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Creative Writing – Continuum by Smriti Parikh, SYBMM, Sophia College

Posted on 27 March 2013 by BMMBoxer

They have gone. The room is empty. She is not at all sure that she understands. He has decided everything without even giving her a chance to speak. It is only the stale, cold, unmoving air that tells Ayesha that she is now alone.

In her head, the words still reverberated. “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! DON’T WANT ANYONE’S ADVICE OR SYMPATHY! SHE ISN’T DYING OKAY? SHE IS VERYMUCH ALIVE AND VERY MUCH CAPABLE OF DOING EVERYTHING BETTER THAN YOU AND I! I WANT EVERYONE OUT OF OUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW!” He yelled. First time in the whole of eight years that she had known him, he yelled. Even in his anger he cared for her. He hadn’t changed.

When the air failed to move for a few more minutes, she whispered, “Sameer?” She strained her ears to listen to the shuffle of his feet, even his exasperated sigh, but there was nothing. She was alone, her and darkness, for the first time in two months.

It had been two months now since Ayesha had lost her eyesight. One fateful day had changed the way Ayesha looked at her life. In fact, it barred her from looking at anything at all. It was the 26th of March and it had been raining on their anniversary like always. Sameer was singing in his croaky voice when out of nowhere another bike cut their way and Sameer lost control of his own bike. In a moment, the world turned upside down and Ayesha slid all the way down the flyover with the bike on top of her. Sameer remained motionless on the top, unconscious. When he opened his eyes he saw everyone staring at him with moist pupils but his wife. Soon enough he was told that Ayesha had suffered a traumatic head injury which had damaged her retinal muscles completely. It struck the daylights out of Sameer to know that Ayesha, the only person who mattered to her, will never be able to see the light of day.

Ayesha had taken it in a different stride all together. She was dejected and angry at the same time but she never blamed Sameer. She knew that it wasn’t his fault. She knew he would never hurt her even in her dreams. But those first few weeks were gruesome.

After waking up every morning, she would lie in her bed for ages, trying to stretch her eyelids apart with all her might, hoping that maybe if she tore her iris apart by pushing them hard enough, she will be able to see a tiny speck of light one morning. Tired, she would get up; put her feet down on the ground to find her slippers at the same bloody place every day. Furious, she would kick them only to convince herself that she will be able to find them again. Some days she would, some days she would fail and most of the days she ended up crying. She would feel nervous when she would feel Sameer’s piercing gaze at her back, the only man who would pray that may she walk to the bathroom without stumbling into the furniture; furniture which disappeared every day, one piece at a time, just like Ayesha’s passion. She would feel ashamed when Sameer would strip her to give her a bath and excited when his fingers would run down her spine. She would be frustrated every time Sameer would sigh at her naked beauty and angry when he decided against making love to his blind wife. When Sameer would leave for work, Ayesha would sit in front of the muted TV. She would continue staring at it till Sameer came home and would only move when he lifted her up to feed her. She often wondered whether Sameer cried when he saw her scribbling random letters on a paper, when he saw her genius slip away in vain with each drop of ink. At night, Ayesha couldn’t differentiate between her dream and her reality. Because all she ever saw now, was black.

After three weeks, Ayesha had accustomed herself to everything ‘new’. She got used to the stumbling and the black holes in her life while Sameer continued his occasional sobbing through the night. Until one night when Ayesha bared herself to him, took his hand and put it on her breasts. She knew Sameer wanted to love her and she knew she wanted to be loved. As the night dropped down so did her inhibition and the fear that Sameer did not love her anymore. The bodies melted together in unison as the hot summer sky ignited their passions even more. Next morning the slippers weren’t where they should be and Ayesha was happy.

Ayesha began familiarizing herself to her own house. At ten steps to the front was her dresser and at 27 to the right was her bathroom. She had started cooking too. In a week she figured out how her OCD-struck mind had organized the whole kitchen. Her hours of sitting idle in front of the TV were replaced by her obsession, writing. Her whole existence had found meaning in those five hours when she would write for her online magazine. She found happiness in doing things that she would have found tiresome otherwise. She would go to dinner every Sunday with Sameer. She started listening to things which no one else could hear. The chirp of the bird in the cacophonic city life of Bombay, the click of the lock at 6.15 sharp every evening when Sameer would come, the periodic dripping sound of water echoing through the house, and the soft ‘tsk’ of Sameer’s kiss on her lips. Every sound meant something to her now. For her, everything that was simple earlier had become complex except for her life. Overnight, a complex whole of her had become so simple that she no longer recognized herself.

Sameer too had realized that Ayesha was the same person if not physically different. The sway of her hips was still breathtaking and her hair left the same fragrance in every room she had stepped into. Her food had the same phenomenal taste and her eyes…well her eyes were deeper now. As vacant as they looked, they held so much of meaning. As much sorrow as they held within them, they still managed to make him laugh every time they crinkled at the edges. If possible he had fallen in love with this new Ayesha who had embraced life in her own unique way.

Together both of them wove themselves into a comfortable routine of life. Everything continued to go on as normally as it could till two days ago.

Ayesha stood in front of the mirror, gazing at something she could not even see. Her hand stuck to her belly. It was 6.10. Five more minutes and Sameer was to come home. She had never been more scared and excited at the same time. Tik. Tok. Tik. Tok. Each second punctuated her life. Click. She could hear his footsteps approaching. There was a certain bounce in them, she decided. Her heart dove deeper and deeper. Finally Sameer’s touch, he hugged her from behind and whispered, “You’re pregnant!”

The entire world came to a standstill. She could hear his smile but she could hear the scream of her own heart as well. She was joyous, no doubt, this was what she always wanted, but things were different back then. She clutched her stomach and sat on the ground. She couldn’t breathe for one more minute. She let out a piercing wail and hugged her own knees. For her it was almost like fire licking her already charred soul. To know that you will never be able to see your own child, it had to be God’s cruel game.

Sameer, confused and befuddled, asked what happened. How would he know? How could Ayesha tell that she was jealous of her own husband? Thick tears trickled down her cheek and onto his shirt as she held onto her husband tightly. Sameer’s hand went down to her belly, an action that invited belligerence. She pushed him away, got up and walked towards the bathroom. In that moment of utter grief, her quantum Physics had gone so awry. All the paths she had familiarized herself to were stranger today. She collided into every single piece of furniture. Each collision marked her defeat, yet again.

Scared, Sameer called up, her parents first and then his, to give them the news of the baby. Similar reactions of anger followed. The next two days Ayesha stayed stuck in front of the mirror, her hand rubbing the stomach and her eyes crying. She practiced opening and closing eyes to confirm her blindness. Only tears rolled out. Sometimes she wondered why she could even cry now that she had already lost her eyes. Sameer didn’t bother Ayesha too. He maintained his distance. For the first time in eight years he was unable to decipher Ayesha. He couldn’t think of why she would be sad when all she ever wanted was a baby.

Two days later, the parents stood at the door. Ayesha was wrapped in her mother’s arms. Anxious advices flew into her ears. Ayesha remained silent, answering in her own head.

“Don’t have the baby Aishu.”

Why.

“How will you take care of it?”

Just like everyone else does.

“You cannot see.”

I know, but how does it matter? I still have a heart. Didn’t you know that I was not well without even seeing my face?

“How will you manage?”

Like a normal human being. I AM A NORMAL HUMAN BEING!

In the other room Sameer’s parents ranted out their woes and worries. They oscillated between the concern of their own child and Ayesha. “What will happen to your future beta? With Ayesha’s condition you will have to be at home for the baby most of the time. And not only that, how will Ayesha run through the house when the baby cries? A mother should always be there on her toes for her child, will Ayesha be able to do that? Sameer, you have a job, you are the only earning member of your family. How will this work out? As much as we are happy about Ayesha’s pregnancy, we don’t want you to go ahead with it. Drop it son.”

That was it. It was his life. He had called them to celebrate not to deliberate. He stood up, went to Ayesha held her hand, let out a sigh and yelled, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I DON’T WANT ANYONE’S ADVICE OR SYMPATHY! SHE ISN’T DYING OKAY? SHE IS VERYMUCH ALIVE AND VERY MUCH CAPABLE OF DOING EVERYTHING BETTER THAN YOU AND I! I WANT EVERYONE OUT OF OUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW!”

Ayesha came back to the present. Her heart felt contended. She had decided. One more time she whispered, “Sameer?” This time he heard her. Ayesha heard the heavy feet dragging across the room.

Ayesha spoke, “I am ready.”

Sameer was not really sure if he understood what she meant.

Ayesha continued, “I am ready to have this baby. If you believe that I am capable of doing all things better than anyone else then I should be. I trust you Sameer.”

Ayesha could not see, but she knew that Sameer was crying. A tear dropped down from his cheek on Ayesha’s foot. She moved a step forward, blindly. She stretched her hands to hold onto her husband, the only person who still thought of her, as her. He held onto her almost immediately. Her hands moved up to the familiar territory of Sameer’s wet face. She wiped the tears and kissed him on his cheek. He did not know what to say. A vacuum had formed around both of them. Voids created by the past were being filled by the news of the present.

He whispered thank you in her ear and clutched onto his wife tighter, seeking solace in her when she herself was searching for comfort in him. They both complemented each other, like always. Like they did from the first time he said, “Will you…” and before he could complete she had said “YES!” and like they did when on their first night together they realized that they fit in each other’s craters perfectly.

They stood still on the same spot, embracing their lives. For in that moment, they both understood that they are never alone.

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She had unfolded the letter.

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Short Story: The Catcher Saying Goodbye

Posted on 08 March 2013 by BMMBoxer

By Merryl Fernandes, SYBM, Sophia College

In a moment it was over. The thing was done. She did not look back but kept on walking. All she wanted now was to move on. All the anger and helplessness that had built up with every fight of theirs, every hurtful thing she had kept from him previously, everything that she had stored inside her from a long time was all out. She knew she had hurt him severely. But instead of feeling guilty, she felt peace, the kind of peace one experiences when they finally are all alone. She knew the guilt would come soon. But right now, the feeling of not caring about anyone in the world over ruled all the other feelings.

She had pushed away the one person who meant the most to her. But despite the relief and peace she had finally achieved, she felt blank and empty. She handled her daily chores and responsibilities with an aloofness and indifference. She did not feel the need of being around anyone but herself. She kept playing back the scenes of the happy times that they had spent together, laughing, joking and caring for each other. These memories were always at the back of her mind. They seemed like incidents from someone else’s life. It was like she was just an audience, watching something perfect turn to dust right before her very eyes. She knew he had hurt her a lot more than she could have ever imagined, but there was no possible thing he could ever do that would make her hate him. She knew that to be a fact. And she hoped it was the same for him despite of how she had chosen to end things.

Richa had just returned back to Mumbai, the city she had hated until now, for it had always separated her from the ones she loved. She had come here to pursue her dream of becoming a Journalist. The city therefore had nothing to offer her more than a degree and a few people who pretended to care. Coming from a small city where everyone cared about one another, and life was simpler, she just found it impossible to cope with the fast paced life of the metro. Now that she was back, she was determined to concentrate on her work and make her life easier to deal with. She had decided to complete all her work on time and keep herself so busy that she wouldn’t have the time or energy to let the reality of what she had done get to her. Escapism was her favourite way of dealing with the things she did not want to associate herself with and this was the time when she needed it the most.

Escapism was her favourite way of dealing with things

Escapism was her favourite way of dealing with things

It was her first night back and the thought of going to college the next morning for once made her excited. So far her attempts to keep her mind from going back to some of the sweetest memories of her life had been successful and she was pretty confident that once she would start her classes, her life would feel all normal once again. She slept peacefully throughout the night and woke up fresh and excited for college. She hurriedly got ready and walked to the bus stop. Within ten minutes, she was on the bus and happily listening to songs when suddenly the lyrics of ‘fall for you’ blasted on her headphones. The memories of the summer holidays that had begun like a fairy tale all came crashing down on her..

She remembered the happiness and joy she had felt as she was going back home, back to him and all those close to her. As she had packed her bags and boarded her train, eyes sparkling with anticipation, all she could think about, was the surprise that he would get when he would see her in front of him when he was least expecting it. She had kept the whole thing a surprise from all her friends, a surprise they had absolutely loved. She imagined being with him after he would get done with college and all the places that they would go to and all the people they would meet. She just couldn’t wait to see him and smell the air that had fragranced her childhood days. Finally she would be back to the city she loved for three whole amazing months.

Finally she would be back to the city she loved for three whole amazing months.

Finally she would be back to the city she loved for three whole amazing months.

But then he had gone and ruined everything. He had let her come in between when it had been the last thing that she had ever expected. Let the stranger make him vulnerable, in a way that only she could. That had just been the death of her and their relationship. How could he have expected to replace her with someone he had just met? When she had told him about her insecurities, he had just laughed it off as if it meant nothing to him. As if he had never cared. As if everything they had, had never mattered to him in the face of this new entry into his life. He assured her that things between them would never change and they would remain best friends no matter what. But it was all the sweetest of lies.  She had tried her best to accept it, tried to ignore the changes in his behaviour. Every time he spoke about this stranger, this good-for nothing tramp that had entered their lives, she had just wanted to harm things, maybe even herself. It had hurt her slowly to the point that she hadn’t been able to take it anymore, till she decided that she had to end it.

...till she decided that she had to end it.

...till she decided that she had to end it.

She still remembered clearly all the sleepless nights she had spent to make sure she could end her pain in the best way possible. She could recall all those memories as if they had happened yesterday. Like drops in the pouring rain, they reminded her of how she meticulously planned and plotted. It had to be done and it had to be done perfectly. That was her main aim and sole goal.  Her happiness depended solely on it, and she saw no other way out. Her escape routes had but shrunk to one. She had spent hours planning and convincing herself that he deserved it. She told herself over and over again that she would be doing him a favour by ending it. Letting it go into the black oblivion that was nothingness.  He wouldn’t be stuck with the painful job of making a choice. She knew that he was never very good with picking a side and sticking with it. She just knew her ending it would be the best for everyone involved. Sure they would hurt now, but later they would just thank her for what she had done.

Finally the morning of 9th of March, 2012, had arrived. She still remembered dressing up with extra care and double checking to see if she had all the items she needed with her. Finally, the day when she would win her mental peace back had arrived. She could feel the anticipation of the hunt thrumming under her skin, and the whisper of battle in the marrow of her bones. She knew it was going to be tough, but it was something she had to do. She couldn’t let him hurt her anymore. She didn’t deserve it. And now she would make sure he would pay for all the hurt and helplessness he had made her go through. She remembered getting into the car and driving all the way outside town to meet him. She had asked him to meet her at the place that had been their favourite place to go to whenever they needed to talk things out.

As she took the last turn that would lead to the quiet serene spot halfway up the hill, she steeled herself once again. The car moved on slowly and steadily as she rounded the corner of the last turn before the clearing. In a few minutes she would be with him, probably for the last time if things went the way she had masterfully planned them. She parked the car at the end of the road and picked up her bag from the back seat. Her right hand clutched the object that would bring her the mental peace she deserved inside her bag. She then had just stood there, taking it all in. The green trees had looked fresher than ever, dancing and swaying to the music like noise created by the winds as they hurried off to faraway lands. It was almost like they knew she was going to be freed soon and were hence rejoicing for her.  She felt like dancing with them too. The more she looked at the dancing leaves, the more determined she was to be carefree and happy like them once again. She stood there smiling to herself when he crept up from behind and hugged her. She returned the hug and pulled him to their spot under the banyan tree. He light heartedly commented on a few things not knowing what was coming next. She stood there, next to him, holding on to the dagger with all the strength she had. He went on blabbering about his day and anything and everything remotely. With every word he had said, she wished he had been good to her. She wished for them that things could be like before. But this time she knew she had to be strong for herself.

Her eyes threatened to reveal her weakness as the sky turned a darker shade of blue. She knew the time had arrived and as the seconds passed, she was unsure of whether she could go ahead with it. She decided to count to three in her head and then she would just do the needful.

One.. Two.. Three..

She remotely remembered him slapping her playfully towards the end, right before she took out the knife and stabbed him right in the chest. His eyes were full of shock as he had looked into her eyes. She then had looked into his eyes and told him that she would always love him and by killing him she was killing a part of herself too. But she had done what she had felt was the best for them. She had then dragged him over to the edge of the hill and pushed him over, away from her, away from the world for good. She remembered standing there for an hour after, just staring into thin air, considering killing herself too. But then she realised that he would have never wanted her to harm herself and would want her to live happily.

..told him that she would always love him and by killing him she was killing a part of herself too.

..told him that she would always love him and by killing him she was killing a part of herself too.

She had turned away from the edge with all the will power she had left. Just as she reached over to pick up her bag from the spot she had dropped it earlier, she noticed a blue envelope with a heart on it lying right next to where he had been sitting. She picked it up, afraid of what she would see inside. With trembling fingers she had hurriedly opened the envelope. She had found a pretty stone ring attached to a sheet of paper. She had unfolded the letter..

She had unfolded the letter.

She had unfolded the letter.

I know things between us have not been going great recently. You seem all the more distant and in your own world every time we meet and talk. This has been confusing me a great deal in the past few weeks and since I couldn’t guess what exactly was upsetting you so much, I decided to write you this letter. I want you to know that I’ll always love you, no matter what, till I die. No one can ever replace you, because no one can know me the way you know me. And that is never going to change. I promise to be there for you whenever you need me. You know you can come to me with whatever is hurting you and I swear I’ll try my best to make it all right. You will always be my best friend and my first love, and I want you to remember this at all times. I hope you’ll tell me soon what is going on with you so we can make you feel better. Call me when you’re ready to talk about it. I’ll be waiting.


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Sophia College students

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Breaking The Culture Of Silence: It’s Now or Never

Posted on 15 February 2013 by BMMBoxer

By Smriti Parikh, SYBMM, Sophia College

We have a right to remain silent. But should we?


Being the largest girls’ college of Mumbai, Sophia College for Women raised their voice against rape and violence against women on the 3rd of January 2013.

The initiative was started as a means of finding solutions to curb violence and find punitive measures for the same. The first meeting saw more than 200 students huddled up in the canteen extension, listening intently and raising angered opinions. They talked about death penalties and castrations. They said that they had seen enough and now no more. But some said that situations like these cannot be dealt with anger. There is a need to think rationally as to how to cut the roots of the evil.

As more and more girls started coming up with ideas, the Student Body President, Shruti Parmar realized that the initiative has the scope of getting bigger.

Their next step was to come up with a draft resolution and send it to the Justice Verma Commission. An executive board was set up and a five member body deliberated over options and came up with pointers that were genuine and applicable in the real scenario. These pointers were then sent to law students of other colleges who scanned for legal conflicts and helped and supported us in the cause. On the 14th of January, the five girls proudly submitted their resolution to the Justice Verma Commission.

But the story wasn’t over yet. The college had decided to make this a permanent cause; not to ever submerge themselves into silence. Hence, multiple meetings were held in different classrooms with more and more people joining the force. Soon enough, there was a need to bring innovation and newness in the meetings.

On 28th of January, the leaders of different colleges congregated and decided to set up a grievance cell for college going girls as the first step. A meeting with Gamdevi police was set up and 10 girls from the college were asked to talk to him and suggest ways of improvement.

However, the enthusiasts and activists are still not satisfied. Breaking the culture of silence became a culture in itself in Sophia’s. Students roamed around wearing badges and holding placards. Even teachers felt the need to join their league.

As of today, the Student Body President says that there is a need for this movement to stay active forever. Not to come into action when another incident happens, not when one of us is affected, but now. And till this problem has been completely wiped off from the face of this society, we cannot afford to let it go into dormancy.

With hundreds of ideas still pouring in from students, Breaking the Culture of Silence has seen a tremendous participation and it hopes to see more in the coming years.

To join this cause and come up with new ideas please send an email to smritiparikh@gmail.com

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Smriti Parekh

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Introducing, Smriti Parekh – BMMBox Ambassador, Sophia College

Posted on 14 January 2013 by BMMBoxer

Hi,

I am Smriti Parekh, a SYBMM student from Sophia College. I am a poet by choice and a student by profession. Writing is my caffeine! And yes, one day I plan on bringing a change through my writing. I am also a huge movie buff, foodie and a traveler. I pretty much am in love with media and I plan to take up human rights and social development issues as my field of specialization in future.

Smriti Parekh

Smriti Parekh

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