FREE LOVE

Our customary vegetable vendor pulls up right in front of our house…

My mother, already awaiting him, names out the vegetables and their desired measure to be popped into the basket one after the other…

As Mumma picks up a vegetable, scrutinises it heavily, upbraids the vendor if it is found unhealthy, rotten, undernourished or whatever, proceeds on until her basket brims with shiny, well-shaped, well-grown vegetables,

my frivolous mind wanders over the lush green herbs, corriander and mint, ( and a few more) laid down in neatly tied-up bundles, each costing 5 rupees.

The lustre and density of their leaves gave me a sense of richness and abundance of our natural vegetation and, in my mind, I reiterate the immortal lines by Kavi Sumitranandan Pant-

ओह, समय पर उनमें कितनी फलियाँ फूटी!
कितनी सारी फलियाँ, कितनी प्यारी फलियाँ,-

यह धरती कितना देती है! धरती माता
कितना देती है अपने प्यारे पुत्रों को!

हम जैसा बोयेंगे वैसा ही पायेंगे।

And while I stand there, contemplating that no matter how much we ‘pay’ for these vegetables, it would never be able to equal the love our Mother Earth showers upon us, my mother, done with her successful negotiations with the vendor, hands him the money, takes the change back and concludes-

“Thodi dhaniya aise hi daal do…”

20180107_130935
This is the very corriander I am talking about…

The vendor obliges.

For, why not?!

From one Mother to my mother- Free Love.

Advertisements

Hello? Hello!

“Hellllllooooo!!!” I say.

“Hello?” my very dear school friend answers.

Why that question mark, I wonder.

Not more than a couple of days ago did we have a long hearty talk, just like our other usual talks, wherein we detail out our respective lives, elaborating vividly what all happened with us, around us in the days we did not talk; wherein we feel as if we are talking vis-à-vis with liveliness so unparalleled that even the dust around us assumes life, unmindful of the people around, instead of over our dead mobile phone; wherein we know the very expressions and gestures the other person is making use of.

” Hello, who’s it?” The voice from the other end of the phone continues.

I still stand pondering.

People change‘, so I had heard; but ‘this quickly‘, I had never known.

Even the closest pal would someday desert you‘, so the elders had warned me; but ‘out of the blue, with no apparent reason in sight‘, I had never even remotely imagined.

Yes, we are in different colleges, pursuing different streams, but that does not justify the change of “Hello!” into “Hello?” within no time, does it?

“Hello? Hello?” The voice now sounds exasperated.

“Hey, hello, it is me…” I painstainkingly utter.

“Hellllllooooo!!! Whose phone are you using?”

And even before she asks further, the foolish me realises that I have called her using a new number. Thanks to the network providers offering unlimited free calls!

I clarify. She laughs. We laugh.

The long hearty talk follows.

Huh! After suffering the puny heartache on hearing “Hello?” I can only wish that may you always be greated by the same old familiar ‘Hello’ or rather
‘Hellllllooooo!!!’, come what may.

CAN YOU EVEN TAKE A JOKE ON YOURSELF?

When was the last time you got offended?
A month ago?
A week ago?
Yesterday?
Today ?
While reading the title?(Who knows, for, apparently, getting offended is the new cool!)

What’s happening? Have we lost the ability to laugh at ourselves? Seems so.
Has it really become so intolerable that a jibe or joke is aimed at us and we can’t let it off without being offended?

I write this through experience.

Barely months ago, while talking to a friend and her friend, I, unmindfully jibed at her(my friend’s friend) . Little did I know that my seemingly unhurtful remark would so offend her that I would receive a message of the length of short newspaper column(yes!) that coming evening(of course about telling me about my ‘misdemeanour’ and how I had put her off in the presence of other students!!! )

This is only one instance of numerous such episodes.
And this is just my example. Assuredly, many of my fellow readers would have been a part of such a predicament.

So, it has come to this that people who cannot help but pull a joke every now and then, like me, cannot be their usual self without giving out a verbal disclaimer- “Sorry to say but”, “Don’t take it the wrong way but”, “I do not mean to offend you but”…- before fighting their conscience(Should I say this or should I not?) to pull that joke!

No wonder it’s an era of growing stress and cynicism! Dejection, anxiety, apprehension seems to pervade every other indivisual. This further creates a vague sense of social insecurity.

The problem is so grave that I fear people wont to their wit and frenzy would stop cracking jokes at all.
Imagine, a world without self- depreciating and slapstick comedy! Certainly not a world Charlie Chaplin would have dreamt of.

I believe, joke ‘crackers’ should undauntingly crack jokes as and when they feel to and the joke ‘crackee’ should take it in good humour, come what may.

After all, aren’t there enough problems already that people should create more of them through a medium that is supposedly meant to ease those problems- humour?

Here is a thoughtful thought by Joss Wedon to be kept in mind-

“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”

So, joke. Spread smiles, laughter, grins, smirks.
Make yourself and people around you happier.

Need another reason for being humourous?
Psychologists from Medical University, Vienna, have concluded that people who crack dark jokes and also people who can understand those jokes hone their intelligence and cognitive skills.

Enough said.

Readers, please, joke and let joke.