LADY IN RED

‘Lady in Red’, when this song hits my mind,

It’s reminding me of you.

In that cute little coffee shop,

Where people sitting were few.

 

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When we entered,

The song started playing,

I was wearing a beautiful dress in red.

And I heard you saying,

“You are my lady in red.”

I was blushing the whole time we spent there,

Talking, laughing we had lot more stories to share.

We were meeting after a long time.

Maybe not long enough for you,

But it was, for mine.

Lady in red song via Youtube.

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KEEP DREAMING, KEEP TRYING

When I was a child, everyone, whether any of my relative or my friend’s parents or my school teacher asks the same question ‘What you aspire to become?’

And my answer was ‘ A doctor.’ Not because I really wanted to be one but my mom and dad wanted me to be one.

‘Why?’ Because that particular profession has a reputation and money which is essential to survive in this society and make my parents proud.

This is not just one case you are witnessing but the story of hundreds and thousands.

Since childhood to adolescence we are in a tremendous pressure to achieve something and secure our future with a settled career and choose not just any, but the career which gives you future growth and stability. Let’s just say we all want stability and a bright future but in what cost? Are you willing to sacrifice your dream and be a person you are not? Or Are you up to follow anything blindly even if your heart and soul wants to follow a different path?

I asked the same questions to myself. And you want to know what answer I really got?

‘Let’s just roll with whatever my parents are saying. They have experience which I don’t; they have stable life, which I want; they have bank balance, Ummm…. just forget everything and concentrate on money part because I certainly do want that.’

But a point came into my life where I saw people who followed their dreams are more happy and content than me. They are much more ahead than where I was. I felt heart broken and started thinking where I went wrong?

I realized, I left my soul all alone somewhere long ago and was blindly became a believer of those undisputed arguments which influences me all along. Dream is our soul. It makes us what we become. A body without soul is like an empty vessel. Those people out there who actually never failed nor given up on their dreams are actually living large with their souls attached to them.

The idea of having a dream is to fulfill it. No matter what it takes. No matter how hard you have to try. No matter how many times you fail. No matter how many critics you face. Only thing which matters is, you keep trying. The reason most of us are still not able to fulfill our dreams is we stopped believing on them. We stopped trying hard and lost.

But, it’s not too late. We can still start where we left. And this time with double potential.

The one whom I love…

I miss your tender touch. 

Which says more than words. 

I miss how your eyes can see me through my soul, 

Knows every unsaid story that keeps going on my mind, plays a vital role. 

You say,  I am your beautiful princess, 

And you are my daring prince. 

I wish I could fly with you to some wonderland, 

No worries, no problems. 

Just holding my hand in your hand, 

Walk down the sea shore. 

On the glittering sand. 

I wish I could rest my head on your warm shoulder, 

And cherish some good old moments. 

The moments we shared together on lovely summers and when nights getting colder. 

Now we are thousands miles apart, 

But still we are together in our hearts. 

PAIN & DEMISE

I have waited for you to come back to me,

In a lonely night near by the sea.

On a heap of sand,

In a far off land.

I have waited and waited, but there was no sign of you,

My waiting got over in a matter of year or few.

People come and go,

In my mourning show.

I was deep buried six feet under the ground,

There was no light and could hear no sound.

They thought poor me,

Died without meeting my loved one or see.

But less did they know,

I was standing there, behind them in the end of the row.

Watching the funeral show.

With pain and demise,

That you have not arrived.

Now years and years have been passed.

A spell has been cast,

I became the ghost girl of the town.

Wearing eye candy crown,

Tourists come from far off places to catch a glimpse of me,

But I am still waiting for my beloved one, the one whom still I couldn’t see.

 

CONNECTION

“Depressed? Lonely? Heartbroken? Feeling suicidal?

For all your problems, there’s a one stop solution!

Download ‘SHARE WITH ME’ app
Register and define yourself in 4 simple steps and get started.

Soon after our operators will call you for further assistance.

Without disclosing your identities share your problems and get free advices from our certified experts.”

My thought bubble burst and very patiently I was hearing this TV add. Unlike others today I think I was in need of this kind of thing.
Suddenly, I felt, this might be my one stop solution to hurricane of problems in my ignorant life. Or
should I just leave everything behind and run away so far where no one could ever find me.

Should I do that?

No, what am I thinking? I can’t leave my ‘nani’ behind. That is the only best relationship I have which I can cherish till my last breath. And she can’t come with me. She is too old to travel and I don’t have enough money to survive more than a week so how will I………??
With this instant thought in my mind I took my cell phone kept on the table next to the sofa where I was sitting and quickly downloaded the app from the app store and started registering myself.
First it asked for a username which can be anything, no need to disclose your true identity aforesaid in
the add with the cell number, now cell number has to be genuine so that those operators could call me and there was a space where I could mention my state or city.

I filled all the respective fields without any hesitation and pressed ‘okay’ button after 3 secs of buffering
it took me to another page which was asking me for onetime password which was sent to my number. I
hurriedly put that on the app and pressed ‘verify’ button after 2-3 secs of buffering there was another page where I had to set a new password which I did. Soon I have got my profile made.

There was just one section in my profile page with a description “Please define your problem in the below space.”
There were many things running inside my mind when I was typing and I couldn’t think straight. I was
puzzled. I stopped for a second and started typing again but this time with full determination, it was
almost like I was taking my board exams and was very nervous. I calmed down myself, pressed ‘send’
button and took a deep breath to ease myself. Somewhere I was eager to see what will happen next and
somewhere I was terrified to the thought of not doing something right.

I checked my profile page, it had
a description of ‘our operators will call you in 24hrs’ with a timer clicking backwards in which 10 minutes has already passed.

I was eagerly waiting for them to call me meanwhile,  I got a call from Ashima, she was my classmate, my
friend and my bench mate too. We did our home works, school projects together, make notes, share it,
on exam time do late night studies, we keep a competition level in studies between us despite of our friendship. She was very focused in her life knows what to do? What is to be done? It’s like she always has a solution to every problem.

I wish I could have share mine too. But my problem is not that ‘easy to
solve’ one. I doubt she could have solved that.
As soon as I picked up the call, a loud ‘hello’ came from the other side.

‘Yeah Ashima, I can hear you no need to shout like this, you literally made my ear numb for a sec.’

‘Roshni, have you heard the news?’
‘What news?’

‘This time in our school fest Rocker band is coming. I am so excited.’

‘Hold on hold on to your excitement level please and……… hey am getting a very urgent call now, I will
call you back soon. Bye!’

‘b…!’

Before she could have complete her ‘bye’ I cut the call and received the most important call now in my life.

‘Hello!’

‘Good evening! I am calling from

‘SHARE WITH ME’ app. (after a pause for a sec) Is it the right time to
talk to you?’

I was not sure what to say, say yes or no???

‘What if she starts asking me question?
What would be my answer?
From where should I start?
Should I hang up the call?’ These types of thoughts were coming into my mind.
While I was in midst of my thoughts, the lady operator asked again,

‘Hello! Am I audible?’

‘Umm hmmm you are, loud and clear.’ I answered while still in dilemma.

‘You have registered in our app and entered a recent problem you are facing and our expert team would
gladly help you to get through this. After verifying we found out that your case is little sensitive, so we
are directly forwarding your call to our expert team for better solution. Please hold the line for a moment and allow me to do so.’
She spoke continuously without a pause.

‘Yeah sure, I will be waiting.’

‘Thankyou ma’am.’

I was kept on a hold for around 2-3 mins. And in this 2-3 mins there were whole lot of things going on and on and on in my mind.
Suddenly it took me to a flashback of 5 years, when me, mom and dad went for a small family picnic.
Everything was alright then. My life was just like how a 13year girl’s life would have been. I was happy,
cheerfully playing with the squirrels in the park, chasing them up to the tree. My mom was preparing tuna sandwiches and my dad was busy in putting a small tent for me to rest after lunch. I was my dad’s princess my mom’s sweet angel. Both of them loved me so much that no one could have ever imagined.
My wish was their command. I was the luckiest girl in this whole wide world. Ashima used to be so jealous of me that she always wished my parents would have been hers. Her parents were very strict with her they even didn’t allow her to come for the picnic with us that day, said she will be at home studying for the science Olympiad test. Her parents want her to be a neurosurgeon. I pitied on her as she was being deprived of all the fun and forced to study.

‘Hello! How are you doing?’
Suddenly some lady spoke from the other side.

‘H Hi! Am doing fine. Thank you for asking.’ I answered frantically.

‘As per the rules neither I disclose my personal information nor you. So, for a time being would you like me to call you with a made-up name. Also, it will be easier for me to address you during the session.’

‘You can call me ‘Princi’ my dad called me by that name.’

‘Oh, I see, you are closer to your dad! That’s……’

‘I was… I was before he left me.’ I hurriedly rectified while cutting through her sentence.’

‘Before he left you!’

‘Yeah! My mom and dad divorced 4 years back.’

‘Oh, honey am so sorry to hear about that. But do you mind me asking why it had happened?’

I was feeling very uncomfortable to share something so personal like this and that too, to a stranger over the phone. I never shared my secrets, my matters to anybody except my nani. She came to stay with us after the divorce to support my mom. Ever since she became my secret keeper too. I started spending more time with her than anyone else. After dad’s gone, she became my sole supporter, my partner in crime.

Every night before going to bed, nani recites stories related to her childhood which were fascinating and I kept trying to imagine her as young, bold and beautiful as she was in her childhood and adulthood till I fall asleep.

Every evening when I comes back from school, I go straight to her room to share my whole day routine. She hears everything so carefully like a child and advises me if necessary. But now she became little too old and cranky because of her ageing and by taking a whole lot of medicines for diabetes. So much I wanted to share with her, my pain my sorrows, wanted to tell her that ‘I am not okay nani, please take me far away somewhere where I could live with you and dad happily ever after.’

I started fantasizing me, nani and dad living together in a house with a small backyard with a large tree and a tree house on top where I can spend all my summer holidays listening to stories from nani and playing chess with dad.

Will it come true, my dream of having my sweet family together again? Having dinner together, sharing laugh and sorrows, helping each other to get through a bad day. Or maybe not, not the way I wanted it to be. I still have a family. The whole ‘family’ with my mom, nani and dad, ‘step dad’.

I partly remembered the day of my mom and dad’s big fight.                          I never saw them fighting before until this day. I was in my room making a birthday card for Ashima after completing my homework in the evening, when I heard a loud noise of a broken glass. I got scared, I stepped down slowly from my bed and slowly step by step I reached the door.          As I got near the door I could hear somebody was yelling and was repeating my mom’s name again and again. I quickly figured out it was my nani.                                                                I was surprised and happy to heard her voice as I was expecting her to come next month on my summer holidays, we had planned lot of things for this summer.                                          I thought she had come to surprise me maybe.                                                But something didn’t seem right.          I was so restless to know what is happening so I tried opening the door lock slowly and gradually, but it was locked from outside.

By this time, I was terrified. I tried peeping through the small key hole. I could see my mom was standing near the sofa and nani was yelling at her, more of scolding her for some reason. I could hear her each and every word clearly.

Dad was standing still in a corner near the kitchen door, his left hand folded onto the right, looking blankly at my mom’s face, his eyes were full of tears. This is the first time I ever saw my dad crying.

Now this instance what my mom did, and how dad reacted had shaken me from inside. She picked up her hand bag from sofa, opened it up and took out some photos which she threw upon dad. I couldn’t see clearly who was there on those photos.

All the photos were scattered on the floor. Nani got so angry that she slapped mom and I don’t know
what entity possessed my dad, he furiously held mom’s neck and began choking her, nani came to her rescue and asked him to release her for god sake. She was coughing badly after she got released from his grip. She pulled herself back together and stormed off the room.                              I understood what had happened and was praying that things shouldn’t get worse than this and was hoping for a better morning the next day. Hoping and praying I don’t know when I fell asleep near the door that night.

Next morning, I opened my eyes, it was 10 am. Nobody woke me up for school. I was already 2 hours
late for school. Usually dad used to wake me up in the morning saying if I will be late for my class, I won’t be getting pizza for dinner on Sunday. But today it is his fault, I won’t let him eat pizza this weekend.

But, where is he? By this thought I recalled everything had happened last night.                                                      I frantically got up from my bed and remembered sleeping near the door. I got out of my room and started searching for him.
But he was nowhere to be seen.  While searching for him, I came across some papers lying down on his
study table in his room. I couldn’t control myself and started checking through them.
I was shocked to see divorce papers with dad’s signature on it. Mom yet has to sign it for further
procedures.

I straight went towards guest bedroom where I knew I will find nani.

‘What are all these nani? And where is dad?’

I questioned her while showing the papers as soon as I entered the room, she was chanting some slokas from Bhagavad Gita. She stopped the chants and looked at me and then looked at the papers I was holding and then again at me.

After a long sigh, she said, ‘I tried, tried hard to make your mom understand, but she didn’t listen to me.
She is not happy with your father. She wants to marry someone else, someone she loves.’
I was dumbstruck at this moment. Couldn’t speak.

I knew from the last night’s fight that dad caught
mom red handed, cheating on him. Those photos which she threw on dad had come by post on dad’s name sent by a private household detective who hired by him as he had a doubt on mom. Mom had received the parcel and shocked to see herself in the photos. Dad came home after work and confronted her. He already asked nani to come as witness. Nobody told me anything before because dad had hope
that mom will accept her mistake and try to rectify it in every possible way. He thought she still loves him and for some reason she got attracted to some other man and will come back to him at last.

But things didn’t go like the way he thought it would be, instead she asked for divorce and told everyone that she wants to marry and live with that man she fell in love with recently.
My dad was a reputed lawyer and a very balanced person, he didn’t want everything to collapse like that.            He was ready to give her a second chance, just for me so that my future would be better, I shouldn’t be left out, shouldn’t feel all alone. But she was stubborn, didn’t change her decision in any cost.

Moreover, she wanted to tell him as soon as possible about her love affair, I didn’t believe my nani when she said mom had already kept divorce papers ready in time of need.
I feel it’s so selfish of my parents who never thought about me, about my feelings.                                                  They never thought how will I react? Will I be able to handle any of this?
My dad whom I loved so much, had signed the papers and left to start his new life. Never thought of me, how will I feel when I won’t see him when I will wake up in the morning? Because until this day, I saw his face first thing in every morning. He didn’t even talk to me before leaving as I don’t matter to him anymore, nor console me.

And my so-called mom, found herself another husband because she got bored with the first one perhaps. What about me mom? I didn’t want new ‘dad’, I was happy being in my life with ‘my own dad’.
Anyway, I am over all of these dramas now.
‘So that’s how it all happened. But my parent’s divorce is just the beginning. I cannot imagine that my own biological mother will say something like that.’ (I started weeping)

‘Honey, Hon, stay calm and tell me what did she say to you.’ The lady on the call asked me politely.

‘That’s another story.’ I said while wiping my tears out.

‘I am all ears.’

‘From the day, my mother married to this ‘evil being’ whom I called my step dad, had his eyes on me that I knew for sure as the way he always looked at me with his wicked big eyes.              I couldn’t even stand the gaze of it.

I remember very well the first time he touched me with his unholy hand. I was 15 years old, I was alone in the house as mom had gone for work and that time nani was staying at her place.                                                          He came back from work early and asked me to make a cup of tea for him as he was stressed. I was terribly
scared of the fact that I was all alone with him in the house and several things were going on my mind
like, why did he come back from office this early? Did he know about me being alone? My hands were literally shivering. I immediately called mom up and told her that ‘he was at home.’

She was like, ‘Yeah, I know. He wanted to spend some father-daughter time with you. So, I asked him to leave for home early because you will be at home alone. Hey, maybe you guys could go for a movie or shopping, anywhere you like.’

‘Mom, you know that I don’t like him. He… Forget it.’ I couldn’t tell her, what I feel about him, I was not having any proof of my statement.

‘Look, now he is your father you like it or not!’ After saying this, she cut the call.

A mother who should understand every word before her child could say, didn’t understand the threat I feel being around him.
I did as I have been told and I entered his room with the tea. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the moment I opened the door. He was not wearing anything, with a grin in his eyes eagerly asking me to give him a massage. I stood there blankly for few seconds, couldn’t believe that he will ever go till this extent.

I threw the tea filled cup and started running towards my room. He ran behind me and a moment later I was in his arms, he held me so tightly like he will never ever let go of me, like, I will forever be the prisoner of his sinful demands. I felt ashamed, not on me but on my caretakers who couldn’t even take care of me. They let me be the victim of this horrendous act.

That day he forced me to do things I
couldn’t have imagined. He raped me, bruised me and what not.
I was in my room weeping when my mom came home from the office. She wanted to know how my day
went with my so called ‘new father figure.’ I didn’t have guts to stare in her eyes and say,’ yeah, it was a well spent day.’                                                      Because I couldn’t have taken the risk of telling her the truth as she was pregnant with that evil man’s baby.

From that day since ‘this rape thingy’ became my daily routine. Sometimes in his bedroom, sometimes in mine and sometimes in washrooms.

Then that day came when my mom had given birth to a boy child. She was very happy. She always wanted a boy and now she got it. My nani came to stay with us as to nurture ‘the new family member.’
Everyone was so happy; all the old pain was forgotten. I thought now everything will be ‘A-Okay’ with the arrival of my baby brother. I was happy too.

But I was wrong, he started his horrendous act again, few months after the arrival of the baby. I was helpless again. This time not for the sake of my pregnant mother but fear of losing again, fear of negligence. The frequency of the act was increasing by every day passed, pain of my tormented heart became so visible that it was spotted almost every day by my teachers and friends. But the person who had to see, didn’t even realize what I was going through. She was busy in her own new self-made life.
And here I was, in the darkness waiting for a spark of light.
It’s been 2 prolonged years of my sufferings.

‘Now no more’, I said to myself.              I can’t sacrifice my life inch by inch to this demon we have summoned.

I had it all and I was ready to tell everyone about the truth, I was suffering since that day.                      Now when everyone will realize what a ‘dirty pig’ he is, then my dad… my own dad will come back home to me. I
don’t care what society will think or say but I want my old life back.

With a confident mind, I entered my mom’s room, the room I hated for all these months. Mom was making baby brother’s bed.

‘I want to talk to you about something, which you need to know.’ Deep inside I was shivering with the
fear. I didn’t know how will I start or end the story but one thing I knew for sure that today, I am ready, ready to face everything; humiliation, anger, unacceptance.

‘Yeah, sit here.’ She was calm I felt.
As soon as I sat there she started caressing my forehead and then she kissed me on my forehead. I felt
relaxed for the first time since dad left. For once I thought, I got that spark of light I was waiting for.            This is it. Now every torture will come into an end.

‘Even I wanted to talk to you but didn’t get the time, was so busy with the baby.’ She said with a sigh.

‘ummmhh…. Tell me mom.’ Wanted to give her the first chance as my story will crush her and there would be nothing left to say.

‘Me and your dad was planning to send you to a boarding school.’

‘What? But why suddenly! This coming year will be my final school year. It won’t be easy to get
admissions now, almost in the middle of the year.’ I baffled.

‘I was thinking, you can start your first PU afresh; somewhere in a new place, new people, better atmosphere.’ She was trying to insist.

‘What’s wrong with you? Why are you doing this to me? First your husband ruined my life, now you!’ I almost shouted.

‘Mind your language young lady. It’s not him who ruined, it’s you. He is your father now. Stop fantasizing about him, stop forcing him to do things he doesn’t want to. Get your act together then you will be allowed to stay here.’

She said it, said it all in one go.
I was bewildered.

‘What did you say?’

‘He told me everything about you, about your act, inviting guys behind my back, drinking, smoking and what not. Moreover, you tried to seduce your dad. Uffff… I can’t even say it in words.’
I was speechless, trying to believe that this is my mother who was talking. She has been with me for all these 17 years nurturing me and today she said that I was the culprit for her miserable life.’

After a long pause,

‘I am… I am very sorry to hear about…’

‘it’s okay.’ I stopped her in the middle.

‘So how will you solve my problems?’ I asked while wiping out my tears.

‘I know it’s against company policy. But may I ask you a question?’

‘Yeah sure!’

‘Are you Miss. Roshni.’

‘What….??? How do you know my name? How did you find the information?’ I was bewildered.

‘Calm down Roshni, and carefully listen to me.’ She said politely.
I didn’t know what to say but hear,

‘I know you miss your dad. You think that it’s all his fault that he left you and never came back for you.
But it’s not possible to get everything we want. Your dad being a prestigious lawyer, wanted a life full of happiness with his family but not the way he got it. He didn’t have courage to say what he truly was. He didn’t want his self-esteem to get hurt, had fear of society’s negligence and disrespect. But by the time he knew that he had to accept, it was too late. He thought everything will be fine even without him but he was wrong or I should say I was wrong.’

‘You…. What?’

‘I am sorry for all your despair. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have left you, I should have told you (weeping) but I got scared, that you will never love me the way you did. I was ready to live without you than live with your hatred and unacceptance. What I have done to you, my little angel?’

‘Dad, is that you?’ I was shocked

‘Yes honey, yes it’s me your dad.’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was not the same old rough voice I grew up hearing to, it was sweet and melodious. He might have changed a lot, he might look lot different than he used to and I know, for a fact that I will be quite surprise to see him but at the end he is my spark of light in the darkness.

Or I should say ‘SHE.’