Thursday, April 19, 2007

Transformation

Yesterday, my nephew, Nishant, became 4 months old. Ever since he was born, I have seen my sister change.

As usual, there have been wakeful nights, tiresome days, and unending baby demands. When the baby was not dirtying his nappies, he was crying for feed. After having his fill, he was again dirtying his nappies. No doubt it was tiring.

His sleep cycle keeps changing. When his parents are up, he is asleep and when they want to sleep, he wakes up. On the whole, it is very interesting.

I visited them on the last weekend. A visit to their place cheers me up a lot. So whenever I feel I could use some rest emotionally, I end up at their place.

Anyway, this time I saw something so beautiful that I realized that my sister is a new person altogether.

It was a busy day at their place and by the time my sister got some free time to take a bath, it was almost noon. After bathing Nishu, she put him to sleep and went to take her bath. She had just entered the bathroom when Nishu woke up and started crying out loud.

Didi's mother-in-law mixed Lactogen for Nishu and started feeding him. He was busy feeding when my sister rushed out of the bathroom. Apparently she had hurriedly finished her bath and was already sweating again by the time she was out of the bathroom.

When she entered the room, Nishu looked up at her while still feeding. I expected her to be atleast a liitle irritated. Instead her face glowed in a way I do not remember it ever. And then those magical words came out.

"My baby felt hungry again? Good, this is the way you will grow big," she said in a baby voice.

I don't know what struck me about this but it did make me realize that motherhood does bring out the best in a woman.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Poor, poor people!

As usual, we were stuck in a mini-jam at the red light near my office today morning. Me and my husband were looking around and making intellectual observations about things around while our car crawled through the traffic.

Down the road, some meters ahead of us, we noticed laborers pushing a cement-mixing machine on the side-walk. Those of you who know what I mean by a cement-mixing machine will picture it as a circular container suspended on bars with huge wheels. Cement along with other material is put inside this circular container and the container is rotated to mix the cement properly. It is not a light contraption; on the contrary, it seems quite heavy.

These laborers were moving quite fast. They were actually running behind the machine while pushing it with their hands. One laborer was pulling it from the front.

"I wonder why they are moving so fast," My husband wondered.

"They must be in a hurry," I suggested.

"But this machine must be heavy and difficult to move," he said, concerned.

"These guys do lead a tough life. After all this, they only earn a couple of thousand bucks in a month," I said.

"Yes. Sad, isn't it?"

"They work so hard to be able to provide two meals a day to their families." I said with pity.

I had already started sweating. It was a hot day. Mid of April was now much hotter than it used to be five years earlier. And we were still crawling.

The laborers were a bit farther now. They were still running with their checked dhotis* moving in tune with their running movements.

"It is so hot. They must be miserable," my husband carried on.

"Yes, true. No one does anything to help them. Their contractor does not provide an automobile that they can drive instead of pushing such a machinery," I mused.

"I feel so guilty of sitting in the car while people have to live such a life," my husband said, wiping sweat off his forehead.

It was getting stuffier inside the car now. It was hot and humid and the car was barely moving.

Then, gradually, the traffic started moving and our car also gained some speed. After a couple of minutes, we crossed the laborers and were forced to stop again as the traffic light turned red.

We turned around to look at them to be able to dwell on their misery.


The laborer pulling the contraption from the front was laughing at some joke that one of the laborers pushing the machine had obviously cracked. As we looked closely, we could see that all of them were laughing while still running and pushing the machine. They were oblivious to the people looking at them from their cars in wonder.

We turned around and sank into our sweaty world.

"It is so hot. I am glad we have the car." I grumbled.

* A long wrap-around garment for the lower body

Monday, April 16, 2007

Me?

Am I the Candle Flame
flickering with the assault of wind?
Or Am I the gust of wind
that in its path teases the candle flame?


Can you see me in the steps
that lead up to the home of Lord?
Or do I exist in the feet,
that tread their way up to divinity?


Can I be felt in the song
that wanders around the tall trees?
Or Am I the lonely lass
who meanders singing songs of love?


Am I the abundant nectar,
that finds its way into a butterfly's mouth?
Or am I the pretty insect,
That sighs in ecstacy with the sweet sip?


Do I travel with the light,
from the lamp of the fast moving train?
Or am I the black darkness,
chased by the train on its nightly tour?


Who am I?
Am I the one whose pen,
has overflown with these words?
Or Am I the one whose eyes
devour each word as they move from top to bottom?

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