Apology Unrendered

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Have seen it time and time again
Those who hurt us in some big way
And never feel sorry, come what may
Never realize and never acknowledge
But act as if theirs is always a superior way

They’re sure to hurt us more and more
In the same manner  Continue reading

Laila’s Brother – a short story

As she switched channels on television, Laila paused to focus on one and looked intently at what they were showing.

Suddenly she shouted, “Maa! Look!!  Isn’t that brother? They are showing his pictures.”

Maa thought Laila is, as usual, day-dreaming so she didn’t come out.

Laila said it louder this time, and so Maa stepped out of her kitchen to cast a casual glance at what her ten-year-old insisted on showing.

True indeed! There he was. Her son. Various pictures of him on a TV show. His boyhood picture, and also one as a young man in a group hug. But she wasn’t too sure which one was him although she could tell.

Maa was shocked as well as too confused. “I have not seen your brother since long. Is that him?”

Now Maa was not even listening to the voice on TV, for at this moment it all felt like a dream. “You are right Laila! Of course it is him.”

His boyhood pictures – that is how Maa had ascertained it was indeed her son. And that’s the only way Laila had recognized her brother the moment she saw him on TV.

Laila had not seen her brother in real life. Not exactly, as she was almost a baby when he left home without telling anyone. But she had grown up seeing his various pictures that she often saw in her Maa’s hands. Pictures Maa carefully kept locked in her wardrobe – a young boy flying a kite, a simple student engrossed in his books, a devout praying to the Almighty, and many more.

Admiring these pictures, so many times Laila had secretly wished she could see her brother once, and play with him. She had heard stories that her brother was a bright and sharp-minded student so she aspired to be like him.

And now…intently watching her son on TV,  the dazed Maa said “Laila, that’s what he looked like when he left home. Only twelve. Still baby faced. But what is he doing there?”

Laila was not listening anymore, and not even watching TV. Soon she sneaked out and got busy playing with her friends.

Maa changed the channel but her son was on this one too.

“Hang on! What’s that?” she murmured to herself as she looked closely, for this channel showed more of his pictures. She had never seen her young boy carry a huge real gun in his hand. She suddenly remembered he was very fond of toy guns. Always.

With her hand on her mouth, she sighed “He had a fighter in him. But God! What has he been up to?” 

This time Maa paid attention to what they were saying. The female newsreader referred to him as ‘Mastermind’. He had fought with the whole world. He had taken lives. He was the vile schemer who planned it all, she heard that voice say.  But how can she believe that her innocent boy can do all that?

Maa was sobbing incessantly. Her eyes glued to the TV, tears blurred her vision and she couldn’t see clearly what they showed. She began to remember his childhood even more.

As a boy he was a rebel. As a seven year old he fought with the whole community that he won’t allow a goat to be killed in the name of sacrifice. When did he become a butcher? She wondered. At what age did he first kill a human being?  14? 17? Or later? She’ll never know, thought Maa.  He also wanted to do big things; wanted to be famous. So this was the big thing he did now? He has become popular all over the world!  Maa cried as she thought of all this. Now the whole day, media will broadcast his name, relay news about her 24 year old boy behind some major killings. Did she give birth to this dreaded man? 

The more she thought of him, the more Maa couldn’t contain herself. Again and again she banged her head against the wall, beat her stomach that gave birth to this child, beat her breasts that nurtured him.

The whole world knew what he was up to, only I didn’t.  He has been killed and the whole world knows it. The whole world is rejoicing his death, but how can I? The whole world hates him but I can’t!  I never will. How can I? But I must”

Maa broke down. But as she saw Laila coming inside, she wiped her tears and switched off the television. She also decided to not let Laila see any TV for a few days. She didn’t want Laila to hate her only brother.

Laila came in and asked innocently, “Maa! Is brother coming back?”

Maa felt like saying, “No Laila, the path he chose to walk, is only one-way. There’s no return from there.” But instead, pulling her daughter close to her by waist, she said, “I do not know, dear. Hope he does!”.

At least for now this seemed to be the right answer.  Maybe sooner or later, the older Laila will find out, but by then she’ll prepare her daughter to handle the truth.

Soon Laila went to her room feeling happy. Outside, exhausted sun was on the last leg of its daily journey. Maa switched off the light and sat in the dark, brooding and weaving all sorts of thoughts.

~~~

At that moment somebody knocked.  Maa hesitated, and then opened the door. It was police, who came to inform the obvious.

All these years she had waited for the officials to bring some news about her only son’s whereabouts. But they had no clue. Sometime back cops had come asking for him but she had no idea. Now both police as well as Maa knew it all, but the game was over.

The police went away as it came.  Maa was aware it was their last visit. Police will not come back anymore. And neither will her son.

~~~ ~~~

Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes a new story writing challenge.

Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar

To Be Enlightened…

Just now I read Balroop Singh’s poem ‘A Journey’, at her blog Emotional Shadows.
At first I took it as a simple poem. Then as I re-read her poem and dissected it, there started a whole thought process in my mind.

Reading her lines…she says she’s robbed of certain things.

You have always robbed me
Of my happiness, my triumph
Weakened my strength, my confidence
Rubbished my care, my concern
Hurt my most cherished memories

Being robbed is a strong feeling. It’s not easy to say that. We can only be robbed of something that we once possessed, and here in her case it’s happiness, care, confidence (in people? In herself?). People for whom we cared too much have ‘rubbished’ this care by shutting themselves off, and this hurts only because these people were different, probably they too cared once upon a time but now ‘indifferent’ towards us.

Her love can’t reach that person anymore but still she’s willing to absorb his/her incredible indifference.

‘My love can’t reach there anymore

Your incredible indifference
Could reach me… I’ve absorbed it.’

Distanced hearts. Family members change. Friends change. Overall the hurt is always about first having something that assured a lot of happiness and then losing it altogether; a total sense of loss – not material but that of time and emotions spent. Life spent.

But Balroop has found a path out of all this. A ‘flight of fantasy’, a ‘detachment’, as she enters her own ‘exotic realm’, embarking her own journey. Once again, a question of ‘flight’ also arises only if we were stuck or too involved in a particular situation for long, often at the cost of overlooking other things or people. Likewise, we can only be ‘detached’ from those people, situations or relations with whom we were too attached once.

Overall, I would say this process is eventually liberating. It may seem as if this liberation comes with a price…that of losing the object of your care, love, concern and attachment. But liberation also brings this ‘light’ which, as Balroop says, seems ‘strange’ at first. But that’s because you are not used to seeing things differently. One corner of your heart wishes to remain stuck in the previous wallowing situation. Because letting go of this sentimentalism will also mean letting go of the person of our focus and love.

Finally, we either let go, or forgive them for not caring for us as much as we do. Which also means thereafter we may end up loving them unconditionally, thus accepting whatever little attention they give or do not give.

I am immersed in a strange light
Streaming through me
Sending the waves of forgiveness
Spreading the message of love
Unconditional…absolute.

Thus, if previously they were the only ones who had changed, now finally we too have changed. With this change of focus, now our love will also be no more fixated on these few people who demanded and consumed our life. Our love and care is now meant to be shared with many different people, whosoever needs it more. That is enlightenment.

I feel, as we grow older, we learn these lessons within our families and friends.  I do not know what exactly Balroop was talking about, and which particular relations – possibly children, family, siblings, beloved; in fact it can be anyone and during any phase of life. We all encounter these people who have intentionally or unintentionally changed thus compelling us to change as well; albeit positively as we learn to carve our own self-sufficient happiness that’s not dependent on others.

~~~

See how I wrote and wrote. That’s typical of Balroop’s work. It may or may not bombard you at the outset but it’s thought-provoking. Her every post is full of thoughts that apply on everyday lives of each one of us. It may even seem like we already know (from experience) what she’s saying. Yes we do, and still we don’t. Even if we do, she compels us to think and re-think, while healing some of the inner wounds. Pick up a random post from her site and be enlightened. I know her only via blogging world and since then have gained some insights.

The views in this psot were meant to be left as comments, as a response to her actual poem. But it became very lengthy so I posted it here.

~~~

My above thoughts on my fellow bloggers’s penultimate post seem appropriate for The Daily Post’s current prompt Companionable

Unlock your heart at Gabbing Club

This club called blogging
Heals and unlocks sealed hearts
Gabbing at its best

After accidentally starting my blog, for quite some time I was surprised to see the amount of sharing and connecting that is involved in blogging as against simple writing.  I had no idea about this.

Some bloggers open up less while others want to open up.  Many blogs have memoirs, personal musings while most indulge in occasional rant to say it out and feel lighter.  Of course this sharing of inner feelings is in the form of creative and inspiring writing, as it is in this Haiku Challenge, and in all other challenges and prompts .

But all that makes blogging somewhat similar to a club or any other hub of social activity. Some people go to a club a lot, others come occasionally.

If we look at most gatherings and congregations that involve physical presence of people, there is similar socializing that begins with interesting and relevant talking but has every chance of ending up in idle talk that people should preferably refrain from. There is that thin line. Sometimes I myself end up writing too much.

Hence, I’ll re-write my above Haiku by changing its last line:

This club called blogging
Heals and unlocks sealed hearts
Idle gab there be none

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Sculpture by Rose-Aimée Belanger

Does it mean bloggers should always be cautious about their posts and interactions? Won’t that make it too polished, while killing the charm of natural spontaneity of blogging.

Actually it depends on the purpose of our blog. There are some extremely formal academic and business blogs that have very minimal and formal interactions. Their objectives are different

In comparison to this, some bloggers feel like communicating a lot, for it is their need, as blogging is cathartic, esp. if bloggers remain anonymous and unlock their hearts, thus seeking solutions to their problems. Likewise there are bloggers who want to, and are in a position to, help others and win hearts. Again, this task too can’t be done without elaborate communication. If you want to help others heal their broken hand, there’s nothing wrong in narrating how your own hand was once broken and how you healed it.

In keeping the above blogging goals, many, if not most, bloggers want to quickly go viral and some do get successful in that. Thus fame and possible money are not too impossible by-products of this gabbing and healing club.

To each his own.  But basically, on any kind of social media that involves gabbing, we should crave depth over breadth, or else both.

Because…“Only on the Internet can a person be lonely and popular at the same time.” This quote by Allison Burnett does make sense.

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That was my response to:  Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 49

This week’s words were – Lock and Gab.  I used these words in my Haiku.

My poems at Poetree Creations

Quote


1) My poem was published/promoted at the site Poetree Creations:

    Walls – good and bad – Promote Yourself.

 If you like the poem, then please do appreciate the peom at the above site too, just as you  did here at Magnanimous Word: Walls

  https://alkagirdhar.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/walls-good-and-bad/

2). Another poem published/promoted by Poetree Creations:  

Born again – promote yourself  

 This one is for Mother’s Day. All mothers, young and old, can relate to it

 My poem at Magnanimous Word site:  Born Again

Site URL for this poem:     https://alkagirdhar.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/born-again/

 Thanks for reading this and for liking any of my works.

Alka

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