“So you got a date?” I was just taking first bite of my lunch when my colleague shot me with his arrow.

“For what? To kill my precious time and burn my wallet?”

“To know the person, to get hitched, at least try tinder it’s free”. I never understand his persuasion, it never stops.

“Phew, most of the pseudos’ you find in those app’s wants only one thing, to get into your pants and I am way to beyond that.  “ASL”, “why you are single”, “how many boyfriends you had?” why simply waste time I rather…”

“Rather watch some romantic movie and listen to some old love songs munching on Pizza when whole world celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved one”

When I became so predictable I wondered. “You tell me what you are planning to do? Buy red roses, red heart and literally bleed red?”

“Naa, I am planning for a long ride with my darling, may be catch the sun rise”

“See I like that, its mature love. No fussing about red color, flowers and gifts. Ok, I have a question”

My friend paused for a while and gave me a look; people always give that look when I say I have some question. “Let’s see whether I’ll be able to clear your doubt, shoot” he said leaning back in his chair.

“Week before valentine’s day they flaunt red bra, undies for women but why not red briefs of men? Men don’t wear red briefs? Or may be….. ”

My friend interrupted me in middle “Now I know why you are single Lobo”

“What did I do wrong? I was just trying to get some answer to my question?”

“No, you didn’t do anything wrong. Having doubts, questions is normal thing but yours are bit weird and you need to control them”

“Really?I don’t see why?I can control my tears, my piss but not my questions. Last guy I asked out died answering my questions with masala dosa still in his mouth” I said shrugging my shoulder.

“You went on a date? and That too masala dosa? didn’t you get any other better idea?” he was bombarding me with questions. “When was this? OMG, I can’t believe”

“What is there to believe, I asked him out on masala dosa date, nice guy, I didn’t clear my aptitude test so full stop else would have married him right there in the restaurant. Apparently he was my second date.”

“Second? Who was the first?” I felt his eyes balls will pop out any moment.

“Some guy must be married by now. Can you believe guys dont ask me out so I do the honors. After all I am independent, confident, smart, sophisticated, working woman as my friend says. See, it’s not that I don’t try to find a son-in-law for my dad but it never works. “

“If you go on asking your weird questions I doubt they want to meet you again”.

“So I should pretend to be nice, shake my head like cow for whatever they say, blink my eyes 100 times per minute and tilt my head 180 degree and smile showing my white turning yellowish teeth?”

“Holly cow, who has been filling your head? You don’t have to do no such thing, but yeah in initial stage control those questions, you have the capacity to blow the bomb before its time, exceptional case”

“And pretend to be someone whom I am not?” I looked into his eyes and repeated my question “So I should pretend?” I stressed

Avoiding my eyes he said “Yeah, initial stage until the fish is in the net”

“I rather die killing a sea monster than pretend.” the warrior in me was wide awake with shining sword in his hand

My friend grumbled “And now I know why the lady is single”

“What did you say?” I raised my eyebrows.

“Nothing” was all he managed to say fearing the ambush of my tongue.

“And yeah being single is not a curse it’s my choice. Candle light dinner, long rides, a movie may be sounds romantic  but what’s with all those pricy flowers, eerie looking red dress, lingerie, hearts which scream on press “I love you” confuse me. The way they treat second week of Feb holier than lent with hug day, rose day, kiss day and Teddy bear day literally gives me migraines. After Valentine’s Day what? Throw those pricy flowers, poop those expensive chocolates and pack the red dress with moth ball?”

“Funny Right, he said smiling then he continued after pausing for a while “I don’t know what other couples do on Valentine’s Day but I spend some quality time with my precious one. If your love is pure and deep a plain looking hibiscus from the backyard is enough to bring the million dollar smile on her face. Gifts, colors, place doesn’t matter as long as you know day after Valentine’s Day she will be still beside you.

I looked at him happily feasting on the fried fish. With gold band shining on his finger he looked like a man in love. May be all guys are not same, it’s just I haven’t bumped into one yet.

“Wow, you talk like a guy who lost his heart”

“Yeah Lobo, I did, I lost it long back when I laid my eyes on her for the first time”

My smile turned into hysterical giggles when he added “And to answer your question I don’t know why they don’t display red briefs in shops but I love them”

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Born and raised on the streets, nobody wants them, except for few animal lovers and NGO’s. Fed on the waste food thrown on the street they look after themselves, once in a while chasing the bikes or the scrap collector, wagging tail to strangers. Street is their home, their fortress and their palace.

When the roaring leopard walks into our world whom we use to trap him? When school remains close, people worry for their safety, and then they put a fearful, street dog in a cage for the trap.

 He must have gone for his usual round of walk to pick the waste food from street or to meet his pals or to watch the female dog, from next lane he had crush on, before valentines day. Little he knew he will be picked up from his only secure place “the street”. With no familiar faces from the street around him he must have definitely felt lost.

 Day time he might  find little comfort in the company of the guards and excited media people and night shiver with fear listening to the dangerous night  With fearful eyes and heart beating like a tribal drum he must have wet his pants several times. I dont know whether he is fed or patted his head or taken out for a walk to feel free like he used to.

 I am sure he is nobody’s worry.

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Alan Lobo: “Pout, how does those girls manage!”

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Alan Lobo: “You dont have to be on water to feel like Jack Dawson”

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Alan Lobo: “That flirtatious look, heart warming smile…I am learning to steal, steal hearts.”

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Alan Lobo :”Who said only Salman Khan can flaunt his momos, even I can. ”

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Alan Lobo:”6 packs coming soon”

 

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SnL:”You are going to join knight watch, you gonna be a crow”

Alan Lobo: “What I have to do SnL?”

SnL:”You have to take oath of celibacy, guard the wall like John Snow”

Alan Lobo : “Nooooooooooooo, I want to get married and make babies.If you fancy that “knows nothing guy” you join the knights watch”

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Aloma Lobo: “Sit still you frog, dont move”

Alan Lobo : “Remove this shit, its itching”

Aloma Lobo :”dont move, you moron, listen to your elder sister”

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Aloma Lobo: “Look how pretty you look, wait for sometime”

Alan Lobo :”heeeeeeeeeeee”

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Aloma Lobo :”When I grow up I am going to open a beauty Salon with SnL. Girls and boys all are welcome, so you dont have to worry”

Alan Lobo: “What, after 10th fail you are going to open a saloon?”

Aloma Lobo :”shut up you rascal, dont underestimate power of a woman”

Alan Lobo: “Saloon my bum”blured1

Aloma Lobo : sings “lalalal, lalala, my little brother Alan Lobo, eats idly bobo”

Alan Lobo: grumbling”Should never born as younger brother”

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Aloma Lobo: “Pass me the clip”

Alan Lobo: “You cant make customer work”

Aloma Lobo: “shhhhh, you are my little brother”

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Grandpa: “Wowie you look so pretty”

Alan Lobo : “dont pinch me Grandpa, it hurts”

Aloam Lobo :”Look you look like my twin sister”

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Aloma Lobo :”One last final touch”

Alan Lobo: “Never ever be the younger brother”

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Aloam Lobo : “You feel proud to have me as your elder sister, Ill make sure you always look pretty”

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Aloma Lobo: “Feel free to contact me for fashion tips. I am a fashion freak”

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Alan Lobo: “Girls have to go through so much pain while dressing, matching hair band, matching ear ring and then posing…Uff, its such a difficult job”

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Alan Lobo:” I love the skirts especially, full air conditioning below down there:)”

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Alan Lobo: “Roses, who doesn’t love them?I just cant stop kissing them”

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Alan Lobo:”I can pose with my skirt as well but I still have to master one more art. “Art of pouting”

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Alan Lobo:”I am learning the toughest thing its not easy to make your face look like monkey but I am a tough kid”

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Alan Lobo:”I dont know how does my sister manages it to pose, my neck already hurts”

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Alan Lobo: “After all this dressing up, juggling with matching colors, ear ring, hair clips and my sisters shoes its worth posing, can you complain on my looks?

Please Note: “If you are looking for page boy, flower girl for your wedding contact my manager “My crazy aunt” and she will walk through the procedure. I charge 2 KG of gummy bear, 3 KG of dark chocolates (that’s for my aunt) and 2 KG of chewing gum for appearance.

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I am Alan, 3 years and one month, youngest in my family, still enjoying the freedom of roaming without wearing my underpants and farting in public.
I got a crazy aunt who is still enjoying her days without harness. As she doesn’t like me addressing her as aunt I am privileged to call her by name. When people raise their eyes, “you call your aunt by her name” she chuckles and says “that’s alright, he have my blessing”

IMG_20150906_114311895I am not big fan of her like my sister Aloma but I love her. You should see them both giggling, talking, bitching about me, pinching my cheeks when my mommy is not around. It annoys me when they bully me as a gang but that’s ok, I am kind of used to it now. IMG_20151002_111839288

She takes us for walk holding our hands showing us the bird or the monkey. When we are lost in the beauty of nature she leaves us, the two small kids there and runs home, we scream when we find that we are left alone and follow her crying “wait for us SnL”.

She might be around 1,2 3,4, 7,8, to be honest I really don’t know her age. With infinite wedding talks around I am sure she is old enough.

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Sometimes I am a farmer, sometimes Lord Krishna, the ruler exposing my chest, momo and sometimes Spider man. I dress not according to my taste but according to her wish.

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Her obsession with spikes and I am the prey. She doesn’t have a clue how much pain I take to grow that thick black hair.

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When me and my sister end up fighting with each other she demands for a explanation, but when we both confuse her with our innocent explanation and teddy bear smile she whacks both of us and tells “Do that one more time and I will call the black dog he will come and eat you”(told you she is wicked). There was a time I used to get scared of black dog but not anymore, because the dog is dead and she still doesn’t know.

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During afternoon nap we fight for for the space and the blanket on grandpa’s bed we three fight. On the edge of the bed she acts as talking wall tickling us, giggling. When she is in good mood she tells us the story with pre-warning to keep our eyes closed . When I ask “Why Cinderellas stepmother was mean to her?”she beats me and tells “close your eyes and that little mouth of yours, no talking, its sleeping time “.

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We have a doll named after her. We feed her, bath her and when we are pissed we beat the shit out of her.

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So what she knows what we like,reindeer headbands ,spider man dress, Barbie doll, gummy bears, tamarind chocolate, jelly beans but she cant take my innocence and inability to raise voice for granted. After all I am boy with my tiny whiny needs and a large share of male-ego.

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 She demands a  “SORRY” from me when I burp in front of her saying something about “man-nn-arse”. Her training session is on 24/7, “Good morning” to “Good night kiss”. Its funny to see her apologizing when she makes mistakes. When we irritate RUM pulling his tail and ear she tells us to stop politely if she is in good mood and pulls my hair and ear and asks “How your feeling now?” when she is in bad mood.
You might have a aunt but definitely not like her, crazy, dominating and bossy. I want to grow up as soon as possible, as tall as coconut tree and teach her a lesson.

I looked at him; with black shirt buttoned till top and blue jeans, he looked funny with uncombed hair and those dark circles under his eyes. I have never seen this version of him. His trick to look like a heartbroken man in despair was working to a certain extent on the onlookers, with that over grown beard and moustache. But definitely not on me for I was his wife for long 6 years. What shrewd thoughts are dancing behind that masked expression, malice behind the sweet smile, and goal behind the scheming little gesture, I knew it very well with my past experience with that son of the wicked witch. As for the witch, dressed in black salwar, sniffing her nose, holding my two years old son in her arms like a caring grandmother.

You will pay for your debts, before you leave this world” I screamed at her. But like always she ignored me and continued wiping her crocodile tears. My heart was turmoil when my eyes fell on my mother being consoled by my sister. In her loosely fit sari blouse and green draped sari she just looked at me in silence. There were no tears, no sniffing nose just a blank look. Taking care of me, keeping the smile on my face had already drained the energy from her 65 years old body. How I wanted to hug her and say “everything is going to be alright mom, you don’t have to worry about me anymore”. I was grateful to my sister for standing by her side with her arms around defeated shoulder and comforting. The priest went on blabbering, making the cross sign, sprinkling holy water on me and around me, preparing my eternal resting place where worms will feed on me, enjoying and burping. I risked a last quick glance at my motionless body in casket for I am going to recall it in future whenever I want to remember my final journey.

Clad in a cheap red shimmering sari, which I picked for myself for my own funeral and jasmine flowers adorned on my then small now bulging head I looked funny. “Is that really me?” I asked myself. May be tumor growing inside my head made me look funny I justified. ”Oh god, I look like a woman suffering from mumps”. I laughed out loud for no one was there to restrain me from doing so. I twirled with joy enjoying this new freedom. I looked at my static body again, below my chest I was submerged with dark red roses, blooming jasmine, carnations and flowers I didn’t know. I felt so heavenly, I craved for flowers when I was alive and after my death I was showered with them. Consolation prize of dying I assumed. My grin widened when my eyes fell on my neatly shaped eyebrows. “Just perfect”, I said.

My time was up the moment I left my deceased body. On my begging god let me venture little more into this world of living. I had to see my son for one last time, dead or alive there is no boundary to a mothers love. Blame it on my tumor I was snatched away from the precious moment with my son, I craved to shower his face with kisses and hear him giggle, thrived to hold him in my arms and sing a lullaby, watch him sleep peacefully . With all the privileges gone with my breath I just have to satisfy my desperation just by merely watching him.

She died so young, feel sorry for the kid, suffered a lot,” people went on expressing their views even when I wasn’t interested to know. Darn them, “Shh,can’t you all just keep quiet for a minute” I grumbled loudly but like the witch they ignored me and continued with what they were doing.

I looked at the priest who was quiet, then all of sudden he signaled at the men standing near my cozy, warm, forever sleeping bag. But before they could make a move my husband hurried to me and kissed my forehead like a loving husband who is going to miss dearly, while I shivered not with delight but with hatred. For the 6 years of marriage he gave me nothing but tears, yelling and beatings along with his mother, and now when I am finally free from his clutches he pretends to be desolated for the benefits and sympathy of the world.

Freshly out of college, with vivid colorful dreams of future I was working as an accountant in a small firm. With my shy smile, jet black hair and average height I was able to capture many proposals. Like a normal girls I dreamt of a loving husband, adorable kids and caring family.

Fallen for his twinkling eyes and charms on the first meet in presence of our elders I couldn’t imagine marrying anybody else. When my mother tried to convince me to reconsider my decision after hearing his great deeds from other people, my decision was still the same. Even though it was arranged marriage I went to callous willingly, how I wish I had listened to my mother then. My husband seemed to be a good man, with his care and love I bloomed like a camellia in autumn.

When I boarded the flight to Dubai with my husband after a month I felt like a contented woman. “Happiness is short lived” something I totally forgot, lost in the arms of my husband. With every passing day my husband’s real face surfaced like a dead body from the bottom of the sea. Bored whole day in the cramped four walls I looked forward for his arrival in the evening. But his late night banging on the door, followed by the yelling’s for opening the door lately killed my dreams with sling shot.

His increased abuse, gibe, foul language and thrashing martyred my smile and happiness forever. When I expressed my wish to work to escape the boredom he blindly said no carrying out his mothers orders smoothly, without even questioning once. I wanted to kill myself just in 3 years of my marriage, but when I realized there is a new life dependent on me I cried my heart out. I did not wanted the little one to bear the same ill fate like me filled with tears, sadness and hatred. Heavy bleeding during third month of my pregnancy and the continuous headaches, I hoped for a miscarriage, for the new innocent life will be free before even its come into this world.

After nine months when Samuel was born I was overwhelmed by my motherly love but I feared for his future during the silent nights. When my headaches were beyond control I saw a doctor who after doing all kinds of tests, avoided my eyes and slowly whispered “You have a tumor growing inside of your head which is in the final stage”.

My life was shattered because my son was too small, incapable of fighting his own battles. My mother begged me to come to her but I stayed with my husband for I didn’t want to be a burden on her. Already I was an entity who had lost her identity and I preferred it to be that way in my last days, gulping my pain, wiping my tears in the silence of night sleeping next to my sleeping baby

Abuse, yelling from my husband multiplied, my medication, at least, eased the pain I was going through, although it didn’t prove to be a complete cure. Few months later my husband’s blunt no to spend money on my medication and exceeded exploitation forced me to pack my bags and go to haven of my waiting mother. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part”, our wedding vow laughed at me with my husband showing his back to me when I needed him the most.

My mother was shattered seeing my bloated head, sunken eyes and the 2 years old little Samuel clinging to me, with fearful eyes glaring at her. I tried to be brave with a fake smile on my face but the knowing look from my mother was enough to wet my eyes. At the edge of life, I was happy with my mother; who fed me, took me to hospital, cleaned my puke on bad days and my sister, who boosted my energy with her amusing dialogues.

The final blow came when on one fine day my husband along with his mother came to see me. Glaring at them in my doorstep I could feel the well planned deceit.

I will take Samuel with me” my husband muttered sipping the coffee my mom offered.

What for, he is doing just fine here” I replied trying to sound not so anxious.

You don’t understand Jude, he has to see you suffer every day. It’s not good for him at this young age.” My mother-in-law pitched in.

Get out of my house” I wanted to yell at them but instead I replied calmly “He would rather see me suffer everyday than stay away from me”. They walked off taking their air of arrogance, hostility with them, but I knew they would be back and not stop until they got what they wanted.

Aware of their motives to separate my son from me, I met a lawyer to make the necessary arrangement so that my sister would get my son’s custody after I am gone to the world of dead. But before I could discuss the chances ,my tumor blackmailed me shamelessly; I was hospitalized. When I sat in the car for my one way journey to the hospital deep down I knew it was my last visit, freedom from suffering, pain was just arms away, I could literally feel my freedom. All I wanted was a little time but time was the one thing I didn’t have in my wallet . I wanted to screech at god, tell the tumor to stop its advance and death to fuck it self. I didn’t let my eyes shed tears, I didn’t let my spirit shrink, I didn’t let the painful headaches eradicate my smiles for my son’s sake who looked at me with hopeful eyes, hope to walk with his mother again, nag her and sleep into her arms.

I was in and out several times in my final week. On one such day I was coming around after painful headaches when I saw my husband, his mother standing near me, holding my son with triumphant grin on their face. I wanted to stop them, I wanted to shout at them not to touch my son with their stained hands. With my medicine working its wonder I was lost to the world of dumb before I could open my mouth. When I came around after a day my son was not around. I wailed with whatever little energy I got, I cried with my defeat, how can they separate him from me for I needed him more than anyone during my final moments.

I didn’t have to wait for long, that night I abandoned my abused, diseased body to rest peacefully for eternity. I was happy in a way but sad in another for I can’t be around to look after my son.

As I looked, my husband backed out crying loudly when my son just looked at me and whispered “Mommy”. My heart throbbed with despair. It won’t be very long before he forgets my face,my loving embrace, my name and his dear mommy.

As I watched, they first covered my face with pure white hand kerchief and whole body with white cloth.

white or color, old or new, I am still feasted by worms. Don’t you understand, it doesn’t matter” I said.

Then all of sudden they started pulling out the flowers from the casket

No, wait. Please don’t do that, I love flowers. Let them be with me on this victorious day. Please Sir” I went on begging but they did not budge.

Oh Jude, Jude, my dear Jude” I could identify my mother’s helpless whimper. Someone closed the casket and lowered it to freshly dug grave. Some threw the mud while others the flowers, bidding me their final farewell. From mud I came to belong to mud for now and for eternity.

Before you are born your fate is written by your creator, my love will always take care of you my darling, it will protect you from all the danger.” I said looking at my son whose eyes were closing with exhaustion.

I smiled, with my short painful journey coming to an end, there was a beginning to my new journey of freedom. I was happy for I could laugh again without any worries, after all I am a free soul.

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