Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Of Bond, policemen and guns..

It was the last day of school for bond this year. He was evidently over excited and full of plans. The plans however had not changed anything in the slot between 4pm and 6pm. That remained a religious slot for cycling, cricket and football. As usual at 4pm he collected all his stuff, pinched his sister just for kicks, drank water, slammed the main door, opened it a bit again to hear me shout, smiled and closed it with a bang again and scampered down to be with his 'guy friends' for what he calls his only 'guy time'!!

Nothing out of the ordinary so far, but then in an hour the bell rang. A ringing that makes your heart beat faster, a hurried, cannot wait even for a minute kind of a ring that follows incessantly till one drops everything one was doing to open the door. We have all seen leaves shaking in the chill of a frosty winter, that day, I saw my thin bond shaking like an autumn leaf. His wails made it difficult for me to comprehend what he was trying to say, but one word that was clear was 'police'!

I made him sit on my lap and held his tiny, shaking body. All sorts of thoughts cropping up in my head. With one eye on the door, and the other on bond, I tried to soothe him as best as my agitated self allowed me to. Then he said, " dont go down they will shoot you!! They are calling you down, the police, you dont go, they will shoot you!" I realised I needed to act, but didnt know how to. I gave bond a glass of water and drank one myself, I was by this time convinced that he had witnessed a shooting scene on the streets of my peaceful neighbourhood. Locking the door, I went to the windows that overlook the street below, the police car was there, and so were a lot of other moms, there was a discussion going on, but no spilled blood as I had imagined. By this time bond had snuggled close to his sister, It was a rare moment for them, and amidst all the confusion, I could not help smiling at bond being comforted by Toshali - small wonders.

Getting back to the point, I eased myself out of the door and hurried down the stairs to where the action was. A Morrocan woman, who lives in the building next to ours had called the police, complaining against the noise the children were making. The scene in front of me was confusing to say the least. There were two officers in their smart uniforms with shining guns, a parked Mercedez benz, which is the usual carrier of the police force here, there was the Morrocan lady in agitated conversation with the police and there were the moms, helpless and uncomprehending spectators to an unfolding Arabic drama. I silently added myself to their side of the battle.

Police man : "No loud noise ok, quiet neighbourhood, no disturbance ok..(smiling all the time)"

Morrocan lady: "They dont let me rest, I have a demanding job, I need rest, these kids are shouting all the time, how can I sleep? (wilding flailing arms)"
Representative from the group of moms: "kids no? vacation for them, where to play? they are small, all of you must be having kids at home, they make noise, what to do? Sorry, we will tell them to be more quiet in future."

Police man: "Ok good good(smiling even more now )"

They climbed their shining merc and raced away, the lady said a few more stinging words and also cursed I think and left as well, the mothers looked at each other and smiled sheepishly, gossiped about the morrocan who lives alone, and is apparently frustrated and so all this, I left them to their gossip and went up to see bond waiting by the door his face still very fearful.

Me : "Why did you think the police would shoot me?"

Bond : "Thats why they called the moms, to shoot them."

Me: " I dont see the connection, you all were creating a racket down there and so the neighbour complained and the police came to attend to that complaint and obviously they had to talk to the parents so they asked for the moms, why would they shoot us?"

Bond : "Thats what they show on tv, the police shoot people!"

Aha, he gets his overactive imagination from me.. and the TV helps too!!Toshali was on facebook by this time, and she glanced up and smiled. "Such a duffer he is mom, really all his bravado is in front of us, look at him, how he got scared today!!"

I looked at him and there he was scared that his mom would be shot by the police because of him, he ran to me and hugged me, a bit embarrased now, and a bit shaken still.

Such things happen all the time, boys are naughty they get involved in fights, at times the authorities are called in, this was a first for bond and a first for me as well. I gathered him to me and said whatever you do always remember that it will never be so bad that somebody will kill your mom for it. Whether he believed it or not, is another thing, but I felt good saying it to him.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Is there more to chats than meets the eye?

I was trying to be persistent, inspite of kicks on the butt and pokes to my sides, I was seriously trying to be persistent with my routine. Infact had slowly started getting comfortable with my work-studies-walk-studies-dinner-sleep-work routine!!

But the itch does take over in the end. The nag that simmers and is shoved behind the daily chores, finally reaches the boiling point and overflows with all its gusto at the moment when you are most susceptible.

Something similar happened to my blogging. I have been away from my page for a long time now, have not even replied to comments and thanked my readers, I plead guilty. But with just a pair of hind and fore limbs and with kids who are gleefully riding the wave of independence, I am at a serious loss of me-time and that is the only reason I can offer as justification.

But what drove me to this page then? What strain of thought boiled and over flew while I was preoccupied? What made me rush to my lap top early today morning to key in this post? Well, all in a minute guys..

'She sent him kites'.. thats how the story starts. The story of Miyage and Snehomoy. A mathematics teacher from a village in Bengal, India and a girl from Japan. The story traverses twenty years of their life through their letters to each other. It is surreal in it's innocence, tragic on a materialistic level, fulfilling in a soulful way. The Japanese wife, I read it a few days back, and could not let go of its fragrance. Through my daily chores the characters lingered, played, wrote letters to each other, fell in love, married, lived an almost normal life apart from the solitary fact that they never met.

It happened over borders, transcending swollen rivers and mighty forests, time and age, sickness and solitude, images of a smile that remained as enchanting since the first photograph carried by a postman, inspite of accumulated laugh lines and numerous crows feet over the years.

The days of pen friends are gone. The changing times have given us access to chat rooms, gtalk and texting. We no longer put pen on paper, no longer do we have time to play with words, to delve into their beauty and lyricism. The restless wait for the local postman on his creaky bicycle is over. What we have instead is a green light against a name on gtalk and a ping!!

A lot of men I know chat with strangers. While their wives sleep, they test waters as well as try their limits. What are they looking for? Are they just killing time? Stimulating their brains(above or below the belt) from the sanctity of their homes? Or is there a Snehomoy lurking behind every man? Wandering through meandering courses in search of a companion, whose omnipresence is so comforting that the actual meeting becomes unnecessary.

This is not a book review..this is a culmination of a book that I loved and an incident that occured.