Monday, April 24, 2006


The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken.
Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Odyssey

Sitting pretty on the bar top. Luring the unsuspecting. Seducing the addicted. What is it that pulls us towards alcohol? Tastes bitter, gives us a million health problems, restricts us from driving back home, is heavy on the pocket… in short, no logical reason to get up and order that tempting glass of wine. But then, guilty pleasures don’t see no logic!

You know what, I love to see what happens to people after they’ve had one too many. Yeah, I know I’m being cheap, but it’s fun to watch them go crazy! I mean, some people go through complete personality extreme is this transformation, it’s almost fascinating! Even the most silent, ‘do-gooders’ turn into wild party animals! And when someone’s on a high, they start babbling incessantly! It’s enthralling to see how much crap one can be loaded with…or knowledge, for that matter!

It’s almost like watching a very entertaining movie, to see these poor folks go crazy! Someone calls up their ex boyfriends and proceeds to tell them exactly what they think about them…while others call their current girlfriends and narrate in great detail, their sexiest fantasies! Very explicit stuff, not for kids! Sometimes though things could get very personal and that’s not a very good sight and that’s when I turn my attention towards other non personal stuff…

Anyway, whoever said drinking is a bad habit obviously never saw any of this. Besides, you know what the best part is? The next day, when the party animals wake up with a hangover, it’s most fun to tell them the events of the previous night and watch them go very very red!! So I say drinking is really enjoyable…for the ones who drink, as well as for those who don’t!

Note: Please don’t think I’m evil!

Monday, April 17, 2006

For eternity

A stream of love
you came gushing
and then, froze

Hadn't even touched you yet
and you became cold
so cold

Wish I could melt you somehow
but seems my warmth wasn't enough
to seep through

Bound by promises,
enclosed by choices
that never existed

Waiting for the sun
to rise in this winter desert,
and shine on you

Waiting for you,
and lingering on
for eternity...

Monday, April 10, 2006


Sixteen years. Sixteen years of torture. Sixteen years of living in hell. Sixteen long, never-ending years of tears, pain and self pity. And finally, there’s light.

She was the average girl-next-door. Someone who you could easily miss in a crowd. A girl with small eyes and smaller dreams. She didn’t want much from life. She just wanted to get married, start a family and spend the rest of her life taking care of her loved ones. When her parents got her married, she thought she could cross one thing of her wish-list. Little did she know that her entire world was about to be turned upside down.

They looked like nice people. They demanded huge amounts of dowry at the wedding, but since that was ‘the trend’ then, no one thought too much of it. She left her small town to go and live in the big city. The cruel, materialistic, monstrous big city. Soon the nagging demands started. More dowry. More money. And if she resisted- physical torture. The bruises soon became prominent. Swollen face, burn marks, sore eyes, scratches all over. She began hating herself. She thought she deserved it. And bore it all. Sometimes, she tried running away. But always came back. They’d sweet-talk her into believing they’ve changed. He’s changed. But they never did.

A year or so later, she became a mother. Her hopes rose. She had someone she could call her own. She’d give her daughter the life she could never live. They cursed her even more for giving birth to a girl. But surprisingly, the father was affectionate towards the daughter. Not the mother though. His hostility towards her grew more. He still beat her whenever he felt like, but never harmed the child. As the little girl grew, she became more inclined to her father. She listened to all that he said. And she saw the way he treated her mother. And caught on. Her daughter, her only hope, had turned her back against her.

Her family back home tried all they could to bring peace. But in turn, they got only insults and humiliation. And criticism from all the relatives. Days turned to months, and months to years. She realized she was no longer the young girl she once was... the gray hair, the sagging skin…she was only a shadow of her past. She forgot what it was to be carefree and happy.

They sent her daughter out of the city to pursue her studies. Her husband became even more violent after that. Returning late at night, beating her just for ‘fun’. She couldn’t take it any longer. And then one day, after sixteen years, she decided she had had enough and fled. She broke away from that prison cell and never looked back.

Divorce. That’s all she can think of. No more living with the devil, no more bowing to his every whim. She had wasted sixteen years of her life trying to survive in a hell hole. No more.

This isn’t a work of fiction. It’s a story about someone I know personally. And I’m completely in awe of this person. But I’m also very surprised to see that social evils like dowry, wife beating, preference of a boy over a girl child, are still very much alive. How long can women be oppressed like this? We say India is developing. Sure it is. But only on the surface. Social ills are rooted inside us. This narrow mindedness is something that we do not wish to depart with. We still expect the woman to be silent and keep on bearing just because she’s ‘supposed to’. When I hear educated people talk like this, it makes me wonder what education really means. After sixteen long years, this woman has decided to fight. She finally saw light. What about the rest of the countless women who endure all this agony without even knowing that it’s wrong. Will they ever come out of the dark ages?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Ostracised even in death

I came across an article in the Hindustan Times yesterday that made realise something I had chosen to ignore. The bitter truth of the existence of uneducated, backward masses in our country and their sheer ignorance to listen to reason.

Asha Devi waited beside the body of her husband for two days but the villagers of Khaira in Bihar’s Dharbhanga district shunned her house. Neighbours murmured that if they stepped inside the house, they would contract a killer virus. The reason: Asha’s husband Surendra Kumar had been HIV positive.

The widow had to drag her husband’s body all on her own to the backyard of her house and cremate it with twigs and leaves she had collected.

This is the reality of a state where NGOs and government agencies spend hundreds of crores every year to spread AIDS awareness.The government’s slogan of ‘Fear HIV, not the HIV patient’ does not seem to have reached this tiny hamlet.

A few years ago, another family was boycotted at Hathuri village in Muzaffarpur district after four members died of AIDS. The villagers treated the family as a pariah until the government intervened.

All this goes on to show awareness alone won’t help. Attitudes must change too.