Monday, November 22, 2010

It started with something called ‘Not at all’


She was keeping a jar full of laddu’s on the shelf. I came running to her and said, “Aai, ask me whether I want laddu’s or not?”…(In Marathi)..ahh she was surprised but she did ask.. “Tula ladoo have ahet ka?”(Whether you want laddu’s or not?)…and all excited me quickly answered in English,‘No, not at all.’ ‘Ohh..’ she said and hugged me. I was in fifth standard in which I learned first few words of a language called English.

I still wonder why she hugged me? I am pretty sure she must have shared this incident with my father. Neha, spoke in English!

Today I find it easy, as if it was never an issue for me. But it was! I have no idea why I suddenly remembered this incident from my past and here at this very moment I realise how far I have come in life.

I know I am 20 and people might think that calling it a LIFE is a bit too much but whenever I turn the pages of past I do feel I have come far…very far from everything that happened.

Regarding the language, people around me are surprised that I come from the vernacular school, Marathi medium to be precise and it was followed by my best friend confessing that looking at me I seriously don’t look like those from the Marathi medium!

Hah…who are those? And why are they called as those?

I remember I used to whine about not sending me to the English medium!Then my Aai would say, “I always wanted to send you to an English medium school, but you know your Baba!” and then the conversation would follow with how my Baba is ultimately right as she never really opposed him!

So when people ask me how come I picked up this language I always share an anecdote about Ferguson college when my favourite English teacher told us that if she (who studied in a Marathi medium in a village where she didn’t have English till her 10th as a subject) can stand and teach us today, why can’t we learn?

Till today I used to think Ferguson College and My English Professor were my mentors but then I remember the ‘not at all’ conversation with my beloved mother and I say ahh I guess no, not at all!

It was her…It was her dream…

And I wonder if she is watching me here sitting in an office of a leading English daily, writing this blog in English!

It’s been nine years…I am conversing with my self and not with you!

Aai…I wish I could talk to you in English and see your beautiful eyes lit up with pride…

Well not your every wish comes true…

When she left…I felt something back then I didn’t know what was that something called but today I know the word…It’s void…yes, the word is ‘Void’…

Friday, November 12, 2010

A place to remember…


I think each one of us has a special place in this world. A place where you get to feel the significance of yourself in others life. A place which is so comfortably placed in your memory that what so ever happens you will remember the time you spent there.

It can be anything from a bench on Kharghar station to the table for two at the four Seasons!

In my case, it’s a bus stop. Yes, it’s a Bus Stop in my long left home town Pune which I will always remember. This bus stop is near my house from where I catch a bus to Mumbai almost every alternate weekend.

Now why this bus stop?

We are a family of six! And all the members are always excited to send me off to Mumbai (they won’t agree but that’s the truth). Each one of those five seek an opportunity to drop me to this bus stop and wait till I board the bus…and Bus takes ages to come (as always). So meanwhile standing on the bus stop I listen to my family tales! You know I have never heard Fairytales , they were always family tales even when I was a little girl!

Staying away makes you be in that blissfull ignorance about the insights in the family issues. Ya , and they are literally issues!

My father finds this time to inspire me to go ahead and make a place in this world and build up a status (be humble and down to earth‑ very important points) and what not in this world! grhhhhhhhh…I just keep looking at the bus and feel sorry for the bus driver who eventually becomes a victim of my cursing for every second in my mind…

“Why the bus is getting late, why its always late.I hate this pune’s traffic, dada!” it puts my brother into flames who spends every second on this bus stop in convincing me not to go back..then he says, “ya ya..you are a Mumbaikar now. You hate everything in Pune, including me!”…ahh how clich├ęd (says my mind- mind you, its always my mind which talks on this bus stop)

My sister makes a point of bringing out a fight out of nothing there and making all sorts of misunderstandings that one human being can possibly make on this whole earth.

Sometimes I do wonder she has taps inside her eyes, always ready to pour water out…

So ultimately this place , The Vanaj bus stop in Kothrud, Pune 411038 is always filled with those emotions I am actually deprived of throughout the 15 days. Its always good to be there once in a month! Only once…

Then the bus comes…makes that unexplainable sound of a break and the conversation ends…I board the bus and look out of the window to give them ‘a bye for now see you soon kinds’ look and then starts a journey towards my destiny.

This all might be unusual, funny or even boring at times but this place makes my loved ones tell me few things which they don’t tell to anybody else. This bus stop, might be just a bus stop for others but for me its place where I bond the best with my family members.

I guess it’s a good enough reason to come back to Mumbai…

Because while going back to Pune , I always wonder which tale my family is going to tell…