Sunday, January 31, 2010

My mother and me / a story

Class attendance was taken and one by one said yes and when the name came to Babu Saraswathy teacher looked up to the place where babu usually sat and did not call again .She knew he could not come on time ,his mother was admitted in Government Hospital and he would be there attending his mother since no one there in his family to look after her .He and mother only and father passed away one day when he was pulling his cart with load and a speeding lorry hit him and he passed away in a pool of blood - whatever the quantity he had in his body.

Babu sitting in Hospital beside his mother and his mother's eyes looking at him passionately.Nurse brought gruel of rice to the patient asking babu whether he would manage giving it to mother.

"yes sister, I will give..but she is not able to take anything '

Don't worry Babu, try to give as much as possible, we are managing with infusion also'

'Sister, she is not able to talk to me'

She is weak Babu, you see, she will talk to you tomorrow'


Mother showed her hand below her pillo and he knew she meant money to be taken by me to eat for lunch.I don't use the money for my lunch , I know I need money for her other needs , so I come back by evening after school and take the remnant of the rice gruel and I don't take anything else in school or anywhere .I manage with water from school and no one knew I am hungry in school.

I said to mother ' I am going to school'

Mother , I know cant speak since she is week.I could read her eyes , she is saying yes and again showing her fingers below her pillow.I knew what she conveyed ,but said no .I said I had enough to maintain.

I started running to school through the by lanes ,I know going through the main road would take more time , and by the time I reach would be lunch time.Despite my hungry I could run fast so I reached school by 11.30.

I stood out side the class room.Saraswthy teacher asked me to come in and called me near her and asked in whispering tone 'How is your mom'

'she is weak not able to speak.sister said she would talk to me tomorrow and they give treatment.'

Night where do you stay?'

' I lie down on the floor'


'My mom not able to take complete, I say I already taken,I would take the remnant of the food after she closed her eyes'

'Go and sit down Babu'

Interval came and when all the classmates went to open their food packets I went to a corner near a tree and sat down , started reading my lesions.I must study well so I will pass in three years time my school final , if possible by doing part time job I will study further.

I must help my mother , when she comes out of the hospital I will ask her not to go for work[ she goes for house work like cleaning the kitchen vessels and mopping the floor in three houses and comes back by evening 7 o' clock.She brings home the old and remnant food given by the owners of the house which my mom and I take .That is only only meal we take a day.If there is anything remaining she would give for me in the morning.Money is used for paying the rent to our hut and some essentials.

School bell ringing , now 4o'clock

If start running by the by lanes I could reach the hospital in one hour , for I have to run fast without stopping , no slowing down.

While running I saw a small shop where near the cash counter they keep many things in the jars, like toffes , pickles,lolly pops and salted and soaked amla fruits.I stopped running and went into the shop.

This amla he can give to mother so that she will take more gruel and can bit amla in between.Her mouth has become tasteless , she is very week.sure one day I will become someone and take care of my mother well.

Now I saw a temple, near the shop , very small roadside Vignesh temple.I stood there ..........I don't know how to pray.

I stood before Lord Vigneshwara and prayed as follows

My Vignesh ,I have a friend in your name in my class.

When he knows as a friend about me and my mom

You must also be knowing my mom

She is poor and I am poor

Pl help to raise up from the bed

Let her take rest

I will do part time while studying

Swami, sorry , I have to run.

i will come back.


Then he started running and reached Hospital , running inside the ward.

Bed number 101.

Bed is covered on four sides with screen......... must be giving some treatment

I neared the bed lifting the screen

Sister was closing my mother head to foot with a white sheet.

My mom..............

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shiv and me / our separation

Shiv and Mythili sitting in a restaurant of some quality facing the sea and breeze coming through the windows not violently but gently like the characters of those sitting.,facing each other Shiv facing Mythili and she facing the sea.
Her mind tossing like sea waves although deep down she is calm having all the memories since both met first time in the same restaurant.Have they come full circle in their life together when she is hardly 30 and he 34.
Down memory lane ,first she met him in an art gallery depicting one of her master's drawing in black and white and canvas painting as well.She being a volunteer for her master, explaining the drawing to all the visitors who were curious to know , some deep , some first time saundered into the gallery just to know what it was.
"Excuse me '
This voice made her turn around to look at an young man around 5'9 or 5'10 in height and around 28 of age.
' could you please tell me the something about the drawing there, showing a girl standing at the bank of a river?'
'it is just plain or some......... depiction inner meaning '
'sir, pl see the caption ....... timeless river...'
'yeah right madam,...may I interrupt before you explain'
'it is ok , pl'
'does it mean ..river is life .... and she thinks before crossing it'
'in a way right ...but shall i proceed'
'yes pl madam'
'physical river as such is time bound .... owing to seasons'
'it is not a question of crossing ,but stepping into it.
she would step into it
and again come to the bank
again step into the river to travel..... since it is inevitable
she might think into the river so many times
but not so....... no one can step into the river twice or thrice
Painter means this river is of eternity
oh great
and she is young girl ..... going to enter the timeless river...that is why the caption
Oh !!!!!!!! great
Then that young man said bye and went away to look into  other drawings.
The exhibition was about to close and when time was up for leaving , she had seen that young man looking at a drawing and taking a snap of the drawing at one corner with his Digital camera.She waited for few minutes and went to him saying 'excuse me'
yes madam
sorry ,,, time to close sir
oh sorry thank you
you can come tomarrow also sir
no madam, I am in a hurry leaving for out station tomarrow morning
yes madam , anyway thank you for your explaing and I am shiv
Thank you sir I am Mythili
Are you a painter
Great to have met you .I am a writer in an English daily covering Kerala for Art and crafts.... and I do free lancing also
Nice meeting you sir.......would we get a chance in your writing and get published in your paper
sure but I have to meet your master for about ten minutes
I will introduce him to you sir even right now
ok thank you madam.
We talked with the Master and went for the same restaurant where we sit now , even if i remember correct the same table, me facing the sea , shiv opposite to me and master facing us , I on the left , he on his right.
And he gave his business card and got the master's card got my phone number also , telling he would send a copy of the News Paper when the article got published.
After a week's time , my master-teacher got a courier containing the news paper with the article and the article was concise,lucid and explanatory , and he even used the exact words I used when I explained the painting.I was happy and something inside deep down wanting me to see him again. I was wondering what kind of feeling it was making you to try or want to see someone .....
In a few days time, he called me
' Hello.I am shiv madam, I met in your teacher's art gallery'
'Yes sir , I know I have seen your article sir in my teacher's home'
Right madam, to tell you that only I have called you .....I will send you a copy also..but I dont have ur address.....shall I send it to your teacher ?
No  I will give my address,pl note down '
Madam are you employed?
yes sir, working as Assistant Manager in a Bank
Oh then , art?
I do paint and that master is my teacher .
Good madam,can I see a few painting of you
oh sure, when u come next time to this place we will meet and show you a few of my paintings
good madam, bye for now .nice meeting you
ok bye.
My heart's palpitation incresed ...why so , it never happened like this in my life although many men I met officially in my bank as Assitant Manager.Then I went into my kitchen to prepare night dinner.

Chapter 2

My bank being one of the Nationlised Bank , I go into my cabin and start doing the work , overseeing any problem at the counter which normally does not happen becaue the system is very perfect and employees are emperienced who know their work and know how to handle customers with courtesy and young recruits are few . Even if there is any problem or query which the younger ones not able to answer , the seniors in the nearby counter guide them , many of the seniors who continued as clerks despite the qualifications and experience. Many of them not accepting the promotions since their sons and daughters are either nearing school final or in college, if once promotion is accepted they would be transferred to far away places and they dont want to disturb either the kids' education or family convenience at one place.
The telephone is ringing........
Yes , speaking ...oh teacher pl tell me I never expected a call to my office , so took few seconds to know your voice.sorry teacher tell me
Mythili ,Shiv called me and told me he is coming down next week and he asked me to inform you , so this call.How is work child?
No problem teacher, I will meet you evening in your home.How is Amma?
She is fine .Thank you.I will ask her to prepare something for you for evening snacks.
No teacher dont disturb, i will bring something on the way
No , no it is a pleasure for us old couple to invite you and chit chat.
Ok thanks teacher . See you evening.Bye
Bye God bless.

Oh! shiv is coming next week and have to select some black and white pencil drawing for him to show , night I will select some tree drawings and landscape which I did when I went to Munnaar with my dad and mum last time .
A week passed and one wednesday my teacher said ,Shiv is coming and asked me to come to his home and would have dinner together.
Wednesday arrived and mornign I was a bit tense and unnaturally I stood few minutes before my cupboard and selected my saree and matching blouse , even seemed odd on my part to behave like that.But anyway I consoled this was natural to behave like the way I did for the age group I am in , despite my learning over a broad spectrum of books ranging from Novels,Essays,Philosophy, Religion,spiritualism; but balance is a bit lost if anything personal happening although we are strong when counselling happens to others.Even my father does not attend Surgeories for our relatives.........oh I have forgotten to tell , my father is a General surgeon attached to a big corporate hospital in my city .All the books of various disciplines made me study what I read in my life.My dad is a voracious reader and a writer also although he writes in pseuo name.
When I entered the bank my routine work and administration took my time and my mind never deviated but when the clock showed 5 I became nervous a bit , although I leave around 7 or 8 o' clock my branch, I told my chief manager that I had to go for my personal work and he said ok.

On entering the house I said "good evening sir to my teacher'
Seen already Shiv sitting there and I said ' Hello'
Good eve, madam
Shiv,have you taken coffee or tea
Yes of course, Amma gave me good tea and snacks.
Amma came to the hall and invited me inside to take tea and snacks.
Excuse me sir, I be back in a minute'
I gave the drawings to the master and asked him to show to shiv , master smiled and said 'yes sure '
After the refreshment I came back ,sat before Shiv , shiv was seeing the drawing.
He said ' trees and landscapes'
Meanwhile teacher went inside to talk with Amma for night dinner and arrangements.
Yes trees etc I had drawn When I went to Munnaar
Good it is Mythili .Is it easy to draw trees ?
' yes and no..... because ' I stopped
Why? I dont know drawing Mythili'
'Oh, well trees or anything we look at it three diamentional , we can either go to a place to select a tree or seeing a picture we can draw and some draw out of imagination'
'in case we select a tree , the tree has to be balanced'
yes when you see a tree some branches are going in the right , left, behind, and some coming towards you, because once you select a unbalanced one symmetry would be distorted and the completeness may be a lacuna'
'and some branched going upwards and swaying when seen from your angle'
'and again the sunlight on tree will be bright on some portion, light on some area and shadow .... likewise shadow below the tree'
My God ,photography seems easy'
'photography is also tough, only professional knows how tough it is'
well May be right'
'So even further deep you want to go you must visit, if you have chance , when spring comes, so you are able to look at the tree like a Doc sees the X-ray'
'Oh you are very deep in it Mythili'
Although I never show emotions out , I could make out I blushed a litte which he noticed and happy about it also.
Teacher came back and preferred to sit in the garden , teacher explained how I came into literature and arts although my father was a surgeon and I being the only daughter of the family.Shiv asked me why I did not take up to medicine, I said I had the independance to select what I was interested and my background of having studied so many books and access to my dad's libraray , may be that made an inclination towards literature .
Shiv said he finished his post graduation in English in Chennai and went to Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi to do journalism and went into news paper , and after intial training came into covering arts and pintings for his paper , may be after few more months , he might go to someother assignment in the same News paper.
After dinner he was about to leave he said he was leaving to Mangalore for official duty and would keep in touch.

Chapter 3

Now sitting in this restaurant where we met first time , the circle is to be completed... a tragedy or fate or incompatibility.
Does incompatibility come between husband and wife if both are educated and intelligent? Instead of thinking in a braod way why we start or he starts or I start thinking that this relationship is coming to an end.Now what he would be thinking in his mind....... I am haughty or egoistic or nose in the air type......... what ..what went wrong between us.Certainly money not a problem, I know since I earn enough, he also earning enough besides being a daughter , only daughter who inherits hell a lot of property.... then why?
I remember once we went to Thirupathy by train and stayed there.The environment was clean , fresh air and aloofness.He was clicking his camera outside the temple in various locations, I talked with him and immersed in my books when  found time.
But he is not someone who wants to go out since his job involved him to going to places , various places in India.I needed an outing since my routine being bank and home and not of many friends except a few who are of my type , bookish and decent , not talking nonsense.
So whenever holidays come, he was preferring being in home and I did not have a choice although we could have anywhere in the world for the money we had.But never ever went out freely and he never thought it was tiresome for a wife who would always go for work, cook,and talk.
Was it my depression owing to my confinement inside the house which might have made me react that would have harmed him mentally?
First I thought this is so with all the married girls but I knew many couples and my friends who go out to many places and enjoy life if not for enjoyment , at least for relaxation .
What use the money has , if the life is not well lived with minimum things? It is a different story if we are poor and not able to spend since always making both ends meet is a problem.
Then what went wrong ,..... love making I know and he knows.what else would have been the reason that pushed us to this corner of separation.
He discussed with me yesterday that by living together both of us making problem for ourselves, so better to separate, although shocking to me intially , when practically approached ,seemed correct.
Now today the last meeting , so we came out to the same restaurant where we met first time.
I looked the sky through the windows ..... stars, moon and far away meteors .Do they know my mind?
'Mythili, shall we leave?'
Do you have any hard feelings about our separation .... I think enough time we have given to think over this and now come to the conclusion?
Nothing is permanent in this world except impermanance.