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

 

 

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

55onFriday

 

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.

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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.

 

GREY

I opened the door and stepped out. It was a cold day and I wanted to have some sun. It feels good to have some sunrays on the shriveling winter skin.

But what do I see. The shoe rack is not as it was. It was at a haphazard angle. The shoes thrown here and there. When did that happen, I thought. Yes, a little while back, I had heard the Ethiopian girl playing in the corridor. And I had heard some noise too at that time. But had not bothered. Simply because that girl was always into some or the other mischief. Well can’t blame her actually.

She lives with her mother and some ‘aunts’.  And these ‘aunts’ keep changing. I have a suspicion that they are not legally staying in Bahrain. Maybe they don’t even own their passports anymore. Illegal immigrants keep on changing houses to escape any probe. I don’t even know what profession they are into. The doorbell ringing at odd hours give me some hints. The others staying in the building avoid them. And so do they. They mingle with their own. No doubt the girl does get bored all alone without any friends.

I look here and there to see if someone is present to sympathise with me. At that time the door opens and the mother steps out.

‘What is all this’, I ask her. There is silence in the whole building and my voice echoes.

‘What’, she asks in her unique accent.

‘Your daughter was playing here some time back, it must be her work. Couldn’t she keep everything back?’, I ask.

She mumbles something.

‘I didn’t understand’, I say.

‘You don’t know English or what’, she yells.

That irritates me. ‘ I know English very well, thank you but your accent I do not understand’, I say and not wishing to hear or say anything I just keep everything back in place and leave for my walk.

Later me and my friend have a talk on Ethiopians in general. ‘Why do you mess with them. Their occupations are not known, you know they have this animal  culture, just avoid them’, she advice.

I do follow her advice.

Some days later I am putting the clothes to dry in the terrace. Something happens and I faint.

Sometimes later I come to consciousness to find myself in the lap of one of the roommates of my neighbour. ‘Are you alright?’, she asks me.

I nod. She makes me sit in the shade while she puts my clothes to dry.

Then she helps me get up. Leads me to my flat. Makes me comfortable and asks if I need anything. I mumble a no. Then she leaves.

Later when she meets my husband, she narrates everything and asks him to take care.

So often we brand people according to their nationality or their work and so often we forget to see our own deficiencies.

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

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Disclaimer: this post is not intended to hurt any one by their nationality, profession, looks, creed etc. It is just meant to show my own shortcomings.

The evolution of Kavya

‘But Amma I don’t want to go’, said Kavya.

‘Kavya for once don’t be selfish and think about Annamma(father’s mother). She is so excited about this trip. You know your Annu(father) is not getting leave. I have to stay here to look after him, you know his diabetes needs monitoring. Just go with Annamma, after all the trip is only for seven days’, said Amma.

‘Seven days …it will be hell with all old people Amma’, said Kavya.

Amma glared at her, ‘You have enough leave , just inform your office and start packing’.

Kavya let out a sigh. Things recently were not going the way she wanted. Her boyfriend of 2 years had ditched her, the last assignment she was given at office was not that successful and now this. ‘Is this my age to go on a pilgrimage’, she muttered to no one in particular.

Three days later she was getting ready. Annamma came and said, ‘How I want to be at least 30 years younger’

‘Why?’, Kavya asked.

‘At least I could have worn a jeans and gone without a care’, was her reply.

‘You can still wear one, your figure can still make others envy’, said Kavya with a twinkle in her eyes’

‘Shee, shee, don’t try to butter me up’, said Annamma.

But it was true. At the age of 74, Annamma tended the vegetable patch, washed her clothes, went for walking and did as much community service as she could.

They were briefed in the waiting lounge of Nirmala Travels office at PVS Circle and while the brief was going on she looked around to see if there was anyone of her own age.  There was a boy of maybe fifteen years or so and Kavya’s disappointment resurfaced.

Their first stop was Palakkad and then at Palani. The greenery she saw around was mesmerizing. The green was enchanting and the moo of the cows was soothing. When she saw the steps to the Palani temple. she wondered how the oldies would climb. “will they able to… especially the women with their heavy sarees”, she thought.

‘Afraid to climb’, she heard a voice, she turned to look at the boy whom she thought was 15.

‘I am Pradeep’,  he said.

‘I am Kavya and no I am not afraid to climb, and that to climb steps; not at all, I am used to hiking, mountaineering etc, you see’.

They started ascending. And then she saw all the old people including her grandmother climb with such agility that she was ashamed of her speed. Was it their faith or the fact that they lived active lives.. who knew but the fact was that she had reached only mid way while the rest had already reached.

Looking at the rush, she said she would stand outside. ‘Come Kavya, maybe you will never get to see this again’, said Annamma.

‘And the architecture is good, if you are not interested in worship, you can always look around’, said one of the uncles. And very soon all joined and cajoled her to step inside the shrine.

Soon the group was a big happy family.

Eeshwar uncle would crack jokes all the while, Katy aunty (Katyayani) was the mother hen who looked after everyone’s needs and so on. Pradeep was the errands boy and she was everyone’s pet.

The tour proceeded to Srirangam and then to Trichy and Tanjavur. The piety of the others was inspirational. ‘What do they pray about? And in such a crowd too’, she muttered to herself.

‘That is because my dear, you are not listening to the coordinator giving the history behind each temple’ said Raghu Uncle.

Kavya was ashamed. It was true she was so bothered about her own troubles that she had not been listening much to whatever was going around.

In Rameshwaram she listened with attention and was lost in the description it was so surreal.

She now understood how important listening was. The queue was long but then Annamma started singing Bhaja Govindam and everyone joined in. She understood that ‘kirtan’  (singing)too could connect you to the superior being in a way that nothing else could.

As they emerge out of the temple she felt a calm which she had not felt since the time she had turned into a teenager

At the gates of the temple, Surendra Uncle knelt down and thanked the God for all his blessings and also that He had seen to it that his long cherished dream of visiting Rameshwaram had been fulfilled.

AT that time Kavya understood the importance of ‘vandanam‘, the importance of thanking. Had she ever thanked the Lord for her blessings.  Leave God she didn’t even remember ever thanking her parents for anything.

They proceeded to Madurai. The atmosphere in the bus had changed. The initial joking and chatting had been overtaken by various stories of the deities which they had seen or about to see. As she saw the contented looks of the others she understood that ‘smaranam‘ -remembering can be vitalizing too.

The Meenakshi temple enamored her. She touched everything again and again and she was filled with awe.

After the temple visit one of the member said that he knew one small temple nearby in which they could offer their personal puja. The coordinator and the driver were coaxed and they proceeded.

As she saw everyone getting involved in the worship, right from picking the flowers, to making the garland, to getting all the ingredients to worship. and as they washed the feet of the Lord (pada sevanam)she understood that there is a lot of happiness in doing things together and that arcanam or diety worship could cleanse ones’ heart too.

Standing in the waters of Kanyakumari she felt at peace. Was the water soothing or was it Swami Vivekananda’s special mercy, who knew. She saw Pradeep serving his grandfather, she saw Katy and Annamma talking in whispers and smiled. Both servitorship and friendship could give so much joy.

As she stood in front of Padmanabh Swamy at Trivandram, for the first time she bowed down and let her ego fly away. At that moment she surrendered (atma Nivedanam) to the Supreme and allowed him to take charge of her life.

When they returned to  Mangalore, the partings were painful. The seven-day journey had made them all a family.

But Kavya was happy. She was finally at peace with herself and was ready to take on the world again.

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

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Prahlad told that there are nine processes of devotional service (bhakti)-sravanam (listening),  kirtanam (singing), vishnu smaranam (remembering), pada sevanam (serving the lotus feet of the Lord) , Arcanam (deity worship), Vandanam(prayers), Dasyam (servitorship), Sakhyam(friendship) and Atma Nivedanam(surrender). I have incorporated these nine processes into this post. Hope you liked reading it.

When music unites

Mohan cringed when he heard the giggling of girls. His sister Dharini was forever bringing friends home from college. ‘Do they study at all’, he thought. But then there was silence and after that he heard a melodious voice singing, ‘Gaata rahe mera dil…tu hi meri manzil’ and he prepped up.  It was the song from the newly released ‘Guide’ and he sat in rapt attention. He loved music whether it be film songs or classical. The singer sang the entire song and then there was silence after that and once again the chatter started.

He moved towards the voices but he met his mother on the way. ‘Where are you going, Mohan?’, she asked and he returned to his room. Those days boys and girls were not allowed to mingle. But he hovered near the main door, in hope to meet the girls but no it seems they had no mood to go home so early and he had to leave for office.

‘Seems you had a nice time in the morning’, he asked his sister in the evening, ‘no studies eh’.

‘We had holiday today so we thought of having a get together and had a good time. Shyamla, sang, Mridula danced and my… we gossiped so much. Shanta even taught me a new stitch’, she said in ecstasy.

‘So her name is Shyamla’, he thought to himself. Dharini had just finished her matriculation and was now going to college.  Though it was not yet fashionable for girls to go to college, there were a few progressive families who did send their daughters to college.

And so Mohan who had lost his heart to the one with the melodious voice aka Shyamla, tried to see her and talk to her but alas talk he could not. The girls would seldom be unchaperoned and he could never ever talk.

Mohan by then was already 25 having a good job and his parents wanted him to get married. And though a number of good alliances came up he always managed to give some excuse for not marrying the girl in question.

‘She is taller than me’, or ‘she has just completed her 7th’ or ‘her voice is not good’, were the excuses he gave.

Until in exasperation his father yelled, ‘Do you want to marry or not?’

‘Yes I do want to marry to… Shyamla’, was all that he said.

There was a shocked silence and then his father asked, ‘Who is this Shyamla?’

Hi mother coming out of her reverie mumbled something in his ear.

‘You fool,……..you fool, you found no other girl’, was all that he had to say.

Later he came to know that Shyamla was the illegitimate daughter of the minister of the erstwhile King. Shyamla’s mother Leela used to live in Mandya and Chandrasekhar who was one of the minister at King Wodeyar of Mysore used to frequent Mandya. It so happened that Leela’s father had some business dealings with Chandrasekhar and during those meetings Chandra and Leela first met and then had a relationship.

Chandra was already married.

When Leela got pregnant she was thrown out of the house and she came in search of Chandra.  Chandra could not marry her but gave her a place to stay and looked after her needs.

Leela and her daughter were ostracized by the whole society but Shyamla was a bright kid and her mother herself taught her classical music. Her mother saw to it that Shyamla had a good education for she knew that getting her married was a distant dream and education would be the first step to see her independent.

Mohan grew morose. It was not Shyamla’s fault that she was illegitimate. She was good-looking, she had a good voice and had a good education, did anything else matter?

Shyamla was banned from their home and Mohan was sure that if he knew Dharini well, she would have stopped talking to Shyamla and even seen that others too didn’t speak to her.

He had to speak to her but how. He took the help of the music teacher at college Mr. Kartikeyan. When Mr. Kartik heard Mohan, his sincerity won him. Also Shyamla was his star student whom he wanted to see happy and he felt that Mohan was the right person for her. As such there was no hope of Shyamla ever getting married.

So in the pretext of some extra practice he called her to his chambers at an odd time. Shyamla came to find an unknown man. Mohan introduced himself. Shyamla thinking that more troubles would befall her, started moving towards the door.

‘I like you a lot Shyamla’, pleaded Mohan.

‘What do you know about me to like me’, she asked.

‘I have heard you sing’, he said.

‘Is it enough to lead a life together’, she asked.

‘Music can unite nations then why not two hearts’, was his reply.

‘And how will you convince your family’, she said.

‘They will have to’, he said.

‘I do not want to be the reason for a family to break’, she said.

Kartik Sir who was hovering just outside thought enough was enough and came in.

‘Why are you stopping happiness to enter your life, Shyamla’, he said. The matter was sealed between the two. They would unite but not yet.

Leela liked the young man and called upon Chandrasekhar too to meet him once.

Mohan took up another job at Bellary. There was a huge uproar at home and everyone blamed Shyamla. ‘I am going because I am getting better opportunities at Bellary. And for your information I will marry only Shyamla and no one else and that too with your blessings’.

Both waited five long years. By that time Shyamla was teaching music at one of the schools and Mohan was earning well. Dharini had already been married off. Seeing that Mohan was adamant and would not marry anyone but his nightingale, the parents finally relented.

They were finally married in a low-key ceremony and Kartik Sir gave away the bride. Chandrasekhar was not allowed by his wife to do the honors.

And so Mohan and his Shyamla started their musical journey together. Mornings began with Venkatesh Suprabhath and nights very soon spent singing lullabies

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

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