Thursday, May 27, 2010

lets hope

lets not give up
lets not let go
so much left to live for
so much left to believe in
lets wish for the sunrise
lets bid farewell to the sunset
lets wait for the dark clouds to fade away
lets breathe
lets see the enchantment
lets wish for the rainbow
miracles exist
lets keep our faith strong
our resolution firm
lets not flutter

lets live.
let not the roses die
let not the world darken
let our faith take us.
where we wish to go.
lets observe.
and lets stand still.

and we'll see the dawn.

stupid poem, but I needed to write something like this :p

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I looked nervously at Lila. She seemed harmless right now.
She was sitting in one corner and singing 'Smoke on the water' to herself. I took a deep breath. I called out,
"Lila. We have guests today.'
'Oh thats good.' She replied indifferently.
'It's Ray. And his family. Remember Ray?'
'I went to school with him, Mom. Of course I would remember him.' She snapped.
There was a silence.
'We have to meet them. Me, and you. Only you..'
She got up instantly and looked at me with blazing eyes.
'Who else are you thinking of?'
'N-n-no one.' I stammered instantly.
Lila glowered at me and walked off. And then I heard a door bang.
I walked to the balcony and smelt the fresh air. It seemed scented, it had a relaxed feel to contrast to the dull heavy atmosphere of tension centered inside the small flat. I looked down at the street and saw little children laughing and playing. The sound of laughter echoed. At first it seemed pleasant, and then it became so jarring and painful that i rushed back inside the flat. My eyes burned and I felt so sick with envy and jealousy of all those mothers who could watch their children have a delightful childhood. It was horrible, it was unjust. There was no God. If there were, he would have never let this happen to Lila and me.
Which mother is frightened of talking to their daughter?
I was.
Sometimes tragedy doesn't 'appear', if I may use the word in one go. It can be like a stealthy snake winding its way into your life and spreading its poison slowly.
Lila's father was the poison.
He became angry. He became frustrated. And he took out all this on Lila.
He became prone to bursts of insanity. Lila was the victim of it.
Sometimes I looked at other families and observed. The husband would come back exhausted from work, the wife would give him some food and they would discuss their day. Then they would sit with their children and talk all night long.
What happened with us was quite a different case. Lila's father would kick the door open, greet Lila and me with a volley of abuses and then settle down in the living room.
I learnt later what used to happen when I wasn't home. Sometimes he used to come home when I wasn't there.
I'll explain in few words. He attacked her at any point he could. With Knives, with fire. And he would claim that she had hurt herself.
And then he set fire to the house.
Lila had managed to escape by then. He perished in his own flames.
I almost cried with relief.
And then, fourteen-year-old Lila changed.

"Why are you calling them over?" Lila asked.
"Mrs. Desmond has been asking for a long time to see us. I can't keep refusing and making excuses." I said quietly.
"I didn't ask you to make excuses. Why can't you simply say you don't want them to come because you think your daughter is mad?" Lila yelled.
"You're not mad, Lila!"
Lila laughed mirthlessly.
"Really? You're afraid to have company. You're afraid of what will happen if I meet people. You're afraid. You think I'm going to behave the way I did...last time granny came home. You made sure I never got close to anyone!"
"I am not. I stopped having people over because you told me not to!"
"Rubbish. Then explain. If you're not humiliated, why have we shifted to a remote corner of the world where none of our relatives can sniff us out and irritate us?"
"It's peaceful here." I replied weakly.
"Again rubbish!" She said and hit the table.
"Calm down, please Lila."
"I pity you. Stuck with a daughter like me, and you can't even afford a psychiatrist! Remind me what happened last time Granny came home?" she said, her eyes filling with tears.
"No." I whispered.
She shook her head and said,
"You're right. You're absolutely right. We should not be reminded of it. I'm sorry...i'm sorry. I would do anything to prevent-"
"It's not your fault." I said.
"I can't blame anyone else, can I?" she said and left the room.

The dinner with Ray and his family was unexpectedly peaceful. The bitter and angry Lila had vanished, and a happy and cheerful girl had taken her place.
"My, Ginny. Lila has turned into a fine young girl. And what a beauty! Soon she'll be ready for marriage!" Mrs. Desmond said giving a wide smile in Ray's direction.
I nodded feebly. Lila's eyes became stony.
"When do you plan on getting her married?"
"She's only...twenty. She has time." I said hurriedly.
Lila was holding the glass too tightly. I said with a change of tone,
"So what is Ray doing now?"
The conversation then veered off in another direction, and Lila’s composure returned. As they were leaving, Ray said,
"I'll be giving you a call soon."
Lila smiled and said,
"Yes. Do so."
A pearl of sweat appeared on my brow.

The telephone calls between Ray and Lila started. From once a day, it became four times a day. He would drop in whenever he could. And then one day, I summoned enough courage to tell Lila.
"Please don't get too close..." I couldn't even complete the sentence, when she kicked the chair hard.
"I need people. I need to talk! And here's someone who is extremely close to me, and you want me to cut him out?"
"You're getting very interested in him..."
"Yes, I am. And he is too. You let me deal with my social life alone. For the first time, I actually feel close to someone. And you want to shut me up again?"
"Ray doesn't know!"
"What he doesn't know, won't hurt him!"
"What will happen if he ever lights fire? Or something else? Tell me!" I said and held Lila tightly.
"I'll make up something about a phobia!"
"What are you going to do about Anne?" I whispered.
Even Lila's knuckles turned white.
"She won't come back. I promise."

The meetings continued.
Anne didn't come back. Maybe she had left for good.
Then Ray proposed, and before I knew it, wedding preparations had already begun. The only thing which made happy was to see Lila's happy face and dancing eyes. It had been a long time since I had seen that.
Before the wedding night, Anne appeared.
Maybe it was the fire which triggered it.
I was careless. I was lighting a matchstick, forgetting Lila was still in the house. Lila walked in dancing at that point, and then when she saw the fire, she became Anne.
A ghostly look came into her eyes and she started trembling. She started screaming and banging her fists against the wall. she kicked out in fury. This was Anne...the traumatized remainder of Lila's past.
"Anne, Anne!" I cried out and rushed towards her. I threw some water on her, and she quietened instantly.
"I thought we had a deal, Ginny. I thought you wouldn't show fire to Lila. And that too before her wedding day? Ginny, Ginny. You're a far worse mother than I thought you were! You couldn't protect your own daughter when she was attacked by the monster you make her call father. You shut her up like an animal, you are humiliated because of her. You are afraid I might return. Like the time when her grandmother came. Now who will get married to Ray? Not me." Anne said, her mouth curling into a sneer.
"I kept Lila away, for her own good! What else could I do? I couldn't afford the psychiatrist! I don't deserve the blame, I don't. I have tried to be a good mother, I tried." I said taking Anne's scarred hands in mine.
"You haven't. I'm sure Lila knows it too." Anne hissed.
And then she collapsed.

i sang all night to a sleeping Lila. I caressed her hair, and gave her a forehead a light kiss. Anne was right. I had isolated Lila from everyone else.
The wedding took place in grand style. Weddings are so beautiful. The smiles, the laughs, and the music. Not to forget the flowers.
Lila was carrying a bunch of white roses. She had insisted on it, even though Mrs. Desmond wanted her to carry red. The white roses disturbed me. I had read somewhere that white roses meant 'love dead-love forsaken'.
The music continued. I almost felt at peace. Though I knew that something was terribly wrong.
I was letting my daughter get married to a person who had no idea about her disease.
This relationship was a fraud.

Three years later.
Lila appeared in her wedding dress on my doorstep with blood on my doorstep hysterical.
I stared in shock.
Lila whispered,
"Anne got angry."

Monday, May 10, 2010

A conversation.

-Hello Mrs. X. How are we today?
-The sun's a burden. It's too hot.
-Mrs. X, would you like tea?
-Thank you. No sugar.
-I'll serve it for you, Mrs. X.
-Do that dear. I hate handling cutlery. Simple things like this frighten me.
-Not a problem, Mrs. X. How was your visit to Panchmadi?
-Good. I was bothered by an awful body ache and head ache.
-That's terrible. How are you now?
-I think I'm destined to suffer for my entire life.
-in Panchmadi, did you prefer to walk rather than drive? The scenery is beautiful.
-No, the dust hits you and smothers you. I hate dust.
-Did you enjoy the scenery?
-I heard Ghosts everywhere I went.
-Oh. I loved the scenery.
-You're young. Live life to the fullest. Then you'll become old and die.
-How are your sons?
-They're weird.
-What are they doing?
-One is involved in obscure archaeology, the other is trying to communicate with aliens and one is doing engineering.
-Communicating with aliens?
-Doing stuff with space. Can't remember the word.
-How much do you read?!
-I just know this by general knowledge. I'm tired, Mrs. X. I'll be off.
-Getting tired so quickly? Maybe you're suffering from an illness.
-I'm exhausted. Goodbye, Mrs. X.