May 16, 2014

May The Odds Never Be In Your Favour!

Amidst the fallen petals and faded leaves, Ella Everdeen stood beside the bench, thinking deeply. The soft light of the setting sun fell on her face and made it glow. She was untouched by the cool breeze, that blew a strand of hair across her face. She was too old now to remember all of it so clearly, yet she could picture the pain she felt and it was visible on her face.

Her father had a transfer and so her family was moving from Long beach to Rochester. The plan was to spend some time with Aunt Lucy, while her father would join his work and make arrangements in Rochester for schooling as well as a house in a good locality. Aunt Lucy stayed alone in Cortland. She was a very nice lady with a pure heart and the eagerness to help others. Her husband had died at a very young age and from then she had been managing her life by working as a Head of Department in a College.

Ella could never endure staying away from her parents and her one and only sister, even if it was for a few hours, however, after many efforts her mom had convinced her to bid goodbye to her father. It was early in the morning, around 4:00 AM, that her father had decided to leave for Rochester. With watery eyes, Ella came near her dad and asked him to bend a little so that she could whisper something in his ear. Mr. Everdeen stooped down and asked his little angel why was she crying. With choked voice, Ella asked her that dad how many days would he stay away from her. Mr. Everdeen hugged her tightly and remained silent. Ella understood that it was not a matter of few hours but days or may be months. She planted a soft kiss on his cheek, looked into his eyes and said,"Bye Dad". Mr. Everdeen again tried to hug her but she resisted saying," Wait daddy, this one was for today, I'll kiss you for all the days, you won't be seeing me". And she kissed her dad innocently. Mr. Everdeen was speechless. He knew the longer he stayed, the harder it would become to control Ella. He said to Ella's mother to take care of children and herself and that he would be back soon. And finally, Mr. Everdeen left.

Later in the morning around 7:00 AM, Ella's mother was startled with the ring of the telephone. It was an unusual ring. She had a feeling that something bad was about to happen. With a shivering hand she picked up the receiver.
" Is this Mrs. Everdeen?"
"Yes, who is this?"
"Hello mam, I am calling from Syracuse. Your husband has met with an accident. There is a minor injury and we have admitted him in the local hospital."

Mrs. Everdeen was in state of complete shock. The worst of her nightmares had come true and she did not have enough strength to fight that situation. Somehow she completed the conversation on telephone, noted down the address of the hospital and finally broke down. By that time aunt Lucy was also awake. She came to know about Mr. Everdeen and was also in tears.

The next moment Mrs. Everdeen was ready to leave for Syracuse. She woke up Ella and told her that daddy had met with a minor accident and that she was going to bring him back home. She had decided to leave Ella and her sister with one of Aunt Lucy's friend. Ella was speechless on hearing all that. All her emotions had suddenly left her alone. She told her mother to go and get her daddy back home safe as soon as she can.

It was later in the evening that Ella got a call from her aunt. She told Ella to come home with her sister. Ella tried to ask if her daddy was alright, but her aunt did not answer any of her questions. Ella had mixed feelings, her head told her that something bad had happened, but her heart was not ready to accept that fact.

Ella and her little sister reached home and found their house filled with people. All faces were known. For once Ella thought that may be that was a gathering called by her aunt because her father was safe. But the very next moment, when Ella entered the dining room, all her hopes were shattered, as she saw her mother crying over the death of Mr. Everdeen. It was end of the world for Ella. She ran and hugged her mother tightly. She cried. She fainted.

Girl With A Black Scarf

Ella worked in a jewellery shop. Like any other girl, she dreamt of having plenty of money one day, to buy all the beautiful necklaces and rings. But the odds were never in her favour. Her path to her goal was filled with obstacles.
Every now and then she had to face a stressful plight and this had eventually made her oblivious.

She had never, even in her wildest imagination, thought that such an encounter would change her views on life. Life, for her, was a burden. She never enjoyed any moment of happiness because she feared that it would be accompanied by sadness. But amidst all these feelings she failed to realize that for every minute she was sad, she lost sixty seconds of happiness. She needed an eye opener, a guide, a ray of hope.

That day she had to go to work a little late. It was noon by then. She woke up an hour later than usual and got ready for work. She wore a bright orange dress, arranged her wavy flicks and braided her hair neatly. Getting late for work, was not her cup of tea. But that day she was late. She hurried and walked across the street swiftly. Not more than 100 steps had she taken, when she realized that someone was walking beside her. She did not notice the person but could see a long black scarf. She stopped, turned and saw. A  beautiful woman was standing beside her. She had a picture perfect smile on her face.
She wore a black dress with a black scarf. Her long black her complimented her pretty face.

Ella could not take her eyes off her. All she could think was that how could anyone be so relaxed and looked so lively, why couldn't she be lively and as fresh as a flower. She was forced to ask the girl in black the reason for her beauty.

"I am what I think I am. Beauty is just another word. It is our perception that defines our personality. Life is not a bed of roses and even if it were, it would have been monotonous. I enjoy each and every moment I get to spend and that gives me a hope for a better tomorrow."

Ella had heard such words before. She asked her if she had any problems in life, to which the girl replied," Yes dear, ofcourse I have problems. Everybody has problems. But to make them major or minor, is in our hands. I always look for solutions, rather than mourning over what has happened."

 The girl seemed so confident and magnificent. It looked as if she had stopped aging. On the other hand, was Ella. All soaked up in the pressures of life, helpless and hopeless.

By the time Ella reached the jewellery shop, it was lunch time. All through the way she had been pondering upon what the girl with a black scarf had said. She was so engrossed that she didn't even realize when the two of them parted. When she reached her desk, she kept her bag on the desk. It was quite warm inside. Ella removed the long scarf and hung if on the chair. During the later half of the day, when the manager asked her the reason for being late, she just smiled and left. Something had changed in her.

Ella was lively. She was happy. It was during her solitary time, that she realized that the girl with a black scarf was Ella herself. It was her shadow, who had taught her a lesson for life. She realized that happiness is when what you think, what you do and what you say, are in harmony. Life is not solid- it is fluid and so it changes.

Not all problems will last for a lifetime. You just have to look within and ask yourself for a solution. And it works magically.

The "D" Day

And finally after a long long wait for months, this day has arrived. With all new hopes and desire for a new government, people are looking forward for the counting process. The mere thought of who shall become the next PM of our country sends jitters all over the body. On one side are the citizens of India, waiting for the results and on the other side there are army officials and the policemen, who are worried about the consequences that this election will lead to. Every other most prone area is having a three tier security provision. The point to think about is that even though most people are having all their iron rods in the fire, yet they have enough time to participate and find out the results of the counting. And this is actually a good sign!
It is indeed a sign of awakening. People are actually taking up the responsibility of forming the government and selecting a better person. It is not in my hands to control who will win, but I pray that all the odds be in favour of the best person as that is the only way the ball will be able to bounce.
With incidents of riots, communal violence and violent rampage in cities like Meerut, most of the other cities have been put on red alert. Infact that is the exact way how a cookie crumbles. Like the two sides of a coin, there are two kinds of people, one those who favour the decision ad other those who don't. The side that loses restores to violence. May be the latter assume that becoming violent will compensate their loss.
The strange side to this entire process is that people are not looking up to the candidates in hope for a better India. Rather, majority of them are favoring a particular candidate for communal purposes. For an instance, muslims are favouring Congress while hindus are all geared up to welcome Modi as their PM (according to what I have heard from my friends, colleagues and neighbours). The reason for this is that Modi is expected to reduce the islamic community to a minority and Congress is assumed to favour their majority. Therefore, it is quite clear that votes have already been decided on communal basis.

My take: Why do hindus or muslims want each other to be reduced to a lower number? Why at all are we discriminating on communal grounds? Can't there be peace and security in our country? Although the youth of this country has risen from the deep slumber of ignorance, still there is the need to broaden their horizon of thinking and moving in the right direction.

May 15, 2014

RELATIONSHIPS : From Frying Pan Into The Fire!

Current scenario regarding the relationships is severed. One can find every other person talking ill about his/her relatives or friends or loved ones. The underlying truth about this is that the yearn for money, has overridden the feeling of consideration, respect or love. Becoming rich is the new cool and people can go to all the bitter ends to get the money. Nowadays maintaining relationships is not a piece of cake. It requires lot of patience, adjustments and loyalty towards each other, but people cannot afford to waste their time on all this. Recently I read somewhere, 'Relationships are harder now because conversations becomes texting, argument becomes phone calls, & feelings become statuses and tweets', and realized that it is actually true for all of us. If you take out few minutes from your busy schedule and ponder upon how well you have been managing your relationships so far, I am pretty sure you will find something lagging.

It is becoming more and more difficult to identify the real relationships.
Another factor, which according to me is aiding the increasing distance between relationships, is the continuous interference. Everybody owns their privacy and it is very valuable. But invasion into the private zone often becomes the cause of the conflict. The most common one line people often target at others is,' Get your daughter married now, she's becoming older'. I mean come on people, the moment the girl completes her studies, you start poking her parents to marry her away. The reason why such comments are passed is still unknown to me, but I guess it is just a way to demotivate or add in to the problem bucket.

My personal experience has itself been really bad in this regard. All the relatives are more worried about what is happening in my life rather than worrying about their daughter's affair or their son's bad grades. There are numerous other examples which I can quote to prove my point. This problem is not just limited to the family ties but extends to the simpler and temporary relationships we form with our colleagues, neighbours and friends. The other day, while walking my dog, I met my neighbour. To my shock, instead of starting with small talks, he directly jumped on to the question of when am I planning to get married. In a split of a second, I responded by saying  that it was not an issue that he should be worried about and started walking past him. Deep within I felt like slapping him right on the face. Like me, I am sure most of you must have dealt with such situations at some point of your lives.                                                                          

My Take: Even though I cannot poke others for puncturing holes into my privacy, yet I can manage to change my attitude and aim at letting others live their lives in peace. It is need of the hour to allow people to breathe in and enjoy their space. Intruding into their lives will only ruin the healthy relationship.