Read my previous post. Introduction
Tuesday, 10th January, 2012
Life even if it brings with it sorrows, only brave people will try to surmount the obstacles and rise above the normal, and that is what we see in Megha when she confronts Mohan. The crowd gathers only to watch a reality show, and finally, the one who talks is her Jiji, who gets everything under control and they venture back from the temple to their home.
The young mother, does not allow her children any chance to feel the loss of their father, and as she tucks them into their bed, listens to their joys and stories of the day, and uplifts the spirit of her little birthday boy who tells her the days highlights with his new gift, his brand new cricket bat. The sensitive little girl, seems to evade sleep, and ponders the days events just like her mother, and then asks her mother, why the pandit made the remark about her father, but the mother rises above the crowd and gives his child a lesson in taking the high moral ground, by living with one's convictions.
She is disturbed by some noises on the road next to their building, and she goes to the window to see, and there is Mohan the young man she encountered near the temple that day, playing with a ball, unable to sleep himself. He had told her that he had no mother or sister in his house. Megha concludes that he is a lonely man.
A new day dawns and with it the two women other than Megha who is busy with her daily chores, are watching a soap on the television, about a widow whom a character is advising to rise above the tide and fight back. The little girl too is sitting on a chair, with her note book and with a pencil in her hand jotting down notes. It looks she is fond of memorizing dialogs of the tv show. Her bright eyes, sparkle to her spectacles, indicating the maturity that has taken leaps and bounds since her father's death. The little mind of the sweet angel, hears the widow's voice, "Who will marry a wretch like me ? Where can I find him.?" She stops to think of her mother. A third woman, perhaps the grandmother sits with the other two ladies, but is more engrossed in her own work, and as the climax in the t.v. soap reaches its crescendo, with the adviser of the widow, breaking all norms, applies sindhur on her forehead, and one sees surprises on the faces of the first two ladies, and a sarcastic look from the third, but a mystrious smile of hope in the eyes of the little girl, who has not been bound by the walls of the society. Her dream is interrupted by, what she hears, "Nanni, what is happening here ?" It is her mother who is standing there with a kitchen towel in her hands. The sisters in law, tease Megha for her serious outlook, and they joke with one another. The men arrive for their breakfast, and the grand father sits and gives some money to his wife, the serious one, and tells him laughingly to manage the house. Following him, comes his son, the accountant. His wife the lady other than the one whom Megha calls Jiji, is clearing her throat, and she must be his wife. The grandmother tells them that in the house two major needs have come up, and one is the requirement of her grandson Tanmay, - his mother smiles in approval - and the other is a new school uniform for her grand daughter. Tanmay's mother asks Megha if she can not wait a few months for the dress of her girl, as the holidays are coming, and her son could have his needs met, but the grandfather has poor opinion about his grand son, who is a spend thrift. Megha knows her limitations, and that she is depending on the generosity of the two men that are left to feed the indolent family. Her husband is gone, and so too his bank accounts which have been frozen by a Committee looking into the mishap at the work site in Bhopal. Until the accounts are released, Megha has to do with the crumbs thrown at her by the generosity of the breadwinners in the home. Her sister in law, is a determined woman, who will not let go of her share very easily. The grandfather's sister is the kind one, who is addresses as Jiji by Megha, and who is more at ease with the welfare of all in the family. She does not show, that she too is in the same boat as Megha, living on charity of her brother. As the budget is freed for the purchase of Tannu's needs, his mother gets eloquent and in her husky voice tells them, that he can have his ...but interrupted by a noise outside the house, and they all rush to see Tannu has fallen from his father's motor bike, and his mother is all over him, trying to defend his antics. In the row that takes place outside the house, each one dwelling on their own points of views unable to listen to the other, the grand father leaves grumbling. The Jijy tells the woman with the husky voice, who is apparently the mother of Tannu, "Renu, leave them and come inside, and have your milk." Renu goes in with her Jijy and prepare fresh milk mixed with turmeric for their Tanmay. All this the tender mind of the little Nanni is absorbing, and her world of experience widens, making her more mature by the minute. Her wide eyes shining throw her spectacles, seem to emit sparks of amazement and unanswered questions. Suddenly she is jolted from her dreams at the sight of her shoes which have fallen from the bike, and she points out the peeling sole of the shoe, and asks her mother, "How can I wear these shoes now?" Her mother watches on, not knowing what to answer her wonder girl.
Next morning the children are marching to the school ground, and Nanni rushes to her teacher and gives a note her mother has given her. Reading it, the teacher looks at Nanni's torn shoes, and tells her, "In two days, tell your Mom, to buy new black shoes." Then as an after thought she advises her to buy a pair of white shoes as well. How sad it is to not, that we live in a society where one hand does not know what the other is holding. Each one is satisfied in his own world, unaware of what is happening next door. This is the bane of our society, and the writer of the story wants us to note it, but wonder how many are watching this show. When Nanni is picking up her fallen box, the girls come rushing to her, and pass rude remarks. They repeat what they have heard from the mindless elders in their house, who have toted in loud belligerent voices, what their Media has announced, mostly without verifying their sources, as they can quietly hide behind the dictum, that their source is sacred, and can not be divulged. In this fashion they spread untruth, so that they can get greater circulation, and with the net result of breaking the hearts of the helpless victims of their reports. Nanni is such victim, who will be salvaged only by Divine help. The mockery of the insensitive children brought up in these insensitive households raises the temper of Nanni and she is unable to hold back and picks a fight with these girls, to defend the name of her father, but in the bargain, becomes the bad girl in the eyes of her superiors, and comes home with a bad note for her mother.
Her mother is rushing back from the market, and the plastic bag in which she put her tomatoes tears and they fall on the road, and as she is trying to gather them, she finds a par of helping hands help her, and Megha excuses her and then it comes out that the lady asks her, about her and Megha realizes that she is her classmate. Her fried wants to know, how she is in Indore, and she tells hr that she is living here with her in-laws. Then she tells her about the Mahananda Flyover, and what happened to her husband, and how she was widowed. The friend repeats the media reports, and talks about the "corrupt" engineer who swallowed all the money, and the flyover fell. Megha stops her, and says, that the person whom she is referring to, was her husband, Amar Vyas. Her friend apologizes. Megha says, "All these reports are false, Prerna. The Construction Company to hide their dirty deals, have passed all the blame on my husband, who had nothing to do with it." Prerna, looks at her friend in amazement, and hears more from her. "What to they think, that there is no one to defend a dead person ? No. I am going to fight the case, and will prove my husband innocent." Prerna, feels for her friend, and offers to find her a job as her husband of often on the look out for good staff. She promises to be in touch, but feels that her father in law may not like the idea. As they are talking Megha gets a call from Nanni's school, and she rushes to find out what the problem is.
We see a role our education system plays in the way our society breeds incompetence. Here too, each section of our society is not knowing what the other section is doing, and they are only concerned in the welfare of their own plot. This is what appears from the interview with the school principal, who even though she is polite and persuasive, talks of only her part in keeping her institution in perfect order. She does not realize that her institution is standing in a swamp of corrupt society, where pig heads, spread the virus of untruth. The domains of power, which the school inspectress has no reach or power to control. So she is proposing a fire fighting device. To tell the children, to accept what they find in society, not to grapple with the problem on their own, but work within the system. It will stop at the desk of the principal, and the rest of the society will go on as before, left free to breed on its own, with just a "warning". The principal might have climbed the grapevine with help or without, but she does not know who Megha Vyas is. She was a topper in her school, and just because the time is not in her favor has to choose the path of deferred confrontation, and abide by her own time, to address the issue. She takes the child home, and tries her very best to buttress the defenses of her defenseless child.Mohan finds a new accommodation:
Mohan Bhatnagar, a young bachelor, comes to see a flat in the building next to the place of Megha. He is with his friend Guru, and seems to be new to Indore. They negotiate the rent and strike a deal for Rs 7000 per month. Mohan must be flush with money, and how he gets it is something yet to be told.
As Mohan stretches his hands and puts his helmet and sits on his bike he sees a lady in a blue saree walking towards him, apparently in distress. He realizes that it is the same lady, who blocked his way when he was chasing a girl the other day. Mohan starts his bike and rides it, and on the way, is about to knock Megha and she side steps and they confront each other and realize that they have met before. Megha raises her voice, and tells her Chanchal Didi, that he was dashing her, and Mohan tells Chanchal Didi, to tell her friend that to look at the road while walking. The road belongs to the Government and not to her, and Megha holds back her words.
Mohan stretches his hand, and Megha without looking takes up the outstretched hand and gets up, and says, "Sorry, I did not know where my mind was." and looking up sees that it is the hand of Mohan, and says, "You !" in surprise. Chanchal tries to settle the dispute which Mohan has started, without knowing in which hornet's nest he has put his hand. Chanchal introduces herself as Renu's friend, and Renu is the other daughter in law of the Vyas house. The bystanders take the side of the Vyas woman, and Mohan has to let go for this time.
Edited by walquest2000 - 12 January 2012 at 10:41pm