Saturday, December 3, 2016

Just a wish for a Happy New Year...

365 days is a long enough duration to see the good and the bad times. The moment our clocks tick 12 AM on 1st January of the new year, we wish that the year goes good and happy and that we see no bad times. But that's such an unrealistic wish that we all have. We entered into the new year 2016 with our cousin's family with an elaborate and yummy dinner and lot of fun talking. We bought our own home and were preparing for our grah pravesh and just few days before our event, the same cousin of ours lost his father, mother and the brother in an unbelievable accident. Something which jolted us to the core. Made us think all through the days at end of how this could happen to our family. We of course read about tragic accidents in newspaper but never imagined that something like this could happen to our close family. 

Another cousin got married. The event made all of us cheer back for the moment. His father, a cancer survivor was of course happy to the core. Then came the news of his demise due to medical negligence. How can that happen to our family? Yes, medical negligence happens. But to lose someone so close to this was heartbreaking. 

Coming back to normal, lost my uncle few weeks back. I and my brother had practically spent almost all our childhood summer vacations with that family. He was one of the sweetest beings on earth. Had never seen him shouting or scolding our bunch of unbearable kids. One of the closest childhood buddies of my father and a special brother-in-law for my mother. Seeing my mausi all broken down was a heartbreaking sight. As kids, I don't remember hugging her or her kids (who were our best buddies). Felt it all so natural and important to hug them tight at that moment. 

That's life. We are growing up and our parents are growing old. We all know the ultimate truth of life but to face it is still a challenge. I was clueless of what will I say when I reach their home. Will I cry or will I show that I am strong. Will I be able to say something or not. But the moment I saw her, I just wanted to hug her. Nothing that I could say and nothing that anyone had to convey. But it scared me. Losing someone so close always scares me. 

We plan for so many things to do, to say, to convey. But always delay them owing to our busy schedules. We always think that what's the rush. We have time. But the clock is ticking. God is overlooking us and the delays we do. Some times he decides to wake us up with accidents like these. But do we learn? No. We go back to sleep and wake up to another busy day at home and office, often neglecting our parents, their wishes, our friends, the celebrations that we should be part of. My heart says, I don't want money. I want to be my family and friends. I want to enjoy every special moment with them and share every single harsh moment with them. But my mind knows that the job gives me money, job keeps me engaged, money is needed to give a good life, education and comforts to my family and me too. But none of us know the limit of how much money we need, how much time we should lose running behind the clients, the office, the banks... When should we stop running and declare that I have enough money. Now I want to do what I should do for myself... Every new year comes and goes just like that... I just wish... it's a Happy New Year again...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hit the panic button NOW

8-Nov-2016: I was feeding my daughter her dinner during one of those No-TV-while-eating routines when all of a sudden there were 8-9 non-stop whatsapp pings on my mobile. Scared to death of what might have happened, I hastily unlocked it and opened the app to see so many messages calling out Banned, 500/1000, Modi, News Conference. My non-political and useless in economics mind just could not understand anything. Then I calmed down. Started opening each of the messages, while my daughter literally sat in front of me with her mouth open for next bite (which is a rare site)
I give her the next bite and start reading those messages. PM Modi has banned current 500 and 1000 rupee notes from next day, i.e. 12:00 AM 9-Nov-2016. WHAT??!!! WHY??!! and then I was like - must be some fake news. People forward so many things without knowing, I thought. One of the hand typed messages from one of the most sensible relatives of mine said Press Conference going on Live where these things are being announced.

Since it was my decision that we are not going to turn on the TV while Navyaa is eating her meal, I CANNOT turn on the TV. But who needs TV when you have Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp? From 8:00 PM on 8th Nov till 12:00 PM on 9th Nov, I get almost close to 500 pings on whatsapp, FB wall is full of memes and jokes about obsolete currency notes and fierce war of words is on full swing on twitter. Modi announcement and Trump winning election - deadly combination to generate new jokes !!

Mr. Modi might have just initiated the Golden Announcement and people started pulling on their pyjamas and broken slippers, grabbing their wallets and started running to Petrol Pumps, ATMS, super stores to just do away with those notes. All of a sudden all that we wanted was Zero 500 and 1000 rupee notes and ALL 100 or lesser denomination rupee notes. I mean, c'mon, listen to him first. What are the arrangements made, what are the plans laid, why this is being done... He did not say that whoever has 500 and 1000 rupee notes, burn them coz you have lost that much money. You are just expected to replace those notes from the banks and post offices in upcoming few days. Next 1-2 days banks and ATMs will be closed.

WHAT?? CLOSED?? I AM DEAD... Of course not. They were closed to replenish the stock of the new currency. To modify the money vending slot of ALL the ATMs across India (if anyone has an idea how many ATM machines do we have in our country). To make arrangements of scrutiny which would be done on bigger amounts of cash. 

Petrol was not getting evaporated from Mother Earth. Yes, we are careless about using it but it will not vanish because of this announcement. And how many 100 Rupee notes will those petrol pump guys will have. They just can't replace all the 500/1000 rupee notes for you. 

Next day by afternoon some better sense prevailed. I got some few sensible messages (forwarded only) to not panic and let those people get the money from ATMs and Banks first who are in DIRE need. But I, ME, MYSELF is always in DIRE need. Some people posted angry messages of why so many people are thronging the banks and ATMs and Petrol Pumps to get rid of the old currency.

There is a point. We, Indians, are brought up with a mindset. 'Beta, close the tap, warna paani khatam ho jayega aur pata nahi kab aayega'. Should we not say, 'Beta, close the tap. You should not waste the water if you don't need it'. 'Switch off the fan and light. We are getting too much of electricity bill'. Should we not say, 'Switch off the fan and light when not in use. We should not waste electricity'. That's how we have grown. We are used to getting scared and live in panic. We are made to react to a situation only using a panic button, not made to understand. 

I am not debating on whether this was an intelligent move or not, what was the actual underlying motive of this move, will it actually achieve what it is meant to achieve. I was never good at economics or understanding the politics. I have asked this question on FB and many of my friends have tried to explain it to me, shared some great articles, have debated etc etc.

But all I want to say is, seriously, don't create panic situation - and this is a request to the educated class who can use plastic money. Unless you have a medical emergency or a wedding to take care of, let the people who live on daily wages get their currencies exchanged. They earn money during the day, use it in the evening to get the food for night. They don't use credit cards, many of them don't even have debit cards or accounts. Be patient with bankers. They themselves are over burdened and doing the hard work for you and me. If they want to take a break of 10 minutes, let them take. If they become slow in counting your notes, understand that they are tired. If they are asking for many documents, it's a government mandate which they are following (and that mandate has a reason behind it). We can still buy grocery online, pay for our lavish dinners using cards, book movies on our phones.

No one is going to undo this decision and everyone is going to get the new currency. For once don't be fanatic about taking a selfie with 2000/- note or posting it on FB that you are the Proud Owner of that note. YOU are definitely NOT the first one to touch that currency note. So, what's the big deal?!! You want to show it off to your future generations? Take a picture later on and get it framed for future. Till then, calm yourself down and wait for couple of days.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Proud of you Army...

Though I am least interested in the political affairs of my country, but it is becoming hard to ignore them now. Time and again our country has been tortured by terrorists. Every time we having been churning out enough proofs to show where are they coming from, which country is backing them up, training them for this kind of war. Every time such attack happens, our highly intellectual and desh-bhakt politicians give a statement - 'We strongly condemn the attack. Those who are behind all this will be punished. We are united in this hour of grief... blah blah blah and more blah....'. Appear for debates on news channels, give more and more ridiculous statements and then, everything goes back to normal. Those who lost their near ones continue to cry and pray to God to punish those terrorists. And then, another attack.

One man of the country who has taken up the responsibility of our safety seriously tries to talk through for peace with our neighbor, with obviously no outcome, gives a go-ahead for a surgical attack, our highly skilled army does the job brilliantly, the enemy is shocked and shattered, we Indians feel proud to finally find a man who walks the talk and then our in-house traitors stand up and asks for proof that such a surgical attack actually happened or not.

Such men (and women) should stand up, walk up to a mirror, see their face, give a tight slap on their face and say - I am a traitor who can only doubt my army - the men/women in uniform who risk their lives while I sleep peacefully and gulp in the black money. After saying this loud, give another tight slap on their face and say - I am an even more dangerous enemy of my country.

I mean, you fools... You are doubting your own force??!! They stand guard in the toughest of the conditions literally in front of bullets so that you and I can live a normal life. And you are questioning them whether they actually were brave enough to kill our external enemies!! 

Okay, for a minute lets think that nothing like that happened. Probably, it was a 'publicity stunt' by our PM (because, you are oh-so-very-jealous of him). Is he such a big fool to risk the entire country's safety by annoying his neighbors with such a false news? If you say, YES, oh-puleeez, he is not that big a fool to match your standards of foolishness. 
If it was not a publicity stunt but a thought-through tactic to disturb the enemy and luring them to come out in the open and attack us so that we can kill them on our land, for God's sake, be a part of that plan. 

If you can't praise all of this, just because you just can't digest that Modi regime can do that, then at least don't question our army.
In fact, its a great time to clean up internal enemies. Ask a question to every Indian. Those who thinks that the surgical strike never happened or should not have happened, raise the hands. Those who does, kill them instantly. I am sure, it must be disheartening for our soldiers and their families when they might have heard anyone asking for proofs. That soldier, who is guarding us, is being paid 1/3rd of what we earn monthly (and I am talking about middle class IT/white collar category). That soldier lives away from his/her family for months together. Their kids know them through letters or mobiles now. Their wives are almost always prepared for the bad news. Yet, their kids want to grow up and join the armed forces. Because they know that their dad/mom is a HERO and they want to become a HERO themselves. 
Yet, they live every moment knowing that it might be their last moment to live. Yet, they don't give up till their last breath. Yet, they want to die fighting for the country. Yet, they stand tall and alert for us. Yet, they are being questioned...

What do these people expect? That Mr. Modi should have called for a meeting with all the MPs, MLAs of the country and ask for a permission to carry out this mission? That the army jawan should make a video while they kill their enemies? That once the mission was over, they should submit a video-graphic proof to the common people of the country that they actually risked their lives for them?

Some people said that such a strike was done during Manmohan Singh's time as well. Might be. At that time, they chose not to make a big deal about it. Their choice. This time it was felt necessary to make a big deal about these strikes to announce to the world that India is no longer going to keep quiet. 

Yes, I believe that an artist is an artist, be it an Indian or a Pakistani. But in this situation, why only Indians are trying to protect them, while they conveniently choose to remain silent on the attacks done by their country on us? When Pakistan is quick to ban so many Bollywood movies, artists and performers from India, why are we so eager to entertain their artists and serials with a red carpet? 

At this time, I can only think of the legendary scene from the movie A Wednesday where Naseerudin Shah reveals the reason behind his act. Time and again we are asked this question that we will kill you in your own home, what can you do? This is the perfect answer to that question.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Digital Life

So. It was raining continuously for over a week here at Hyderabad to an extent of making us bored. My baby and parents could not go out for playing or walking. They had to keep all the windows closed to avoid harsh rain water from coming inside. I had to think twice before leaving from office due to heavy rains and had horrible time driving in nearly 0 visibility. All in all, everyone fed up with rain. Kept on praying to God to stop for some time. Didn't help. Finally, what do a Facebook addict do? Obviously post some thing about this on her page. That I did. Here is what I posted:

"bas karo maharaj. ek din chod ke baras lena... i am missing Sun God... continuous rains since 3 days...
As Navyaa says - Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day... Little Navyaa Wants to Play..."

Bang... Rain stopped for exactly one day and resumed after that.

Little Navyaa and her mommy wondering if God really has a Facebook account??!!

Two days later, I get an e-mail from supposedly a Padre who has received a message from my own personal GUARDIAN ANGEL who has contacted him personally to 'transmit' his message to me!!!

Little Navyaa and her mommy again wondering if God has a Google account??!!

Everyday we see scores of messages on Facebook with heart wrenching photographs asking people to Type Amen or face 10 years of bad luck and I see my friends actually typing Amen on them.
Like if you have the Best Mom in the World... What if I don't press the Like button over there? Will my Mom be termed as the Worst mom in this world??!!
Out of 271 Friends that I have on my FB account, I think there are hardly 20 of them who genuinely read my posts, like my photos. There are other 10 who never even log in to FB but randomly give me a call to talk. Rest all had been added because we either studied together or worked together and now we want to remain in touch and feel jealous with fancy holiday photographs.

When I have to write my feedback on a form after I take any interview these days, my hands shiver and I write almost illegible words which I myself cannot read after five minutes. Why? I use laptop these days. I mean, I have been using laptop since past 10 years now (or more).

I almost feel suicidal some times when I see some of my highly intellectual friends sharing some debatable news item along with their opinions. How can they read so much? Believe me, they are spending too much time on reading incorrect news. News which was created to create tension, to grab the eyeballs and to let down some or the other party/community.

One crime or incident and 10 different point of views. Why? Because everyone is free to give their opinion on this digital platform. It's free. So, post your opinion with a catchy headline and enjoy the show.

We may laugh on this but in India the only channel which gives the news might be DD National. All others are debate channels. And they have online/digital presence as well, in case you miss their SHOW.

This Facebook addict needs a Digital Detoxification therapy. No FACEBOOK TOMORROW. But I will share this on my FB Page before I start this therapy :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dangerous Obsessions

A lady in Jaipur slit the throat of her 4 month old baby girl...
A lady in some city in UP, threw her sister-in-law's few months old baby boy out of the window out of jealousy since she herself had 2 or 3 daughters and her sister-in-law gave birth to a boy...
Both these incidents did not take place in some rural remote part of India, these heinous crimes were committed in Tier 2 cities of India. The lady from Jaipur, I read, was a Delhi University pass out. And these ladies wanted BOYS...

And these incidents took place barely a month after 3 girls made India proud in Olympics, apart from some amazing performances from other girls who unfortunately could not win the medals but made the world sit up and notice them. 

What is our obsession with having boys? What's so special about them? Probably, they can't be raped. Or, they don't have to give the dowry. Or, they can beat up some one. 

Couple of incidents where sons of some petty MLAs or MPs kicked and thrashed and killed someone just because they did not give them a way for overtaking on the road. Some powerful goons or what we call chamchas of our 'Leaders' refuse to pay any toll just because they are related to the bade saab. If someone dares to stop them, they vandalize the toll booths. Did their mothers wanted to give birth to boys for doing these glorious activities?

You grow a boy instilling the fact in him that HE is the supreme power and girls are nothing in comparison with a boy, they will end up raping a girl. In fact, throwing out their own parents from their house.

You nurture a girl without making them ever feel anything lesser than boys, you will probably get her love and support for your entire life and she might even make the world notice her. I completely fail to understand why the females themselves are obsessive about having boys? Because, they were made to grow up to do nothing else in their life apart from getting married, running a house, become a Birth machine and get their kids married.

You let go the expectation of dowry from your prospective future daughter-in-law, you bring in a daughter in your home who will love you unconditionally. You keep on demanding and expecting dowry, you just bring in a girl in your house, who will hate you from her core. Moreover, she will possibly grow into that lady from Jaipur who would kill her own daughter.

It's up to the parents to make the girls set some goals for themselves in their lives. It's not only for boys to do something different with their lives - becoming a cricketer or a rock star or a photographer or a journalist. Yes, the girls should get married and so does boys. Yes, she has to take care of her home and so should the boys. She too can have her own life, her own ambitions, he own friend circle, her own goals, her own passions to follow. Don't pull her down when she is enthusiastic about her dreams, reminding her always that she has a husband, a baby and in-laws and society to take care of. A boy also has a wife, a baby and in-laws and society to take care of. Why, in that case, HE is not reminded of all that?

We have seen so many girls coming from highly orthodox families who denied them basic rights to sanitation and education but they have made everyone proud. Why do they have to struggle their way up always? Probably, that's a wrong statement that I just made. Without supporting my numbers with any fact, why 90% of the girls have to struggle to come out of their closet and shine? Why we, the Educated class, still don't think that our girls can be a sportswoman or a full time artist or a journalist or a bike rider? Why we still frown upon the girls who are not married even when they are 32 years old? Why we still want our daughters to have long hair, wear traditional Indian cloths, come back home before 8 PM, get married by the age of 26, bear at least 2 kids - one boy and one girl...??

It's all linked. First of all, God or any sadhu baba, no one can control if a woman will give birth to a boy or to a girl. Get that fact straight. It probably might be possible by science by controlling some DNAs etc etc but I am sure that solution might be very expensive. So, let's talk about our middle class educated society. Having said that no one control OR even predict whether a woman will give birth to a girl or to a boy, it is stupid to feel angry with your Bahu for giving you a Baby Girl and hate that innocent baby. But that's what happen. So, the neighbors feel pity on you that your bahu gave birth to a girl. Oh, let me remind you, these neighbors are going to just hand over a cover with 101/- only on your grand son's wedding. Point is, don't bother too much about what they say. But that's what we do. We hear to their pity-laden-congratulations and start feeling sorry about having a girl child born in our home. We pass on these negative vibes to our sons, who pass them on to their wives - who is a newbie mom to a girl child. She resists hard to not feel bad about it, but guess what, she is surrounded by 101/- cash giving neighbors and relatives who are continuously feeling pity on her daughter. 'Start saving money and making gold ornaments from now onwards for her wedding', 'girls are so expensive to raise with all their cloths and accessories','don't let her remain outside home after dark', 'get her married before 25 else she might run away with some boy', 'don't get her marry anyone from xyz community. They take heavy dowry', 'now, try for a boy next time'... Phew... So, the parents of the Girl knows that they have a given birth to the burden of their lives.

And, if it's a BOY.... oh, boy. 'He will become next Shah Rukh Khan', 'he is so cute. He will become very famous', 'save him from girls', 'He will surely make your family's name shine', 'you are lucky that you got a boy. Now, you don't need any more kids'. So, the parents of the Boy know that their only hope for name, fame and money (dowry) is their son.

And that's the start of the vicious circle. Educate yourself and your child to become a good human being rather than make them literate with the consciousness of them being a Girl or a Boy and what limitations or power their gender have. Your daughter should not be a birth machine and your boy is not the dowry-earner. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Get back the CONTROL

Yes, I have yet again been away from my blog. Being mommy to a hyper active toddler, working in an IT company, a home to take care of and being a wife, daughter and daughter-in-law... That's too much for an average person but guess what, I am not the only one playing so many roles. Almost everyone does that. But somewhere, I have lost control on myself. I have forgotten to be ME. I have shouted at top of my voice and cried so much in past 6-7 months more number of times than I had done in my entire life. 
Some people around me have been trying to console me and telling me to remain calm for they are afraid that I might end up with a heart attack or a sudden death any time now. Some people have constantly been telling me to calm down without realizing that they are, in fact, the reason for all this.
But some thing happened today. I participated in a clay Ganesha making workshop with my 2.5 year old daughter conducted by BalaGokulam Hyd in my apartment. Being 2.5 years old, she was more interested in just making the clay round and applying water. So, it was me who made the Ganesha. During the photo shoot, her Ganesha crash landed on the floor. We came back home and I remade the sculpture. Suddenly, I felt at peace. Call it some divine connection or whatever. But I felt as if I have gone back to my childhood, when I used to be creative, active at sports, agile and HAPPY.

I realized that I used to write on my blog which I have been neglecting for so many months. But enough now. I am going to get back the control on my life. 
I don't want to die shouting and yelling and thinking too much about what someone said to me. I don't want my daughter to miss me in her growing years. I want to be around her till she is old enough to ignore me and be with her friends or studies or activities. So, what am I going to do? Here is a list and I don't know how soon I am going to start doing these but I have to get on them before this year end:
  1. Like it happened today again. Some one shouted at me without realizing his tone and without any valid reason. I ignored him and repeated to myself - 'I am right in what I am doing. This person has always been like that. It's his problem. IGNORE'. I know some of you might think that it is wrong to keep on listening to any garbage and remain silent. But if that other person has always been like that, you have already spent many years to change his attitude and yours too, but nothing has changed, so move on. Why to increase your BP and die?
  2. Indulge in creative activities with my daughter
  3. Do some sort of relaxing activity like Yoga, Walk or Meditation
  4. Write the blog - no particular frequency but take out time, look around what is happening in the world, put down my thoughts. It will actually push me to look outside my immediate circle of husband, baby, home and office
  5. Eat whatever I want, whenever I want - don't feel guilty about eating something lavish without my family. I need to get some ME time. At this time I am not looking to stop eating junk food. Healthy food can come later.
  6. Stop shouting. If my cranky baby is not listening to me when she is crying her lungs out, move out of the scene or pick her up and keep quiet. 
  7. Stop worrying about her regular meals - if she does not finish her portion, let her be. She can sleep with a glass of milk
  8. Read out a story to my daughter every night before she goes to sleep
  9. Develop some good habits - brushing my teeth before I go to sleep, wash my face after I come back from office and before I go to sleep, drink lot of water throughout the day etc. These might sound trivial things to do but they actually help
  10. Regularly talk to my friends over the phone. Not only through Watsapp or Facebook
  11. Once in a week go for a NO PHONE/SOCIAL MEDIA DAY (except calling my parents or emergency messages)
  12. Not sure how and to whom, but I want to get back to writing the letters which I used to do during my childhood days. I have to find out whom to write a letter to. Someone who do not make fun of me for doing this or feel weird about it. Or, I can just write the letters and keep them with me. That has to be figured out.
Writing all this itself is making me feel better and it's high time I do these things before I plunge into depression and make other peoples' lives difficult.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Will you marry me?

Okay. So there was a writing contest where every month a renowned author would give a passage, using which the contestants have to craft a story. I sent for one of the months. Needless to say, that my story could not make it to the winners list. But then I thought, if not for contest, I still liked my attempt on story writing. I can still put it up on MY BLOG. So, here it is. Enjoy. 

It was a cold February dawn as I stepped out of the cab and ambled towards the entry gate no 3 at Delhi airport. I was headed to Bangalore to attend a college friend’s wedding. It had been a tumultuous four years since we had got adjusted to our lives after graduation and this was also to be a class re-union of sorts. What I didn't know was that the reunion would begin much ahead of time; right in the queue in front of the airline counter.

For a moment I was hesitant but in the very moment I was sure it was her
Same height! Same long hair! Same complexion! Curiosity had my eyes glued to her. And then about 60-odd seconds later, when she turned, she proved me right. My ex-girlfriend stood two places ahead of me in that queue. We had never met after the college farewell.

For next ten seconds so many thoughts raced my mind. Does she still hate me? Will she forgive me? Is she married? Yes? No? Should I talk to her? But who is this old lady holding her hand? And before I could stop myself I heard my own hoarse quivering voice, “Hi, Kavyaa”

She turned around to see who called her out but I think she didn’t notice me. I stepped up to her and repeated, “Hi, Kavyaa. How are you?”

“Umm, I am sorry, I can’t recollect you”

My heart skipped a beat. It has been just 4 years. Yes, we fought on a trivial issue. She wanted to get married a year after college while I wanted 3-4 years of money making and then talk to my parents. Only I know that I didn’t have the courage to walk up to my parents and introduce her to them. But we were girlfriend and boyfriend for 3 long years. And here she is. Not looking into my eyes and asking who am I?

“Its me, Kavvya, Nihit!  Don’t tell me you already forgot me?”

“Nihit!!! Oh My God. How are you? I just didn’t expect to meet you here”, she said with the same energy and love that made me fall for her.

“Nihit. I am Kavyaa’s mom”, the old lady accompanying Kavyaa turned to me and began speaking

“Looks like you two have not been in touch off late. She actually met with a near fatal accident after her college which took away her vision”, said the old lady

The queue moved ahead and so did Kavyaa and her mom but I couldn’t move an inch. I felt like throwing up. Only if I could have mustered some courage to talk to our parents, her life would have been different with me. She wouldn’t have met that accident. Oh, she is still so beautiful and vibrant. I stood there like a rock.

After the security check, I caught up with them at an eating joint.
“I am going to have some coffee. Do you want something Kavyaa?”, asked her mom.
“Coffee for me too”
“And you beta?”
“Nothing aunty. Thanks. I will get the coffee for you”, I said
“No no. You both talk. I will get the coffee”. I also didn’t pursue her further. I wanted to talk to Kavyaa alone.
“I am sorry Kavyaa”
“For what? Nihit, I am alright. Yes, that accident was devastating but thanks to my parents and friends, I have moved on in my life. I work as a counselor at a trauma center. It took me some time to gather all the broken pieces for my life. But I joined a blind school and they restored my confidence and faith in life. Don’t feel sorry about me”

How can she be so positive about life? Has she actually moved on in her life?

“You have no hard feelings for me?”, something which was bothering me the most.
“Of course not, Nihit. The best thing that this accident has taught me is to live your life with no regrets and hatred. Life is too short for all this. I could have died in that accident but I got away with few broken bones and loss of vision”, she said with as-a-matter-of-fact attitude. That put me at ease.
“I hope you are also going for Swami and Richa’s wedding at Bengaluru?!”, I asked
“Yup. I still can’t believe that they are getting married. They always fought and argued. But it would be fun to see them get married in both South and North Indian styles”, excitement flowing through her eyes.
“So, are you married?”
“No. Many boys proposed to me but when they came to know that I can’t see them, they ran away”, she laughed and I only managed to give an awkward smile. 

Shortly, her mom joined us with three cups of coffee. Kavyaa kept on telling her mom about our college time, even dropping obvious hints that we were a couple back then, while I sipped my coffee in complete silence.

We landed at Bengaluru airport after a two and a half hour journey and decided to board a single cab since our destination was same.

The moment we walked in to the venue for the lunch cocktail party, Swami and Richa ran towards us to get into a group huddle. Other gang members shortly joined us to form a bigger huddle. I managed to smile and congratulate the bride and the groom. All of us were looking ultra-suave as compared to our college days. No more once-in-two-months-washed jeans, loose yet cheap shirts, some local pair of shoes with a fake logo of popular brands. Our gang looked bigger with some new additions as spouses or kids.

“Hey guys. Wait wait wait. I have been eagerly waiting to ask you guys. Since mom has never seen Nihit during our college days, how does he look now?”, Kavyaa asked our gang.

“Bulging belly almost about to tear up his shirt. Bald. Have got himself a moustache. Looks like an uncle”, quipped Meera and I instantly looked towards Kavyaa who broke into her patented laughter while others joined in to embarrass me, though I still looked the same as I was during our college days.

While in college Kavyaa always told me: “If you eat all this junk 18 hours a day, you will soon have a fat belly tearing up your shirt, go bald and look like my uncle in next 2-3 years. Stop eating that garbage”

Looking at everybody, I realized that I was the only one who knew nothing about her accident. Kavyaa might have told them not to inform me about it. I decided to be by her side for the rest of the wedding event.

The wedding was organized in a resort which was very much closer to the Bengaluru airport and it was a beautiful place. Open, green, stylish and comfortable at the same time. Bengaluru’s famous weather added to its beauty.
“What do you see in front of you Nihit?”, she suddenly asked me while both of us were relaxing on a bench close to a pond catching me unawares.
“Nothing much”, I replied
“Nothing at all? How is that possible? Look around and tell me what you see. Okay, look around for me please. I am going to feel the beauty of this place through your eyes”
Suddenly, I realized what she meant.
“We are sitting on a white bench which is facing a small pond with crystal clear water. I can see two ducks with 3 baby ducks in that pond. The duck family is enjoying the sunshine. All around us is a carpet of green grass trimmed beautifully, where I can see three, no, five rabbits chasing each other and the grass is outlined with tall trees which shelters lot of birds. Far behind us, two morons are throwing fake smiles at unlimited guests who have gathered here for their wedding. They don’t know even half of those relatives. Sun is playing hide and seek with us, hiding behind the white clouds who have no intention to shower rain. And, I am sitting next to a beautiful girl who wants to keep on talking and at this moment, is patiently listening to my blabbering”. This is when I actually paid attention to the beauty of the resort.
“Thanks Nihit. I can see all this now”, she looked satisfied and took a deep breath to soak into the atmosphere

Then I saw, what she had done.

Apart from getting her ready and plating food for her, which was done by her doting mother, I became her eyes. I almost forgot that I have come here to meet my gang. It was as if I was here to be by her side, to make her laugh, to show her the wedding. Every time she changed her dress, she looked even more beautiful. She still has not lost her sense of dressing up.

“What do you think? Am I looking okay in this saree?”, she asked me while I was lost admiring her beauty
“Okay? You look stunning. Don’t stand closer to Richa, people will mistake you for bride”, I said, and I actually meant that
She was dressed in a stunning red saree for the Sangeet night. Opening performance was by the bride and the groom. More than a dance performance it was a shy bride-shy groom singing some overtly romantic Bollywood song while making some gestures with their hands and excited Uncles and Aunties joining them while throwing away crisp new currency notes into air. We had a good laugh. Still not able to digest that they were getting married.

After that I realized that Kavyaa is not standing next to me anymore. While I started searching for her, Richa’s younger sister, Anu, announced the next performance.
“Put your hands together for the dancing diva of Richa’s gang – Kavyaaaaaa”, and she exited the stage amidst a thunderous applause to hold Kavyaa’s hand and bring her to the centre of the stage.
The music started but I turned deaf. I could not hear anything. I was just staring at her with my mouth wide open. “She can dance as well?”, I thought to myself.
“Of course, she can. She has just lost her vision, not the spirit”, reminded me my inner self.

Next morning, was the wedding in South Indian style. It was very early morning actually. I missed most of it, since I thought sleep and breakfast were more important for me than attending the early morning wedding rituals. It was almost over when I made an entry and our gang was being adjusted by a team of photographers around Swami and Richa for a group photo. After adjusting them tirelessly for fifteen minutes, I silently made some space for myself next to Kavyaa, who immediately knew that it was me.

“Your love for food won over your friends’ wedding. Again, huh?”
“How did you know that it’s me?”, I asked her in surprise.
“Losing sense of vision meant gaining sense of touch and smell”
We then had our traditional South Indian lunch on banana leaves, somehow managing not to spill over the sambhar on our cloths, while she ate everything so neatly.

The evening was reserved for North Indian wedding complete with baraat (the funny procession of the groom), jai mala (the noisiest event of the wedding) and pheras (the most boring part). We danced our hearts out during the baraat on long forgotten Punjabi songs, tossed the bride and groom in air during jai mala. Now was the most boring part of the wedding but I still have not understood, why is this the most important, emotional and exciting part for the girls?

I remember Kavyaa telling me how much she loved the chanting of mantras, swearing in to live with each other for the next seven lives, getting your hands yellowed by your parents, going around the fire. Listening to her only made me sleep. Anyways.
“Are they ready for the seven pheras?”, she asked
“Yes”, I replied while casually looking up from my mobile to check if they were actually standing
“Did I see tears in her eyes? No. What is there for her to cry?”, I thought to myself and got back to my game

As soon as the Pandit ji announced that seven pheras were completed and they are now husband and wife, lot of things happened all of a sudden – thundering applause, showering of flower petals, some sighing with relief (finally, it was over), some making sure that Swami remembers what all Pandit ji said during each of the pheras and Kavyaa springing up from her chair and clapping her hands with all her might, tears rolling down her lovely cheeks
As the tears rolled, I went down on my knees, catching them in my left hand and my right hand holding her hands. Her mom was the first one to notice this and all of a sudden everyone went quiet, I guess my movements were way too fast to bring everyone’s attention to us

“Kavyaa, I am not saying this because I feel pity on you for your accident. I am not saying this because you need a support. I am not saying this because I think you can’t take care of yourself.
I am saying this because I need you. You made me see things around me which were always so beautiful. Only I was too busy to notice them. You gave me a reason to laugh, because I wanted to make you laugh. In the last two days you have shown me what I have missed all these years.

Kavyaa Arora, will you please marry me, support me, make me a better person?”