To B.A. Or Not To B.A.?

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About three years back, I was glued to my computer screen, staring at www.mirandahouse.ac.in, clutching two train tickets to two different destinations in my hand, coping with the anxiety in my mind and instilling hope in my throbbing heart. I took up Science in +2 and soon realized, that was it for me and Science. I loved spending time with it but I was not ‘in love with it’. And so, I decided to break up with it after 12th. I appeared for IIT-JEE and AIEEE in 2010. Obviously, I didn’t make it. My family wanted me to drop a year and study in Kota. That was Destination #1. And then, there was University of Delhi. I applied for few courses and was waiting for the list of selected candidates to be out. That would decide everything.

‘If you get through Miranda House, you can go’ said my father.

And I did.

That, was Destination #2.

 

And thus, I chose, Delhi over Kota,  Miranda House over Resonance, Arts over Science. I chose to be a B.A. Pass over an Engineer. Reason? More than believing in doing what I want to do, I believe in not doing what I don’t want to do. B.A. was never something I wanted to do. But Engineering was something I definitely didn’t want to do. There were disagreements in the family, of course, just like one would expect in a typical Indian family. With time, disagreements made way for support. But acceptance never dawned upon the minds of my family members. They still call me a ‘B.A. Pass’ when they’re angry on me. Like wisdom has finally dawned upon mankind and all the women-centered abuses are finally condemned. Or worse, B.A. Pass has joined the league of the aforementioned slangs. But I can’t change the way they feel about it or make myself feel ashamed for something I am not. They disappoint me but not as much as I disappoint myself. No hard feelings.

 

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If an M.B.B.S. student graduates, he is called a Doctor. If a B.Tech student graduates, he becomes an Engineer. If a person clears the Chartered Accountancy examination, he becomes a C.A. But what do you call a student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Arts, when he graduates? I don’t know. Do you? The educational scenario of the country is so clichéd and lopsided that many ‘right’ things/professions are considered ‘wrong’ simply because they aren’t quite common yet. An academician is often looked down upon as a failure; one that ended up teaching because he/she didn’t succeed at doing anything else. And then, the ordinary-teacher-ordinary-teaching-ordinary-student-ordinary-result cycle continues. In fact, there’s something wrong with every degree except, of course, B.Tech.

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Mass Communication : Jhola taang ke bade logo ke aagey-peeche daudna hai kya?

Commerce : Science nahi padh paye tum?

Arts : Commerce bhi bass ke bahar hai kya?

Law : Do takke ke bhav milte hain Lawyer India mein!

Hotel Management : Hotelo me dusro ki jhoothi plate uthayega?

Air-hostess : Zameen kya kam pad gayi jo ab aasmaan me bhi logo ki jhoothi plate uthayegi?

 

Even within Engineering, there’re Core branches and other branches; core ones being the better ones.

And Daactar Sahab ko bhala kaun izzat nahi deta? 🙂

 

I have never underestimated any subject or any stream in my life. But I firmly believe in doing well in what one is doing. And by ‘well’ I mean the best, not just good and certainly not average.It’s funny how we limit the sphere of our existence by letting abbreviations define us. In India, ‘to be or not to be’ is not as great a question as ‘to B.A. or not to B.A.’ is. The answer, however, is within you. Go for it! 🙂

 

 

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Remember Me

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The rustling of my mates mollified

When the howling gale deafened me,

When it vowed to shake my existence,

They bent a little and supported me.

Like children running towards their mother,

We fought to embrace the first rays of the Sun.

Drops of rain tickled us all, together.

Together we fought against the vagaries of nature.

Together in sorrows, together in delight

We stood by each other, day and night.

But today,

I stand alone, amidst a million memories

Yearning for the unreal, waiting to be wrecked

Departing the world with a hushed whisper,

Remember Me.

P.S  This post is written for BlogAdda’s WOW.

Theme : Write from a point of view of the last tree standing in the forest.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

55 Word Story : WORK

 

It was 1993. Ramu woke up every morning and went to work. Stink, filth and muck were his children, apart from seven others. “Government passes The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act”. Ramu lost his job. The Act posed a question on his existence. Who would sweep their poop henceforth?

 

 

Us Naadan Ko Kya Khabar Thi…

Wo har subah apne chehre par sunblock laga kar nikalti thi

Lekin us naadan ko kya khabar thi

Ke is garmi mein, logo ke jeene ke laale pade hain.

 

Apni pasand ki juttiya na milne par, wo apni kismat ko kosa karti thi

Par us naadan ko kya khabar thi

Ke kuch logo ko toh paero ke bina bhi jeena seekhna pada.

 

Burger ki chaah me, wo haath me pakdi ice-cream phek kar chala gaya

Lekin us naadan ko kya maalum

Ke wahi kachre ke dibbe se nikli cone aaj khana hai kisi ka.

 

Har mahine apni tankhwah ko, wo juve me udata

Lekin us naadan ko kya khabar thi

Ke ek maa ne chand rupyo ki wajah se apna beta khoya tha.

 

Wo har thaki shaam ko, bath-tub me ghanto bitaya karti thi

Par us naadan ko kya khabar thi

Ki us gaon ki aurte do matki pani ke liye meelo chala karti thi.

 

Us roz party me, Uska aanchal chai se jo rang gaya

Agle din Municipality ki van se wo aanchal, jhaankte hue kachre ke dher me chala gaya

Lekin us naadan ko kya khabar thi

Ki jhopri me rehne wali us aurat ko, barso se utaran ki ek saree tak naseeb na hui.

 

Din raat wo ek hi khwaab sajati thi

Bheed me apna chehra chamakte dekhna chahti thi

Lekin us naadan ko kya khabar thi

Ki agar bheed na hoti, toh shayad chamak ki gunjaish hi na hoti.

A Quiet Sunday

The sun came up as it did every morn

But the sky was strangely grey.

Birds did not the trees adorn,

It was an unusually quiet Sunday.

 

Nay leaves rustled nor barked a hound,

Nigh the sirens blared.

In the hushed town the only sound,

Mayhem lone declared.

 

The customary prosaic, lethargic eyes

On a Dominicus are open wide

Like the expanse of a rose, ere it dries,

Smashes to smithereens its erstwhile pride.

 

Every eye spoke of a foreign fear

Lips doth silently pray.

Every face doth numb appear

On that unusually quiet Sunday.

 

 

PS. Special thanks to my friend Ashwin Dodani. It was he who compelled me to write and write on this very topic. 🙂

The Saviors

As the day comes to an end and night takes over,

The trade begins and filthy creatures begin to hover.

“A hundred bucks for fucking me here;

Three hundred and I can come anywhere”

Every night, hungry, lusty ants ripped

Each sugary crystal, bit by bit.

But one sinister night as the trade was at its peak,

A black Inova came by and halted with a shriek.

The doors were shut and the windows sealed

From the edge of a door, a pallav was revealed.

 

 

Meanwhile, behind the bushes and under the flyover,

Women were disrobed and osculated all over.

Out of the blue, a dire scream was heard

The congress broke off and hoo-hah stirred.

Out of the hideout, the mortals egressed

Men and Women, partially undressed.

The ominous screech came from the motorcar

A lass was molested right in front of the bazaar.

They hit her, marred her, tore off her blouse

She wailed and she begged, in the death house.

 

 

The body traffickers could take that no more

The ruthless sight boiled their gore.

They picked up rods and stones and ran

Got to the car and BAM!

They smashed the windshield and unlocked the doors

They were ‘saviors’ and not just whores.

Petrified, the men took to the woods

Defensive, the hookers rendered her hoods.

Indebted, she thanked them for their goodwill.

“We know the feeling of getting fucked against will”.

Camouflaged!

“Mohini, come here sweetheart. It’s time for a nap.”

Mohini’s mother would call out to her every afternoon after the family had their lunch and Mohini’s father went to work again. Mohini was eight-years old and just for age; brimming with innocence and bubbling with life. Out of all the members in her family, it was her mother that she loved the most. She looked forward to this time of the day when she could cuddle up to her mother, tell her things that she’s afraid to trust anybody else with and then peacefully engage herself in the afternoon stupor. Every afternoon, she opened up to reveal her thoughts, her inner self; akin a nine- o’clock bud that blossoms everyday for a specific span of time and then hides under its own imaginary covers. This was her ‘Dear Diary’ moment. Her feelings poured swiftly and effortlessly over the atmosphere of the faintly sun- lit attic and her mother would be all ears. This was a truly tranquil time for her mother too; a momentary pause from everyday chores and anxiety. She loved Mohini truly and selflessly, which many a mother does, but she lived only for her, something that not everybody does.

But since a couple of weeks, Mohini had been looking for reasons to avoid her ‘Dearie-Diary-nap’. Her mother could sense her discomfort. Mohini now longed for something else. Her presence in the room would be merely bodily while her mind rambled in a world unknown to her mother. It so happened, a couple of times that as soon as Mohini’s mother began to slumber, she slyly slipped out of the bed. And when after some time, her mother would set out to look for her, she would be found guffawing with her elder brother, Adnan.

Adnan was about fifteen-years old. He was skinny and had a face that spoke of unverified innocence. He was supposed to remain confined in his room for most hours of the day and remain engrossed in his books until he improved his grades. This newly enforced law made him abandon his comic books, video games, cricket and every other thing that had the potential to draw his attention off his books. As a matter of fact, this made him explore alternative methods of amusement. And he took to exploring his little sister more closely, bit by bit. He started letting her in his room, something that he previously didn’t. Mohini, overjoyed at the consent, began spending her afternoons in her brother’s company.

“I don’t feel sleepy, Mom. I want to play with Addu Dada.” Mohini insisted.

“Fine, go ahead.”

Her mother would usually coerce her to come to bed but today, she just gave in. She wanted to witness the interesting game that they played every afternoon. She wanted to feel the gravity that Mohini experienced and for which she forsake her nap.

Mohini was too young to understand any of this. She felt a sense or pride that her brother, unlike her friends’ brothers, spent time with her, played her and loved her, loved her way too much.

As she entered Adnan’s room that afternoon, he put his book aside and let out a warm welcoming note, “Aww… my cutie-pie….” He picked her up and made her sit on his lap. Mohini giggled.

He broke the ice by asking about her day at school. As her chattering began, he caressed her hair and tenderly pulled her cheeks. He kept smiling at her throughout. This made her feel that he was interested in listening to her. There was something else that drew his attention. He occasionally rubbed his nose against her, kissed her on her forehead, on her nose, her cheeks, her chin and then innocently yet subtly landed a peck on her lips. He tickled her playfully and in the process, the frills of her frock went up.

Mohini’s simple brain could not comprehend the complications of his mind. For her, it was brotherly love. For him, it was an amusement with an unexplored specimen.

While this went on, Mohini’s mother tiptoed upstairs. She had no idea what she was to see ahead but she believed it couldn’t be bad. She reached the door and peeped. She found her son smiling and making funny faces at her daughter. Mohini seemed to enjoy that and her mother smiled too. Contented at her children’s happiness, she was about to leave when she noticed Adnan’s hand sliding inside Mohini’s frock and then inside her step-in, fondling her butts and thighs in a deceitful manner.

Underneath the superficial giggling lay a dark and intense truth.

Mohini’s mother was taken aback. All this while, the apple of her eye was being abused by her own son. Several questions came to her mind. Since when has this been going on? What else did he do to Mohini? Was it her fault? Her heart sank deeper and deeper with every thought. And the questions sought no answer. The truth was, no answer could render her solace. She was deeply offended, hurt and outraged.

“Mohini…!” She said at the top of her voice. Adnan, stunned, drew his hands back. Mohini gazed in a naïve surprise.

“Go into the bedroom and sleep!” She ordered Mohini and kept staring at Adnan.

Adnan was petrified. He knew he had been caught. He brainstormed for explanations but deep down, he knew that no excuse will spare him the chastisement for his offense.

Mohini did as she was bid. She wondered what made her mother so furious; whether he broke a vase again or it was their neighbor’s daughter who complained against him. She tried to eavesdrop from the room downstairs but all she could hear was the faint voice of her mother. She dozed off in the attempt.

The atmosphere appeared calm when she woke up. Her mother was in the room, flipping the pages of Vogue absentmindedly and looking intently at Mohini’s face.

“Mohini?” she finally said.

“Yes, Mommy?”

“I want you to let Addu study when he comes back from school. He needs to score good marks, like you do. You can go out and play with your friends in the park though. Is that okay, Sweetie?”

“Yes, Mommy.”

Mohini was at ease now. She now knew what Addu had done. He must have messed up with his tests again, she guessed. And he deserved this.

Ah, the world of children!