May 17, 2010

Changing times

I remember a time when I visited a village more than a decade ago. The people in that village lived in harmony. They had just got their houses electrified and they were learning to use the electronic rice cookers and water boilers. Everyone helped everyone in times of need. I was amazed to see a train of people walking and on inquiry I learned that those people were carrying a sick lady in turn to reach her to the nearest BHU since the village did not have access to road.
I visited that village recently. I could see that it had changed drastically. The wooden shingles were replaced by the CGI sheet and there were a few concrete house as well which I hadn't seen during my first visit. The village has a road and people have prospered materialistically. I could also see some vehicles parked in front of some houses and the village has a community school too. Yes! People have prospered but it was saddening to notice that they are more involved in their individual well being. Their once selfless commitment for the well being of the whole community has diminished with the changing times. People hardly render help to the needy ones and we cannot find any more train of people helping a sickly neighbour to the hospital. Neighbours hardly know what is happening in the next house.
Changing times have brought many developments in the lives of that village but it has also disintegrated the harmony and coziness that the people once shared.

Rush hours!

The alarm goes off at 10 minutes to 5 in the morning. It is set to remind me at 5 minutes intervals. Each time the shrill bell seems louder and more insistent than the last. On the fourth ring I have to get off the bed and prepare for the day or else I would end up being late for my work.
A brisk walk and a shower and I head to the kitchen for a cup of tea and begin my household chores. By 6.30, the breakfast is ready and the lunch is packed. I call my children to wake them up but they always pretend not to hear and I have go to my children's room to literally pull them out of their bed. By the time they take shower and eat their breakfast, it is almost 7.15 and I have just 30 minutes to pack their books, get them dressed and prepare myself for my work.
As I take my car keys and drive through the gate towards my daughter's school, I glance at the watch which informs me that I have 15 minutes to get to my work. Dropping my daughter to her school take me longer than necessary because of the traffic and most of the time I end up crossing the school gate when the bell rings. I always end up reaching at work just on time and on a few occasions even late by few minutes.

May 7, 2010

The final cut –II

I cried as if my heart would break. The condition in which I found my friend was too much for me to bear. It seemed like ages when finally I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around to see my mother beside me. She nodded to me with her knowing eyes left us saying that I could stay with my friend to give her company.

I wanted to know the reason behind the condition of my friend. I had thousand of questions and but my friend was in no condition to answer my queries. She was intoxicated by the alcohol and she made no sense when she talked. To wipe off her intoxication of alcohol, I had to wait and I grew impatient every passing minute. In the mean time, my mother had called some one to drive them to the Tshechu and they left leaving me behind for which I was glad.

The wait seemed longer than I had expected and finally when she came around, I tried to talk to her but she waved her hands and did not want to hear anything. After much persuasion I made her to talk. And she revealed that the reason behind her deteriorating condition and her life was because of her addiction to alcohol. She had started it when she went for social gathering and as time went by, she started drinking in larger quantity which increased every passing day until a time came when she could not stay an hour without the drink. He husband tried his best to bring her out of the addiction but she would not listen to him and instead she started using abusive language which forced him to move away from her house with the children. With the moving of her family, she had another excuse to drink and that was how she had been since many months. Her children were scared to come near her because she would use what ever she had near her to smash on their tiny body.
Though the husband stayed away, he brought her grocery and thing which would remain almost untouched except those countless bottles of drinks. He would send someone to check on her only to be sent back humiliated. Thus her neighbours never bothered about her.

After her narration of her addiction, I resolved to take the risk and admit her to a rehabilitation centre where I could see some hope for her. But I didn’t disclose my intention to her and went to look for her husband to ask his consensus. He was more than glad to hear my plans and we moved her to the rehab the following day.

Her days in the rehab had given her courage to fight her addiction and she is recovering well as per the report we received from the centre. Now I can only wait for the day when I can meet my friend the same old cheerful friend..