. Her parents in their wedding attire. Her parents on their world tour. Her parents at family gatherings. Her parents out on picnics with their friends. They were so radiant with the glow of their new life together.

From the day she could remember, while family members ogled at other little children, admiring them and telling them how cute they were...the only whispers she heard around her was about how sorry everyone was and what was to happen to her. She dint understand it then and she couldn’t understand it now either.

Her dada had come to see her, a long time ago. She had dressed up in her most prettiest dress and had packed all her new toys in her school bag to show him. When she finally saw him, she could barely manage to run into his outstretched arms. So excited was she on seeing him that she could hardly contain her blabbering. Finally, when she had calmed down enough she heard him say about how she would always be his first princess, and about how things were different and something about moving on and many other things of which she could understand nothing. But she dint want to disappoint her father. After all, if he was telling her all this he expected her to understand it. So she obediently nodded her head and intently listened to every word he uttered. She caught only one word from his talks - 'Drivers'.

On reaching back, when she was telling her mamma about the visit, she asked her what dada meant by saying that mom and him are getting drivers. Mom's eyes misted up. But she was busy comprehending the meaning in her own little imagination that she had failed to notice it. Probably they are getting new cars.

'Tomorrow is a big day' mamma told her.

She had heard something about the drivers being final tomorrow.

Early morning the next day, she went with her granny and mamma.

Dada was standing in one corner of the corridor. Mamma and dada walked in. She stayed out with her granny. She dint like the vibes she got in the place. Her heart told her something is not right.

Mamma walks out of the room right into granny's arms, gives her a tight hug and heaves a sigh and says it’s over and that he dint even request for the custody rights.

Little Diya turns to look for her dada. He walks out walks towards the opposite side. He holds the hands of the other 6 year old girl who was standing there and starts walking out without even giving her a look.

Diya turns to look at her mother who is already on her way out with her granny.

Stranded in the middle, she heard someone whisper that those 2 are now on their way to start to a new life.

No one realized that a third life had just ended......

Sunday, January 31, 2010

No Hindu...

It has indeed been a very long time since i penned something here..or rather blogged here.But then,what with a very non cooperative laptop (we simply cant seem to agree on our common working hours) and a matching lazy attitude to go with it..lets just say i cudnt make it to my blogspot page.However, it dosent mean there is a shortage of topics to blog about..there is plenty happening around which will be updated shortly..but as of inspiration for this renewal of my online time is one particular incident which happened 2 days ago. And for most of you who know reasons for blogging are either frustration,boredom or anger. Well this time, the category is the third..pure plain boiling mad rage..and you ask me why? well here goes why.....

A friend of mine.. after being tired of staying in a dingy hostel room with three other roommates finally decides she wants her own personal space and decided to venture out on a hunt to find herself a single room/studio apartment. Since i was well aware of the hardships in this 'treasure' hunt [I had gone through the same when i was trying to relocate after nichu moved to London :(, believe me..its horrible..especially for an unmarried working girl !! i finally settled down for a hostel for college girls !], i tried my best to persuade her to give up this fruitless activity. The end result of such house hunts are always some lucky autodrivers..who make a fortune after the numrous trips to different ends of the town.

Well..all that said and done.. and she with her persistant behaviour, hunts down probable houses. Last friday, i get a call from her saying that she has found a house with a single room available..but she would be late in leaving office on that day, she wanted me to go and check it out. Reluctant as i was, i finally heeded and went off to inspect this so called house straight after work.

Its a quiet lane with houses which are attached to each other and with all weird shaped gates and with 'waves'[Kolam] on the roads. I stop in front of the house with the number mentioned in her sms to me.A small girl, around 8 to 9 years of age is sitting on the steps and trying to weave something out of the few flowers and leaves strewn around her.I stop short of the gate and i ask in plain pure english

'Is this Mr.Brihaspati's house?' [From my experience in banglore,Kids learn to speak very good english at a very young age!]
She stares at me. I hastily think i am mistaken and i rephrase my question in what i assume is proper kannda.
'Brihaspati mane ya ithu?'

She is on the verge of bursting into tears and while i look around frantically..she lets out a heart wrenching yelp which sounds something like 'apppaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa' and runs into the dark interiors of the house.
As i stand wondering what next, out comes a middle aged man in his white dhoti and a white baniyan and asks a very brisk 'What?'.
I move forward in an attempt to open the gates and tell him about my arrival here, when he abruptly moves forwards laying a protective hand on the latch of the gates.I look up at him and tell him that i happened to hear about a vacancy of a single room in the first floor and that i am here to see the place.

If looks could kill, i am sure i would have been burnt to ashes by the piercing glare he was giving. He was staring at me and i could feel his stares burn the centre of my forehead. While i am trying to comprehend the situation, he shouts out
'No muslims..only hindus...go go...shoo shoo'.
And i turn and look around half expecting to see a cow or some other four legged animal probably wearing something which resembles the 'burkha' worn by muslims.
I was pretty sure he is shooing some animal away..
and he still continues his shooing gestures repeating 'no muslims no muslims'.

It took me a while to realise that it was me he was shooing away....and by then it was too late..the wooden door had already been slam shut on my face and the figure which rudely shooed me away was safely protected behind it.
I stand bewilderd and shocked not realising what struck me.
And then it hit me..the constant glare at my forehead and his assumption that i was a muslim... i had no Bindi on my forehead.
Yes,I dont keep bindi's. If you ask me it's a big effort. For starters,it dint take me long to realise that my skin is allergic to whatever the glue that is used to stick the colorful paper onto my forehead.So i tried my hand at the liquid paint stuff. And this became an even more nightmarish experiment,because by mid day my face would look like some amteur artist tried making a art work which went haywire.The paint would have been smeared all over my face and i would end up looking more ridiculous than my stints with bindi's are very limited and done only on days when i know i can afford to be very very careful with the little colored paint on my forehead.

But i never realised that the absence of that one small dot could make a difference in getting a roof above my head or being shooed away like a wild animal!

Why? why does appearances and accesories have to make a person?
I wear toe rings and i love wearing them because i think they are cool and look nice..and umpteen times i have been asked where my husband is or which company he works for? Initially it never struck me why i was being posed with such questions? I simply presumed probably they are just taking a wild guess from my age..but its only later i realised that it was the one small ring on my toe which made all the difference. And from that day i resolved never to have it removed !!
I know plenty of married women who dont wear a toe ring or sindoor.. they are never asked why ask questions when its worn? If the absence dosent matter...then why should its presence matter????
Why does accesories make a religion? Isnt religion a person's comfort and not something which is imposed?

I repeat..i am not religious...i am just spiritual [copyright - shiff].
As long as its god you are calling,what difference does anything else make?
Sorry offence here.This incident has deeply shaken me up and hurt would be an understatement.

Sadly, as i stay dumbstruck in the lane and give one last look at the door which was rudely slammed onto my face, i see the small face of the girl peeping out through a window by the side and i think....

There's the person who will be slamming the door shut on my children's face never ends..its just passed on from one generation to the next......