MY SMART PAL

He is a great companion. He is always there with me. He goes wherever I go. He helps me with cooking and fixing almost all my problems in a jiffy.  Whether I want to watch a movie, go to a particular place, I just take his help. He never gets tired of my shopping (you read it right- NEVER). Nor he raises an eyebrow whenever I talk or chat with anyone. My kids go gaga to see him, though I don’t like if they get close to him. He had been my saviour many times. I just cannot imagine my life without him. And, before you come to any conclusion, just hold your horses.

I am talking about my smart pal- my smart phone. Yeah, life has become hell lot easier since they have entered into our lives. No one did ever think that these smart phones would impact so much and will become so endemic.

Somewhere in early 1990s, I saw a huge mobile phone with a long antenna on the cover page of Electronics For You magazine, featuring that they will be future means of communication. Forget just communication, today’s smart phones are doing almost everything that no one had ever imagined.

Until last month, I was living apart from my husband. Whenever needed, I did online shopping for myself, as well as for kids, using my smart phone. If I had to go somewhere, I could easily book a cab using my mobile, without depending on anyone. Chatting with friends, listening to my favourite music, watching movies, doing banking transactions, capturing my children’s milestones and sharing with family members, I did a lot with my phone.

After I relocated to Bangalore, we needed a lot of stuff for setting up our new residence. My husband and I thought that we would visit departmental stores and get everything that was required.  We did go, but regretted as we were only managing our kids, especially younger one, who was ready to grab things displayed on the shelves. Trust me; from mop and dustbins to television and refrigerator, we bought everything online, with the help of no one but my smart phone.

My sons just shifted from a joint family to a nuclear family and of course they miss their grandparents and vice-versa. There’s a video call everyday between them, they are able to see each other and are happy. Even in my family, the elderly, who are not so chat savvy, are able to see my kids through the video call, and watch them grow, courtesy our smart phones.

In my busy routine, I am not able to make a call. So, I prefer sending a message through WhatsApp.  I usually get time when my younger one is asleep and without making any noise, I am able to chat with my friends and family members.

As I conclude my article, I would like to let you know that I am using my smart phone only to write this!  At least for me, my smart phone has really been my knight in shining armour.

Happy Smart Phoning!

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RAISED FROM THE PIT – VII

With turmoil in his head, Binoy walked back to his Aru didi’s home. But, he was so lost that he didn’t realize that he had gone in the wrong direction.

Arunima woke up by the noise coming from the kitchen. Arnab was making tea.  He had thought to talk to Arunima with a cool mind. 

Good morning”, he said. She smiled at him and said, “Yeah! Good morning!” 

They sat down over tea in the porch and told their stories to each other. Both of them were in shock.

Why didn’t you tell this to me ever before?”  Arnab asked Arunima.

For the same reason you didn’t tell me your story.” Arunima replied.

I completely understand Aru what you have gone through, but, you can’t make him stay here. We can fund his studies, his living, but staying here is out of question.” Arnab said.

He needs a home Arnab.” Arunima emphasized.

I know honey, but, we can send him to a hostel or somewhere. You are not getting my point.” Arnab took Arunima’s hand in his and said, “What if after a couple of years we have a baby of our own? What will happen then?

Arunima stay quiet. Arnab had a valid point. She was so perplexed that she didn’t know what to stay.

I need time to think Arnab”, she replied. “I will go and check Binoy is awake or not.

She went inside the house with the tea cups to place them in the kitchen sink. She went to the room where Binoy was sleeping. She knocked twice, but opened the door when she didn’t hear any response. 

Binoy, Binoy”, she called out loud. The bathroom door was not bolted either. “He must have gone to the terrace,” she said to herself and hurriedly climbed up the stairs. 

Binoy was not on the terrace either. Arunima got worried now. She ran out and shouted to Arnab, “He…he…” her voice was trembling, “He has gone, he’s not in the house.”

LET THEM FALL

The other day we were watching the wedding video of my sister-in-law who got married recently and had a good laugh when we came across the emotional moments.  Yes, those were sentimental moments and we indeed were teary-eyed, the atmosphere was gloomy as the bride who lived with us was going to another house. We were feeling sad and we, girls particularly, were careful enough, not to smudge the make-up with our tears! But, when we saw ourselves on the screen, it was a hilarious sight. 

On my last working day at school, I was bidding adieu to everyone. One of the maids was sitting on the floor and I asked her to get up and hug me because I was leaving. The instant I hugged her, she started crying. 

Recently, I went to watch Hichki movie and as usual, in some of the scenes, tears were oozing out of my eyes. Gosh!

All of us cry, some of us just don’t shed tears. But, I do. 

When I am too happy,

I let them fall.

When I feel sad,

I let them fall.

In anger or in pain,

I let them fall.

Yes, I am a cry baby. And, the funniest part is that if I don’t shed my tears, particularly when I am very disturbed, sad or extremely angry, I feel like there’s a huge burden inside me. When I am alone, I let this burden out through the vent of eyes in the form of tears. And trust me, I feel much better after that. There’s no need to feel bad or embarrassed about it. It’s the way one is reacting to the emotions. Yeah, I am made fun of sometimes, because of the cry baby tag, but I am like this only. And there’s nothing wrong if I can’t suppress my feelings. So, rather than curbing the volcano inside me, I just let my tears fall!

COMING OF AGE – VIII

“Tanya, get up, you will be late for your college,” shouted her mom. Startled, she woke up and jumped out of bed. She couldn’t afford to miss her college today. She had to solve the mystery at any cost. She had to work her for her exams also. There was so much to be done.

Hurriedly, Tanya had a quick shower and got ready. Her parents were waiting for her at the breakfast table. “I need to rush,” screamed Tanya, trying to put her sandals while grabbing her backpack.

“Calm down, eat something and your dad will drop you.” Tanya’s mom said.

“No mom, you don’t understand”, cried Tanya.

“Yes I do”, said her mom. She made a parantha roll and handed it to Tanya with a paper napkin. “You can’t handle challenges with an empty stomach!”

Tanya looked at her mom, who was smiling at her.

“Now hurry up, let’s go”, her dad shouted.

Tanya ran towards the car, looked back at her mom and said, “I love you mom”.  She was thinking that no matter what, a mom is always there for you.

The car reached the college on time. Tanya thanked her dad and went inside the college with the burden of the commotion going inside her. She looked for Aditi at their usual meeting spot, but probably she was late today. She didn’t bother to give her a call to check. She decided to go and sit in her classroom instead. She had reached 10 minutes earlier than the usual time. The room was empty and looked haunted. She was scared, but stepped inside. Just then she heard an announcement that the lecture which was about to start in 5 minutes has been postponed for the next class. So, there won’t be any class today. Tired Tanya cursed herself for hurrying upto the college so that she couldn’t miss this lecture. She turned back to the corridor, but stopped before moving.

“It can’t be there so early.” She said to herself, thinking about the envelope. She decided to check once before leaving the classroom, making sure that no one was there watching her.  Slowly, she stepped towards the last bench and her heart skipped a beat. It was there!

Baffled, she instantly grabbed it and kept it in her backpack. Pretending to adjust the books, she opened the letter, without taking it out.

The library would be a better place!

Tanya agreed to the statement. If her secret admirer was right, if he really cared about her, he would not want her to be in any trouble. But, what if Aditi was correct…

Thinking about the jeopardy, she decided to take the stairs towards the library.

She checked for the pepper spray can inside her backpack. It was there. She didn’t want to take a chance at any cost. Her neurons were completely freaking her out, yet she was determined to go to the library. She stood outside, making sure it wasn’t vacant.  Yes! The librarian was there, with a couple of other students. She went inside and bumped into Rishi.

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“Oh! Hi topper”, he said in a teasing voice.

“Huh! Whatever”, she replied.

“So, all set to beat me in these exams?” Rishi asked.

“Yeah, but I don’t have a weapon like you” Tanya replied amusingly.

“WEAPON!”  Rishi exclaimed.

“Oh, don’t act innocent. Aditi has told me everything what you guys are planning against me.” Tanya said.

“I am not getting you. What are you talking about? Which weapon? I haven’t even seen or met  Aditi, other than with you the other day. It’s true that I want to top, but I can never think of using any weapon or any unfair means.” Rishi tried to explain.

“Listen, I am least interested in your weapons and all. I am busy right now.  Do whatever you can. I am not scared.” Tanya said irritatingly as she was thinking about the envelope guy.

“That’s what I like about you- your confidence. Hope God keeps you away from all the devils around you.” Rishi said and left the library.

Tanya stood there, thinking about what Rishi had just said…

THE HOLLOW FEELING

Till last year, I kept wondering how strong are those women who handle long distance relationship with their husbands…living alone, managing work, kids and chores. And, life gave me a good experience of one whole year to hone my skills of living that way.

Although I was lucky to be in joint family with supportive in-laws, there was a lot to do. My husband kept calling me ‘sherni’ (lioness) to boost me up. Yeah, “there are many great women who live alone and manage everything on their own”, I kept telling myself and so kept trying myself to be a perfectionist, but failed terribly.

With frequent backaches, almost once a week a bout of migraine and  feeling physically weak, I was getting emotionally drained too, which resulted in my tetchy mood and hence I kept losing my temper on my sons, because that’s the easiest way to do. And, at the end of the day, I would go to bed with full of regret for yelling at my kids. I wanted to just run away from the situation, but I kept telling myself the ‘situation will change’.

On a positive note, I had become an online shopping pro, just because I wasn’t able to go out shopping with my kids. I had the experience of travelling alone, with my naughty sons, by air and rail as well. Phew (Somebody give me a reward for that)!

However, thanks to my work friends with whom I could talk endlessly and enjoy laughing out loud in their company as well.  I witnessed how difficult life gets at some point or the other. I realised that no one else is responsible for your happiness and emotions, except you, yourself. So, I started enjoying with my kids, listening to music, even singing and dancing with them. Though I still get frustrated at times and yell at my kids, my six year old makes sure I calm down by saying silly things and asking me to kiss him every time he doesn’t listen!

I guess when one is emotionally drained out, the physical strength inside the body also drains out, because it’s all in the mind. If you are emotionally exhausted, you feel feeble and out of energy. The solution- look for everything that makes you happy, be with everyone who give you positivity and happiness. And, keep the faith!

THE ROAD TO HOME – VIII

Sagar lay on his bed staring at the ceiling fan. The Spiderman stickers were still there, though a bit shabby and torn now, but they reminded of his 5th birthday when Samar had decorated their room with Sagar’s favourite cartoon character- Spiderman. Samar knew everything about Sagar, more than his parents, more than Sagar himself.

What was his fault?” Sagar thought about the day his step brother left the home. He lay in remorse, filled with emotional thoughts and dozed off to sleep.

Around midnight, his dehydrated body woke up. He had started taking too much alcohol lately. He got up and walked to the kitchen to get water. The bunch of the flowers in the living room caught his attention. “Oh! I forgot their anniversary!” Cursing himself, he drank a glass of water in one go and picked up the flowers. There was a card attached to it. In the mayhem between Amish and drunk Sagar, Ruma had forgotten to pull out the card written by Samar.

I want to see you mom”, Sagar was shocked to see the card. “He’s alive, he’s there,” Sagar wanted to shriek, but his throat choked. Tears were dripping down his eyes and he was wiping them again and again to see his brother’s handwriting. Yes, he was his elder brother, his friend, his dad, his mom, his everything. Though he had labelled him as his step-brother, Sagar could not deny the fact that their bond was above any blood relation.

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

With mixed sentiments, he hugged the flowers and kissed the card sent by Samar. Gathering himself, he stood up and went back to his room. He wondered where his brother could be- same city, somewhere nearby or any place far away. He looked out of the window. It had started raining. He recalled how he jumped into the puddles with his brother during childhood. Without wasting any minute, he went out in the lawn, getting drenched. He felt the rain washing all the pains of yesteryears. Like a little child, Sagar laughed after ages.

Sagar… Sagar”, Ruma was yelling at the top of her voice. Amish came running hurriedly to look into the matter.

What’s wrong? Is Sagar ok?” Amish demanded.

Ruma stood at the porch, pointing out at Sagar, who was soaking wet in the rain, unable to hear his mom’s voice.

Please bring him back, he will fall sick,” Ruma asked Amish, frantically.

Hold on a moment”, Amish said. “Just look at his face. How happy he is! After ages, we are seeing him smiling. Let it be, let him be himself.”

Amish held Ruma’s hands and brought her inside. The flower bouquet had filled the living room with a vibrant aroma.

REGRETS HAVE NO VALUE – VIII

Nina woke up and grabbed her mobile phone. She was in Bangalore- the city where her love of life lived. “Just a glimpse”, she said to herself.  She just wanted to see him once. She opened the Facebook app on her phone and searched for ‘Ankit Kumar’. She scrolled through all the Ankit Kumars, she scrolled down and down, he wasn’t there. 

She typed in ‘Ankit Kumar’, location ‘Kolkata’, still her Ankit wasn’t reflecting in the list. Frantically, she typed in the name of the organisation where they worked together. Yes! He was there. She quickly clicked on his profile. He was just the same. She was smiling at his profile picture, but something else caught her attention- “married to Nisha Sharma”.

Nina couldn’t believe her eyes. She wanted to check again, she was swiping her fingers on her phone screen. There were  many pictures of Ankit and Nisha, but she was confirmed after seeing them together in the attire of groom & bride. Nina had lost Ankit’s love forever. There was nothing left.

Nina broke down, wailing like a little baby. She was full of regret. If only she could have talked her worries to him… if only she could have shared her views on marriage with him… if only she could have agreed to her sister Diana… if only…

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“Nina massi, Nina massi”, Kiara barged into the room crying. “Massi, Mom is crying over the phone, something has happened to Nani”, she yelled. “Wa…watt?” Demanded Nina and rushed outside.

She quickly snatched the car keys from Diana and instructed her to guide the way.

“But di…”, Diana tried to stop her.

“I can’t lose her”, Nina said and got into the driver seat. Diana hugged her daughters and sat inside the car with them.

“Mom was having difficulty in breathing lately, but it got worse in the morning and she’s being admitted to the ICU now.” Diana told Nina on the way, crying. 

Nina was trying to stay calm but tears were rolling down her cheeks. She was driving as fast as she could but she felt that the traffic had come to a standstill.