Thursday 22 December 2016

Our Shanta Bai is Not a Thief

Wednesday. 8:40 AM. Ding Dong. Look who's at the door- our very own Shanta Bai. That's the name I have given to our maid because, with my scarce knowledge of Kannada and her zero knowledge of Hindi, I can't ask her name!

A few seconds later. The kitchen is purging with the customary sound of her washing the utensils and the fragrance of ready to be savoured ginger tea. We courteously asked the old lady if she needs warm water to wash utensils, saying "bisi neeru bekaaaa?" (Kannada). She cracked some joke in her language and giggled at our intentions, leaving us puzzled. Apologetically, we barely could afford a smile.

8:50 AM. Ding dong. I and hubby questioned  each other with our eyes-doing-the-talking -"who is it?", as we do not expect any other visits on a usual day. 

I was brushing my teeth. Hubby opened the door only to find our Khooni Padosan waiting. eeeehh... I mean our next door neighbour. Oh, you are wondering why I call her Khooni Padosan? Mrs. Khooni Padosan , a lady in her early 40s, according to me is suffering from hyper-negativity-towards-the-planet-and-its-creatures (if they have discovered one such disease yet). She can retort at anything and everything, like the landlord, her husband, her sister-in-law, the road, weather, keys of the apartment entrance, municipal corporation and even mosquitoes.

She was explicit enough to blame our Shanta Bai for having picked up her Sennheiser earphones from the staircase. Worst thing, she did not suspect, she declared the verdict- "your maid has picked up my earphones from the stairs". Strangely, she was sure about it without any proof. 

Meanwhile, I am still brushing my teeth and the hubbub of utensils being harassed prevails. Our innocent bai who was unaware of our Hindi conversation continued with what she is employed for.

Hubby came in. Checked his bag. The earphones he had picked up from the stairs on the weekend, suspecting them to have fallen from his bag, originally belonged to the Khooni Padosan. The same earphones which she had declared as stolen by the maid. He and I own two pairs of earphones of the same brand. So our twin earphones had another sibling on the building floor!

To live happily-ever-after and save Shanta Bai from her curse, we hopped to her flat and returned her property, narrating our version of the case of accidental lifting of the abandoned item. Also, added that Shanta bai has already undergone our series of anti-theft tests and that she never bothers for anything except salary hike, daily tea and a pack of Parle-G every fortnight. Not only this, she makes sure that we close our door while she leaves, for which she has to shout at our recklessness, at times. She is motherly.

Moral of the story- Dear moron, investigate and inquire before you blame our Shanta bai or any poor person of theft.

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so.)

Friday 16 December 2016

Nothing But Hunger!

Peeping out of the window of the fourth floor of my office sipping from my mug of green tea this winter afternoon, I was simply observing the traffic and mortals on the road. I noticed something. Something which is very usual for most of us.

A street vendor stood across the road with his cart, beneath a luxurious showroom. The cart carried corns (roasted corns is what he supposedly had been vending). Let's name him Bhuttaswamy.

Bhuttaswamy was a middle aged, wearing white shirt and gray pants, waiting for his customers. Amongst the hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians that passed by, on that forever busy signal of Bangalore, none seemed to be hungry enough. I wandered is this how this man is going to stand there throughout the day, in HOPE. We mint thousands or even lakhs of bucks a month, and these people have to stand there with a handful of corns, 20 bucks per piece (this is the generic rate throughout Bangalore)! Diversity, they call it. Ahhh! look this fellow on a luxury bike just stopped and spoke to Bhuttaswamy for what may be a duration of 40 seconds. And, without buying, he drove away. Probably, he found the corn expensive!

On my side of the road sat another middle aged lady, let's call her BEGAni. Her hands carried an infant, malnutritioned indeed. My sight reflected her to be a beggar, possibly! The busy road and the travelers didn't pay heed to her either. One in 50 shelled out a coin or two for her, only when the signal was red.

The next day, I was coming back from an ATM with my colleagues and was walking by the road side, rather the part which the vehicles had left for pedestrians. This young girl, nearly 12 years of age was selling pens, 2 for 20 rupees, each of which was 1 feet in length. Let's name her PENwari. On seeing us coming, she gestured her hands in the direction of her mouth expressing she is hungry. The pens were cheap, but her hunger wasn't! I bought a pen from her. Penwari's merchandise later lied lazily somewhere at my desk. Nevertheless, it might have mattered to Penwari apparently.

A few metres walk on the same road, and there appeared another girl of similar age. Let's call her MAANGshri. She, literally was chasing folks on the road to transfer some money from their wallets to her palms so that she can be devoid of hunger. Those folks were shooing her away, trying every possible motion to get rid of her. Painful was the scene. Not because they didn't give her any money, but because Maangshri was begging. She seemed to be a healthy and normal human, no deformities at all. What is it that made her to beg! This planet has a lot of blue collar jobs, and she is employable. 

Unlike Begani and Maangshri who were looking for shortcuts to earn, Bhuttaswamy and Penwari are the ones who are doing something to earn their living. People will keep begging until we give away alms to them.

I have a habit of carrying a few packets of Parle-G in my bag. Whenever I see someone begging on the traffic signal, I hand them a packet rather than giving money. They do not have bank acccounts to stash money, but a hungry tummy. I cannot feed them forever, but am rest assured that the child on the signal doesn't have to stay hungry at least this time.

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so.)

Sunday 11 December 2016

A Poetic Endeavor : Seasons of Heart

Fading sunshine and waning moon,
Subtle is the warmth of winter bloom,
O night! Thee fade slowly.

Heart shells the pain out,
Tear drops like rain seldom ever end,
Wait, for the bliss is calling!

Spring comes calling dear Darling,
Happiness blooms along and the fragrance clinging,
For love we share unending,

A melancholy drop of water,
In arms of thunder is born anew,
Dreaming to green the greener.

Thursday 1 December 2016

ये नोट कल हो ना हो !

एटीएम की लंबी कतार में लग कर जब खुद ही का कमाया हुआ 2 हज़ार का एक नोट मिलता है तो इतना हर्ष होता है मानों कोई जंग जीत कर आये हो। फिर जब उसी 2 हज़ार के नोट का छुट्टा करवाने के तरीक़े ढूंढने की जुगाड़ में निकलते हैं और अचानक कोई दूकानदार ईश्वर का अवतार बन के इस नोट के बदले सौ के नोट देता है तो ऐसा लगता है मानो सर्वस्व को पा लिया हो। जब हम हमारे पास इकट्ठे चन्द 1000 और 500 के नोट को बैंक में जमा कर आते हैं तो ऐसा सुकून मिलता है मानो लाश को ठिकाने लगा आये हो।

फिर जब टेलीविज़न पर गांधी परिवार के राजकुमार को दिल्ली से मुम्बई जा कर एटीएम की कतार में लगे देखते हैं तो रूह कांप उठती है।

जब मफलर वाले साहब को उनकी योग्यता के प्रतिकूल ट्वीट करते हुए पाते हैं तो समझ नहीं आता की एक तरफ़ा वाद विवाद भी कितना मनोरंजक होता है।

और विदेश यात्रा से लौटे नेताजी को भाषण के दौरान आंसू बहाते देख मन किसी टेलीविज़न सीरियल की बहू की याद दिला देता है।

इसी बीच हर न्यूज़ चैनल पर 8 पासपोर्ट साइज़ के चहरे और एक थोड़ा बड़ा साइज के न्यूज़ रीडर का आपस में संवाद और अपनी मति का प्रदर्शन करते देख हम हास्य और रहस्य की मजधार में खुद को झूलता हुआ पाते हैं।

ईश्वर की अनुकंपा से व्हात्सप्प और फेसबुक पर हो रहे सुचना एवं प्रसार की अतिशयोक्ति में हम निरंतर मुस्तैद रहते हैं।

किसी गरीब को अस्पताल में नोटों के अभाव में तरसते देखा और एक दुल्हन के पिता को बारात को चाय पिला कर लौटाते देखा, तो मन आहात हुआ यह सोच कर की आखिर इसका ज़िम्मेदार कौन है और शिकार कौन।

खैर ये सब छोड़ें साहब, हम तो चले एटीएम। क्या पता ये नोट कल हो ना हो !

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so. I wrote this to present the whole picture from my perspective and to encourage constructive thought process for a better and progressive nation. The views are based on my limited knowledge of the ongoing situations and are only for fun)