Angrezi Babu

Writing

So I would like to just start off by saying that I have only very recently started using public transportation (Shameful, I know) so my interactions and experiences with the autowalla’s are fairly limited to ‘Bhaiya ____ jane ka kitna loge?’ and the usual bargaining that ensues after they give you an absurdly high price (“Bhaiya GK jaane ka 100rs? hum toh roz 60 main jaate hain. Theek theek lagao ya meter se chalo”) And the way they either stay silent the whole ride or curse and mutter under their breath about how pathetic traffic is, so the following experience was quite a surprise.

I usually have to walk till the gate of my colony to flag down an auto so I set out 10 minutes earlier than I had to leave for class to do just that, as I usually do, when I found an auto passing my house and flagged it down thanking anything and everything that was up there. I asked how much he would take and the first thing he said to me was “Didi, hum meter se chalte hain” (I go by the meter) which anyone living in Delhi would understand, is not as common as it should be. I got on, expecting another mundane, boring ride and regretting not bringing my earphones along, when he said something that struck me at that moment as a bit funny.

“What road do you want to take?”

This isn’t a direct translation, these are his exact words, although a bit hard to decipher with his this accent.

“Any, Bhaiya”

“That’s not an answer beta, no road is a problem you must have a preference na? You must give one answer, no road is problem for me” He said with the amused lit one has when scolding a naughty child.

“__ road is good, bhaiya”

“Good! good!”

After which he proceeded to ask me what I was studying, what I was planning on studying (“US beta?”) and on telling him I was planning on studying in Canada, went “Toronto is quite big no? bigger than Delhi?” and went on to ask if I had family there and how mass media generates a lot of money these days. Thoroughly impressed at this point not just because of his English, but also his general knowledge, my curiosity got the best of me as it generally does.

“Your English and General Knowledge is quite good bhaiya..”

I was not prepared for what he said next, and I paraphrase a little:

“I read English newspapers every single day, beta. My community is quite illiterate,  most of them haven’t been educated so they disapprove of anyone that tried to pursue a good education. They don’t support me, so I can’t call for the English newspapers to my house. My neighbor is a judge, so everyday at 6 when I get off work I change my clothes and go to his house to read his newspaper. My wife is not educated and is surrounded by women that just want to watch serials on TV, so there’s nothing I can do about her. It all depends on the ‘enbiorment’ (environment) na? But I put my children in school.” He replied, smiling to himself.

“The young baccha’s these days go to college and school but have no interest in it. So many times I try to speak to them in English and they say no, we are comfortable speaking Hindi only.” Cue exasperated head shake and tch tch sounds.

“I want to practice my English, its all about practice na?”

“Yes, bhaiya.”

We spoke at length of what he could do to improve, how the youth can improve, corruption and things in general where he would thank me for correcting his dictation and pronunciation . It may not seem like a big deal, but I know those 15 minutes were important for his growth, and our development as a society starts with them. It starts with their growth and their ability to acknowledge and recognize just how important education and being an over all good citizen is.

That day I got off the auto with a new perspective and a renewed sense of hope, and he got off at 6 to head off to read the English newspaper with a few extra bucks and a little more practice.

“I want to be a rich man” He said, “and I’m taking the steps necessary to achieve that goal”.

And I have no doubt that you will, Angrezi Babu, I have no doubt that you will.

Advertisement!

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So I recently did an Ad for Clean and Clear, which was absolutely insane.

For those of you who don’t know, Clean and Clear is brand that manufactures beauty related products such as face washes and creams. C&C India have a tie up with The Danceworx, a dance academy I have a scholarship at, so they went to all our studios – we’ve got many around Delhi and some in Mumbai – and held open auditions.

Now, originally, I wasn’t planning on giving the audition for some unfathomable reason, until one of my instructors and my siblings forced me to give it with them.

I was one of the 30 girls to get selected, and after the dress rehearsal, one of the remaining 10.

The shooting for that 30 second Ad started from 5 am to 4 am the next day. From finding the perfect hair, makeup and clothes for each girl to feeding them and making sure they’re comfortable along with the constant touch ups, everything was done in abundance.

The set, the people, the props..all contributing to an amazing experience; My first professional shoot.

Him

Writing

I watch him touch her arm, a gentle, soft caress. She looks at him with that familiar, tender look in her eyes, the one that was once reserved only for me. I watch the way she brushes his hair out of his eyes, a brush of skin, nothing more. The way he smiles a little at the contact makes my heart twist. Clench. Ready to explode. He leans into her warmth, and she holds him closer, tighter. Their bodies melding into one. Nothing else matters, nothing else exists. Not the people rushing around, smiling at the moment they’re sharing together, the isolated emotion, not the sounds, the smells or anything in between or beyond. Her eyes are fixed on him, shining with unshed tears of pure love and joy. Content. She is content next to him, with him nearby. Her heart is finally at peace after all the pain she went through, with me, to reach this point. He shuffles a bit in her embrace, catching and twisting a lock of her ebony hair. I watch as a soft laugh escapes her beautiful lips, the way her hand comes up to hold his wrist and I feel another tug at my heart. Somebody brushes past me, causing me to take a step forward, towards her; them. She looks away from the boy. She was always so beautiful, her features so serene, even without the shadows and liners she insisted on putting on. Her face was bare, today. But she didn’t need anything. We lock eyes. Her cheeks flushed a rosy pink, her coffee coloured eyes bright and round in surprise. Every emotion I feel is mirrored on her face, words need not be spoken. I stare at her, shamelessly. He shifted again, calling her attention back to him, she looked away from me hastily. He wrapped himself around her, content with finally having gained her attention and I saw another soft smile erupt on her face. Another tug. And then, she looked at me, beckoning me forward, into their private little moment. I stared at him, stunned. He was so at peace with her, as I always was, and I wanted nothing more to leave, but I wasn’t sure if I should. She studied my perplexed state, beckoning me forward once more. Someone brushed past me once again, snapping me out of my reverie, and I walked slowly towards them. He turned to me, sensing my presence. A set of familiar eyes looked back at me. I sucked in a breath. We stared at each other for a moment, unmoving, unblinking. The tugging now stronger than ever. The link between us smiled and shifted.

And then,

I held my son for the first time.

It’s my first time writing anything like this, and I really hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you would like to see me write anything similar to this in any way again, or have any feedback or comments at all, please do feel free to let me know. Thankyou for reading!

Editing Credits: Akash Ricky Chakraborty 

Check out his blog, he’s amazing. 

https://rickywastaken.wordpress.com/

The Static Speak My Name

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RICKY WAS TAKEN

A distinct ping sings into your ears, and the presumption of its eventuality is overshadowed by the dire need of it. You look down to your rectangle, and feel the vibrations of a sense of urgency that exists only in imagined spaces of binary. Your mind created worlds between the infinite series of digits, and your heart latched onto them in a manner that only the derangement of longing can make it do so. You seek to create an illusion, if only to solidify another. Like a compulsive gambler, yet again in need of his ‘estranged’ brother.

You stare unblinking, watching the words rush by, their manner quite like that of binaural beats. A third, imagined beat to the ear that completes the rumble. Without it, it’s merely a thump and bumble. And you don’t want that. Of course you don’t. So you choose to perceive the bridge of fantasy…

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With love

Writing

My love for you is like a thousand condensed suns that burn the tiny, fragile person they have been fitted inside, right down to her core. Warm and overwhelming, always shining through with its intensity and power. Its like the infinity that many may want but may not get, eternal and whole in nature.

Its the first breeze on a hot summer day, calm and soothing. Like, the first kiss shared between two lovers that had never truly realized the intensity of their feelings until that very moment, passionate and heartfelt. Its like the first few drops of rain in after an unending drought, needed and wholly rejoiced.

Like the stars and the moon and the sun and the sky, bound by eternity. It is like the mother that holds her child for the first time, tender, overwhelming. It’s dew drops that race down your window and fascinate you as a child, the sigh of relief when your stress dissolves.

My love for you, is like nothing I have ever felt before. It is me, it is my whole. My body, mind and soul. My limbs, my heart. My mind, my flesh. My bones, my lungs. My love for you drowns me in every sorrow, every pain and every elation known to man.
My love for you is the universe, explored, but the surface barely scratched. The love that cannot be defined, described or denied in any way, shape or form. So, my love for you, is stuck in similes and smiles, languish and laughter, wonder and wanderlust, daydreams and dread.
Yes, my love for you is like a thousand condensed suns that burn the tiny, fragile person they have been fitted inside, right down to her very core.


Editing credits: Akash Ricky Chakraborty.

You should check out his blog, he’s amazing. 

‘Ricky was taken’ : https://rickywastaken.wordpress.com/

Things Dancers have to hear

Writing

Being a dancer enables your body and soul to be one. You’re in unison with the universe and with yourself. Music is home, pain is nothing, body limitations are practically non existent…and so is the understanding of the people around you. So here are a couple of things that we have to hear on a regular basis, in hopes that you’ll be kind enough to not repeat them and if you do, add a touch of awe and a few inspired tears to go with them. Thanks.

1) “How much will/do you dance?”

Till my feet fall off, thankyou very much.

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2) “Stop it, we’re in public

Excuse me, but my body can’t help but move on its own when a good song (or a song in general) comes on.

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3) “Dancing is okay as a hobby and all, but not a career”

*stabs you*

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4) “Can you do a split?”

Yes, yes I can.

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5) “Can you show me?”

Yes, yes I can.

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6) “If you keep doing that you’ll end up disabled/in the hospital”

Not if I do it right. Thankyou for your concern though.

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7) “What’s the difference between * insert two completely different styles*?

We don’t usually mind this that much and do our best to try and explain, but please don’t expect a whole thesis. Google is thy friend.

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8) “Do even eat/how much do you eat?”

I eat as much as I should. Goodbye

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9) “What do you even wear for dance class/ THAT’S what you wear for dance class?”

I wear what’s comfortable. Dance clothes aren’t all that different from workout clothes.

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And the best one:

10) “HOW do you do that?”

Well.

*smirks*

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Thanks for coming!

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all images via giphy.com