Saturday, August 26, 2006

A day I will remember

I have two walkman (now I don't know if I should write 'walkmen'!), in one of them there is both FM and audio casette player (but only the FM radio thing works) and so I keep the other one for listening to casettes and incidentally that doesnot have an FM so actually I need both of them.

I got my room painted today, the white wash was done a few days back and today the doors and the windows were painted. The guy who painted them is a 17 year old kid. I was just generally with chatting him and so asked him if he has been to a school ever. He proudly chuckled to say 'higher secondary fail'... he had got burnt on that Diwali before exams and his whole face was damaged for which he could not study well. And then when I asked him if he continued studying after he recovered, he said no, he got married. I was aghast! He got married when he was just 11, that means he is married for the past 6 years. His wife is 16 years old now. I scolded him for marrying so early, he said had he not eloped with her she would have been married to somebody else. I was taken aback and shouted '10 saal ki umra mein'. "Haan didji hamare wahan bahut chhoti umra mein shaadi ho jati hain". I started cribbing about our social system, though din't speak anything aloud. India shining but is it really?

After little bit of coaxing and making him comfortable to speak out more, he told me that he loves her like anything and can do anything for her. When he found out that she was being married to someone else, he decided to elope and never to return to his family as they had refused to accept her and so were her parents. He belongs to a village near Lucknow and has not gone back to his house there since marriage. I asked him if he had never contacted them since then and if he misses his parents. He replied in a melancholy tone that once his wife got too sick, he called up his parents to come to Delhi and look after her while he is out to work. But they just refused to talk to him properly, and he got no help from them. He told me "didiji, main us samay lagatar 10 din tak bhookha tha". He admitted her to the hospital and to earn for the expenses he used to work day in and day out and saved all that he could save for her. He din't sleep or eat so that he can get her cured. He admitted that it was a bit of his fault and bit hers that they din't take care proper care of their health and so she fell ill.

I liked the responsiblty he feels towards her. He earns 100 per day as a daily wage earner through painting, so that roughly makes it 3000 in a month if he gets work on all days in the month, he spends 1500 for ration, 500 for miscellaneous including entertainment and saves 1000 so that they can have a kid. They do not have any issue as yet (thankfully I thought).

I was touched by his story, his love for her seems so pure. He is not careless, at this small age of 17 he is more responsible and sensible than I am probably.

He was rueing that he has been looking for a music system for her, he had got one also in 200 bucks but it conked out too early. He asked me if I can get something for him till he is here in the hostel with this contrat, he said he will pay me for it. "Didiji aaplog jayenge to achcha maal dega jo jaldi kharab nahi hoga". I bursted out laughing. He had finished off painting my doors and windows and was about to leave.

I gave me the walkman I had with the audio casette player and said that I generally only listen to FM and so I don't need it that much and he can keep it. He asked me how much should he pay me for it. I smiled and told him "Nothing, it's for her from me! May God bless you!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A new chapter in my life

A new chapter has just opened in my life... I have become a research scholar in Mathematics at the University of Delhi, Delhi. There may be a few yawns at the very idea of becoming just another researcher amidst hundred others aimless ones and a few smirks at joining DU without going for the branded IITs, but the words in bold hold a special significance for me. I have been dreaming research since the time I started eating on my own, it was the faith of my favorite English teacher in High school who expired last year that I will become a scholar, the subject that has been closest to my heart since my childhood is Mathematics and a lot of it is due to my teacher and guru since class eight, Delhi University is the place which can provide one the maximum exposure one can dream of in every respect (which IITs won't be able to in my case at least) and Delhi is the place where my friend C is. With the above explanation I justify my being here for research in Mathematics, though I honestly add that these explanations are something I have just formed, it was more due to destiny that I am here when I had all the plans to go somewhere else for my higher studies. So the case is dropped from further interrogation.

I had my ups and downs in life, with sometimes success and sometimes failures. I am the kind of person who has a very short term memory and so I tend to forget the pains I go through due to failures and even the happiness I enjoy as a result of success. I believe in taking each day as a new challenge and the world a stage where you have to constantly prove yourself. When a great batting genius like Sachin Tendulkar can be booed for a bad performance then what significance do I hold in others lives that they will keep a note of my past achievements if my present puts forward a gloomy picture of failures? In this journey through years of proving myself, given that I am staying away from my family, I have learnt to take failures in my stride; they are indispensable and inevitable for the forth coming success, so it's important to remain unfazed by them.

The strong support system that I have got from my family and friends is something worth mentioning. My parents are the world's greatest parents who have understood all my sentiments without me giving them words. I have been given the freedom to have independent thoughts and entrusted for my actions. My brothers V and A are my strengths. Friends V, P, G, S, S and D are those who are just there anytime in my life even without my putting in special efforts to stay in touch. A, A, A and R are my career and love counselors. It feels really special to have them around and more so when I acknowledge their presence once in a while!

I know I still have lots of things to do in life; life has just started unfolding itself though it is still not making much sense to me. I need to keep working hard and give something really nice to my parents who have been sacrificing so much for me. The support system I rely on is a special gift of God to me and I pray that God remains kind to me forever. May God bless you all!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Heads high

It's really fun to be in a hostel for the past five years... away from home the family that you form in the hostel is worth maintaining always. My best of friends are gals from my earlier hostel, I am still very much in touch with them and without telling them events that happen to me I feel absolutely irritable and restless. It's only when they know about what's up in my life and vice versa that we feel nice. And to add to the emotional support that I get from these friends any time in my life, the fun and frolic that we had is also worth mentioning. In this hostel too I have a small group of four (we call it our family of four) and the amount of fun we have together is amazing. May it be going to watch a movie to the nearby shady threatre , or just sitting back in the hostel and burning the CDs which any of us must have got as a gesture of love from our college mates, or messaging oil into each others head, or cooking something together, or pulling each other with some cool guy we met, or going out on a shopping spree together, it has been great fun throughout. Just yesterday we cooked maggi with vegetables, given the limited resources of utensils and masala and the frequent powercuts here (we have electric hotplates), it was an ordeal to make it upto the mark. But we managed and defied the long believed theory of 'too many cooks spoil the broth'. Today on Janamasthmi we plan to make 'halwa' with most of the responsibilty adhered to me (being a baniya, the expertise of making halwa is supposed to be in my genes), let's see!!

And then since all of us are now going to embark the 'grihastha' phase of our lives, so the educative sessions on sex, life-after-marriage, how-to-keep-husband-happy and how-to-balance-career-with-family are very much on the daily agenda of chit-chats in the after-dinner talks. We have our own shares of fights too, one surely will arise after we watch every movie together, as our personal reviews of it differ most of the time. Though it's true that our tastes are almost similar but then English language distinguishes similar from equal, so fight is inevitable! And yes we fight too when we discuss world-politics as well, we see Mr. Bush differently, we see Natwar Singh differently, we see Sonia Gandhi differently, and we see L.K.Advani differently, the difference being mostly subtle as broadly we tend to agree, or may be agree to disagree!

I have evolved as a human being staying in the hostel. Being a Cancerian, I have always felt too inclined to my family with my dependence on them for every little thing. And so had it not been for my hostel life I would not have been the person I am today, independent and ready to take on the world. Staying in a girls hostel does tend to instill a sense of feminism in you, but I have kept a watch that I do not get too driven away by it. I believe in equality but not chauvinism of any form, and so there is not much space for feminism in my ideology. I do not endorse exploitation or dominance either by a man on a woman or vice versa as well.

Overall it has been fun to be in a company of girls from small corners of the country who just had dreams to get them this far in life. They may have had to fight for being allowed to be sent back for further studies every time they go back home to spend a vacation, or they may have been fighting with the financial crunch as their father has three more daughters to take care of, or they may have been fighting the constant nag of their parents to get married, or they may be fighting the simple disinterest in letting them study, these are the girls who are determined to make a difference and do not let their tension show on their faces. With heads held high, and eyes dreaming of success, they form the backbone of our society!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Smaller the Sweeter

I have never understood my fascination for small things... the list about the craze for small may go on endlessly. I do not like dogs but I like puppies, I do not like cats but I like kittens and so much so I do not want grown up kids of my own, I just like them till they are infants! I have tried so many times to make my font size in this blog atleast the normal one but helplessly I again reduce it to small... Somehow I like things small and concise, I do not like people who write too long answers and try to use long complicated words to prove their point. The beauty of life seems to be in small things!