Friday, July 31, 2009

From the Dairy of a Daily Passenger : Chapter 05

The man asked, “You are a Bengali and you stay in Jharkhand?”
“Yes. My parents work here.”
“See, I am a Bihari and I stayed all my life in Kolkata and you are a Bengali and you always stayed in Bihar.” The man laughed.
Anindita smiled at his amusement.
When he was done, he continued, “Bengalis have a good culture. I like it, maybe because I have lived in Kolkata since my childhood. The best things about them is their ability to adapt to this changing world, take up the good things about the upcoming culture. We Biharis don’t do this. Look at us. Most of them still get emotional over dowry and caste and creed.”
He stopped for breath and looked at Anindita. So, she said, “Maybe because Bengalis were already much more unorthodox compared to others. So, the advancement is equal in both the cultures, just that they started from two different start points. And since we compare, we think the way you are thinking.”

The man was amused again. He said, “You are an intelligent girl. I don’t find girls talking this way. In fact this generation does not talk about these things. They have much more important things to do, like go to night clubs.”

Woh! That took Anindita up one step towards self praise. She found herself amused at his sole example of night clubs. She wondered why that was only example he could find. There were hundreds. Even she belonged to that group. It was just that she said these golden words at the right moment and left the man impressed. She said, “No uncle it’s not exactly like that. Maybe you never met such people or maybe they never discussed such things in front of you.”

In response he just uttered a “Hmm” and got back to his topic, “It is very difficult to change something in the society single handedly. I tell my friends that dowry is a bad thing. It should be avoided. In return people tell me that I am saying this because I have two daughters to marry off. If I had at least one son, I would have supported dowry. And whenever I promise myself that I will marry my daughters to someone who will despise dowry, I have this fear in me, what if I do not find such a man. It is very difficult not to think about it without worrying myself. You will know when you have children.”

Anindita thought why every grown up person uses this same sentence while explaining. She wondered if someday she would do that too. After all the statement did not leave any scope of arguments.

The man continued, “This is one of the things I like about Bengalis.”

Anindita replied, “No uncle, there are Bengalis too who indulge into the dowry system.”

“Yes, of course, exceptions are everywhere but its better among your culture. But then there are things I don’t like about Kolkata. Politics!”

Anindita smiled, “If you talk of politics uncle, I hate politics everywhere in India. And West Bengal’s problem is CP(I)M being in power for so long. But overall it is all the same everywhere.” And then Anindita smiled at herself. She was dumb when it came to politics, yet she loved the confidence in her tone. She did that every time. She knew Jasidih wasn’t far enough.

“Yes, yes you are right. But still, West Bengal, Bihar Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh are worse.”

Anindita replied, “Yes” and she got up, put her bag on her shoulders and smiled at the man.

“Oh, you are already at your place. It was nice talking to you. At least I had a nice conversation with a nice young lady instead of keeping shut all the way.”

Anindita said, “And I too had a good time with you instead of sitting and doing nothing.

The train pulled into the station. Anindita went near the gate. The train slowed down and then stopped.

Author's Note: I dont remember this conversation very well. Whatever I presented in this part is a short form of what we talked about. There was more. I liked talking to him ! After all he liked Bengalis ! :D

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From the Dairy of a Daily Passenger : Chapter 04

The day Anindita traveled in that ladies compartment on Balia Express, she made that promise to herself, never again in a ladies compartment not at least on board Balia Express. She knew there was humanity, but it was uneasy. She did not feel comfortable with them. Sophistication always took over. And who knows maybe someday the bunch in question wouldn’t like her and she would have to stand there in that jungle of uncivilized women. She would hate that. Since she always came back to Deoghar every weekend earlier, she had seen regular passengers always getting into sleeper compartments. She realized, this was possible in Jharkhand and Bihar. Something assured her, nobody is going to fine her or anybody else for getting onto a sleeper class for a couple of hours. So, after that experience of the ladies compartment, she always boarded a sleeper class, usually the last or the second last.

There was another woman, who got into the same sleeper class compartment everyday from Chittaranjan and traveled till Jasidih. When Anindita reached Chittaranjan station, she sat there quietly. She always found the woman with a man. They would talk and laugh. Sometimes one or two other people would join them, ask them how they were doing and then they would go their own ways. The two always stayed back together. In the beginning, Anindita thought the two were married to each other. Most probably they worked at the same office and then they must have fallen in love and then married each other. “Perfect Couple!”, Anindita thought and smiled to herself. Anindita had a specific seat at the station. She always sat at the same place and waited for the train. The couple also had their specific place, but since it was far enough not to be heard, Anindita never heard them talking. She would look at the woman, and stare at her, until she would realize that she had been staring. Then she would look away. The woman wasn’t beautiful. She was a little healthier than could be classified under the beautiful category. She hadn’t great looks, a thick nose, wasn’t fair, though not dark. She did not have dark waist length hair or a wonderful hair style. She had her hair parted in the middle and Anindita saw the vermilion line that helped society to classify women into the married category. She had a little ponytail, well oiled and made up. Anindita did not like her. She did not know why. She could not give one single reason why she disliked her. So, even if they usually got into the same compartment, they never talked to each other. They could have, if Anindita would have initiated, but she didn’t for the sole reason of dislike.

That day Anindita did not see the woman on the platform. She thought maybe she was on a holiday. She sat there all by herself. She noticed the man walking up and down on the platform. The train arrived. Anindita boarded the train. She never asked anybody for a seat. She felt bad. These men were traveling a long distance and they were justified if they expected to relax themselves instead of offering her a seat. But, all the days that she traveled, somebody always offered her a seat. Sometimes she did sit down by herself, when she found only one or two people on one whole big seat. And as she sat, she always told them that if they need to relax they could tell her so, she would leave the seat. But they always eagerly offered her the seat. And some of them even had a chat with her.

Well, that was not exactly the idea. Anindita knew rejection of a seat would be very humiliating. So, she never asked for one. And the second reason was, politeness always worked. In this case too, it did.

She got into the second last sleeper compartment. She kept walking through the mass of seats and people until she reached the last coop. On the seat for three only one man sat. This was an exception. Anindita sat down at one end. The man turned to look. Anindita said, “If you want to sleep or something let me know.” And she smiled. The man said, “No, its okay.”

The man busy looking out of the window. Somtimes he would rest his head on the seat cushion behind , close his eyes. Then all of a sudden he would look outside. Anindita watched him doing that.

Sometime later, the man turned towards towards her and asked, “You study here?”

Anindita explained, “No. I am on training.”

"Sorry ! Cudnt hear you!", and he moved a bit closer.

What followed was a set of questionnaire as to what kind of training, her schooling, her qualifications, etc. Anindita explained.

The man said, “I have two daughters. They are younger than you. Still in school!” He smiled. Anindita smiled back and asked, “Which class?”

“The younger one is in ninth. The other is doing graduation in commerce. They are not very brilliant. But I made them study so that later in life they can look after themselves if anything happens.”

He paused. Anindita reciprocated the conversation with a smile.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Side Effects of Increased Readership

I have been blogging since March 2007. (Check my profile). That would mean I should have been an expert in blogging. But, unfortunately I am not. Reasons??? Well, the main reason is blog deletions.

The first time I created a blog, i.e., in March 2007, I maintained it a month or so and then I deleted it. I don't exactly remember why I deleted it. It was long time back. But I guess it was maybe because I did not know what to write. I was into college then and most of my time was taken up by Google talk, Orkut and college fun. I did not sketch as much as I do now-a-days.
What followed was a series of creations and deletions of which I don't have count. Every creation lasted about two to three in number of posts and about one month. If I plot a graph of my college events on the x-axis and frequency of blog creations on the y-axis... It would look like ...

There were other reasons too like mood frenzies, boredom, process of releasing anger, lack of readership, etc. I do not wish to go into detail with them except one because others do not concern the topic here. The one reason that concerns the topic is "new ideas of blogging". And when I say new ideas, I mean new ideas for blog type, new ideas for blog headers, new ideas for blog content.
My first blog was named, "Mou's Blog". I had no thoughts about the blog content then. Then another of my blog was named, "Mou speaks". A series of "Mou *this*" and "Mou *that*" followed. Then I turned into a little more expert. So titles changed into innovative phrases.
One of them I remember - Words at sunset. It was meant to be a daily diary of events.
I deleted that because, it sometimes went too personal and I had started deleting posts once I was out of the phase that made such personal posts. So... Blog gone !

The second last one that I deleted was named "Drops on my Window Shield". It was named after my book of poems and the blog was meant to be a poetry blog. I deleted it for two reasons. First some anonymous guy said my poems were copied, because they were too good to be written by me. I could have taken it as a compliment and I later did, but that moment I was hurt. The second reason was, I cherish my poems and had plans to get them published some day. So, the poor blog goes extinct again.

The last blog that I deleted was "My Sketch Book." I actually merged it into this blog.
And the current blog was earlier named as "Drops" as a tribute to my book of poems. But just before I joined indiblogger I changed it into "A Damsel Fly" (just an idea). And then I went popular. Readership improved. And now I have ideas again of blog headers but i dont think people would like to read a blog that starts a new identity every now and then. So, I accept this state of stability for the first time in my blogging lifetime just for the sake of preserving my blog readership. After all why would someone want to write something that people do not care to read or see. :P

So, much for readership !

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Leisure in Water Colors!

A little Closer....

And I forgot to paint their ears !

Poor children !!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

55 Word Fiction : Devoid of Dreams

I know I know... my 3rd post today !!!
Remember .. Quote for today was "Love your Blog !" (Check earlier posts)

Anyways, No idea who had come up with this concept and didn't try to find it out... I read it first on Dhiman's blog. 55 word fiction is a story in 55 words. I am good when large number of words are concerned, but i thought it could be exciting, so here is my story...

He was dreaming.
Mohan, village school, Sita's face , fishing net, fishes, a plate of rice, Fees for the doctor...

Sita sat by him, putting wet rags on his burning forehead. Mohan slept peacefully.

Next morning. Sita cried, little confused Mohan clutched into her lap. The dead body lay still, devoid of dreams.

Pencil Work

The First Tag

Tagged by Dhiman. My first Tag.

Well this one’s called “ABC Tag” that is ABC of me(Know more about me series) and the rules are :
  • Link the person who tagged you.
  • Post the rules on your blog.
  • Share the ABCs of you.
  • Tag 3 people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
  • Let the 3 tagged people know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
  • Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so that there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag! (Very Important One!)
So here Goes ...

A – Available/Single? Single but not available

B – Best friend? Mom

C – Cake or Pie? Never had a pie yet !
D – Drink of choice? Water

E – Essential item you use every day? Toothbrush.

F – Favorite colour? Blue n White

G – Gummy Bears Or Worms? umm...

H – Hometown? Deoghar
I – Indulgence? Right now... Eat , Sleep and Blog.

J – January or February? January... thats my birth month.

K – Kids & their names? You will have to wait until i have discussed them with my husband.

L – Life is incomplete without? A lone walk now n then, reflecting and thinking things that are of no use ("use" as defined by the common materialistic man).

M – Marriage date? Lets find a guy first !

N – Number of siblings? a younger brother... the macho man of the house !

O – Oranges or Apples? What if i would prefer something else... say grapes?

P – Phobias/Fears? Come on !!! I AM BRAVE !

Q – Quote for today? "Love your Blog"

R – Reason to smile? thts hard to tell when most of the time you are smiling coz of no particular reason.

S – Season? Spring

T – Tag 3 People? lets see ...

U – Unknown fact about me? dont u know??? then i guess I did not want you to know !

V – Vegetable you don’t like? Please... forgive me on this one... I love vegetables.

W – Worst habit? I never ever ever like to "un"praise myself !

X – X-rays? They are harmful. Very harmful !

Y – Your favorite food? Somebody please tag me with a "food list" !

Z – Zodiac sign? Aquarius. The water bearer !

Now my turn to tag... Avishek, Mahul and Paritosh. Time to visit them !

Oh By the way... Can I do this over again, I have three more people to tag !!!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Short Story : In the Balcony

She stroked her baby. It was late. The clock struck 1.30. The baby had woken her up. She took it into her lap and slowly moved it to and fro. The baby fell back asleep. She looked at her husband. He was sleeping peacefully, snoring lightly. She knew he loved her. She could feel it. He took her restaurants and to shopping malls because he knew she loved to go out. He took her with him to places he went for business trips because he knew that she loved traveling. She loved him too. They were happy. Sometimes when she wrote a poem, she wished him to read it. He always did. And smiled back at her and said, “Well written.” She knew, he read it to make her happy.

She put the baby back into its bed, and lay down herself. She couldn’t sleep. This has been happening since she had the baby. Once she woke up, it was hard getting back to sleep again. And the baby often woke up at night. It was born during the day and people had told her babies who are born in the day, don’t usually sleep well at night.

She got up and went to the balcony. She leaned on the railing and looked far into the darkness. She could see the black cement silhouettes and a tree now and then. She looked up in the sky. The moon wasn’t there. Maybe it was sometime around a new moon night.

It was long time ago. She was afraid then. Afraid of society, afraid of her loved ones, afraid of being disowned. Afraid of loving a man, holding him and walk by him every evening to the lonely beach she loved.

She remembered one restless night, waiting to meet him for the first time. And then followed an excited morning and then a college canteen meeting and a lovely afternoon together.

She knew him from an orkut community. He was the owner of a moderated Taslima Nasrin community. He had accepted the join request silently. Then one day, she put her picture in her profile. She could be classified under the beautiful ones. No, she wasn’t ugly. A few days after the picture was uploaded, he scrapped her. A very common thing! She was used to it. So, she replied back, never giving it much thought. And then followed long hours of chatting. They both were in college hostels then. She had hundreds of friends and so did he. But they were happy together. She did know why that boy liked her. But she liked him because he was so sensitive and emotional. He knew the world was cruel and he had that beautiful soft corner for people for whom he wanted to do something. He spoke against the cruelty to Muslim women. They spoke of society, politics, terrorism and poverty. And he had another side too, that was wonderfully soothing, calm and caring. He loved poetry, created them. He knew to sing though she never had the chance to listen to him singing. He loved books, they talked of books. He was three yearsyounger to her. This had always been a funny issue. She never let him forget that he was younger. And he hated her for reminding him everyday. She always laughed about it and he scorned at her that left her with a naughty smile.

She often remembered that day they met. The day was very hot. They had a cold drink each. He paid. She teased him about it. She was older. She was supposed to pay. They walked up to the beach. That was her favorite beach. She took him to the tree. She did not know which tree it was. But she loved sitting on the rock under it. She told him so. They sat together under it. They laughed, smiled. They had so much to talk of. And then that evening he left. That was the last time she saw him. She had been happy.

And then a few days later he proposed. She declined. He reacted. He called her hard hearted. She cried that day. Slowly, emotions fizzed off. The anger, the passion, the desperation and then the pain fizzed off. They talked sometimes, now and then, sometimes on the phone, sometimes over the internet. Then there had been one night, when they were awake all through. They heard the birds chirp, together. Together they watched the dawn creep into their rooms through the window. That night she told her, how afraid she was of everybody around her. She was a Hindu. Her parents trusted her. Trusted her hat she would marry a person of her own community. And there was a Muslim boy three years younger to her, expecting love in return for everything that he gave her. A Muslim boy who dreams of a society where nobody would tell a story of a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy but would just smile listening to a story of a boy and a girl madly in love. And there were her parents, who gave her whatever she had now, who loved her more than herself. Parents, who had that unsaid assurance from their daughter that she would never let them down. She had stood at a confusing cross road. And she wished she could walk both the roads. She chose one and sometimes thought about the other road – the road she left behind. The other road… where a boy had waited by the road, stretched out his hands, wanted to hold her and walk together by her side.

But sometimes, she wanted to escape to that beach, to sit on that rock under that tree. Read out a poem aloud and watch him listen to her.

The baby cried out. She went in. Took it into her arms and came back to the balcony. She sang lightly and lulled the baby to sleep, and thought of writing a story about it. Then she thought, this was such a common issue. Falling in love and then marrying a boy of family’s choice and then on some nights stand in a lonely balcony and think of him. But how wonderfully this story of thousands was so special to her! How unique she felt about the feelings and it was hard to imagine that maybe thousands of people felt the same way as she did on this lonely balcony while singing their baby to sleep.

The baby was quiet. She looked at it. Sleeping peacefully, it smiled. She smiled too.

P.S. : I dont usually write such stories. Am bad wen it comes to love stories. A very very common plot, but I wanted to write about it. A first attempt! Hoping its bearable.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Bucket List

I haven’t seen the movie yet and I have no idea when I will be able to. Now-a-days movies seem a far fetched idea. Well, I have seen Dasvidaniya (The Indian version). Liked it. So, I thought maybe a bucket list of mine wouldn’t be bad.

So here goes:

  • Get married. I hate loneliness. Well, I am not in a hurry… But still, it’s important.
  • Travel around the world.
  • Build a home in the mountains. I love mountains. Have you ever been to Peling (near Gangtok)? We stayed in a hotel and every time I landed into the balcony, a vast stretch of mountains surrounded us with 7 waterfalls embedded into those vegetated rocks. It was beautiful I don’t know why mountains attract me like anything. If somebody tells me that I would never have to worry about basic things of life, I guess I can go up to live among the mountains.
  • Adopt two children. At least that would help the population and would give a home and parents to two orphans. I wonder if every couple adopted a child each, India would be a better place to live in.
  • Be called a writer one day.
  • Be active socially specially in the field of education of poor children.
  • Have a huge library. (the kind The Beast gifted Beauty, in the animated movie The beauty and the Beast )
  • Kill 3 politicians when I am on the verge of dying.

That’s a hell of a list. There are a few others. But it would be dangerous for my reputation if I put them on the blog. So, that’s it.

P.S. The post was inspired by Paritosh Gunjan’s bucket list on his blog. Take a look if u feel like.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

E-Mailed !

Today morning I received an e-mail. Before I say anything.. let me copy paste it.

Dear Sir/Madam,
> I have completed my B.Tech in Computer Science from Beant College Of
> Engineering & Technology,Gurdaspur with an aggregate of 66% in June 2008.
> 1. In my college training, i have completed Library Automation using C++..
> 2. . In my industrial training i have worked on Academic section project
> for SLR Infotech, Chandigarh using Java as Platform as mentioned in resume.
> I want to be part of your esteemed organization and hereby applying for
> fresher's opportunity.
> Please find attached my resume for your consideration.
> Awaiting for your positive response.
> Thanks & Regards,
> Charanjeet singh

It also had an attachament. The guy's CV. Do you want to take a look? Whats the use? The point here is not the CV, but the fact that I own an institution !!!
Such an irony! I have been waiting for my joining and the ITC guys are being so cruel and heartless. And people are sending me their resumes. Wonderful! I wish there was someone who would take some interest in my resume!

Poor guy. I guess he must have made a typing mistake while typing the email id. Or maybe he noted it wrong. Being a very concerned person (as everybody must know ), I thought the poor guy must be waiting for the person to reply in affirmation. And may be he is desperate about a job (every jobless person is). So, I thought I must let him know that he sent it to a person who, forget about owning a company, is herself dying to get into a job!
So, heres the reply...

> hello chiranjeet
> i dont know who have u tried to send this mail to. U must have typed
> the wrong email address. please re chek and resend. i am just a
> student and i do not have any institution..
> i thought i would let u know in case u be waiting for a reply for ur mail.

> Regards,
> Mou.

God bless him. May he get a job soon !
As for me, I wish he had mentioned the company he was applying for !

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Stupid AB Rhyme

I get up early

And set my hair curly

I brush my teeth

A thought to eat

It’s ONLY seven!!!!

Oh God! I swear to heaven.

To break my fast

I cook at last.

Computer switched on

Poof! The lights gone.

The UPS cries,

My energy dies.

I take a shower

I check the hour

Off to office I go,

My work – well I know

I work the day

And rest ! Nay !

The clock’s five thirty

I leave, still hearty.

Back home

I sit alone

I think a bit

Between my lips a cigarette lit.

Or maybe I watch

A movie or a match

Or a poem, down I pen

As silly thoughts rain

And in my empty head they chime

Following a stupid AB AB rhyme.

So, I stop.

About the empty room I hop

For I have no work

And none to talk

After a while I dine

And go to bed a little later nine

And dream about a morn

Of a different alarm’s horn

Hoping to see something new

But I guess that’s not yet due

So, no complains for the wait

I have patience for the late.

P.S. : An example of killing time.