Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Temptation

“I chose a place and planned every yard of it
I held the sand in my hands and saw it transform every bit
Into reality from my dreams, a sand castle of my own
I engaged my soul with the sand as it did with the water of the sea
I was humming the tune of glory unaware of the catastrophic drone
I was planning my next daylight engulfed by the mouth of giant I didn’t foresee
I was seeking a wonderful life, waiting for the novice sapling to grow into tree
Little would I’ve known about the giant’s shadow that I was already standing under
Little did I know that my castle would collapse with the thud of the thunder..
                         Now, I stand amidst the silent sea, washed off my bones and skin
           I wonder what was the whole purpose of my life and my yore kith and kin
         I wonder what my life was, just a reel running in the theater for you, God?
 I was only expecting a comma in my life, when suddenly came the final full-stop.”

We are not satisfied with your services or products. At times we wish we could say the above line to the creator of us and this world. Can we replace our lives for a better/best replacements? We cannot and so our only aim (whether conscious or unconscious one) is to attain satisfaction. For some, it is attained through career goals’ accomplishment, for others through other ways. And in the process, we go through vicissitudes of our lives. We go through exhilarating moments at times and at other times we curse our fate!!

But seldom, do we actually remember these moments during our daily humdrum. We do not always walk with an umbrella of happy moments to safeguard us from tumultuous times or frequent seeming triteness of our lives. Nor do we constantly move under the cloud of bad memories. Good and bad times come and go. They are seasonal, right? But there are times when we go through some real tense taxing phases.

Few years back I went through surgeries. It was all supposed to be fine but I was among those rare cases where patients are susceptible to surgery failure. The memories of that time still haunt me. And I wished to erase those memories, but went in vain, as I realized post surgery complications can occur at any time during one’s lifespan and care has to be taken. Basically I’m rendered with a life long fear, which may or may not transform into reality.

But then, don’t we all live under fear. I googled about tsunami and other natural calamities that have taken place. With bated breath, my heart began to get more conspicuous.
An extract from Wikipedia on tsunamis goes like this: “A tsunami can arrive at a coastline in one of two ways. In the first form, a negative wave, a trough precedes the actual arrival of the wave itself. Here, the better recognized warning sign of an impending tsunami strike is a rapidly receding sea followed by a sudden onrushing body of water traveling inland at high speed.
The second form in which a tsunami arrives is the positive wave first. In this case, the warning signs are much more vague if any. The sea will usually start rising immediately, slowly at first without the receding phase, like an on-coming high tide. However, instead of stopping at tidal level, the sea will keep rising faster and faster until the crest of the tsunami passes and continues moving inland. The second form of tsunami waves are usually more dangerous, since they can arrive without easily identifiable warning, giving residents less time to prepare and outrun the tsunami”

Well after reading, I tried to visualize the complete scenario. 35 feet high waves engulfing thousands of lives. Videos of recent earthquake and consequent tsunami in Japan helped me form a better picture. And I wondered that, on that day, at that time, a mother might have held her baby for the first and the last time, a son would have graduated, lovers would have got married, and all the other moments when a person may attain the epitome of his/her life. Viewing all this I was shattered. Events in my life seemed like a mere seasonal rainfall against this tsunami. Or may be all highs and lows, that we face, are like those waves which recede, rise, recede…until they don’t recede and inundate everything.

So the conclusion is as usual that  "Life goes on till we are out of it. You and I will still go out and enjoy existing beaches. " As it’s rightly said that It has never been, and never will be easy work! But the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
But then I also read that  "Life is a pain, princess.....anyone who says differently is selling something."
But my father sees it all within a different purview. He says, "We don’t eat to live, but live to eat!"

And I too have started believing in the same. That Life is a temptation.  
And that in the course of time, when we get tired and wish an end to everything, we get lured by the prospects, desires our future seems to hold and fulfill.

"The shiny gates of future then glisten                              
We hope, we move ahead, on feet, with blisters
 Life’s like a 'Pepsi' in front of a thirsty
In winters, it’s like a 'whiskey'
For a pedestrian, it’s a 'Mercedes'
And Our life always tempts us to lead
Blindly till we fall into the pit, unaware, unseen..
Any way, let the lives of 'those' rest in peace.."

image source: http://recreateyourlifetoday.blogspot.in/2011/07/temptation.html

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Copper Maiden

 A fair skinned girl arrived, in an unpompous fashion, at a bus stop. But still, it made some men and few aunties look obliquely or directly at her. I was a mere spectator waiting to become a passenger in a bus that was so late that it seemed to be coming straight from a tour around the moon. Anyway, not getting digressed like the ‘Lost Bus’, I’ll come back to the bus-stop scene. So, I then ran my bored imagination to analyze that ‘Fair Maiden’s face. I toned down her skin complexion in my mind, and I realized that she wouldn’t have been attractive otherwise. I then saw another pretty-faced female with a dusky complexion standing a little far from the ‘Fair Maiden’, who had attracted some stares but not as much as the ‘Fair-Maiden’. And I was wonder-struck.

 I then recalled how every time,  my parents shower go-gaga-like appreciation on fair skinned females. “Itni gori hai ki haath lagao toh maili ho jaogi. Itni sunder hai wo.”(“So fair she is that if touched, her skin will get dirty. So beautiful she is.”)
Now I may comply, not literally, with their first phrase-like-statement on the degree of her fairness, but not always on the second statement. My parents here actually represent a large strata of our society having such mindset regarding beauty. In India, there’s an inexplicable nexus between fairness and beauty. No wonder, ubiquitous skin-lightening beauty products like ‘Fair & Lovely’, ‘Ponds White’ and now even 'Fair & Handsome’ flourish in market. Their advertisements depict depressed, dark-complexioned women, who had been ignored by employers and men, suddenly finding new boyfriends and glamorous careers after the cream had lightened their skin. And many such racist advertisements which further promote color based racism. And this is how the desperation to get fair prevails in the bourgeois. In here we come up with anti-tanning lotions and creams, whereas in west, they proudly boast their holiday-tan, sun beach-tan, artificial tan….

My grand grand father was a domineering 'zamindaar' (landlord) with three wives and many sons. But he got my grand-father married to my grand-mom just because she had a fair complexion. She in fact hailed from the poorest of the families residing in his village.
Though many Bollywood actresses have successfully fostered dark-beauty relationship, the long-living marriage of fairness-beauty is yet to be divorced!!

Fair skin is a traditional standard of beauty in many parts of the world. Often, those of upper class in past ages were not exposed to sunlight, as they didn't have to work in fields, thus, fair skin was associate with wealth, and since the wealth set the standards for beauty, pale skin was in. Also, probably it’s about the basic human nature; wanting something which we do not have.
In India people are usually dark-skinned or even dusky and so they aspire to become fair, whereas in west where people are fair skinned, they go for tanning for some reason. May be to look less pale. Similarly females with wavy or curly hair aspire to have straight hair and get them artificially straightened and those with straight hair, at times get bored and get them curled up!! That’s why, perhaps even in relationships, people have come up with ‘opposites attract’ logic.

Sadly even I fall in the category of those females who complain of getting tanned under the sun.
Nevertheless, this doesn't stop me from looking outwards towards those who promote such attitude towards complexion. 
In matrimonial section, one can find many advertisements wanting a fair bride. In fact beauty is supposed to be only skin deep. But I guess it’s just a proverb. What makes those adds more ridiculous is the fairness-beauty-lovely relation!!

Now, another thought flashes across my restless mind. Though Taj Mahal is known for its architecture, I still wonder what if it were coal-black? Would the ‘Copper-Maiden’ still be proudly boasted of as one of the wonders of the world then? 
                                              How grateful I am to the man, his kith and kin
                                                    To his gods and goddesses, all fair-skinned
                                                How much I appreciate the flowers, the sky
                                                    All of it is colorful and not just white
                                                How feeble I would be without the dark in the night
                                                    Everything need not be only bright
                                                How graceful I look in this mirror
                                                    Then why is it just my complexion that is noticed by those eyes?
                                                I too can be an angel and fly high
                                       I’m a Copper Maiden and virtuous, all right!!

Image link: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/copper-maiden-gunter-erik-hortz.html