We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves

~ Gautam Buddha

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My canine ally


My first trysts with those wobbly legged creatures were rather apprehensive. I would reciprocate the friendly holler of canine with retreating self or by vanishing from the place. The city dwell upbringing of mine had nurtured an aloofness in me to natural world and that was enough to restrict my carefree mingling with man’s best friend.

I had just returned from my native place after a vacation and I was paying my news paper vendor at the exit then I first met them. Sniffing my presence outside at the dusk their mother mistakenly took it as a call for food disposable time. She hurried from backyard, and four wobbly legged tiny ones were following her. She stood beside me wagging her tail in friendly way as if she was trying to revive my promise of food which I had kept throughout her gestation period.

Halting the conversation mid way I stepped further to have a closer look to those white patched and ginger hued ones. They seemed a bundle of joy in their puffy body with soft fur. Perhaps the alien proximity of mine scared them to the core, fearing for their lives they ran hither and dither as if sighted a blood sucking vampire.

In following few days the pups were reasonably closer to my family members especially to my daughter, a great canine admirer and animal activist of her own sort. Till then I was the only object in their sphere of life to be frightened. My friendship with them got further hiccupped during morning hours when I would open the garage to take out my vehicle. Then there they filled with last night showered emotions of mine would start their reciprocation in front of the wheels. Risking the already shaken friendship of ours I would haul them in backyards.

In the evening at my return to show their displeasure and humiliation of morning hours' they would scurry to backyards with their backs on me.
That year the winter had been proving harsh to those furry bundles, then one night her mother and siblings had paid to their lives to a wild brawl among strays. The sudden departure of their siblings and the mishap involved in their sudden disappearance brought some obvious changes in the demeanor of lone survivor. Even the nearness of human and animals were enough to alert her and she would maintain a safe distance from them.

Her aloofness to human started costing her health as she was turning into ribbed cased cage with pickled sort of four reedy arms.

She was always a frightening self. She was only one in the herds of strays of our colony who would contently move behind after having a small portion of food. We never witnessed any doggy and witchy sort of things in her way.

With time she struck the right note with all of us and our nearness relaxed her further.Now she would reciprocate lovingly however she was still ribbed and leaned.There was an unusual compassion on her face. She had beautiful long eyes filled with serenity.

Next winter she gave birth to four puppies, and the sight was all soothing with her naughty ones sleepy over and tumbling down on sleepy mother. The softness and humbleness was innate to her, but the most startling sight of hers at our place became when an orphaned kitten joined her puppies’ clan to suckle her. And ungrudgingly against the nature she had been suckling her too along with her puppies.

Then nature stuck her again and like her troubled past she lost her pups one by one.
We were thinking how she would cope with her lose. But she was more enlightened on that aspect than us, as we human tend to stick to bad incidents. But she had the strength to change the way of life with her thin long bony frame. So what if it was against the nature’s way. Now the kitten all grown on her feed became permanent companion following her everywhere.

Till then, she became loving companions of ours; she was with us during our evening walks. With seasons she became accustomed to our respective vehicles at retreating hours. At the start of the engine she would run to us keeping her at safe distance greeting us. My daughter,s arrival from her hostel would seem to her perfect time to rejoice. She would show her happiness jumping around her and bellowing something undecipherable putting her forearms at her front. That open display of love would last for long and then contently she would retire to any space on the verandah.

After our return from our annual vacation that year we found that winter was unusually cold at our place. To our dismay the harshness of winter got visible to us in her slow and jerky limps during the walk.

After that most of the time we would find her lazing around on the grass bathing the sun rays. One day my husband remarked might be she wouldn’t survive the winter. I shrugged the unpleasantness- “no she is not feeling well, that is why, in few days when the chill will retreat she would regain her agility.” but I had also witnessed that her agility had been yielding to chronic lethargy.

Then that day when after the walk of ten minutes we didn’t sight her, I felt a creeping void; I looked around why she didn’t come. Although we were quiet but we had been feeling her vicinity. “You know she is somewhere in the vicinity, perhaps now she is unable to move.” my husband remarked.

And then we spotted her at the distance amidst the bushes at one corner of the grass. That evening in her ailment somehow she managed to stand at her place and wagged her tail. She flagged us –“I am here.” She stood there for sometime then she sat at the same place that was her last expression of love to us. Even during her last moments she chose a quiet distant place not to create any inconvenience to others.

The place still exists in our yard more importantly in our hearts as a mark of love. Like an angel of love a gingerly hued had created a place in the heart of withdrawn, apprehensive one - “telling me open up, love is limitless, a perennial flow, embrace it and flow with it. That is only the way to live truly.”

Friday, September 17, 2010

Retreating Horizon

It was grey darkness all around, with numbing drowsiness she got up to have some water, even in the darkness she sensed the distance of water jug. She moved to have it but the gap inched, then it went beyond her reach. Juggling with surging discomfort of restrained muscles, perspiring she woke up. “What was that a nightmare or reality?” It took a while for her brain to settle in the realization. She swallowed the saliva to soften her dried throat. “Why everything was so dark?” she switched on the night lamp and glanced at the water jug kept on the study table just few feet away from bed. Rakesh was contently sleeping.
Involved in the chores of kitchen, Keya’s mind was still engrossed in the recent development of work. Though a bit tired with recent commitments and deadlines finally she was feeling comparatively at the ease after completion of the job. Switching off the stove, she collected the extra stuff to put back in the refrigerator
The greenery was lavishly thrown in all around, she liked the landscape intriguingly. A loner and an introvert since childhood it was her passion to own a place amidst nature. After years of planning and investment at last she realized her dream. When she visited the place she found everything over there was above the expectations.
“Why are so many guards at every nook and corner?” she thought standing at the balcony. When she opened the door she encountered a lady guard standing at the entrance. For the moment she hesitated then she glanced to her questioningly. The guard withdrew her face to other side and moved aside.
She moved ahead towards the fence. A lovely kitten jumped from the side bush, her heart pounded for the moment but soon it got replaced by the loving smile. The kitten straightly went to her mother who was lazily lying under a bushy tree. “A strange place indeed” she sighed, “there are no people in sight. After all the people belonged to high strata always love their anonymity”.
After having the breakfast Keya peeped through the window, few sprawling bungalows in the sight, those would be of worth crores, so pricey, she thought. A tinge of pain in the head she had been feeling since morning it was still persisting. The maid came with a tray of medicine; she simply obeyed her as a child. “When Rakesh comes from work she will go for a walk” she decided. In living room sitting on the sofa, she watched the water fountain near the entrance. Last evening when they were coming the fine carving of water fountain were scarcely visible. She felt heaviness in her eyes, now they were refusing to obey her. Struggling with uneasiness she lay on the sofa over there.

The house was really big and dexterously built. While crossing the lounge she admiringly halted with her towel in hand. A big full size mirror was fixed on the wall over there. It was reflecting the view of kitchen garden. She saw a plump lady of forty plus, “who is she? What is she doing here? “Perhaps Rakesh has hired her.” There were enough white strands on her head. She always abhorred plumpness. She remembered her dashboard tummy; a pride gleamed in her eyes. She coughed lightly to clear her throat. She had to cook lunch before 1.30p.m. But before that she must take bath….
She watched the sunset from her bedroom’s window. The street lights were all lit up. The smoky light of the street were lowering on the path drenching everything outside in the engulfing grey. She compared the progressed time with different version of lights on the streets.-the tube light then vapor lamps and now these smoky lamps- she tried hardly to chalk out the name…. She wanted to switch on the light but failed to put on with enough strength to get up.
She could not exactly recall, when and how a void started appearing in her heart despite all material success and blissful life. Whenever she would look back she felt that while acquiring the success she had exhausted herself to a great extent. “Is she paying the cost now?” She mused. “Is she lost her liveliness somewhere during her grinding routine?” Gripping in rising tiredness she felt that whatever seemed difficult to achieve was not always the best.
She would see blankness in the eyes of Rakesh these days. His fair complexion sometimes seemed pale. Last evening when she had pointed his white strands behind ears, in return he smiled upon her blankly.
In the evening when Rakesh came she stared him, she wanted to cross him for several queries of hers. He gently clasped her hands to shift her to bed. Why most of the time she felt her movement so restricted. She wanted to ask that too. She would certainly do that –but again the drowsiness fell so heavily upon her. She clasped Rakesh hand feeling his presence. The darkness silently grew in the room draping everything else in that. She wondered whether someone else present in the room. She listened the growing faintness of footsteps inside the room, soon the silence prevailed all over.
“Why does the maid wear the chic white uniform?” Keya would get puzzle. That spotless white uniform would force upon her some familiarity to something that seemed difficult to recall.
Feeling thirsty she pressed the buzzer to call her for water. While she was holding the glass her hand jerked meantime. She felt something wet on her feet. There was a panic on the maid’s face. Why didn’t she bring her water? She felt a lump of dryness in throat. She swallowed the saliva to soften it. She wanted to make a call, but how--.
She felt warmth upon her hand with familiar odor. She turned her eyes to encounter an anxious looking Rakesh standing near her. He was wearing an impeccably clean white shirt. There was not a spot even after a day of long work. She tried to place her hand upon his shoulder. Her hand jerked again. That time for better Rakesh clasped her hands tightly and brought on his chest.
-----“Mr Rakesh you can take her home, there is not much improvement in her state, but she is cool and silent. It is a bit late to recover. Get her examined regularly”. That white approned man smiled and gently patted Rakesh’s hand. “Why is he listening that after all”? She wondered. “Come on”, she gestured him with gleaming eyes, in return Rakesh stared him with hollow eyes. “Work load is increased too much for him. She is too not giving proper attention to his food”, she thought guiltily. “Come on”, she smiled again-----.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

weird and wonderful




Have you ever enjoyed the scenes of life being on the other side of the fence? Yes, it is enticing once you get the taste of it, as one finds it irresistible to leave the game mid way. Once tasted it, it is almost impossible to give up. The magical enticement of being on the other side of the fence and to enjoy is one weird pleasure. Another one is to find the fellow of the other side of the fence so irresistible that to hate them, is equally impossible even if you shall try you would end loving them more.

Strange, weird, difficult or simply different, whatever you name them they are here in our lives—the weird and wonderful.

What are they actually? Do we really need a tinge of weirdness in our lives? Well, these genres are actually spices of life. The life gets seasoned with the multifarious ones. It simply acts as the taste booster.

The strangest thing I found about myself is I love weird and wonderful. I love all critics of my life.
Blinded with sisterly love after getting my placement, I first shared the pleasant news with my sister. In response I found her more serious. “So you got the job and now you will teach, --what?” and she nostalgically started reminiscing the bygone era. When she would decor her academically won medals on my shoulders wiping my tears flooded eyes, consoling me all over, "it’s yours, you take this.It looks really beautiful on you." And completely consoled and satisfied I would march along with her for the home.

And here is another one, when despite dissipating my precious energy on my dotting one after a long cajoling and explanation, I get straight away reply—“Mom, we won’t talk on this issue, I don’t want to, sometimes even bolder confession, Mom, I won’t do as you suggested,” and then already exhausted I ponder honesty is good but this is not too much even hard to digest. Still the love does neither melt nor my liking to the weird and wonderful.

Here is another one boldest of the list, always on the other side of the fence. When I suggest for a walk he will be in mood of relaxation, excusing long hours of his work. His excuse leaves me wondering reading newspaper and watching TV certainly do not cost any energy. “What an energy booster techniques, only accessible to married man?”

Even on the tours, while shopping, standing beside me he takes side of the shopkeeper. Once taking evening walk with him, the sight of vegetable market enticed me and after much persuasion we entered in the market. The bargain of small boy selling green coriander left me puzzled. So I tried to show him the reason-“how can you charge rupees three for one bunch where as rupees five for two bunches”, while I was midway in my bargaining the hubby dear, with big grin supported the child, “hey don’t give, she is doing too much bargain”. Even my angered glance did not stop him taking the side of others. But I was too made up of hard stuff, its ok if you could not help me during the bargain, I had another good job for you and that was lifting the vegetables.

But the oddest one is the sweetest memoir- when my ailing mother, after calling me demanded that I must visit her urgently, as she was not feeling well. Being aware of her incurable ailment and her failing condition, to avoid the heaviness of the moment checking my flooded tears somehow I managed to stage my familiar recklessness to her, “no, no I won’t come you get well on your own. You are very tough person and you nag me enough, I am feeling more safe here”, accustomed with my familiar weirdness my mother had a heartiest laugh that still echoes in my memory. Therefore I feel, if weirdness brings smiles then it is thing to cherish.