Posted by: supriyaparulekar | November 26, 2015

End Of a New Beginning!

I was looking forward to taking baby steps in to this beautiful world!

“It’s a matter of few days, baby,” my mom said. I sighed, knowing my mum was always right! I trusted her. Had she not kept me safe in her tummy so long? I kicked. ‘It is not time yet’, she whispered, patting her tummy which was my temporary home.

One day, I heard my dad say, ‘darling, today we are going to this restaurant by sea for dinner. Will you be fine?’

I wanted my mum to say ‘yes’. The thought of an outing was exciting and I kicked her. She let out a gasp and a chuckle. My movements inside her tummy amused her and dad.

The evening was magical. Mum described it to me, as I happily floated in the amniotic fluid in her tummy, sucking on my thumb.

“The night is dark but the sky is lined with infinite stars”, my mum said to me. “Its reflection rests on the calm, dark waters below. There are tiny boats docked in the bay and they bob when a small wave dash against them.” I chuckled and kicked again. Mum patted her tummy.

Kicking was the only thing I had learned in the womb! The world was really beautiful and I wanted to be a part of it, sooner.

‘Not tonight’, my mom whispered, knowing exactly what went through my mind. Mum was magic. She knew me so well. I lay there contended. I had no idea my safe haven was going to be disturbed, soon.

Suddenly I heard screams, could feel my mums heartbeats. They were not normal; erratic. She put her hand over her tummy as if she was protecting me from whatever was happening outside. I placed my hand on her tummy’s inner lining. She was reaching out to me, frantic, assuring me in a voice I had never heard before. She whispered, ‘everything will be fine. I won’t let anything bad happen to you.’

What did she mean by ‘bad’? I had never heard that word before.

The world was supposed to be beautiful, happy and bright!

I heard loud noises, coming from far off. I heard my mom crying. I heard dad assuring her they will be fine. Then something ‘bad’ happened. It must be ‘bad’ because mum started screaming and crying at the same time.

Dad was saying, ‘let us go. Don’t shoot. We are expecting our baby.’

I heard some strange voices. They were ‘bad’ people I assumed. They said, “shoot now…kill!”

These were new words for me; ‘Shoot’, ‘bad’, ‘kill’. Mom had never uttered them before.

Something ‘bad’ was happening. I started kicking against my mom’s tummy but she did not comfort me. Did not say, ‘ it’s fine. Just a hiccup baby.’ Mum was sobbing instead. I could not feel her touch anymore and neither hear her comforting words. Then I heard loud sounds like firecrackers in Diwali.

Yes, mum had described to me what happened in Diwali. Children and elders burst crackers. I had heard them too. Why was mum scared of crackers now? Didn’t she enjoy them then? I squirmed some more. I heard her scream. Then there was another sound of a cracker.

This time the sound was close. It reverberated in my tiny world followed by a thud.

For a moment, I felt my world had turned upside-down. That something ‘bad’ did happen. That moment, I knew I would never see this beautiful world ever! I will never see the stars lit up the dark waters or the blue skies and the sun as mum had described to me. I will never know the warmth of my mum’s arms or the love of my dad. Never meet my lovely mum or my dad! One thing I was sure of. I was no longer safe in my mum’s tummy. I was finding it difficult to breathe. For a moment everything went still. I could not hear my mum’s heartbeats. I curled myself in my mum’s tummy, gasping for breath…

 

Bodies are wheeled out of the hotel. The body of a pregnant woman catches the attention of the press gathered there.

As the journalists crowd around the paramedic, he looks at the woman desolately and says, “She was shot in the head along with her husband. They are dead. We lost the baby too.”

Terror serves no purpose. It only spreads hatred, destruction and death. There is no paradise at the end but only darkness…infinite darkness and helplessness. Stop killings in the name of religion.  

 

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Posted by: supriyaparulekar | July 23, 2015

‘Diabolical’ – an Excerpt

hello everybody,

Presenting you an excerpt from my new release.
Do read and give me your feedback.

Kindly click the link ‘Diabolical” mentioned below to read the first chapter of my new Book

Diabolical……

If have some problem reading the link mentioned above pls have a look to the images attached below…

thanx n regards,

Supriya

Diabolical-firstchapter-page-001 Diabolical-firstchapter-page-002 Diabolical-firstchapter-page-003 Diabolical-firstchapter-page-004 Diabolical-firstchapter-page-005

Posted by: supriyaparulekar | May 18, 2015

The Silence of the Dead

Aruna Shanbaug: then and now!

Aruna Shanbaug: then and now!

She was an ordinary person but she had a dream too! Once, she was young and beautiful, confident and so sure about herself! Suddenly a cruel twist of fate snatched everything from her, even her dreams. What the monster did not take away was the twinkle in her eyes!

To my good fortune, I got to spend time with Aruna Shanbaug when I was in last year of my college, an hour every week, in her tiny, well-lit room in KEM hospital. I was supposed to read poems and stories to her. This was thanks to NSS and the marks we scored based on the hours we filled up.

Before I stepped in to the room, I knew what to expect as I was aware of the tragedy that had befallen her. How she was raped and chained and left to die in the hospital basement! Only a monster, a person filled with evil could do something horrendous as this.

The nurse introduced me as a ‘young friend’ every time that we met. She turned her eyes on me, they stayed and then moved towards the window. Was I supposed to open the curtains? I did and was bestowed with a smile. I do not know if sister Shanbaug understood the poems and stories, I read out to her. Maybe she was relating to the rhythm of my voice that fell on her ears. I could see, the movement of the leaves outside, excited her as she pointed her gnarled fingers in that direction. The distant chattering of people, vehicles passing by soothed her mind. It is just my guess. There were no words only dead silence and an occassional smile.

In the year 1973, this dynamic, young woman was on the threshold of starting a new life but she was left with shattered dreams. From what my mom had told me about her, she also being a nurse with BMC hospitals, sister Shanbaug did not tolerate indiscipline or lackadaisical attitude. A day prior to the unfortunate incident, Sister Shanbaug had reprimanded a ward-boy. How could she let him get away with highhandedness and carelessness? He took revenge in the most gruesome way.

Sister Shanbaug’s friends and colleagues, the nurses took great care of her. They made her feel special in every way possible. In spite of being bedridden, there was not a single bed sore that bothered her. Her nails were cut and cleaned, hair brushed in proper way. She was bathed and fed by her friends. In the last 42 years that sister Shanbaug spent in the hospital, many new generation of nurses must have passed through the hospital, came of her acquaintance and were fortunate enough to know her. For every newcomer, she was their own. They relentlessly took care of her.

The short span of time I met her, I wondered what went in the depths of her mind. Maybe somewhere deep down she wanted to be set free, walk the earth bare feet, feel the breeze on her face, smile at the clouds, love and feel loved, have kids, live a normal, happy life and make sense of what was happening with her.

Today, let us all set Sister Shanbaug free on her journey with prayers for her soul. Pray, she finds the much deserved peace and rest. RIP.

Posted by: supriyaparulekar | May 10, 2015

Being Mother and a beautiful human being …

Being Mother

I know my mom must have loved me the moment she knew I was an integral part of her. She must have skipped a heartbeat, tensed with worry, how she was going to manage ‘being mother’ but it comes naturally to us women. When I was carrying my baby, all these thoughts raced through my mind but at deep subconscious level, I was prepared to take up an additional responsibility of being a mother.

I grew up in a joint family as mentioned in my earlier blogs. There was no dearth of people around me who loved and cared. I bonded with my sister and my cousins at equal level. My mom worked shifts as a nurse and left me and my sister in care of Bina kaki. Now, when I look back, I realise how much we put the poor lady through mental hell and agony. We girls were always up to one mischief or another and Bina kaki would be hassled to no end. In the evening she would be prepared with long list of complaints to our respective moms and then it would be time to face music.

My mom raised me with a strict hand. She did not like me skipping studies or back answering. Mom saw to it that my every need was taken care of but she expected me to be on best of my behaviour always. She beat me up so much every day with whatever she could lay her hands on. I must have been a difficult child, I think. My younger sister got away without having to endure the beatings. Today, I can’t bring myself to raise my hand on my daughter. I have no complaints, no regrets. A mother knows what’s best for her child. In fact I am thankful to my mom for not putting up with my indiscipline, laidback attitude and stubbornness. It has made me a stronger person who can endure any amount of pain, face life’s challenges, have a mature outlook to life, loads of patience and resilience.

One phase of my life, my dad was my mom. After my mom left for work early morning, he made sure I went to school on time, had my daily dose of almond paste which he would ground on a pestle without fail every morning, make me a glass of milk and pack my tiffin. I had a happy childhood, contented, warm with my sister and cousins for company.

I was blessed with sisters and mothers and a doting grandmother in my growing up years. The strong presence of women in our life has made every girl in my family strong, independent, and self-willed and a beautiful human being. I am trying to be all this to my daughter. Though I can’t give her the kind of childhood I was blessed with, I make sure she is connected to her maternal cousins which is our extended family now.

Today, on mother’s day, I fondly remember my badi kaki, whom we all called mumma. She is no more now. I remember the moong dosa she rustled up when we were hungry. She took my studies when my mom was busy working. It was mumma who introduced me to Marathi literature. I would go to the local library accompanied by her, every Sunday. She picked up books for me to read. We would spend some time at the library and come home. These were the moments I would look forward to, every Sunday. She was like a mother to me. The week before she passed away due to terminal illness, I was down with food poisoning. She was undergoing her chemotherapy. I remember, mumma called me from the hospital and said, “Didi, don’t worry, you will be fine. Soon I will come to meet you. Take care.” These words of assurance from a woman who was on her death bed. She left me with hope and blessings.

I am so proud that I have essence of all these women in me. My mom, my grandmother, Bina Kaki and mumma make me what I am. My maasis are no different. They showered me with love all the time and still love me. I have had such a fulfilling childhood. Such tender moments to reminisce. What more can I ask for?

We are married now, have kids, moved on but these moments and love from our childhood days connect us today. A bond so strong, we hope to see it rekindle in our children. This is the legacy we pass on. To be a good human being complete with love, hope and goodwill.

Posted by: supriyaparulekar | April 29, 2015

Games our mind play!

Human mind has this inept ability to store images and events for a long time. They stay hidden unless some incident or similar conditions/circumstances triggers it off.

I am sure you must have many memories from your past or childhood that must have flashed before your eyes in kaleidoscopic images, sometime or the other. We actually relive the entire episode!
As a baby, I was over-weight and like any normal one year old, very active. My mom had placed me on the ledge of our balcony that ran through the entire length of the front of our building. We were on 2nd floor. Back then we had a nanny who looked after me and my cousin sister Shilpa. Me and Shilpa are born six months apart, she being the older. Our nanny’s name was veeta aaji. She was old and frail lady but I remember her boney fingers, her loving touch and toothless smile.So coming back to that evening. This incidence was narrated to me by my father and hence my mind was able to conjure up an image as it had happened.

My mom was holding me around my waist as I sat on the ledge. My dad and my grandmother were nearby. My mom was distracted for a second and like any over -enthusiastic child, I flung my arms and leaned back. I lost my balance and toppled over. My mum and dad must have missed a heartbeat. Fortunately, for me, my mums finger entangled in the brass anklet I was wearing. There I was swinging upside –down. My dad immediately pulled me over.

This incidence is picture clear in my mind as if I was old enough to understand but I was not. I was an infant then.  Maybe it is clear coz I have heard it over and over again.

One more incidence I would like to share here is that of me and Shilpa. We both were playing one afternoon and I being on heavier side sat on her arm. Result, her arm was fractured. I don’t have any memory of this incidence but it was narrated to us by our parents. The story does not end here. I had to pay a heavy price for this. Few years later it was redemption time. Shilpa beat the crap out of me every day. It was role reversal. There is more to these ‘Tom and Jerry fights’ but in my next blog.

At times our mind plays unfathomable tricks with us. It could just throw a surprise at you by showing you images from your past which have been lying in dormant state in your brain, until now. Try giving your brain a nudge and you would be surprised to see what tumbles out of the closet!

Posted by: supriyaparulekar | April 26, 2015

When Summers meant Mangoes and more …

Our two storeyed house in Dahisar, Mumbai which was once a sleepy little town but now a rapidly developed city, and marks the end of Mumbai, is surrounded by dense mango trees (the density has lessened with time). As children, me and my flock of cousins, all girls (am so proud) would await for that fresh blossom (mohar) which will soon turn into kairis (raw mango). The sight of the tiny green fruit would set butterflies flying in our stomach. Patiently, we waited for the fruit to grow.

Our grandmother, a feisty woman, would arrange for the mangoes to be plucked by hands. This plucking mangoes ‘by hand’ was strictly followed as a ritual until we ran out of lean, able, adventurous and needy young boys to climb trees. Humans evolve and so do our technics. My dad and uncle built a ‘mango plucking device’. It was by no means an engineering feat but a conventional device. A long wooden stick at the end of which was tied a basket made out of cloth for the mangoes to fall into gently. Now we needed something sharp to separate the mangoes from the branches. For this, a sharp sickle was placed vertically, strategically across the cloth basket.

The process was simple. We had to hold the stick at its end and push it under the bunch of mangoes hanging from the tree and give it a tug. The sickle cut the branches swiftly and mangoes safely landed in our basket. Now we pulled the stick towards us and lo behold! It was a wonderful sight to see the basket fill up with mangoes. Then my aaji would segregate the mangoes in two bunch – raw and ripe mangoes.

Ripe mangoes were set aside for us to be savoured later, throughout the hot, summer day. A treat we looked forward to our every summer holidays. The heavenly nectar would dribble down our lips, chin and run down our hands as we slurped at the sweet, juicy mango. It was a feat to catch the sweet liquid before it trickled down our elbow. What a waste otherwise, it was considered.

The raw mangoes were used for making aam-panna and spicy and sour pickle. One of my uncle makes lovely pickle, to this day. The kairi is diced in to tiny cubes. Chilli powder and turmeric powder is added along with salt and a pinch of sugar. For that sizzling taste, he tempers hot oil with mustard seeds. A lip smacking pickle would be ready in minutes to be had with plain dal and steaming rice.

The reason for writing this cool, summery memoir from my childhood is, I made aam-panna last evening. I am not very fond of cooking. My cousin sis whom I grew up with sent me raw mangoes from her farmhouse and said, “Didi, make aam-panna.” I was suddenly overtaken by this strong urge to give it a try. I pretty well pulled it off too. Proud of myself.

The cold, chilled glass of lip-smacking aam-panna reminded me of my childhood days. Once again I was this little girl, emptying glass after glass of this wholesome drink with my sisters, laughing, chasing the hot summers away! I miss my aaji terribly but had the satisfaction of reliving my childhood as the panna reached its finale. Though, Aam-panna tasted the same, it’s now more than a decade later! I raise a toast to my sisters for being a part of my life.

Posted by: supriyaparulekar | August 31, 2014

Musings … Heartfelt!

 

Ode to Pa …!

Light was fast fading and so was hope,

I held his hand, yet warm.

Eyes flickered open, a tear drop rolled,

Smile on his parched lips.

Life held together by beeps and drips;

So fragile he seemed and helpless too!

I looked at him, saw years gone by,

He was the reason I was here, I sighed.

A gentle word, caring look, pat on my head,

Love and blessings … cheers galore.

I owe my life to my pa and what I am today!

The man in my life, my guiding light,

Dependable and strong, a force within.

A cold wave grasped my heart,

At erratic beeps and failing heart.

His grip tightened on my hand,

Frantic, I glanced at him,

Weak and sad eyes looking at me.

I staggered, tumbled, lost, abandoned,

He took a deep breath,

Light, fast fading from his eyes,

not yet time to go …. Not yet …

I murmured, cried my heart out.

A deep breath, last beep, lines faded,

Machine came to a standstill and

Sucked away Pa’s life with it!

The straight line reminded me Pa was gone!

Once again I was his little girl,

I held his hand and cried;

Not for that dark red balloon,

Not for that doll in frilly dress,

But for him to come back … just once!

Posted by: supriyaparulekar | August 31, 2014

Musings … heartfelt!

Ode to unborn Baby!

It was an evening of solitude,

An evening etched forever.

A step that rocked my world,

Unhinged happiness, broke me apart,

Left me a wound that refused to heal.

I could not gather the broken pieces again!

My heart beats had raced,

My nerves a jitter.

I could feel you within me,

Oh! My flesh and blood,

Cocooned inside me.

How safe you felt,

If only for a while!

Monsters lurked outside,

My innocent child!

So sure of themselves,

Selfish to the core!

My need to protect you,

My heart bled!

I fell prey to their inglorious ways.

I cried, I pleaded but,

My tears did not melt a stubborn heart.

I am sorry my baby for uprooting you,

From the safe confines of my womb-which

Rightfully was your world to say!

I let you down, crime I committed,

I watch with horror at the blood on my hands,

Of innocent and helpless self!

Forgive me my child, forgive me oh lord

For I have sinned.

I repent now for not being strong and willed!

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