WHAT MISTAKE DID I DO?

 

 

What mistake did I do?

That you left me here!

Why did you abandon me?

When I was your own daughter

Why did you carry me for nine months

With so much pain and expectations

When you had already decided to leave me?

You left me in this world, all alone and helpless

 

What mistake did I do?

What harm would it have caused you

To feed me, love me and educate me?

Would you have left me like this if I was a boy?

Why didn’t you give me a chance to prove myself?

Why didn’t you let me call you ‘ma’?

 

What mistake did I do?

Wouldn’t you have loved it if,

I would have brought home all the awards?

Wouldn’t you have been beaming with joy,

When I would have given you my first pay check?

Or you probably never thought I could do such things?

After all in this country it’s a man’s job

You also thought of me to be a burden

Whose marriage will cost you a fortune

As girls are only meant to marry

Didn’t you for once think of educating me?

 

What mistake did I do?

And here you are my dear mother

Leaving me on this bench

Never even looking back and thinking

What I can do

Your sweet face as emotionless as a stone

And I wailing and crying thinking of my destiny

Will I live or die like numerous other baby girls

Ma will you tell me this

Would you have done the same if I was a boy?

What mistake did I do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BROKEN

 

Sienna woke up at 5:30 am today. A little early that she usually did. The date was 22nd March, and it was no ordinary day. Her little girl was coming back to her today. It had taken her 2 years, a lot of money, tears and pain to get her daughter’s custody. But she did it. She had decided to order her daughter’s favourite cake. Chocolate hazelnut. She then had to pick up her daughter from the school. She could not contain her excitement. At 9:11 am she boarded the metro.

Abdul got up at 6 am. He had to go out and pick up a specially made watch for his son, who was coming back after 3 years of studying in the US. His flight was to land at 7:30 am.

Dany brushed her teeth. It was her first day at school. She kept on wondering about how it will be, will she make friends, and will her teachers like her.

Ryanna had almost slept through the alarm. It was her first day of at her new job.

Yes, it was a usual day in the lives of different people. But it was not an ordinary day.

By 9:30 am all the news channels carried only one news. Blasts in Brussels Metro and Airport leaves many dead. It was a terrorist strike, presumably the ISIS. The blasts had taken place at the Maalbeek metro and at the Brussels airport. People were screaming, crying, running, some even shocked and in denial. All transportation was suspended. Suddenly, it seemed as the city had stopped breathing.

Sienna’s daughter kept waiting for her mother to pick her up, Abdul held the watch tighter as he prayed that his son was fine, but he was left praying. Dany’s dreams and anticipations remained unrealised and Ryanna did miss her first day at work, and kept missing it henceforth, as only her corpse remained in the metro station. And many more lives were torn apart by this act of cowardice or as the terrorists call it martyrdom or duty.

Children were orphaned, sisters were lost, grandchildren were dead, dreams and memories were never created, sorrys were never said, love was not expressed and some words remained unspoken.

The world leaders talked about solidarity as the lives of people crumbled. A three day national mourning was declared

The terrorists were successful once again- to instill a fear, to shatter people’s lives and to create a sense of chaos, hopelessness, helplessness and sorrow. The list just keeps on growing.

Syria

Paris

Istanbul

Sydney

Germany

Brussels

The chocolate hazelnut cake was left to rot on the glass pane of the store, and Abdul’s watch was left shattered by the feet of distraught victims and their relatives. The match was over, the result was simple.

The terrorists won.

Innocents lost

 

THE DOG WALKER

 

I recently turned 18 and one of the few advantages of turning into an adult is that, I can now drive ‘legally’. By drive I mean a car and not a Segway. So, my parents decided to put me into a driving school (it’s fun initially, when you hold the steering wheel, and drive a full metal box and man oeuvre it and…… but then it gets boring). So one day as I was taking my driving lessons, I noticed something.

Now, let me first say I am very careful and I don’t let my mind wander while driving, however, that day I was at mercy of my ‘deep’ thoughts. As I was reversing my car, and my instructor beside me was giving me pointless instructions, my eyes caught the sight of a lady. She looked like the domestic help of some rich house, as her tattered saree and the dog beside her was a clear indication that her job was to walk the dog of the family. Her face was round and she had little hair, which were dyed red. I can’t really tell her exact age, as years of back breaking work had made her wrinkles more vivid and she stooped like an elderly lady. She just sat on the footpath and stared blankly into oblivion, and amazingly the dog did the same. Maybe both were tired of walking. I kept looking at her and wondered about her life, her family and her struggles.

I couldn’t help but wonder that does anyone ask her ‘how has she been?’, or how is she today or how has her day been. Nobody ever asks her about her dreams, her aspirations, what she wanted to be before she realized that her dreams didn’t really matter, as she was not born into a privileged home. Her blank expression gave me no clue. Does she still dream of a better life? Or has she lost all hope? I looked at her closely, and I noticed some scars, maybe she was a silent survivor of domestic violence and walking this dog was her only happy time. Or maybe her ‘masters’ hit her, or maybe a childhood injury. There were so many questions, but hardly any answers. Her whole life was a mystery to me. Is she literate? Does she ever feel lonely? Does she yearn for respect? People passed her and everyone went on with their daily lives, no one once gave her a second look. She is a no one in the society, a person who is insignificant to others. Yet her whole life is dedicated to serving others.

These thoughts made me think about the several others that had the same life as hers. Those who were practically no one in the society, yet someone.  These are the people whom we look down upon, as they are “poor”, but forget that they are still human, and sleep like us, work for money like us and have dreams just like us. Then I realized that how we all say that how ‘every life is important’, but easily ignore the lives of these people. Let’s put this into perspective- my dog walker lady and an actor is caught in a fire, who do you think will be rescued first? I can already is the headlines- “XYZ actor dies” with no mention of the other causalities, and such easily the life of the dog walker was rendered insignificant and no even worth mentioning.

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But whom can we fault? It’s not like this phenomena of favouring the rich exists only in India, it is universal. Everywhere, the rich gets the treatment first, the VIPs are evacuated first, and the exploitation of the poor doesn’t really matter to most of us. Let me pose a question here. Would we feel comfortable if our domestic help sits on the sofa beside us? Answer honestly. No. That’s the truthful simple answer.  Many a times they express their grievances and their toils, but we simply sympathize with them and go on with our lives, some of us don’t even pay full attention to their words, but here if they give us some juicy gossip of their lives we are alert and listen with intense curiosity. Forget the ‘poor’ whom we don’t know, do we even offer our domestic help a glass of water?

After some time I saw the dog walker and get up along with the dog and walk along the footpath, a limp in her steps- further questions; I never saw her again, she was just a mystery lady who went away living her life (unknown to me), and left me searching for answers.