Sunday, October 27, 2013

Puja Away Home

I sat at the window watching everything getting wet outside. All were getting excited in their home. Two days later there is Diwali. Everyone is jollying around, talking about how to celebrate this big functions, how many guests will arrive, how to prepare all the most delicious sweets in the world. Girls are worried about how they will look prettier than all in their new dresses. Children, for the rarest time, are waiting for rain to stop and sun to come. These days their attention from paper boat is diverted towards the fireworks. They are worried when sun will rise to verve and they will sun-dry the fireworks so it catches the fire with no delay. Elders are busy in preparing for puja. After all this is Lakhsmi Puja. They can’t miss this.
I miss home a lot these days. In our home, we all together used to celebrate with much grandeur, fun and merriment. This was an occasion which used to come balancing spirituality and enjoyment too. If I were married to someone my parents wanted, I would be enjoying it too. This is my first Diwali that I am not celebrating. I don’t know how to do it alone. I miss sitting in puja, praying for the whole family. After marrying Asad, we were both disowned from our respective family. They didn’t allow us our inter-religion marriage. But there was no way out then. I didn’t want to hurt anyone neither Asad did. But we couldn’t live without each other. I tried to make everyone understand at home that Asad is a very good boy. In fact I told them that they can put us into test. If they find anyone who can understand me better than Asad, love me better than Asad and respect them better than Asad, then I would do as they wish., But they rudely denied and protested with great agitation. Finally we had to leave home and marry alone.
I am very happy with Asad. Even if I pray at God for seven lives then also I can’t get anyone better. But we both miss our family very much. Everyday we pray that they accept us. The doorbell interrupted my line of thoughts. It must be Asad returning from office.
I opened the door and saw Asad was there with a big box wrapped in gift paper hiding his face.
“GIFT..” I shouted in happiness.
“Ssshhh..stop shouting. “ He smiled at me and took me inside but didn’t give me the gift.
“For me?” I asked him indicating the box.
“” He always take amuse in playing with me.
I made a face. “Then for whom?”
“ baby..don’t make a face. I quit. For you.”
“Heyyy..”I went to take the gift but he shifted from hand to hand in air.
“No. There is a condition. You have to guess what’s in there. Then only I will give it.”
“Okay..” I tried to start my thought engine. “Hmm..sari..?”
He nodded.
I slowly tapped a finger on lip guessing about what he could give me while he lied on the couch.
“Come one Asad. Stop playing with me now.” I said and with a sudden lurch, took that box away and ran from there.
I heard Asad shouting from behind. “That’s not fair Amita. That’s cheating you know.”
I settled myself on the dining table and opened the box.
As the box was duly disrobed, I found a shining box which read “SAMPOORNA LAKSHMI POOJA PACK”.
Asad wheeled next to me untying his tie. I turned to him with a quiz in my eyes.
“Open it.” He said.
I opened it. There was a plastic case and in that there were all the puja items like were beautifully aligned. “Wow.” There unwrapped them one by one. There were thirty four items in total, all labeled starting from haldi, kumkum to two idols of Lord Ganesh and Godess Lakshmi.
“I overheard some colleague in office about it. They were talking about Diwali. I knew how much you missed it. So I thought it would be great if we could do the puja here. This is all in one pack with all the manuals and guidelines to perform the puja yourself.”
I turned around and gave him a big breath-choking hug. He kissed top of my head. He knew it well that I missed home for puja and no priest would agree to come to our house. They think by stepping into our house, their religious good deed will transfer into sin. How silly they are! And how thoughtful my love is!
After two days, on the eve of Diwali I opened the pack again and read the guidelines carefully. I cleaned the place of puja at first and placed the both idols of Lakshmi and Ganeshji as Lakshmi puja is incomplete without worshipping Vighna Vinashaka Lord Ganesh. I lit two deepams and the cup of sambrani, provided in the pack only. Then I decorated the place as instructed in the pack while Asad helped me in putting the rangoli. He was very good at it, filling colors around it with excitement.
Asad tied the kankana around my right wrist. We sat together directing our attention towards the divinity. We took askshat with little water and put it down and chanted as instructed.
Mama Alakshmi Nivarana Dwara Aayur Aarogya, Aishwaryabhi Vridhyartham

Shree Mahalakshmi Poojaaradhanam Karishye
Then we prayed to Lord Ganesh to make the puja obstacle free.
Aadau Nirvighnata Sidhyartham, Ganapathy Poojam Karishye.
We chanted it along with Ganesh mantra. And later followed by as the audio cd told us. Though it was hard for Asad to pronounce the Sanskrit words, but he kept with me. And as the illustration was in English, it made us easier to understand everything clearly.
To be true it was the best puja of my life. Now I could see how much the priests were cheating us hurrying in the puja. We both prayed for the same thing that we get accepted by both of our parents as our life meant nothing without them. Our puja was completed hassle-free with blessing of Godess Lakshmi and God Ganesh.
Later that evening we took Prasad, ate together and spent the night watching the firerworks outside. I had the best Diwali of my life with my love.

 PS: This is a fictional story. The post here is for entry for the contest in Cycle Pure Agarbathis. Here is the link to the contest 

Saturday, October 26, 2013


(It's a prompt for Author Preeti Shenoy's blog prompt for her new book, THE ONE YOU CANNOT HAVE. So read and enjoy!!! )

He extended a hand towards me into the car and as I as placed my hand in his, in a swift movement I was in his arms. Our date wasn’t even started properly and I was already floating in air, literally. The expectation and awe was frenzying me like viral fever. It was my first date with Edward. It was first date of my whole life. I don’t date once I had told him and since then he was after me for a date till it became a bet in a challenge. Obviously he won and undoubtedly I lost it. To be honest by the end he made me so desperate to go out with him that I wanted him to win it.

He lowered down his smugly face towards me and the smell of his cologne caught me on off guard. I forgot to breath and continued to stare at him in rapture till he mouthed with a crooked smile, “Breath.”

Blood flooded to my face in shy and I looked down while he kept smiling that unearthly smile on. Cradling in his arms like a baby as he drifted into the sandy beach effortlessly and all I could think was what perfume he wore that kept me in-and-out-of-fainting all the time.

He lowered me down to the ground carefully so that I don’t stumble on the silky bed of sand. He knew my weaknesses better than me and my habits of toppling everywhere. Since childhood I have this balance problem. I should have two more legs to stabilize myself.

Before us there was a small table with two chairs on opposite sides. The table was adorned with all types food served in closed plates. I looked around and found none to a great relief. We were alone in that wide beach under an endless starry night. He held the chair behind me as I took seat and he fleeted to his place holding my hand all the time.

I looked at the food and reached out for it when he held my other hand abruptly chilling my whole body. I gave him a look which clearly conveyed the question what now?

He nodded refusing. “Wait a minute.” And then he nodded in other direction.  Beautiful music seeped into air. I stressed a bit on the tune. I knew it. It was Flightless Bird, American Mouth which was his favourite song at first but later it became dear to my heart too. He whispered the lyrics while his cold lips glided along my knuckles which were getting rosy with his kiss. I gasped more as air as emotions chocked inside me.

Though we ate one handed as he refused to leave me hand, I had the most scrumptious food of my life. I couldn’t bear but lick my finger at the end, with closed eyes savoring the taste. And when I opened my eyes, he was amusedly watching me. I sighed again in need of some more control around him.
He smiled assuredly. “Do you know why I am in love with you?”

“No.” I curtailed my reply. I really didn’t know. He was the best man ever created by the creator. No one can even match the one hundredth of him. Still he chose me. I was worse than average.

“Because you are what you are. No show off guarding, no affectation, no hiding. Small, weak, wobbling still refusing to wear any mask to hide her weakness. And interestingly Refusing to bow down on her place. Do you know how lucky I am to find you before anyone else? Do you know how long I have waited for you?” He looked into my eyes with a sly cognizance before producing a small box before.

A ring glinted in it as he opened the box. It caught my breath in middle. Is he…Oh! No! Oh! Yess..

“OH! NOoo!” I gasped in the cold air. He raised a brow in my direction. “OHHH..Yessss..” I fumbled.

He smiled with apprehension and asked, “Will you stay with me for the rest of my life and keep my heart beating with your love?”

I couldn’t answer then. Just looked at him. “Breathe” He commanded as the ring slid slowly to its perfect place in my hand. He kissed the ring on my finger at first and then proceeded to kiss me.

A sharp noise replaced the soothing music from behind. I looked around in panic. They grew so loud that my hand fled to the sides of my head protecting my ear from bursting. I closed my eyes tightly and swept my hand in air till it found a hard floor. I slapped at it hard and the noise ended with it.

I slowly opened my eyes and found myself in my room on my bed. I fell into bed again, muffling my face to the pillow. “It was a dream.” I murmured to myself. “A stupid dream.”

I looked at the poster of Edward on my cupboard. “But it was a very surreal, beautiful dream of dream date.” I flung out of bed as it was time to get ready for college.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A grateful smile

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

I have read this a lot of times in our lives. Sometimes on the banner of school gate, sometimes on the boundary wall of church or sometimes in the elementary school student’s essay your best friend. It can make into the most used quotes also. But being most used in real life, I didn’t have any such striking experience in my life till now owing my hesitation to ask anyone for anything. It takes a big part of courage from me. I am always in the thought that what if he or she denies and I will be returned ashamed and with hurting creases in my heart for that person. I have been turned down many times in my life. Whenever I went to ask for some help in the desperation, I was turned down. So I always prefer to get it by myself.

A few days back I was in dire need of something which I couldn’t get or earn by myself. It has to be done by others. I needed prayers then. My whole hometown was in danger. Phailin, a super-hurricane was hauling with so monstrous force which threatened to destroy everything we held there. Everyone was scared. Every hand held up in prayer through out the night praying almighty to save them and their family.
I was helpless. The worst was I couldn’t be near my family. That was the day I most regretted for my decision to leave them back for my career. I felt a serious guilt of selfish pang through me. I couldn’t stop hurting myself. Then I wrote a post in my blog, asking everyone who read my blog to kindly pray for my hometown. This is all I could do at that time.

I didn’t even check it for two days. All I was doing then was pace through the hostel corridor and try to talk to everyone I knew at my hometown. And when I logged into my blog and checked it, it almost startled me. I am not so popular in the blog arena. I have just very few followers and I don’t know even all of them read it or not. It’s the truth even if it hurts. But this time I had many people who prayed for me selflessly.
I lost my balance as my feet was one feet high in air, I was so happy then. And the best part was their prayers were heard too. Though the force of Phailin destroyed a lot but it was less then what was estimated. As seven lakhs of people were evacuated prior to the cyclone (for the first time I saw government so active!! :O), there was no such loss of life. Though all the vegetation is smashed and no tree has a single leaf on it, still it was better and that’s what all were relaxed and happy.

Now I don’t know how to thank each every people who prayed for it as everyone matters a lot to me. I even don’t know how many lips read the prayer. But whoever prayed for us and whoever even thought to pray but forgot due to their busy schedule, I am thankful and grateful to all of them. I have no words to pay my gratitude. So this is something I made for them. I hope all of you will like it. J

I know it's not that good but I promise to come up with a better one! :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Small Prayer

(For the first time in life I have come with a person front in the public platform. So please be with me.)
Today I am here with some bit of taunting truth and a request for prayer. NO entertaining, no enlightening speeches this time as I am helpless now. The moment the thought crosses my mind that it might be the last day of your native place, that moment every bit of wise word disappears living a abyss full of despair, dismay and loneliness and a fair so muscular that I am feeble before it.
My place, my native place. When I speak of these words, I always feel contentment inside me and a relaxation too. As if my mom came and stroked me with all her love and tenderness. But now whenever I speak of it, it feels me with a fear that j
ust after a few hours and it will be devastated to crumbles.

My native, Silk city (we affectionately call it as silk city!) is a small coastal town on the south east Odisha, adjacent to the border of Andhra Pradesh. It is a very pretty town with a nice tropical climate. Though overpopulated and most of the roads in the towns are still pretty damaged where as city election comes and goes with new majors replaced every five years, it is still a paradise. A coastal area, large spread seashore, one of the best medical facilities providing Medical College, University, numerous other college graduating students in hundreds each year, central railways station, business hub for Patto(silk) Sarees- what else do one need?

12th October 2013. It is forecasted that the cyclone with devil name, Phailin is supposed to hit the shore of east of India from Bay of Bengal on today evening in between 5 to 6 o’ clock. The cyclone is assorted as Super Cyclone category. It supposed to hit the shore of Gopalpur first and then move into the inside of Orissa leaving everything devasted behind it. Around 3 lakhs of people evacuated from their place. Right at the moment, the hurricane is just 150 kilometers away from my place and it’s supposed to hit my town within an hour.

Last time it was faced with a less terrible cyclone in 1999 which had left it ruined in many places. Countless people were lost into water and innumerable houses were wiped out. People suffered from hunger and diseases for months afterwards. Now the hurricane is double the powerful of last one and I have no idea what will happen afterwards. The flame flower tree of around 10 years is now left with its trunk only. I don’t how many more green-friends I am going to lose into this hurricane. I don’t how to face next time I go there. What would it look like?? No tree, crumbled buildings, broken roofs- why? Why? Why? My heart screams in terror.

So it’s just my final endeavor from my loving place. I have heard somewhere that someone else prays for you, then it’s regarded with great consideration. So it’s an urgent request to everyone, whoever is reading it, please pray with me.

Oh Dear Almighty, We are helpless now. We can’t do anything. We can just pray to you that please be kind with them. Please be all the people who are facing this dance of death before them. Please give them strength, give them patience and give them courage to go through all this and also let the ordeal pass through without hurting anyone, be it humans or animal. Please help these poor souls. They have no one except you. Please bless them with your love and generosity. Please. Here we pray heartily let them come out of it with a smile and courage to stand again.

Thanks to you for being with me through out the prayer. I hope our prayer will be answered positively. I hope it will be over soon and tomorrow morning will be a new start. And at last I will pray again that, Dear Supreme Creator, please be with my town and if in return you need put my life at risk as I love chaos in city more than I love my own heartbeat.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


He shouted irritatingly counting money over his desk. “Make it fast. They are waiting.” It was Sunday and as usual he has estimated a three times more business on his shop. He looked at the crowd of customers around the small desk. Their eyes shone with greed and impatience. He counted in mind how much they are going to pay today, each individual and then again he summed them up. His face brightened up with the answer. Today I will get than tiny train set for my son, he thought to himself.

Just then the helper of his shop brought out the black plastic carry bag and handed to him before returning to his work.

“Here sir.” He held it with big smile. “Wait!” He interrupted suddenly before that carry bag was touched by the customer. He took out a small soiled white cloth behind his desk and wiped the small trail of blood on the carry bag. “Here sir, you chicken.” He brightly handed it to the eager customer.

The customer was very happy and in return awarded him the exact price without any bargain. The customer left and the next customer get to that place. He again shouted the same lines at the helper slaughtering hens back there. Just then the tiny phone over his desk rang loudly.

He picked up the cradle and replied. “Hello.”

From other side a broken female voice came. It was his wife and she was saying something unmanageable over the phone. “our son…so hospital..alone…don’t know..what to do…please come soon.” The sentence was broken in places with inconsolable sobbing.

“What happened? Where is my son?” He cried over the phone. “Where are you now?”

“” His wife sobbed again.

He didn’t answer instead he left everything there, barged through the crowd to his bike. On the bike he raced to the hospital nearby his home. He was sure they must have taken his son to that hospital. That was the only piece of sensible thought he could think all the way. Except that all that came to his mind was the beautiful face of his son. He loved him too much. Perhaps he loved him the most in world. A scratch on his body was unbearable for him.

It took him half the time it usually takes. He blindly swerved through the traffic. The time he reached, everything was messed up in his mind. He didn’t know what to ask his son for. He bumbled through varieties of patients waiting on the tiny corridor of hospital. He even didn’t know what happened to his son. He ran past the wards and all of sudden stopped near the emergency ward. His wife was sitting there.

He went to them, shivering on his own gait with dread. His wife started to cry louder on seeing him.

“What happened to him?” He asked his wife. A nurse came and politely asked them to have both patience and silence as it’s a hospital.

“what the fuck happened, will you tell me?”

His wife managed herself to speak. “He was playing outside and I was cooking..and I heard his shout and came out and saw he had slipped from the terrace of unfinished building in the construction site. I had told him not to go there. I had even scolded him. But he again went to there and now..” Her tears rolled down again.

He went to the small bed where his boy was lying. There were bandages rolled over his forehead, a patch tapped over his cheek, covered his both legs and the left hand at different places. He was sleeping there.

He looked into his face where there bandage wrapped up. Fresh blood was oozing from the place. As he put a hand lightly over his head, he strangely got a vision of the chickens slaughtered in the shop. He tried to shake away the thought but it was so powerful and gripping that it didn’t leave him. The more his looked into the blood soaked bandage                                                                              the more was reminded of the strain of blood in his shop.

 He cried there, thinking crying would save him from comparing his child with those mere chickens but it didn’t too. He stood there alone, forgotten of the difference between the streak of blood he had wiped from the carry bag and the one he was witnessing now. There were now more similarities in them than just being equally red. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

A desire, so long awaited!

He asked me, “I am going out for Dev’s party. You wanna join me?”
I thought over it for a while, whisking the egg into the mix of flour, butter, sugar, chocolate, baking soda while speaking on the phone pressed between my ear and shoulder. I took a small dip on a finger out of the bowl cuddled between my lap and put it into my mouth and winced when it didn’t feel perfect. Exhaustively I pounded it on the kitchen pavement.
“Nah! You go and enjoy.” I said to him.
“Okay.” The line was interrupted then.

I didn’t feel like doing any more experiment with the dough. I silently poured it into the microwave container and put it in at required temperature and time setting.

I was alone with all my thoughts now. They were like roaming around me, playing ring-a-ring-o’-roses with my long desires. I could practically see them over my head, their tiny feet sometimes kicking on my head while they moved in a circled. Their laughter felt cruel to me. I tightly put my arms around my ear and leaned over the chair. I desperately needed someone then. A someone like friend.

A friend is one I have always wanted for. It’s like that distant moon. I usually find it all around me but I can never reach to it unless I am dreaming. A shoulder to slap and say “hiya” and also on the same shoulder to rest your head and cry when something goes wrong. An ear to whisper the rumor and at the same place to leave your deep secret with a relaxation. Someone to whom you can say anything without having to soak, strain and fry your thoughts till they are drained in fear of some horrible and unmanageable consequences. Unmanageable isn’t something that you will ever stumble over in friendship. A single sorry is enough after relentless hours and hours of fighting is manageable. Writing your assignment when you are busy in continuous sneezing in your bed is manageable. Proxy attendance and bunking important classes are manageable. Licking chocolate from the wrapper till it tastes like tin is also fine. Wearing torn jeans and rapped  T’s is cool. Talking before brush and hugging before bath is pleasure. Everything is so smooth and fine that even life gets jealous with that comfort.

He is good and smart. Modern and trendy. Nice and well-behaved. Whenever I look at him I can imagine all those things with me. I can bet anything in the world to befriend him. Anything, just name it. It’s no teenage craze or despair of lonely thirties because I am still in my fresh twenties. I want him as my friend. And among all the reason of my despair the prominent one is that he is my life-partner.

I have been sleeping with him from last six months. I cook for him. I share my breakfast and dinner with him. I ask him what to wear or not. I tell him whenever I need to visit my parents and he also drops me there with utmost care and respect. My parents also love him a lot. After all he is the nicest of all. I can say it with much pride and confidence. I get jealous hearing about any girls from him and he also feels the same for which we barely talk about our college days. I have everything on my side, as a wife should have. We share our body, mind and the sacred bond integrally. But when it comes to the fun, the spunk, the energy, the careless moments, the wide freedom, the forbidden jokes, the unbelievable rumors, the unavoidable chatting, the gut-drenching adventures, the thundering shrieks and endless fighting- I miss them all. I need a friend with whom I will sit under tree, baking my aged wrinkles under sun, watching our grandchildren playing together and gossiping our partner’s irritating midnight snores and farts. I need this kind of a friend.

I need a life-long friend. 

This is blog prompt for Author Preeti Shenoy's next book... TOUCH (The One YoU Cannot Have)Thursdays

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


They sat there, under the torn palm leaves doing a poor job of covering their head.It was raining, not heavy though, just persistent one and in between the thick fog curtain and cloud chandeliers one can see the sun, wane and alone just a little bulb of phosphorus. He loosely held her hand in his. Her hand, chapped and callous of working over hours bare under heat and dirt. Vein were countable over the palm like some tunnels. But he was happy. She looked into his eyes. They were pale, in clutch of cataract. Wrinkles were as big as sand dunes spread over his face and getting lumpier whenever he gave her a toothy smile. He held her hand more tightly and brought it close to his chapped lips and kissed. She shied, shuddered with a thin fear what if somebody sees them like this. Of course there was a slim chance of that. No one cared to step out in such a cold rainy day, a beautiful chance for them to sit together again, just like fifty years before. If anyone says Life is too long, then they must be the most loveless persons in the world. Or else it has never been long for them, neither in sickness nor in destitution, neither in hunger nor in desire. Just nothing could tear them apart from their company.