March 27, 2010

Truth is stranger than fiction

I was feeling gloomy because of some turn of events. I had just received a call from a friend in who shared the news about the accident of a close friend. She had lost her baby that was due in another month’s time. It was disheartening to hear that because I knew how much she wanted the child. It took her ten years to conceive that baby and she was very happy about it when I last saw her in January. Now the much awaited gift of her life had gone. I knew what she must have been going through and wanted to console her but I had no nerve to call her. I think the weather outside understood the gush of emotion I was going through for the heavens broke down and I could hear the platters of rain drops on the roof.
I knew I had to call her but I couldn’t. Instead I called a mutual friend and broke the news to her who expressed her sympathy but the dreams she shared to me prior to the accident of our friend was something beyond my beliefs.
In her dream she said that she saw our friend selling jewelry to the others and in the process collected a lot of money.  Seeing money in the dreams indicate the misfortune and believing that she had made call to our friend to warn her of her dreams but she couldn’t be reached because the network was very busy at that hour. After that she got busy and couldn’t call our friend. When she told me the date when she had that dream, I was shocked because the accident occurred within 12 hours after that dream.
Does something like that really happen? Or was it a coincidence? I know I don’t believe in dreams but that incident made think over and when I related about the dream and the accident to other friends, they said that such things happen… but it is still hard to believe…

March 25, 2010

my visit to hospital

I had to visit the hospital due to sudden pain in the chest. I drove straight from work and parked my car in the parking lot. I was accompanied by a friend and we walked towards the reception to get my OPD form. The first thing that hit me was the smell of that place and the many ailing patients. One look at them and I felt weakness on y knees. We got into the queue to get the form which took us more than ten minutes.    
After that, we hunted for the doctor’s chamber since both of us were new to the place and it took us sometime to find it filled with more ailing people. We waited for our turns which consumed another hour. Just as out turn arrived, a man in police uniform rushed in front of us. We didn’t say anything but then another man followed the first one and tried to get in front of us. Now this really irritated me since I was already agitated by the pain and the people around. Here we were waiting for our turns for hours and some people were trying to get in between. I could not control my irritation, so I said that we had been waiting for our turns and he must do the same. The man said that he was in hurry to which my friend responded that we didn’t have all the time in the world. After some exchange of some casual remarks, the man backed out and got in line behind us.

March 15, 2010

The sleep of eternity

A girl was walking in the rain. Her clothes clung in her body and she was dripping from head to toe. She cursed her luck for being there. She hadn’t planned to be there but fate plays strange tricks sometimes. She was meant to be in her cozy room sipping coffee in at that time but the sudden change in weather and some mechanical failure in her car took her to that place.

She had left her office and driven to her home when her car broke down in the middle of the road. She reached for her cell to call for a mechanic only to find the battery of her cell dead. Damn! She cursed her luck and kicked her car. She decided to walk to the nearest telephone booth to call for help and had walked a few distance when the fury of the heaven broke down on her drenching her. She ran for shelter to the nearest tree and sat underneath but she the downpour became heavier and it began to get dark. She was afraid because she had never walked that road though she had driven everyday to her work.

She started cursing and praying at the same time. She wished for a car to pass by so that she could ask for a lift but it looked like the folks were scared to come out in torrent rain. She was cold and tired but continued to walk towards her destination and it seemed ages before she saw the silhouette of the telephone booth. She heaved a sigh of relief and dashed towards it. As she ran, a car screech in front of her and she was blinded by a powerful beam of light. She screamed and covered her face in reflex.

Everything happened in a flash of light. She heard a murmur and felt someone lifting her up and taking her towards the waiting car. After that she lost her consciousness and the next thing she remembered was waking up in the hospital. She saw her neighbour sitting on a chair beside her bed and tried to recollect how she came to the place she hated the most. She had vowed never to visit that place a year ago when she lost the only person she cared about in that place.

She slowly looked around and saw another person in the room - A stranger. As she turned, the stranger smiled and came towards her. She gave a quizzical look so the stranger explained to her with guilt that she was in a motor accident and he was responsible for it.

She wanted to ask him how he found her neighbour but she couldn’t open her mouth. She raised her hand to feel her face only to feel her bandaged face. It was only then she realized that she could not move her legs. She must have been a pathetic sight. She wanted to know how long she had been there on the bed but she had no means of knowing that until the bandage on her face were pulled out. She looked at the calendar beside her bed but didn’t get a clue on what the day was. The stranger spoke slowly and explained that she had been in the hospital for the last three days. She began to panic as she realized that she had been absent from her work for three days and her superior had not been intimated. The stranger might have read her thought for he said that he had informed her office about her accident. She wanted to curse him but didn’t have the energy to do so. The fatigue won over her and she drifted to sleep.

She saw her mother singing her the lullaby that she used to sing while putting her to sleep as a child. She felt childish with her mother once again. She felt something was not right yet she had no control over what was happening. She might have been delirious and talking nonsense for the neighbour started calling her name over and over again. She heard a faint call from her neighbour and tried to respond to him but her mother’s song was so more powerful.
She felt the urge to be with her mother more than anything else in the whole world and smiled as she listened to her mother’s song.

She did not feel the doctors in the hospital trying frantically to revive her breathing and calling her name. The stranger at the corner of the room was feeling faint as he saw his victim breathing her last…

(PS: please note that this is a work of fiction)

A complete woman.

“Am I a complete woman?” I asked myself when a friend said I had to acquire a driving license in order to be complete. I asked my other friends about the same and many had different opinion on being complete. Some said, one needs a family to be complete, others said they need to have a secured job in order to be complete.
Different people had different view on being complete. And Yes I needed to be complete. I had to acquire a driving license. I left earlier from my work and headed to the regional RSTA office to practice for my test which I had been delaying due to one reason or other. My friends had been urging me to get it done before I got into trouble with the RSTA.  And it so happened that one Saturday my husband was driving me and my children to school when we bumped into the people from RSTA doing their routine high way checking. I thanked my lucky star for I was not on the steering wheels that day as I normally do which saved me from embarrassment.

I asked a friend of mine to accompany me and we practiced inside the D-box for about half an hour. The RSTA officials asked me to come for the test the next day at 9 O’clock in the morning.
I had a sleepless night for I was thinking of what might happen the following day. I didn’t want to be a laughingstock in if I failed in the test. I got ready and went for the test at 8.30; half an hour before the time and got busy with the practice. At 9.00, I was called in the office for written test which wrote within 5 minutes since it was all multiple choice questions with the options given.
The next was the most difficult part. Most of my friends had talked about their experience in the D-box and I was quite nervous but I pretended to be calm. The officials were watching me drive in the box from all the angle and I felt like a prisoner with all the guards eyeing my escape. After about an eternity, I could finally come out of the box and I heaved a sigh of relief when all the people watching me drive applauded me.
And then I was taken for highway drive which was not a problem and at the end I was asked to come for a refresher’s course the following Friday which I attended. Now I hold a valid driving license and I cannot help smiling when I remember the conversation I had with another friend who suggested me to take some bottle of beer to get through the test.
Yes, if acquiring a driving license makes one a complete, then I am a complete woman now.

March 9, 2010

My sister Jane

After sometime I finally made up my mind, she was the one and I really wanted to make her mine. I had all the reasons to be with her. She had been there for me every time I wanted a shoulder to cry on or a joy to share with. She never failed me.
I had met her during my first year in my high school. She was a tiny little girl with a thick pair of glasses. Everyone in the campus called her "sister Jane" and I too did that until I finally got to know her better.
I was participating in the house debate and my house captain teamed me with the sister Jane. The first practice session progressed without any exchange of words between us but as days passed we began to discuss and scaffold the strength of one another and we made a very good progress. Even the house master was impressed with our work and we won the inter house debate competition.
During our times together I saw a girl with a dream beyond my means, a girl capable of passion which I was not aware of and a friendship I had never dreamt of. I took our friendship for granted and never kept any secrets from her. I had many up and downs in my relationship with other girls but I always went to her when I needed a shoulder to cry on. She would always be there with her ever knowing words to console me and help me over come the breakup.
We completed our high schools and went on to pursue our dreams but we never lost our contact. We always found time to exchange mails and calls. At times when she did not respond mails or made calls I would be frantic with worries and my friends would tease me that I was being irrational. My girl friends were jealous when I shared about our friendship but I would always argue saying that there is nothing more than a friendship between us.
At times I would wonder whether there was something more than a friendship between us and I had no answer for that.
Then I met her during the graduate orientation. At first I couldn't recognize her when she called my name. Her glasses were replaced by contract lenses and her feature looked more famine. I stood there speechless. I now had the answer that had been probing for ages� "Yes, she is more than a friend to me". I kept that realization to myself because I did not want to spoil the friendship that we had.  The orientation was over within the blink of eyes and we sat for the civil service examination. The results were declared and we both got selected.
I then decided that she was the one with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I got a small ring with an inscription "MY SISTER JANE" and drove to her house and rang thedoor bell. She was all smile when she saw me and took my hand and said, "Rinzin, meet my fianc�e". I managed a meek smile and said "Hello" extending my hand to the man who stole my girl�..

A day in the life of a student

My day begins with the wake up call from my mother. She calls my name several times before I open the door and walk sleepily to the bathroom rubbing my eyes and murmuring something. Some times my mother hears my murmur and asks me what I said to which I pretend not to hear her and continue with my sluggish walk to the bathroom. Once inside I relieve my bladders of its burden without closing the door and my mother screams at me asking me to at least have the decency to close the door of the bathroom. The next I clutch my tooth brush and start squeezing the paste from all the sides making the tube shapeless. I know my mother would get mad when she sees that but I like to be shabby most of the time and she forgives me every time.
Its almost my breakfast time when I get out of the bathroom and my sisters grumbles at me saying that we are getting late for the school. I take my gho to my father who dresses me up and my breakfast is ready on the table when I am done with the dressing.
I quickly eat my breakfast and grab my school bag and my packed lunch basket from the table and walk to the waiting car. I check my bag in the car to make sure that all the things are there. My sister looks at me accusingly sending me a message that I should be more responsible. I make a silent promise that I will get up early the next day to avoid her accusing looks. The drive takes 10 minutes to get to my school and all my friends are already in the school. I get out of the car and join my friends.
The school bell rings and I follow my friends to the assembly ground and pray the "Jamyang Soeldep" which is followed by the speeches, announcements and finally the national anthem. After that I move to my class and sit cramped in the small classroom in between two noisy girls.
The class teacher moves in lazily and takes our attendance not bothering whether we are comfortable or not. After that begins my torment. I try to listen to every word my teacher says but I am unable to concentrate because the girls on my both sides and busy whispering between the teaching by the teacher. The teaching continues despite the whispering and I hear the bell which indicates that the next period is Mathematics which is my favourite subject. I wait for the teacher to enter with my books open and look around to see some of my friends dozing off due to hot weather. I control my laughter because I know that the boys are going to be annoyed with my laughing and I am looking for trouble during the recess. Mathematics period is over within a blink of eye and its time for break. I look into the lunch basket and find my favourite snacks that my mother never fails to pack. I take my snacks and hide it inside my gho and go outside the class and share it with my friends.
The ten minute break gets over very soon and I am back to the class for science. I wish the teacher would take us to the lab because I love experimenting when it comes to science.
I dread the fourth period because the teacher who teaches Dzongkha is very strict. Once I was not able to pronounce some words correctly and after that I had become her target. That's the reason I stay late at night practicing reading Dzongkha. The period moves at snail's pace and my stomach rumbles... I pray for the bell to ring earlier to save myself from embarrassment.
The lunch hours are my best moment in the school. I take my lunch with my friends quickly and we play in the heat till we sweat. We smell all sweaty when we enter the class after the lunch. And then begins our dozing session. At the end of the day my head feels like it had been pricked by thousand nails due to the noise made my by desk mate. And eardrum is at the verge of bursting. I look at the final bell  with relief.
By 3.30 pm, I am all set to go back home and wait at the school gate for my mother.
When I get home, I throw off my gho, put on my regular jeans and go out to my waiting friends. I spend about an hour with my friends and I get back home for my home work because my mother is very strict with our study schedule. I sometimes wonder whether I attend two schools in a day.

Faceless friend

A message reads… "Can u be online this Friday? I have to talk to you". The responder answers, "I can't promise but will try".
The sender is a young girl who has been frequenting the net for the last couple of months. She needed to have her last chat with this faceless stranger. She eagerly waits for the Friday evening when her chat friend would be online.
She is very punctual. She sits in front of the computer in a café and fiddles the computer for some time to pass her time. She logs in at exactly 6 pm and sees that her friend is online. A smile crosses her face and she starts typing to her faceless friend. She had been sharing everything about her to this faceless friend that she had come to trust the person on the other side of the line like her twin soul. She respondent gives her all the advice that she need and she always feels light hearted after the chat with her friend.
But today she didn't have a problem. She had made her decision. She hadn't been online for more than a month. She had failed to qualify for her next higher grade and the most important person in her life had left her. Her sister had asked her to continue in a private school but she feels that her world had ended after the departure of the only person whom she had come to rely on. She needed some one to listen to her but her sister had no time to listen to her childish outburst. So she was depressed and wanted everything to end for her.
"Hi, thanks for being online. I just wanted to say hi to you. I may not be able to do that after today."
"are u going somewhere?"
"no but I think I may not be available after today"
"so do u mean to say that u will be busy?"
"no but I don't think I would be able to come online after today"
"ok but why? Any problem?"
She pauses and writes "I hate everyone. My life sucks"
The stranger writes "hey… you can talk to me if u like. I m listening" and listens to her outburst. She writes, "I am very much depressed. I have no will to live anymore. My father just left my mother for another woman. I hate him but my mother says he left since he was not happy with her. Can u believe that?"
The stranger does not have right word to console the girl. He just tells her to continue her story. He is just thinking of how to help the poor kid on the other side of the line.
The girl continues "I even hate my mother for letting my father go away from us. She could have told us if they had some problem. But my sister says, they weren't happy with each other and it was better they went separate ways. Now if they weren't happy with each other, why would they stick to each other for all these years?"
" May be they wanted you to grow old enough to understand".
" U too sound like them."
"do I?  I m sorry if I had offended u but I was just being truthful"
"Ok, but can you believe that my father is leaving us and going abroad. I won't be seeing him for many years. He says he wanted to take me but his new wife doesn't want any of his kids around and he chooses that bitch over his very own kids. Now I hate all of them".
"Hey, u can't go on hating them all. Can u?"
"Yes I can, if I have to".
"Do u really want to turn into someone looks at the world with hatred?"
"mmm I am not sure"
"then U admit that u don't hate them."
" Yes, I don't hate them always but right now, I hate them all"
"this phase of your life will pass, just give urself some time and try not to think of this issue though I know it is difficult".
" are u sure, it will pass?"
"Cross my heart, a time will come when u will even get to like your step mom"
"don't expect me to like her"
"and there is another thing I want u to tell you about. I have failed to qualify for my next higher grade and I don't want to burden my sister and mother. They want me to continue in private school but I know how difficult it would be for them to meet the house hold expense"
"What do u really want? Do you want to continue with your studies or do you want something else?"
"I want to study but I also know that it would be next to impossible for my mother and sister to meet my school expense."
"mmm may be u can get the help from your dad"
"I am not even talking to my dad anymore and I don't want any help from him or his wife"
"well… what do u plan to do next?"
"I donno"
"well, u can take a good night sleep and talk to ur mother and sister about ur plans if u have any"
"May be I will just talk to them about how I feel. I haven't done much talking since my father left us. I felt so depressed that I thought I would lock myself up in the room and let the world end"
"Hey girl… cheer up, this is not the end of the world. There are so many things stored up for u. U just got to pull the right strings and things will start to tune in to ur tone"
The stranger gives her tips on how to keep herself occupied by reading some books and he gives her a list of books that she can borrow from the public library. She takes a note of all that and she leaves the café with a smile on her face.
The stranger doesn't realize that he had just saved a life from a fatal suicide. She had come all prepared to bid farewell to her chat friend and leaves the café with a determination to live no matter how tough her life turns out to be.