Posted by R.V 31 Jan 2009 at 23:14
Posted by R.V 28 Jan 2009 at 14:57
Posted by R.V 26 Jan 2009 at 18:43
Posted by R.V 22 Jan 2009 at 13:42
Posted by Rashi V 21 Jan 2009 at 16:42
Posted by Rashi V 19 Jan 2009 at 13:12
Till one day, I returned home after a long vacation after my HSC (12th) exams. As soon as I dropped my bags down, I ran next door to speak to him. There was so much I wanted to tell him. More than anything I wanted to tell him how much I had missed him.
What I saw was not what I had expected a lock on the door. He must have gone for a holiday too, I thought to myself and went by everyday to his house in hopes that he would return. He didn't. What did come by though was a letter on my birthday. I still had it in the pages of my diary. I had read so many times that I still knew each word written in it.
" Dear Pix,
I never replied. This time I ran away. I had longed stopped keeping a diary but today I wanted to write and tell someone everything. I wanted to see him, talk to him. No, what would I say? I rather not. What should I do?
After the sudden thoughts of what should I do, came the 'Did he recognise me? Well if he didn't there is no point in going and talking but if he did then he'll think I'm hiding. Why should I hide? He ran away. I'm a grown woman. I shouldn't hold a grudge for so long. Ahhhh..Splitting headache.Maaaa."
With that sudden noise, Ma was startled. She looked at me wincing in pain. Worry filled her eyes and she ran toward the door. Before I could stop her, she went and called Akash. Ooops Sorry. Dr. Akash.
No way to escape now. He came in. Ahh, he always looked so good in white. He looked older. He looked wiser and I chuckled. He raised his eyebrows. I saw the place where he had hurt himself on a branch when we were out climbing trees. Earth-to-Pix. Shit! Nobody had called me that except him. He loved calling me Pixie. Which no resemblance to my name, Aashrita!
Why were my defences failing? I want to give in. Did he just give me a drug? The love drug? Focus on the present. I hear him say something. No actually I see his lips move.
"Ms. Sinha, are you ok? Can you hear me?"I finally hear him
"Ms. Sinha???" I say aloud
"Thats what it says here. Or is it Mrs?"He says looking at my mother. My mother shakes her head.
"Yes. I think you hit your head when you fell. You may have a mild concussion. Nothing major. Can you follow my fingers?" He waves one finger in front of my eyes. All I want to do is show him another finger for calling me Ms. Sinha.
I try to follow his finger and I think I do fine. All what happened next passes in a blur. He writes some names of some medicines, gives it to my uncle outside and then tells my mother to rest a little. And then he waits. My mother reluctantly leaves me alone. I start closing my eyes again when he says, " You must not strain yourself so much. Sleep and good food is important. Dont you know that, Pix?"
I open my eyes and look at him. He really was my best friend. He was my Akash. He had called me Pix!
After my stomach stops reeling and my head feels not-so-blank, I sat up on the bed. He had the same eyes and the same look. I wondered what he was thinking. He looked at me. Was that hesitation I sense?
A nurse barges in. “Doctor, emergency in ward no. 4. Hurry.” I look as the boy in front of me rises to be become the man I don’t recognize. That’s when I realize that I don’t know this person. He is just as unknown to me as he was before. He leaves without a second look at me. Somehow, I feel crushed. I wanted to go home.
Posted by Rashi V 13 Jan 2009 at 23:07
I cursed the coffee in the morning. I just couldn't wake up. I had heaps of work to do. Staying alone in Pune for the first time away from parents who were back in Mumbai had turned into a nightmare. Most days it was ok. My room-mate and I would somehow manage but it had been a week since she left to go back home. Well, lucky her, I guess.
It was finally the weekend and I was on my way home, almost falling asleep at the wheel. Driving and sleepiness is worse than drinking and driving. Just as if to add to my miseries, my phone started ringing. It was somewhere deep down in my bag. I stopped not wanting anymore trouble with the traffic cops. It was an unknown number.I picked up. It was the hospital. They said my mother had trouble breathing and had fainted on the way to the temple. They asked me to come there immediately. I assured them that I would. I called some of relatives staying closer to home and asked them to reach the hospital as I would take at least 2 hrs more.
Once at an interview, I was asked what is one quality I admire about myself. I said I loved the way I kept calm during crisis and after it was over I let myself panic. That's exactly what I was doing now.
My uncle told me he was rushing to the hospital and would be there in 10 mins. Assured, I started driving like there was no tomorrow. Moments, happy and sad were flashing in front of me. The look in her eyes when I told her I was leaving. The fights over why I wasn't married even though I was 26. Oh Ma, I'm sorry for all that. I'll come back home. I will find a job in Mumbai. I will give the entire arranged marriage thing a try. Just be safe. Just be ok.
1 hr later, I was at the hospital, unaware of how I had survived through Mumbai traffic. There had to be a guarding angel. If just it had taken care of Ma too. I rushed into the hospital and enquired at the reception. She gave me the room number. I went there to see Ma having a hearty laugh over something Uncle had said. I looked through the windows. I looked at my mother, aged and grey, how had I not seen this? I looked at her. I suddenly felt my knee give away. I sat outside the room to gather my strength. I closed my eyes and let the world fade away.
The next thing I knew was that a strong set of shoulders were picking me up. I could sense chaos all around but had no will to open my eyes. Suddenly, I remember Ma and forced my eyes open. What I saw I could not believe. It was. No it couldn't be. But he looks like him. A little older maybe. Ohh there comes that weak in the knees again. I slump down once again.
This time when I wake up I see Ma next to me.
"I thought you were coming here to see me. What happened?" she asks.
"What happened? I have no idea," I say weakly.
Suddenly coming to my senses, I ask her, " How are you? What did the doctors say? Are you ok?"
"Nothing happened to me. Yesterday was Monday and so I fasted and Sunday was Sankashti (I don't know how to spell that, sorry) So I hadn't eaten in 2 days and that's why the doctors feel I fainted. They did all kinds of tests you know."
"Hmmmfff." I didn't even have the heart (or strength) to scold.
"Are you fainting again? I need to go call the doctor."
"No Ma. I'm fine. Can we go home? I think I have started hallucinating due to sleep deprivation. I thought I saw Akash."
Ma giggled. I looked on. No, she doesn't look old and frail as she did. Maybe it was that hospital room. She had always been my strength, my hope, my courage. We had our moments but I knew she had given the world for me and I would do the same for her.
Dad had died young. And she had raised me and my older brother on her own. Fought with the world for us. Stood by us when we made mistakes. Picked us up when we fell. My brother was happily married in the US where both his wife and he were pursuing a PhD. He was always the smart one. I was proud of him. I loved him. I made a mental note to call him up when I got home.
"It was Akash," Ma said. " But now it is Dr. Akash."
I squinted and looked on. And sighed. One more thing on my plate. GREAT!
Posted by Rashi V 7 Jan 2009 at 20:03
A to Z of social causes
Adoption is critical to ensure that every child has the love and support of family life.
Indian Association for Promotion of Adoption and Child Welfare undertakes programmes in adoption, foster family care,family support programme and educational assistance for underprivileged children and a child guidance centre.
Blood Donation is important as this simple act can prevent people from dying needlessly.
Think Foundation helps organise voluntary blood donation drives and create awareness about thalassaemia and platelet donation.
Corruption has to be eliminated for India to develop as a First World nation, and this can be done easily through computerising procedures and decision making.
Transparency International, India, promotes transparent and ethical practices in government by raising awareness among people, planning policies for better delivery of public services, and partnering with civil society groups.
Disaster Management through community preparedness and involvement is necessary for us to cope with the effects of natural and manmade disasters.
Saritsa Foundation makes people,especially disabled school children, aware of the risks and how to respond when caught in disasters such as fire,floods, earthquakes.
Environment protection is the most serious concern facing the world today, as the effects of global warming and climate change are both being felt and understood.
Centre for Environmental Research and Education educates students,teachers and corporates about global warming and shows them through books and practical workshops, how to bring about easy changes so as to reduce environmental damage.
Fair Trade is essential to reduce inequity in the world.
International Resources for Fairer Trade is engaged actively in supporting producers, raising awareness and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of trade, through programmes like community business, ethical business, sustainable agriculture, socially responsible business, and domestic fair trade promotion
Gandhian Values are extremely relevant in today’s time of violence and communal strife.
Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal is a Gandhian Trust having noted Gandhians amongst its midst and it undertakes various constructive programmes, seminars, workshops, meetings, youth camps, etc.
Hearing-Challenged is a disability for which there are various solutions in daily and professional living that enable the hearing-challenged to share the same quality of life that we do.
Astitva School educates, trains and rehabilitates hearing-impaired and mentally-challenged children through modern methods, using its 25,000 sq ft space equipped with necessary amenities. These students have regularly won awardsin the annual Special Olympics and in state level sports.
Innovation changes the course of history and improves the lives of millions of people.
Ashoka – Innovators for the Public, financially supports social entrepreneurs so that they can and act more effectively as changemakers.
Justice delivered fairly and quickly can transform lives.
Janhit Manch, through its Forum For Fast Justice, is working on a campaign to reduce the 3.5 crore pending cases in Indian courts.
Knowledge and its application determines social progress.
Tata Insititute for Social Sciences ,since 1936, offers degree and diploma courses in social sciences, and undertakes social research and dissemination of knowledge, training and field action projects.
Legal Rights need to be ensured to all citizens to deliver the principles guaranteed in our Constitution.
Lawyers Collective, established in 1981, helps citizens in human rights advocacy, legal aid and litigation.
Mental Trauma not only makes one’s life miserable, but can also drive one to suicide.
Aasra is a crisis intervention centre for the lonely, distressed and suicidal since 1960.
Noise is amongst the most pervasive pollutants today.
Awaaz Foundation guides citizens on how to complain against and control dangerous levels of noise in their area.
Orphanages provide the care, education and nourishment that children need till they are adopted.
Our Children is an NGO that has worked for 38 years with Children’s Homes and Orphanages to improve the lives of the children there.
Poverty is almost impossible to overcome on one’s own.
Apnalaya, founded in 1972, helps children and adults living in slums towards a better life, through programmes such as balwadis, crèches, study classes, sponsorship, health camps, computer education, etc.
Quotas and reservation policies end up punishing the meritorious.
Youth for Equality works for equal rights for all, and special privileges for none, and works towards ensuring education for all with a special emphasis on women and children.
Right to Information is the only tool that brings democracy directly into the hands of every citizen.
Bombay Chartered Accountants Society runs very effective RTI guidance clinics every Saturday, besides publishing newsletters on various aspects of RTI.
Street Children are an unfortunate reality because of poverty, broken families and cruelty.
Saathi is a 10-year-old NGO that works youth living on the streets, runaways or abandoned adolescent girls.
Trees provide shade, counter pollution and bring nature into our everyday lives.
Hariyali organises tree plantation drives throughout the year and has planted and tended to thousands of trees.
Urban development has so many interconnected issues that solutions are not easy for government, and hence all stakeholders need to get involved.
Yuvak Pratishthan organises camps of all types in many slums in Mumbai including for health, sanitation, environment, sports and cultural activities. It also runs certificate courses in Slum Studies.
Voting is essential to strengthen and improve democracy so as to preserve our individual freedoms.
Association for Democratic Reforms, founded by professors from IIM-A and NID, works with government and citizens towards electoral reforms and political process reforms.
Women are the cornerstone of the family and for the development of children, and thus of society.
Seva Sadan Society , a 100-year-old NGO, provides shelter, education, vocational training, and employment opportunities to make girls and women self-sufficient.
EX-Servicemen and their families need our support and respect as they ensure us our freedoms.
Navy Wives Welfare Association works for the rehabilitation of widows and families of deceased naval personnel.
Youth are the only agents of societal change that we can pin our hopes on.
Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action works with street children, women, youth, pavement and slum dwellers on issues of livelihood, housing, food, security, education, health, women’s issues, civic amenities, human rights, environment and governance.
Zoos educate and sensitise us to the wonders and value of nature.
Plants and Animals Welfare Society is a volunteer run body that works tirelessly to help animals and keeps tabs on the state of the animals in the Byculla Zoo.