Do I get it?

A writer’s journey

It’s been a while since I have worked on various writing projects. Before getting into any project I am quite confident about it but as I move deeper in the subject, I realise the difficulties. There are times when I feel that I am getting nowhere and then there are times when I think that what ever I have written is good but I don’t get same reaction from others. There could be various reasons about it, for example; everyone has their own sense of understanding and people could be completely on different level in understanding same topic.

So, lets talk about the current project I am on, the protagonist of my story is in love with a homosexual friend of his. Now, if I go on thinking like a straight person and try to interpret the situation of my protagonist, I might be able to get it correct but if I have to project or show, what his love interest is going through, I need to know what actually happens. And in our society it’s bad enough to be born as a straight girl (pls do not start a conversation about woman empowerment now! ), I can not imagine what might be going through in the head of a girl who is homosexual. Taboo ka baap!

Since I wanted an authentic voice in my writing, I started looking for the real people, who are of different sexualities. Few of my close friends are gay, so first, I talked to them but they told me that they don’t know what exactly a lesbian might be feeling because being gay is completely different from being lesbian. Now, that was a blow I did not see coming. In my head I had put all homosexuals in one group. But now if I see and recollect the behaviours, likings and other traits of each and every individual, they are completely different from one another.

Another blow that came directly on my face was when I talked to some lesbian beings and I realised that not everyone was open about talking about their story. I do completely respect their opinion but then for me as a writer it again becomes an alienated space, where if I write something on my own, I might be judgemental and stereotype about things but on the other hand I cannot force people to share their stuff with me.

Should I write or not? Is it freedom of expression or not?

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V Blog started

Here I started my videos on stories and experiences.
This post is about one of my encounter with a rickshaw driver.

हम्पी

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My papa is a policeman and my maa is a Schoolteacher

I am not sure how exciting or uninteresting it might be for the people out there, but I have always respected my papa for being a policeman. I used to think and still do that he is not a great father, as he was hardly there when my siblings and me needed him, but he was always on duty, adorning his khaki uniform. I have no memory of a holiday, spent with my papa, but I remember some days when I used to come back from school and papa would have cooked delicious lunch, this used to happen only when he would be working on the night shifts. He is one of those people who will not talk much when sober, but after few pegs he used to talk about anything and everything under the sun.

I never realized that the police job is so tough until that day. I was away for my higher studies, of-course on loan because I am the daughter of a policeman and I belong to the general category. One fine day I got a late night call from my mother saying that papa is hospitalized and he has lost his memory. For a brief moment, I was did not understand how to react and then I just could not control my tears until the next day, I reached home. I did not cry in front of my mother and my sister. My brother was on his way. It was wintertime and the hospital was colder and quieter. I was preparing myself to meet my papa, and I was not sure what to expect.

I had left, a 5 feet 11 inch tall, strong and good-looking man hiding his tears behind photo chromatic glasses, when I had left home for further studies. What I saw in the ICU room was a frail, thin man with half paralyzed body and no senses at all. I did not know who he was, all I knew that the job of a policeman had eaten him up.

Now let me tell you about my mother. Like many other middle class women of our country, my mother is my hero. She is a born warrior, because she has been fighting with circumstances since she was a kid. She fought with her parents for her right to be educated. She fought with her husband for the right to be on job (she is a school teacher), and right now she is fighting with the Education Department for her right to be transferred in her home district so that she can take care of her ailing husband.

Being a daughter of a policeman and a schoolteacher, I realized that both my parents are from the most hated and at the same time respected categories of the Indian Government Service. In a way they belong to the lower cadre of government jobs. I have seen my mother going door to door for pulse polio mission and sitting for entire day for voting duties. I mean, any kind of new policy that has to be launched by the government, can only be succeeded because primary school teachers are there to work on holidays and vacations.

And if it’s non-government work, then policemen have to be there. Any social occasion like festivals, or visits of some political leader or Sabha of some religious leader or road accident, murder, theft or even Bollywood celebrities visiting to temples, the policeman has to be alert.

Having said that I was happy for both my hardworking parents. They gave and still are giving their 100% to the government but I feel sad and sorry for them because when government has to pay back to their employees, it’s just bureaucracy and paper works and politics and bribery and god knows what all! So when a policeman who is trying to fight for his life, because he got paralyzed on duty, due to odd hours of work and immense pressure from everywhere, a government schoolteacher is fighting for her right to teach as well as take care of her ailing husband. And I as a daughter of these two government servants feel utterly helpless to be able to do anything for my maa and papa!

Crows by the window

The crows came on my window…They come everyday… I used to give them food but they are so messy that they will litter it all over my window and also my neighbours window, so I had to stop feeding these crows before anyone starts complaining.
So, it’s not my fault that these crows are not getting food from me, its their own behaviour… right!!!

But they keep visiting me everyday, making noise, talking to each-other about how I have changed… And today it was ridiculous as I tried to scar them away but they would not budge a bit. Now for some reason, these crows made me feel like exactly how I feel at various times, with people (real human beings). They are annoyed if you do certain things and they are annoyed even if you don’t do certain things. So their job is basically to make your life uncomfortable by keep complaining.
We live in a My-Crow-Society.

Zindagi gulzar hai

Recently I started writing for tv. Now wait!!! before making any assumption about me, let me make one thing clear, I do not watch tv serial, but yes there are one or two, which are my all time favourite. And all of us have a stomach to fill.

Soon I realised that writing for tv is not bad at all. It’s the after process and effect which made these nice story so dramatic.
I wanted to watch something more realistic kind of tv and by chance I stumbled upon “Zindagi Gulzar hai” a very famous Pakistani tv show.  I belong to post independent generation of India, so my view about pakistan were as good as people told me and media in-forced.

When I started watching this tv serial, I loved its simple setup, daily costumes, realistic make-up and easy camera angles. And the language, wow!!! I felt so refreshed to hear Urdu like a daily use language. I love Urdu for its poetic nature, so for me it was like a Urdu class, when I started watching this show.

There are few things which gave me that “I did not know this” moment. In the serial, no one was wearing Burkha, all the women were dressed up in nice coloured Kurta-Salwar and Jeans-Top. That was the first myth, which was broken. Second working women were wearing Saari, exactly like my mother or any one else. They love chai as much as we do. And the punjabi they talk is so much more soothing than what I hear around me.

The serial was very crisp, no added drama and for my surprise it ended within 26 episodes. In indian tv industry a show is successful when it crossed 470 or so episodes. So writers have to juice out everything to make a serial work. But that’s a different thing altogether.

It is really funny that how we make assumption about others only by listening to popular believes, even films does not portray the true-picture as most of the times films are showing us the dreams and not the reality. Whereas in tv shows we have opportunity to touch the real self. Having said that, I will not recommend any other country people to make assumption about Indian society by watching our tv shows. Most of our tv shows are a medium on entertainment, but it show, the aspiration of our society as well.
So it’s not that they are 100% fiction but the drama is much more compared to a real life situation.
I don’t know if the same thing apply to “Zindagi Gulzar Hai”, is it the true portrayal or their society or not. I hope it is.

After the serial got over, I felt really sad, and I wanted to watch something else, so my next one is “Aunn-Zara”

Minority

Long ago, when I have not seen land beyond Dehradun, I met this girl who has traveled beyond Dehradun. While talking to her she mentioned that she would want to marry a guy who is a minority, so that her kids can enjoy reservation. I was shocked because minority means, low cast or Dalit. Everyone used to say that they are not educated people and they do menial work so I (from a higher cast) was not even allowed to eat with them, forget about marrying. Time changed I moved out from my comfort zone and traveled beyond Dehradun. I learnt many things about cast and religion. I realize that a person named Matthew could be dark-skinned and can have a heavy malayali accent and know more about Indian Politics then any one else around him. I realize there is a community of Muslims called Bohri, who are much more sophisticated and wealthy then any other community and they do not know Urdu but they know Gujrati. I started making sense out of things and forming my own opinion. My opinion is that minority should be on economical grounds and not over cast. Then I came to know that everyone including my close relatives are dying to be in minority list. They are ready to sacrifices their brahminism over reservation. That was still acceptable as they come from a place where mother Nature is not quite motherly. Geographical conditions are hard. Then recently, I got to know that Jain community also fought for minority and they got it. Now I am really confused. Jainism is a baby of Hindu religion. Jain community is mostly traders so they are way beyond well to do. they do not live in far of mountain or dry deserts. So why reservation? If I turn 100% vegetarian, will I be entitled to reservation? Or if i convert into vegan. Or do they feel that business is not going to do well in future? Whatever the reason is, people can change their ethics for power and money. The day is not far when every single person will be pioneer of his own religion.