Tag Archive | festival of words

A spark that changes lives

Shalini started sweeping the house. It was past 11 and Kamala, her maid was not to be seen. ‘It is the limit’, she thought to herself, ‘this is the tenth day in this month that she has taken leave. I will pay her dues and ask her to leave’.

Just then Kamala entered. She had covered her head with her sari pallu. ‘Oh, so her husband beat her again, but no, today no sympathies’, she thought and said out aloud, ‘Kamalamma, Wait a second, I will pay your dues, you need not work here anymore’.

‘Amma, don’t say like that, where will I go?’, cried Kamala

‘No Kamala, I am fed up of waiting for you and then doing the job myself’, said Shalini.

And then she saw, Kamala’s eyelids were swollen and her left eye could not be seen at all, ‘That animal beat you again’, said she referring to Kamala’s husband.

‘Why don’t you leave him. Why do you have to take his oppression?’, said she.

‘Where will  go Amma?’, said Kamala and what will happen to my girls.

‘You can come and stay here’, said Shalini.

‘Here? and what about master’, said Kamala

Shalini thought for a while. Mukesh was a very narrow-minded person. He was afraid of society and ‘what will people say’. All these years she had tried hard to change him, but had failed miserably. So what could she do?

And then she remembered meeting a young lady, Kalyani in a local bus once who worked for an NGO. She had told that their NGO worked for women abused in marriages.

‘Wait’, she said to Kamala and ran to the place where she kept all her visiting cards. Out of that bundle she took out Kalyani’s phone number and called her.

In half an hour Kalyani was there with her team. they took Kamala with them to the police station and lodged a complaint against Kamala’s husband. Later they went to Kamala’s house and took her children with them and took all to their office. In no time, Kamala was staying in a house belonging to a well wisher of the NGO.

Shalini liked the work done by the NGO. And she often visited their place. Kalyani invited her to help the uneducated women and their children and she gladly took that offer.

‘Where are you going every day’, it was Mukesh who had come in early one day.

Shalini took a deep breath. Knowing his nature, Shalini had never told him of what she was doing and where she was going. But the time had come now.

She told him

Are you mad. Why do you have to meddle with other people’s lives? You take care of yourself, isn’t that enough?’, said he.

‘What is wrong in helping others? As it is I am free in the afternoon’, said she.

‘No, from tomorrow, you are not going anywhere’, he declared.

Shalini for the first time in their thirty years of marital life boldly got up and declared, ‘No, I like going there and I will go. See I have not ignored doing my duty, so I suppose you should not worry’.

Mukesh looked at her with blazing eyes.

It was some days later that while chatting to Shikha on Skype, she noticed that her eyes were red.

Shikha was her daughter, an engineer who was now married and lived in the US.

‘What happened Shikha, aren’t you well?’, she asked.

‘No ma, I am fine’, she said and then added’ Alright ma, I will log off now, have to go to office’.

Shalini was not at peace, she sensed something was wrong. And so she called up when she knew that Shikha would be in office.

Shikha just kept on brushing off her inquiries.

‘Look Shikha, I am your mother, I know something is wrong. Look girl you are an educated girl. Yes you have to respect your husband and his family, you have to take care fo them. but if they hurt you, you don’t have to suffer silently. You have your education to support you and then we are there, aren’t we’

In addition she told about Kamala.

‘Ma, you really did that, I mean didn’t dad say anything’. said Shikha.

Shalini looked up. Mukesh was glaring at her. Obviously he was angry at her advice to Shikha.

‘Shikha one has to stand up on one’s feet and do what is right. Sometimes you are pushed because you allow yourself to be pushed’, she said and then after sometime disconnected the call.

‘Very nice advise you are giving to your daughter. Instead of asking her to follow what her husband and in-laws say, you are asking her to revolt’, said Mukesh.

‘No, I am not doing anything of that sort. I just asked her to stand up for herself’, and then she walked away.

‘And what will happen if she walks out of the marriage. what will people say?’, he screamed.

‘We will think of that if such a situation arises, why worry now?’, said she.

Mukesn looked on with surprise at his wife who till recently had been very docile.

 Some days later

Mukesh and Shalini had been out for shopping and he had been surprised when they had met a bunch of women who had surrounded Shalini. It seems she was teaching them on afternoons and their respect and awe for her surprised him. He was shocked to see how she spoke to them with confidence. Her inner strength shone through her words.

The phone was ringing when they stepped inside the house.

Shalini picked it up, it was Shikha.

‘Ma where have you been, even your mobile was inaccessible’, said Shikha.

‘Oh that, we were in the Mall maybe no signal there’, said Shalini.

They talked on for sometime. Shikha was happy. Neither of them mentioned about the conversation they had had sometime back

Mukesh was hovering around. ‘What happened?, is she ok’.

‘Yes, she is’, said Shalini.

‘She didn’t complain? I thought she had called to say that she was leaving her husband’, said he.

‘A lot many problems can be solved if you are submissively assertive and do not take any nonsense’, said Shalini.

Mukesh looked on in surprise.

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It is the 7th and last day of Festival of Words at Writetribe. The prompt for today: International Women’s Day, inspiring changeiwd_square

 

 

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Fear

There is a fear in my heart.

I have come out to buy milk.BUT will I? Or won’t I? As I hurriedly pay the cashier and return with my can of milk, people laugh at my rush.

I open the doors furtively, I heave a sigh.

My portion of the cake still awaits for me.

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Written as a part of Festival of words at Writetribe. the prompt for today was to write a post in 55 words

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An inspiration

Today at Write tribe’s Festival of Words we have to tell an inspiring story or write about someone who has inspired us.writetribe_festival_words_3

Though there have been many who have inspired me, in recent times there is one whose devotion amidst numerous hardships has inspired me. She is one who prays to Krishna that,’ Please keep on giving me more troubles in life so that I can always remember you’. Sounds strange isn’t it? I am a person whose faith shakes at the mere mention of a problem. There have been times where I have even blamed God  to give me birth and give problem after problem. But not with Kuntidevi, the mother of Pandavas. She asks for more problems so that she can always remember HIM.

She was originally called as Pritha and was the daughter of Shurasena. (Kunti was the sister of Vasudev) But then she was adopted by Kuntibhoja and from then on she was known as Kunti. Sage Durvasa happy with her servitude had given her a secret mantra by which she could beget children. She begot Karna from Suryadev in her immature curiosity before marriage but then had to cast him away.

Later she was married to King Pandu. But then he was cursed by a Rishi that if ever he tried to attempt union with a woman, he would die. And so Kunti had to beget children with the help of her mantra. She had Yudhisthira by invoking Yamaraj, Bhima by invoking Vayu and Arjuna by invoking Indra. She even helped Madri, the other wife of Pandu to beget sons by invoking the Ashwini Kumaras and so Nakula and Sahadeva were born.

But soon Pandu succumbs to Madri’s beauty and dies. Madri commits sati while Kunti stays to look after the young kids.

And from then on her trial begins.

Her sons are not given respectability by the Kauravas. Though Bhisma sees to it that they get a good education, in all other matters they are sidelined. They are not given their rightful kingdom. From then on the Lakshagruh episode, the time in hiding, the disrobing of her daughter-in law, the thirteen year of banishment of the Pandavas, the war of Kurukshetra, the killing of Abhimanyu and killing of the five sons of Drauadi, Kunti has to see it all.

And yet after the war when the coronation of Yudhisthira is over and Krishna gets ready to go back to Dwaraka, Kuntidevi says, ‘give me more and more troubles’. Why?

Because every time there is a problem, the Lord or his emissary has been there to protect them. When the incident of Lakshagruh took place, Vidura, a sincere devotee of the Lord had already informed that something may happen. When Draupadi was disrobed. Krishna saw that she was never without any robes. And after the war when Ashwattame sends the Brahmastra to kill the last scion of Pandava dynasty in Uttara’s womb; Krishna assumes a form smaller than the thumb of the hand to protect the child in the womb. And for such help, she thanks the Lord and asks him for more troubles so that he will always keep them in his protection and always come to meet them.

Isn’t she a great lady??

Yes, she did make mistakes. Like if she had told either Karna or Yudhisthira that they were brothers the war might not have taken place. But the important point is, in all her trials and tribulations she never lost her faith in the Lord.

For me her faith is exceptional and exemplary.

A review or not?

I haven’t read any ‘commercial’ book in the last 2-3 years but then that is not news for you, is it? The only books that I read nowadays is Bhagvad Gita and Srimad Bhagvatham and then some Srila Prabhupada’s books. All such distinguished books, who am I to review them? Neither do I have that much knowledge nor authority to even try to review them. They are books on life science and glorification of the Lord, who am I to review that.

But then Writetribe’s Festival of Words is on and today’s prompt is do a book review. So what should I do?writetribe_festival_words_3

Today I will do something else. I am going to review a book cover. Yes you read it right, a review about a book cover.

There are about six major points in this cover which are to be understood

  • The horses– The horses are symbolic of our senses. Unbridled they run here and there. Arjuna had five horses for his chariot and they are representatives of our five senses.
  •  The reign and the whip– The reign is our mind. If we keep thinking of positive things our senses too will be in control. If we think of hearing good things; we will. If we want to see good; we will etc. The whip is the direction that the reign has to give to the horses. Or in other words the mind should give direction to our senses and not vice versa.
  • Krishna -Our intelligence. Whenever our mind or senses slip our intelligence should bring us back on track.
  • Arjuna is the soul in the chariot of the body
  • The Lord will be your torch-bearer if you just let Him be:  When Duryodhan went to ask Krishna for his army, Krishna was sleeping. So he sat near His arms thinking that He would open his eyes and look at him. Arjuna came to get the blessings of Krishna and he sat near His feet; massaging them. Duryodhana laughed thinking that Arjuna had lost his chance. Krishna opend his eyes and looked at Arjuna first. And then He asked him what he wants. Arjuna says, ‘You, my lord’. And humbly touches his feet. Duryodhana laughed again for he gets the army.

But the point is the victory of Pandavas is not only because of  presence of Krishna but also because of His knowledge and His direction. How many of us will let the Lord lead the way in our lives?

The confidence of Arjuna is because he is with Krishna: At one point Arjuna loses the urge to fight for he cannot fight with his own people. And then he accepts Krishna as his Spiritual Master and the Lord asks him to fight because ‘He said so’. And Arjuna does so.

  • The setting of the scene-The narration of the Gita is not for either Pandavas or Kauravas. It is for both. The Lord is impartial to both. The knowledge of the Gita is for both the parties as it is narrated in the middle of the battlefield with Pandavas on one side and Kauravas on the other.

What else can you decipher from this book cover?

Disclaimer: The points mentioned above are taken from lectures of various Acaryas. I have just presented them here in my own words.

Thoda pyaar Vyaar

Life has been pretty hectic this year. And obviously blogging and blog hopping has taken a back seat. Yes,  you may say where there is a will there is a way but then sometimes you have to prioritize.

There is so much to study. There is so much to  prepare too. Our scriptures h ave so much knowledge that if you dive into it you will find that you have wet only your fingers. Sorry for the lame analogy but the vastness is that much.

And then there are children to take care for. Now don’t get confused. I have but one. But there are others whom I take class for once a week. But for that I prepare weeks in advance. You may laugh at me but then the class has to be engaging and enjoying and creativity is the key word.

Combine it with a one week workshop in the 2 week break that children get after the final exam in March and you see what a chaos it becomes. Preparation, registration, arrangement, I tell you, it is not a child’s play. It takes energy and again creativity.

So with all this chaos, I manage to write here and there but blog hopping has reduced considerably. Don’t ask me to share, I don’t even know how to operate twitter or Google+. Yes, I live in the dark ages. I  open my twitter account and stare at it and hope things will operate by itself. Thanks to publicize in WordPress, I do not have to bother much about tweeting.

BUT still in these chaos I manage to read some blogs.

You may read Partha Sir’s stories. But he has another blog where in he gives a bit of gyaan. In a very interesting way he mixes up simple stories with necessary knowledge. Reflections it is called and reflections it is.

Deboshree of Paneer, pulao and Pune is one whose style I admire a lot. She can make the mundane of topic interesting. Though she doesn’t write much nowadays, whenever she does, I read it with interest admiring each word and sentence.

Krsnasteachings is another blog which makes understanding simple truths in interesting way. His posts often make me contemplate for hours together.

Jairam is a writer whom I admire a lot. Though he writes almost in all genre and topics, I admire his writing about The Mahabharat a lot. Bringing to life in simple words, those epics and holding your curiosity is no mean feat but Jairam does just that. Though he calls himself a Mahabore, he is anything but a bore

These are the four which hold my interest currently. If you read you will see all four have something in common, deep truths and simple language. Well, that’s what I like the most.

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This post has been written as a part of Festival of words at Write tribe. The prompt for today, show some blog lovewritetribe_festival_words_3

 

A family to care for…….

‘Why is it always your wishes that count Shikha, why don’t you ever consider my feelings’, Aryan said.

What about me, just when my career is taking off….’, I retorted.

This has been a regular now in our home, this blame game. 

He wants to start a family, I do not

We walk in silence to our respective cars when Aryan nudges me to see a family of stray dogs.

The mother licks her babies and feeds them. A puppy shivers, she snuggled closer.

‘Their father is not around but still see how she cares’, he said.

‘I want to have such a family Shikha, a family to cherish, a family to bond, a family to care for, am I wrong in asking for that’, he said with tears in his eyes.

And I understood.

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Written for festival of words at write tribe. Today’s prompt is to write a fiction in just 9 sentences

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‘FEAR’

The room was silent. The only sounds heard were the scratching of the pen on paper. The invigilator moved from one row to row, alert, agile. He had to, you never knew what tricks the children came up with to copy.

Nisha was tense, Chemistry was not her favorite. And today the paper was tough. When the question paper had been distributed, everyone had been disappointed.

She began the third answer when her pen stopped working. Thinking that maybe the ink has run out, she picked out another pen, that too was not working, so she picked up another. But whats this.. that also is refusing to work. Panic creeps in. Beads of perspiration glides down from the nape.  She runs the pen a couple of times on the last page of the answer sheet. The pen starts working and she heaves a sigh of relief. 

But she has wasted some time and there is a lot to answer yet, she starts writing fast……..

The invigilator announces that only 10 minutes are left. Nisha is on the verge of tears, she has not completed her paper and she knows she cannot.

When the invigilator snatches her paper, Nisha jumps up…….

….and sees that she is on her bed.

Her mother sees her jump up and then notices her noticing her surroundings. Then she sees her rushing to the bathroom.

Nisha freshens herself and returns to her bedroom and then notices that there are absolutely no books in her cupboard. Instead there are bibs, powders and what not.

‘Maa, you again cleared up my cupboard. How many times I have told you not to touch my cupboard. Now tell me where are my books.

‘Maa where are you’, she yells.

Maa comes near and looks at her quizzically.

‘Where are my books Maa. It is March 1oth, exam starts in 10 days, I have to study’.

Maa still keeps looking at her.

‘What?’, asks Nisha.

Maa clears her throat. And says, ‘As far as I know you have passed all the exams that you had to  pass. You have done your degree, your post graduation. And whats more you have also got married and had a baby’. And she gestures to a bundle on the bed. Having been awake for the major part of the night, the baby is blissfully sleeping amidst the commotion.

Nisha then remembers that yes she has cleared all her exams including the delivery of her first-born and is at her parents place recuperating.

Some fears like exam fear remain with us for a long time and can even come and haunt us in our dreams. 🙂

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A real life incident which happened with my sister and is written for the prompt DREAMS.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013.

vecchio libro con stilografica

Today is the last day of the festival. Had a good seven day of writing and basically juggling between writing, reading and housework. Hope you all had a good time reading through my posts. Thank you for being a part of this festival.