Wednesday, August 6, 2008

LIFE Opens Here

EPISODE - 1
07/08/08
Today, when I start the beginning of this wonderful story "Akankhya: A Respect to Self", it gives me immense satisfaction because; one of my many imaginative characters has finally taken a shape. It was one of the sunny afternoons of March, 2002 when one of my close friends after getting influenced by my imagination, requested me to compose something for him. But at that time, the pressure of study, responsibilities at home and a search for future forced me to the back-foot and I had to drop the plan. However, I did not resign to the idea. Exactly four years later, I had a similar situation but this time I really wanted to capture the experience and put it into words with an addition of my imaginative brilliance. Hence, in this story, you will find a hidden character moving with the different actors which I'll name as "Time" for the time being. But as the story moves forward, you'll of course get to know many a thing about the hidden character. So, let me unofficially name this story as "the Kurukshetra" of my principal character Akankhya. And, when we have brought that term, Kurukshetra, then why not start the story with those wonderful lines of Lord Krishna in Gita?
"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya
Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha,
Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya
Tadatmanam Srijami Aham
Praritranaya Sadhunam Vinashaya
Cha Dushkritam Dharamasansthapnaya
Sambhavami Yuge-Yuge."
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It’s a gloomy afternoon and in the quiet atmosphere, the Sun is playing a hide & seek game like fortune playing with the girl who has just given birth to two cute babies: a baby boy followed by a baby girl. There is a lot of movement in her home and as usual, I am present in all most all of her days. Yes, I am talking about Akankhya, a 25 year old girl who has always tried to shorten the gap between family relationship and self-choice in her own ways.
I can see a big crowd in her place and she is lying on the bed, taking rest but the eyes have a lot of expressions. Her mother Shristhi is quite happy as she can not stop kissing her grand-children and her brother Shiva seems to be in a hurry because he wants to call the babies by their names. Sister Sukanya is relatively less excited although she is not at all leaving her sister for a second because she has a future in front and she has to observe her sister closely so that she can also tackle the similar situation in her upcoming life. In the midst of these close relations, I can never ignore the beautiful Akankhya whose face as well eyes show a lot of thoughts: a face which shows her happiness for her two kids, the presence of mum and siblings just adds up to the occasion; a feeling that she had never imagined. But in the eyes as well as in the corner of her heart, I can see her great devotion and respect to her Dad, Mr. Kapilash. She has a great hope that he would come and bless the kids. She is not restless like her brother because she has taken my advice to let things happen sometimes rather than making or wishing them happen.

EPISODE - 2
08/08/08

What a surprise! I can see Mr. Kapilash making his way into the house and as usual he is in his own world of emotion. He is without an expression but can not stop his little smile after seeing the cute babies. In a flash, he takes both of the babies into his lap and starts kissing them as if they were his own kids. However, he can not stop his tears that tell how horrible the past had been and how hopes were shattered by his lovely sweet girl. But I can see the great love in those eyes for Akankhya who is still the Kohinoor of his life. He shows signs of interaction and prompts a couple of questions regarding her health. Akankhya can not stop her year long tears of happiness to talk to her Dad. She just responds to the questions with the nudge of the head because this is the first time that she interacts to her Dad after her marriage.

There is a little bit silence creeping into the scene with an expected exit of Mr. Kapilash and Akankhya starts crying like a baby with the feeling of guilty as I take the center stage by getting a promise from her not to weep tears in such a healthy situation of her life. This is something she has done till today: to listen me carefully and follow me too. Right from the first day when I had met her in an unknown place of loneliness till today, she admires and respects me more than anybody and I hope she continues in the same way even after the inclusion of two new members in her life. She starts asking me the reason of her Dad's sudden exit from the beautiful scene of her life and of course the same old question; whether he still loves her? I do not have too many answers other than "let him accept the reality and come to you. Give him his own time to do this."

In this midst of big emotional thoughts, I see a small crowd advancing to her house and from that crowd, the handsome, loving and caring husband comes forward to offer a couple of paternal kisses to the kids and of course a kiss on the forehead of his ever beautiful queen. A kiss where I see a Thank, an ever-ending support in life, a responsible husband, an attempt to wipe out past horrors, a never changing attitude and a whisper of their love-line "let's be there for each other." Even the entire atmosphere salutes their great Love and I can not stop dropping down tears which I had stored for the occasion. I see the priest starting the rituals and slowly the atmosphere becomes more crowded with her colleagues, her Mum, brother, and of course her best friend. But in the large crowd, her eyes are still searching and her heart still echoes an optimistic whisper for her Dad. I quickly advice her to forget her woes and attend her friends and guests who have come all the way with gifts of blessing and luck for her two babies. The ritual is on top and in comes the naming session as the priest calls the father and mother. In between I hear a conversation between Shristhi and Mr. Kapilash on the phone. I can not make out anything since the house is full of crowd.

EPISODE - 3
11/08/08

The baby girl’s turn comes first and Akankhya turns her eyes towards me and the crowd is stunned into silence for a moment. Meanwhile I get enough time to flash myself to the early days when I had met her. The day, when she had dreamed of a girl for whom she had even set a path with long-long nights of discussion with me. This was the time; she had taken a promise from me to name her daughter. The crowd suddenly becomes restless and she forces me with her ever lasting expectation and smile to get the name from my tongue and I utter “Sakhshi”. They all like it and wait for the baby boy’s turn but Akankhya lets the decision to her parental front. Her brother and sister bring a bunch of names but she is very much impressed with the name offered by her Mum and she names her son “Ansh”. The party has finished and Akankhya is now with her two kids in her bed looking up, perhaps wishing a great future for them as I see her great husband finishing the needful duty for the home and bringing a glass of milk with some chocolate powder because she hates milk. However, the husband wins the battle of her choice with his ever lasting and so-called humor with which he had once won Akankhya in the early days of love. And they take a walk to the night through their dreams as I get a chance to narrate the beautiful Akankhya and her ever charming husband.

Let me start with my beautiful Akankhya. As the name suggests, she has to be a person with high aims and an unending zeal to reach the heights of success with her own way of tackling the situation in life. But today, when I look at her, she has truly proved more than her name. A lady with perfect body structure: a height of 5' 4", she possesses long hairs, a fair look with big eyes and curvy lips which always owe a perfect smile. Perhaps a beautiful heart as well as matured mind are just enough for anyone to feel the "Love at first sight".

It is not been too many days since she met me at the beautiful forest of Kerala when she was on a trip with her previous company colleagues. I can not forget that day which every now and then flashes in the eyes when she remembers the start of her changed life. She was expecting her first child but was also going through the horrible state of her life when her Dad had entirely sidelined her from the family. Her mother and siblings though had accepted her decision but they were not so confident in front of Mr. Kapilash. Her husband could not help her except his ever ending advice, guidance and love. However, this was not enough for her crying heart which always wanted to see the love from her Dad. It was during this time when she wanted to go for an outing with her colleagues to sooth her disturbed mind and her prince was not free for which she had to go alone. But this was the biggest reason of the sudden change in her, which took place after meeting me at the bush.

EPISODE - 4
12/08/08
She was enjoying her outing when the team had once planned for a beach party. Everyone was taking rest after lunch but she had different ideas and thoughts roaming around and making her disturbed from all ends. One of the major topics that had occupied her more than her own decision in life was about her upcoming baby. She was afraid of disclosing the truth of her life in front of her baby and she was also very much serious and concerned about the future of the baby. She was so much frustrated and concerned that she had developed all negative thoughts about her own existence. As she was walking down the beach bush, her eyes fell on me in a totally absorbed and strangled in the thorns of the forest bush. She came closer and tried to release me from the thorns but she also got hurt in the process. Then she asked me the reason of my condition but I quickly diverted her mind and queried about her frustrated look and the tears in the eyes. She quickly denied about her condition but I had to show her the beautiful face behind those tears by reminding her about the life before marriage.

Then she started her story where the first line itself told everything, the reason of her frustration. She uttered, “I loved and married against the will of my Dad”. Her next outburst was so real that even for a second my eyes got filled with tears, which is generally impossible in my existence. She continued…

“I got married to the best man in the Earth; a man full of wealth, knowledge, a settled career, highly qualified software professional and the most beautiful guy I had ever seen in life. Though our love affair had started during the early days of my second job but it seemed, we were known to each other for ages. Our first meeting was very strange when I was preparing for my first interview and traveling in the bus as I saw a handsome young man standing beside me. He was in a blue shirt with a light pale colored trouser and he was looking like a perfect IT engineer from his formal look. Although we had not started our interaction in the bus, but when our eyes met, it gave a feeling as if we were known to each other for many years. As my destination came closer, I got down but not before wishing another meeting with that handsome guy. It looked strange when our second meeting was on the same day when I was coming from the interview as I saw the same handsome guy sitting on the wall by the sea-shore. He was looking really tired and he was lost in some deep thought. When he saw me passing by his side, he said a “Hi” and that stopped me forever.

EPISODE - 5
13/08/08


From that day onwards, our interaction started like it’ll never end. I got a job in a good company as a fresher which happened purely because of the great help from the handsome. I was frustrated earlier because of loads of pressure in life i.e. preparing for interviews, performing the daily works at home, helping Mum in all her household businesses, guiding my sister and brother on their studies, helping Dad every now and then and of course keeping some time reserved for my core studies to make myself prepared for future. In this scenario, I was finding it extremely difficult to concentrate and thus, was attending the interviews without any serious preparation. However, like a spiritual power, that handsome came into the scene of my life to help my frustrated soul. We very often met and in different places to increase our interaction but most of our meetings and interactions were happened to be through internet chatting and the principal subject used to be only Life and Career.

Days before I met this young handsome were so horrible both in career and life that I had restricted my vision as a loyal housewife and a responsible mother. I had no career plans since there were hardly any interests or exposures to the different horizons or possibilities in life. The man gave me the confidence by telling the realities of life and career. Since he was in a very good situation in life as well as career, he could tell me the ways and means to tackle the initial hiccups. He was instrumental in changing my vision of a simple housewife to a dedicated professional for whom career came at the core followed by the rest of stuffs in life. It was through him, I could learn the best lessons of life. Things like “Never say die approach”, “balancing personal-professional-marital lives to the best of one’s ability”, “taking important decisions in life by keeping the eyes and heart open”, and the least but very important, “letting things happen when one does not have any hold over them” are the golden gifts of my man whom I had once misunderstood as a less expressive individual who is often lost in some thoughts when things around him do not impress him or are less interesting. It is again through him I could learn the world outside. Earlier, when someone used to comment whether in personal front or in any other way, I could never control my feelings which ultimately used to result in an instant reaction. But he changed me by persistently advising me with real-life examples that he had passed through. One of such examples was:

He belonged to a high-class family that had settled in the so-called low profile city. However, he was well prepared to face the higher and bigger world. He had the weapons to tackle the tougher situations i.e. when he was in the receiving end of the comments on his dressing, talking style, food, education, surroundings etc.; sometimes in the good and sometimes in the bad sense too. He used to say, if people are commenting, it means two things to you: either you are worthy of such comments or people are ignorant of certain things in life. If you are not worthy of such situations, it’s better that you try telling or convincing them of the truth; but only to the people who, you think can listen and understand your perspective. To the other people, you just need to be silent. It will not affect you at all but slowly you will be admired at least by you for your perseverance.

EPISODE - 6
14/08/08


It took sometime for me to follow his perspective but today, it is very simple for me. I joined in a small company in Baroda as a trainee tester. Since it was in my home town, the package indeed did not matter much. I can never forget the night before the interview in this company. I was nervous to the core because I did not know anything about testing and guess, who could help me in the circumstances. The man for the moment was of course my prince who called me that night and gave me the support I was eagerly searching for. He did not know anything about testing but he knew how to face and answer the questions that will fetch you a job. I thanked him but I got the reply in a very interesting manner. He told, he wants 2 thanks from me: one for that advice and the other the next day when I get the job. For him, I would definitely get the job. That was the confidence of the man and I rode on the same. The upcoming life was smooth. The same old office, evening classes and dinner were the topics in life. The interaction was always with him through chatting, phone calls etc. etc. They were all based on work related queries, issues in office and sometimes in life. It was those discussions that gave birth to the sharing of feelings i.e. our choices, likes & dislikes etc. Slowly he became a vital part of life. A day without interaction looked like the life is missing something. Sometimes the interaction advanced to meetings in the weekends. He had slowly become a responsible part of my life in everything. To help or suggest on anything he was finding an enjoyable experience. I did not understand in the earlier stages as to why he wanted to spend a considerable percentage of his precious time for me in everything in life. Time surpassed so fast that I did not realize when and how I completed a year in my first job and I had been promoted to Test Analyst.

It was during this period when my prince shifted to a new company with designation of a manager for which I was the happiest person because I could see his golden future approaching him. However, the next moment brought me the saddest news that he has to shift to Madras as he got posted in the headquarters. I was not at all ready to accept this change but keeping in mind his future, I had to compromise and convince my heart. The 6 months thereafter were too slow and of a very little interest as the interaction became lesser and sometimes even no interaction for long periods. Then, there was a surprise. In one of the early winter mornings my prince informed me of an opening in his organization and that’s too in Madras. I was not at all thinking of losing this opportunity.

EPISODE - 7
15/08/08


Although there was some hesitancy from parental front, at the end I won their hearts. It was in these days, I introduced him to my parents; not that my parents did not know him but this was the time when they got to know him better as he was doing all the arrangements for my interview, my stay at Madras etc. All plans were in place and dad was ready to accompany me for the trip to Madras to set up everything. Thus started a life in Madras that changed the whole outlook of me in terms of understanding the realities of life. The initial days without a parental support was little annoying but the encouraging words, the o-called humor of my Prince and of course the work hours of the weekdays helped me immensely to forget my loneliness. Slowly the interactions increased between both of us through everyday visit, chatting, lunch in office and the weekend meetings too. It was during these days I could see a different person in him. He had become more romantic and imaginative in life. It was may be that I did not notice these qualities in him when he was in my hometown or may be that I was not matured enough to look at these aspects of him. He had also become more concentrated to his profession which at times I did not like because I thought that it makes life so boring. Things went on as planned by my destiny with the same routine of weekdays, weekends and sometimes a trip back home to change the mood as well as environment of life. But everything changed for me in one life-time meeting with him just after a year of my stay in Madras.

In the days at my hometown we had never talked on anything except career and profession. But in the one year of my stay in Madras, we had moved our interaction from the profession a little. We had started talking about individual choices, the life, future plans and in fact we did like each other’s approach to life in many ways. It was one of the hottest weekend afternoons when he called me for an urgent meet up. We gathered in a beautiful restaurant near the sea as I straightway queries about the urgent meeting. He did not tell me the exact reason but started with his usual fashion of humor that he wanted to check if I would be embarrassed if he sets meetings like this. I was not at all shocked but I was disappointed because he could not free himself at me after so many days of our interaction. However, I guessed something from his words and asked “are you in love? He nudged his head positively. Then the obvious question of whom, how, where etc etc. But I could not find anything from his words. Still, I tried guessing for almost a couple of hours till we finished our lunch. When I forced him to the core, he finally placed a small story that he had been knowing someone for quite sometime and they are good friends. This friendship has given birth to love in his heart for that girl. However, he is not able to express hid true feelings because he is afraid that he does not lose a friend in life if his love was one-sided. I was closely observing him in the course of the whole story. However, looking back at all the happenings of this meet up, I thought I would give a change to my guessing ability. So, I took all my strengths and asked, “is that Akankhya”? He nodded his head positively and that was it.

EPISODE - 8
16/08/08


We left the place and returned to our respective rooms. It was only the next day morning when I called him and he sounded little low. I asked, “Why the hell you did not tell me that you are in love with me, man”. He replied, “I have already given you the answer in my story.” I continued “How did you think, even after my negative answer, I would not be a good friend to you”. He said, “I had just a bad feeling that I would lose you”. I replied, “You are a bad guesser.” There was a minute of pause and suddenly he asked, “So, what’s your response”. It was enough for me and in a bit higher tone I told, “Unless you ask me, how can I respond”. He was smart enough this time and asked me (according to him the most difficult question of his life), “I am in love with you, are you too”. I took a long breath and said, “Yes, of course I am. And thank God, you were finally able to tell what you really wanted to tell me yesterday afternoon”.

Hence, we finished the so-called story of proposing in love and started a new life where we were more dedicated to each other and I was only thinking of him in every moment of life with an imagination of a golden future. But ours was not the so-called romantic love affair where they say, one can not keep away from the other for long time because it was more practical and down-to-earth to the powerful truth of life, Reality. Although in the initials stages I was not able to stay away from him not even for a day, slowly I got used to it which was purely because of him. He always told me, “Akankhya! We need to make our Love more powerful than any other thing in our life. Come, what may; we have to promise each other that even Life can not change the love we are in. That’s only possible when we are not lost from our target i.e. to live the life to the extent, by keeping in mind, our responsibilities and spread our love to the generation as an example. Let’s be there for each other.” I used to wonder, how is it practical in today’s life where I see different pictures of love-affair within the young people. But, guess what; I realized it in not more than 6 months.

EPISODE - 9
18/08/08
Life continued to be smooth and very interesting because I was going through the first and last love-affair in life and that’s too with a man of such high motives. Everyday we used to meet in the same office but we could only interact during lunch and often in the weekends; a walk near the sea in the evening hours were the evidences of our love story. However, I could slowly observe that he had become more romantic in his tone and most importantly a man with stronger visions on life and its fair plays. We used to talk about many people and the way life had played with them just to share each other’s understanding on different aspects of life. These were all just to safeguard our future which looked more of a possibility in coming days.

Our love-affair had become four months old when I heard something from home that stunned me for life and my ears could not believe because back home they had finalized my marriage even without a word with me. I was strong enough to ask my Dad about such a plan. He explained that the guy is a very well known manager of a bank and our relatives are well aware of him. More importantly, the people from his family were very much interested in this proposal. I said, “How can I accept someone as my life partner without even having a discussion with him”. He answered, it was also possible, provided I go back home immediately. Then I continued, “even though I meet him, what’s the meaning; anyways you have already decided my fate before that”. That was the first and only first instance when I talked to my Dad so high. Let me tell you, for me, my Dad is the only person in the world who will always be right when the whole world is wrong. But I did not understand as to why he took such a sensitive decision for me without even involving me.

Our conversation that day finished in a very bad note as my dad ended the call by telling me that he was coming to Madras to take me back home. It looked all dark when I hung up. The next day I approached my prince about this topic. I was stunned to get his initial response. He said, “Akankhya, you have disappointed me today. You have no rights to be harsh to your Dad. There will be moments in life where we ought to hear the hard truths from our close ones. Sometimes we can not accept it and other times we have to accept it at any cost may what the situation is. The wise thing would have been that, you should have told your reality to him. I mean your choice of life. Instead of pointing fingers at him, you should have first opened yourself to him. However, it’s always never late for anything good. You better call him up and say at least ‘Sorry’.” I could not believe my ears. However, I left his place by asking only question, “Will you accept me in any condition of life”. He answered, “I am always with you at any moment, any stage of life”.

EPISODE - 10
19/08/08
That line was more than enough strength for me as I came home and immediately followed what my prince insisted me on. Dad was happy and the plan of my visit back home got finalized. I told my Dad that I am self-confident to travel back alone. Hence, he did not come to Madras and the day arrived when my scheduled trip kick started. My prince saw me off in the station with another great advice: “darling, you are a strong and smart girl. You have no barriers and the world is with you. Observe everything at home including the candidate and his surroundings. Never assume anything about any anyone unless you are self-satisfied. You have time and you need to see that the future you are approaching will give you enough importance to you and that; it’ll respect you as an individual and your feelings at the same time. At the end, do what your heart says but at the same time, make sure that you are guided by your brain. Just go out there, the world is yours, conquer it.”

These are not philosophical lines that are only possible in words and not in action. If anyone believes that these are just part of philosophy, I would request them to read my life and prove me wrong. As long as we are capable, we do what we really feel right but there also lies a philosophy. When we become helpless or incapable of finding out the solution either we lose ourselves or seek for some ideas. It is in this period when we require these philosophies of line to energize ourselves. Perhaps, my prince knew that I needed to be aware of the basics of life. The whole of time in the train, I had such ideas running in my mind. In one end, I had a job and a man who promised to accept me as I am and in the other hand, I had a beautiful family where each of the members was equally important to me. A clash of choices happened to be the whole package of my journey in the train.

I reached home and started investigating everything at home. But, what I saw was completely out of my thinking arena because everyone had almost built their hopes on this proposal. The way, they all talked looked like things are already finalized and they are just waiting for the next procedure. Still, I did not lose my cool and wanted to know more about the candidate. My initial attempts to meet him and understand him failed since he was totally busy in his work. He was hardly ever ready to interact with me which was little strange for me at least. My next step was to get along with his family. However, somewhere in my heart, I was asking myself, “What am I doing? I am not marrying the family but the man. The family might be great but I can not gain anything except becoming a devoted daughter-in-law. Is that my future?” Still I did not lose my temper and tried to convince the man about the importance of a meeting.

EPISODE - 11
20/08/08
Things went to the worst when I got his reply. He asked, “Why are you so adamant on a meeting. What do you want to know about me? Is it whether I drink or smoke or whether I really earn a lot or how many girl friends I have? What is it you want to know? If you want to know these things, you better ask my family and moreover they have selected you and the decision is over there itself.” I was stunned but did not lose myself. I told, “even though I am your parent’s choice, I still believe and want to discuss with you many things so that we can understand ourselves better.” He replied, “I do not think, such interactions are at all necessary because after marriage, we’ll anyway know each other better.” I told, “the world has changed in a long way and today, girl needs to know at least some part of life of the person with whom she is going to spend the rest of her life.” He said, “Who told you that the world has changed? Time is still the same. Even today, the girl goes to her in-law’s place after marriage. Even today, the parents decide the groom for their girl. I do not think, it has changed at all.” My perseverance had enough of it. I completed the conversation with a polite “Thank”.

When I presented this conversation to my parents, they were though little disappointed but they said it’s all fine. When I get married to that man, he will slowly think on my perspective or I can also make him do that. I was little doubtful in the way my parents were inclined to this proposal but still instead of querying on this I gave them a feeling of insecurity in the proposal. Still, nothing could be changed; on the other hand, they informed me that they had already assured the candidate and have given their words to the relatives who had brought the proposal. Still, I was in my cool mood. I took rest for sometime and finally decided to tell what my prince had advised me to do: to tell them my reality, my choice interest. Hence, I called all of them in the morning and presented my story. I told everything about the man and his whereabouts. I also told about our love-affair thus presenting before themselves my true choice and interest in life.

EPISODE - 12
21/08/08

The scene that followed my confession is the only thing in my life which I really want to wipe off from my existence; but I know the reality and it will never be possible. There was a sea of arguments between me and Dad. Although I showed him the differences between the two options, he was ruthless because he did not want to lose his stature from the questioning eyes of our relatives. Still I tried convincing him that I will be more happy to get married to the man I love. During this argument I had also used one of the true philosophies of life which my prince had once gifted me when I was in between decisions. I told my Dad, if I take the decision to marry the man I know better, the onus will be on me whether my future becomes safe or not. But if I follow your decision, the onus will be on all of you and tomorrow I do not want to question your selection. Moreover, it is my life and why should I allow others to decide my fate. Let me play the game of my life. But these were hardly enough to change the minds on that day. On the contrary, they warned me for any further contacts with the man.

The whole of that night, I was awake because I knew that I had to accept one of the realities: if I settle down with my love, I would definitely lose the parental affection and may be my relatives too. On the other hand, if I accept the choice of my parents I’ll be pushing myself into an unknown and unpredictable future which may or may not provide me the satisfaction in everything. At the same time, I will also lose a golden opportunity of being selfish in terms of my own choices of life. Then the words of my love also came to my mind which he had advised on that day of departure to hometown. But his words could only be possible if I settle down with my lover. Also my final words to parents came into my mind: after all it is my life and let me throw the dice on the board. Thus the mind came with a decision of life time that it’ll follow the heart. But I did not know how to reach the target. Hence, I decided to go back to Madras and let my love also involve in finding out the way because he is also a big part of this decision.

EPISODE - 13
22/08/08

Next day itself, I had planned to return to Madras irrespective of my Mum’s hesitancy and Dad’s ignorance. Back in Madras, I informed everything to my prince who was bit blank of ideas. It was the first time I saw him without his ever golden solutions, philosophies and humor too. He asked me about my next plan. I was little stunned but equal to the task of following his philosophies of life. Hence, I replied, “you have to tell me sweetheart”. He said, “Give me a day’s time darling; I am sure we’ll have the solution. Now let’s give some rest to our minds”. But how could I get rest in such a sensitive second of my life. When I returned to my room, I had to respond to many people back home for which I did not have answers. The only thing I could have done was to answer my Dad to give me sometime to decide. But he was also helpless and could only give me a day’s time. That night I could only look at the sky and tell my almighty that I have got only a day to decide my fate. However, I could guess a response from Him through my heart that a day is too long.

Following day, I could only meet my sweetheart in the evening because he was busy in something. Still we could not decide not because we were helpless but we loved our parents more than our love. Otherwise the decision would have been taken long back. The same night there was a call from home and with my hesitancy in telling them my decision, they ordered me to leave for home town immediately. I did not believe my tongue but like a spiritual power, it uttered, “Yes, I would be there.” Guess, what’s next? We met next day and registered our marriage which was the toughest step for both of us. The next step was to leave for Baroda which was a strange yet an intelligent thought of my prince. For him, we had done what thought correct but to run away from facing the reality would have meant that we had lost the game of convincing our parents that we would make a very good family life. In this aspect, he is in fact a very brave man. Riding on this confidence we left for Baroda only with a hope that parents will accept both of us.

EPISODE - 14
25/08/08


We confessed everything to my parents and with that there was a storm of words from my Dad that he would never accept both of us in his family. Today when I remember those firing words it scares me every now and then because even today I accept that he was right in his own foot so as we. That conversation started and ended in this fashion:

“Today you have given me a wound that will never heal even after years and years of realization. Today you have proved that one should never build affection and keep hopes on anyone more than on oneself. You are a loser today in my eyes and thus you have taken such a step where you did not feel it important to involve any elders. If you both had once met and convinced me about this strong love, I would have gone against my own words to see both of you happy. But before that you took such a step that it would feel like hell when I face and answer our relatives. More than you, I would name this guy a useless because he had always hidden his intentions and feelings from us. I know it very well today that everything was pre-planned between both of you which got unearthed only today. Do not think that I will ever accept your decision and forgive for what has already happened. Today, I declare and vow that I’ll never forgive you or even see your face from here on. Just leave this house, this city and our life. I have only a daughter and son from today. This Kapilash will not see the face of the person who keeps relationship with you.”

When he ended his words, I knew that it was all over for me. Forget about my Dad, I do not think I’ll ever get to hear or interact with my Mum and siblings. We could not stop in my house thereafter and hence left for Madras which looked like our only home. On the way, in the train we were almost speechless. It looked like no body knew what to say. Thus, started our beautiful married life over the dissatisfaction of our parents. Every now and then we used to cry for our parents but we were intelligent enough to counsel each other and expect that one day we’ll get back our parent’s love and affection. From there on, our life slowly got back to its track. However, the search for the moment still continues. My prince has kind of accepted to the fact of reality but for me, I am yet to reach the level of his toughness. May be, this is the difference between a man and woman: man accepts the realties faster than a woman. For this also, he has an answer: he says, “Perhaps, it is the reason that a woman becomes a mother and not a man because she possesses some extra feelings of affection.” Since, I was not feeling very good during a sensitive time of my life because I was carrying; my prince had planned for an outing. Coincidentally, my organization had also planned for a Kerala trip for which he also decided to join me. But at the last moment, he had to withdraw from the trip because of a very important official trip. Hence, I had to come with my colleagues but still alone and I saw you here.

EPISODE - 15
26/08/08

So, here was a very brief description of the beautiful Akankhya telling me the incident of her life that has made her frustrated soul. I could only tell her a couple of things: “You have taken the best decision because you have listened to your heart as well as parents. Don’t ever misunderstand or lose your heart from them. I am telling you Akankhya, you’ll slowly get back all your affection from them. Right now, you need to make your path, a path that would lead you and the future of the new life to the brightest horizon. More importantly, I would say you are the luckiest in this world because you have your own soul in your prince to whom you are his everything: Pride, hope, luck and motivation. This is not a time that you remain on your past as it might also weaken him, a situation you should never even think through out your life.” As we walked on the beach, I tried giving her the strength in the form of advices and in the process she also unearthed her feelings and plans for the new life. As it got darker, she had to leave but not before taking me with her because for her I was her luck since she felt a lot batter with these advices.

From this day on wards she made me her ultimate patron in life. Whether it was a time of grief, joy or even an important moment where everybody expected her to take an action, she always turned herself to me for everything. Time started running fast in her life as she slowly got interested in the reality of life i.e. to move on with time and perform the basic Karma of life. This also helped her prince to become more prompt in life. Helping his sweetheart in the daily works, becoming more responsible in terms of keeping things perfect, continuing his ever ending suggestions to his better half with a caring smile and driving his own career to a future that would settle the family in the best way became the part and parcel of his life. On the other side, Akankhya was equal to the task of a perfect Indian wife; following the traditional rituals, leading the sweet home in terms of setting things to the perfection, going fast in the profession and last but not the least remembering her parents as well as siblings with tear whenever she would find herself alone. But I never allowed her to be in that world of emotion for long. Hence, her dedication towards her emotion had decreased in a long way.

EPISODE - 16
27/08/08


Prior to meeting me, she had never thought of sharing the most important news of her life (i.e. her pregnancy) to her parents because she had the fear that her voice will never be welcomed but with my constant advice she could change her mind and talk to her mum. It was yet another emotional moment even for me when I heard the mother and daughter talking to each other over the phone. It felt like her presence was badly missed at her father’s place. Her mum had become very emotional but her words sounded like she had accepted the decision: the reality of her daughter. She queried everything about Akankhya and her husband and felt satisfied in knowing that her girl’s life is in a very safe hand. More than that, her decision has so far worked wonders in her life. The same response was from Akankhya’s siblings but Mr. Kapilash was yet to come out of his emotions. The interaction started slowly between the family members except Mr. Kapilash but he was well aware of the happenings; it was just that he had not been able to recover from the shocks of an ugly reality of life.

Driving on the basic mantras of life, today Akankhya and her prince have been blessed with two lives as I finish narrating the first half of the Kurukshetra of Akankhya’s life. Also, I want to let you all know that the next half will continue from where I had paused the action in her life since the night of the Namakaran day as I had to narrate the beautiful Akankhya and her prince.

EPISODE - 17
28/08/08


It is early morning as I hear the cry of the babies which in fact wakes up the couple in the weekend. Akankhya rushes up to the kitchen to bring food for the babies as her obedient hobby takes care of the two new lives. But he can not stop them from crying even after many an attempt and varieties of effort like making different sounds, poses, face-arts etc. How could empty stomachs be convinced of such play by Dad? Before the situation could go to the worst, the mother reaches with two bottles of milk and all of a sudden the room becomes silent. They are happy to enjoy the milk by being on the laps of their parents but suddenly a big question strikes my head. How are they going to bring up these kids? They do not hold the support from their parents, no helping hands to trust and they are not home makers. Hence, how can they turn this impossible to possible? However there is still some time to think of all these because Akankhya has taken a three months break from her job because of this special cause. For these three months I can quite easily guess the routine of their life. She would take care of the babies when her prince is away for job and when both of them are at home, they would alternate their jobs i.e. to take care of the babies as well as continue the daily duties at home. A weekend would surely bring some respite to their tight scheduled life. But even with all these tests of temperament, they would surely enjoy themselves with an evening walk down the street with their babies. They would still stop at the Chat shop or a Pani Puri stall or even at the ice-cream parlor to add the flavor of sweetness to life. This is something very natural in her prince i.e. to live the life at its best and I have also made Akankhya worthy enough not only to enjoy such sensitive moments of life but to appreciate him for the wonderful treatment that would never end as far as I see from today.

As they slowly walk to the next three months, let me just focus around the other parts of the world with which Akankhya is closely connected or may be a part that might provide her with an answer to her parents. What other place than Mr. Kapilash’s house! I see a growing Sukanya and Shiva being too much devoted and inclined to their parents which is quite obvious to find in a family which has seen ups and downs in life and its fair plays to the best and worst. Sukanya has faired well in her final exam of MCA and waiting for a kick-off in an MNC so as Shiva who has already got a job in the Navy as a data security personnel. However, in terms of their choices, they have been very less expressive. Time has come that Mr. Kapilash plans out few things for what he says, his two children. He wants a good family where he can send Sukanya for marriage and he wants to build a multi-flex building where he can spend his coming years with his son.

EPISODE - 18
29/08/08


I am truly surprised to see the behavior of Sukanya and Shiva who are absolutely speechless in front of Mr. Kapilash. They are, as if the devoted children who can even go against their own will or choice for the sake of their impeccable devotion and inclination towards their Dad. But I can hardly change them because there must be at least a little flame of me residing in the thinking from which I can build the hope and power to help the individual win over the self. I saw a little in Akankhya and thus she is in me so as I am. The best thing I can do is to see things go on their own when I have minimum control over them. Meanwhile Mr. Kapilash has come up with a very good proposal for Sukanya and he sets up meeting of the candidate with his daughter. It is a very interesting little situation in his house with a good many people from the candidate side gathering to see Sukanya from all angles. I am little happy because I see some good qualities in the candidate. From the first impression, he looked simple, well behaved, devoted to respect, care & motivation and add to that his talent, rich educational background backed up with a steady career so far. I think he’ll definitely match Sukanya.

She is fine with the candidate so as the both families and everything gets finalized. No demand from the groom but I am disappointed with Sukanya because she too does not open her mind when asked about her choice. She smiles and shies away with the time. That day she did not know what opportunity did she miss and with that she might have shut down few doors. I am quite sure; she would definitely come back to this day with her questions only to the passed fate. I see a lot of arrangements in Mr. Kapilash’s house and with his son Shiva’s arrival, the occasion just gets better. There are six eyes in the whole bunch which have some expectations written but Mr. Kapilash’s dominance does not allow them to set free and express the feelings. They talk together silently for the inclusion of Akankhya and her family in such a beautiful atmosphere. However, who would dare to go and face those eyes and convince that the things of the past is past indeed. We are in the present and let’s free the pains in that ugly past and call back the Kohinoor of the home.

EPISODE - 19
01/09/08

But reality continues and the marriage takes place without Akankhya. The atmosphere is truly amazing because this is the first time I got to see the relatives of Akankhya in this fascinating event where there is hardly a place to keep your feet. The crowd includes Mr. Kapilash's colleagues, his relatives, the relatives from his in-law’s place, friends of Sukanya and Shiva, few navy friends of Shiva and few friends of Akankhya. I am really jealous of such a big bunch but equally angry that Akankhya misses out a life time experience; rather I would say that she has been abandoned from her own rights i.e. to be a part of this celebration. Even Sukanya and Shiva also miss the presence of their elder sister which I can very well find out from their faces. The marriage occurs smoothly but I do not leave the scene because I want to witness the state of Akankhya's parents once Sukanya leaves for her in-law’s house and Shiva gets back to his job in the coast.

The rituals are over but there is something that amazed me through out the course of the marriage. I could not see a single person from either Akankhya’s mother or father’s side even whispering a single word about her whereabouts. It just looked to be that they were very well trained before the ceremony not to discuss anything about the house’s eldest child. At once I thought I was in a wrong place till the Vidai moment arrived. As typical in an Indian marriage, everybody in the bride’s family looked in a mood of grief and the groom as well as his family did not have any expression. It was a very uncomfortable moment for the groom because neither could he stop them from crying nor could he cry with them. But in the bunch of the sad crowd, I see Mr. Kapilash looking very emotional. He can not control himself from the emotional tears. He is being helped by his brothers as Shristhi moves forward to reach Sukanya’s ears. She whispers something which I can not resist from hearing. As I come closer, I hear the truth: a truth that is totally against the reality of life. She tells her daughter that the groom’s family is totally unaware of her elder sister. This is not all; they do not even know that such a girl named Akankhya ever existed in this world. Mr. Kapilash has openly said that he has only a daughter and son. Perhaps he wanted to hide one truth of his life to build a smooth new world for his second daughter. But I wonder, is it possible? Can someone in this complicated life structure escape from the reality and attempt to create a new world based only on hidden truths? Non-acceptance of reality is a mistake but building hopes over a hidden reality is a crime and one must be strong enough to accept another reality when such hopes collapse. I have not seen that strength in Mr. Kapilash but I am sure, he is old enough to realize this.

EPISODE - 20
02/09/08

The big function ends and Mr. Kapilash’s house slowly becomes empty. All the relatives to their places, Shiva has gone back to the coast and the two parents of Akankhya are looking tired because of the heavy work pressure during the marriage. Mr. Kapilash also quickly clears all the dues of the different entities involved in the marriage like grocery, butcher, catering, Mandap etc. He looks more tired than Shristhi because all the expenses, avenues as well as work involved during such a huge function was only taken care up by him. He has not even involved his son in this event. I have no idea of whether he was reluctant to involve son or Shiva was hesitant in offering his helping hands. But one thing for sure, the free expression of feelings must have been one of the key factors on the way.

Keeping Mr. Kapilash in his own world of emotion, loneliness and not to forget his new war against the inevitable reality, I have to go back to my Akankhya because it is more than three months since I left her sweet home just to be aware of few important events connected to her. I accept my mistake that I could not come back earlier because I never wanted to miss out a marriage ceremony like that and moreover, this helped me to know how man knowingly or unknowingly attempts to conquer the self away from the reality. The scene at Akankhya’s sweet home is totally different to my surprise. I witness yet another sacrifice and dedication of a lovely couple for their children who have not even taken the first steps of their life. Akankhya has resigned from her job and has started concentrating on freelancing projects at home so that she can do the dual job of maintaining the family as well as dedicating majority of her moments with the kids. To a greater surprise, her prince has gone passed her expectations as well as dedication or sacrifice. He has become a manager and imposed an assistant for him to take care of the actions in the office. He is paying the expense for the person from his own pocket. Hence he has almost placed his representative at the office. And at home, he is using one of the rooms for his official works. In this way, he is also able to contribute to the upbringing of the kids.


EPISODE - 21
03/09/08


Another amazing thing that has happened to their lives is the inclusion of an orphan boy of 9 years. The story of this kid is quite tragic because he has been abandoned by his parents when he was in his early childhood which he does not even remember. When he was 6 years old, he had come to Madras and stayed in one of the garage owner’s house. He was being tortured to the worst by the garage owner and his family as he had to help him in the garage work in the day time and in the night he had to do most of the household works with very little to gain. In one of the days, the boy heard his master talking to a stranger on selling him for a huge amount. The plan was to take him somewhere and sell his kidneys. Although the boy was very little aware of this selling business importance, he ran away from the house only to find Akankhya’s prince in his bike. He asked him for some help in terms of money so that he can escape from the clutches of the money mongers. Only one sentence changed the fate of the boy. He said, “If you help me, you will be blessed for life by your parents and you will gain their love soon.” Akankhya’s husband was baffled to hear his story and did not want to leave the boy with the help of a few coins. He wanted to dedicate something more. Hence, he took the boy to the nearest police station and lodged a complaint as per the statements of the boy. He along with the boy and the cops reached the garage owner’s house and the story was over for the money mongers. Then he asked the boy “Where do you want to go from here?” Like a very practical individual, the boy surprisingly replied “as my present takes me.” This was yet another word of reality as Akankhya’s prince could not stop but ask the boy whether he would like to join his family to build his future. The boy accepted the idea and thus joined the sweet home as the 5th member.

EPISODE - 22
04/09/08

It was a tricky situation for Akankhya’s prince to present his decision to help the child to Akankhya as this was the first time he had promised something that would affect both of them in the future. In one sense he had also represented Akankhya while taking such a decision. But he had little assumed that Akankhya has come a long way since they had started their love affair long back. More importantly, she has a part of me with her always to help her in deciding her response to various situations of life by being practical and being in the reality of things. She did not take too much time to accept the new member but she wanted only one promise i.e. the boy should never think this house and all the helps he receives from the couple as a greatness to him. More importantly he should never feel that he is a burden for the family. He is a member of this sweet home and he will be provided with all the rights that come by default to her kids. Today, I am truly proud that my Akankhya has started thinking and expressing her true feelings like me. Perhaps, this was one of my primary intentions when I joined her life; not just Akankhya, but anyone who respects me and looks at life through my eyes.

EPISODE - 23
05/09/08

The boy is no more an orphan as the couple names him Sravan and in turn the boy has also started addressing Akankhya as “Maa” and her prince as “Papa”. Life has started moving fast in the sweet home with the inclusion of Sravan. He has got admission into a school continue his studies as I see Sakhshi and Ansh grow up with the love and affection of two greatest parents and Sravan who is more than an elder brother for them. They have become naughty but only in the boundary of these three. Hence they are safe. Sakhshi has become more inclined to stubbornness and Ansh looks to be very simple and always following the footprints set by the three elders of the family. I also witness the smiles reflecting on the faces of Akankhya and her prince with a great amount of success in the educational life of Sravan. He has scored very well in the high school certificate exam but strangely does not want any rich study in life like technical studies or even medical studies. He wants to study the science of life which can help him in the future. The couple is baffled with such ideas or thinking and it brings a dilemma in the minds. They are into everyday discussion these days with respect to the three kids’ studies. They are in confusion whether they should listen to the Sravan's ideas of a simple educational career or force him to study something different. Similarly from Sakhshi and Ansh’s front they are in a dilemma whether to provide them education in an English school or a school of an Indian language.
As usual she comes to me for suggestion. Before I could clear her illusion, I asked her very simple questions: Can you afford the expenses in the higher studies for Sravan having known to the fact that you have another two future lives to take care? And what is the voice of heart? She replies, “as far as expenses are concerned, I do not even think of differentiating between Sravan and my kids. But when it comes to voice of heart, I am little confused from my kids’ end. I want to provide them the best education, something that would help them socially and at the same time make them able to be on the ground while moving to the future. They should always be Akankhya’s children even from the peak of their lives anyway”. In her voice, I could smell the feeling of insecurity concerning to the future of her kids. It was like, she had already started getting scared that her kids should not leave her at any cost. May be in the corner of her heart, she had built the devil’s castle: the devil which is separating herself from her parents. Probably, she was scared of the game of destiny thinking that in this world, we in fact get back everything that we give to others. Since, she had given her parents , the pain of separation, she had started to expect the same from her kids.
to be continued...
Thanks,
warm wishes,
Aurosis Mishra (AKA Mitu).

3 comments:

GSai said...

Congrats to Akankhya for giving birth to those twins and to you for giving shape to your ideas.
:)

Rupayany said...

hey .. nice to read ur imagination.. keep me posted with the updates...

techbee said...

Hi Auro, the story is going great. waiting for the next part :)

I have a question, how do you take time daily in evening to write the story?

Takecare :)