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commasandapostrophes

Write to live. Live to write.

The Teenager’s Dilemma

A typical teenager in India faces a lot more dilemmas in life than anyone else. While it is entirely normal in countries like U.S. to leave your parents’ house after a certain period, Indians don’t think the same way. The ‘Indian values’ are far different from any other country.

If an Indian teenager plans to leave his parents’ house, it is considered nothing less of blasphemous. Instead of getting encouraged to do so, he is made to hear few of the worst things in life.

“Why do you want to leave your old parents alone?”

“How will they live alone?”

“Why are you so selfish?”

The teenager who has his whole life ahead of him starts to think if he’s taking a wrong decision. One moment, he had planned to start a new life and become independent. Another moment, he thinks if it would be too selfish to leave his parents and live in another house. Oh, the teenager’s dilemma!

He’s supposed to make a decision. A decision that would impact his entire life ahead. Should he take that course in another state which would give him umpteen opportunities or should he stay back and take care of his old parents? The amount of conflict a 19-year olds face is enormous.

Then, come the stories. Stories that are filled with tears and exasperations. An emotional parent asking his son or daughter to change his decision indirectly through other people’s stories. The teenager can do nothing but laugh on the ludicrousness of the situation and his defencelessness.

However, I am not saying that the youth does not care about his parents. He loves them; he adores them. But, the fact that his life depends on that decision, makes him wonder what’s more important.

Moreover, today’s teenager wants to fly. He does not want to be caged. Most of the times, living with his parents stops him from doing things that he wishes to do. I, myself know a dozen people who look at me and say, you don’t live with your parents; you must have a happy life. I don’t completely agree with them; however, it’s true to some extent.

I don’t know what’s politically correct or incorrect; however, if you suppress your dreams to fulfil someone’s else’s dreams, I believe you are doing wrong. Doing what your heart tells you to do, and not doing what your parents want you to do, doesn’t make you wrong, it only makes you, human!

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Jahiba – Young, Brave, Broken

On a rather cold winter morning, wind flew by the chimes, creating a wave of soothing music. Jahiba clutched her blanket even tighter than before. Last night had been somewhat disastrous for her dreary soul. Her parents broke the news of their separation, her favourite blanket had blood spots on it, and her dog, well; he was missing. With mosquitoes biting her all night, and countless thoughts racing through her mind, sleep was the last thing on her mind.

Jahiba was the unusual kind. One moment, she’d be all chirpy and happy; another moment, she’d sit on the loneliest bench in the garden and look at the glistening grass endlessly. One moment she’d be the brightest mind in the room; another moment, her dog would have more IQ than her.

Some minds are different than others. They embody a slew of thoughts that do not justify the set rules of the world. They do not hold importance in the so-called society of good people. Jahiba was one such mind. Born to a devout Muslim family, she was an atheist who drank, smoked, and did everything her religion denounced.

She tried but could not come to terms with the fact that her parents, who were this perfect couple, were parting. She cried endlessly. Her sweet little puppy was nowhere to console her. She was broken and wretched. However, there was more bad news awaiting her.

Her father confessed that while he and her mother were fighting, her dog was infuriating them. In sudden anger, he threw the nearby lying chair on him and there he laid, all bloody, gasping for breath. She ran out in the backyard where they buried him. Digging the mud from her bare hands, she broke down into tears. It was as if the world had ended for her. Her vision became blurry and she fainted on the grave of her dog.

When Jahiba woke up, she realised what had just happened. Although, instead of breaking down yet again, she did the complete opposite. For she wasn’t like just another girl; she was a rebel. In this beautifully damaged world of hers, she was a young, brave yet broken soul. Learning to feel again, learning to love again, in the all the ways she had forgotten. In this world of darkness, she wanted to dance in the sun, yet again.

 

Bhopal – The City of lakes, love, and tragedy

Almost 32 years ago, the city of Bhopal was faced with a tragedy. A tragedy that engulfed a massive population with an extremely poisonous gas. A disaster that turned people into zombies. Their eyes were full of tears – tears of blood. There was no compassion, but grief, agony, and pain in their eyes. 32 years later, Bhopal stands tall – with its scenic lakes and love for everyone.

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While you take a walk in the old, narrow lanes of old Bhopal, you can still see the pain in the people’s eyes. Pain that they may have forgotten yet a pain which they live through every day. From a one-year-old infant to a 72-year-old man, everyone defines the agony of Bhopal. An agony which they have ended through selfless love for everyone. Even if you’re a local or a stranger in Bhopal, you will still feel at home.

I did not grow up in Bhopal, yet I have this sense of belongingness with the city that pulls me towards it every time I leave. Be it the rawness of Bapu ki Kutiya or a quick lunch at Manohar Dairy – Be it the sweet smell of Poha-Jalebi in the morning or Chole-Kulche at my favourite Sagar Gere – Bhopal always brings a big smile to my empty stomach.

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Bhopal is a city with a much ignored historical significance. From Taj-ul-Masjid to Islamnagar, the city enjoyed its share of history. When you visit the old Bhopal, you can still see the traces of it.

VIP road is our Marine Drive – Shahpura Lake our Worli Sea face.  The sun always shines brightly on the face of Bhopal, and when it doesn’t, the winter is even more pleasing. Green luscious trees welcome you with fresh air as you enter Bhopal. The best thing about Bhopal though is its people. You’ll find all sorts of individuals here. From a smart crook to an old man brimming with love – From Raju Bhai at the Raju tea stall to Vishnu Ji at the Vishnu Chinese Centre. The city never lets you cry. The city that is full of love. The city houses people with the biggest hearts.

Bhopal 1

Bhopal city may have left behind the enormous tragedy that struck it; however, it still pains them. Though, that will never lessen their love for other human beings. That is how the world is supposed to be. That is how my Bhopal is. The city of lakes, love, and tragedy.

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