Thursday, January 29, 2015

The girl under the banyan tree

The creaky house. This was the name little Nisha had given to her new house. Her family had recently shifted from Goa to Dehradun. Nisha had thrown a tantrum about this, because Goa has been her favorite place so far and she had made many friends there. But a stern look from her father had kept her quiet.

The new house in Dehradun was an old bungalow with wooden floors and old paintings. Nisha had disliked it right from the beginning. The wooden floor boards always creaked when she walked on them and the doors were heavy and old. The only bright thing in the entire house was her room. The window in the room over looked a beautiful and huge banyan tree. You always heard the chirping of birds and occasional sighting of squirrels from there.

One evening, a strange thing happened. When she was walking back from school, she was passing the banyan tree, when she saw a little girl standing under it. She had a gaunt face, disheveled hair and she was wearing a tattered, white frock.She was staring at Nisha. She waved towards the little girl but there was no response. She felt a little embarrassed and hurriedly walked towards her house.

That night she told about the little girl to her mother. Her mother dismissed it saying, she might be some laborer's daughter and kissed her good night. Nisha closed her eyes and slept. Suddenly she heard somebody tapping at her window. She woke up with a jolt and wondered how come anybody could tap her window, when her room was on the first floor. She hurriedly rushed towards the window and peeped down. To her horror, she saw the same little girl, but somehow she was looking different now. She had blood all over her frock and tears in her eyes. She lifted her hand towards Nisha, as if asking for help. Suddenly without warning, she disappeared. Nisha stood there, transfixed with fear. She wanted to run towards her parent's bedroom, but she was unable to move her feet. She screamed and sat down crying. Her parents rushed towards her room and asked her what happened. In between sobs, Nisha narrated what she saw. Her father dismissed it saying, it might be a nightmare. Her mother asked her whether she was sure about what she was telling. She simply nodded.

A look of worry crossed her mother's face, but she kept quiet. The next morning, Nisha refused to go to school saying the little girl will try to harm her. No amount of cajoling from her father helped the situation and finally they let her take the day off. Her mother had made some friends in the neighborhood and there was a kitty party arranged at one of her friend's house in the evening. She took Nisha with her, thinking that playing with other children will take her mind off a little. They entered the house and all the ladies started chatting. Nisha found her friends there and went to play with them. Among them, Aanya was her best friend and she was also the host's daughter. She took Nisha with her to show her room. She brought down her childhood photos and both of them started looking at the pictures, giggling occasionally. Suddenly, they came across a photo of 2 smiling girls, with hands on each other’s shoulders. One was Aanya and the other girl also looked familiar. Nisha had one look at the photo and let out a scream. Aanya asked what’s wrong and all the ladies including Nisha's mother came running to the room. She asked her what happened and Nisha simply pointed towards the photo and cried. After a lot of consoling from her mother, she finally blurted out that the other girl in the photo was the little girl she had seen under the banyan tree.

Her mother was perplexed to hear this. She asked Aanya's mother who the other girl was. She told that she was the daughter of Mrs. Sharma, who lived just opposite to their house. Her name was Aisha. She was her daughter's best friend. 2 years back, Aisha went missing. She had gone to school as usual, but never returned. The police searched for her everywhere, but couldn't find her. Soon the Sharmas left Dehradun and went to their hometown. Nisha and her mother came back home and her mother narrated everything that happened to her husband. Now, even he was taken aback by the whole thing. They couldn't fathom why the little girl was standing only under that banyan tree. Is that a supernatural occurrence? Was Aisha trying to tell something to their daughter? They thought of going and inspecting the banyan tree themselves. They left Nisha with a friend and went to the tree. They looked around and couldn't find anything attention worthy. They were dejected and started walking back home, when suddenly they heard something and they turned. They saw a squirrel digging up a hole to bury a nut and in the process of digging it had unearthed something golden and shiny from the ground. 

The couple looked at each other and hurried towards the object. They were shocked to see that it was a small, gold bangle. They wondered whether it belonged to the little girl. Her husband told that something suspicious had happened under the banyan tree and they would have to dig up the place. He brought a pick axe from the garage and started digging the place. He had only gone 5 feet under and they saw a little girl's foot sticking out. Nisha's mother let out a scream and fainted. Her husband immediately called the police and informed about the body. Soon there was a flurry of activity and the body was carefully dug out. It was half rotten and she was still wearing the school uniform. The police confirmed her identity. She was indeed Aisha. They sent the body for post mortem. Soon the news was in the paper. The report said that Aisha was abducted from school and raped. She was then killed by a knife in her stomach and was buried under the banyan tree. The police are still investigating regarding the culprit.

After a week there was another report about the case and this time the culprit had been caught. It was Shankar, who worked as a peon in the school. They had found some skin under Aisha's finger nails during post mortem. They had run a DNA test and had identified the culprit to be Shankar. He had already served a 7 years’ imprisonment for raping a minor in a famous school in Delhi. He confessed to his crime and told the police that he had abducted Aisha and had raped her. He had then killed and buried her under the banyan tree at night.

Nisha and her parents were still under shock for what happened. Aisha had stopped making her appearance under the banyan tree and slowly Nisha grew up and the memory of that incident became more and more hazy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What is it that I really want to say?

What is it that I really want to say? I wonder. 

Should I say that I love the way you hug me from behind and whisper good morning in my ear?

Should I say that you are the sunshine of my life and a pillar of strength?

Should I say I admire your infinite amount of patience to handle my mood swings and the emotional outbursts?

Should I say I love the way you hold my hand while crossing the road?

Should I say I find it endearing to look at you act like a clown just to make me laugh?

Should I say that I admire your talent in messing up something and also get away with it with that oh! so gorgeous smile of yours?

Should I say I find it heartwarming when I have a nightmare and you just hug me tightly and let go only when I relax?

Is it even possible to sum up the infinite amount of love for you in a few words or sentences?

(This post is written in response to Wordy Wednesday prompt on Blog-A-Rhythm. Today's prompt is "What is it that I really want to say?")

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The acne woes

The only reason my mom heaved a sigh of relief when I completed 16 years on planet earth was that I did not get her kind of skin. She was and is a victim of acne or pimples. She started getting them at the age of 16 and they were so bad that when they dried, they left permanent marks on her face. 

My mother is a beautiful women. She is fair, she has very expressive eyes, beautiful, long hair and eye brows which are so well formed that she never got them threaded in her whole life and still they look so perfect! But the only regret that she has is acne. She has tried every product, every home remedy under the sun, but still no effect.

She is almost 50 years old now and still gets them but less frequently. She often jokes about it, saying that she is still a teenager.

Below are the areas where I have seen my mom getting frustrated due to acne:

1. No Chocolates :( Cannot have chocolates or anything oily. Fried mirchi pakodas are her favorite :(
2. Cosmetics: She cannot experiment with different beauty products on her face and she avoids make up like plague. Even after I tried to convince her that nowadays there are cosmetics available for her skin type as well, she just refuses to use them.
3. The break outs: They are the worse and painful too.
4. The scars: The scars after they dry out are really irritating and difficult to remove.
5. Can't kiss: I cannot pinch her cheeks or kiss her without being careful :(
6. The summer: The summer with its heat and sweating makes it worse and the place she is living in currently has the hottest summer possible.
7. People: Most of the people she meets always have a tip handy for acne, as if that is the only thing they notice in her.
8. No Facial: She avoids facial, due to the fear that it may aggravate her problem.
9. Spent money on innumerable skin doctors, ranging from homeopathy to allopathy and tried all kinds of creams prescribed by them, but to no avail.

My mother's skin tends to be oily and which is what triggers acne. I watched the Garnier active neem face wash ad on TV and found out that it contains Neem extracts, which I have heard is very effective on acne. So I thought why not buy it for my mother, as it also removes oiliness from the skin.

But the main issue was convincing my mother. I showed her the ad on TV and also talked about other benefits like removal of oil and impurities from the skin. She finally agreed to try it out. Right from the first wash, she was happy with the results. It not only removed the oiliness but also helped in keeping her skin fresh and rejuvenated. Now she is using it every day and stopped using soap on her skin. She told that she is able to see the difference gradually and hopes that she will finally get rid of acne.

This post is written in response to the prompt by Indiblogger. (

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Suhaana safar aur yeh mausam haseen

(Image courtesy: Google)

Have you ever felt like running away somewhere? To pack your bags and just go, without a destination in mind?

I would love to do that now. It had always been a dream of mine to go on a road trip with the love of my life. It would be so much fun to drive on long stretches of road, eat at a road side dhaba, watch the picturesque country side go by, stop on the road and take pictures of the sun set and watch the stars. Oh! Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps. It is an exhilarating feeling to just go with the flow without a plan in mind. May be this year, I would go on that much awaited trip. Fingers crossed :)

I already have the playlist ready for that impending road trip:)
1. Patakha guddi
2. Dil chahata hai
3. Aao milo chale
4. Khaabon ke parinday
5. Suhaana safar aur yeh mausam hasi
6. Pocket full of sunshine

These are some of my favorites from the top of my head.