Sunday, 22 April 2018

Career-Oriented or Career-Blind?

It’s been two days, just two days. My partner is travelling for some work and I am all by myself at home. I can already feel how my life would be a vacuum without him now. One thing I know for sure, and it’s not the first time this thought has come to me, that I would trade any riches of the world for him, any given day, any given time. It's another thing when there's no one you share your life with, but you once have someone, how can you ever do without them? 

I am not jobless. This declaration is important to my further discussion or many would like to assume that I am. In fact, I might be working more than many of these ‘assuming’ people. And no, it’s not just washing dishes and cleaning cobwebs.

Moving forward, I am not blindly in love either. I don’t believe in the phrase ‘blind in love’. Love is a human emotion, the apex of all. And when you are in love with someone, you do things for them which you might not do otherwise. That’s okay; it’s not being blind but simply being in love. It is to be together, loyal and loving to each other. If it’s madness, be it so.

Coming to the point which I am to actually discuss, career choices made by us, both men and women. Some part the discussion focuses more on women, but not at all to be sexist, I shapath (promise)!

Why do we always have to choose between love and career? Why us, why women always? No, you don’t. I know many women have to go through this phase, but out of those, quite a lot of them do so happily. I don’t mean completely leaving your career but compromising a bit on how you planned to go about it.

And here’s my actual point of debate. Most (Read ‘A lot of’ if you please) women make their own choices, which is fine. But why do we need to defend our decisions and choices behind the curtain of pseudo-feminism? I repeat, not feminism but pseudo-feminism. Feminism doesn't imply that you can ride over men. 

I for one had always been a career-oriented girl, now a woman (Wow!). I still am. My family instilled this in me, my parents to be more accurate. But the value of human relations never faded in front of all the glamour of bank notes. I will ever be thankful to my parents for this. Money indeed is important, for your necessities, for your luxuries, etc. but, my friend, not for your happiness. Having all luxuries not necessarily mean you will be happy or successful. Yes.

My point is that you can be successful without your bank account showing 10, 9, 8, or even 7 digit figures. Also, I don’t think that after a long day at work, one will simply come home, check their bank balance, and feel relieved and happy. Does it give that much warmth, love, and understanding a human is capable of bestowing?

For the fear of being misunderstood, I emphasise again, there is no harm in earning a lot of money. But is it worth trading the one you love? Or the one who loves you back, often unconditionally? If a person loves you, they understand your dreams and aspirations like no other. Metaphorically speaking, they will climb mountains so that you can fulfil your ambitions. But, you need to trust them.

Kintsugi, the Japenese art of fixing broken things with gold. You will get the reference somewhere in the text. 

I am talking about a certain group of people. There are people who destroy such amazingly beautiful relations just for the sake of making a bit more money. That money you earn can buy your tickets to the pub on weekends but trust me, five or ten years down the lane, you would wish there was someone who would just slip in the blanket with you and watch a classic movie together, ordering dinner from a local joint.

All those expensive restaurants will lose its glamour and you will crave a cup of coffee made by the person you left behind, broken and confused on where they went wrong.
And one of those days, you will bump into him, all healed by a woman who timely judged the value of real diamonds in life. All his cracks would be filled up by this woman, with golden love, like beautiful art.

And you will stand there wishing you could trade something out of your expensive possessions, to earn one priceless moment like this. The girl he is holding now would appear to be so successful, with a prize no one could ever compete to win, not again!

Note: The above thing applies as much to men, as to women. Moreover, I am not against being career oriented, but career blind. When two people are in love, they should make decisions together. There is a need to compromise in every relation, be it parent-child, brother-sister, or lovers.

But if you aren’t inclined towards love, that’s fine too. You can decide what you want for your life but that's applicable only when you have sorted out your priorities well in advance. You have no right to destroy someone’s life midway saying you need to part ways because Hey! I have other priorities, I forgot to tell you.

My reason to write this isn’t to attack anyone, and I hope it is clear by now that I am not being judgemental but reasonable enough given the kind of people I am talking about. Far too many marriages, relationships, and families are breaking these days due to the inability to prioritize the important things in life at the correct time.

On our way to advancement, we should not leave behind what’s more essential and what ultimately matters in life! Who do you think would cry once you die? Definitely not your 4BHK or your Audi for that matter! 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Emotional Claustrophobia

There are some writings which you can only write when it strikes your mind, all of a sudden. These writings, often can’t be defined as literature from the view point of Eagleton, but surely does strike a chord with the contemporary readers. The following writing is one of them, based on some borrowed feelings.

Emotional Claustrophobia

The ‘claustrophobia’ we learn from the dictionary tells us it’s a fear of small, confined spaces. But is it essential that you feel ‘confined’ only in petite spaces? No, it’s not. Often it’s the small spaces that give you the freedom of living in your own world and big spaces trap you, emotionally. Quite often, physically too.

There are shreds of evidence in undistorted history and art on how castles were never actually the dream of those who lived there, women to be more specific. Even though they were bestowed to be princesses and queens, they were merely the wives of princes and kings, just filling a few gaps now and then. True that they had all the luxuries of jewels and silks, but can any opulence of the high walls substitute the magnificence of the sky?

Jane Eyre, for one, could have had all that the world craves. That’s in relevance to her times and her life before Rochester. But the self-esteem and dignity (often termed as ego when we talk of women) which she chose, isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Spinning off, the mad woman in the attic is another way of looking at the story. Jean Rhys’ take on the tale isn’t just a criticism of colour conscious literature of the time. It’s a story of a significant number of women over the world. Some end up mad, some with an emotional claustrophobia.

Paul Morel (Lawrence’s character) and Stephan Dedalus (Joyce’s) reach an epiphany and take along their own way, leaving behind everything. How many of the women in literature ended up doing so? Not many. It’s only literature, you say? Literature might be fictional but it reflects the factual. One of the very first definitions of literature I read was that it’s a mirror of life.

In spite of scriptures and intellect suggesting the contrary, women always had a controlled role. And what’s the reason? ‘It’s always had been like this’. Rational enough! Why don’t we stitch clothes out of leaves and feed on hunting then? And there are thousands of other things which we have changed over time, in spite of them being the other way from times immemorial. The comparisons aren’t digestible to many people, for obvious reasons.

Well, I don’t know how to come to a conclusion for there isn’t any, not yet. And quite remorsefully, it doesn’t seem to be near too. Maybe it will take as much time as the evolution, or maybe more. But more importantly, will it ever be? I mean, a perfect culmination of this, when people will astonishingly listen to stories of the past when women had so many walls restricting them? 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Bits of You.

When you aren't here,
I find bits of you.
In the corner of the room,
Wearing your T-shirt,
Which smells of you.

In the wash basin,
I didn't clean.
Bits of your moustache, if not a kiss.
Hugging your pillow,
Which won't hold back.

And sometimes in the middle of the night,
I cry till I can't,
Because I love you to bits,
And bits of you aren't enough. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016


Here’s my first attempt at writing in Hindi. Please ignore the grammatical/spelling errors and Hindu-Urdu amalgamation! (भावनाओं को समझें!)
(For those who have difficulty in reading देवनागरी  script, scroll down for the English one!)

मस्जिदो  के  साईरन  की  आवाज़  अक्सर  शहर  के  शोरगुल  में  खो  जाती  थी | लेकिन  ऊपर  माले  के  भाई-बहन , उस  आवाज़  को  अपनी  आवाज़  में  बदलकर  नीचे  तक  पंहुचा  देते | जिसको  भूख  ज्यादा  लगी  होती  , वह  खुश  होकर  इफ्तार  का  एलान  कर देता| खैर , यह  तो  रही  खेल  और  ठट्ठे  वाली  बात| बाहर  की  सड़क  पर  भोर  से  लेकर  देर  रात  तक  चहल  पहल  रहती  थी , लेकिन  उन  दो  मिंटो के लिए मानो वह भी रुक जाती थी| कुछ पलों के लिए एक सुकून भरा सन्नाटा अनुभव होता था|

इफ्तार का इंतज़ार तो दिन भर रहता था| मगर एक  खजूर  और  एक  गिलास  पानी  पीकर  सब  भूख  छू मंतर | लेकिन   सामने  रखा    दिल  खुश  कर देने  वाला  खाना , वह  भी  तो  खाना  है | जैसे  ही  खजूर  खाया , सीधा  पकोड़े  पर   हाथ  जा  रुकते | अक्सर  डांट  भी  पड़ती  की  फ़ल  क्यों   नहीं  खाते , पानी  भी  ठीक  से  नहीं  पिया , बस  चटपटा  खाकर  सेहत  नहीं  बनेगी | सेहत  तो  उपरवाले के करम से  अच्छी  ही  थी , उनका  कहने  का  मतलब  'अच्छी  सेहतसे  था  शायद | या  फिर  शायद  माँ -बाप  को  बच्चे  हमेशा  कमज़ोर  ही  लगते  हैं | खैर , जो  सोचा  होता  था  की  खाने  पर  लपक  पड़ेंगे , वह  नहीं  होता |  खाने  को  थोड़ा  आराम  देकर  सब  नमाज़  के  लिए  उठते | नमाज़   के  बाद  हसी  ठट्ठे  के  बीच  खाना  पूरा होता |

टीवी  नाम  का  मनोरंजन  रमजानो   में  बंद  रहता  था  तो  एकदूसरे  का  ही  मनोरंजन  बन जाते | कभी  हंसी -मज़ाक , कभी  दीन-धर्म , तो  कभी  पढाई -लिखाई  जिसके  इर्द  गिर्द  सबकी  ज़िन्दगी  घूमती  थी |  मैं , मेरी  बहन , और  समझने  के  लिए  समझ  लीजिए  ऊपर  वाली  बहन |  माँ  और  मामी  की  बातें  तो  बस  क्या  ही  बताएं !  रमजानो में ज्यादातर माँ अल्लाह से बात करती ही मिलती थी | अपने  बच्चों  की  किस्मत  के  लिए  दुआएं   मांगती  हुई |तरावीह  तक  का  वक़्त  कुछ  यूँही गुज़र  जाता | तरावीह पढ़ते हुए साथ वाले को अल्लाह के सामने रोते हुए देखते , तो  दिल भर आता और बिना जताए उसके लिए भी दुआ मांग लेते |   सब  तरावीह  पढ़के  सोने  की तैयारिओं  में  लग  जातेमगर  वो  बस  तययरिां  ही  होती , नींद  तो  देर  रात  तक  नहीं  आती | सब  बात  करते , हसी  मज़ाक  करते,  रात  निकाल  देते | रात के खाने की भूख किसी को नहीं होती, सिवाए मेरे | नींद  तो  तब  आती  थी  जब  सेहरी  के   लिए  उठना  होता  | एक और ख़ास बात, रमजानो में सब साथ सोते थे, एक दूसरे को धक्का देकर अपनी जगह बनाते हुएऊपर से यह मोबाइल नामक चीज़, सबका एक एक कर अलार्म बजता | नींद में दिल करता जिसका भी है हाथ आजाए तो दीवार पर ही दें मारें | लेकिन सबके रहस्यों को छुपाया, मोबाइल तकियों के नीचे सोता था |

 सवेरे  उठकर  सब  अपने  काम  में  लग  जाते . जनाब , चार  बजे  तक  हालत  ख़राब ! असर  की  नमाज़  में  पैर  अक्सर  ऐसे  लड़खड़ाते  जैसे  बस  अभी  गिरे | उसके  बाद   होती  थी  गिनती  शुरू |  इफ्तार  की  तैयारियां| माँ  का  हाथ  बटाना , जो  पापा  और  बहन  ही  करते | हम  तो  मास्टर  शेफ  थे , जब  मन  करता  था  कुछ  हटके  बनाने का  तब  रसोई  में  जातेवर्ना  तो  बस  इधर  उधर  मदद  की  कोशिश , पर  शायद  ही  कोई  मदद  होती | पापा  फ़ल  काटते , बहन  शर्बत  बनाती,  माँ  बाकी  का  नाश्ता  और  मैं ? मैं  खाने  का  इंतज़ार  करती | ऊपर  नीचे  इफ्तार  का  लेन -देन , ताकि  स्वाद  बदलता  रहे | और  फिर  ?

फिर,  बस  वही  साईरन  का  इंतज़ार |

                                                    Picture: Ramazan, 2015. Home. 


Masjido ke siren ki awaaz aksar sheher ke shorgul me kho jaati thi. Lekin upar maale ke bhai-behen, us awaaz ko apni awaaz me badalkar neeche tak pahucha dete. Jisko bhook jyada lagi hoti, veh khush hokar iftar ka elaan kardeta. Khair, yeh to rahi khel aur thatthe wali baat. Bahar ki sadak par bhor se lekar der raat tak chehel pehel rehti thi, lekin un do minto k liye maano veh bhi ruk jaati. Kuch palo k liye ek sukoon bhara sannata anubhav hota tha.

Iftar ka intezaar to din bhar rehta tha. Ek khajoor aur ek glass paani peekar sab bhook chu mantar! Lekin jo saamne rakkha dil khush krdene wala khana, veh bhi to khana hai. Jaise hi khajoor khaya, seedha pakode par hath ja rukte. Aksar daant padti ki phal kyun nahi khaate, paani bhi thik se nahi piya, bas chatpata khakar sehat nahi banegi. Sehat to uparwale ke karam se achi hi thi, unka kehne ka matlab ‘achi sehat’ se tha shayad. Ya fir shayad maa-baap ko bacche hamesha kamzor hi lagte hain. Khair, jo socha hota tha ki khane par lapak padenge, veh nahi hota. Khane ko thoda aaram dekar sab namaaz k liye uthte. Namaz k baad hasi thatthe k beech khana pura hota.

TV naam ka manoranjan aksar ramzaano me band rehta tha to ekdusre ka hi manoranjan karlete. Kabhi hasi-mazak, kabhi deen-dharam, to kabhi padhai-likhai jiske ird gird sabki zindagi ghoomti thi. Mai, meri behen, aur samajhne k liye samajh lijiye upar wali behen. Maa aur maami ki baatein to bas kya hi btaein.  Ramzano me jyadatar maa Allah se baat karti milti thi. Apne baccho ki kismat ke liye duaen maangti. Tarawih tak ka waqt unhi hi guzar jata. Tarawih padhte hue sath wale ko Allah ke saamne rota dekhte, to dil bhar aata aur bina jatae Allah se uske liye dua maang lete. Sab tarawih padhke, sone ki tayyarion me lag jate the. Magar vo bas tayyarian hi hoti thi. Neend daer raat tak nahi aati thi. Sab baat krte, hasi mazaaak karte raat nikaal dete. Raat ke khane ki bhook kisiko nahi hoti thi, siwae mere.  Neend to tab aati thi jab sehri k liye uthna hota tha. Ek aur khaas baat, ramzano me sab saath hi sote the, ek dusre ko dhakka dekar apni jagah banate hue. Upar se yeh mobile naamak cheez, sabka ek ek kar alarm bajta. Neend me dil karta jiska bhi hai hath aajae to deewar par hi den mare. Lekin sabke rehsayo ko chupaya, mobile takiyon k neche sota tha.

Savere uthkar sab apne kaamo me lag jate. Janab, char baje tak haalat kharab! Asar ki namaaz me paer aksar aise ladkhadate jaise bas abhi gire. Uske baad hoti thi ginti shuru. Iftar ki tayyarian. Maa ka haath batana, jo papa aur behen hi krte. Hum to master chef the, jab mann karta tha kuch hatke banane ka tab rasoi me jaate the.  Varna to bas idhar udhar madad ki koshish, par shayad hi koi madad hoti. Papa phal kaat te, behen sherbet banati , Maa baaki ka naashta. Aur main? Mai khane ka intezar karti. Upar-neeche iftar ka len den, taaki swad badalta rahe. Aur fir ?

Fir bas vahi siren ka intezar!