Friday, December 16, 2011

The girl who knew no joy

               Perhaps writing a post about her would not cause any difference. You may not see her and feel for her the way I did. My thoughts are all jumbled and it is in this state of disturbance that I write this post.
               I got to know her two years back. It was a newly started website about my regional language. It was like a facebook with people speaking my language. Most of the members there were either middle aged, from my native or those settled abroad. It was in this crowd that I got acquainted with her.
               Trishna (name changed). Her image display was a sky with a crescent moon. Somehow we began pinging. Through our chats I got to know about her.
               She was a housewife. Her husband a hotelier. She was originally from Mangalore and came to Mumbai after marriage. She whiled away her time on the internet when she was alone at home. She was in her mid 20s.
               After a few days of casual his we began to chat more.
              One day she asked me, "Do you wear kurtis? Those beautiful ones that have now come in fashion?"
              I typed back, "Yes I do.. mostly I wear kurtis"
              "Oh I love them. There are such beautiful patterns. I just cant stop looking at them in the market!"
              " So you wear them too?"
              "I wish. My husband doesn't like it. He doesn't have a problem but my inlaws.. "
              "You should tell him then. Wearing a kurti should not be a problem at all!"
              "They are uneducated. My husband is also a college dropout. They are not modern."
              "Hmm.. what have you studied by the way?"
              " I have masters in nutrition. But what's the use? They won't let me work."
I did not have words to answer that. It is true that such situations still exist. I had no idea how a girl can live with such restrictions.

 A few days later there was some random topic about love, on that website. She pinged me,
"So you are in love?"
I replied back,
"Have you ever fallen in love?"
"Yes, I had a boyfriend in college."
"Then what happened?"
"Nothing my parents arranged my marriage then I had to marry."
"What about your boyfriend?"
"What can I say in such cases. I  had to forget him."
"Do you love your husband now?"
"Not that the this child is in my womb, it has to be love right?"
"Ohhhhh !! you are pregnant?"
"Yes.. 6 months.."

We often chatted and she told me how the baby was doing in her womb. She talked of the child. She wanted a son. "Just like that" she said, but somewhere I knew she didn't want a daughter to ever face life this way.

When she was 7 months pregnant she left for her native place. She had my phone number. Promised to text me when the baby is delivered.
A few days after she left, she called me.
"Hi.. I m online.."
"Oh great, coming!"
She told me she was at her mother's home. Her "godh bharai" was over. She told me that her husband had gifted her gold jewellery which was cause of much jealousy and anger of her sister-in-law and mother-in-law.
I was infuriated. She was experiencing such joy and her in laws were being so insensitive!

She called me once more after that while she was going for check  up. Within 15 days her baby was born. A boy like she wanted. She asked someone to text me.

I started going to college. Spent less time online and she got busy with her baby maybe.
After months she called me one day. I was using a new mobile and her number wasn't saved in it. I didn't place her and asked, "Who's this?"
"Oh you forgot me !"
"Sorry my phone is new.."
"Trishna here!!"
She was sounding very happy. Unfortunately I was busy and I told her I would get back to her soon. But soon didn't happen that soon and she didn't have a fixed number to call on. She never came online as her in laws didn't have internet.

Last year a common friend of Trishna and me on that website (which had closed down) messaged me on Google.
"Did you get new of Trishna?"
"No..what  happened?"
"Her baby died."
"What??????? Nooooo!!!! How??" I was shocked.
"Her husband had lifted the baby but somehow he slipped. The husband lost control and baby got hit on head. Died on the way to hospital."
"This is so sad. How is Trishna?"
"Her distant relative is a friend of mine. She told me Trishna has gone mad. She is totally out of senses."

I remembered the beautiful dreams she had for her child. How she wanted to bring up her child in native till he grew up to go in school. Of the names she had asked me to suggest... All dead.

None of us had her number. She had shunned the world..

This week the same common friend messaged me.
"Do you know about Trishna?"
I was silently praying that she is fine and maybe having a baby again..
"No..Tell me."
"She's dead."
"How do you know?"
"Her relative... She died last month.."
"She had cancer for last six months.. After her baby died she got detected with cancer.. She was bedridden."

I don't know what to think of it. How can life be so unjust to anyone? She knew no peace even in death. She died everyday after her child died. Suffered the pain, emotional and physical.

What had she asked out of life? Wearing kurtis and having her child?
Her love, education, dreams, child, freedom everything got snatched one by one.

Maybe her baby needed her..Even in heaven.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Love Affairs

Love affairs
       Oblivious to the harsh realities of life there is a brood of people who live in their own dream world.. The young blood of the societies. Sometimes I feel an affair is more to escape from the reality. How else would you explain that irrespective of if a guy has a job, good education or belongs to a good family, he has a girlfriend?
        There are groups of boys who spend the better half of their day in playgrounds where they sit and check out girls who cross the ground. Whistling or often commenting on them. If she looks and smiles they start the chase. The next level is waiting in her galli. Talking to her in indirect ways. Pataoing her friend to help. Going into her society as somebody else’s friend.  Flattering her with compliments. Making jeene marne ki kasme.. It is all sweet and has a fantasy effect.
        If the girl is from the same society then kya kehna! Just turn on the music on full volume and play the song you want her to hear. Right from “kabhi aana tu meri gali” to “kehna hai kehna hai aaj tujhse kehna hai”.  If the guy is more dabbang he might sing it as she passes by. 
Some make the few trees outside the societies as letter boxes. Keep the letters in the crevices of the barks!
This brood is the topic of hot gupshup of the society. The juicy gossip of whose daughter  ran away with whom can keep the people occupied for many days together!
       The truth is that some of these pairs are so grossly mismatched that it is foolish to pursue such affairs. Maybe the thrill of doing the forbidden or the love and attention they get for sometime is all they want. Many of the youngsters don't work on studies and are  content day dreaming.. 
Ofcourse I m looking at it from a third person's view and I have no right to judge anyone.

  Valentine’s day herogiri
        There was one family in the society which had 5 grown up boys, mother, father and grandmother all packed in the small house. The boys were the romeos of our galli.
One fine Valentine day, the eldest of them came home with a girl. Garlands in their neck, girl's maang filled with sindoor. The girl had eloped. What could the boy’s family do?  They accepted them with aarti ki thaali and a reception happened later.
            This girl was from a good family and  lived in an apartment. Her father had a shop. She was living comfortably. Love is blind, deaf and even mental in some cases. She married this guy who worked in a band (not the rock band, that band which plays in weddings and ganpati festivals!!!) and had come to live in a house filled with 4 men other than her husband and 3 elders. 
            Within a year all the herogiri and filminess went down the drain and reality sinked in. It was tough but the girl was determined to make it work. She cared for the inlaws and her brother-in-laws. The guy she married to, is still irresponsible and sometimes tries hitting on other girls ( Don’t know if she knows that). Now they both have a son. I heard she cooks for others to add some income to the family.
            Some years later, another of the brothers tried repeating the stunt. Seriously one has to be completely out of mind to think of adding another member into a house filled with 10 members ! This new girl might have entered with rosy glassed dreams and then  ran away the moment she discovered the harsh truth..  Yes, not all have the strength to put up with such situations.. Or maybe the first girl didn’t have the courage to back out of the marriage..
 Each story is a story of struggle and hard decisions..