HER red lehenga.

Flashback:

She was 8-years-old when she first set her eyes on the most extraordinary piece of cloth in her mother’s closet. It was a crimson-red, heavily-embroidered, 5 kg heavy lehenga staring back at her. (An Indian bride usually wears a ‘lehenga’ or a ‘saree’ on her wedding day as a part of the wedding attire.) While playing with her friends, she would always insist on playing the bride. Being a tiny 8-year old, she would always imagine a fortress lit up with lights and flowers, where she would be sitting besides her Prince Charming dolled up in that red lehenga. “It’ll be a SAB-YA-CHEE lehenga”, she would say, that’s what Mom wore! (‘Sabyasachi’ is a famous bridal wear clothing brand.) All these years, every once in a while, she would longingly glance at that beautiful lehenga. Similar to the one that she will wear on her wedding day; just like a delicate piece of armor, fit for a royal princess.

Over all these years, she grew into this beautiful young lady. Talented, beautiful and a set of fiery eyes all set to burn the floor. She graduated from school with distinction and found her dream job too! All the aunties hailed her as the perfect bride to-be. With a girl who had everything at her feet, she was unstoppable. At one such party, she ran into him. They talked for hours that evening, almost inseparable. That night, she saw the red lehenga again and it seemed to shine more than usual, almost dropping her a hint. And eventually it happened. Those 3 hour-long phone calls turned into regular dates and one no sooner, they announced her marriage.

The wedding turned out to be all that she had ever dreamed of! It was indeed a royal celebration where she rejoiced standing besides her Prince Charming. And of course, that day she wore her very own red lehenga.

Today:

She opens her closet, taking out all clothes from the closet and neatly arranging them again. It was her trick to keep her mind occupied. When suddenly, something shiny caught her eye. It was her very own red lehenga! Staring deep into one of its shiny mirrors, a blackened eye stared back at her. In another one, she could almost see an imprint of two fingers left on her cheek. She sat on the floor, feeling relieved that the horrific night was finally over. But she knew, there would always be another such fight. She momentarily closed her eyes. And one by one, the tears started to trickle down those beautiful brown eyes; while she tightly clutched her fingers over HER red lehenga.

Epilogue:
An alarmingly high number of women all over the world suffer from domestic violence. It’s not only a setback for the feminine side, but firstly it’s a huge setback for the entire humanity. Marrying a woman doesn’t give you a right to abuse her, physically or mentally. Respect her for being the glue that holds your family together. When you marry a girl, their parents trust you with their greatest creation, their little princess. If at all, empower her, support her and more than anything else, love her. And to all the amazing women out there, don’t ever let anyone harm or demean you because you are a woman! 

“I would rather stand alone and engulf the fierceness, than to dwell under someone else’s shadow.”

When she walked away.

They both stood outside the front-yard of the huge sprawling bungalow that they lived in. The mid-July monsoon showers had begun to flow mercilessly. His face gave away his daunted feelings, fearful thoughts erupted his mind. His heart beat had caught an unnatural pace. Whereas she, she stood with a stoic posture, unnerved.

It seemed as if the throbbing heart of one was calling out to the other, to calm the storms. At times, you do wish that life wasn’t this difficult.
       She braced herself, tightly holding the bag’s handle, gearing herself to bear the parting talk.

       He gently took her soft hand in his and then it began:

Him : You can still turn back,you don’t have to do this.

Her: I don’t have an alternative! This is what I want.

Him: My dear, since the day I saw you, I promised myself that I won’t ever let anything or anyone harm you, come what may. We don’t know what kind of horrors you might have to face out there.

Her: But, I need to be out there, to seek what my heart desires. I can simply wait here all my life. But, how can you silence the horrors of my heart, then ? The regrets I’ll bear for the rest of my life.

Him: All my life, I’ve strived to give you everything you ever wanted and I still can!

Her: And there are things that I want for myself, from me. If I stop here, I’ll be only stranded.

Him: I want you to achieve all that you want. But, this fragile heart of mine, it doesn’t understand all of it. All it knows is to love you, to protect you and to never let that smile from your face fade away.

Tears start rolling down her face.I have loved this man all my life. I wish I could stay back and watch him smile with those glistening eyes.

Her: It is you who gave me the strength to take this decision, to keep my head held high and my spirit strong.
And how do you think I’ll forget that one person who made me who I am? You cannot take the stars away from the sky that holds them. And I’ll be your brightest star, Papa!
And they hugged each other for what seemed like eternity.


Epilogue:

Far often, we tend to forget appreciating the things people do for you. Especially your parents. The little things they have been doing for you, are what contribute to make you the person you are today. And when the whole wide world goes against you, they’ll be the ones to not only protect you, but give you the strength to fight back. This post is a dedication to every mother and father out there who does all possible things to never let their kid’s smile fade away. :’)

“Oh my dear, just come back here. You can sure let your heart sing, but first come here and take your wings.”

That one cab ride.

     “Job-life begins. College life is over. Life change ahead.” All these phrases are pretty scary for a 22-year old. The not-so morning people like me have to bear the added brunt of actually getting up when the Sun rises. You begin to genuinely miss the blissful 10-hour naps.
One such sleepy-eyed early morning, I happened to take a cab to work. The ride started like any other day, my eyelids trying to find closure. Then began one of the most inspiring conversations I’ve ever had.
The Cab-uncle asked me, “Beta kya karte ho?”
Me – “Engineering complete kiya hai, aaj job ka 2nd day hai.”
To which his first instinct was to say, “Engineer ho toh Bangalore mein kyu nahi ho.” It’s funny how stereotyped the society has become!

What he said after it, will always be a reminder to me.


You’re getting into a 9-5 job. Almost everybody is able to do that. But the talent that you have, make sure you don’t let it get away with a busy life. Follow it, furnish it and strive for it; you will go places. Money will follow. You guys are young and you have time to go after your dreams. 

My friend’s kids earn 20 lac per year. I don’t even know what I’ll do with that kind of money. I never had any likes or tastes that would require much money.
I couldn’t complete my 10th grade. But,school days are the best part of your life. Enjoy the adolescent days.

These days, education is very important. I have two daughters- The elder one wants to become a CS and the younger one is into Commerce field. I want to see them both become successful in their lives. Agar bacche mehnat kar rahe hai na, toh paise toh kaise bhi jama kar lunga. When your children are striving to achieve greater heights, as parents you do anything that you possibly can to make it work.



Epilogue:


Episodes like these make you realize how fortunate you are. You have crossed a certain milestone in education with minimal efforts because of your parents. Some parents couldn’t achieve their dreams, but they strive hard, so that their children can achieve what they want. Maybe the less fortunate ones have the ability to understand the worth of education in a much better sense. And the best quality they have is humility.

Also, some of us have certain passions that we dream to achieve one day. Time is such that along with dreaming, you have to act upon it every single day, every moment. To see the picture in your dreams become reality, now is the time to get worked up.
And yes, never ever stop believing in what lies in you heart. Realize it’s worth with every beat of your heart! DREAM BIG. :’)

Fly just so high, amongst the birds in the sky. And soar upto the peaks, which your heart truly seeks!


It’s time!

It’s time!”, she thought;  
And the clouds rumbled as if to give a nod.
Her face wore a lightning-bright smile;
She couldn’t wait to break away from the exile!


As she walked by, the leaves rustled vigorously;
Even the branches of trees bowed down courteously.
The winds wildly swirled around, to mark the coming of a storm;
Such that nature seemed to have laid down its norms.


The clouds all huddled together with roaring cries;
Casting a spell of darkness all over the skies!
And the thunderous lightning announced her arrival in the dark;
All of it for her, the one who conquers all with her spark.


She had missed it all- embracing peoples’ happiness and pain;
And somewhere they began, the first showers of rain!


Epilogue:

When I was a kid, the first reflex to the first showers of rain was to simply rush outside. And till today, it remains the same. To me, it’s about forgetting all that your mind is engrossed about, breaking free from all tyranny and just getting drenched in the rain outside. The smell of the damp ground, the cold breeze which gives you chills and those tiny droplets of water, everything!  

One of my favourite things to do in rains – It’s raining outside and here I sit in the balcony, reading a good book while sipping coffee. Call it a cliche, but it works like magic to me!


The Journey

Sometimes, you read a book which propels you to write about it. You read something so beautiful that it makes you want to it to be known to all. One such book I came across, is ‘Journey‘ by Danielle Steel.

We all have heard news and stories about physical abuse. But, what about the secluded and hidden form of violence that resides amongst us. Mental abuse, this is a form of abuse which can be even more dangerous than a physical one. As the author quotes – “Where he hits at your soul and your self-esteem.”

In the book, Maddy is this beautiful, ingenuous girl who has been saved by Jack, her current husband, from years of physical abuse. But things go haywire when she realizes that she is still being abused,not physically but mentally. Jack doesn’t display any form of physical torture, but directly attacks her mind and soul. He makes her feel that he owns her and she is his puppet. The book is a beautiful “journey” of Maddy’s life, how she overcomes all the shortcomings and inner-fears and sets herself free. It really inspires you to understand that before anything else, you should learn to put your happiness first. And to find your inner-self, do things that you genuinely love and walk past everything that will bring you down.

Some of us might have gone through a similar ordeal. The most important thing you need to do is accept that you are being mentally abused. Such abusers appear as normal humans to the society. But, they demean the victim, make him/her feel abashed of themselves, disrespect and belittle the victim. Whenever the victim tries to take a stand against it, the abuser makes the victim feel as if it’s his/her fault and that the abuser is a victim. People need to realize this kind of behavior and take a stand against it.

It’s not about a man or a woman. Any person can be a victim of mental abuse. Rather than putting up with people who are a chaos to your mind, find the peace that your mind deserves. Now-a-days, we blindly believe in certain things and people around us. That, this is what you’ve been destined for. Maybe it is, but if it’s not then you need to decide for yourself. Learn to discern the thin line between what makes you and what breaks you. We get adhered to things just so easily, to words, to promises, to acts, to faces, to bodies. Maybe we just need find something that our soul gets annexed to!

Nobody, let me repeat, NOBODY has the right to make you feel worthless. There are times when the best choice you make is walking away. It’s a difficult one, but it’s what you have to do for your own happiness. You need to part away from things and people that won’t ever do good to you. It is scary, but you need to understand your self-worth and that realize that you deserve so much better. You, yourself need to rattle the cages and set yourself free. And have the belief that in this JOURNEY, you’ll eventually come across people who will make it worthwhile.

Just find that smothering fire inside you and let its fierceness define you.