Thursday, June 29, 2006

Destiny is something about which everybody has their own ideas and explanations. Whenever I meet some one I make it a point to know their ideas about destiny. I personally believe 2 things about destiny which many may not agree to and they are…..

1. Don’t depend on destiny but believe in destiny.
2. Don’t make destiny a suitable excuse for all you failures.

The most interesting idea or explanation I have ever have heard about destiny is about what I write this poem. It said that a destiny is not a path on which you have to walk to reach the end. It is more like a direction of life where you have decide which small turns to take and which way to follow. According to this philosophy it would be fair to say that “One makes his own destiny and no one else does “

Dhimant N.

Destiny My Friend……

Destiny is a road, a road we can’t see,
Destiny is an end, where we have to be;
Destiny is what happens, not what one sees,
It’s a force that brings all to their knees.

One night I asked myself “Why this to me” ?
The almighty replied “Because it had to be“
I asked him why my path is ready and made?
And why cant I chose my own path to tread?

He said you can, and that’s what you do.
You choose your road and you decide what to do.
You are the only one that controls your way,
Think twice before you ask and know what you say.

The direction of your life may be preset,
But you decide how your goals are met,
There are different ways to take you to the ends,
In the way you just choose the little turns and bends.

Destiny is one hint that life chooses to give,
But its upon man how he chooses to live,
Destiny is like a jungle that you have,
In that your own glorious path you pave.

I relaxed and thought of what he spoke,
All my ideas about CHOICE seemed empty and broke,
He is right, he speaks what is right and wise.
Destiny is just a board, on which you throw the dice.

Dhimrock……….15th May 2006...00.30 Hours….About to sleep……….

Friday, June 09, 2006

It is my extreme pleasure to present my second short story. After my first short story ‘ONE’ which had a good response but many did not like it because it was highly preaching. I wrote the second story keeping the same in mind, but I have also taken care to see that my story had what I have to tell rather than what everyone wants to read.
I also hope this story comes as a much more refined product than the earlier story. I have to stop here and thank certain people here. Before putting it on my blog I had circulated the raw story to a group of people for reviewing and editing (Yes, I cant still afford an editor). Thanks for your help Preeti, Salloni, Soumam, Nirmal, Chetan and Lubna.
Regarding the story there is just one thing I want to specify. This is complete fiction except for the fact that there is a little someone who slightly resembles my main character….And I am not going to name him.
And Please bless me with your comments and criticisms so that I can do a better job next time round.

Dhimant N.


The chauvinist.

The wheels of the Ford Ikon turned slightly left on the Mahabaleshwar Ghats before taking the sharp 180 degree curve to the right. It was pitch dark except for the faint headlights of the Ikon. Suddenly two glaring lamps came in front of the car. The headlights blurred the driver’s vision for a split second and the driver totally lost control. The driver let her hands off the wheel. Mohit sitting next to the driver jumped ahead, took the wheel in his hand and turned the steering wheel to the left. Simultaneously Mohit made sure he pulled the hand brake with his other hand. The truck in front honked twice and the car dashed to a metallic surface with a huge clink. Nobody spoke for about a minute before Mohit shouted “That is why I always maintain Girls make pathetic drivers. What were you doing there Kruta ?. How could you leave the steering wheel like that? ”. Kruta was too shaken to even utter a response. Mohit continued with his lady driver bashing before he finally made a comment which was his signature. “Why can’t girls just do what they are supposed to ?”
This was just one of the many events in Mohit’s life when he showed signs of being the epitome of a chauvinist. There was no other better definition of male chauvinism than Mohit himself. Mohit short and slightly wheatish in complexion was 25 years of age. He was a software engineer who worked for a firm called ‘Software Globe’. It was his idea originally to go to Mahabaleshwar on the weekend. He was completely exhausted at work and needed a lot of relaxation. What better than to call up old college friends and go for a short two day trip away from Mumbai where they lived . Kruta had her own car which her dad had gifted. That was perhaps the only reason why Mohit let a girl drive a car when he was present around. Otherwise he generally would feel ashamed when a girl would drive a car. He felt it was a man’s job.
It was because of these shoddy ideas and beliefs that he was a hated person wherever he went, especially by girls and women.
He never made any friends at office. He attributed all the failures of ladies to their female genes and not because of their incompetence levels. However if a male failed to do his work correctly, it was his sheer incapability as an employee. In short when it came to gender, Mohit was a complete hypocrite. Put in simple words, he was a complete sexist.
He would sometimes feel ashamed of his male colleagues if a female employee did the job better. Everybody wondered why he was being tolerated at office ? But the fact was that Mohit was a super programmer. He had always been a topper at college and school levels.
It would be fair to say he was a prodigy wherever he went. Maybe there was something in his past life that probably made him the chauvinist that he was but no one at work or college ever knew.
No one dared to ask him or it would sound more perfect if it would be said ‘nobody cared to ask him‘.
Kruta her only female friend dared and cared to ask him once before he howled back at her saying “Gossiping, Is that all you ladies can do ?” Kruta was an extremely patient girl and never felt bad about Mohit’s comments.
Jay, Meet and Darren were Mohit’s closest friends, not to mention Kruta. These people had accompanied Mohit that night because Mohit was paying for the fuel of the trip and he had some good news to share with his friends, as they were informed.
Darren, a retail banker had taken a day off from office. Kruta was doing her MBA. Meet and Jay had bought a small office space where they were planning to setup their own dot com venture.
The guys pushed the Ikon while Kruta directed the steering wheel to a local mechanic shop about 1 km away from the accident spot. It was already past midnight. The journey continued after the mechanic did a perfect job and they reached Mahabaleshwar at about 4 A.M. Darren drove the car this time round as Kruta was too shaken, first by the accident and then by Mohit’s comments. This time he had hurt her badly because instead of calming her, he had started scolding her.
They rented a room at Hotel Fountain and slept well for that morning. It was at the noon lunch that Mohit broke the news about his engagement to the Junta. Darren, Jay and Meet were taken by surprise. Somewhere inside they were already feeling sorry for the girl that he would marry, because they knew well of his chauvinistic tendencies. Kruta seemed enthralled by the news but internally she too was worried about Mohit’s behavior towards girls. All of his friends wanted him to change but they were not sure how this would happen, if it did happen at all.
Mohit got engaged and later married to Neha. Neha was a very smart and an intelligent girl. She was high on emotional quotient and would get highly impractical sometimes. Their marriage was an arranged marriage and both the families knew each other through a common friend. Neha worked for a Textile company where she was a color consultant. She was a chemical engineer .
Three years of their marriage passed by when Neha got pregnant. She applied for a maternity leave in the later months of her pregnancy. Neil was born in the raining month of August. It was Mohit’s idea to call him Neil. Neil’s tiny fingers and tender body gave Mohit a pleasure beyond mention.
Mohit and Neha did not fight much when it came to routine affairs. Actually it was more because both of them had jobs which were demanding and they hardly used to spend time together. It was also one of the reasons why both were very frustrated with their love lives.
But Mohit and Neha had occasional fights on gender biasing. Initially when Mohit taunted Neha on spending more time gossiping on the phone than making food, Neha took it as a joke, but slowly she realized, it was her mistake. This was not Mohit’s habit, it was Mohit! She had something written in her little diary that she maintained as a daily exercise. “I have married a male chauvinist Pig” , it read. Sad but true.
He also occasionally troubled her with comments on how ladies used to excel at their jobs only because of their bodies and not their brains. He also maintained the earlier statement had to be true because women had no brains. Sometime Neha would burst out in anger asking Mohit to just shut up but he hardly listened to others when talking about this topic and specially if the other person was female by gender.
Once Mohit met Kruta on the road after a long time. They were talking about their jobs when Kruta told him she was on a leave for the last two days. So strong were his chauvinistic ideas that Mohit suddenly babbled that women would use even their menstrual periods as a shield to avoid work. This was when suddenly Kruta started feeling elated that she was not in touch with a male like Mohit. Mohit used to poke fun of not only women but also of their life styles. Like how they needed gallons of time to put on their make up, of how they were dependent on males, in other words parasites of nature.
Neha fed up of his comments once warned Mohit that it was getting too much, but Mohit simply replied “What else can the weaker sex do but complain?” ! Neha had no words to reply. She simply kept quiet.
The date was 23rd May ; It was their marriage anniversary. Neha had planned a good candle light dinner at one of the best restaurants in Mumbai. She was home at 5 P.M. that day, which was 5 hours earlier than her daily routine of coming back. Mohit generally came home at about 9 P.M., but that night he did not come home at his routine time. Neha got worried and dialed his mobile number. The phone rang but Mohit did not pick up. She tried calling him for about one hour after which she gave up. Mohit called up a minute later after her last try. Neha had already lost her patience and started crying on the phone. Mohit said he was in a friends birthday party and he had forgotten to inform her. In stead of consoling her, he started poking fun of her emotional state of mind. He simply said “Get over the sentimental stuff Neha, you girls are too much. Can’t you just be logical sometimes? , we will go for dinner tomorrow?” She simply said Ok and slammed the phone down. She started weeping but she was thinking at the same time. After a moment or so, she realized she was not going to let a male like Mohit destroy her. On the contrary she felt how Mohit was disillusioned about the other sex. She felt her life had been ruined by marrying him and in her social surroundings, a divorce and the divorcee were a taboo and an insult for the entire family. There were very few options available to her and she knew Mohit would never change.
At this moment the impractical and emotional self of Neha ‘s character was dominant over her logical senses. She did what she had to.
She made a glass of Mohit’s favorite Mango Lassi and kept it in the refrigerator. She knew Mohit very well. He would definitely pay a visit to the refrigerator before he went to sleep. And he could not resist the chilled glass of Lassi, no matter if his stomach was full or not. Neha then went to the storage room. She picked up the bottle of slow rat poison that they used every week. She poured two spoons from the bottle in the glass of Lassi, and stirred it well. She also made sure she added only that much poison which would not make the Lassi smell weird. She had made a mistake in marrying him but she was not going to make a mistake while killing him Neha then called up her father and told him that she was coming over to stay for the night as she was missing them a lot. Her parents house was about a two hours journey from their house. Neha knew when the police would come to know about Mohit’s death, she was the one who would be arrested first. It was very evident they did not enjoy a happy married life and they had lots of fights lately. She could not escape the law. More ever it seemed she did not want to escape the law. So she decided she would spend some time with her parents before she would consume some poison and end her life too. It was better than spending her remaining life in a jail. It would be highly unfair to both herself and to Neil who was calmly sleeping in the bedroom. It was all sounding highly illogical but that is what her state of mind was at that time.
She wrote a sticky note reading “Off to parents house as Papa is not well; will return in the morning”. She put up this note on the dining table. She picked up Neil, wore her favorite pink kurta for the last time and glimpsed at the nameplate of their home for the last time. She walked out of the house in the moonless night.
It was 2 A.M when Mohit returned. Mohit changed his clothes, read the note, made his visit to the refrigerator, had the Lassi at about 3A.M without an iota of doubt. He blessed Neha for the chilled Lassi and rushed to the bed with his Philips Mp3 Player. He was in a mood to listen to some good soft music. He was unaware that the two spoons of rat poison would kill himself in about 4 hours or so. And it would be precisely 3 hours before he would start choking and foaming from his mouth. Mohit thought of calling Neha and ask about her Papa‘s health, but he thought it was too late. More ever he felt like talking to Neil but he somehow decided against it as it was too late.
In the meantime, Neha had finished talking to her Papa and Mom about routine stuff. Neha decided against a painful and slow death. She put her hands in her purse to take out the Rat Poison bottle but to her horror she realized she had forgotten it on the table in the kitchen. She was hoping that Mohit did not see it. On the other hand paradoxically she thought of a better life. Mohit should see the bottle, avoid the Lassi, she would apologize and one fine day Mohit would improve on his weaknesses. But these feelings seemed too far fetched for then. She knew Mohit had not yet called. It meant he had consumed the Lassi and he must be sleeping just awaiting his death. She felt like listening to his voice once before she bid goodbye to this world. But she did not. She was a coward, but a strong brave coward !
She consumed about 25 sleeping pills from the bottle his Papa used for insomnia. At about 4 A.M she breathed her last leaving a letter for her parents of how Neil was now completely their responsibility. She never mentioned anything about the poison and Mohit because she did not want a chance that her parents save Mohit. She just mentioned that she was sick of life and that was about the only reason for her to commit suicide. And she knew they would soon know about Mohit too. But her emotional thoughts forced her to make a slight mistake in predicting the consequences of her death and she failed in her calculations. And it gave Mohit his last chance to do what he wanted to and he did.
Neha’s mother came in her room to wake her up for the 5.30 A.M pooja. She found out the letter, and the first thing to do after screaming was to call up Mohit. Mohit heard what had happened. At the same time, he started feeling sick in his stomach. He was feeling like he was about to vomit. His body was feeling weak and his throat dry. He was finding it a little difficult to breath. He thought of taking a little paracetamol pill so that he would feel fit and leave for her parents house. He was in the kitchen to fetch the pill when he saw the bottle of slow rat poison in front of him. The prodigy understood everything. He sat on the chair next to him almost as if he fell on it. He had nothing to do. He knew he hardly had time. It was almost 3 hours past that he had consumed the poison and there was not a chance in hell that he could save himself. The closest hospital too was about an hours distance from their house, ‘his house’ he corrected his thoughts. He also doubted he could make it there on his own in that condition.
He thought about all this in the fraction of a second. He accepted the fact that he was going to die. Then suddenly he hurried as if he had some urgent work. He went to his bedroom, opened up his drawer . He took out his favorite gold plated Parker fountain pen. He also pulled out a notebook, crisply tore a single page out of it. He sat on his study where he used to read the newspaper and also do his daily dose of work. He settled down on his chair and opened up his pen to write something. He was about to write something when there was sudden thoughts started flashing to his mind. Mohit closed his eyes. His thoughts, like the accident night at the ghats, were pitch dark. He thought about his dad, the famous novel writer. His dad always used a pseudo name ‘Sunny’ to sign his books because he was an introvert. That was the reason his dad’s past was not well known to others. His dad had 3 international best sellers to his name, his pseudo name. Then Mohit thought about his mom, the upcoming stage actress. She had met Mohit’s father at a local Grocery shop. They fell in love, and married each other. Mohit’s Dad used all his writing influence to get her wife small roles at local theatres. She spent a lot of time and money on portfolios, before she made it to a big banner movie as a lead actress. It was about then Mohit was born. Mohit’s eyes blinked and he thought how from that day onwards, dad had literally slogged it out at home, given up on full time writing. He thought how Mom had hardly cared about him while concentrating on her career. The entire house now ran on her movie earnings. He wondered why his dad had played the roles of a house keeper, a baby sitter, a cook and all that by killing his own ambitions. Was it that he loved mom that much or did he respect women more than they deserved. His dad was a gentle man but had he been too altruistic to mom ? Mohit eyes were still closed and his thoughts still intense. Then he thought about the day when her mom had decided to divorce her dad and as soon as she did it, how she married movie director Mr.Pai. He thought about what women meant to him after that day, Of how he hated everything about women after that day. These thoughts about Mohit’s past rarely came back to him, but when they did, they stayed with him for long. These thoughts were what had made Mohit what he was, a complete sexist. He did not shed a tear, he never did.
Mohit opened his eyes to the paper in front of him and his fountain pen. He scribbled something quickly on the paper and signed the paper. He also quickly wrote something in a small brown diary on his study drawer. The phone kept on ringing in the meantime. It were her parents. They were waiting for him to reach there so that they could carry out her last rites. Little did they know they were in for another disaster.
But all Mohit did was smoke his last cigarette. He sat in front of Neil’s photograph. He never thought about Neha all this time. He did not cry. He did not curse anyone. He just relaxed and waited for his death. It seemed Mohit was very satisfied with his life and it seemed he had nothing to worry about.
At about 7 A.M when the phone was still ringing , Mohit died on his chair in a relaxed position foaming from his mouth. He had Neil’s photograph near his chest and his dad’s 1973 bestseller ‘MATCHSTICK’ on his lap.
The police came in at around 9A.M with Neha’s parents. Her parents were shocked to see Mohit dead too. The police were thinking about what happened when they saw the single piece of paper signed by Mohit. It read

I Mohit, declare that I am committing suicide at this point of my life only because of personal problems. No one else is responsible for my death. No one. I am signing this under no pressure . I am fully responsible for my actions.
23rd May 2007
This made everything clear to the police. They needed no more evidence. Her parents did not know why all this happened and they would never know the truth. But everything was clear to the law. Two suicides in a day, and both because of personal relationship reasons. They had a clear case and no complexities to worry about.
But something else remained on the study table which the police and most others could make no sense of.
The last page of the brown diary read at a corner “Everybody has labeled me a male chauvinist throughout my life, today I accept I am. I am some sort of a misogynist too, if not completely so and I accept that too. I have no regrets in anything I thought or felt The reasons are manifold, but they do not matter any more. One thing is for sure. I cannot be beaten by a woman. I will not let history, the media and the newspapers remember me as a person whose downfall was brought about by a woman. I decide otherwise”
This hardly made sense to anyone else but he knew what he was writing and he knew what he wanted to do.
He wanted to die a chauvinist and that’s what he did He died, and he died a male chauvinist !

Dhimrock…….27th May 2006.…2 AM…. At my home, in Mumbai…on my desk.