Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Great Indian Lower Middle Class Marriages:

Episode 2

The nubile boy and his expectations from a girl 

Ashwin is from a lower middle class farmer family. It is quite evident that a farmer’s son can be nothing but an honourable member of the highly sought after lower middle class strata. He struggles hard to get a degree but his fault is that he isn’t an engineering graduate. 

“Which type of girl do you want?” I asked him after succeeding in pulling the first bite of a lower middle class cousin of sandwich- padapav.

“She should be a family person who respects the value of relationships” he said sipping the tea. He had already gulped the vadapav with a flourish of a regular connoisseur of this ‘tight budget appeaser’

“Okay, good.” I said diffidently as i knew he was asking for the moon. “What happened with the girl you saw last week?” I asked.

“I rejected her. Actually she was a graduate in the arts and too old fashioned to suit in Pune...” he said looking out at the street.                                                                                                                                                                   The chances were that he would be rejected by the girl. But i didn’t go deeper. Why should i poke the fresh wound of my friend?  So I rather preferred to take  a mouthful of Wadapav to block the obstinate, restless words in my throat and sent them back with the gulp. 

“She was too old fashioned for you to suit in Pune?” I tried rhetoric coated with euphemism in the attempt to hide sarcasm.

“Yes. The way she behaved she looked like an aunty, speaking a mugged lesson...” Ashwin said haphazardly. He wanted to say more but probably couldn’t form the sentence. “...and she was undereducated...” he concluded. 

Now I had finished wadapav and beckoned for the cutting tea. I looked at Ashwin intently and he fiddled in his seat.

“It means you want a well educated girl who will try her best to be a family person while managing to be modern and suitable in pune...” I said in one breath. I too wanted to say more but my raised voiced had already raised some necks and eyebrows in the restaurant. So I kept quite.
My explanation hit him and he sighed deep and ordered one more Wadapav. He might want to munch his obstinate thoughts with Wadapav and tea.
“Don’t confuse me Viraag. I am already messed up” he said and took the damn whole green roasted chilly between his teeth. 

‘You can’t ward off the thoughts like that’ it was my restless thought. I wanted to convert it into a yell then thought the better of it. 

“So what’s the next plan?” I asked to take him to future as the present had the dark shadow of the failures from the past. 

“Pub” Ashwin said  illuminating like a flickering tube light which suddenly got a push of high volt. His eyes were moving with something behind me, mouth half opened and eyes full of new young light.

When I looked behind me I found the topic of marriage running way from the back door of my brain, as two gorgeous girls entering the restaurant flaunting their divine epitome of beauty. For the next don’t-know-how-many minutes we didn’t speak anything. The necks that had been raised in contempt after my loud remark were now waving in admiration and moving like cranes till the girls bought something in a parcel and left the restaurant.

“Do hell with the marriage for the time being. Let’s go” Ashvin got up from the seat and reached the counter to pay the bill, anyway i am slow when it comes to head to the bill counter. The just disappered eye candies had ignited in him the idea of merging himself on the dance floor with the booze and probably with fair sex strangers at the other ends of the string of ‘no-string-attached’ relationship. 

I sighed and followed Ashvin for my next episode.

The Great Indian Lower Middle Class Marriages.

The great Indian lower middle class marriages..

Episode 1

The more you try to be secure, the greater you become vulnerable and the harder life gets for you.
In the sake of making the life of a nubile girl and a boy secure, the family members (for whom this whole marriage business is a responsibility and nothing more) shake the heaven and earth. In the effort of becoming clever, they don’t know when they have crossed the boundary of cleverness and entered the territory of cunningness. 

The funniest thing about this hunt for a right partner is the crooked nature of the game. The futile things are kings here and the vital things are downright neglected. The battle is between the salary of the groom versus fair complexion of the girl or the property of the groom versus character of the bride. Nobody thinks if the boy likes the girl or the girl likes the boy. The term ‘love’ is already declared outdated in this jargon.

A writer once published boasts of the rejection slips he got from the publishers. The greater the number, the more he feels honoured. But in the marriage run, it isn’t the case. The more are you rejected, the deeper is your depression and larger are the chances of your rejection. Such is the vicious circle and there is nothing to boast about yourself after the publication, i mean..marriage.

To get the clear idea of the scenario,let’s have a peep into the life of a middle class boy who has, at last decided to get married in arrange marriage.

The name of the boy is Ashwin. Here we go.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Unknowable....A poem

Some eyes have poetry in them and some eyes inspire poetry in the beholders.

This poem is dedicated to such a pair of marvel...

The Unknowable....

What is there in those sparkling oceans?
Are those eyes or the spells of magicians?  
I dare not give it a name
Which dwells in no words
It is soft like a dew drop
But wins the deadliest swords

That unknowable colors my world
With the prettiest of the hues
It keeps me awake in my dreams
And i dream it in my muse

O, the source of that charm!
My heart longs for thee
Take me in your regal reign
And make me for ever free. Prem Anuraag ( 21st Nov., 2016)

Friday, 17 November 2017

To Kill a Mockingbird- Book Review

What is the best story?

 If you are reading a story and you feel like you are reading a story, it isn’t worth your time.

And when a story gives you the feel that the characters are talking  to you like bosom buddies with the unwavering trust in you- the trust that you would understand them, the trust that you would listen to them without judging them, it is the story we all want to get into, isn’t it?

I dare say this after reading “To kill a mockingbird”. This novel is worth your time, energy and many more rereads.
I regret for not having read it earlier. I should have read it a decade ago.

The best thing about this novel is that the writer doesn’t interfere with the flow of the characters. She lets them live their own lives, act their own ways, love in their own genuine manners and fight them their own battles. She doesn’t get into the patronizing philosophical explanations of events a writer is prone to fall for.

She doesn’t tell. She shows.

This is the story of the brave heart, humane lawyer (yes, a rare species) Atticus Finch and his two little kids- Jem, a boy in his mid-teen age who frets when his sister behaves like a girl and Scout who is  3 year younger to Jem with the keen eye for everything around her and enough sensitivity and courage to differentiate right from wrong.

Atticus is a white lawyer. I am using this term just for the sake of showing the racism in the novel, otherwise, Atticus wouldn’t like to be called as a white. He fights for a nigger, Tom Robbinson, who has been accused of raping a white girl Mayella Ewells, the daughter of an extreme racist Bob Ewells. Tom hasn’t raped Mayella and Atticus knew it.

 So he decides to deffend the case for Tom when nobody dares to accept it in the white dominant area- Maycomb.

Atticus loses the trial as it was an inevitable verdict just because Tom was a black and the so called victim girl was a white.  Later Tom is to be killed by the police while attempting to escape the prison (another routine fate of a black convict). When we all see this through the eyes of Scout, the narrator, we know how the world looks through the innocent eyes that haven’t yet been misted with class, colour, creed or religion.

Once Scout asks Jem a question and we feel as if she has exposed the hypocrisy of whole humanity.
“ ....Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad and then turn around and be ugly about the folks right at home?”
She is referring to Miss Gates. Miss Gates teaches history at Scout’s school. She shows her fury in the class against Hitler who is shaming humanity by killing Jews in all over Europe. She says in the class that there should be equal rights for all and special privilege to none.
The same Miss Gates talks with her neighbour about teaching lessons to niggers, showing them their place and the rubbish like that.

Scout’s question makes Jem more disturbed as it reminds him the injustice on Tom and his own helplessness about the whole unjust system.

So this novel shows us the clear picture of racism in 1930’s America while giving us insights into the ideal parenting that Atticus epitomizes and throws light on many issues that were taboo in the early 20th century.

“ To Kill a Mockingbird” is such beautiful work of art  that I want to shout at every person i see –“go read this novel right now, do hell with your other important work”. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Kafka on The Shore- Book review.

Kafka On the Shore- An impressive account journey of existential angst.

Writer- Haruki Murakami
Translated to English from Japanese by
Phillip Gabriel

Haruki murakami is one of those names in world literature  that echoes in the hearts of the readers for centuries, with the glories of the true quintessential spirit of literature.
His words don’t have meanings rather they have music and poetry.

The words that don’t convey the very soul of a writer are ephemeral and charmless. And Murakami’s stories try to find the depth of readers’ soul while exposing the very cores of his own intrinsic being.

Sometimes we feel, while reading his short stories, as if the light of his genius helps us explore the dark corners of our hearts. In this way reading him is painful and hence therapeutic.

“Kafka on the shore” explores this truth little more sharply. Death, love, passion and quest for the existential angst are itched on every leaf of these 505 pages mystery ride.
The story starts with Kafka Tamura, a fifteen year boy, who runs away from home and takes refuge in a library in Tokyo. He has the passion for reading. He thinks the every event has the meaning, and is the part of the bigger climax.

The story of Kafka goes parallel with the story of Nakata. Nakata, in his school years when on an excursion has met up with a strange accident in which he has lost  his logical mind and earned a peculiar ability- he can talk to cats, yes literally.

The most striking thing about this novel is the vivid characters. The novel ends but it seems the journey of those characters is eternal.

While reading this story i always felt that Murakami hasn’t chosen those characters but the characters have chosen this prodigiously able writer to tell their stories.

And we must hats off to Philip Gabriel who has translated this complex and fascinating read into English. He has brought Haruki to us and enriched our live

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Love life of a slow lover ( In Series)

Love life of a slow lover

Episode 1.

Ahem...hi....Kavya”  I announced my arrival.

She was on the terrace, her brownish, curly long hair reflecting golden moonshine in them. She was looking at the stars and sometimes at the trees in a beautiful winter evening.  I stood some inches beside her, sipping the silence that she was already experiencing and making it richer with her presence.

“ Hey hii”. She said in her usual compose and sweet voice

“It’s a nice evening..”  i said. It’s always good to start with the weather, though a cliché but still works.

“ Yeh it is indeed. When did you come?” She said.

“ Just . How was your day?”  i was still wandering in rounds.

“ Nice, as usual.”

I felt my heartbeats grew louder. 

'Did it mean that she enjoyed a lot at the office? Did it mean that she had special someone at the office? Was my love life about finish even before the start?'
These were the questions usually floated in my mind. They hadn’t haunted me actually till then. 

I often had wondered  ‘how wouldn’t anybody propose to such a mindblowingly beautifull girl?’ so i had started accepting the fact that someone must be there.

In spite of all these demoralizing facts, I decided to venture ahead. I tell you it wasn’t that easy. Before asking anything i was still playing around on the weather, days work and health, taking pauses to have deep breaths in between.

She too was not all clueless. I thought she had already sensed something, you know, something off the routine. But she was as calm and cool as the moon in the sky. I was as restless and confused as the clouds floating around the yellow moon.

I collected my scattered conscience and did ask her the most, sorry the second most important question of the evening and probably of my life.
“ Do you have a boy friend?"

Then there was a silence, the silence that made you notice passing seconds in your wrist watch. And I could clearly hear two distinct pieces of silence- one  was embracing the whole evening and the other was inside me that had the background of my pounding heartbeats.

She looked into my eyes. I couldn’t see what was there in her dark, deep eyes as mine were not able to see clearly.

Then she looked to the horizon and said
“ No”

‘ Really? I can’t believe’ i wanted to shout in euphoria. But it would have spoiled the moment so i controlled myself somehow. The moon seemed smiling at me. The clouds had made a big cluster around it. The whole scene looked as if the moon was protected from all the bad boys in the town.

She didn’t ask ‘Why?’

I felt relieved.

“You are so beautiful. How could it be that no one has ever fallen for you?” I asked. 
I wasn’t flirting. I meant it from very core of my heart.
She blushed a bit. It was the most beautiful Kavya i had ever seen ( off course till that moment)  The golden moonlight had brightened her already lit face.

After i missed the golden chance on the terrace with Kavya, i took the refuge to the social media.  

“ I want to say you something. Its urgent. Would you like to have coffee with me?”

It was the message i had written and rewritten in on the page of my head some myriad times in last few days, rather in last few sleepless nights.But couldn’t dare to type it and hit send button.

On that day, i, ignoring the drums of pounded heart beats and shaking hands, typed this message on whatsapp message window, exhaled and inhaled several times and hit the send button.

Now it was ten long minutes, i had been waiting, with fingers crossed, for the desired reply. Meanwhile my mind considered all the good, awesome as well as bad, awful consequences of my move which might or might not be expected by the beautiful, divine persona on the other end of the line- kavya.

I was afraid my indecisive nature might doom my newly sprouted love life. so it was better earlier than late.

‘What if her parents are about to engage her with one of the most eligible bachelors – engineers (these bastards are still in demand. Do hell with them!!!) Or the worst what if she is already engaged with one’ My moronic mind wasn’t ready to shut up.

Mobile phone beeped. Hope sprouted. Then crushed. It wasn’t her. It beeped around 100 times signalling the swamping of useless ‘ forwarded as received’ messages in the whatsapp inbox. 

Dear Zindagi.....!!!!!! a poetic grievance

Dear Zindagi.....!!!!!!

Dear zindagi... what's on your mind?
I am ready to befriend you, be a little kind!

Your rules are strange, your ways are weird
In the frame of an animal, soul of a bird!!

You send an angel to charm our lives
She loves, she cares and then she leaves

In deadly and dark abyss, then we fall
You leave our hand too, ignoring our call

“Love is my second name” echoes your voice
We stand, we try again, and we dare to rise

Tempted by your words with the mended heart
We search for the soul mate, never to depart

She comes again,this time with more flourish
The plant of love, with blood we nourish

Again haunt the dreams, on the 9th cloud and all
Adrenaline rush, euphoria, one more divine call

We get the glimpses of you until she stays
Beautiful are the nights, sunny are the days

One fine day, you change your mood
You part our ways for no one’s good

You laugh, you mock, and proudly you declare
“i am a myth, a dream, only death is sure”

We then smile feeling soothingly foolish
Surrendered, empty, with no more a wish

In backdrop of the death you appear bright
You, you, everywhere, no end in sight
Dear Zindagi, what’s on your mind?
Wait! Let it be a mystery, me to find....

.........................................Prem Anuraag

The Great Indian Lower Middle Class Marriages:

Episode 2 The nubile boy and his expectations from a girl  Ashwin is from a lower middle class farmer family. It is quite evident...