Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Worse than the total agony of being in love?

The remote doesn’t stop at one channel. She has been trying to divert her mind, but whatever had happened in the morning was troubling her. Though getting hit by her husband was a ritual of the day, tradition of the night; still, the blood oozing out from the deep cut on her right cheek hurts, at least physically. Her heart was not trembling; it was not scared. These are those emotions which she had made subdued a long unknown. May be she didn’t care anymore. But, only for her, she is good; a good mother she is; at least in those cute little eyes. She is or she is not; she doesn’t care about that also. There is only one person in the world, whom she loves, deep down her heart. That’s what people think , or may be most of the times she also makes her feel the same. Umm, no, but there are two.

And, with this thought she realized that her heart still pumps blood. She still has sensations. She doesn’t have idle limbs, she doesn’t have the lethargic brain, she doesn’t just have tattering legs, and she does have feelings. She feels for those lost emotions that transformed her. She recalls those untouched touches which made her a lady.

The tickling of high heart beats gave her life and she again accepted that she still loves someone. He is someone, whom she doesn’t care like a kid, but like a partner; with whom she could herself like to be a little doll who enjoys pampering; who loved her for what she was, not for what her beauty prevails; who accepted her in the way she wanted her to be accepted. She felt the passion again which is far beyond the daily care of her husband’s tantrums; her affection for ‘ankoo’ her daughter; her sobbing of daily monotonous constant grief; the compassion for the uselessness of her own existence; her own senselessness of lost sensibility. It was a sense of fullness, and acceptance of surrender, a unique way of losing the possession of her ‘self’.

Pankhuri was no longer a teenager, nor even a young look-a-like woman. Her heart is still very young with adventure, love and passion.

It was then, she got stuck. It wasn’t her imagination, it was surreal. The picture was seen on every channel, of an accident. The victim was a big businessman, a renowned celebrity, Prasoon. And again, she felt all those sensations. She felt to cry of fear; for the fear of losing someone whom she had already lost but had the hope to see some time in the future; as they lived in the same planet. They were, Prasoon-Pankhuri or Pankhuri-Prasoon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Aapki Abhaya/Antara/...



One of my Tauji,Taiji live in Calcutta. Tauji is an IIT kgp graduate in its inception years, experience of being CEO, and a lovely heart to accept people as they are. It is always great to see him talking and caring for each and every individual with logical bend. Taiji had been the master of home and that is quite visible in her authoritative actions. Their support and love have guided my cousins in grooming their personality. The cousin brother, Piyush is an engineer, settled in UK with wife and kids.

My cousin sister, Astha, an anesthesiologist, and Jijaji, Anurag, an eye surgeon, are a lovely couple together; Jijaji being jovial and talkative person while didi being all caring, serious, the craziest reader of books I have ever seen. Though Jijaji devotes most of his time in serving poor people and government wards, there are certain operations which only he does in entire Calcutta. Didi has got enough patience to see all those crumpled people in ICU just after their accidents. She has got the main responsibility to handle the most serious cases. In and all, both of them are doing not only good works but rather great works, kind of real heroes they are.

Their elder daughter Aditi is also an exceptional reader. You give her a book and she would forget everything in the world. At the age of 9, she had finished most of the books of her school library. She could finish thick books like Harry Potter in some 6-7 hours. So, I am talking about a brilliant family.

My Tauji being cousin of Papa, born and brought up in Calcutta only, we couldn’t get to know many things about their living till I reached Calcutta in 2005 for my Masters in Management.

As soon as we reached there, the most surprising thing came in a small packet of a kid who is a very pretty girl, Abhaya. Her eyes were so beautiful that you could just admire the creation of God in her. You keep looking in her eyes and try to talk to her and there you go. There is no response. You start believing that she might be feeling shy of new people at home and then there comes a shock. My Tauji said that she is ‘Autistic’. ‘Autistic’ was a complete alien term for me. I couldn’t understand what it meant. Then Tauji gave me something to read. It was a collection of articles he got packed from his daily net surfing, covering the basics of Autism.

Then he tried to explain me about Autism in detail. I kept looking at Abhaya and kept listening to what Tauji was saying. At one point, I wished to play with her and let her talk like a normal kid. With those twinkling little eyes, with those lovely cheeks and from a god like sweet face I could only listen a few words. She was trained to speak sentences like: ‘Paani de do’; ‘Naam Abhaya’. She was getting the training of the most basic things that we do in daily life. She didn’t know how to take care of her clothes, when to ask for water, how to talk to people, basic motor activities, how to reply when her name is called. The most fundamental problems that they told were: what would happen to her when no one would be around; how would she be able to protect herself given the god’s blessings combination of beauty and her Autism; how would we trace her if she is lost somewhere.

She was 5-6 then, she was going to school as well but this was surely for these special kids. She was able to write a few letters, she was able to play for certain minutes with you when she didn’t feel shy unusually, she could smile a bit, she could show love by giving a sweet kiss if she does feel like, and she shows that she is unhappy with something, like when you are leaving or when she was made to socialize. And this is all due to the training that she was getting at the special school, the proper care given at home by each and every family members including her still kid sister Aditi, and to the open attitude by the family to accept this thing with such a bravery. Think about the parents who could see their child in the so lost conditions every time that the parents had to let her feel their presence with activities. And they do it; they do it brilliantly with energy, with compassion, with all the love that they could have given to their sweetest.

Tauji says that she is special and all such kids are really special. They have the brain which is very honest to understand the ‘tricks’ that we have imbibed in our so called real-world. She doesn’t know about the big countries, she is happy with the corner of the room that she chooses to play her own solitary crafted games; she doesn’t care about impressing people, she gives her impression which you can never forget; she doesn’t think about the issues and complexities of the things around us, she has got enough complexities inside herself to be solved by us external world.

Tauji has devoted his entire time to take care of Abhaya, whose name has changed to Roshni as to bring some fortune to her life, as suggested by some panditji. Now, you can really understand what all measures do these parents are taking to get their child be track on normal self. Tauji has been participating in online communities to generate awareness all over, discussions to let people think normally for such cases and also the family has been involving themselves in activities within Calcutta to meet more such people and spread love all around these children.

Some quick facts about Autistic children:

· They are not mad, crazy or lunatic. This is some kind of genetic mutation which has got a difference in them. Though, most of us are not aware of it, every 3rd child out of 500 children is suffering from this mutation.

· These kids are mostly socially not active. They don’t talk, don’t greet, don’t make eye contacts and even don’t reply to their own names.

· They have certain behavior which is kind of repetitive. They might be repeating some words, might be meticulously putting their toys, and might get violent in rarest cases.

· With the special training they can be improved to handle their lives beautifully, but surely an autistic remains autistic forever. So, they need proper care, a little bit more patient attitude and all the love that you can pour forever.

This is really amazing to watch ‘Aapki Anatra’ on ZeeTV 8:30 PM weekdays. This serial is made to generate the awareness for ‘Autism’ only. Antara, a 5 year girl, is suffering from Autism, but she has some special powers of counting which really impresses people. This serial is simply a marvelous piece of creative craft. All that I had experienced while playing, seeing Abhaya 2 and half years back, everything is covered with perfect clarity in the serial. They didn’t hide any of the realities of Autism, making this one as ‘the real one’ in every sense. If you haven’t watched it, my sincere advice is to keep following it. If you get a chance, you do watch the old episodes of it. This would surely ignite the light for these special kids. Feel the serial; I am sure you would have something to say about it.

They are sweet, they are helpless, they want care and they have to be loved.

Do visit these sites to know more about Autism:




To help these children, you could also visit:


[Image source: ZeeTV]

Monday, July 06, 2009

…tic tic tic… 15!!! the counter keeps moving for him…

It was way back in 1987 June when i watched any match of Tennis in my memory. It was Wimbledon and Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova were fighting in the finals for the title. One of them was already a legend, the other one was into making history. I could not understand much of tennis that time but from the next year onwards, we three brothers started watching semis and finals of Wimbledon and French Open. I am quite thankful to Doordarshan to bring such a high quality telecast in those days of minimum TV presence in India.

The Mens' tennis stars those days were Ivan Lendl (who couldn’t win Wimbledon anytime), Stfean Edberg, and Boris Becker. I personally liked the zeal of Becker, Class of Lendl but Edberg impressed me the most with the least show-off and the best results. Those were the starting days of Graf, Sanchez-Vicario, Seles, Capriati, Sabatini, Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Stitch mature days of Becker, Edberg, ending days of Navratilova, Chris Evert, Borg, McEnore, Connors, Lendl and the greatest stars like Sampras, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Hingis, Novotna, Conchita Martinez were not even in picutres.

                Lendl                                                    Beckar                                                   Edberg

The game started drifting to unknown players in the start of 90s by Courier winning one grand slam with a big show and then drifting to the glories of not making anywhere in later days. He is always remembered for his great show that time but he couldn't maintain it. Ivanisevic was busy in pumping the flood of aces to the opponents and Sampras still managing to defeat him in straight sets in the finals. Agassi defeated him in his first Wimbledon finals in 1992, Samprass in straight sets in 1994, four setters in 1998 but he finally managed to make it to the record books in 2001. Philippousis was known for his height, strength and fastest serves with very high first serve percentage, but he was not like the legends to keep the returns right. Patric Rafter was a man of excellent serve but Sampras, Ivanisevic, Agassi all had enough class to not to let the beauty of game to drift towards the power of shots. Sampras had not been my personal favorite in his initial days. His indifference and controlled temperament gave a sense of arrogance somewhere to me. But as he grew in tennis, his calmness showed the humbleness and the noble dedication for his dreams. He played classis games to defeat each and every powerful opponent every time. Thus he made the world record of 14 grand slams titles. He had pushed behind two of his own ideals of his tennis; Borg and Rod Laver. The era was ending with Agassi managing to settle with the lady luck (Steffi Graf) and making a history of winning all grand slams. I always considered him as a cool headed, focused bloke.

                Courier                                               Agassi                                                   Ivanisevic

Shades of Sampras’ 14 Grand Slams

In the end of 90s and start of new millennium, I was starting to believe that the top position in the mens' tennis doesn't give the flavor of watching them in the finals of grand slams. Every now and then the top players did some silly thing and the grand slam finals were between two not-so-great players of the time. To break my silly belief came the era of Federer, Nadal, Hewitt, Safin, Roddick and Djokovic. Federer and Nadal are among the greatest players of the history of tennis. In any era, there had not been two so confident, consistent, focused, dedicated, hard working players. Federer had been so consistent that my belief that the top players do not make it to the finals, was totally shattered by him. 6 years and finals after finals he can be seen there. His performance in finals has been great. He has been focused in defeating with confidence, getting defeated with pride. Sampras, Lendl both couldn't convert the four grand slam myths, he did it. He made it to the rank 1 for the highest no of consecutive weeks. Just like Sachin, he has all shots. His forehand, backhand, drop shots, line shots, serve and volley, smashes, aces, returns, intelligence to choose shots, stamina, consistency, level headed confidence, perseverance and not-giving-up attitude are all worth watching. Nadal has power, strength, stamina, line shots, athletic body and not-so-cool temperament which can shake the opponent anytime. These two are living legends. Both of them prove every time they enter to the court. They have the drive to win each and every match. Djokovic is also super class. It’s amazing to see these three greatest players of all time. Had Djokovic been to any other era, he would have won many grand slams till now. But, surely Fed and Nadal do not allow any other to pitch in their desires. Once in an interview DJokovic had said that he was very delighted to be at third place and Fed is like God of Tennis of current era and defeating Nadal is equivalent to defeating Hercules.

Nadal                                          Djokovic

Personally I like Fed the most. The match that he played yesterday was a classical example all time great matches played at the center court of Wimbledon. I totally agree that Roddick was better in two. He played like a winner. Fed was defending himself many a times but Roddick was not making mistakes. He made just three mistakes in the entire match: one in the second set, second in the final set when he had two break points and the last one in the end. But all of them were the mistakes which were handled well by Federer given his experience, class, belief in himself and dedication towards record making performance.

Federer and Roddick before the Wimbledon Finals 2009 official Photo

When the last mistake was done by Roddick, Fed jumped like a small kid who has just won the musical chair competition. He was jumping with joy and this time he had no tears like French Open. There were all smiles of his. The happy man had achieved the most awaited, deserving world record. He has made this record at the age of 27 only. I believe he has some 3-4 years still left in Tennis. I wish that he makes it to 20 grand slams soon. In the ending ceremony, Roddick said to Sampras that he tried to let Fed not break Sampras' record but Fed was just perfectly good to make a new record. Roddick was inches closer to disallow his third defeat at Wimbledon Finals and that too by Fed only. All his sadness was on his face. He was flustered. But the day was on the name of Fed who had the dream to break the record of Sampras in front of the man himself and Sampras, as always the super gentleman, fulfilled Fed's dream. In the end, Laver, Borg, Sampras and Fed had gone for a small chit chat and a photo shoot. That was an amazing scene for all the tennis fans of the world.

Borg, Sampras, Federer, Laver (from L to R)

I am really happy for Fed today: Super legend.

I would cover my opinions on Ladies Tennis journey from 1987 till 2009 in my subsequent posts.

[Source of All images: Wimbledon official site, Google Image Search, Getty Images]