Bone of Contention

Today’s Writing Prompt: Bone of Contention

The other day I was having a conversation with a dear friend. We know each other from school. She was very upset when she called me. Actually she had a fight with her husband over a small matter. Her mother in law said something mean to her. She did not say anything back to her MIL but later she raised the topic in front of her husband. She only wanted someone to cheer her up and she thought who could be better than her husband? But on the contrary, he just made her feel worse.

Let me describe the whole incident. (My friend’s name is Bee)

Bee just had her dinner and was sitting with her husband in the living room changing channels of TV.

“Who wants a biscuit?” exclaimed her MIL as she entered the room.

“I am full.” said Bee

“Who is gonna give you anyway, right son?” said the MIL.

Bee felt quite annoyed with the joke (teasing?) but replied easily, “OK, as you wish. I will have it myself if I want.”

“Take it yourself? I will chop your hand and break them into pieces if you do so.” came the response from the MIL.

Bee left the hall silently as she did not find words to reply.

The whole incident happened in front of her husband but her husband said nothing to his mom.

That night she told her husband that she felt really bad when his mother talked to her in that way.

Her husband was like, “Are you crazy, can’t you take a casual joke?”

She said she never ever heard of such joke. She was not asking her husband to go to his mom and ask her to stop behaving like that. She just wanted to hear something soothing like, Yea I know you felt bad but don’t worry everything will be alright. Instead his husband said that she was dumb enough not to understand a joke.

He even said that she was intentionally trying to create tensions between him and his mom.

So she called me crying.

I tried to calm her. She asked whether she did anything wrong.

“No, you didn’t. Do not think about it right now and go to sleep. Your husband got angry because his mom is involved in this. Everything will be alright.” I said to her.

After the call was over I sat down and tried to think about the difference between a harmless joke and a harmful one with the intention to belittle the other person.

Many a times people just spew words of contempt under the guise of ‘just kidding, won’t you get that?’

It becomes very hard for the receiver of the joke to prove otherwise because ultimately the blame comes down upon the receiver for inventing hurtful meaning from some ‘benign bunch of words meant to evoke laughter.’ But the reality is they do not evoke laughter but they do hurt feelings of others.

The receiver, if tries to stop these by simply stating that they don’t like such kind of jokes, the narrator feels outraged.

“Oh God! You have such a cunning mind.” All of a sudden the blame of being presumptuous comes upon the victim and the original villain acts as the victim of injustice.

So, overall it’s a tricky situation to end this hurtful teasing game. Joking is okay, but immoral teasing is not.

It was natural for Bee to feel bad because if I were in her position I would have felt the same. The only bad thing is, her husband did not feel the same.


Daring Do

I was sitting lazily with a book in my hand and trying to concentrate in a chapter for my upcoming exams. It was a nice afternoon of autumn. Suddenly I heard birds chirping together in an unusual way. It was not their normal melodies. It was more angrier. I put down the book from my lap and went outside to see the matter. As soon as I stepped outside I saw a cat aiming high at the branches of a Crape jasmine tree. I followed the cat’s aim and found out that a small bird was sitting on a branch and it was trembling in fear. It tried to hide behind the leaves but the cat was too smart.

The other bigger birds from the small bird’s family were trying hard to scare away the cat. Some braver birds were even attacking the cat with their beaks. But the cat was just too stubborn to budge. The little birdie was learning to fly it seemed but somehow ended upon that branch after it got tired. It was not ready to take another flight yet and the cat didn’t want to miss the chance of a meal. The whole story became clear in my mind.

I wasted no time and scared the cat away with the cellphone in my hand. I acted as if I was about to throw it upon him. The cat ran away as he was not smart enough to find out that I would never want to break my cellphone. As soon as the cat was out of sight the other birds became calm.

I brought a chair and sat outside. The little birdie tried to fly again and again. At last it stretched its wings and flew to a higher branch of a mango tree. All the time its family was beside to encourage the birdie.

Finally it was out of danger and I returned back to my room. I quickened the pace of my study.

In respose to Daily Prompt: Daring Do

First Love

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

The day I first saw you,

You didn’t notice me;

Was the day I fell for you

And all was you that I could see.

You looked so cute,

With white shirt on.

I still can’t forget,

So quick you were gone.

Right from that moment,I loved you

But you didn’t know.

I wondered; if you will love me too

And was afraid to show.

Then I talked to you

for the very first time.

You said we should be friends.

I said yes, but it was a lie.

Together we felt so happy.

Our friendship grew.

We talked for hours.

I knew you loved me too.

The first time you hold my hand,

The first feeling of our kiss,

The first time you said you love me,

All are now sweet memories.

Now that you are mine,

I feel so complete.

I fall in love everyday,

It grows with every heart beat.

Thank you sweetheart

For coming into my life

Without you life wouldn’t be the same

Thanks dear for making me your wife.

In response to Daily Prompt: First

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These are some wonderful posts that I liked

  1. The First Fright | Inspiring my Emotions
  2. Daily Prompt: First no 2 | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  3. Kindergarten- That First Day | Serendipity
  4. I am a writer | myself through writing
  5. Daily Prompt: First Qigong Lesson | 61 Musings
  7. The first time I met you | viver para contar
  8. Moving on up and moving on out | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl
  9. The Day I Touched The Ocean (but it was not amused) | True Stories
  10. First | Caffeinated Mom Speaks

Be The Change

I used to see a dream very often. I stood in front of a never ending staircase. I tried to climb that every time but after climbing few steps I just got lost. I tried very hard to go ahead but I couldn’t find the way. I even could not stand straight and I began to crawl. I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t climb the stairs while others could easily. I cried for help but nobody came. Suddenly everything around me became dark and I could not see anything. I lost control and I was about to fall. I woke up with a sudden jolt.

The dream was so common that I wanted to analyze what it means but I was not able to find out. I thought hard about when was the first time I saw it. During that time I was stressed about my career and relationship and always thought about what I will do next. I spent lot of time thinking about the long term goals in my life without concentrating on the nearby short time goals. Maybe the dream was trying to tell me something, I thought.

I changed my working and thinking pattern. I gave priorities to my short time goals rather than thinking about my unseen future. I started completing the projects that were pending and tried to be optimistic about my life.

The dream that came almost every alternate nights was not coming anymore. Then suddenly one day, I saw the same staircase. I started climbing as usual but this time I reached the top without any problem.

I realized what the dreams were trying to convey. The small steps in the stairs are like small day to day things in our life. The steps are small but they are very important to lead us to the top. We can not ignore any of the steps if we really want to reach the destination. We just need to faithfully carry our small duties to reach the ultimate goal in our life.

To see a change in my tomorrow I need to be the change today. My conscious mind was not able to apprehend that so my subconscious mind made me aware of the fact in my dreams.

In response to Daily Prompt: Be The Change

Posts that I admire:

Change the World | Inspiring my Emotions

The Change I’d Like To Make | Lillie-Put

Be The Joy | Pocketful of Joy

True Grit | Lifelessons- a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Not Ambitious Enough to Change the World | Pepper Connection

Always in Love

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happy Happy Joy Joy.”

We cry for lots of reasons: sadness, pain, fear . . . and happiness. When was the last time you shed tears of joy?

When I was in high school I met my future husband (then boyfriend) for the first time. We became friends instantly and we had so much in common that our friendship turned into love in no time. We were so happy with each other. We were together for two years before he left India and shifted to the US permanently. In those two years, we never had a single argument, he never made me cry for a single time. But the journey of our love was not as smooth as it seems.

My parents found out about our relationship and they thought at 17, I was not mature enough to be in a relationship. So, they tried to make me understand to end this affair and concentrate on my studies instead. Here, parents always think that if their children are involved in any relationship during studies then they will do bad, academically. I was too afraid to make them understand that he is the one that I want to spend my rest of my life with. I just lied to my parents that I will end the relationship. But they found out my lie again. This time my dad took away my cellphone. My cellphone was the only way to contact my boyfriend as our board exams (class 12) were over by that time and I was not allowed to go outside my house untill my college started.

I could not contact him for months. Back on 2006, internet was not common at the place where I lived. I did not even get to know which day he left India. I went into depression after I found that he left. But I never stopped loving him. Two years later on 2008 I got first internet connection. I searched for him on Facebook and found him. We chatted occasionally on Facebook.  I still loved him but I thought he must have moved on. Then one day he sent me a link to the song “Still loving you” by Scorpions. I understood what he meant to say but was not sure. The next day he said indeed he still loved me. He was hesitating to say that because he was not sure whether I felt the same way for him.  Both of us never moved on and we kept loving each other in spite of not knowing about each other’s feelings. We were in love all the time. I was so happy that day that I had tears in my eyes, the tears of joy.

P.S. With the help of God and of course Facebook I got my love back. I am thankful to both of them.

The ‘Grown up’ Feeling

When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

Four years back I had to leave my home for further studies. My university was far away from my home so it was evident that I had to stay at hostel for next two years. The day before the journey I was a little sad as I never stayed far away from my home earlier. My parents accompanied me to help me settle over there.

I was not sure whether I will be able to handle everything on my own without my parents by my side. There were many other girls,some from older batch and others from the incoming batch, like me. I made friends with some of them on the very first day. My parents halted at a nearby hotel but I stayed with my new friends in the hostel, my home for next two years.

The next morning my parents came to meet me before returning back to home. My mom had tears in her eyes but I did not cry. I tried to calm her. I hugged her and said not to worry about me and I promised her that I will take good care of myself. Earlier I was the one who cried and my mother always calmed me. But this time it was other way around. After my parents left I sat alone in my room for sometimes and suddenly I felt like a grown up.

The hostel life indeed helped me to grow up. It gave me independence. I handled not so good situations, I learnt making decisions on my own. It also gave me some true friends who are now inseparable part of my life.

In response to Daily Prompt: All Grown Up.

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The Day Her Wait Started

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Hindsight.”

My first ever post in wordpress on July,2014

She woke up early and stared blankly at the ceiling as finally the day arrived, inspite of her million wishes that it should not. The previous night she decided not to sleep and talk whole night with her husband. They kept on talking about the funny and not so funny things they did together in this last one month as the night passed. She wished the sky remained dark forever but darkness faded into the light. And it came with the fact that her husband will have to leave that day, without her. The packing was almost done. She helped with the final touch and also attached the name stickers on the luggage. The name stickers were handwritten by her. She gently attached them and felt that at least they will travel along with her husband. How she wished that she was just a sticker. Then there would be no boundaries for her.
They stayed together for 1 and a half months after marriage. Yes, they were newly married couple. July, they were married and mid August he was going to leave. She knew that, it was going to happen sometime soon. But she had no idea it was going to be this hard. Immigrating to USA is not an easy job, especially if someone is married to Legal Permanent Resident of USA. But she thought she could handle the separation. After all it’s not going to be forever. She was so happy with the thought of the marriage that she forcefully ignored the fact of being separated afterwards. But the day finally came. She tried hard to control her emotions as she did not want to show it to the other family members. It’s not good for a wife to show her emotions for her husband in India, especially if she is a new one.
She tried not to think about the separation on the way to the airport. Her husband was still acting like she was also going with him. On last few days they traveled to various places together. Maybe he was thinking about this journey as the previous ones. They reached the airport very early and waited there for about 2 hours. Then he got ready for the departure. She stood there with tears in her eyes and looked at him. That very moment, she saw the pain in his eyes. She forced herself to stop her tears. She never wanted him to see her crying and increase his pain. She wanted to be strong. She kept on staring until he faded among the crowd. She stood for some more time and left the airport.
She thought she will be alright after she reached home. But returning to a home without him, was worse than she thought. Each and every corner of their home was reminding her about him. She took a shower and tried to take a nap. She argued with her mind to stay calm and accept the fact that now she has to wait. She has to wait to see her husband again and the fact is, that the waiting period is unknown.
That night she could not sleep. She cried all night. Next morning when she woke up she reached for her husband sleeping beside her only to get back to the harsh reality, he was gone.
When they were in a long distance relationship, they thought marriage will make that wait easier. Both of them waited so long. But that morning without him, she realized the wait has just begun. And it was going to be harder than she thought.

A Fallacy

Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

One such cliché in Indian society is, Glorifying arranged marriages. Though it is not an idiom or a phrase but it is a state of mind in our society.

Arranged marriages are viewed as a tradition over the ages in Indian Society. Though love marriages are common now-a-days and it did happen in the past but love marriages are yet to become a cultural part. I do not have anything personal against arranged marriages but I just don’t feel overwhelmed with joy when arranged marriages get so much praises over love marriages.

The basis of arranged marriage is built upon the fact that both the bride and the groom should belong to the same or comparable caste. Otherwise marriage is a strict no no. First comes the caste, love comes afterwards in case of arranged marriage.

Though the basis of love marriage is “love,” it is still looked down upon by many elders here in India. “You know what, my friend’s daughter got married with a guy who belongs to a lower caste,” a very common topic of discussion that I have heard so many times.

Some are even more creative finding faults in love marriages, “Your son had a love marriage? See, I warned you earlier that he is seeing a girl. My son is so obedient unlike yours. He will get married according to my wish.” In their view a love marriage brings disgrace to the family. They try to make us feel that indeed love marriage is a matter of shame whereas arranged marriages are the reason to be proud. They give lectures on caste and the ancient culture and the beneficial reasons to get married inside the caste. They think it is their responsibility to find their children a life partner. They even try to influence the parents who do not feel the intense urge to control their children in choosing their life partner.

I chose to get married to the person I love. It was hard for both of us, still we were determined to get over the adversities. Our parents were reluctant at first but finally they supported us. They disregarded the bad things that others had to say about our marriage.

It is high time that people stop listening to these fallacies and move on because the basis of the marriage should be love, not any single other thing. It is okay to have an arranged marriage inside same caste but it is also okay to have an inter caste love marriage. In fact, more and more inter caste marriages will help the future generation to be free from the thoughts of caste and creed. After all there is no need to follow the rule, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

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The Chaos Theory

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Be Resolved.”

I do not make any New Year resolution. In fact I never had any in the past either. The reason behind that is, I can never know what challenges are there in store for me beforehand. So, there is no point to take a pen and piece of paper and jot down the probable resolutions that I will never meet throughout the year.

In our universe also everything is not in order. The weather, the nature all shows some chaotic behaviour. So are our lives. Life can not go on by the rules that are preset by us. It goes by cause and effect. That’s why I like the term “Butterfly Effect” from the chaos theory so much. Life is not all about order, about equilibrium but it is also about chaos, about disorder. As long as there is a balance between order and disorder, everything is perfectly fine. Afterall perfect internal disorder is synonymous with equilibrium. I learnt that in the chapter of Entropy (order and disorder).

Having a resolution is kind of fancy for me. I always have a tendency not to follow the rules if that comes as a burden.  That does not mean I do not have any goal in my life. Of course I have my goals and priorities. But they are something that I need not write down and memorize with every passing year. New year is coming and I am ready to welcome it along with the challenges it throws upon me. I believe I have to work according to the situation not by the resolution. Till now I have been successful with that. I believe in the ‘order’ that comes after the ‘disorders.’

So, this year also like other years, no resolution for me.

“Where The Santas are Coming From?”

You get to choose one gift — no price restrictions — for any person you want. The caveat? You have to give it anonymously. What gift would you give, and to whom?

Today I will not write about me or my choice. Instead I am going to share the story of original secret Santas who create the gifts for us anonymously.

Christmas is already knocking on the door and everybody is super busy for the preparation. Gifts are ready with colourful wraps. Santa and reindeers are also ready to visit us. But do we know where they come from?

When my brother was young he used to ask me pointing at the miniature Santas arranged in the shop, “Where is Santa’s home and workshop for making gifts for children?”

“It is in the north pole,” that used to be my prompt reply.

“Only one workshop?” My brother seemed puzzled. “How all the children get the toys then?”

“Didn’t I tell you there are many elves who work very fast throughout the year?”

“The elves, yes I know that. What will Santa give me this year?” my brother seemed exited.

After that many winters have passed. My brother does not ask about the whereabouts of red clad miniature Santa anymore. Neither do I think about it. But a small news in our local daily attracted my attention today. My little brother was right. Santa has more than one workshop and they are not in the north pole. The real workshops are situated at a village called Yiwu, about 300 km away from Shanghai city in China. The Yiwu village is known as the ‘Christmas Village.’ And what is the colour of the workshop? Yes you got it right, it is all red. Red floors, red ceilings, even the curtains are red.

I was amazed to know the fact that about 60 percent of the world’s total decorations for Christmas are made inside the 600 workshops that are spread across the village. There are no real elves to speed up the process. The workers are mainly migrant labourers who work up to 12 hours continuously. They make variety of things including mini Santa Claus, red stockings, shoes, red hats, Christmas trees and even LED lights for decoration.

They work so hard to bring that special smile on our face on Christmas day but they do not have a clear idea about what Christmas is.

“Maybe it’s like (Chinese) New Year for foreigners, says Wei, a 19 year old worker from a workshop at Yiwu. Wei and his father migrated from rural Guizhou to this place in search of a job that offers comparatively good pay. Wei and his father wear around 10 masks every day while working in the workshop to save themselves from the crimson red powder that is used to colour the decorative items. This is the reason behind the red attire of the whole workshop. The dust can cause acute bronchitis if it enters the windpipe. The working condition is not good and they plan to return to their home and never come back again to the workshop, once they have earned enough money.

The items are taken to Yiwu International Trade Market which is labelled as “largest small commodity wholesale market” by UN. The mini Santas start their journey all around the globe from this place. When a child looks at the red clad Santa and smiles, it is possible the reason behind that smile is one of the workers at Yiwu Christmas Village. The workers are the secret Santas for the children all around the world. But somehow I feel sad because of the poor working condition the workers have to deal with to make us smile. They deserve better than this because they bring hope and happiness to us. I just pray for their happiness.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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