Will Write For Coffee

and food and vacations, too.

Month: January 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Republic Day

“What is the point of being a ‘proud Indian’ just on two days of the year? Why can’t you be a good citizen all year round?”

“What is the point of nationalism? You had no control over where you were born. What’s the point of national pride?”

These are just some of the variants you come across on Twitter on a daily basis. The frequency increases whenever Republic Day and Independence Day are round the corner. Because not really caring about nation is the new vegan.

Which is fine. India is a democracy, and you are still allowed to be an asshole.

And that itself should be a reason for you to be proud of India.

India has its own flaws. Way too many of them. Widespread corruption, poverty, malnutrition, crime. All sort. I live a very sheltered life as compared to a major chunk of the nation. And as long as these problems exist, India cannot really be great in its true sense.

Really? I don’t know. No nation is going to be perfect, ever. There will always be something or the other going wrong.

Yes, so there is widespread corruption, but there are also people who are doing amazing work, selflessly, without any acknowledgement of any sort. While there is poverty, there are people donating in cash and kind to those in need. Sharing is still caring. The country’s Supreme Court opened it’s doors at 2 am to hear petition to save a life of a convict guilty of waging a war against the country. For every crime committed, there is hope of justice, however delayed it could get. (you cannot ignore it is a country of over a billion, with way too many court cases.)

The history is always written by the winner. Shouldn’t I be proud of the glorious past? Yes, the Mughals, the Portuguese, the British – they all ruled us – but then, they shaped our present and we will shape our future. You cannot have a path for future if you do not learn from the past, right?

And despite everything that is wrong with the country, I am glad I am born here. There is no other place I’d rather have spent my formative years.

I shall forever be indebted to this country for the sense of pride and nationalism it has instilled in me.

Whenever I see the Tricolour, I feel immense pride. India, I’ll gladly take a bullet for you. Gladly.

Gone Girl: Twitter Version

Disclaimer: All Twitter handles are fictitious. Do not burn my effigies. If you do want to burn my effigies, let me know, I’ll send across a cute selfie.  <3

Twitter was her addiction. She barely slept for fear of missing out. Every minute she was awake, she refreshed her timeline to reply or favourite tweets of people she loved. She also refreshed timelines of people she didn’t follow but still kept track of, because she would rather lose sleep than miss out on a tweet which might get deleted while she’s catching her forty winks.

In her mind, @JamesPriyaSaur had decided that not only she loves @PaidReviewero, but had even convinced herself that @PaidReviewero is her soulmate. They would spend countless days and nights favouriting each others’ tweets and replying, something with just emojis, because love does not always need to be expressed through words, and sending direct messages to each other.

@PaidReviewero, on his part, considered @JamesPriyaSaur just one of his many muses, with whom he liked to flirt with, and write poems and sonnets for. It was his creative outlet, Twitter. He made it very clear to @JamesPriyaSaur as well. Except, @JamesPriyaSaur thought he was kidding because how can anyone not be in love with her, especially when he dedicates sonnets for her!

@JamesPriyaSaur found @PaidReviewero’s interest in her waning. HOW COULD HE! HOW COULD HE!

Must do something to get the attention back on me, she thought.

She created a new Twitter handle. @SaffronMoon143 and started interacting with @PaidReviewero. She saved the screenshots of her conversations with @PaidReviewero, where he had declared his undying lust for @SaffronMoon143.

She then deactivated her Twitter handle @JamesPriyaSaur. She wanted @PaidReviewero to miss her. To crave for her the way she craved for his attention and love.

Unfortunately, when @PaidReviewero didn’t even notice her absence, as he was busy writing sonnets for @SaffronMoon143, @JamesPriyaSaur lost her shit and she decided to make all the conversation with @PaidReviewero and @SaffronMoon143 public. A screenshot is a brilliant weapon of a scorned Twitter muse gone full psycho.

@JamesPriyaSaur ensured @PaidReviewero leaves Twitter for good, even as she continues her search for true love over the social network.

#Sigh

When I was 12, my father tried to teach me that in the long run, no one really is a nice person. I dismissed it as his cynicism which stemmed from him having to face too many hardships too early in his life. Shit does shit stuff to you.

Whenever my sister and I argued, and I would go complain that she was rude to me, I would get scolded. “what do you mean rude? why should anyone be nice to you?” – it would hurt. Still does when I think about it. But that is one of the harshest realities of the world. The world owes you nothing.

He probably didn’t mean it. Or he just wanted to toughen up his cry baby who still cries even while watching Sasural Simar Ka.

But that was one of the most important lessons of my life.

The world does not owe me anything. (of course, I do give in to temptations and develop expectations, and get upset when those are not met, because despite harsh childhood lessons, I still chose to believe that good things are supposed to happen to me. That I deserve all the happiness I want)

I don’t know what has upset me so much today. The fact that Arvind Kejriwal is playing extremely dirty politics and blame game on death of a student (I refuse to refer to the student on basis of his caste – because no, not just #DalitLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter – EVERYONE deserves to live *and* die with dignity) or the fact that Bhupendra Chaubey was being astoundingly condescending on life choices of Sunny Leone. Yes, probably no one aspires to be a porn star but then who are you to pass on the moral judgement? Or question them? Chutiye saale sab ke sab.

I don’t know. Why do I feel that politics should be kept away from deaths? And that deaths should not be associated with caste or religion or food habits? And that you should be fighting because someone died, who shouldn’t have. Iklakh died. Poojary died. Rohith died. If we want to rise above these compartmentalisation of society, we need to rise above it, right?

Instead of celebrating beef eating, let us sensitise people? Instead of trending Dalit lives matter, let us try and have a society where all students get equal opportunity, irrespective of their caste?

बड़े वंश से क्या होता है, खोटे हों यदि काम?

नर का गुण उज्जवल चरित्र है, नहीं वंश-धन-धान।

 

Zoya

Fiction inspired by Gillian Flynn. (it is not a love story)

The forensic reports were in. Avantika was hysterical. Her two year old child was poisoned to death. She could not believe anyone could kill a child. Avantika, her husband, Jay, her parents and her sister, Apeksha were in the police station, trying to make sense of what Inspector Dubey was telling them.

The week before the scene at police station, 34 year old Avantika woke up to see her two year old daughter, Zoya, lying dead beside her. The child had died in the sleep, at around 3 am, and Avantika and Jay slept with their dead child between them, till the maid rang the bell in the morning. Previous night they had been to her parents’ place to celebrate her elder sister, Apeksha’s 40th birthday.

Apeksha was a school teacher and taught English to high school students. Well endowed Apeksha was the ‘favourite teacher’ of her students. Apeksha didn’t have to try too hard to get the hormones of puberty hit high school students roaring. Love, however, eluded her. Her younger sister, Avantika, got married four years back to Jay. “Marriage is not the end of life,” her parents told her, and she agreed. She has had her share of fun, while the happily ever after played hide and seek.

The family had decided to make her feel special for her birthday and they had a small family time. Apkesha was elated. Her close-knit family was around. Her niece Zoya, whom she doted on, made sure Apeksha doesn’t get to cut her birthday cake, because “Zoya will cut the cake”. “Of course, you would, Zo,” Apeksha planted a kiss on Zoya’s cheeks and even took a tiny bite of her cheeks while Zoya tried to free herself from her aunt’s clutches.

It was a happy evening. Soon after the dinner, the playful Zoya, tired of all the running around, fell asleep in her aunt’s arms. Avantika and Jay did not want to disturb her and so they didn’t wake her up as they brought her home. Zoya slept between Avantika and Jay, like every night, but unlike every morning, she didn’t wake up.

Avantika was beside herself when she called her parents to tell them about Zoya’s passing. They could not believe the little one, so playful, so loving, is not breathing. Will never will.

No parent could believe they slept while their child died. Avantika and Jay had called their neighbour, Dr. Rao, to have a look at Zoya. Dr. Rao examined Zoya, rather Zoya’s dead body, and insisted on post mortem. Zoya’s lips had turned purple, and the death didn’t seem natural. A police case was filed and it was concluded Zoya was poisoned.

Who would want to murder a two year old child?

At the police station, Inspector Dubey looked around, trying to judge their reactions. This seemed like an inside job, but the implications of the statement were horrifying. It is sacrilege to even indicate that someone from a well educated and well to do family might have killed the baby.

First needle of suspicion pointed at the parents. In a country where honour killing is still prevalent, is it possible that the parents, in their mad desire for a male child killed a female one? There was no polite way to bring it up.

The poison which killed the child could have been easily purchased from a chemical store. They were not restricted substances and it only required basic knowledge of chemistry to turn these seemingly harmful chemicals into a potent poison.

Apeksha’s phone beeped and she excused herself momentarily.

Inspector Dubey’s watchful gaze followed her as she took the call near the window. The aunt. Inspector Dubey looked at the report again. “These ingredients are found in mosquito repellants, which are not as harmful by themselves. But in large quantity in its potent form, it could be fatal.”

No, what he was thinking was preposterous. Apeksha turned around and caught Inspector Dubey studying her. She twitched a little and her blinked a few times in quick succession.

“Cause of death: accidental poisoning.” it said.

“No one poisoned the child, but it seems Zoya might have consumed some mosquito repellant while playing which lead to her death. It was a case of accidental poisoning,” he said. “I am sorry,” he added.

The family was driven by grief and could not control crying over their loss. Apeksha was inconsolable too, replaying all the moments she has spent just the day before her death with her.

That night, as Apeksha lay in her bed, trying to sleep, she smiled.

Ever since she was born, Apeksha hated Avantika. Avantika grew up to be luckier than Apeksha in all ways and that just made Apkesha bitter. She always said she was a proud sister and how happy she always was for Avantika, but deep down, her hatred was growing. When she got married, she could not believe Avantika found her happily ever after and she hadn’t even though she was far prettier than Avantika. Everyone said so! How can Avantika be getting her share of happiness too?

Things worsened when Avantika had a baby. As if Avantika wasn’t enough, even her baby has come along to claim a share in the attention Apeksha believed was rightfully hers. She loathed Zoya, who was just how Avantika was when she was her age. She hated to have another Avantika in her life.

She had to die. Zoya had to die. Something so dear from Avantika needs to be taken away from her so she could never recover from the loss.

And mosquito repellant took care of the little pests forever.

Older posts