Tuesday, October 26

It's My Life

Please do not comment on this one.

I’m so confused about certain things in life – the facts that I thought were solved for life. Why am I being forced to do a certain thing? Decisions were never imposed on me earlier. It was I, who used to take all the decisions of my life and of family at times. Helpless is what I’m feeling right now.

I know, it’s just the place and time that’s making my head go bonkers, but my problem is not that – my problem is that why are people overrating me? I might have been born a genius but I’ve lost it now. The intelligence is ruined. Thanks to me ruining myself bit by bit.

I know this is the same ‘Richa Vani’ who read out a newspaper when she was merely 11 months old, but times have changed. Life has changed – I have. The most essential thing that is lost in this time frame is my trust in myself. When I believed that I write well and people used to show that much of confidence in me – I felt proud. However, these days I don’t have the trust in myself that I’m good even when some of the best people in their respective fields compliment my work.

I shy away from presenting my work and myself. If something could help, but the lack of trust would not even help ‘help’. I’m not certain about anything, any work, anyone. My ego has gone down to the abysmal depth of darkness and it does seem able to find its way up to light again. There is nothing but hopelessness left – or that’s what I’m able to see.

Escape is what I seek every time and from everything. I’m scared to take decisions. I’m scared to answer anything. When they say that I need someone to take care of me, it scares me all the more. I don’t want to be dependent on anyone for anything, and this fear is making me all the more vulnerable. I don’t know what I will do the next minute.

I used to believe that my lachrymal glands are defunct as tears would not come even at someone’s death. These days they roll out at the slightest provocation, sometimes even without provocation. The onetime fav quote, “It’s my life – I’ll do what I want to”, has lost its meaning and has turned out to be the biggest disaster of life. It is a tight slap on my face and a failure to be remembered every minute. The best of compliments I receive these days have lost their conviction for me and I’ve lost myself.

If there was a way to gain back my confidence, conviction and trust in myself – I don’t even have the strength to find that.

The Weird Thief

It’s a pretty old story from my good-old hostel days and still brings a smile on my face.

It was a rainy night and was near the start of our summer vacations. Almost, whole of the dormitory was empty and of the seventy girls in the dorm, only nine of us were remaining. That’s why our teachers allowed us to watch a late night movie, Nagin, on Doordarshan television. We came in late from our TV hall and were planning to spend some time talking to each other as we would again meet after good-long two months. Apparently spending time could not happen as we were too tired after the long day, so we all went in to sleep. One of our dorm-mates went in other hall to sleep, hence only eight of us were remaining.

Probably the thief knew about this before venturing into our hostel. We assumed him to be from the surrounding areas, as he was well acquainted with the hostel premises. We also assumed that he might have entered before we had returned from our movie as he had planned everything well in advance. I describe the “our assumed” way the thief might have entered our dorm.

The thief took advantage of the rain and broke in through the bamboo fence surrounding the girl’s hostel. Since, we all had gone to sleep, the hostel was eerily silent and the cherry on top was that there was no electricity in the area due to heavy rains. He broke the glass pan of the dorm window and removed one loose rod from it. To his luck, bed near the window was empty, which made it all the more easy for him to crawl inside.

Our dorm had double-decker beds and since we were only eight of us left so we planned to sleep in pairs close by. The rolled bedrolls on these beds were giving all the more eerie look in the dark. The thief moved about in the hall looking out for things he could lay his hands on. Apparently what he was seeking was food. He came across a bed where there was a half-eaten packet of biscuit kept over a packed trunk along with a half-eaten packet of snacks. The thief settled himself down there and started savoring the leftover food. He then left a Rs.10 note near the empty packets as the bill perhaps.

He started to survey the room in darkness after finishing his so-called meal. He opened the door and kept it ajar so that it facilitates in his running away, if that’s the case. He started to have a feel of the girls sleeping. All of a sudden a sharp female voice rang in the long near-empty hall, shouting in assamese, “Nigoni dhorilu, nigoni dhorilu, muk kunubae mesh diya candel zolaboloe (I caught a rat, I caught a rat, give me a matchbox to light a candle)”.

I looked down as mine was the bed immediately above Plabita’s, the girls who shouted for match, and saw the thief caught somewhere in the mosquito net struggling to free his hands. In the meanwhile, Plabita got out of her delirium and in shock, she let go of his hands. She yelled again, “Thief, thief…” The thief got alarmed and ran away from the same route he had come from and we could not do anything except making a huge hue and cry.

Friday, October 22

Differences and Diversity

A friend of mine, Ganesh Maharana, raised a question in his blog “when can we be able to FULLY accept differences and diversity?” Thanks Gannu for writing on a topic that actually stimulated my brain to write something.

To be able to write on this topic, I thought of answering this question myself. I mean, I wanted to personally know if I was completely secular and am I able to accept the differences we have in our varied culture. I came to realize that I was not. I am so biased towards my religion and my lifestyle – no I don’t think that my religion is superior or anything. I still believe that God is one and Omnipresent. I have trouble with their lifestyle. Probably, it’s because I have been inculcated with certain set of norms and I’m not ready to be able to question them.

So, my level of tolerance for their religion is high but their customs, it’s not. It does not bother me that a certain Ram Mandir was broken down to construct a certain Mosque and neither does the bringing down of the same Mosque bother me. What bothers me is the number of people being killed using these topics as Political issues. I do not have any problems with a Muslim sitting beside me and eating beef even when I’m a Hindu Brahmin and cow is sacred to me. But yes, I will be hesitant to share my plate of even a vegetarian meal with the same Muslim. This is not only about Muslims that I’m against, but it’s with every other person who shares a separate set of lifestyle than mine.

When I found this answer, I wondered, are we actually proud of unity in diversity or we just use it to lure people to our country and increase tourism. But I guess differences are something that I can cope with. Some 6-7 years back, I came across an NGO in Delhi that worked for the trans-genders. I worked with for a few days and found out that there they had organized a photo show about their life through their eyes. I as a journalist was to cover the event. I went to the most dreaded place in Delhi - Yamuna Pushta (don’t still understand why people are scared of that place). I found them to very sweet people who are good at heart, but are tormented just because they look different.

When I returned back to Mumbai, I showed the project to my Professor and we were discussing on their life and the troubles they face at their work places, etc. One of my classmates stood up and said as matter of factly, that these bloody uneducated bastards are a pain to the society and should be killed. I got so aggressive at the statement that I actually yelled back at her and asked, “Tell me if you would let a Tran-Gender sit beside you in this class without tormenting them. She mellowed down and replied negative. I simply said that if people like us are not ready to accept them and give them education then we don’t have the right to call them names and comment on the way they live.

So, yet I’m unsure on my stand on this particular topic but I sincerely wish I could take a stand for the acceptance of diversity. When will the day come that we will feel proud and not lie about “Unity in Diversity”.

Friday, October 8

Your Heart

This poem is based on a statement “I wish to reach your heart”, told by someone to me. So I dedicate this poem to you “my inspiration”. How I wish I could link you here, but I can’t.

Your heart is where I wish to reach
You seem so close
I can touch you in my dreams
But your heart is so far
It seems like the horizon
More I walk towards it
More distant it seems
Your heart seems unfathomable
I wish to see its depth
I wish to listen to its waves
I wish to listen to its woes
I wish to listen to its smile
I wish to listen to its stories

Your heart is where I wish to reach
Does it have an other side that you wish to hide?
Is it pain that you hide?
Are you scared to show your love?
I’ve all the love for you
Come to me my love
Your heart is where I wish to reach
To erase all the pain you bore
I believe, I can fill your heart with my love
I wish to release you of you hold back
Why do you keep me at bay?
I keep colliding with the wall around your heart
What you hold back are – ghosts of past
I can show you a new world of love
But let through those barriers
- Shed the secrets
- Shed the inhibitions
This is no play my love,
I promise, no heartbreaks,
I promise, no pain
I promise, an everlasting smile
Only, your heart is where I wish to reach

Monday, October 4


Every human emotion, I believe, comes contradictory to the situation. Probably I’m justifying a quote I heard as a child. Here it goes:

“As a rule man is fool
When it is hot he wants cool
When it is cool he wants hot
And always wants what is not”

People always dream of a life that is contradictory to their present state of life or lifestyle. A man working under extreme pressure craves for life with leisure for himself and vice-versa. Why is it that we always aspire for things that are out of our reach? We work so hard to retain something or someone who we think might be taken away or go away on its own accord, but as soon as we feel it is secure our aspirations change.

This could be one of the reasons for the breaking of so many love marriages. Our mindset is designed not to be satiated with any achievement but in want of certain things aren’t we turning ourselves into workaholics? To protect our positions in society, jobs, or people we love – we tend to go down to the menial levels of humanity.

We are becoming similar to the people we actually dislike. We tend to take part in the social gossip just to let them know that we are updated about others lives, when in reality we are least bothered. We develop crab mentality just to drag people to our level of understanding and do not allow them to do anything new or creative.

Was that a part of aspiration when we started? No, we were idealists, decided to create a life on own norms and terms. We wanted to bring about a change on the society but eventually we gave up healthy fighting and started to walk on the common way. We yell around and rant about peace in every politico-economic, but the thirst for power has given birth to terrorism, mass killings, wars, and what not.

I’ve heard many people saying that stagnation is death, but we can also say that stagnation is satisfaction. I’m not advocating that we should stop growing. I’m only saying that growth should be for development and healthy competition. Why do we forget that life is a game of chess, and we need to think new moves to win every time? Old moves are rusted and rotten, and almost everyone knows them. So, be innovative to fight for your aspirations or satisfaction, both ways.