The World is Bitter for a Bride-To-Be

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It started three years ago. The search for groom. Searching online, telling relatives, meeting some of the guys, Kundali matching, question-answer sessions, and everything related to arrange marriage. When I showed green signal to get married, I was treated like a princess who is now a bride-to-be.

But it has been three years now. One thing that has not been changed is my marital status. I’m still unmarried. But there is one thing that has changed. The attitude of my parents toward me.

They have become so superstitious. Wear a ring with a shining aqua blue colored stone to get married soon, use some yellow colored powder while bathing, and keep a fast on Thursdays, and what not. Then consulting a marriage counselor, spending money unnecessarily on their already known & implemented tips, and many unnecessary ideas they ask to implement.

One of their ideas was a brand new photo shoot. My mother brought two new dresses, asked to wear both turn by turn, and took photos in every possible pose. While giving poses, they suggested nearly 100 postures and prompted every single change their mind can think of. Then they checked out their clicks and were unsatisfied. So, they took me to a professional photographer. While going at the studio, I felt like I am a product in the market which will be cleaned, well-furnished, polished, and kept on the shelf in the most presentable way. During the photo shoot, I could see my eyes were heavy and teary. Like those eyeballs will pop out at any moment. Still, they suggested and prompted poses and postures. And photo shoot was carried out.

Everything has changed. My parents have become desperate and always hover over me to find a groom and get married. I don’t feel like staying at home because I feel miserable. I avoid talking to them and talk only when they ask me something. The world seems bitter now. Because, the precious princess has turned into a burdensome bride-to-be. Maybe the world is not bitter, but my parents are. And they are world to me, no matter how they treat me. So yes, the world is bitter. Bitter for a bride-to-be.

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This Is How The World Works

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Just because there were moments,
That you spent together,
Doesn’t mean, they were meant to,
Cherish forever.
The bonding, wasn’t meant to,
Stay forever.
This is how the world works.

We two happen to be here,
I’ll open up, you’ll listen.
You talk trash, I’ll add up.
You laugh, I’ll laugh harder.
But when we won’t be together,
It’ll be like we never knew each other.
This is how the world works.

Like the flower plucked from tree,
It has to leave everything behind,
The tree, the leaves, the garden,
And other flowers in vicinity.
Think about what lay ahead,
Blossom the surrounding it is put in.
This is how the world works.

The flower has to blend its essence,
In the new world it is put in.
It cannot go back to that tree,
It has to move ahead.
Even if it is put back in that vicinity,
Nothing will be same as before.
This is how the world works.

When you part ways,
When you bid goodbye,
You need to leave everything,
In the moment of separation.
At the point of separation.
Detach yourself, Like a plucked flower.
This is how the world works.

Only because you are still attached,
To those moments, to those people,
Doesn’t mean they are attached too.
Everyone has different expectations from life,
What they mean to you is not,
Same as what you mean to them.
And, this is how the world works.

Will Celebrating Days Stop A Woman From Getting Beaten Every day? If Not, What Does?

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I hear ear-shattering screams and excruciating cries almost every day when my drunk neighbor beats his wife in front of their three children. I don’t know why he does that. Nobody knows that. Nobody wants to do anything about it, because when someone tries to advice that woman to file a complaint of domestic violence against her husband, she lashes out at them and tells them, what happens between her and her husband is none of their business. So even if someone wants to help, no one can. They even think that she must have done something wrong or there must be some fault of hers for which her husband beats her. Because no sane and innocent woman would tolerate violence against her. And she berates them when asked to raise a voice against her husband. On the other hand, no one dares to talk to her husband, let alone enlightening him to respect a woman. Because he is high all the time and ready to fight. And top of it all, he is my cousin. Though there is a blood relation, we have no relationship at all. We live like strangers. The reasons for which we have a rift is not the concern here.

The concern is, we are celebrating the international women’s day by spreading messages,  organizing marches & events, and talking about uplifting & empowering women, but is it fruitful enough to stop that woman from getting beaten almost every day? We celebrate the spirit of womanhood and glorify women on this day, but are people like my cousin getting the same message and respecting women?

This is just one case. There are hundreds of thousand of cases across the country. Domestic violence is just one issue. There are many other issues too. The core problem does not lie in lack of awareness or not raising voice against violence and injustice. The core problem lies in attitude. Not women. Not men. But the attitude.

It is not about the attitude toward women, but attitude toward another human being. There are many cases in the country, false cases, in which women falsely accuse men of crime they did not commit to harass them mentally, economically, and emotionally. Or there might be another reason. But it is happening. Women play “woman card” to get what they want. Not every woman does it, but it is happening. The change in attitude toward another human being is necessary.

Celebrating such days is not a wrong thing, but the focus must be on imbibing good values in a person. Respect is the two-way street. Understanding is a two-way street. Only good values make us realize that. Taking advantage of circumstances is easy, but being fair is important. Spreading messages and organizing marches is important, but more than that, imbibing good values is important. If good values are inculcated and practiced, issues such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, and others will not arise in the first place. Taking measures to consolidate the core is of utmost necessity. If the core is rotten, it doesn’t matter how alluring and delicious the food looks, it will stink.

गुमसुमसा रहने लगा हूँ

​इस रातकी खामोशीमें गूंज रही बेबसीको सुन रहा हूँ मैं,
इस चाँदके सितारोंसे बने गुमनाम रिश्तेका नाम ढूंढ रहा हूँ मैं।

इस बहती हवामें सिमटी हुई तनहाईया महसूस कर रहा हूँ मैं,
इस जलते दीयेकी लौमें छुपी हुई बेचैनी बुझानेकी कोशिश रहा हूँ मैं।

हुआ है क्या मुझे, जो इतना गुमसुमसा रहने लगा हूँ,
इस जिन्दगीकी भागदौडमे तेजी से बीते हुए लम्होको फिरसे जीनेकी मांग करने लगा हूँ।

Her Womb Promised Her

 

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Her father forced her to marry against her wishes. Her boyfriend promised he would come to ask for her hand, but never showed up. Her husband loved her, but she couldn’t love him back. Though she never backed off from vows she made to him during wedding. But still, she couldn’t love him the way she could.

All important men in her life contributed to her misery. She couldn’t get over attachments she had to them. Her heart always bled for each one of them.

But when she saw those gleaming eyes radiating innocence, those tiny fingers holding her finger, that cheerful smile showing two front teeth, and those chubby pink chicks, she knew, she had found a man who is rightfully hers. No power in the world can deprive her of that little marvel.

When she looked into his eyes and he looked into hers, she thought all the misery she endured and still endures is worthwhile. That little creature became the center of her life. The only wonder of the world. He was everything she thinks he was. The one man on whom she can bestow all the love she reserved in the pieces of her broken heart. The one man who will never make her feel miserable about herself. The crazy fact, her womb promised her that, each day, for nine months.

बड़े अरसे के बाद मिले वो

वो हमे बड़े अरसे के बाद मिले। एक दूसरे के सामने आते ही कुछ देर के लिए ना वो कुछ बोल पाए, ना हम।

हमारे बीचकी उस खामोशीको खत्म करते हुए हमने कहा –

इतनी सारी है बातें, कितने सारे है किस्से, कहासे शुरु करे कहा खत्म करे, समझ नही आता,
बिताए है इतने सारे हसीन लम्हें आपके साथ, कोनसे दोहराए कोनसे छोड़ दे, समझ नही आता।

तो उन्होंने कहा –

कुछ ना कहिए, कुछ ना दोहराइए, बस चुप बैठे रहिए।

तो हमने जवाब दिया –

किसीको चुप करानेसे या चुप बैठेनेसे, आँखोंमे आनेवाले आँसुओ को रोका नही जाता,
साथ बिताए हुए लम्होंको नजरअंदाज करके… यादोंको मिटाया नही जाता।

I Am a ‘Feel Good’ Kind of Guy

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This is who I am. A feel good kind of guy. No one comes to me for an honest opinion. They come to me when they want to feel good about themselves. Friends, colleagues, relatives, and everyone of my acquaintance. I don’t know if I radiate a positive energy or what the reason is. No one wants me to be their everything. When they are feeling sadness, frustration, or all those emotions when someone needs someone else to make them feel good about themselves, I’m the guy they approach to uplift their spirits.  Even though they have closed ones with them, they choose me. When they are feeling loneliness, unworthiness, or self-pity, they approach me to vent everything out. I don’t have problem with it, but I have a problem with what follows after.

I am a tight-lipped, reticent guy. The guy who also has issues related to self-expression, so he tries to keep his mouth shut most of the times. Even when I am angry, frustrated, or disappointed, I don’t know how to express it through words or emotions, I just keep everything inside. I have friends, but I don’t have friends to confide in. I absolutely love it when people confide in me. But I have problem to open myself up in front of others.

People vent out everything in front of me. Their issues, insecurities, and suffering. My heart bleeds when they express excruciating pain they are going through following the tragedies from their past. They tell me things they have told only few people, or no one else. Sometimes, their feelings are so raw and deep, I feel awkward while listening to them. They tell me things we must not tell anyone. Those feelings, very personal and very deep, must be kept inside. But they flow with the current of their emotions and express everything. They don’t know if I’m capable of handling it.

I also have emotions. I feel empathy, sympathy, and sometimes bad for them. I keep everything inside. My emotions and their emotions too. I like to be alone. I am not a loner, but I need solitude and personal space. Sometimes, when I am alone, I reminisce those interactions. Those interactions which changed my perspective toward them. Then I wonder how it is possible. The guy looks so happy on outside. The world doesn’t have any idea what he is going through. The woman is cheerful and vivacious. But she bears and unbearable pain every time she breaths. Would I be able to get into their shoes and experience the same? Of course not! Then I feel like my chest is about to burst out of the weight of emotions and stories I kept inside.

Those stories range from my friends to women at work. A friend who tells me about his struggles to convince his parents to let him marry the girl he loves. A colleague who wants to run away from home and can’t bear to take responsibilities of loans he availed. A woman who doesn’t love her husband, but performs all duties of a wife. And a relative who feels loneliness even while staying with family. Different kinds of people, different backgrounds, and different stories. Each has one thing in common. The world doesn’t know what is going inside their minds.

But I do. Everything feels right to me when they are telling me. I feel valued, I feel important, and most importantly, I feel special to be the holder of their raw version. They make me feel I am important to them and they value my listening to their story. I appreciate I listen everything without judging or trying to give them any advice or expressing my opinion on whether they are right or wrong. I just listen. They tell me like they have so much to tell and no one to listen to, but me. I can see the intensity in their eyes. They want to tell everything that’s inside to someone. Just to someone.

And they choose me. I don’t know why. They think I am a harmless creature and I won’t use their secrets against them. Yes, I won’t use their secrets to publicly humiliate them when the time comes. They may insult me; I won’t say a word in return. But I know one thing–I can’t use what they told me in confidence against them. I haven’t told anyone this. I think they must have understood it through my behavior. What else could be the reason? Maybe, I am easily available to them. I don’t have many things to do in my life. I often hang out with friends. I am not an outgoing extrovert or party lover or the one who always has some travel plans for the weekend. I am an introvert who loves solitude and deep contemplation. I love to sleep or lie on bed thinking of something. I barely initiate conversations. If there is no one to talk to, I sit idle, watch something on television, or read a book. If my friend asks me to go out with him, I check my mood. If my mood permits, I go out. Else, I say no straight away. I talk less and listen more. That’s me. Yes, that is the reason. I don’t talk much or express myself eloquently whatever I am feeling at the moment. So they might have thought I am the good guy. He doesn’t judge or comment on something vulnerable. I am a good guy. When someone tells me about their deepest secrets and emotions, I try to understand them. I form an opinion about them, but not the critical one. Or a judgmental one. So yes, in a way, they are right. They come to the right guy whom they can tell everything. Without applying any filters in their minds. They vent out everything. At the end, I say nothing than take care. And we bid each other goodbye.

The problem arises after we bid goodbye. When we meet after the interaction, they treat me like I am just another guy. I don’t look at them the same way I used to. I look at them like some part of them lives inside me now. I treasure that part and it has special significance in the bonding I have with them. But the look doesn’t reciprocate from their eyes. They behave normal. Like we never had that interaction. They behave with others like they are special to them. Well, they don’t even know what I know. They don’t even care to know. They never bother to ask what is going on. Even if they ask, you don’t feel like telling them. Then why do you behave the way they are important to you. I get insecure because you behave normally with me. I never asked them the reason behind this. Maybe, they regret telling me what they told me. Or, they want to pretend everything is alright, but I remind them it’s not. I wonder if they are the same people who confided in me and now pretend like I am just another guy. This has happened over and over again. With each one who confided in me, the same story followed. They treat me like I matter the most to them when they are telling their story. After that, I don’t matter much to them. I felt like I am a human tool on whom they can dump their feelings and forget about it. I then reside in back of their mind in a position where it doesn’t matter if I am there.

And what about me? What about my story, my feelings, and my emotions. I tried sometimes. I tried to express. But something came in the way due to which I have to keep everything inside. Sometimes, they didn’t have time to meet me. Sometimes, they started telling their own story from reference to me and never bothered to ask me to finish my story. I never asked them to listen to me fully, because I don’t want to interrupt their flow of emotions. It was also the moment when I feel like I have been taken for granted. I don’t matter. My emotions or my feelings or my story don’t matter to them. What do I do then? I do what I do the best. I keep everything inside. Then I say something to make them feel good about themselves or don’t say anything at all. They thank me for listening and we bid goodbye.

I still crave for more of their secrets. I am a good guy after all. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. When those wheels of time are stopped, I would solve their problems and give them the ideal life they always wanted to live. But I realize that there is nothing perfect in the world. We have to live with imperfections and that is how it is always going to be. We wish or we don’t. That friend has to convince his and her parents to let them marry or do as per their wishes. That colleague has to deposit money for EMI and stay with family no matter what or run away from responsibilities. That woman has to learn to love her husband and perform all duties of a wife or get a divorce. That relative has to feel lonely while staying with family or stay away from family. In all cases, the latter isn’t an option. Else, they would have availed it and they would never have to find me to tell their story.

And I… I have to live with them treating me normal or demand special treatment. I guess, I, too, don’t have the latter option.

 

 

इन आँखोकी इनायत देखकर

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हररोज़ तो देखते थे हम एकदुसरेको,
फिर हम मुस्कुराकर देखते थे तो क्यों मुकर जाते थे,
गुफ्तगू करनेका प्रयास जबभी हम करते थे,
तो उन आँखोसे अजनबी होनेका पैगाम क्यों दे जाते थे।

तुम्हे क्या पता कितनी हिम्मत जुटाकर,
अपना मन बनाकर आपसे गुफ्तगू करने आये थे,
कितनी सारी बाते ज़ेहनमें रखकर,
धड़कते हुए दिलके साथ तुम्हारे पास आये थे।

नाम न था पता आपका, बस आँखोसे रूबरू थे,
फिरभी आपने निगाहे मिलातेही हमे पहचाना तक नहीं ,
ठुकरा दिया इस कदर की हैरान रह गए थे,
हमारी मासूम बातोंमे छुपी सच्चाईको समझा तक नहीं।

हिम्मत जुटानेवालोको ऐसे ठुकराता हे क्या कोई,
दिल्लगी करनेका ऐसा सिला देता हे क्या कोई,
वो तो आपकी आँखोमे सारा जहा दिख गया वरना,
ऐसे ठोकर खानेके बाद संभालता हे क्या कोई।

जमानेमें तो बदनाम हो ही गए है मदहोशीके लिए,
होशमें भला कैसे रह सकता है कोई उन आँखोमें झाककर,
अफ़सोस नहीं हे हमे हमारे मदहोश रेहनेके लिए,
ये बेखबर जमानाभी बहक जायेगा इन आँखोकी इनायत देखकर।

दुनिया बदलनेवालोकी हिम्मत

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दिलकी बाते जानकर, पीठ थपथपाकर,
हौसला बढ़ानेकी शायद ही किसीकी कोशिश होती हैं,
ढ़लतेे सूरजको देखकर मुँह फेरने वाली इस दुनियाको,
उसकी तड़पन कहा पता होती हैं।

हर मुश्किलका सामना करनेके लिए,
जज़्बा अटूट हो जाता हैं जब नियत साफ होती हैं,
आधी-अधूरी बात जानके नजरिया बदलतीे इस दुनियाको,
दुनिया बदलनेवालोकी हिम्मत कहा बर्दाश होती हैं।

You’re There For me, All The Time..

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‘Please don’t say anything, just… Walk along.’

‘You’re saying, we should walk on this beach quietly? See this beautiful tint the sun had spread upon the sky while going down, feel this cool wind fondling our hair, and this touch of soft sand sending goosebumps into our bodies through our bare feet. And above all, we are holding each other’s hand. How romantic is this! And you want me walk quietly?’

‘Yes, you’re right. Everything is romantic. I’m asking you to walk along quietly because… Because I want to feel someone is there for me all the time. Someone is there no matter what is happening to me, good or bad, how I am, happy or sad, healthy or sick, how I look, handsome or ugly, who I am, mature or childish, sensible or irrational, successful or failure, I don’t know. I just want you to be there. I want to feel this when I am holding​ your hand and you’re saying nothing. But assuring me with the touch of your hand that you are and will always be there for me. The crazy fact is, I just want to feel that emotion.. You are there… For me, all the time.’