10 Jun 2016

#126 An old lady

An Old lady
Pic Courtesy: dreamstime.com
I got transferred to another city because of my job. The flat where I lived was surrounded by many buildings and the region appeared quite congested. So, in order to enjoy fresh air, I would prefer to go to terrace every morning and practice some Yoga exercises.  Then I would head towards my room, read news headlines from a national Newspaper along with a hot cup of coffee. This is how my morning would go usually. 

One weekend I decided to go for a morning walk so that I could have a glimpse of the nearby areas. As I am a great fan of music, I did not forget to keep an ear chord with me. There was a small temple situated behind my apartment. It caught my attention. At the top of the temple, a statue of Lord Shiva could be seen quite distinctly. My footsteps carried me to reach there. As soon as I approach the temple, I could smell the divine fragrance of the flowers emanating from the garden situated inside the premise of the temple. The smell of the incense stick reminded me of glorious days of my past. I climbed the stairs which were about 20 in numbers by chanting hymns of Lord Shiva in my mind. Suddenly I stopped when I heard someone addressing me as 'Beti'. The voice was loud enough to pierce through my ear .I turned around to find a lady draped in a white and weathered Saree and she was calling me out repeatedly. I approached her without much delay. She was selling a bunch of flowers by arranging systematically in a basket. She must be in her 80s, I guessed her age. With her shivering hands, she showed me those flowers and requested me to buy one bunch for offering Lord Shiva. I grabbed a bunch and paid her some penny. 

“Amma, where do you stay?? I asked her.
“I live back-side of this temple.” Answered she in a frail voice.
“What do you mean by back side??” I inquired.
“I have been allotted a room by the authority of this temple. So, I live there.” She replied to my question gently.
“Don’t you stay with your family?” I fired another question.
“ I don’t have any family. I mean my family doesn’t care for me.” She looked gloomy now.
“What?? Why, Amma??” 

“My son got married to a girl of his choice. Everything was fine except the day when he found me useless, so he left me. He was gifted with a son. I was the happiest lady on that day. I always wanted to spend the remaining days of my life by making this child play on my lap. But my health did not support me. I started depending on my daughter-in-law for everything starting from searching my daily needs to performing my daily routine. My vision also degraded. This made my daughter-in-law devote some time for my need. She also hesitated to perform my duties.  She would always complain my son of my presence. Things got worse day by day. There used to be clashes among them because of me.” Her voice trembled and she paused suddenly. 

“One day, I visited this temple in the morning. While returning back to my home, I found entrance gate of my house locked. I waited for few minutes, then hours. This wait made me impatient. But I had no options left except to hang on there. Time passed like hell and arrival of dawn confirmed no sign of theirs. I felt a terrible loss. I thought of returning back to my second home i.e temple. From that day onward, I am here.” She sipped her tears falling from her eyes unconsciously.  

“Authorities of this temple are sympathetic enough to understand my plight and provided me a shelter. I arranged my daily wage by selling flowers here.” She added a line to her speech.

“OMG, how can someone do like this? Where have they gone?? Did they ever visit this place??” I asked curiously to calm my mind.

“No. Later I got a news that my son had sold this house to another family and gone abroad.” She said with a weird expression on her face.

I became furious by hearing this and started cursing her son for doing such a crappy thing. To this, the lady said calmly, “I keep no grudge over my son. He is the only son of mine for whom I always pray to the almighty to bless him with a good fortune. May he get all the success in his life”. She folded her hands before the idol of Shiva.

I was so touched by her words that made me weep for the time being. I entered the temple and prayed to God to lessen her load and bestow her with strength to live her life.

From that day onward, it became one of my habits to follow a route to the temple and interact with that old lady to know her well being. I found solace in this conversation. I would secretly put some money and eatables things in her bag, otherwise, she would object me. Gradually I developed a bond with this lady – a budding relationship with a grandchild to her grandmother.  

I had to report to another city for attending my conference. So, I got busy there for few days. A return back to my apartment reminded me of the old lady. The next day I went to the temple. I did not find the lady. I searched for her in her room which was located just back-side of a temple. I contacted one of the priests to get information about the health of lady. 

He informed me about her death.  Few people had witnessed her death. I was astonished to know that she uttered my name in the end. 

I experienced a sleepless night. My eyes were numb so was my mind. To preserve memories of the lady, I scribbled continuously over the pages of my diary, starting from the day I encountered her to the day I left for my conference.  I bowed down to her spirit for leading a life free from any grudges and repentance in spite of witnessing ordeals.  

“May her soul rest in peace,” I muttered this under my breath and kept her memories enclosed in my heart forever. And I never saw her again..........

This post is written for Indispire Edition  121: Write a story ending with And I never saw him/her again.

Sweta Sarangi


5 Jun 2016

#125 Binding the household

Binding the household
Pic Courtesy: www.clipartsgram.com
Home serves as the most fundamental institution of learning the basics of life. A human being always keeps learning and this process of learning starts from the very moment of his birth and continues till his death. A child imitates from his surrounding as he has a limited constrained sphere of judgement. He does not know what is right or wrong. The virtues, thoughts and ideologies are ingrained in him at the root level which later forms the foundation of his belief system. Unluckily these ideologies are often stereotyped or biased. The most common example would be the association of quality traits or work with the gender. Girls are advised to be submissive whereas boys are trained to be aggressive and extrovert. These qualities based on gender are inculcated in them through various means such as girls are provided with dolls, kitchen sets to play with on contrary boys are made to play with toy cars, trains etc.

This level of gender disparity is not a new thing. It is a very old concept which has been dominating the society for a long time.  The society which has made men brave, strong and protective, it’s the same society which has constrained the spheres of a woman to the household. Is it logical? If we take a close look at this concept of inequality, we would feel that it has got started because of an assumption and nothing else. That assumption has been very misleading and firm as it has been ruling our minds over ages. Like every scientific conclusion stems up from an assumption, in the same way this has been a result of a misconception. Today’s world is a completely dynamic one. It has opened up several opportunities for a woman in almost every sphere. The concept of feminism has stolen the limelight. Women have started working in offices like men. In spite of these revolutionary changes, women still have to perform the household chores like laundry, cooking, cleaning etc. What if I say to discard this basic assumption of relating the household chores to women?

There are solutions to abolish this custom of gender inequality. It is pretty simple but we have to follow it cautiously for a long term. The first step would be to check our own thoughts and actions to boycott gender inequality. The second step would be to stop labeling any work to gender. Every work can be done efficiently by both the gender. Just imagine how great it would be if men can share the load of household chores of women of their families. This small step will prove to be a great leap in the direction of uprooting the prejudiced feeling of relating gender to work. The third step would be to stop passing this assumption to the next generation. Our next generation, irrespective of the gender, should be taught to participate in household chores in a healthy way so as to help the female members of the family. In this way, the load of the work will be well distributed and a prevalent misleading norm can be acted against. This proposal of load sharing can be helpful in many ways as it teaches the concept of time management and responsibility effectively and efficiently. It enhances a strong bonding between different members of the family. This will also provide enough time for the female members to come out of the cycle of household chores and explore themselves.   
It has been well stated that charity begins at home.  To be a part of this greatest revolution, we must carry it out at a small scale which can be initiated by implementing it in our respective families. We all can be torch bearers to completely eliminate this societal norm by pledging to stop carrying these illogical customs forward. As a consequence of it, we will certainly have a healthy society to live in!

I am taking part in the #ShareTheLoad Challenge with Ariel and Aksharaat BlogAdda.

Swati Sarangi


2 Jun 2016

#124 Get ready with Datsun redi-GO

Get ready with Datsun redi-GO
Are you getting bored in this summer? Do you have a plan to go for an outing with your family but every time you postpone it thinking of scorching heat? Then stop worrying about it and get your luggage ready for a long drive.
Ready, Steady  and Go.....
Here comes Datsun redi-GO for your rescue by providing you the best fun riding smooth experience.
Photo Courtesy: India Today
Photo courtesy: India Today
Photo Courtesy: India Today
Photo Courtesy: India Today
So, get ready for an incredible experience with the ultimate Urban Cross- Datsun redi-GO. Nissan presents you a car which very well fits into your budget with which you can enjoy the freedom to ride without worrying much about the transportation cost. This car satisfies all the criteria as it is equipped with the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback. It is a fusion of integrated style, comfort and safety. The very first ever automobile plant was built in Japan. Datsun redi-GO has evolved over ages spreading its name and fame with various features supported by latest technology. Its popularity can be judged by the fact that over 20 million Datsun redi-GO has itself been sold in around 190 countries worldwide. Now it’s the turn of India to experience this wonder. Datsun redi-GO is all set to be launched in India in June 2016 for making your journey delightful and memorable.
Some of the features have been enlisted below which make it stand better in competition-
·        Design- Engineers have come up with very good interior as well exterior designs that are responsible for its charisma. Its wide and robust stance makes it quite suitable for a smooth city ride. Its sleek exterior design is outstanding. It would not be wrong to say that it’s a car for a ride with an entire family because of availability of enough space for sitting. Interior fabric is inspired by sports car. It’s high and wide opening provides ample of storage space for luggage. So, there is no need to worry about keeping luggage on side and sitting clumsily. Its ground clearance is high enough to deal with obstacles efficiently without being hit. Its gem shaped grille provides a distinct look. The touch of silver manifolds the magnificence of its look. The installation of digital tachometer is something that you would admire as it helps to keep track of your fuel economy. It is bestowed with excellent Audio system and power windows for enabling freshness of air.
·        Performance- Coming to its performance, the foremost points that hit one’s mind is engine capacity and fuel economy.  Its engine uses Intelligent spark automated technique (i-SAT) for adjusts the timing of sparking with 54hp at 5678 rpm. The 0.8 litre capacity engine has an impressive fuel economy of 25. 17 km/lt.  So, the problem of shortage of fuel during the journey is least likely to occur. Turning radius of Datsun redi-GO is very small (about 4.7m) which is advantageous for the driver in a compact area.
·        Comfort- It drives smoothly because of its five speed manual transmission with precise shifting. It responds to your demand quickly. It has a drive computer indicator which displays contents such as fuel remaining, distance to empty and much more. Shift indicator is very much easy to read and comprehend as it displays the ideal time to shift for maximum efficiency and performance. Datsun redi-GO is ready to beat the scorching heat of summer through its superior air conditioning system. Its 89 CC compressor is large enough to maintain capacity of cooling for any weather keeping in mind the comfort of passengers. As you might have felt that passengers prefer front seats rather than rear but when you are in Datsun redi-GO, you should forget about the position of your seat as you enjoy same comfort irrespective of the position and centre AC vent is just perfect to circulate the cold air.
I would like to test this car in my home town i.e Bhubaneswar. The factors that I would like to check in the car are mileage, comfort, safety and performance. For me, mileage would be an important aspect to look upon as it will focus on the total miles covered in a given time with given quantity of fuel.  One can’t ride a car smoothly if its design hampers comfort. For this car, this is not an issue at all. Keeping in mind the comfort level, engineers have put a lot of efforts to meet the demand of the users. Seat of car is not only comfortable because of classy fabric but also imparts a stylish look. Its steering is light and protects driver from sudden vibrations or jerks. This feature of very low turning ratio is suitable for parking and riding in steep turns. An extra support aims at providing support to occupant while turning car. This feature ensures stability and enhances smoothness of drive. To enable safety of passengers, Datsun redi-GO presents an excellent strength of shell of body. The stunning design, price tag, comfort and safety are the factors that are very appealing to customers.
For a middle class family, it has always been in wish-list to purchase a car which not only resides in the arena of the budget but also accommodates the entire family comfortably. If you have ever aimed for a car, then going for it will never be a regrettable decision for you. All you need is to pay in between 2.5 lakh-3.5 lakh.  So don’t miss the chance of grabbing your dream car with confidence from the nearest showroom as soon as possible.
Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.
Sweta Sarangi