Quarantine Surge

And at last they all
were confined to the four walls of their homes.

Families sat down face to face and chatted in real time.

Mobility restricted
Mobile phones were
home bound,
socialising translated on social platforms

And amidst the sea of fake and real news,
they tried to tame the   virus…

So they prayed  and cooked together
by often sanitizing their hands
listened to music and watched movies.

Some  indulged in their hobbies
and learnt varied ways of withdrawal and involvement.

All  evaluated their  supplies
and took care of their resources.

They  meditated in silence
and strenghened  their inner selves.

Everyone slowed down to restore the damage,
people  met their inner selves.

Care and consolation came hand in hand
and humans came up with a renewed perspective…

Then everything changed around them…

love blossomed,
flowers bloomed,
sparrow fluttered it’s wings…

It was all colourful again
and in the most wonderful way
nature began to heal

The risk dropped down
humanity gathered and grieved for the departed souls…

Drenched in the  new ray of hope
People sang  songs of joy,
and added music to life

Thus, they
valued life more,
just as they always valued themselves.

Usha Kalley
25/3/2020

From Winged Eyeliner to the Wings of Dreams and Aspirations

https://https://kalleyanuusha.wordpress.kalleyanuusha.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/from-winged-eyeliner-to-the-wings-of-dreams-and-aspirations/Today, when my daughter is all set to pack up from Ahmedabad after spending five long years of her academic journey, away from the comfort of our home, I am self-driven to pen a few things that I observed minutely as a mother. Ever since we landed to attend her convocation ceremony I am seeing her juggling amidst her academic schedule of convocation ceremony and pack up process. Previous day She was constantly checking our journey updates by regularly confirming that we wake up on time, catch the flight, get the cab on landing and reach the hotel safely. In short she didn’t sleep in order to be confirmed. I am avoiding writing various other details as I want to give a vent to the most heart-melting segment of her self reliant persona without any focus on any kind of feministic uproar.

It is her last day in Ahmedabad, We reach her flat to facilitate the final packing. She has already segregated her belongings from those of her flatmates to save the last minute muddle.

Five years earlier we had left an eighteen-year-old to this town who had no knowledge of the ways of the world but now she is all up to winding up on her own. Amidst such musing it fills my heart with pure joy to see her packing independently like a pro. She is guiding her father on buying budgeted bags as we need to have a lot of luggage- bags, so many that her American Tourister and other such branded ones fail to accommodate the huge piles of her Law books and clothing range. Pairs of several footwear are waiting on the floor to be adjusted too. A lot of things can’t be taken along because we decided on travelling with not more than 6-7 bags in all.
During the selection process of items, I am purposely not deciding anything and avoiding any unpleasant discussion on her choice. I know at this parting moment it must be hard for her to choose between what to carry and what to discard.

The day before yesterday was her convocation day that demanded two rigorous rehearsals and getting ready for the final ceremony made her absolutely drained out. The kind of person we both are we couldn’t settle with anything lesser for the ceremony related preparations. Hence, it was a pretty good exercise in itself to work on saree-draping to perfect makeup and hair. The next morning, we travelled to Vadodara to visit the ‘Statue of Unity’ and came back late around 11:00 pm that made her even more tired.

So now, amidst her packing process, I was into casually visiting all the corners of her flat to confirm that she picks all important things from everywhere. Very soon, she is out of the flat with her father so that he buys more bags and in between, she collects certain certificates from her Institute. She does her online research, fetching information from Just Dial and so and takes him to the right shop. I get some time to work on her clothes, I get hold of the white shirt with colorful scribbled messages all over by her juniors and classmates. I can’t help myself reading these heartwarming notes and pats her back in her absentia for earning such lovable cognizance. I also find little time to know her more through these messages.

To break my pondering state, the proud father comes back to the flat happily with the purchase done under her guidance. She enters little later with her face all red with the outside heat but doesn’t complain a bit about it. I show some concern and she twists the phrase to her use and says, “what’s to be done is to be done”. She orders food for us, asks about our preferences and comes back to packing. After a little while, enters a scrap dealer whom she had phoned on her way back home. When we are helping the packing she sells almost all the scrap in roughly ten minutes and orders for our train-dinner. She also calls the owner of her flat to settle certain old issues like lost keys of the central lock and so on. I am watching everything with sheer amazement where she perfectly knows what to do without any ambiguity of thought or any kind of emotional display before leaving the place where she spent five important years of her life. She is undoubtedly happy to be home yet has a lot to leave which she must have absorbed in the past five years. After a while, her house help comes with her grown up daughter; she has a lot of things to give to them magnanimously. She tells me not to nag as it would make the maid feel bad. I smile and see a lot of things going in maid’s kitty. After the packing, we are having lunch that she ordered. She doesn’t eat at all, just-drinks her cold coffee sip by sip.

I see her quietly paying to the maid, at the same time instructing her to do post-pack up cleaning work. She calls the cab much in advance to go to the station as she exactly knows how long it would take in the evening traffic. We come out of her flat with nine luggage items. A premium sedan aptly booked does justice and everything fits in. We both are seated at the back seat and her father sits in front with the driver. The cab starts and at the gate of the society, she tells the driver to stop. She takes out a two hundred rupee note and hands it over to the guard. She says “these gestures are important, I used to see him twice a day”. I am watching her thoughtfulness in silence, I hug her and divert her to a selfie. I fix my eyes on the road and think about the pragmatic side of the otherwise seemingly glamorous life of today’s youngsters who are out of their homes for studies or work.

I looked at her winged eyeliner and there I see a little twinkling moisture in her eyes. I tell her that generally, just looking at the pretty pictures on social networking platforms, people are of the opinion that youth, today, has no emotions and that they are leading an unscrupulous life away from their homes.Choosing flights to trains, giving business to Zomato Swiggy, Ola and Uber, wearing branded stuff is all the substance about them. They are also of the opinion that girls are especially just into following fashion and leading reckless life.

I assured my daughter how proud I am for the person that she has become. It’s not just her degree with distinction that she has earned, it is, in fact, her personal interactions with life that have transformed her into the sensible individual that she has become. I wish people to look beyond the winged eyeliner of such young girls and allow them to fly high on the wings of their dreams and aspirations. Tell them often how much you love them and how secure you feel to see them flying on their own wings.