20th January, 2003
One Monday that was (a decade back), that changed my life. I wish I could add- for good. There were people and celebrations alright; but something still had made me cry. I didn’t have a family, so it wasn’t about shifting homes from maternal to marital, so what was I mourning about?
Ten years hence today, I have layers of memory collected, celebrating with people (again) and captures of the same flying around in the cyberspace too; instead of those getting shut inside an album running a risk of losing its possession. Not now.
Evening before while I was writing my mind out, I broke down remembering the first time I was beaten up being squashed like a discarded cabbage with its leaves broken and blackened. It was that time of the month. I am no Draupadi, but was stripped while I bled.
The clock struck twelve in the midnight while I was talking over to someone who played his share of part for it to get re- sketched the following day!
I spent first half of my day in Dilli Haat, sketching. Read: freaking out with people. Anyone who has been there knows it’s a cultural n social hub. Families from all walks of life go there to revive the feel of a local fair. Only it’s gotten commercialized and modernised over the crawl of years. Think of a cleaner, more colorful version of Surajkund Crafts fair, with more and varied options of eating out thrown in. So there I was with the Delhi Pencil Jammers group toying with my sketch pencils for other to see and thoughts playing hard with my state of being for none others to know of.
Two stuffed paranthas, maybe a tea if not coffee (don’t remember well) and a few hide n seek strawberry biscuits later, I was on my way to Dilli Haat. Heart thumped with anxiety to face people on a day when I would have (otherwise) sat locked up in my bedroom in complete denial. Taking cracking shots at the other jammers, jumping over the cemented seating to capture the jammers sketch, spiraling my way through the crowd; my day had only begun. There were snacks from Puri, Bhuvaneshwar, Orissa; chocolates, savouries, home-bakes cakes and me! It turned out to be one of the best jamming sessions till now; a fact acknowledged by the group coordinators too.
First half hour I had a tough time taking control of my emotions. No one noticed; such is how I carry my façade up, but I was at the brink of making myself a public sob at every smile I flashed. In some time, the smile I was sporting turned to laughter; an infectious and vivacious display of being as carefree as one could get.
That was the place where we met some twelve years back. “We shall buy the home decor stuff from here when we get married…”
31st December, 1998
A simple statement spoken was a prophecy that that became after four years from then. That was my first visit to the place. Only two months back from then I had slept my way to survival. The count isn’t confined to one as how a few have known that to be. A fat amount from one, denying the proposal of an affair and accepting work from the other one, wondering if that could develop into an affair; it was barely 7- 8 months that I had stepped out of a slightly over a year sleeping arrangement. I said already, the count isn’t confined to a solitary violation. All that and much more kept flashing in the ether blurring my vision every few seconds. I have known to be the stone faced emotionless dolled up snob. I didn’t cry the day mom passed away; then how could I now? I had no time to howl about my loss. That would have been a waste of time and I was left with none. Today, I don’t want to give myself any to brood about the things those have made me how I am today.
A meeting at Dilli Haat four years before I got dodged into the wedlock in a Convention Centre in Lodhi Road. The album shot at the occasion was picture perfect. I looked beautiful. This is when I am not at all one by the most conservative definition of the term.
20th January, 2013
Soon, I forgot. I embraced my present day, time and people with all the strength I could gather up. I looked in my happening time. A photo-walk with the jamming coordinator framing the handicrafts, those which I once fancied to do up my house with didn’t remind me of much. A few phone calls kept reminding me of someone’s presence- in my life; but for the lack of a better expression. Another call after the walk was over made me run (quite literally) to Lodhi road, the place where my matrimony was ceremonized. More pictures were clicked and of me too. All the pictures have been uploaded already on different profiles. Mine, his, on the jamming group… Infact, on my FB profile, I have a few of those uploaded under different albums. Some flowers I shot was the color of my wedding dress, apparently, my favorite color too. That one album that I thought of to be picture perfect that I don’t have possession to, I don’t need that anymore.
More people, all strangers joined in for the walk from India Habitat Centre to Jor Bagh Metro Station. The station was so crowded that I had run my way up to start breathing again. A small tumble on the stairs that didn’t end up in a fall couldn’t stop me from running to catch the bus. All this was happening at 10 in the night. The bus too was crowded. For crying out loud it was a weekend, it should not have been. Impulsively, we got down at the next stop and there we were… back to Dilli Haat again.
We walked till the closed iron grills to touch and mark our presence and walked back to Metro. We got into one, kissed our goodbyes and traveled our ways. I was to travel till where the rail ends. The girl sitting in front of me was weeping, red and loud. Why was she? I didn’t need any more mourning. But that’s all that I have done for long.
Happened has noway to change. I have left it at that.