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Churmuri

I skipped reading the main page of the newspaper. Since Mangalyan’s success two days back, the only news the newspaper carried was about it and I was seriously fed up. As I turned the page a picture caught my eye and I turned it back again.

The picture was of the female scientists involved in the Mars mission. And one lady looked very familiar. I peered more closely. Yes it looked like Kamakshi’s mother. But then Kamakshi’s mother looked like that some twenty years back. And what was she doing in this Mars mission? And also she was a housewife, when did she become a scientist?

And then it stuck me. This must be Kamakshi herself!!

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I was having a grand time in Mysore. It was the first time I was living away from my family and I was having a grand time. Yes, I did miss my mothers cooking and my fathers pampering but I was happy that I was far away from the iron discipline of my granny.

And my classmates were kind too. Most of them were day scholars. While one brought some books to read, another brought me home food and so on. While we were busy having a good time, there was Kamakshi. It was obvious that she came from a lower middle class family as she had just two sets of clothes which she wore alternatively. Her hair used to be oiled every day and plaited very neatly into two. She always brought her tiffin and whats more always got something for me because I didn’t get to eat home food. The food was a simple citranna(lemon rice) or uppit(upma) but always very delicious.

And while we would scamper away to have a churmuri(bhelpuri), she rarely did. Obviously the seven rupees a plate was expensive for her. It seemed her father who was a clerk in one of the offices was the sole breadwinner for a family of ten. So it was but natural that the seven odd rupees were a princely sum to her. Sometimes I would force her to come and have some churmuri with us. At that time she would just have soutekayi churmuri which was about five rupees. I suppose it was a bit easy for her to swallow her pride for five rupees than the normal seven rupees churmuri.

I had been to her place a couple of times. Once was during navratri and another just like that. They treated me with so much love that it brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of home.

But after that Kamakshi became distant. Reason being that she started giving tuitions. Her younger brother was a slow learner and needed some extra coaching and it was either his education or hers which could be financed by her father. Kamakshi decided to finance her own education.

One day when she was looking very weak and it seemed she would just fall, I forced her to have some churmuri with me.

‘Hey Kami’, Meena said, ‘When will you treat us, it is always us who treat you’. Meena was the one who always came second while Kamakshi was always first. Meena was obviously hurting at the fact that in the recent test, again it was Kamakshi who had come first.

Kamaskshi’s pride was hurt. While the tears hurt her, she quietly ate the soutekayi churmuri pushing it down with large gulps of water. I pounced on Meena as soon as Kamaskshi left. ‘Didn’t I say the truth, she is a free loader, isn’t she?’, said Meena

After that she became more distant. I would see her walking to college and back. Why she didn’t come by bus, I could very well understand. Maybe she had lost some of her tuitions and so was walking to and fro to save money.

After about three months she stayed back after college, came towards us and said shyly, ‘today is my birthday’

As we gathered to sing and embrace her, she announced, I want to treat you today with some churmuri, And while we protested, she took the ten of us to have some.

That day the shurmuri was extra special for it had the taste of her sacrifice.

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I picked up the phone and called Datta Uncle. Datta Uncle had been my father’s PA and now was my PA too.  ‘Uncle just find out from the picture in the front page of today’s newspaper, if the lady in pink saree is Kamakshi. If yes, find out her phone number and address’.

I got the reply in the affirmative some two hours later.

I picked up my mobile and dialled her number. ‘Care for some churmuri’, I asked.

*fiction

 

The Eavesdropper

Reblogging an old story

Searching Self

Mithila was parading down the hall when her husband Awadesh entered the house and stopped . On seeing him she too gave a provocative pose and said, ‘So how do I look?’
Mithila and Awadesh had been married for about 2 years now, She was an engineer with a telecom company, while he was an investment banker. Both were dynamic and hardworking. For now they had put any ideas of expanding their family on hold and were just having a good time.
‘Yeah it looks good, but why a ‘ghagra choli?’, he asked.
‘Arrey its Rupali’s wedding na, so I will be wearing this for one of the functions,, she replied.
Rupali was Awadesh’s cousin and her wedding was supposedly to be a grand affair as she was the youngest among the cousins. ‘Oh like that’, he murmured.
‘And then I thought….’, she continued
‘What?, he asked.
‘I thought I…

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Fate?

An old story……………

Searching Self

Manya felt useless. Why? Because she felt she had nothing. Whole adolescence had been spent awing at other girls who had it all, the best clothes, the best education, whatever that money could buy. She had been born into a lower middle class family and had remained so throughout her 35 yrs of life.
She had tried to get a seat in an engineering college, but couldn’t. Call it fate/karma whatever, but although she had tried hard she couldn’t get a seat in any college. A payment seat was out of the question, instead of doing B.Sc she thought it better to do Bcom. Attempted CA but after clearing Inter and failing Finals twice decided to chuck it and got married to Atul, a BCom graduate working for a Marwari business. A good man, good family. And she settled down to a life akin to the one she had grown…

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HAARAM.COM, STOP POSTING OUR POSTS ON YOUR SITE WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION!


A bunch of us bloggers have noticed that you have listed our blogs and have been copying our entire posts on to your site for which we neither signed up nor gave explicit permission. Hence would appreciate if you could stop doing that and take our blogs off your site ASAP.

Consider this a gentle reminder from our end..for now.

We may not be so gentle the next time, for this is a serious issue of copyright violation..

Thank you.

Bhagyashree

A bud blossoms

I was late and hurried home. My husband was out-of-town and I wanted to  be with my daughter. She can take care of herself but its exam time and I want to be there for her just in case she needs any thing.

“Good evening Doctor’, a voice called out. I looked up.

‘Hi Teacher, will catch you later, want to be with Sneha’, I said and rushed.

Ajit, an English teacher at Sneha’s school, who lived in our colony had become a very close friend of ours. A teacher who loved to teach innovatively, who was able to inspire students, who made them curious and taught them to inquire. He often asked me advice on some students who needs some psychological help. A help which I was glad about.

I feel as a generation we cater to all the whims and fancies of our kids but so very over ambitious we are, of them that we do not allow them to spread their wings.

But now was not the time to have these thoughts. I had to see if Sneha needed me.

A week late Ajit called me, ‘Doctor, can we meet this evening’.

It meant he had to discuss something,’Why not, come over this evening. the better half will be there too.’ And he agreed. The better half is quite insightful with matters concerning kids and that’s why I like him around if Ajit has a problem.

So in the evening after some juice, Ajit began, ‘I have a new student in fact in Sneha’s section only, resident of this colony. Do you know the people who have come in, in Building A4, Flat 45?’

I nodded in negative.

‘ The girl I feel is bright but is very shy. Hesitates to participate in class and gets very tense about any test’

I really did not understand what help Ajit wanted from me.

‘Doctor, I need some support from all of you’, he said.

‘What?’ we cried out in unison.

‘Can Sneha have some combined study with her and see if it makes a difference?’

‘Sure’, I said

‘We will have to ask Sneha, first’, added my ever wise husband.

‘Sure’, Ajit smiled understandingly.

Sneha said an emphatic “NO”. The reason; the girl Medha was of the silent types, did not mingle, was always hyper and the most important reaso was what the others would think of her. They might call her a baby sitter or a nanny.

‘Its alright. But Ajit thought she needs company and he thought you are the right person who could help her bloom’, said her father.

‘He thinks so’, said the kid with star struck eyes.

Our daughter has a crush on her English teacher. We know that and do not encourage her generally but today was an exception.

And she agreed.

So Medha came everyday. And she did start interacting with Sneha but if we adults  were around, she got anxious.

And then one day Sneha was invited to her house and she returned in a rage.

‘What happened?’, I asked.

‘That aunty, Medha’s mother is a b****’, she said.

‘Mind your language’, I yelled, ‘What happened’.

‘She interferes in everything. Including what we should read and how. She checks on how we write our answers etc. Can’t she mind her own business?’

So that was the problem. New age parents I tell you, can be a real pain.

Some days later the girls were very animated. I was happy Medha had opened up very nicely and now had a ‘mind of her own’ which I was sure must be giving her mother sleepless nights.

‘Maaa’, Sneha called. I went.

‘Ma, Ajit SIr has divided us into groups of 4 and asked us to prepare a skit on deforestation. We 2, Adesh and Surekha are on the same group as we belong to the same colony and practise would be easy.’

‘Only Ajit could think of all this. Shuttling kids for their practise is quite troublesome.

But then my mind went on an overdrive.  ‘Alright you four can practise e here but …. Medha have you told your mother?’

‘No  my aunt is unwell so she went to meet her. She will be coming late tonight’.

‘Alright then, do not tell her. Prepare your skit and present it’.

‘You will not help us?’, was Medha’s doubt. “no”, I said. ‘Yipee’, Sneha said.

My daughter likes it when I am away from her life. Sigh.

And so when we were at home we put ear plugs. 4 teenagers in the same house meant that our ears suffered a lot.

The skit happened, and our colony group lost. But it had helped their confidence. One was dreaming of becoming a playwright. Other an actress. But more importantly there was a glow on Medha’s face which had never existed before. And it was while the group was rejoicing their loss, Medha’s mother made an entry.

‘Medha lost her glow and she bent her head in shame.

‘Why did you forbid Medha from telling me?’, she screamed.

‘I looked towards Sneha and said,’ Can you please take your friends to your room’. They were more than happy to leave the scene.

‘So that you may not interfere’, I replied to Medha’s mother.

‘Interfere? I would have aided them to make a better skit’, she screamed.

‘Speak softly’, I said in my most professional voice, ‘It was better this way. They developed confidence, they know what went wrong and they will do better next time. ‘

‘They have lost, they will get less in their internal assessment….’

‘So what. They have gained confidence’.

‘I will not allow Medha to come here any more’, she said.

‘That is you wish. But have you seen the look of contentment in Medha’s face. why do you try to run her life, she is an individual too. Let her learn, experiment. Let her grow’.

She stamped her feet and went away and for 2 weeks Medha did not come to our place.

On the 15th day she came accompanied by her father.

‘Thank you, he said

‘For what’, I said.

He said, ‘ For letting my girl blossom into a person. She told her mom very gently and very firmly that she wants to be with Sneha . Her mother could not argue, and…. her standing out  gave me confidence too’, he said with tears in his eyes.

A single gesture, a little support could make such a big difference. I was happy. Happy that Medha would be fine from now on.

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As parents we often try to run our children’s life forgetting that they have a life of their own.

A story partly inspired by Rachna’s post at the cybernag

For more stories of  Sukriti, the counsellor:

Occupational Hazards

Communicate

To accept

The grapevine

A story written in 2010 being reblogged today. Enjoy. 😀

Searching Self

Human networks are awesome, more than the current social networks and in some cases equally malicious. It seems Shahrukh joined Twitter and within an hour he had 10000 followers. In the normal world our grapevines work equally fast. Here is a case of a woman who twists her ankle and the events which follow …….
Vidya got down from the bus laden with bags of vegetables from the Central market. Now Mangalore is still far off from low floor buses and so getting down from the bus that too in heavy rush with bags is actually a task. And so Vidya got down with all the rush and the push and also the poor state of the roads; she twisted her ankle. Somehow she got to the corner and tried to hail an auto but at that moment there was a downpour. Now there is something special about Mangalore autos…

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Tale of two friends

And while I am enjoying my break, here is a repost.

Searching Self

Sakhi

Sakhi was tidying up humming a tune. She was excited, happy and a bit anxious too. Meeting a friend after 20 yrs does make you anxious. Yes, she was meeting her childhood friend Anu after 20 yrs. They had been neighbors in their steel township of Bhilai, had studied in the same school, same Division, same college until finally they had got married and she had landed in Mumbai and Anu in Bhopal. And tomorrow they were meeting at the nearby Mall. She was ecstatic; it was as if a part of her childhood was returning to her. But what is this, she looked at her reflection in the mirror; her hair looked so lackluster, so many wrinkles on her face…….her son Kartik was right, she should regularly visit the saloon. Yes, she thought she just had to visit the saloon early morning tomorrow, else what will Anu…

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Spam!!

Three years of blogging, almost 300 posts and a change in interests and priorities, have made me a relaxed blogger. I mean I write when I have nothing else to do. 😀

SO what do I do, apart from the routine work, I read other blogs and….. ….

Apart from the usual search engines which land people to my blog(yes people do come in search of mukta bhide, yoga tips, aarthi thali, how to nag etc :P), I love to read the spams too.

Spams!!, you may say but yes, there are so many weird spam comments that at least once in a day I go through them. Most often it brings a smile on the face.

Hey weblog administrator, your site is really cool, how did you design it? Me, design? Makes me laugh out loud. I just know how to change themes, me design? Ha ha ha

Me and my wife were really amazed with the information your site provided us with. Thanks for the healthy tips.  Healthy?? 🙂

I come to your site almost daily for the wonderful tips you provide. My husband is always curious about what stuff I have cooked up for him when he returns form work . Stuff, cooked up?? And me tips??

I notice that you have some amazing stuff but your page rank is low. We can provide you with a safe tiered link building system. Hmm, maybe I should contact them *thoughtful*

Your posts though informative are too brief for newbies like me, can you extend them a little. Extend? And my mind conjures up images of elastic bands I used to love expanding.

Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work. Aww, I feel so….inflated. I would love to unspam it but…no.

I get to know about various offers going on for books, bags, shoes, ipads etc everywhere in the world.

Amazing isn’t it?

Recently I have started reading some new blogs. Meaning new for me. Other than the regular ones I read, I read some who are on blogroll of some others, some on Indiblogger etc. But I seriously feel that we as a generation are fault finders. We find faults of everybody except ourselves. We worry too much on mundane things. Why I often wonder.

I had the problem of thinking too much if I felt hurt of someones behaviour or someones words. But very often it amounted to nothing. Very often the persons behaviour was because of something other than me which had bothered him/her. Very often we get hurt because of someones words but that person may or may not have meant what we have understood. Perception matters.

I value myself. Self respect is important but if my husband asks me to do something; like if he asks me to have a bath, pray and then start my day on a particular day or drape a sari on some day. I do it. So is my husband a tyrant . No. He asked me to do something in a gentle manner, I did it. Why? Because I love him and respect him. Mutual love and respect is important and the manner  in which things are said or conveyed is important too. Any relation needs some sacrifice, some accommodation and some patience. Especially marriage. Nowadays none of the marriage happen in a blink. You meet the person, see if you are compatible and then take the plunge. When you take the plunge, have some patience, some tolerance to see that it succeeds. Yes both the parties do need to work on it. You may get worked up because of your work and then scream on him and he may get worked up and scream on you. Thats normal. You don’t have to cry ‘Injustice’ or run to your momma. It happens.

There are two point of view in any situation and we often jump to conclusions hearing only one point of view. A family friends daughter complained to her mother about how her husband had yelled at her. Her mother had asked,’and what had you done?’ I was  young and had drawn daggers at the man and had not understood what aunty had meant. I guess today I do.

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I am incoherent, ain’t I? But I had to put this down. My intentions are not to hurt anybody, just putting down what I feel.

Again some randomness

The creators of the creator of this blog entered their 50th year of togetherness. Their son and his wife arranged a surprise party, which both surprised and gladdened the old man and his wife and since then I have had calls telling me of what all happened. 🙂 But then another surprise is planned next month, lets hope things happen as planned.

I have often wondered will I ever see my 50th wedding anniversary. They married when she was 17 and he 25. So has it been a good marriage, who knows. Who am I to judge anybody least of all my parents. At times I have felt -why are they staying with each other and at times I have gone awww…

 

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Remember Tell a tale contest and my entry. Well I did not win. I was upset for about 10 minutes and then I was fine. 😀 For a second I felt, ok I am not good at this too and then was alright.

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My son says he is no longer a baby and is a big boy and yet wants to be fed and bathed. Whatever I teach him is not good while teacher knows best. 🙂 All his friends are my friends too but I should not play with them 😉

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I am now branching off to a territory which has never been tried by me before so please wish me luck folks.