Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Once upon a time...

"But you promised the kids two days back Vineet...." Nisha called out from the kitchen over the rhythmic noise of the blender. "Okay then...leetts go" sighed Vineet and lifted his tired back from the sofa, just as the two "monkeys" as he called them, jumped on him with delight.

The drive to the park was..well, just as a drive would be on a friday evening on the Bangalore roads. A good one hour later, there they were...the thousand odd bulbs on the 'Fun World' hoarding, mirroring the glow in the eyes of the children.
The "monkeys" jumped out of the car and dragged Nisha all the way to the ticket counter - Aryan,6 on the left and Karan,4 on the right - while Vineet drove on to the end of the parking lot. As Vineet returned to the entrance, the parking ticket in hand, the day's exhaustion weighing heavy on his breath, the kids cried out in unison "daaaddyy..lets try the giant wheel. You didn't let us the last time. Now we have become big boys.....pleease".
"Hmm...okay fine..but go with Mummy...I am too tired today"..Vinnet slumped on the nearest bench.
"You make such a lousy dad"...Nisha retorted as she turned to go with the kids
"..but a wonderful husband" she whispered with a quick peck on his arm....the marital bliss glowing crimson on her cheeks.

Vineet smiled at the sight of Nisha shrieking with fright as the giant wheel picked up speed. Nisha and the kids had brought in a sense of peace and completeness in his life. He had found happiness in every small moment of his marriage, whether it was Nisha pondering for hours over which saree to buy or changing Karan's nappies with Aryan clinging on to his neck. Vineet drifted away to sleep with the smile still in place.

As he woke up, his eyes blurrily took in the milling crowds and delightful kids. He had slept for a good half and hour. Nisha and the kids would probably be on their nth ride by now. Through the blobs of colour that transformed into people of different shapes and sizes, he saw a face which looked very familiar. As he caught the lady's eye, he saw just cold indifference in that look...the look of stranger. And yet he had caught on to that momentary flicker of recognition in her look. There was a boy, of maybe 5 or 6 with her. They were coming his way. Vineet turned his face away from the two.

She settled herself on the same bench, right next to Vineet. He turned to her with his lips curled in the slightest hint of a smile -"Hi". "Hi",she smiled back. "Your son?" he asked, his eyes scanning the place for the person who could be his father.
"yeah". "Whats your name?" he put on his best kid voice for the boy with a red-yellow 'Nickelodeon' cap crowning his head. No reply. He bent to take a closer look at the face under the red-yellow cap. The vacant look in the boy's eyes struck him like a thunderbolt.
"Vikram cannot understand what you are saying...he..he is mentally challenged" - the lady put in words what the boy conveyed through his eyes.

"I....well...why....that's so.." Vineet fumbled with his words. For once, the corporate lessons in public speaking and effective communication didn't come to his rescue. He faced her with a strange sense of guilt and pity written on his face
"Don't be", she was reading his face like the daily newspaper supplement "I don't want him to grow up with eyes full of pity watching over him. The looks will haunt him all his life, the way they haunt me when I sit in solitude. And well, dont feel sorry for me either..I knew it was going to be an abnormal child. A blood group mismatch. The doctors had warned me."
"Then why? You could have..." Vineet could not get himself to complete the sentence.
"Its not that easy. I wanted him to get a chance to experience life, to come to this place just the way other kids do, to feel the soft slushy mud on his feet, to gaze at the raindrops cosying themselves on the fabric of his's been a tough decision"..her voice faded away.

The cold breeze tugged at Vineet's skin...his eyes had been fixed firmly on a group of children playing tag-n-catch, a facade for the thoughts that raced through his mind. There was no sign of Nisha and the kids. He turned to face her. She had opened a pack of 'Hide and Seek' biscuits and was feeding Vikram. She offered him some biscuits. He broke a piece and held it infront of Vikram. The pair of eyes moved from the biscuit to him and back, devoid of the glee that the choco-chip biscuits normally bring about, devoid of any comprehension.

Vikram was on his fourth biscuit now. "Thanks for feeding him. He loves these biscuits.Atleast...I think he does.And sorry...he has messed up your shirt"
"Thats the least I could do". Vineet's mind went back to the days when Aryan would slobber all over his office clothes. He hated it. Nisha had a name for it "fatherhood blues" she would tease him.

Minutes of silence." here with your family?", a nonchalant question. "Yeah, with my wife and sons", a nonchalant answer. " Nisha is a good wife.She loves the kids and me. Aryan is so smart..he is all of 6 and knows all the answers. Karan is he knows all the questions. Life is..." Vineet realised he was rambling on incoherently. He gave a nervous laughter "well..Iam sorry".

She didn't reply. Silence again. Then she smiled with understanding -"Its okay. I think we should get going. Shouldn't we Vikram?" The nickelodeon cap remained in its position, pointing downwards where its bearer had fixed his gaze.

"So...where is his father? I mean...your husband isnt here?"
The cracks in his voice betrayed the tension behind the phlegmatic tone.
A bead of sweat trickled down his forehead and into his eye, replacing the tear which was never there.

"I didn't get married Vineet. As for his father...he doesnt even know about Vikram.
Or atleast he didnt till now..."

"Why??" Vineet kept repeating the word to himself more than to her.

"Its okay Vineet. I saw the look in your eyes the day I had that asthma attack. Through my struggle with my breath, I could see your struggle with your emotions. You could have walked out of that hospital room and out of my life. What made you hold on for a year longer...I don't know.
So when you called me up to call it quits, it wasn't a shock for me Vineet. I had seen it coming. There were no questions to be asked. No explanations sought.And there was no point in me telling you about Vikram. You could not handle it cannot handle it now."

She placed her hand on his shoulder. He wanted to cling onto it with all his life.
"Go on Vineet. Take care of Nisha and the kids. Vikram and I are just fine."

He watched her walk away, the red-yellow cap bobbing up and down the path.
The tears refused to stop. And there she was - a hazy blob of colour, just the way she was when she walked into his "happy complete and perfect" life that windy evening.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

of weekends n bachelorette parties...

Well after what seemed like an endless chain of "at-work-weekends"...there it was finally !! The ultimate weekend which takes you back in time some 2 or 3 a non-descript place which means the world to its inhabitants...a place where almost every day is like a sunday and yet weekends are special !!!!! weekends which are greeted by the toothy grin of the dhobin at the door, weekends with the "one-hour-oil-champi and head baths", weekends with the discussions in the Qt over the latest "enlightening gossip" -courtesy sunday times, weekends with the special grubs and long siestas, finally culminating in a steamy (hold on hold on!!!) over heated discussions !!!

whoa...looks like i am back on the memory lane !!!!
so its >> (yup..that the fast fwd button :p) to this weekend when we had a bachelorette party for one of our friends...infact the first one of us to willingly step into the trap, which we euphemistically refer to as marriage !!!

so there we were with corny ideas for the party and cornier ideas for gifts....shoppin for a greater part of saturday !!!
and what was the result ? well..we got the gifts...but only after we got masks which would cover anything between 1/3rd to 2/5ths of our faces !!!!clowns, scarred n bald burglar faces, the-kid-with-a-moronish-look...u name it and we had them in the 2-D form !!!!! and of course, trumpet-shaped whistles and the little bottle with soap solution and a loop of wire -your own kit for making soap bubbles !!! :))
Not to mention the 2 or 3 snack breaks that we took....(shopping builds up an appetite u see !!)
The occassion demanded some personal shopping too -on account of a broken sandal, faded bag n so on...n 'voila' the lil' genie had just done a disapperaing trick out of the 1000 bucks in my wallet !!!

come sunday, and there we were at the venue, decorating the house with balloons and colored paper (oops..did i forget to mention them !!)

and there it is...a quick summary of how things can go just the way u dont want them to....

>> u lug about 3/4 bags full of party stuff only to realise that u have left the most important gift at home !!!

>> the guy at the cake shop refuses to write a message on the cake....and u have a icing-cone all to urself for demonstrating ur calligraphy skills (gosh...why didnt i attend that summer course for calligraphy in school ??? )

>> the person in whose honour the party if being given is on a fast....n can make leeway only for one-meal-per-day sans onion n garlic !!! (whew !! we actually found a restaurant which catered to the needs)

>> all your cryptic clues for the gifts are ripped apart by just about everyone in the group !!!!

>> when the waiter at the restaurant says "should i repeat the order"....ur ears choose to interpret it as "could u repeat the order" !! n there u r...rattling off the names to a laughtrack -courtesy your friends !!!

>> you raise a toast to the "guest of honour" with apple juice in micky mouse and donald duck adorned styrofoam cups (dont ask me why !!!!!)

>> you rent a cd player and a movie boasting of the "sexiest scene of the century" only to find that the scene has been "snipped off" the disc -courtesy censor board !!

>> the party ends with another mini party sponsored by the "guest of honour" (now..why did i put that here ????sponsored treats are always welcome :p :p)

>> And you realise the party is over....just when u forget all about the major issue pending at work and get into the party groove !!! Time sure flies fast !!!

So now...its time for the accounts to be settled (strictly on monetary terms folks..dont read between the lines !!) , updates to people who couldnt be there and sharing of snaps !!!!!
A weekend to relive 4 years of togetherness....and weeks,months and years ahead to relive the weekend !!! :))

So all you singles out there, start your quest for the "better half" !!
May there be many more bachelorette parties and invites to the same in my inbox !!!!

Amen !!! :))

Monday, October 03, 2005

fishy-tails !!! :p

I just fished this joke out from a very tired n bored mind

Baby fish: Mummy Mummy I dont want to go to the 'school'
Mamma fish: Why beta ???
Baby fish: Becos there are very 'fishy' things happening out there !!
Mamma fish: Oh stop 'cra(i)bbing' and go now
Pappa fish: Come on a man(???i dont know wat u call a male fish :(( )
and its 'fry'day today !!!! its weekend time. :))
Baby fish: okay i will go...but only if u promise to get me the latest
'fis(c)her price' toy
Mamma fish: no...first 'fin'ish this glass of bournvita
Pappa fish: why have a 'roe' now ?? i will get him the 'toy'
Mamma fish: but..but..he is 'hook'ed to these games
Pappa fish: thats okay..i dont want to feel "gill"ty about not giving my child
what he wants
Baby fish: yippppeeee.......!!!!!

Omigosh....finally the lack of good fish in blore is gettin to me !!!
So its good'buy' from my side....:))