Saturday, March 27, 2010

Whats with the Age?

Seema was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that, after a long hiatus, she is visiting a wedding. Sad, because she has a throat infection and that will prevent her from doing much of what she likes doing regularly, talking.
So the entire family(Seema, her DH Preetham, MIL and her baby)arrived at the venue. Along with them came their young twelve year old neighbor Riya and Preetham's Sister's thirteen year old son Deepak.
At the venue, Kavya, a relative of Preetham came searching for Seema. She wanted some advice on the groom she had selected. She fears whether the age difference of eight years between her and her would-be is a matter of concern or not. A hoarse voice came from Seema' mouth with a shrug of shoulders which no one understood.

But then the next mature girl tried to interpret Seema's thoughts. It was Riya and she interpreted as follows, "She is telling you that age difference hardly matters as far as the girl is younger than the boy. Girls will be more mature compared to the boy of the same age..." Deepak objected to the statement, "I don't agree with this generalized statement." Riya smiled and pointed out to a girl and a boy who seemed to be around twelve years. Riya pointed the differences in how they behaved. "The girl was well dressed to the occasion, welcoming the guests and walked elegantly. The boy's dress had half come out and was running around the place as if an ant had bit his butt and he didn't even care to look when someone called his name." When he came near to Deepak, Deepak caught the boy and tucked his shirts in and gave him a dressing down, "Behave properly... Naak Katwadega Ladkonki public mein...."

Seema raised her right hand as if to say 'Stop! you silly girl' and coughed. She pointed her finger to the head and immediately Riya came with another explanation, "She wants to explain it technically. Medically, Puberty is faster with respect to girls." Seema was just expressionless as Riya continued her small lecture, "Puberty in girls is seen at a earlier age than in boys. On these lines, it is usually said that the minimum age difference should be 5 and ideal would be 7..." Deepak hardly understood anything about puberty, but still found himself agreeing with Riya. He made up his mind to google this out the next day at school, but he didn't knew the proper spelling of puberty. With embarrassment, he asked her the spelling. She answered him and complemented him for being mature, "The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate."* That compliment made Deepak blush with glee.

Seema was failing to communicate and gestured Kavya to stop listening to the young devil and chat with other people including her Mother in law. Riya thought she understood what Seema wanted to communicate, "She is asking you to look around you and giving her own Mother-in-law's example. Haven't couples with vast age difference lived a good life? Though Seema may have some complains against her Mother-in-law, her father in law has none. They are having a peaceful and happy life. The vast age differences hardly matters and it's all just a number. What really important is the maturity level of the partners."
Deepak was all praise for his girl, "Wow! You are really one smart girl." Riya was humble enough, "Its the school I go that has made me so smart. Lady Hill School..." Deepak replied without thinking, "Even I got there admission. But couldn't join there..." Riya cleared a throat and reminded Deepak, "Its a girl's school! ...And you prove some of my earlier points about men" **

Seema was not able to further tolerate the torture and she just closed her eyes. That's when her husband Preetham came and explained to Kavya his wife's thoughts, "I don't think age gap matters while the girl and guy are comfortable with each others lifestyle and thoughts***. Am I right, Seema?"
Seema just smiled and rested her tired head against his shoulders as Preetham continued, "Do not limit the definition of relationship in terms of age. When hearts unite, why do you want the age to play the spoilsport?"

* Quote of Douglas Engelbart
** Adapted from a conversation in THE MONSTER HOUSE
*** Words of a good friend.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Morning Music

It was definitely not Seema's style to wake up so early as five AM. Something must have disturbed her sleep. Without disturbing her husband Preetham's sleep, She proceeded to the balcony from where she thought she heard the small noise. When she reached the balcony, She found her mother in law sitting on the edge looking at the nature around her and listening to its music. She teased her Mother-in-law, "Oh my dear MIL! Not so quick.... Don't contemplate suicide.. Haven't I been good to you?" and she sang the song, "Jaane na denge tujhe" from 3 Idiots.

Mother in law reprimanded her, "Stupid! Close your big mouth and open your ears. You will be able to listen to a great composer at work!"
Seema gave one of her surprised looks and said, "I knew that Maestro Rehman worked when everyone was lost in their sleep. But I never knew his work place was so near to my home"
This irritated the Mother-In-Law and she advised her, "Try to listen to the pleasant sounds that come through the unpolluted air of the early morning. Get the feeling of bliss by listening to them."

Seema very well knew that her mother in law was referring to the mother nature and the sounds of birds chirping, the gentle breeze etc. But she didn't want to easily admit it and lose some fun, "Yeah... Such a beautiful and soothing music..."
Mother in law was pleased with the answer, but it was short lived as Seema continued, "Its Maestro Rehman's music. Hum Hain Is Pal yahaan... Jaane hum kal kahaan" Mother in law's face turned reddish with anger and she was looking for an explanation.
Seema explained in a cool manner, "The air carried the ringtone of Neighbor Sheetal's cellphone to my ears. At the break of the dawn, her boy friend gives her a missed call sending her the message that early morning he may forget to brush his teeth but not her..." and then innocently added, "Wasn't it the music you wanted me to hear?"

The poor Mother-in-law asks her not so innocent Daughter-in-law to clear her mind of mundane things and concentrate on the nature.
Seema closes her eyes and puts her entire focus on the nature. After some time, she yells, "I hear it now!!!... It sounds like a gentle whistling sound."
Mother in law was happy that her attempt had succeeded but further words from Seema took away that happiness. A Confused Seema was commenting, "But the soft whistling sound is turning to a sharp shrill"
Mother-in-law wanted to yell at Seema, but she controlled her urge as Seema explained of what she was hearing, "Its the sound of the pressure cooker from Mrs Rajini's house. She is preparing those hard-to-crack idlis for her soft-natured husband. I feel pity on the husband.."

But Seema didn't feel any pity playing with her Mother-in-law's emotions and that too early in the morning. And she started cajoling her Mother-in-law, "Please! Let me try one more time. I will apply my mind fully now and get tuned to the nature."
Mother-in-law fell for that one and started explaining the technique, "Ignore all those sounds and focus on those morning sounds that vibrates your body and soul. Try to feel that cool sensation that passes through your whole body..."
Seema seemed to be following her Mother-in-law's instruction and after sometime she said in a confused tone, "I am feeling vibrated.... My mind is also vibrating... But I am not able to feel that cool sensation. It is not a pleasant vibration"
Mother in law wanted to know what she was listening. Seema was not the one to improve so easily, "It seems Major Uncle Narayan is up already. He has switched on the pump to send the water to the tanks above so his tenants living in the first floor are not troubled. Such a good Samaritan"

Now that was the last straw. Mother in law was fuming with anger, "You will never be able to hear those morning sounds... the sound of the birds chirping, the sound of the cool breeze, the sound of the tiny animals and insects.... this is the music of the nature and this is the best music... I feel you are so unfortunate unable to hear it... Is there any other better music than this...."
As if to answer her, a baby's cry fell on their ears. It was Seema's three month old daughter Prerana. Seema answered gently which brought a smile on the Mother-in-law's face, "For me... this is the most melodious music to hear... " and then she excused herself, "If you don't mind, I need to attend to my girl's solo performance... "

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Good Bye Kisses

Preetham was not in the best of the moods. He had to leave for office too early (At seven itself) as his project was to go live and to make matters worse, his wife Seema didn't wake up from her sleep to kiss him goodbye. He decided to pick up his junior Manya on the way to office. Not surprisingly, his car horn served as her wake up alarm and he was kept waiting for some ten minutes.
Preetham found the entire girl community as his target for the frustration, "There was a time when girls woke up early and armed with a tin of rangoli powder, they made an elaborate carpet of colors unfold in front of the house. But I think all the modern girls wake up late. Such a bad habit! Who can change them? Only divine intervention, I presume?"

Manya smiled and at the same time came up with a suggestion when she saw a poojari at a railway crossing, "Why don't you ask him?" The Poojari was double quick to react, "You offer a homa to Sun God and he will do the rest. The cost would be...."
Before he could complete the Sun in a human form appeared on the horizon and with a depressed look, spoke "Don't believe him... Your superstar told, 'when you want something, the whole universe conspires with you to get it' But even with the whole universe behind me, I am not successful in waking up these girls. I hiss into their ears, 'See the beautiful sunrise. I have just made it for you.' They just ignore me and reply, 'Isn't there a better way to welcome the morning other than waking up.' Why!!!?"
Manya was quick with a reply, "That's because the girls believe you are a bewafa. Have u not heard that shayari which is used as mobile forward, 'Duniya mein bewafaon ki kami nahin hai...Ab suraj ko hi dekh lo...Aata hai Usha ke saath...Rehta hai Kiran ke saath...Aur jaata hai Sandhya ke saath!"
The Sun got more depressed and vanished from the scene.

As they speed down the road, Manya observed cop Ali inspecting a lorry and she got a idea, "If the cops can impose some section and make people not come out of the house... Don't they have some powers to impose some section and make girls wake up before seven.... " Preetham decided to talk with his old friend on this. But the answer from the cop disappointed him, "Why do you want to wake the girls to wake up so early. They look more pretty with their mouths shut and eyes closed... especially my one..." When he saw that Preetham didn't quite take it, he used better words, "Do you hear that chirping of birds? Do you hear that light sound of the breeze?" When Preetham nodded his head, The cop explained his stand, "Now you wouldn't be able to hear them if all the girls woke up early."
Manya couldn't control her rage and she just wanted to attack the cop and her eyes fell on the jack in the back seat. Preetham quickly read the anger in her eyes and made the exit from the place. Manya angrily blurted out, "You just saved your friend's life!"

But Preetham was still disturbed. Manya had one last crazy idea, "Why don't you speak with the Prime Minister and make him pass a bill. I have my ex-boyfriend working at the Prime Minister's Office. He will connect us to the PM" Girls can so easily exert their influences. Within minutes, PM was on line.
But PM was taken aback by Preetham's suggestion and replied, "I always respect independence of women... Anything which takes away their Independence is not acceptable to me... A lady has every right to take her own decision whether it be her career,life or waking up early in the morning" After a small pause, Preetham heard the PM speak to someone else who was also present there, "kyun... madamji... mein teek kaha na.."
Preetham guessed as to what was happening behind closed doors and thought that nothing beneficial would turn out of conversing with this SMS (Sardar Manmohan Singh)

Then his cell phone bugged and there was a message. As he was handling the wheels, he asked Manya to read out the message. Manya directly reads out the message failing to check form whom it has come, "My Dear Shakthimaan..." and she laughs at that. Preetham quickly grabs the cell phone from her hand. "Its from my wife. She addresses me like that sometimes" and reads the rest of the message. But curiosity was killing Manya and she goes for the cell phone in his hand and reads the rest message loudly, "I was late in waking up... Sorry for that one... Reason is your daughter... She remained awake all the night... Anyway here are the goodbye kisses.. " And Manya's fingers got tired pressing the down button but the kisses didn't end. She asked surprisingly, "Does your wife's mobile come with Ctrl - C and Ctl - V buttons?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Writers Block

"I am a writer. I want to die with the pen in my hand. But right now,I am going through a writers block... experiencing creative atyachaar!! I am writing this story about a family man who deserts his wife and kid to become a sanyasi and sits for meditation for world peace. But unable to continue the same..." These were the words spoken by a budding young writer Saagar at the breakfast table to his dear friend Preetham. He was a guest there and was relishing the idlis made by Seema. His further words annoyed Seema, "And I thought let me keep you as the inspiration for this story." Seema didn't like the thought of her husband being inspiration for a story of a family man becoming a sanyasi. Instead of serving him additional three steaming idlis she had in her hand, she served only cold one and She gave him that I-don't-like-the idea look.

Preetham was more gentle enough and nodded the head to his friend's request and said 'Be my guest till you complete the story.' Saagar didn't take much time to put his creative faculties to work. With a pen in his hand and paper on his laps, he took a corner in the garden and allowed his mind to wander and it was soon lost in a world of his own. Seema silently observed the writer from the kitchen. She didn't like someone even in his thoughts making her husband quit family life. Her thoughts were so strong that it seems to be transplanted into the author's mind. The author realized it when he started putting his thoughts on paper
Preetham left everything and went to the deep jungles to meditate on Lord Shiva. Months passed and finally Lord Shiva decides it is time to bless his devotee...
Before he could proceed with his thoughts, the pen was putting something down which was not definitely his thoughts. He didn't knew what was happening. Was Seema interfering with his thoughts. It seemed so as the story steered without the writers' control
Before Lord Shiva could make his appearance, Seema had come there searching for her husband. She saw him there in a dhothi and shirtless showing off his rich hair growth. But she couldn't come any further near. It looked as if the writer had drawn a laxman-rekha around her husband. But she was smart and slowly put the child inside the laxman-rekha. The patter of feet ad the sweet lisp broke his meditation. The girl child reminded him of same one. The eyes, that 24-carat smile, etc were exactly the carbon copy of Seema's. When Preetham remembered his family life, Lord Shiva sat back in his seat "Oh No! Here goes another penance down the drain!" And Seema knew the correct emotional dialogue for the situation "This child needs mother's unconditional love as well as father's affection and attention for proper development."
Saagar was stunned at what he was writing and wondered whether his mind was playing tricks with him. He dismissed the thoughts and tore the paper and prepared to rewrite.

Preetham offered him the visitor's bed room, "The Air cooler may help your thoughts..." Seema was in the living room with the television set running. But her eyes were on the bedroom trying to put a roadblock to the writers thought. She looked at him with the same emotions that the Iraqi public reserved for Bush or Obama. This time the writer decided to type the thoughts on the laptop.
Preetham had gone much far from his place to the icy tops of himalayas. Even the extreme cold was unable to shake his meditation. Lord Shiva opened his eyes and was about to appear before his devotee. Thats when Seema searching for husband reached there. This time there seemed a protective invisible fort build around her husband and she found it impregnable. She didn't like to see her husband with closed eyes. She always wanted to feel his eyes on her even when she is looking away. She took two steps backwards and took the bow and arrow. Lifting the bow skywards and focusing on the arrow, she chanted some mantra. Unlike in mythological serials, where a special arrow appears, here, a sweater appeared on the arrow tip. She pulled the string and the sweater landed on Preetham's shoulders. When it touched his body, Preetham remembered of how his wife's embrace eased him and how her kiss distilled all wrong done to him. And thus the meditation was again broken. Seema blurted out two lines from a shayari she heard somewhere,"Jinke yaad mein hum bimaar pade hain... Kam se kum unhe zardhi toh ho jaaye" Immediately Preetham found himself sneezing. Lord Shiva was near to losing his anger, "Yet again the woman has succeeded in her mission"
Saagar looked unbelieving at his fingers and couldn't believe as to how he could order his fingers to type like that. He looked at the living room and now was confident that Seema, somehow consciously or subconsciously was tampering with his creative faculties.

He moves to the terrace and this time decides to dictate and record his thoughts. He sits on the edge looking at the greenery and starts to put his thoughts in words and starts with a quote to strengthen his hero
The more a person knows who is and what he wants, the less he lets things upset him. Preetham, the family man decides he had enough of samsar and leaving everything he goes to the Kumara Parvath and sits on the high point looking over the mountainside and starts his meditation.
Thats when Seema comes to the terrace to put the clothes for drying. And then the thoughts get jumbled and the author finds himself unable to control the words coming from his mouth
"And then the devout wife Seema came down there looking for her husband. But this time she found her husband on the high point overlooking the mountainside and with his back towards her. She couldn't even go anywhere near him. She looked around and then disappeared. It's when Lord Shiva decided that this time he can bless his devotee. And he finally descended from his abode and appeared on the horizon. And Preetham opened his eyes. But he was not looking at Lord Shiva. He was looking at something written on the clear sky by Seema using the private jet. She had taken the services of sky writing and the message was on the sky. Preetham read those magical words, ' I love you, Preetham. Please come back!" Lord Shiva definitely couldn't see his bhakth's devotion getting yet again wasted and so vanished after advising him, "You definitely cannot keep your mind on your mind for long. Meditation is not for you!"

Saagar was sure being driven up the wall and was about to go Nuts. But the story continued. As Lord Shiva returned to his abode, his dear wife Parvathi spoke, "Its time to bless Seema" and she appeared on the terrace and blessed Seema, "I am really in awe of your love. Is there anything you want to ask me?" Seema just bowed down and said, "Please see to it that no one can separate me from my husband even in their thoughts! The bonds of love that has been cemented over the years shouldn't come down at all." Parvathi said Thathasthu and disappeared. Something happened and suddenly a coconut fell on the head of the writer and he went into a swoon. When he woke up, he was questioning, "Where Am I? What Am I doing on this terrace?" Seema loved that the writer had forgotten about the story. Thats when Parvathi came back on the sky, "I just came back to wish you Happy Woman's Day".
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Edhey Thumbi Haaduvenu by CA Suresh Kumar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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