Friday, August 31, 2012

Afterglow!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, August 31, 2012 17 comments Links to this post


The cool breeze of the beach lulled him into sleep, the blue sky pleased him, and the foamy waves touched his feet. He felt better, he wanted to make up for all the time he slogged in his office, and worked over-time. It has been a week and he came to the beach every day. As he walks towards a shack, he tells us his story and warns us that it is not a very interesting story.

Vishal! You would not take him as a random guy. He owned an advertising organization and was considered to be one of the top notch young achievers. All the entrepreneurship magazines carried his interviews and start-up stories, and few colleges did case-studies on his company. Yet his private life was very discreet and he never entertained media. Everything one knew about him was related to his company and his work.

Every day, he would come to the beach and park his car in a nearby mall and would walk to the beach like a normal guy. What he did not know was that a girl warily followed him. Rumana, an intern at his office fell for him the first time she met him and she definitely did not consider it as an out-of-college infatuation. Well, okay, she is sort of out-of-college excited girl but she took a liking for him instantly. The first time she saw him was the day she can never forget and she vividly remembers every detail of the day. Yes, even the intricate ones! It was the orientation day and Vishal addressed all the interns. She liked everything about him and honestly, she believed that all the Mills & Boons stories leaped into reality.

But today was different. She wanted to talk to him about this, about them. Her friends forced her to do this and she thought it was the right thing to do.

She walked upto him in the shack and meekly waved at him.

“Hey Ramya”, he did not want any company.

“It’s Rumana, sir. If you don’t mind, can I join you? I need to talk to you.” She was unhappy that he did not even know her name well.

“Oh! I am sorry. Just having a bad day, trying to snap out of it! So, Rumana, tell me. Has anyone been troubling you at work? Is everything alright?” Vishal never wanted his employees to be troubled by fellow employees. Of course, which boss would want that?

“Oh no, it is not that. Work is great, sir. I wanted to talk about something else.”

“Yes?”

“But please do not try to misunderstand me. Umm...I mean just try to understand what I am saying. It is like...”

“Rumana, you are stammering.” Vishal was impatient now. It was time for him to leave.

“Umm...yes...err...gulp...Sir; the thing is I like you. I like you...I mean I like you...as in not in a normal way, you know. I fell for you the moment I saw you. I can vividly picture the first day of my work. You walked in wearing a black shirt. You looked amazing, sir.”

“Impossible relationships”, he uttered in disgust.

“Oh no, sir, don’t say that. I mean if you think it is the problem of employer-worker thing, I can walk out of the company. It won’t be impossible then.”

“Rumana, you have no clue what you are talking. You are too young for all this. It is time for you to focus on your career.”

“I am 22 now”, she flared her nostrils in the air, “and you are 26. I am not too young.”

“Rumana, I am married and I am so devoted to my wife. I love her more than anything else. I cannot imagine any other woman in my life.”

Tears welled in Rumana’s eyes.

“No, you are lying. You cannot be married. You are just 26. Please Vishal, sorry sir. Don’t lie to me.”

“Preeti and I were together in college and married immediately after college. I know that we were rather stupid to get married at that age but we wanted to be together, and so we did! We did not care about our age, our parents; we wanted to be together and that was all that mattered to us”, he pauses to remove his wallet and fishes out a picture of him and Preeti.

She takes the picture and holds it in her hands and stares at it with tears in her eyes. Preeti was indeed very beautiful.

“But sir, I have read your interview somewhere and it said that you were single”, she clinged on to her last hope.

“Ah! It was a printing mistake.” He brushed it away and said, “So, I assume that we are done here. See you at work, tomorrow. Okay?”

“Yes sir. Thank you, bye.” She got up and ran to her car without even looking at him.

Vishal felt sorry for her but what could he do? He walked to his car at the mall and bought a bunch of flowers for Preeti and got into the car. After reaching home, he opened the door and walked to the mantelpiece. He carefully placed the bunch of the flowers in a vase at the feet of his wife’s portrait, stared at the portrait wondering how beautiful she looked, even in a photograph. He stood there for a while staring at the picture and sighed.

It has been two years that Preeti has died in a car crash and Vishal hasn’t gotten over it, quite obviously. She was all that he had. And after she was gone, he had nothing in his hands and had nobody. She was the only friend he had. She was his wife, his girl-friend, his booze-mate, his confidant, his world. And now, it was all gone. After she died, he followed this daily ritual of getting her flowers and replacing the flowers. Purple tulips, always! It was her favourite.

The next day, he reached office a half an hour late. It was raining very heavily and he was stuck up in a traffic jam. On his way to the cabin, he saw that Rumana’s cubicle was empty. And he just stared at the cubicle, which was full of purple and all, now looked empty and dull. But, he felt nothing! He just stared into the void, and walked away.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

She!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, August 25, 2012 38 comments Links to this post



She shook her head and left the kitchen in turmoil. She knew what lay ahead of her. Work, hatred, work and more hatred!

With too many thoughts in her mind, she entered the room of her teenage son who was lying on a bean bag and playing a video game. One look around his room and she knew why he called for her. He looked at her carelessly and smirked.

Mom, please clean my room. My friends will be coming in the evening and will stay tonight. So please cook some nice snacks and dinner for them. But please do not embarrass me by coming in front of them. You cannot even speak English, let alone understanding our conversations.”

Without paying any heed to his insults, she started cleaning his room and stacked up all the empty pizza boxes in a corner and with concern, she told him, Mittu, if you stack up all these pizza boxes and throw them after a week or so, you will catch diseases, beta! It is very important for us to throw away stale food and the cartons containing them. And having so much of coke and chips will harm your health.”

And of course, she gets no reply from him. So she throws away all the boxes, changes the bed-sheets, sweeps his room and asks him before leaving the room, what he would do if she was not present.

Ah! Don’t worry about me, mom. I would hire a servant. She will do the job.

She was insulted every day. She had to go through this treatment each day but this was the limit for her. She could not take it up any longer and barged into the kitchen and started weeping slowly. What could she do anyway? How could she improve her little son’s behaviour now, who in my view was as fat as a bull? And of course, she cannot spank him and set him straight for he was a teenager which in my view is totally non-sense. Parents can set their children right whenever they want to even if he is a teenager or a middle-aged person.

Come evening, she kept herself busy in cooking and setting up food for her son and his friends. The only time when she was asked to appear in front of the kids was when she had to serve the food. It was dinner time and the kids appeared at the table. When she was setting the table, few kids volunteered to help her. Her son was furious with them and asked them to join him but they did not listen.

One kid chirped in, “Aunty, please eat along with us.”

She refused saying that she would eat along with her husband. Another kid said that he thought she wasn’t home because she did not even welcome them or wish them. Her son laughed and brushed it aside. And much to the disgust of the kids, he asked her to leave the room rudely. She left the room and went into her bedroom. She was very tired with the day’s work and tried to relax by reading a book. Later, she called her husband to ask where he was. Satisfied with his reply, she got back to her book. Her thoughts wandered, she could not understand why her son treated her like that. She was always nice to him, helped him, loved him, and protected him, she was his mother. She remembered those happy days when her son loved her and played with her but everything changed three years back. He was no more a child; he said that he had no time to cuddle with her. He was a grown-up. Yes, at a mere fifteen!



After the hearty meal, the kids dispersed into her son’s room and it was time her husband came home. He was the only person who treated her nicely in the entire house.

It was her birthday today. Her son and her mother-in-law did not acknowledge it, let alone wishing her warmly. Her husband came home with sweets, a cake and a gift for her, the solitaire set that she always wanted. A quiet dinner with her husband was what she wanted, and during the dinner, she voiced out her woes to him. She filled him in all that has happened today; she asked him why her son did not love her. Her husband, who knew nothing of this behaviour was furious with her for not telling him this before. He summoned his son and asked his friends to leave in a nice manner. His friends who understood the situation were more than happy to leave as they were disgusted of his behaviour towards his mother.

His father asked him why he was behaving with his mother in this manner. And here comes the reply,

Why should I treat her well? Dadi says that she is not nice. She is good-for-nothing. She cannot talk English; she cannot understand the books I read. In short, she is just so alien to my life. I cannot relate with her, dad.

His mother went inside the room not wanting to be a part of this conversation. But his father wanted this conversation to happen. In his way!

Of course, a boy who cannot even do statistics in his tests calls his mother good-for-nothing. She, who apparently did her engineering and topped our college, left her job and her dreams to be a house-wife and to be a part of a boy’s life who hardly scores 40 in maths. What a shame! She, who wrote pieces for commercial magazines, and news-papers in our college, cannot speak English? Ironically, she cannot understand the books that you read because they aren’t even literature. In short, she is an alien in your life because you have chosen to see her like that. You have no values, and cannot respect your mother. But I do have! This lady, your mother was a meritorious student in our college and if she takes up a job, she can easily earn more than me but she chose to stay home and cook for me. But you will never realize the value of your mother till she is with you. And when you realize, it will be too late.”


Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Ten Movies!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, August 12, 2012 0 comments Links to this post
Last time, I wrote a blog-post on ten books and this time, I wrote on movies but not for my blog. I have written it for my friend, Asisha's blog.

This is the link to the post: The Ten Movies



Do visit her blog and read the post. :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Confessions of A Writer

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, August 07, 2012 2 comments Links to this post

Originally written for Metropolis Hyderabad Magazine under the section of confession box and it is here! I have written this article along with another blogger, Sugumar and you can see his blog here: The World Around Me!

Click on Metropolis and explore the site. :D



I am a writer and I live by my pen. In my fraternity, there are my fellow friends who work in the morning and write by evening. A very tedious job, I tell you. As a writer, I have faced my problems but I derive joy from writing. I write when I am happy, I write when I am sad, I write when I am bored, I write when I am stressed out. Writing is the only way I can escape from my daily chores. Not that I am bunking them, but I need to write. At least, a thousand words a day. But I have my own plights too. Yes, I have some confessions. While I cannot pour out the gory ones, I can definitely tell the common ones.


After I took writing seriously, I mean very seriously, I have turned into a grave person. My friends complain that I do not have much time for them, which is quite not true. I do have time, but it is just that…..Anyway, the first confession is I do not like it when people contact me and ask me to write for them for free. I mean, I do have expenses, right? Any writer would feel the same. We have bills to pay, we have things to buy, we are taking time and writing and of course, it is not a social service. Like Joker in Batman said ‘If you are good at something, never do it for free’, and I believe every word that he says. With so many writers getting their books published, the writers have lost their cult-like following. Isn’t it? I do not see a single writer who has a magnificent following after Chetan Bhagat.


And then, there are people who think writers are unemployed. It is so in-appropriate. What about the writers who live by pen? Jane Austen did; did we regard her as unemployed? No, we did not. There are many such brilliant writers. And you know what the toughest part is? It is the naming of characters. The story gets completed in ten minutes but the naming part takes ages. Writing and the time limits are bitter enemies. But what can we do? They go hand-in-hand and deadlines are to be met. It is highly impossible to convince ourselves that we cannot be Jeffrey Archer in a single book. The things we write might be good, and readers might go gaga over it, but we are never satisfied with what we write. We always find it clichéd. How typical!


I have gone overboard to promote myself on social media, being a first time author. It has made people come back and question my sense of modesty, but in an age where the publishing industry is at the boom I have no qualms of making the most out of social media”, confesses Sagarika Chakraborty, a famous writer and the author of ‘A calendar too crowded’. And I agree with her. Any good product reaches the market only with good promotion. Similarly, even writers need to promote their books. One cannot expect a book to be a massive hit by just putting it in the shelves of a book-store.


Basically, writing is something that has kept me from the gloomiest moments in my life. It's nice to know that many envy the way you write and your work is being praised. But, writing is something only few adore, and only few bother to read.

Working against the deadlines, slogging off late in the night, typing stuff, writing doesn't seem that wonderful at those times”, confesses another writer, Aditya Kasibhatla.


So yes, we all have our major and minor glitches, complications, confessions and we, writers, pen them down, make fun out of it and laugh at our own expense. That is us!

-Sunaina and Sugumar

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Calendar Too Crowded: Book Review

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 02, 2012 9 comments Links to this post

Sagarika Chakraborty’s ‘A Calendar Too Crowded’ is more than just a book. It is a rather a diary of any girl’s life. My friend called this book as a reflection of a woman, and honestly, I couldn't agree more with it.


This thought-provoking book is a collection of poignant stories and moving poems which does not just make you think but also helps you to learn few important dates in the calendar of the life of a woman. The stories/poems in this book are classified into twelve months. Also, the book has a strong influence of Indian Mythology.

Basically, the book revolves around womanhood and it showcases the miseries faced by women. Few stories are touching; few stories actually brought tears into my eyes; few stories made me rejoice. These stories bring out the various facets in the life of a woman. It is safe to say that this book is not read for the sake of reading but it educates us. Yes, it does. Trust me!

The stories that I love the most are ‘Finding an Ideal Mother for my Unborn Child’ which talks about the things that our mothers do in our everyday life and the extent to which they can do and it showcases the typical mentality of a mother; ‘When the Ganges Ran Dry’ is one story that reminds me of my grandmother every time I read it; ‘Selling a Body to Gain a Mind’ is an intense story of a prostitute and her wonderful daughter; ‘The Homecoming’ is a story of a happy woman who has a lovable husband but everything changes when she sees this man who was her lover when she was young but eventually she makes the right choice; ‘Sisters by Choice and not by Chance’ is a story of two sisters who are excessively loved by their parents and how one of the sisters gets to know that she is an adopted child. This thing changes her life entirely; ‘Can You Hear Me, Ma?’ is a poem of an unborn daughter talking to her mother; ‘The Priceless Gift called Nationality’ is a story that teaches us the value of nationality.

In an era where we talk about equality and humanity, I believe that it should start from home. Everyday our mothers go through a lot of pain and do mammoth tasks of work to raise us and many a times, we tend to ignore our mothers. If we do not respect the woman of our own family, how can we respect others to respect them? This book says that women are equal to men and they should be treated properly and most importantly, it teaches us to respect women. I recommend every person, especially men to read this book.

And Sagarika, congratulations for writing such a wonderful book that can act as a guide of a woman’s life. Never felt that it was a debut book of a writer. Bravo!

Author: Sagarika Chakraborty
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Price: 295/-

I have reviewed this book for Scoop magazine here! :)

Notable Newbie

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 02, 2012 15 comments Links to this post
Yay! Blogadda has awarded me (or rather my blog) a Notable Newbie Award.
Also, it has featured me on their home page. Check it out on www.blogadda.com



Wuhooo! =D I am so happy. :D
 

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