Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life comes in different shapes and sizes

A long time ago, not too far away, in the mountains there lived a girl. Life was difficult and luck didn't really care to be with her family. So, bread didn't come easily to them and butter was a thing they had never heard of. However, like those close knit families, they lived together and were happy. Well, the last word, the adjective that I used to describe their life has never been analogous to the reality, more so, it was untrue. Meager flow of money came from the small bead shop that Sulekha worked in. Yes, her name was Sulekha but people in that small village called her Dolly. The name, Sulekha, had been long forgotten. Dolly, it was now. She had no idea what that name meant but she knew where it had come from. 3 months before she was due to be born, abba had gone to buy beads from the city. Someone had told him that he would get cheaper bead there but he had been fooled. However, while he was returning, he heard the name Dolly, and decided that if he had a daughter he would call her by that name. Likewise, Dolly wished her kids to have English names too, though she was 15 years old and unmarried. Maybe, she will one day.

So, Dolly was her name. Totally opposite to her name's meaning, she was not good looking and nowhere resembled a doll. Those who live in the mountains are known to be somewhat fair. And so were the inhabitants of Gauchar, the small village where Dolly lived in. But her skin was pale and dark. People would laugh at her ugliness. Teasings continued from morning till night. They stopped only when everybody retired into their beds. That was the only time when she was at peace. The only time when she could see something else that was darker than her. And she felt relieved.

It was November. For the inhabitants for Gauchar, November would always bring a smile onto their otherwise sad faces. It was the time for the annual mela of Gauchar. Traders from northern India came to their small village. It was a time to rejoice for Dolly as money wouldn't be a problem. She knew she would manage to earn atleast that much which would last for the next 6 months. Every year she would eagerly wait for November to come. Though she bought inexpensive beads and sold them the year round, she would save the best ones for the mela. Infact, for this event, she crafted each bead with great detail. Her father started earning when he found some beads lying near bridge perhaps abandoned by thieves. He made an income out of those and hence got into this field. When he became too old to travel, his daughter took over. Dolly, at once, fell in love with the beads. Earlier she would travel down the hill to buy these tiny colourful round and square pieces. Now she made them on her own. Every single day.

And tomorrow was the first day of the mela, her chance to sell those beads to the wives of those wealthy traders and the travellers. This year she had spent all her savings in crafting new type of beads which she had come across on one of her visits to the city. Beads in different shapes and sizes were her speciality. But this time she had developed beads for adorning the hair. She had hoped that it would sell. And very soon she would have money to buy that green saree for amma and that stark white kurta for abba. Away from all the hustle bustle and from the ongoing sarcastic comments about her skin, she quietly lay on the bed. She glanced at the the table covered with beads. Though she was sleepy, she did not want to sleep. She joyfully imagined travellers buying her beads. Smiling, she imagined every single day of the mela and how happy it would make her. She imagined her mother in that saree and her father in that kurta. They looked amazing together. She made a mental note to call the camera wala bhaiya and ask him to take a picture of them together. She did not know how much it would cost but she would pay him. Dolly didn't know when she had fallen asleep and all that she had seen was just a dream. She never woke up. She never saw the tomorrow she had been eagerly waiting for. There were no travellers. There were no traders. There was no fun. But there were beads still lying on the table.

Really, luck didn't care to be with her family.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Filling in

Okay..!! This has been the longest ever separation period that me and my oh-so-lovely blog have gone through. Needless to say, I terribly missed it. I won't say that I have been busy. Rather, I have been lazy. A little off the track that I have been of late, I simply wasn't in the mood (nor had the energy) to wake up till late at night, the only time i get to spend with my blog. Hence, the long withdrawal had set in.

For some reasons, I have been abstaining myself from using "too much" internet. Every time something happened in my life, I felt the urge to put it up on this space. That is when I realized how attached I had become with people from the virtual world. I think I am totally addicted to my blog. I cannot easily explain the extent of my obsession with this blog and my readers, but let me give you an example. In every situation (atleast those, about which I would have written here), I found myself contemplating the reviews and comments that my readers would have given. Every time, my mind raced forward to foresee who would have agreed and who would have disagreed with me. I know I would be making a very heavy statement if I say that in situations where I was caught unguarded, I thought about my readers and their reactions rather than my own friends. A lot of my friends whom I have known since childhood would probably read this post and I completely understand the shocked looks that I am going to get after this. But I am not saying this just for the heck of it. I totally totally mean it. And I can explain. There have been times (both good and bad) when I have received reactions (again, both good and bad) from people whom I have known only through blogosphere. And people whom I have known personally have secretly read my blog and remained neutral when I really wanted them to give me some words of wisdom. As a result, I have grown more attached to those whom I do not know. Ironic, isn't it?

 I had wanted to write a post a week back, precisely after returning from a trip to Vaishno Devi. It was my first visit and I had been excited to write not only about the 14 km walk to the temple but also about my horse ride. It was far more exciting than anything else that I have encountered so far. Really..!! I so wish I had learnt to ride a horse when there used to be training sessions way back in school. Soon, I will write a separate post about my horse ride.

So much has happened in the past 3 weeks. I have a long list of things to talk about. I have a lot of time so we can get back to it later. There are more important things to talk about. Obviously, I cannot get away without commenting on the commonwealth games which ended yesterday. I have not come across a single blog which talked about the success of the XIX commonwealth games. The games had got truck loads of negative publicity. Such was the intensity, a lot of nations withdrew themselves from participating in these games. Every single person mouthed bad words at the organizing committee. I too did that. I had no faith in them and I presumed that the commonwealth games wouldn't even happen. And if at all they did, it would be big blow on our face. Fortunately, contrary to our presumptions, commonwealth games were a huge success. Delhi has never looked better than what it did in the past 2 weeks. Clean, green and spectacular. And what was Dilliwalas take on lane-driving..?? You bet, it was one of the most beautiful gesture I have ever seen. Extreme levels of co-operation imbibed a sense of inspiration in one and all. It was a pleasure to be a part of Delhi. Out of all the blogs that I had read before the starting of the games, it was only Sakshi who seemed to be a bit positive about the whole event. During the games, I kept wondering where did this girl get all the positivity from. She was right in her way. I adore that. I have no idea what will happen to Kalmadi once the probing starts but I guess we must thank him for giving us all a wonderful experience and  making the games a success.

By the way, Suresh Kalmadi was a pilot with the Indian Air Force. Knowing this fact, I am not going to say a single word against this man anymore. You know, I have a soft corner for the Indian Air Force people. :D