Saturday, February 26, 2011

Indian Woman And Her Lost Appetite - Part II

Justify Full
Note: Nayani is a fictional character. So are Madhav and Bhiku. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely co-incidental and unintentional.

The hair drier

Nayani is a beautiful Marathi girl. She lives in Fatima Nagar, Pune with her husband Madhav Rao Lokhande and a three old son, bhiku. Her house is a 2 BHK flat in one of the newly constructed apartments of Fatima Nagar. Her husband, Madhav, a celebrated and horrific figure in the police department of the city, is a senior inspector known for his bad tongue and numerous infamous, cold blooded encounters. While Nayani was still pursuing her graduation college, she was married to Madhav Rao forcibly against her wishes by her ill-reputed, alcoholic father. She was just 19 when she got married to Madhav who was 35 then. Compared to her husband, who is a six feet tall, well built, muscular man with thick skin, Nayani is too short and lean and appears to be his child. Her wedding was basically a contractually settled political dispute. Since the fateful day, Nayani has served him day and night being his maid and whore at the same time.

Nayani works the whole day looking after the house hold and doing purchasing for the kitchen. Madhav leaves early and returns late at night in a dilapidated state. She serves him dinner and settles the kitchen. Almost every day she is being dragged and thrown on the bed for a violent sexual intercourse. As soon as the process is over, Madhav goes into a peaceful sleep devoid of any dreams and phases. Madhav is not only older and stronger than Nayani but he also has a bigger phallus compared to her almost pubertal vagina. She goes into a flight of pain every time he thrusts inside her. The act always leaves her groaning and bleeding in pain.

Her life has been a bagful of incompatibilities ever since the day of marriage. The whole thing has taken a heavy toll on her beauty and innocence. She has gradually started turning into a world of her own. Over a period, she has become more introvert and lonely. But despite all this, the fire still burns inside.

That morning while seeing him off, Nayani managed to slip away a cigarette from his wallet. After dropping bhiku to school, she returned home and prepared her breakfast. She, then, took a long shower and washed her hair. She switched on the electric drier and took out a beautiful red sari from her closet. Thereafter she got dressed and called her mother. After a long time she talked to her mother for almost an hour. Her mother was not doing well since the day of her marriage. She was an old case of pulmonary tuberculosis and had lost almost 20 kgs of weight crying for her child and looking after her sick husband. Anyhow, Madhav tried to help them financially as best as he could. But her mother burnt each and every penny given by him in the fireplace. Madhav, as a consequence, strictly prohibited Nayani’s visit to her family and even made sure spying her every move out of the house. She also called her elder sister who lives in lonavala with her husband and three children. During early years, both the sisters used to be good bharatnatyam dancers and they even managed to bag some prizes by performing in annual functions of their society. Both were great fans of Vajayanthi Mala and they used to dance madly whenever her songs used to come on Doordarshan. It has been four years since they last met and that was the last time they danced together. She discussed some of the basic moves with her sister on the telephone. Her sister still manages to perform as and when the opportunity comes. But Nayani has not even dared dancing since years.

The phone call greatly inspired her. She locked herself inside the bedroom. She opened bhiku’s almirah and took out his rattle from the drawer. She hammered the rattle and took out the beads from inside. Then she tore her beautiful silk dupatta and cut two threads out of it. She weaved the beads into the silk threads and tied each one of them around her ankles. She began practicing some of the basic moves. She then danced and danced in front of the mirror for hours together. She got all drenched in sweat and fell on the bed exhausted and elated. She then took out the cigarette from under the pillow which she had slipped away from Madhav’s wallet and placed it between her lips. She smiled and began laughing at her daredevilry. She closed her eyes and smelled the cigarette. She couldn’t resist lighting it. She went to the kitchen to fetch a light and returned to her room. She took a long puff and exhaled the smoke. She didn’t cough. She smoked it just the way Madhav used to, snubbing it tightly between thumb and index finger, almost crushing the butt, taking a deep puff and exhaling it sideways. Her entire life in the past four years began dancing in the smoke. She felt as if she is puffing out the toxicity packed inside her chest for these many years. A tear film smeared her lower eyelid. She didn’t let it get out and dried it in the smoke of cigarette. She got charged with anger. She removed whatever she was wearing and threw her naked body on the bed. She inserted her fingers inside her cavity and began pushing them hard, just the way Madhav used to with his long penis. She screamed and pushed harder till it started bleeding. Then she inserted her entire hand inside the vagina and gave it a good blow. Tears started rolling down her cheeks but she continued torturing herself. Then she removed her hand out and smeared the blood on the white flowered bed sheet.

Madhav returned home late at night in usual pathetic state. It was a tough day. He was insulted badly by the commissioner of police for his negligent approach to work and bad tongue. He even got a written counseling for his behavior. Nayani was going to have a tough time. But she always prepares herself before Madhav is about to return from duty. He was surprised to find the front door open. He got inside and shouted in anger. He stepped inside the bedroom and saw the blood smeared bed sheet. He got furious and shouted for Nayani again. But she was nowhere to be heard and seen. Then he opened the bathroom door and fell flat on the ground.

Nayani was lying silently in the bathtub with Bhiku on her naked chest. The tub was full of water. Nayani was holding the rod of the hair drier tightly in her right hand. She had electrocuted Bhiku and herself with the hair drier.

Nayani was dead. So was Bhiku.

Friday, February 25, 2011


हम कुछ यूँ उभरे उनसे रूबरू होकर,
हम कुछ यूँ उभरे उनसे रूबरू होकर,
जैसे उजड़ी हुई सियाही में डूबकर,
पीले दीमक लगे कागज़ पर
कुछ हर्फ़ नज़्म बनकर,
रूह से बाबस्ता हो
मचल उठते हैं…

Friday, February 18, 2011

Indian Woman And Her Lost Appetite - Part I

Warning: Sapna is a fictional character. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely co-incidental and unintentional.

The black sari
Sapna is a middle class Punjabi girl married to a bank employee. She lives with her husband, son and mother-in-law in a suburb of Ludhiana city. Though pretty well educated as compared to other women of her age and place, her marriage was an arranged affair organized by her parents. As a girl she always wanted to marry a very rich and handsome person, preferably an NRI. But fate had something else in store for her. Anyways, married for five years, her marriage has been a very smooth affair without any significant hassles and issues. Her husband, Madan, works in a central bank and is earning a decent salary. Her mother-in-law, though quiet old, is overall in-charge of the house. Madan still prefers to hand over the entire salary to his mother and let her manage the house. Sapna like a normal Indian female has never complained and has been obedient throughout her stay in her husband’s house. She hardly gets time for all such issues concerning dominance. She is engaged all the day managing the household stuff and her family. Her son, Rahul, a small brat, keeps her busy and brings a smile to her face with his little pranks.
Sapna always wanted to continue her studies after the marriage and do a job. But her responsibilities as a wife, as a daughter-in-law and as a mother couldn’t let her pursue her career. She sacrificed without ever complaining and blaming anybody. She hardly gave it a thought after her son was born.
Like any other woman, Sapna is very fond of clothes. She has managed to afford a decent wardrobe for herself since the day of her marriage. She has a thing for colors. She always manages to make a style statement at the family functions. But the credit goes more to her beauty than to her clothes and style. She has always doted black since she was a school kid. Black tiffin, black sketch, black shoes, black skirt, black dupatta. When she grew older she wanted to marry somebody with black eyes and a big black contessa. She simply adored black. But she hardly got a chance to manage all this black stuff in her mama’s home. How could she? Black is inauspicious, depressing and sad. Her mother never allowed her to wear anything black. She once wore a black skirt gifted by her aunt. She was just nine years old, small enough to hardly understand any consequence. Her father lost his wallet the same day while returning from office. It contained the month’s salary. She was scolded badly for wearing that color. Not only that the skirt was burnt down and the remains were flushed in the drain. She watched her favorite color getting burnt down in ashes. Since the day she never dared to ask for black.
She grew older and her marriage got fixed. Somehow she managed to buy a beautiful black chiffon sari while the clothes and jewellery were being purchased for her wedding. She slipped it into a hidden compartment of her wedding suitcase and brought it into her husband’s home. She is a free bird now. She has her own house and own life. Nobody can stop her now from wearing her color. She opened her suitcase on the second day of her marriage and took out the crumpled sari from the hidden compartment. She got it ironed and wore it to her skin. She looked in the mirror and smiled. Her eyes sparkled. She came out of her room. All the relatives and friends were waiting to bless the new member of the house. How could she dare to wear such a color on the second day of her marriage? Her mother-in-law got furious and rebuked her for bringing bad luck to the family. She ordered her to change it immediately and wear something flashy and colorful. She rushed inside her room and cried. Since the day she never dared to wear the black sari in her husband’s home again. Her dream was sealed in closet forever.
Sometimes after completing the routine stuff, when her mother-in-law is asleep during the afternoon hours and nobody else is there at home, she goes to her room, locks it from inside and draws all the curtains. She drags the big suitcase from under the bed and takes out the crumpled black chiffon sari from the hidden compartment. She touches it to her skin and looks in the mirror. She irons it carefully so as to remove all the wrinkles and wears it quietly inside the closed door. She looks in the mirror again and adores herself as she has never done it before. She smiles and feels like dancing. She unlocks her hair and lies on the bed relieved and contended. She closes her eyes and begins to dream what she couldn’t dream otherwise sleeping with her husband on the same bed every night for so many years. She lies there for hours together in the warmth of that color. But then Rahul usually arrives from school and begins knocking the door. She gets up in surprise, changes, hides the black sari in the suitcase and is back to her work again.
She commits this crime whenever she gets enough time to do it. Somehow she manages to be a free bird wearing that black sari. She manages to dream and think for a change what she could never do otherwise. She manages to be promiscuous with that black chiffon sari wrapped around her skin while being committed and faithful to her wedlock.
This is the only time she feels like breathing.
And this is the only time she lives for herself…

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

God - part II


I've seen horrors … horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that … but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face … and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies…Colonel Walter E.Kurtz, Apocalypse Now.

I remember I was preparing for my medical entrance examinations. I was living as a paying guest in one of the households of bhathinda. As far as possible I could see myself a part of this profession only. There was only one focus. Though a second thought always used to persist and poke. What if I don’t make it to the finals? What if I lose and scatter without reaching the end? Finally, I made it. I got into a medical college and earned a degree. I got a job and started earning. Soon I realized I could buy all those things with my salary which I couldn’t afford yesterday. Yes, I could until one day when it all got shattered. I am very thankful to my friend Gaurav for causing this damage. He took me to a lane in the multiplex area of Saket, New Delhi. He introduced me to a forty something lady, a rag picker by profession sitting on a cot, surrounded by a group of 35 well fed, healthy street dogs, sleeping peacefully in the cold winter of Delhi with some fire in the centre. She was their mother. She used to feed those 35 street dogs picking up from the rags. How the fuck is it possible? It woke me up and burnt down my entire ego. It exposed a part of me which I always clothed and pampered. This was horror. Sheer fucking, nail biting horror. We have always been wrong when it has come to the portrayal of horror on screen. Horror is not some visually disturbing, ugly, brutal, torn piece of dead flesh portrayed on celluloid. Horror is something which is very alive and soulful like a piece of music or a beautiful painting. Horror is a moment of creative transformation. Horror was that second thought which persisted and sailed me through my examinations. Horror was that visual which exposed my timidity and crushed my ego. Horror is the persistent negativity which keeps us moving. Horror is a necessary destruction, a necessary murder which we are required to do. Horror is an unexplainable something which is a part of me, a part of you and a part of all of us.

Horror is the last hope.

Horror is the necessary god. Yes the god…

God - part I

Oh god…!
This was something new after countless days of watching snow making mounds and mounds in front my shelter. Finally, it was a bright sunny day with a lot of chill factor to make it more juicy and horny. Moreover it was Tuesday and a mandir parade was organized in my battalion to apologize for the mistakes made in the past and to request nature god to be merciful throughout our tenure. And more interestingly, after a long time I was paying a serious, though forced visit to an organized religious ritual. Unlike civil, mandir is a very formal and structured event in army compulsory for all ranks and beliefs to attend. That is why I addressed it as a parade in the beginning. So there was no question of getting a day off (I deliberately got it once and still remember the chaos it brought to my mind and soul). I was having my afternoon siesta which had generously extended to an evening one. I got a call at quarter to six from a staff officer of my unit reminding me of the parade. The hell broke. I had to get ready. My eyes were swollen. I was feeling shitty getting up from my sleeping bag at +30 and going to attend mandir in -30. What the hell has happened to me? The time has made me wiser. But I was always happy insane. Anyways, I stepped inside the mandir and saw my troops lost in a mad world of devotion and deities. Religious hymns were being sung to the tunes of bollywood numbers. I was given a comfortable place to rest my arse. I sat down and met somebody. Yes, you guessed it right. It was god. Decorated and ornamented in a beautiful stone carving and a glass frame. Besides, the punditji of the battalion was sitting on the floor waving god with a bunch of peacock feathers. Indian soldiers were chanting with their closed eyes and cracked voices, ‘we are fucked, we have been raped, please help us god!’ My relationship with god has gone through many cracks and crevices. My facebook status has shifted from a believer to a non-believer and finally to an agnostic over a period of time. There is no serious animosity between us. But we have decided to remain indifferent and insolent towards each other. It’s a mutually signed agreement. I read somewhere written that there is a 99.9% probability that god doesn’t exist and there is a 99.99% probability that he doesn’t exist in the form we worship him. Though I am not sure about the first part of the statement but I definitely believe the second one. Anyhow, we were facing each other again. I tried to look straight. Into his stoned eyes. You are still the same. You haven’t changed ever since. Are you the one I was looking for so many years? Are you the answer to my questions? Are you the one I compose in my poems and dreams? Are you…Really…? But he didn’t even blink. I tried sounding desperate. Do you really breathe and eat? Do you ever fuck and sleep? But he was as cold as a stone. I closed my eyes. I saw colored patterns dancing on a black canvass. I saw the whole world, thousands of men and women, dancing, singing and making love to each other. I felt deceived. I opened my eyes. The patterns collided with each other and vanished into a thin air of trouble and longing. Are you the one responsible for this dichotomy? The question remained. I shrugged and heard people reciting hanuman chalisa. I was the most ignorant fool sitting in the whole crowd. I closed my eyes again. I saw a big zero with millions of small zeroes in front and million others following it, running and chasing each other creating a mayhem. By the time the show was over. And I had got my answer. The prashad was finally distributed and we decided to call it a day. I returned to my room, dazed and confused, logged in to my facebook account and saw some unread messages waiting for a reply.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The exorcism of Emily Rose

The second title may seem abrupt as the article proceeds. It is the title of a 2005 American horror film directed by Scott Derrickson loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel and follows a self-proclaimed agnostic defense lawyer representing a parish priest who is accused by the state of negligent homicide of a young woman named Emily Rose after he performed an exorcism. The film brings out the conflict between medical fraternity and the fraternity of church over the death of Emily Rose. The film gives a very balanced unbiased opinion over the death of the woman by being both politically and scientifically correct at the same time. Rather the onus is on the audience to believe what they want to believe.

It was 7 o’clock in the evening. I was involved in a regular chat with one of my friends on facebook when I got a call from a nursing assistant on a post at 16000 ft. The doctor is usually not deployed in this terrain at such a height. So to provide medical cover to the troops serving there, nursing assistants are available giving them first aid and monitoring the patient till the evacuation by air effort takes place. It was an unusual call at such an hour of day indicating some kind of urgency. I could sense the apprehension in the voice of my nursing assistant. The things were definitely not in his hand.

“साहब, यहाँ एक केस हो गया है. एक सिपाही की पूरी बॉडी अकड़ गयी है, उसके हाथ पाँव मुड़ गए हैं और पूरी बॉडी हिल रही है.”

I got concerned as soon as I heard these words. I poked him further to get required history of the patient and other necessary details. It all started with a headache and numbness in both the upper limbs and tongue followed by two episodes of tonic spasms involving the whole body. In medical terms patient had suffered two attacks of seizures at an interval of 10 minutes lasting five minutes each. I enquired whether the patient had any such attacks in the past. The nursing assistant told me that patient had a similar attack previously while worshiping in temple when his body got stiffened. I ignored this history at that time. I found it to be insignificant. I immediately instructed the nursing assistant to give him an intravenous shot of injection diazepam to control the convulsions. The injection was given and the seizure activity stopped. Vitals were taken at this moment and they were found to be stable. It seemed to be case of Cortical Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST). CVST is a rare form of stroke that results from a blood clot in the venous system of brain. The symptoms include headache, numbness, weakness of one side of the body, seizures and altered sensorium. This condition though particularly rare but is fairly common at such high altitudes. The reason being the low oxygen concentration leading to increased hemoglobin and increased viscosity of blood making it more prone to phenomenon like clotting. Moreover, decreased physical activity at this altitude and such weather conditions combined with decreased water intake and more urine output contribute to the factors leading to conditions like CVST. I looked out of my window and realized that the weather was totally packed. It was snowing heavily and no stars could be seen. There were minimal chances of patient getting evacuated by helicopter. And the patient in any case could not be brought downhill by other soldiers on foot given the risk of avalanches and snow slides. It would only mean risking the life of other four to five people. I called up my officer of the unit and explained him the condition of the patient and my probable diagnosis. I also informed my senior medical consultant who advised me to put the patient on priority and raise a demand for heli evacuation. All these formalities were on. I again called up the people on the post and enquired about the general condition of the patient. The officer at that post told me that the patient is otherwise stable but is talking unusual things. At first I gave up a shut up call to the officer there and told him stop the bullshit. But he insisted me to listen to him.

“सर please आप मेरी बात सुनो. सर जब आपने injection देने के लिए बोला तो उसके बाद यह बिस्तर पर ठक कर के गिर गया और फिर एक दम से उठा और बोलने लगा, ‘ माता रानी तुम सब को कभी माफ़ नहीं करेगी. मुझे पता है किस ने मंदिर के पैसे चुराए हैं. माता को सब पता है. मेरी आत्मा बहुत नाराज़ है तुम सब लोगों से. गाँव में भी पहले किसी ने ऐसा किया था. उसको माता रानी ने बहुत कड़ी सज़ा दी थी. मेरी आत्मा को भभूती चाहिए.’ सर patient बुरी तरह से अपनी पूरी बॉडी हिला रहा है और सर झटक रहा है. जब यहाँ लोगों ने मिट्टी उठा के भभूति की तरह इसके माथे पे लगाईं तो एक दम से बिस्तर पर गिर पड़ा और सो गया. सर इसे और कुछ नहीं देवी आई है और इसलिए यह खेल रहा है.”

These were the exact words of the patient as told to me by the officer there. I ridiculed all this stuff and thought that the patient is not in his senses because of the clot. On further enquiry I came to know that the patient was from sirmaur district of himachal Pradesh and the things like black magic, jaadu toona, devi etc are very common in that belt of himachal. The patient had similar such episodes in the past and was observed by other people of the battalion in mandir before.

When this whole episode happened my senior officer decided not to raise the demand for evacuation of patient at that time. He explained me that it is a fairly common occurrence in people of sirmaur district and it is more of a psychological thing which has got aggravated because of the tough living conditions at that post. Moreover, the religious sentiments of the troops must be respected. But I insisted that the patient is critical and anything can happen to him if he is not being evacuated. Even if the weather doesn’t permit evacuation, at least raising the demand for it will save us from administrative repercussions in future if anything happens to the patient. At least it would show that we were concerned and we identified the problem timely for the betterment of patient. I explained the problem of CVST to the officer and told him that such type of behavior could happen in this condition also because the patient is not in his senses. I ridiculed that such type of behavior was related to his upbringing and place of origin.

While the discussions were hot, several other senior officers were put into picture and their opinion was taken. Everybody insisted that it is all psychological and nothing medical. I was abusing them to the highest order in my heart and calling them ignorant. Although I was the principal medical adviser for the troops there but being the most junior officer I couldn’t interfere much. Meanwhile the pandit of the battalion was consulted and his opinion was taken. He advised that a pooja would be undertaken coming Tuesday and we all would apologise to maata rani for our mistakes.

I called up the post again and enquired about the patient. The nursing assistant and the officer there informed me that the patient has become perfectly stable and is talking normally. I talked to the patient.

He said, “saab yeh mujhe pehle bhi hota rehta hai. Jab bhi ghar mein koi takleef hoti hai to mujhe maata aati hai.”

The medical adviser down below told me that it is nothing but psychological and there is no need for immediate evacuation. By this time I was also almost convinced that the things are under control and nothing sort of CVST has happened to him.

I also took my decision back and decided to go with the flow leaving everything to the destiny. Hope he gets fine and the attack doesn’t recur. The decision was taken that a big pooja would be held coming Tuesday and all the troops will apologise Maata rani for our mistakes.

I was convinced that the patient certainly didn’t have CVST. But can I explain the things medically? Yes the patient might be schizophrenic. In schizophrenia patient might feel possessed and he might have auditory and visual hallucinations associated with paranoid behavior. Or the patient might be having hysteria or the conversion disorder which may have all such type of symptoms and behavior. Or the patient might really be under supernatural possession. People behave weird when they feel possessed and under the effect of some supernatural power. But my grooming as a doctor expects me to be rational and scientific.

It was a clash. A clash between local customs and medical science. A clash between religion and science. A clash between man and god. medical science has come a long way. But it still needs to be politically correct and ecologically adaptable.

Is the patient schizophrenic? Or is he really possessed?

I rest the matter for discussion…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trilogy - part III

This is the third one in a row and probably the last of this series. So am I done with it? Have I resolved the conflict? Have I come to a conclusion? After all what was this whole exercise for? These questions had to crop up obviously. This is the psyche we all are born with and this is what is infused into our brains in the schools we read. But was it really meant to conclude or prove something? Do I need to stand up and announce my final verdict? Why do we always want to jump to conclusions? Why can’t we stop being judgmental? I know it’s easily said than done. But I am trying to dissect myself layer by layer. The headlights are on. The scalpel has gone blunt. And there are layers and layers to dissect. Bloody. Infected. Layers. And probably dead too. Infected with millions of different types of bacteria. They have gone into my gloves and are biting me hard. Probably they want to wake me up and show the pathology. But am I ready to face it? Before that can I really face it? It’s the most cancerous and contaminated tissue of the body. But if so, can I dissect it from rest of the body? The pathology has multiplied many a fold and metastasized everywhere. It has grown its whiskers all over the structure. Dissecting it out would probably means lighting up the funeral. The pathology is inseparable. And indispensable also. A sort of love hate relationship. A form of lethal commensalism. So I don’t really have a CHOICE. Rather the CHOICE is not mine. THERE IS ONLY ONE DOOR. And it leads NoWhErE. Isn’t it cruel? But that’s the way it is. It was a long sleep. Now the dream state is over. Welcome to the real world. There are no fairies to amuse you. Or angels to love you. There are only monsters. Big bad monsters.
I wish I were an animal. Or a phallus.
But the truth is I am a human. Yes a human.