See Life In Death’s Eyes

As I stepped into the elevator, nostalgia hit me with a jolt. It was only yesterday, we had laughed here, tickled each other and made nasty jokes. Tears were wiped and happiness had grabbed the air around. This apartment was more like a home to me. The elevator, in its mechanised voice, chimed the second floor and the door split into two and glided away into oblivion.

My legs trembled as I stepped into the granite-floored hallway. It was streaming with people, a few surprised, a few shaken up and a few more dressed as officials from the police department and few people clad in whites. This place looked nothing like the last memory I had of it.

The last night was peaceful as I helped him draw to open the curtains and call his mom. Arnav, Amol and I were close friends from a long long time. Vamshi was the new one to the group.

“Rana, see what has happened to Amol, Yuni jeo naa, Shundar Chhele” Amol’s mother out in pain , it galloped her with all its might.

Amol was basically from Bengal and had settled down in New Delhi. Arnav was the son of the chai chacha down the road and I was the only son of my deceased parents. I now lived with my grandparents but most of my growing years were spent in Amol’s house. Palok aunty was more like a mother to me. As she cried her lungs out, I could no longer contain the devastating emotions erupting inside of me.

Amol had drunk into the void last night as he could no longer find himself a job and was ditched by the girl he dated for four years. He had leaned on me and whispered Marana, death into my ears. As Arnav, Vamshi and I carried him to the small flat, Amol had laughed and sung over his failures, we laughed with him, consoled him and counselled him. It was only a few hours ago. When my friend Amol was healthy and alive.

I dragged my feet, elbowing the curious crowd that had hived in front of the door. I spaced myself between them, crossed the no-entry sign and plunged into his tiny room.

Guards shackled me in their strong arms and held me on the ground as I fought with all my might. With all the struggles I barely took a peek into his room. It was spewed with red blood all throughout the walls. He had slashed his neck, the gloated neck was a grotesque sight. He had a beautiful dimple that was now hovered by flies, his body was mutilating!

I could no longer see his plight. What was life for? To ruin it like this. Amol had no father, his mother loved him more than her life. But what worth has he given her?

” Rana, get up!” Vamshi helped me

“Look at him man, we were here last night, he was singing! He was dancing, I removed his shoes and put him to bed. That bastard left me!” I cried into Vamshi’s arms. Without my knowledge, my legs weakened and I sunk into the ground. He probably cried too but my senses went numb.

I looked at Palok aunty who was now surrounded by their relatives and consoling her, having lost her only son, she sobbed uncontrollably.

“Oh,,,Shit! What have you done Amol” Arnav came running and comforted aunty.

” How can he do this to us? So what, he didn’t have a job. Am I not like a brother to him. Wouldn’t I support him? So what if garga left him, Am I not there to find him a better girl!! ”

I cried and cried some more. he was always there for me when I needed him. The times of the ice-cream truck where we had robbed twelve icecreams and shared it with our community friends.

Had he forgotten the laughs we shared when all four of us had flunked the exams.

Had he forgotten the midnight times when we had long discussions about life?

Had he forgotten how worthy he was to bring the smiles on our faces when we were at our worst?

How did he forget that we shared the same uniforms, how did forget that we bullied the class topper into completing our assignments. How did forget that he is the apple of Ma’s eyes? That bastard left me with nothing but guilt.

The guilt of not staying with him all night.

Everything would have been fine if a call hadn’t come in the middle of the night. A good news of his far cousin delivering the baby had made Palok aunty leave her son to sleep his mornings.

Vamshi and Arnav accompanied her to the next city. I had stayed back to put him to sleep!

I should have stayed back!

Instead, I returned to my place to have a relaxing sleep.

“My fault, It’s all my fault” I screamed my lungs out. I had never ever cried and this bastard had challenged me that he would make me cry!

I didn’t know he was serious about it. I never knew it would turn true so quickly.

After the decease of Amol. Things never turned normal. Palok aunty too passed away after a year unable to accept her son’s death. Arnav is in London. Vamshi is into law and moved to Bangalore. I sit in the same old apartment where his body lay. The ordeal stays back!

I am a freelance counsellor now, counselling young people out of the trauma. They need to live. Live to realize that they matter to so many people around them. Their life is precious.

They need to see life in death’s eye and realize that everything is perishable and let everything go!



photo credit: The lonely man via photopin (license)

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Such A Thing Of Beauty

Every heart houses a story,

Nurtured and Beaten and Loved;

Part of them are perfect,

Much more lay there with scarred histories.

Perfectly imperfect melts millions of hearts;

Such a beautiful thing, the heart!

 

Every story houses a heavy lock,

The key lays with the people who left their footprints!

Some keys are treasured,some are buried, some more are lost,

Sometimes battered egos win in broken bonds!

Still, all the stories are worth a read, a perfectly imperfect comic.

Such a beautiful thing, the game of locks and keys.

 

Every Lock has treasure of memories, so languid;

Of maelstroms and broken promises,

Of sunshine smiles and hearty laughs,

Not often spoken are the bygone days!

Perfectly imperfect are those memories hidden

Such  a thing of beauty, the warmth of the memories.

 

Every memory is a priceless possession

None can own, none can destroy

In this vortex of life, they guide you in the lost path,

Meanders again, the little heart;

To the heavy locks, cherished memories and priceless possessions.

Such a thing of Beauty, this life.

 

An Orphan with a Family-Transgenders

The dust covered my plain face, emotions hidden, voices unheard, shadowed under the stereotypical judgements, there lies the face of the intruder whom everybody cringes away from. This is the life that I lead. The traffic signal near the showroom is my place of work. Kamala also made a treaty that she would accompany me. She is new to her chosen life with guilt still shafted between her ribs.

The whole day is of continuous honks, lust-filled eyes and many more scowls filled with unruly alienation. I drift from one rider to another, clapping my hands in a peculiar way, signifying that I’m the other kind. Some people ignore me; some others roll down their glasses to give a stare and sceptical smiles, some even mutter a harsh expletive at us. The women doesn’t give an eye contact, they fear my kind. There are good men too, who favour us, giving a share of the change in their pockets to stay away from our persistence.

The time limit we have is of a minute and half, to collect our daily earning and to win our daily bread in one signal and not every rider would sympathise and help us. In this world wreathed with racism, exploitation, bureaucracy, terrorism and discrimination. We fall into the category of the filthy beings whose creation has always been in question over generations. The community of transgenders.

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The mid-summer sun is seething over my head. The plait that I have braided seems to reach my waists. My red sari shines in the sun, showcasing a bit of my waxed navel and dab of pink lipstick that makes me appreciate my own beauty.

There is a whiff of polluted air that reaches my nose as the signal turns green. Our kind is forgotten like an unwanted tissue. I smile at Kamala who comes clutching her earning from the signal, it is not a decent amount, but we could buy something. Money speaks- it says “Good-Bye” and “Equality” but it never hurts or denies our existence.

From across the dusty hot street, I recognise a car, an effluent one. It is from Mysore, my hometown. I recognise them. The people who were once my family. I am shattered at their presence in this swarming city of Bangalore. It has been two years since I left them. My father, with his strained eyes and tensed forehead is in an exhausted state of driving, he hasn’t changed much. My lovely mother sat beside him adorned with a few jewels she had, looking like a goddess in a white sari, on the rear seat was my younger sister, Amrutha. A shy girl of nineteen when I left her, she is the only person who knows my secret. She carries a bundle on her lap, I squint my eyes only to be shocked that she is a married woman now, and the bundle was her newborn child.

While comforting her crying child, her anxious eyes meets mine as the car halts in front of me. The signal is red. Her surprised confused eyes look for the familiar traits and features in me. Shock had robbed her off her speech. I gave her a smile of acknowledgement, her eyes turned wet, glazed with the shiny brim of tears. She tried to smile but constrained herself, prudent of my old father’s scrutinizing eyes. She searched for the signs of the place confirming my thoughts of her return.

As the signal gave way to move, my thoughts raced through the time, to a time of my childhood. I was five years old. My parents were happy to have a baby boy and because our financial constraints hadn’t got them a chance to celebrate my first birthday in a pompous way, my fifth year was a huge deal. All the kids from my neighbourhood were invited along with their peers and parents, even a few of my relatives joined in for the occasion. There were sumptuous cakes, candles, celebration and happiness in the air. But I waited for the party to end; little boys were mean and considered me a weakling. I just wanted to hide from them and showed great interest to open my presents that were packed in super attractive wrappers.

After much persuasion of the late night wrap up of the party, my mother made me sit on her laps and opened the gifts, with each gift, I whined with disgust and disappointment painted in my vulnerable tears. All of them were the cars, robots, different kinds of arrows and guns. What was I supposed to do with any of them, I loathed them. I hugged my mother and cried for a Barbie doll that the girl next door had.

Maybe it was such an age to look cute that anything I did or asked for was taken to be cute. My mother even abided to my pleas of getting myself groomed with eyeliners, colourful bindis and frocks that my mom stitched especially for me. Everything was considered to be cute, as my parents didn’t have a girl child, like every other mother, she took her time to dress me like one and I swear I enjoyed every bit of my transformation.

But soon, my habits brought a sense of displeasure in the family and by the time I was ten, my younger sister was four and thus she was the pampered baby girl while I was the older brother who would protect her all her life.

But what they never knew was that, I was never a perfect brother or a perfect son they expected me to be, by the age of thirteen, I knew that I was girl trapped in a male body. I was always hygienic and soft-spoken unlike the rest of the boys who parodied the lanes with their super gear cycles and often teased me as a girl. My family unaware of my inner turmoil took me as way too conservative child, my mother always told that I would end up as a gentle man, she never saw the lady in me.

Every Sunday, when the family planned for an outing, I would stay back home to groom myself. I was nineteen back then, the house was abandoned and like every other lonely days. I decided to wear the comfortable clothes that I was attracted to. I took out a sari from my secret box, draped it around me in a perfect manner, hiding the hairy cleaves of my chest, I tried to look feminine. I had scaled off my skin of fake man and adored the dolled up version of me in the mirror. I played the music that a nineteen year old girl in me wanted to hear to and danced gracefully with all the gestures and expressions. All along, I thought of a handsome boy in my class.

“What are doing? Kidding me?” My younger sister gaped at me with grimace and astonishment written all over her face.

I was caught, red handed. Before I could explain, she knew of my sexual preference and probably this incident led her to join the dots of the various years and various incidents that had caught her in a dilemma of my true form.

At first, she hyperventilated, and shook me to get out of my illusion; she took various sessions to make me understand that it was all in my mind and that I was a boy, her brother. She even blackmailed into telling this to our parents if I don’t change my weird ways. I even promised her to get a counselling. But I never did.

Since then, my sister had a close eye on me, whenever I stared at guys or ignored a girl’s company. She would get me back to the real world and the society norms we live in. She never wanted our parents to know of my real fantasies, she made sure to look after me in the instances where I almost got caught. But as the years passed by, I never could lie to myself. I wasn’t a boy and I didn’t belong to the place where I lived. And I very well knew that my parents would only be ashamed and deeply hurt if they ever knew of me.

Hence that fateful morning, I left home with a letter to my family saying that the worldly pleasures didn’t allure me and hence I would be travelling north to attain salvation and take up saintly ways to lead my life.

After more than two years, I saw them again. Amrutha kept staring at me till the red fiat disappeared in the swarm of tiny cars from my peripheral view.

“Girija…What are you staring at?” Kamala, put her hands in the crook of my elbows.

“That was my family in that car” I broke down in the middle of the road, on the median that separated lanes, dust swarming around me, sticking itself to my teary face.

“Girija, sister, please don’t cry, it is our fate. Our choices force us away from our loved ones” She enveloped me into her warm embrace.

“My name is Gaurav, if anybody, most probably if my sister comes in search for me, send her to the old ruins of the temple behind the street” I whimpered and succumbed to the immeasurable agony brewing in me.

The next morning, I kept waiting dressed beautifully in a blue saree, anxiously waiting for my sister.

“Gaurav? Is that you?” A meek, shivering voice crept behind me

I turned and hugged her, almost suffocating her in my death hug.

“Girija, my name is Girija” I corrected her; she smiled at me and hugged me back.

“Of-course, you are my sister that I never acknowledged” she whispered into my ears.

I was left dumbfounded; my sister had finally accepted me.

“I’m sorry, I never believed you sister. How have you been? Why do you beg ?” Her voice quivered as the bundle in her hands whiffed

“I’m doing well and honey, nobody gives us a job because we are different. By the way, you got married and a child?”

“I want you to bless him with your entire heart sister, this is my son. I named him Gaurav” She smiled adoringly at her son

“Amrutha, what are you doing here?” My father who was waiting for her return, stormed in. I thought you got down to meet a friend.

I faced him, standing tall, not ashamed of my identity. Gaurav and Girija, the two faces of the same coin. But I had decided on who I shall remain. My father stared at me, for a very long time. Emotions breaking out in the form of anger, tears, helplessness and finally betrayal. He cursed me to be a shameless scoundrel and that my birth was a curse. He even snatched away the new born kid from my hands.

“Not even your shadow should grace my family” He seethes of anger and dragged Amrutha away from my vision. It was all too surreal. Although I never expected him to accept me, I never uttered a word in my defence. I was Girija now. I had immense patience and a baggage of tears in me.

Kamala smiled as she hugged me and wiped my tears away, this was my story, and every one of us has a story to tell. Ever transgender would have gone through a series of emotional turmoil and out-casted from our own families. We are orphans with families, but more than that we are humans, we have hunger, sleep, emotions and kindness. We need acceptance and jobs to survive in a dignified manner. Next time, you meet one of us, be generous to talk, maybe we don’t want your help but stay by our side while we fight and pick ourselves up.

‘D’reams…#AtoZ Challenge

Dreams are as mysterious as life itself, on the context that it is over-whelming real life experience. People can dream about flying and falling, movies and monsters , horrors and hell and still go completely unaware about the granulating details of the most important dream. Some other dreams stay and repeat, sometimes filling you with a surge of energy and sometimes depriving you of the little possible peace in you.

Are the dreams that important to life? Wouldn’t our lives be better when our mind could actually slip into a semi-coma state with nothing but satisfaction of the long rest after a hectic play of emotions and physical strains that you have to endure.

Is it for the happy dreams that make us smile or is it for the frightening ones that warns us of an impending danger else is it for the pattern that you draw to know yourself. Still in a haze?

Do you know why we still dream?

Let me take you through figments of people and their lives!d2

A young boy, no more than four sits across the street in ragged clothes and an emaciated body but he smiles for he dreams.

A thirty year old lady, after having lost her hairs due to cancer but before that she had a beautiful family, a loving husband but all that she is left with is an estranged relationship and a rough fate yet smiles, for she dreams.

A sixty year old man, completely weak from all the diseases known to mankind, but his heart aches for a treatment from his family. He is alone on a torn sheet, succumbed to death in an Old-age Home yet now and then the nurse finds him smile in his sleep for he dreams too.

With all the problems and conundrums we endure through the day, the night comes as a knight with hopes, some gives us strength, some others warnings and something more the very source of energy to carry on.

The young boy smiles for he dreams of better living that he is adamant to achieve. He wants to live for a better tomorrow.

The lady with the cancer smiles for she just has heard of people getting cured of cancer, a hope to live and make a living of her own. With no strings attached. She wants to live for a better tomorrow.

The old man smiles for he dreams of the people around him as a family and he has realized that home is not a physical entity but  a place where he feels that he belongs there and the old-age home has given him a family of friends to share his feelings. He wants live for a better tomorrow.

And that is why we dream, for that single ray of hope that bestows from the darkest tunnel convincing of the brighter sun at the end of it.

We dream because we believe that tomorrow can be better.

We dream because we know what it is like to not have any dreams and we would better be dead rather not having to dream.

We dream to realize what we are and what we are supposed to do.

We dream to live in a bubble and smile about it.

We dream to forget it more often for they are not that necessary.

We dream to live another life in hundred different forms. 

We dream to know the answers to many forbidden questions.

We dream because that is a way for a new perception to be born.

We dream for it to come true.

We Dream to Live Again.


 

Happy Dreams:)

 

Let the Hidden Empires Rise

Far unknown with a charm of beauty

The mighty empires lay hidden,

Unknown of their potentials,

The emperors succumb to the normal flow;

The brilliant blues of the oceans separating nations;

A streak of thought separates oneself,

Not the thought of any mere kind

But the heartless, meaningless ripple of negativity.

We are all the emperors!

With mighty empires submerged in the chaos oceans

Of the mindless game of survival.

Time to break the mundane routine

Priceless is your sword

Your confidence, dealing with the enemies

Will you not use your strength?

Adorning the crown,

Ruling your empire with power.

Let the hidden Empire Rise.

From the shackles of your limits,

Change the rules, write some more,something new,po

Be the emperor that you always dreamt.

Not in your dreams you must rule

But with the triumph of victory.

Written in the pages of history

Let the hidden empire rise,

Then one day, enchanted by the praise you’ll hear

“Lo and Behold the emperor to the powerful reign”

And it’ll be YOU!!

You Only Live Once….Believe not!

This caption immediately caught my eyes from the burdened tiresome day,it took me back to the those moments when your friends,especially the gregarious ones,even if they are still in the line of bowing acquaintance,they often tell you to have funn in life,the exact words would be

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“You live only once..you need to enjoy the short life, lets got to movies ,party along ” and give a grin and laugh out loud when I am totally not into for it!

That is the perfect time to use the above proverb…we live everyday,yes and die once!

In that blurb of a moment, everything goes puff..into thin air as there is no room for what might happen tomorrow constructively,I think humans,all of us are made to think about a future that has not yet arrived and live in the present either in fear,agony of something that may or may not happen and the useless day-dreaming of I would be a star where people bow down and kiss my feet while all that you do is  playing a greater part in being  a couch potato!

Now that I would love to live in the present but that’s something really one hectic task,you have to time travel back from your worries, from your future plans, the past wounds and then come to the present.Lets just say that you are travelling in a bus sitting by the side of an half opened window, the wind is slashing you yet you are not there, somewhere where the world is either ideally beautiful without the uproar of the dusty roads or you are imagining that you are dead and scrutinizing the behavior of all the people you know.

Yes,this is true unless you are stranded with a gaming device that can take you to another alienating green sluggish world of running, crushing and shooting..You are that engrossed in the virtual present that an almost near death experience is left inexperienced or let us take it slow, your wallet is slowly being pick-pocketed and you are totally unaware that you even wearing a pant.

So how to live in the present?

A question almost every other philosopher with brown thorny beads and a saffron robe preaches but so does a therapist in the clinic!But HOW?None can explain, not even in this post coz let me tell you none can! unless you are a super human who can control your timings,it is the most difficult task that one can pursue.But when the more successful one’s in the society claim of living the present,it is the love towards the work they do which can be driven by various factors like dreadful challenges, strong determination and simple passion.

So when you find yourself stranded like a sandwich between why nothing’s good is happening and thriving that might go well someday, nothing’s going to change,the time and tide will, but your attitude never!So lets try to promise that we can love what we do and do what we love.

Let’s make that one day,everyday worth living, we never know whether we will be awake tomorrow morning, whether we will listen the voices of our loved ones, whether we can lick the ice-cream off our wrist one last time!

Wait not,it is after-all your life, smile so that there is sparkle in your eyes,confident in your walk and warmth in your words.

We are living buddies, then we really are:)