Just another year…

Another year has gone by and we have entered into a fresh new year which is looking upon us with curious eyes. It must be curious like all its predecessors.

More often than not we resort to asking  – “What this year has in store for me?“. This year I want to turn this question on its head and rather ask myself – “What I have in store for this year?“. I want to take this year head on with all fervor and enthusiasm I can gather. I don’t want to think of resolutions for this year. Does that count as a resolution? The thing about not thinking about resolutions..? Maybe. Maybe not. Well, I don’t want to think a lot about it and will be satisfied with my gut feeling of this not being counted as a resolution.

The first thing which I wanted to take up this year was this blog of mine which has been dormant for so long that I was seriously considering deleting it altogether. Guess better sense prevailed and I decided against it. And so, here I am trying to put life in this little project of mine. I know that I want to be a good writer and I have what can make me one. I just need to perfect this art of writing so that I don’t sound as stupid and plain as I am right now.

Cutting it short. Cheers. Happy New Year everyone.

That insatiable craving

So, here I am, another day without much to work and am done with “The fault in our stars“. I don’t have another book with me right now, so that I can dive headfirst and start turning page after page.
I am not able to pretty much think about doing something else to keep me occupied.  Web is just boring, not in a mood to read editorials on WaPo or NYT today. Neither in a mood to read few articles on The Atlantic or The New Yorker, though am huge fan of these magazines. Actually, all I want right now is to grab that copy of And mountains echoed I have at home. I am feeling prerr stupid about not carrying it with me today, when I knew that I will be done with remaining 100 pages of The fault…. Guess there was a lack of proper thought about tge situation from my side, when I was leaving from home.

I have always loved books, it’s not a new found love which I only find when I have not much to do in the evening or at work. This year is different though, I am reading at a pace I have never read in past. It has to be different,  as I plan to reach that elusive goal I have been setting for myself for last three years now – read 50 books in an year. I know the next 4 books I am going to read after And the mountains echoed. And I have already bought them :)

The next 4 are going to be (in no specific order)
The spinning heart
The Luminaries
The spy who came in from the cold
The cuckoo’s calling

See, I have a perfect mix of genres to entertain me and to take me into pretty opposite ends of the spectrum.

What are you reading these days?

The Husband

He entered the coach with two huge bags. Actually, one was huge and the other one was just medium sized, but both of the bags were stuffed and I can see by looking at them, that were quite heavy and his shoulders were under strain. I could tell, since I have carried huge bag myself while going home, but that’s not what this is about. His wife (a fair guess) entered the coach behind him and she was carrying one of those shopping bags, which are made of cloth, and you see in India. The bag in her hand, did not seem that heavy, as she was carrying it quite comfortably. 

The coach was not crowded for a Sunday evening, though it was 8 PM, and was mostly cold throughout the day, so many people might not have stepped out of their homes. I was standing and so were they. He was wearing a woolen cap over his head and a jacket. His wife had a cardigan sweater and a shawl to top it off. I could tell that he was a normal worker some place, maybe one of the many factories in Noida. Not very poor, but might be just making his ends meet while affording to keep his wife with himself, rather than leaving her back in his village, wherever that might have been. Though, I would guess that  they were from Bihar. So am I, by the way.

After three stops on the way, a seat was vacated and he kind of fended the seat and asked his wife to have the seat. She took that seat. The bags were close to the door, and he went back there to stand by them. I was looking at him, and for some unknown reason, as it happens a lot with me, was feeling partly pity, partly sympathy for him. I could not tell, why, since he was not that poor, or shabby for that matter, which usually evokes those emotions inside me, when I start questioning the society we live in, the economics, the politics, and every damn thing which is broken with the state he comes from, to earn a living. 

I noticed that he was touching, kind of patting his right leg, below knee. I though, he might be feeling itchy. But then, he pulled up his pants a little bit and I saw that he has a long scratch on his right leg. A scratch, which you get you fall on the stairs or one of the steps, while walking. I can tell that wherever he fell down, it would have caused a lot of pain for such a scratch. I have had something like that, and it made my cry and curse. To top that, it was one of the coldest days, and as you know, it hurts more when its cold. He did not seem to be in pain now, and neither did he looked to be in pain when he entered the coach. But now, I was thinking how and where he might have had taken a fall. Maybe, when was entering the metro station, and was getting off the rickshaw. The roads and steps are slippery at times, especially after last night’s rain. He might have fallen at that time, and scratched his leg, specially while trying to carry those heavy bags. I did not think more than that.

In few minutes, my station was coming and I thought that since he was carrying bags, he must be going to the railway station and would get off at the same station, I was, as that’s the interchange station. Though I was not traveling to the railway station. I had to get out at the interchange station. I was right. He dragged his bags towards the left gate, where I was standing, and signaled his wife to be ready to disembark from the train. He kept one bag over his right shoulder and the bigger bag was by his left side, still at the floor. Then he tried to balance himself with his left hand by the door, and I saw that he had cut marks on his knuckles of the left hand, and at that time, I could tell that he did had a nasty fall, wherever he had that. I visualized the scene quickly in my mind, and felt his pain for a minute, and thought about the reaction of his wife, when he would have been on the ground or the steps. He did not look like the ones, who would have cursed at their wives for not carrying one of the bags, or for overloading the bags. No, he seemed like the ones, who would have asked to carry the bag, even when the wife would have asked to carry one.

The gates opened and I stepped out of the coach and looked back to notice that the couple had disembarked too. I turned around and started walking towards the exit.

Winter is back

The sad and depressing winter is back here. Not at all sunny, cold, windy – is what marks the coming 2 and a half months.
Winter brings back loneliness to me, it brings the sense of losing things and people, especially people closest to heart. It leaves me on my own to fend for myself, to try to fix my broken self.
Others are smiling and happy, loving someone and being loved back, cared for. And, I have been stripped of all that. I don’t hate the other people, I hate my bad luck, which never seems to leave me alone. I hate that I can’t be lucky enough to have someone I love, something I want.
I am cluless, heart-broken, alone, damaged, and hopeless…

The long lost fireflies

Growing up, electricity was always kinda playing hide and seek with us, especially during nights, in my hometown. Power outages were a regular occurrences and part of everyone’s lives. These outages were more frequent during Summer season, cause of increased demand. Though, I am pretty sure that the number of households with air-conditioner, would have had been very few in those days (at least in my hometown), the distribution generally does not depends on the needs of one city. Other than the increasing demand, I am sure the production and output of power would have been less than the normal demand of the days. It has been like that in India, as long as I can see in the past. A gap in the supply and demand!

But, this post is not about the power situation in India. Not about, the production, supply, and demand of electricity. But, this post is about recalling those summer nights, when electricity was out, and we used to sit outside in the lawn, under the moon and stars. As soon as the power went out (it was almost a fixed time, every night), we used to pull folding chairs outside, and then sit and talk. The neighborhood used to come alive during those power cuts. You could listen to conversations going on, across the boundary wall, shrill cries of babies getting irritated due to the heat, sharp noise of children trying to play and have fun in the night, under the light from stars, moon and candles or emergency lanterns peeking from the open windows of the houses.

Those days, fireflies were quite common and present everywhere. At night, as kids, you could enjoy the faint yellow glow and marvel at those flies. It amazed us as kids. I remember, we used to catch few of them between the hollow of our palms, and then peek through a slit between fingers at the yellow glow. At times, I remember, catching a few of them in glass jars and then doing nothing but staring at the yellow tail. As soon as it was time to sleep, even if the power did not came back, most of the times, we used to release the trapped fireflies back to nature, their natural habitat.

It’s been ages, since I saw a firefly. The same way, it’s been ages spotting house sparrow. The fast change to climate, must be causing changes to the ecology on the whole, which has disturbed the eco-system for many birds, insects, animals. I am counting on seeing the fireflies once again, sometime in future!