Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lesson 1

Last week as I was going about my after dinner cleaning, there was breaking news on Television. A father had forgotten his infant in the car seat and after seven hours the baby was found dead. The police did not arrest the individual. Instead he was taken to a psychiatrist. Most of the people were feeling sad and pity than accuse him for a gruesome act of ignorance. I guess people understood that he had been punished enough for his act of carelessness.
I did understand it because I knew first hand the pressures of the corporate world. I see under what pressure “S” juggles his work, MBA course and sharing the house chores with me. And we have already had a discussion on starting a family. With both of us being students, taking care of the house and then his office itself is a difficult chore. And the last week for “S” has been especially hectic. His boss had some personal work and so took leave for three day. I was very upset because that meant added work load for “S”. I was not much of help at home either. With my thesis deadline I did ask him to do much more than what is his share of work at home. I know he is under pressure.
Generally, as soon as “S” reaches his office he calls me. It is never a long call. But this time “S” had news. The infant who had died in the car last week was his boss’s nephew. That was the reason he had taken leave from office. This was closer than both of us had anticipated. When I had told “S” about the news earlier he has passed it with no comments. What could he say to a wife who gets bothered with every little thing? But this had hit closer to home. “S” and his boss are friends. The family is distorted and “S” is visibly shaken.
Similarly, last year one of “S” colleague’s went through tragic circumstances when he lost his young sister in a tragic accident. We read about the incident on a Bengali online news page, and indifferently commented on it as we went about our chores and the weekend. On Monday morning “S” called to inform that one of the victims was the sister of his colleague who had already left for Kolkata. In the coming days we saw his picture on the news. When he got back from India, “S” never asked him anything. His disoriented self was enough to understand his condition; he told me when i insisted on knowing.

How does life hit you in such vulnerable position, when you least expect it? A father who was about to leave his son in daycare forgets and goes straight for his office leaving the baby strapped in the car-seat in the SUV. A young brash group of students ignored the warnings of the flash flood but could not defy the fatal misadventure.
Who suffers the consequences, the deceased or the family that is left behind?
Initially, my first reaction was always to look at whose fault is it? But now I am wiser. I know that there is no point in fault finding. Instead we must learn the lesson that life wants us to learn. Be careful. Do not make rash decisions and do not let any of your emotions take control of your logics in such a way that it imbalances your capabilities.
Had the father not been so over-focused on his job at his office he would not have forgotten his responsibility towards his baby boy in the backseat.
Had the students been cautious instead reckless in their youth, they would have been there to make more adventure trips.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I Feel/Think So I Write

My attempt at blogging is not new. When I was a young girl i understood them as journals. They were hand written and sometimes illustrated. My journey to journal writing begins at an early stage.

Every year in the month of December my father would give me the unused diaries from the past year. He made it to be an all important event. Now when I think back it was quite like the marketing stunt. While handing over the diaries that belonged to some fertilizer company or the bank that one of his friends worked for, he would ask us to keep it neat and clean because diaries were not easy to come by and to buy them is expensive. i had a big diary collection as a child but never of the current year.

I used the diaries for many reasons. I made notes of the home work that the teachers gave us for the vacations in my diary. I copied the list of craft items that I needed to buy for the coming semester. I took down the addresses of my friends to exchange letters during vacations. I also enjoyed just looking at the beautiful paintings and pictures between the pages and touch the glossy, smooth pages. I realized that my diaries were special because they were grown-up stuff, and of course I wanted to be one. But I was yet to discover what to do with them.

That year when I was struggling with my math’s and physics of class eight, I discovered Anne Frank. She took my whole class by madness. Everyone wanted to be like her, a great writer. At the time I was her age when she had started the diary. What if I died? No I rejected that silly notion. I was not a Jew and there were no Nazis in my Hostel. There were a few Hitlers, my teachers. The next year I did start my diary.

It was a struggle. I did not know how to address it. Dear diary, hey there, but I guess I had a poor imagination. I knew it could not hear me. The effort was abandoned. The next year I tried again. I was very depressed for some reason and I knew from somewhere that writing directs your anger towards being constructive. I did. It worked. So I wrote. Every time I was upset, I wrote. Every time I was sad I wrote. Every time I felt I had no one to talk to I wrote. And I wrote only during my vacations.

I abandoned my journals after 4 years of vacation writings. I was in class 11 and I wanted my own room. So the room that lead to the terrace was claimed as mine. It was small, hot and at the back of the house. But I did not care. I had used this room often to write away my anguish, to hide from everyone and read adult novels or just listen to my Walkman which my mother had “gifted” me after 2 years of pleadings. Now this would be my room. Well, I had to clean it first and out came my old journals from previous years. My love of reading lead me to read my creations. Mortified!!! Is that all I can say? I felt embarrassed of my own self. How could I be so naive, mean, silly, and disturbingly sensitive? I was mortified, humiliated and appalled by my outbursts on black and white. I read and then tore the wretched diaries. I also promised myself that I will never put such stuff on paper. I did but on writing pads that were disposed just as soon.

So the point that I make here is that. I can only write when I feel. I am unable to write about things which make little sense to me. And this is for my father who always believed that I am a good writer but I let my emotions rule me. They still do, they always will dad, but I have learnt to channel them. Through my writing I will connect with myself, my childhood and my relations with others. I like people, events, things that inspire me towards better. This blog is an attempt to save and celebrate everything that has made me who I am today.