Moved On

(The mobile phone rings….)

Parvati picks up the call. It’s her best friend, Vidya from New Delhi. They hadn’t talked to each other for months. They are friends since school days.

Parvati: Got a job in Delhi and made new friends huh? You don’t need me anymore!

(Vidya is making a call driving her car. Car honks and sounds of other vehicles.)

Vidya: Oh Paru! I am sorry. I was busy adjusting to this new life. It took me some time.

Parvati: Hmm… Glad that you called me at least now! So, when are we meeting each other?

Vidya: Soon. I will come to Tamilnadu for Diwali.

Parvati: That’s cool! We will meet at the Besant beach, our spot.

Vidya: Yup, our spot… Those days were fun. I can hardly find friends like you now. I am feeling lonely dear.

Parvati: I too find it difficult here. But yeah, we have each other. We will meet at least once in a year.

Vidya: Sure.  How is Varun? Sree got transferred to Bangalore recently.

Parvati: Uff! Don’t talk about her. She is the reason for your break up. I hate that bitch!

Vidya: I have moved on Paru. Varun and I are good friends. Moreover, Sree takes care of him so well. Both of them are happy.

(Parvati goes to the kitchen and peels some potatoes and carrots for making dinner.)

Parvati (interrupting) I am not interested in hearing their love life. Vidya! Only you can be like this. Varun is mad to fall in love with her. She will leave him soon!

Vidya: Paru, don’t say that. Varun is happy. I want him to be happy and safe. Calm down Paru. By the way, how is my bro-in- law? Ha!(giggling) You trapped him so fast. You scoundrel!

Parvati (blushing): He is good. I keep talking about you to him. Akshay is busy taking care of his pets. He doesn’t find time for me lately.

Vidya: Ahaa! And that’s how he meets you every evening at 6 and makes sure you reach home safe! You think I won’t know your tantrums staying here?

Parvati (laughing) Did Sumi tell you that? That broadcasting girl! Next time I will sneak out without her notice.

Vidya (laughing): I am so happy for you dear. Akshay is really lucky to have my sweetheart. Don’t fight with him for silly reasons, ok. Stay happy and save that smile forever.

Parvati: Yeah…(looking at the clock) Oh my god, it’s 11:10 now. Had dinner?

Vidya: Just reached home. Take care dear.

Parvati: You too. Call me anytime. Bye, Good night.

Vidya: Good night. (cuts the call)

Parvati lives with her office colleagues. They had rented the house near the company they work. Both of her colleagues were on night shift. She tries to call Akshay twice and receives a busy tone. Parvati sleeps on the couch watching TV. Just then, the mobile rings again. She wakes up with a start.

Akshay: Hey Paru, where are you? Are you home now?

Parvati( Sleepy and cuddling the pillow): Yeah, at home.

Akshay: Ok, did you see the news?

Parvati: No. Why? What is it?

Akshay: Well….. It’s about the IPL. Who won the finals? I am on the way home. I couldn’t know the result.

Parvati: Are you crazy? You call me up at (looking at the clock) 3:00 in the morning to know the IPL result?

Akshay: Eh….

Parvati: Seriously, You couldn’t give me a call till now. Where the hell are you?

Akshay: 15 minutes to reach home. (with a pause) I am sorry Paru.

Parvati: Go home and watch IPL highlights. You don’t need to call me for knowing that.

She slams the phone.

Akshay( looking at the phone): Shit! I just couldn’t tell her.

A man standing near consoles him.

Next day, Parvati dresses up to go to the office . She goes out for having breakfast and the phone starts vibrating.

Akshay: I am sorry for hurting you last night.

Parvati: What do you want to know now?

Akshay: Can you apply for a sick leave today? I have planned to take you somewhere.

Parvati: I can’t. You go wherever you want. I am not coming.

Akshay(Irritated): Cooldown Paru. It’s important! You have to come with me today. I have something to tell you.

Parvati: You can tell me now. Why do you want…

Akshay(interrupting): You don’t want to see me?

Parvati keeps quiet.

Akshay: I am sorry. Please understand.

Parvati: Ok, let me check with my team leader. I will inform you.

Akshay: Give me a message when you are ready. I will pick you up from home.

Parvati( sarcastically): Thank you.

Akshay: Love you.

Parvati: Love you too. ( a deep pause and softly)Waiting to see you.

Akshay: Me too Jaanu. We have a big day today. Meet you soon.

They disconnect their calls.

Meanwhile, Parvati calls up her team leader and Manager.

Akshay reaches her home in his car and stands out waiting for her. Parvati smiles at him, gives a peck on his cheeks. Akshay hugs her tightly and they enter the car.

Parvati: So, where are you taking me? (giggling) Are we getting married today?

Akshay: Paru, Did Varun call you?

Parvati: No. Why, what happened?

Akshay: Nothing. I just wanted to know if you are in touch with your friends.

Parvati: Varun is busy dating that bitch, Sree.

Akshay: Sree!….She met with an accident yesterday.

Parvati: In Bangalore? Is she ok?

Akshay: She is ok. She is admitted in Ramachandra Hospital. We are going to meet her now.

Parvati: How did the accident happen? She works in Bangalore right?

Akshay: Yeah, she had come for spending time with Varun. It was a car accident. She has got a head injury and a fracture in her leg.

Parvati: Oh my god! Hope she gets better soon. By the way, how did you know?

Akshay: Varun.

Parvati: Oh, ok!

Parvati: You know what, yesterday… Vidya..

Akshay(interrupting): We should get some fruits for Sree.

Parvati: Yeah.

Akshay: Paru, I forgot to tell you this. There is a pet show happening in our city. I am taking my pets. You should come with me. You are interested in adopting pets, right?

Parvati: Wow, Yeah! How’s hunter and bunny?

Akshay: They are good. Hunter took his time to accommodate. He misses my parents…(deep sigh)

Parvati: Akshay, it’s gonna be alright, OK!

Akshay: I just can’t forget the last day I spent with them. It’s my fault Paru. I shouldn’t have left them like that.

Parvati: They will understand you where ever they are. You have to forgive yourself. It’s not your mistake.

Akshay smiles. They hold their hands and Parvati kisses his hands. Akshay recalls the incident with his parents.  Dad was so angry with him. He had told about Parvati and they were not ready to get him married to her as she was a malayali. Akshay being Gujarati, his parents could never accept an interstate marriage.  Akshay fought with his parents and that day he just walked away from home.

Akshay and Parvati reach the hospital and walks to reception.

Receptionist: Hello Akshay. Varun had informed me to tell you that he had gone out for buying fruits and medicines.

Parvati looks amazed and turns to Akshay.

Akshay: I will explain…

Parvati moves out of that room. Akshay walks back to Parvati.

Akshay: It was late at night. I thought  I would bring you here today.

Parvati: So you were in the hospital when you called me yesterday.

Akshay: Yeah. I am sorry for that.

Parvati: It’s ok.

Akshay and Parvati climb the stairs to find Sree’s room.

Akshay: Its room no. 104. Second wing.

Parvati: Are we allowed inside?

Akshay: yeah.

Parvati finds Sree connected to a ventilator in the ICU. Sree smiles at both of them. Parvati sits next to her. Sree tries to say something with her weak voice, but remains unable to communicate it.

Parvati: She is trying to say something.

Akshay: Let her relax. We will come again another day.

Varun comes into the room and greets Paru.

Varun: She is in shock. She keeps calling Vidya’s name. I don’t how they ended up in the same car.

Parvati : Vidya??? Where is she? Is she alright? She had called me yesterday.

Akshay: She called you??

Varun: When?

Parvati: At night Around 11. Where is she now? She never told me about Sree.

Akshay: We will take you to her.

Varun, Parvati and Akshay move to the fourth wing.

Varun: Look Paru… Vidya was driving the car and…

Parvati: and? What happened?

Varun: It was a serious head injury. I couldn’t save her. She is no more, Paru. I am sorry.

Parvati freezes and looks shocked. Akshay hugs her tightly and she cries out on his shoulders. She mumbles to Akshay.

Parvati: I never knew it was her last words to me, Akshay. How can she just go away?

Akshay consoles her.

Akshay: The accident had happened around 11. I am amazed that you too told the same time.

Parvati: What??…

Parvati faints and Akshay holds her and calls out the doctor.

Parvati wakes up after a while and finds Akshay sitting near her bed.

Akshay: Are you alright?

Parvati: Yes… (calmly) I want to see Vidya.

Akshay takes her to the mortuary. Vidya’s body contains a lot of bruises. Her head is injured at the back.

Sree gets partially cured after 10 days. She is moved to the general ward.

Parvati takes the bus to the hospital from her office.

Reaching the hospital, she finds Varun happily sitting in the room with Sree.

Parvati: Varun, Can you please give us both a minute.

Varun: Sure.  Sree, I will be here.. just outside the room.

Sree: ok

Varun moves out.

Parvati: Sree, How did you and Vidya travel in the same car? Both of you were not talking, right?

Sree: Vidya had called me months back and she wanted to meet me. So, we planned to meet in Chennai during her business trip.

Parvati(interrupting): AIf you don’t mind, can I know what she said?

Sree: She called me up to inform me that she was happy about Varun. She had forgiven me and moved on. Varun and I were not talking to each other. We had a fight recently. Varun had informed that to Vidya when she called him up. (Tears flowing from her eyes) She brought us together again..She forgave us.

Parvati: Vidya, did tell me that she moved on.

Sree(crying): I am sorry Parvati. I know you are still upset with me. I love Varun so much. I am sorry for stealing him from Vidya.

Parvati: Vidya has forgiven you Sree. Ok, I will leave you with Varun now. Bye.

Parvati goes out of the room and bids goodbye at Varun. She gets on the bus and travels back to her place.

She picks out a photo of her and Vidya from her wallet. It’s a memory of them playing in the school premises.

Vidya: Paru, where ever you are, you should talk to me about your problems, OK! It’s a mad world. Never trust anyone easily.

Parvati (giggling): Vidya, I will disturb you forever. Don’t worry.

Vidya: Have you taken the medicines? Take fewer things for now. You can buy everything else from Chennai. My mallu kutti… (she hugs Parvati) I love you, dear.

Parvati: I love you too Vidya.

A woman carrying a cute baby sits near Parvati. Parvati looks at the baby and smiles. The baby smiles back and cuddles her mom. Parvati calls the baby to her and makes her sit on her lap.

The mom looking at the baby: So you know how to be happy with others? (turning to Parvati) She keeps crying when I leave her with my relatives. She doesn’t prefer to be with strangers. 

Parvati smiles at the mom.

Parvati: So what’s her name?

Mom: Vidya.

Parvati looks at the mom with a surprise and smiles.

 

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Why do I feel the urge to make everyone HAPPY?

Being Happy and making other people Happy. You just can’t please everyone.

Strong Women with Mood Disorders

Somewhere deep down inside me since I was a little girl I’ve had this urge, desire and deep compassion to help the wounded. Call it second nature, a natural instinct, a calling or an addiction. I would feel an emptiness inside me as if I was not whole if I passed someone by in need without doing something-anything about it.

IMG_4979

I can not tell you how this started because I don’t know. What I do know is that I cannot stop thinking about or wanting to help people. It will keep me up at night if I have not solved a problem, nurtured, consoled, listened, hugged, gave advice, fed, cleaned or made someone smile. It’s not entirely a bad thing in others eyes, and its not. What drives me mad about this: I’m always struggling with these questions? “Do I want to make others happy because I’m not happy?” “Am I really…

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Exploring Pasir Ris Farmway

For Animal Lovers in Singapore

The Lion Raw

As one of the three remaining farmways in Singapore (the other two being Murai Farmway and Seletar West Farmway), Pasir Ris Farmway is perhaps the most recently built of the lot. Today it is perhaps best known for the many pet farms, animal shelters and fish farms along its three farmways.

A familiar sight greets you as you enter Pasir Ris Farmway from Pasir Ris Drive 12 A familiar sight greets you as you enter Pasir Ris Farmway from Pasir Ris Drive 12

Just one of the many fish farms around the area Just one of the many fish farms around the area

Pasir Ris farmway started out mainly as a site for farms rearing freshwater fish towards the late 1970s, having been shifted from the main Pasir Ris-Loyang area as the development of residential properties started coming about.

At present, Pasir Ris Farmway is home to an interestingly visible conflict between places like Ericsson Pet Farm andAnimal Lovers League, both of which are practically situated almost side-by-side. While Ericsson sells its pedigree…

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A true tribute to women

Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin wrote a strong monologue for a solo performance at the 13th Indian Today Conclave on International Women’s Day on March 8. The monologue, which she dubbed as ‘Just Another Rant’, is a frustrated ode to women everywhere chained and bound by traditional patriarchy.

Here’s the full text of her monologue:

You remember in the beginning?

'Five husbands! That can't be fun, God know I have enough trouble with one': Kalki Koechlin writes a monologue on Women's Day

Kalki Koechlin

In the beginning God made man.

God made man in his own image.

And then that’s was it. ‘Man’kind, hu’man’ity, wo’man.

Man, man, man.

What chance in Hell did we ever have?

We were sidelined from the Big Bang.

You remember Draupadi?

Draupadi married off to all five Pandavas.

She garlanded only Arjun

But they told her you got to marry all of us.

Five husbands! That can’t be fun.

God know I have enough trouble with one.

Or what about Eve and the apple?

Blaming one woman for all mankind’s evil?

Soorya and Kunti,

The Virgin Mary

Do you know Gaia?

The Goddess Mother Earth

She’s the one we all trample on.

And remember Aphrodite

Goddess of love and beauty

Lest we forget, she was also

The patron of prostituting.

Persephone,

She was less known

Raped by Hades

She became Queen of the underworld,

Not even goddesses were left alone.

You might not know A’isha,

She was one of the wives of Prophet Mohammad

She challenged a Califh for power

It created quite a ruckus,

It led to war in fact,

All because of one woman’s fuss,

And so was born the tradition Islamic

That women should not engage in anything politic.

But of course they did,

Thank god they did.

Women have their ways,

As somebody once put it.

The Queen of Sheba, Empress Theodora, Rabia al’ Basra,

Cleopatra, The Victorian Era, The Mona Lisa

The Suffragettes, Marilyn Monroe, The sixties and burning bras,

The unpopular Thatcher and our own Indira

Et cetra et cetra and now here we are.

Here we are,

We’ve survived this far,

Thanks to seduction, perhaps some manipulation,

But mostly thanks to Mother Nature and ovulation.

Now look at all the queens and goddesses of history,

No prince came to the rescue,

No king ever went down on one knee,

No deity was even that trustworthy,

Yet all we’ve be told since we were three,

Are fairy tales, adverts, and pretty stories,

Telling us to pray, hope,

And wait to be saved.

Here we are today.

Here we are,

On International Women’s Day,

With some minor disappointments,

And a few little things to say.

The woman in red,

The girl in pink,

The widow in white,

The Burqa in black,

The colour of lipstick,

Viva Glam, Lady Danger, Fresh brew, Faux, Frenzy, Hot Gossip and Sweetie.

Ramblin, Siss, Creme cup, Paramount and Modesty

Fetish, Spice it up, Naked Paris, Honey love and Odyssey.

Apply, line, smack, seal, pout,

And you’re ready to go out.

Ugh!!!

Sometimes I just want an oversized T shirt, boxer shorts, unkempt hair and unibrows.

I want armpit hair long enough to plait,

I want a clean face without a trace of make up

I want to look the way I do when I wake up.

I want to scratch my head,

Dig my nose,

Lick my fingers,

Stretch my legs

And spread my toes.

I want to smile with my gums showing,

Bare my teeth and

Contort my pretty face into wrinkles.

I want my crow’s feet to look sexy,

Or my salt and pepper hair,

Or my sun burnt skin,

I want to be George Clooney basically,

But with breasts and a muffin.

Alas,

No…no…shhh…control, control!

Keep it down.

Stuff it up, bottle it in, switch it off,

Cross your legs, wear a bra,

Sit straight and smile sweetly for the camera.

I went to a party,

I went to a party where

I was looking for something real.

Glittering, flashing lights,

Sparkling clean glasses with something bubbly and expensive inside,

Stuck on smiles of painted lips and gorgeous, skinny, beautiful ladies all around,

I craved a touch, a caress,

But my senses were intimidated by cloned perfection.

I thought I could hear muffled wailing,

Nervous giggling,

Intoxicated complying.

I thought I could hear the buzz of millions, screaming out their instructions,

Sit down, stand up, stay,

This way, that way, go away

I can’t breathe, I’m choking.

This room is filled with smoke

From regrets and weak, nicely packaged cigarettes.

This room is filled with luxury and fame

And false dreams.

My problem with traditional desi marriage

Love, InshAllah

Eds. Note: This is a response to yesterday’s guest post, How I met my son’s mother. Have a perspective to share on love and relationships? Read our guidelines, here.

Update 11/26/13: Congratulations to writer Aisha Saeed on this post being chosen by the editors of WordPress for Freshly Pressed, highlighting the best posts on WordPress. In an email to LoveinshAllah.com, WordPress said: “Aisha Saeed’s response to your guest post about arranged marriages was a really powerful and articulate call for fairness and equality. She delivers her points with a great balance of passion and reason, which makes this piece engaging even for those who aren’t intimate with the debate surrounding marriage in south Asian communities. It’s a great post that deserves a wider audience.”

aisha

 

There’s a befuddling conundrum afoot in the desi (South Asian) community. You must first understand a few things:

a) For whatever reason…

View original post 1,477 more words

Teen entrepreneur Avani Singh: “You can make a difference”

TED Blog

New Delhi’s streets are epic — trucks, cars, cows and, especially, bicycle rickshaws, three-wheeled carriers that can zip through traffic, pedaled by a very, very hard-working driver. Growing up in New Delhi, Avani Singh passed them every day on her way to school. And her route also passed the city’s slums. In this city of 17 million, the New Delhi slums are zones of poverty that stretch for miles. To Avani as a young girl, they seemed just a part of the city, always there, unchanging. But as she grew older, it began to dawn on her: Not everyone had what she had. And she could help.

Meanwhile, she learned in the news about a new kind of bicycle rickshaw. Bright green and super futuristic, it was electric-powered, thanks to a solar panel on the roof. Which made it easier to pedal. Avani, then only 16 years old, had the…

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Promise Yourself

Image

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
― Christian D. Larson