FLIGHT OF FANTASY

She soared up in the sky. It was a beautiful night. The full moon shining bright and the city lights below giving fierce competition to the moon. She inhaled the cool breeze and flapped her wings. Oh, how she enjoyed this flight! The freedom to go wherever she wanted… Each and every light below beckoning her to come to check out the fun that they are having.

She perched on a window. The mother was putting the baby to sleep and the obviously tired mother had fallen asleep but the baby was flailing his hands and legs in the air and cooing. She whistled a beautiful song. The baby enjoyed it and finally fell asleep.

She flew over a dark alley. The policeman was walking his beat. The burglar was hiding in the shadow. She chuckled to herself and gave out a loud hoot. The policeman turned in the direction of the sound and saw the burglar trying to enter an open window. “Now he will catch him,” she thought. 

Again she soared in the sky. The brightly lit market place attracted her. She perched on a street light and saw a couple in the window of the restaurant having candlelit dinner. They both had smiles on their face and eyes only for each other. 

Oh!” She sighed “Life is so beautiful.”

She looked up and saw them – the guards were coming. “Oh no! They are coming for me. They will lock me up again…  I don’t wanna go back there. I want to fly…” She tried to get away but she was caught. 

It was morning and she opened her eyes. The steady beep of the machines and the distinctive smell of hospital told her that the dream was over she was back –  strapped in the hospital bed, paralyzed waist down. 

I will walk” she affirmed “One day I will fly...” and smiled at the nurse.

SEGREGATION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

Every year we celebrate World Environment Day. A lot of programs are done and pledges made. But I guess this year, more than ever we are realizing the damaging effect, we humans are having on the environment. It really is the time now to take some concrete actions or our future generation might face some even worse calamities than what we are facing now.

One step that I think is the most important is to make a conscious thought on how we dispose of the waste we generate. This has become more of a focus for me since my husband ventured into plastic recycling and solid waste management business.

You know that plastic has seven different types and each type can be recycled or reused. Used plastic is actually a lot of value. People are ready to buy used plastic. It can be recycled and converted into pellets that are used in various things from manufacture of fabric to lying to roads. Plastic is also used as fuel in factories with controlled combustion processes.

Then why is plastic considered to be a villain? Why are the mounds of plastic being accumulated in the landfills? Why are people just not picking it up and using it?

It is because of how we dispose of our waste. We are generating that waste. So it is our responsibility to ensure that source segregation is done at our end. It is inhuman to expect someone to scrounge our waste and separate the plastic from the dirty smelly kitchen waste. See the recycle value of the plastic also diminishes when it becomes dirty and filthy. Separating it, then cleaning it, and then recycling is not a viable proposition.

So please segregate the waste at the source itself. If possible use your kitchen waste to generate manure and most importantly, keep the dry waste separate and try to ensure it reaches a recycler. Mostly all municipalities are also asking the residents to segregate.

I am strictly following this segregation. Next step I plan to venture into producing manure from kitchen waste also. That is a little more complicated, but segregation is very easy; it’s just a matter of forming a habit.

Believe me, if we all segregate the dry and wet waste and ensure it is disposed of properly half the battle against plastic pollution is won.

 

BLASTING WEDDING CELEBRATION

She looked into the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. The eyeliner wasn’t proper. It’s her wedding day and she wanted to look perfect. The groom’s party would be on the way. There’s festive atmosphere all around and she’s yet to be ready.
 
Her father was teary-eyed when he saw her coming out finally. She was looking like a beautiful princess. Everything was so perfect till her mother rushed into the room sobbing… “There’s a bomb blast on the road where the baraat had to pass. They’re uncontactable.”
 
The world around her came crashing down as she fainted and was taken to the hospital. 
 
When she woke up, she found, on the bed next to her was lying her fiance smiling at her, “I’m just little injured but still in one piece… God saves my sweetheart… And trust me, we’ll have a blasting wedding celebration.” They’d a hearty laugh.

A SURPRISED MOM

PROMPT: Standing in front of the mirror she didn’t like what she saw…

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(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

Standing in front of the mirror she didn’t like what she saw. Her face had a haggard look, roots of hair showing white. Crows feet beginning to develop near her eyes. When did this happen? When did she let go of herself?

Mummy can’t find my physics book“, the call brought her out of her thoughts. “Mumma I am hungry…” said the second one she smiled. Pulled her hair in a messy bun rushing off to look for the book and make breakfast…
Surprise!!!” Her hubby and sons shouted in unison… “Breakfast is ready for the queen of the house.” The elder son gave an exaggerated bow.  “Happy mother’s day Mom“, pecked the younger one on her cheek while her husband was just smiling at her.
Sitting in the spa later, she wondered that she had not let go of herself she had spent the time in building a family.

THAT’S ABSURD

I am learning so many new things in these COVID times. Our life style has totally altered and the way we spend our time has changed.. we long to go back to the normal times and are scared of facing the “New Normal” .

Lockdown has given me a lot of time in my own company. Which I usually don’t like doing at all. I like to meet people and talk to them and usually thrive on these conversations and participate in lot of activities be it at my workplace or neighborhood.

So in that way this lockdown has been very difficult for me. Phone calls or video calls are not the same. But still we are managing.

In one such call with my niece where we were ranting about our lockdown woes. She said she had become an Absurdist now.. “I don’t believe that there is any meaning in life…” she said.

This got me thinking. I dived into the Internet to find out whether this was even a legitimate word or not. To my surprise it is.

All human beings seem to crave meaning, search for it, and create it. We constantly make up stories out of our lives to give them meaning.  And we search for explanations for the universe in general. Religion may be the most popular source of meaning for people; believing in a god or gods, a spirit-world, an afterlife, or a holy book, or practicing ritual, prayer, or meditation makes life meaningful for many people. And religion is not the only possibility: people find meaning for their lives in nationalism, science, Marxism, art, and many other beliefs and practices.

Absurdists see all of these attempts as ultimately doomed, in a sense. Not that absurdists think it’s pointless to do anything, but they believe that no matter what you do, you cannot escape the absurdity of being a human being.  It’s not exactly the universe which is absurd in absurdism, but rather the fact that humans are innately driven to look for meaning in an ultimately meaningless universe. Whatever stories we tell to give meaning to our lives are just that — stories, fictions.

I know the above philosophy may not be acceptable to all. I don’t mean to offend anyone’s belief.

But sometimes in the time of despair we might have all gone through this kind of phase where life seems totally meaningless.. 2020 is that kind of a phase for me. With the pandemic, the super cyclone, the gas leak, earthquake, planes falling out of the sky, the locust attack everything coming in quick succession has really made me wonder that the things we used to strive for are actually so meaningless. We are actually surviving without many thing that we thought we could never do without.

Its basically the pandemic which has altered everything. Businesses are closed and people who were supposed to be affluent are also struggling to juggle the big EMIs, bills, fees, rent to be paid and zero or drastically reduced income. The poor are absolutely on the road. And all this in a matter of three months.

Really makes me wonder we study all our life to make a career, a living. We spend our whole life in building up a career or a business. Just to see it topple and turn into dust in a matter of days. Because of reasons which are way beyond our scope to thought. Isnt it all meaning less?

The daily positive thoughts for the day which I get through Social media and the inspirational stories all seem meaningless once I watch the news. Its seems all gloom and doom everywhere.

Hopefully, these dark clouds will lift soon from this world and my thoughts too.

WHOSE FAULT IS IT ANYWAY?

As a parent hearing about incidents like #BoisLockerRoom have shook me to the core. I have two teenage sons. And like any other teenager of today’s times; they are very active on the Internet. Their talks are filled with words like RoBlox, Reddit, Insta, PewDiPie, etc. These might make sense to a few of you maybe. But I need to keep asking the meanings to keep up with their jargon. Let me give you another example. I forwarded something to my son yesterday on WhatsApp and he replied ‘GG’ and I was puzzled ‘What is GG’ He said ‘Good Game’. Now for a person like me who always thought that she was aware of the acronyms this was a new one.

Basically what I am trying to say here is that the children of today are getting so much information from the outside world – the school, the tuition classes, peers, online gaming, movies and the biggest source Internet. That I sometimes worry that the ethics and principles that we try to drill into them since their childhood will they be able to hold up against the torrent of negative information that they are getting from all over.

Coming to the boys locker room incident. Whenever such an incident comes to light the blame is put on the parents. ‘Ignorant parenting‘ ‘irresponsible parents‘ these are the words I came across in many news items that I saw. I agree yes the parents are responsible. But are they the only one responsible. No.

It is the total mindset of the society that is creating this problem.

Firstly there is a lack of Sex education in our country. If a child has a curiosity about anything related to sex he or she has to either go to his peers or go to some website on the internet. These we all know are not reliable sources of information.

Second reason could be Institutionalization of Patriarchy . The children have grown up in a house hold where cooking and cleaning and other house work is generally considered the women’s work. They have seen their Dads generally taking all the major decisions in the family.

Another major reason is lack of gender sensitivity. Our movies are full of objectification of women and sexist jokes. Children have basically grown up on a staple diet of movies and songs where the women are gloried as sex object or objects of desire. Movies have heroes that follow girls, molest them or even assault them are still considered to good guys.

All this desensitises them towards girls and they start considering girls not as fellow human or friend but only as a one dimensional view of sex object.

I really don’t know the solution to all this. Changing the mindset and viewpoint of society is a slow process. It has begun also. We have movies like ‘Thappad’ which is a major example of the changing times.

All I can suggest is start making changes at home. Bring sensitization in our day to day life. Be an example and the children will understand better. Like for example when a man is doing house work he is not helping his wife he is doing his own house work.

Let’s change the way we think and we will start seeing the changes in our coming generations also..

MEMORY GAME – VI

It’s raining heavily.. Neha is running blindly on the road.. Saurabh called out to her “Neha Neha stop.. talk to me..” She shudders and keeps running without turning.. Saurabh is right behind her and suddenly out of nowhere a car hits Neha and she is flung across the road and is lying in a pool of blood…

“NEHAAA.. shouts Saurabh.” 

He realises he is not on the road he is in his bed completely drenched in sweat. It was a dream.. a nightmare.

He keeps getting this recurring nightmare since he woke up from his coma two months back.. This name Neha feels very important to him. But try as he might he can’t remember who she is. In all of his dreams the moment he is about to see her face something happens and she is lost to him..

He was confident that finding out about Neha would be a key to him getting his memory back.

Saurabh had very hazy memories of his life after his accident.. He was very hurt and in and out of various hospitals. He had flashes of memory of excruciating pain, different hospital rooms and people in doctors coat or nurses uniform mulling around him, trying to talk to him but nothing they said made sense.

Only one name felt right – Neha.

Saurabh had tried asking his mother about Neha too but she always used to react with anger… “Don’t take the name of that witch in front of me. She is the one responsible for your plight. She took my one and only son away from me. You don’t remember me, your mother properly but you are worried about that witch Neha.. God why don’t you listen to my prayers. Help me.. ” and she would either start crying or muttering under her breath. Saurabh used to get a headache after such sessions. So he stopped asking his mother about Neha. Rest of his family was also not much help. They had all been warned by the doctor not to stress Saurabh and let his memory come back on its own.

Days were moving but to Saurabh it seemed like he was stuck in a weird memory game. He was still visiting Dr. Rajan once a month.. The doctor was a very jovial man. He was very confident about his complete recovery. “Don’t worry Saurabh you will solve this memory game very soon. Your body has healed completely, only the mind has to open up.” Dr. Rajan had said in his today’s visit.

Walking out of the clinic Saurabh just started walking on the road towards a park.

Children were playing and mothers were chatting, hawkers were peddling their wares but oblivious to all that Saurabh was just walking lost in his thoughts.

Suddenly on the slide besides him a mother called out to her toddler son “Rishi take care you will fall.” He turned. A mother was calling out to her son. But his body reacted as if someone was calling him. 

He started walking in the park again. But he could not get this word out of his mind.  Why was this name so familiar? Rishi Rishi Rishi.. he could hear a voice call out to him.. “I love you Rishi”. He could hear the tinkling of her bangles. He could hear her laughter.

Rishi sat on the bench lost in his world. Something had stirred in his memory. That name Rishi had thrown a pebble in the still pond of his memory and every ripple it created was bringing up new scenes in his mind. He could see scenes in his mind which he never knew had happened.. With eyes closed he finally saw her face –  The beautiful Neha. She was smiling … She was laughing.. she was teasing him.. she was dancing… All the memories slowly poured into his mind. 

He now knew his past- he remembered Rishi, he remembered Neha.