Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Women of another world

M was a wizard. She whipped up bizarre stories and planted herself right in the middle. My young mind loved it and learnt to follow suit.

So the women in the asylum were born. I did go to the mental asylum at Thane, Pune, Tezpur, Ranchi... or did I really go?

I clearly remember this woman who felt her head was too heavy. She couldn't even take the weight of her hair. So she was shaved bald every day. Even if a day's stubble was left, she would faint with the weight.

There was Meenaxi who decked up and sat like a coy bride every day. She waited for her husband to come and take her. She had forgotten what he looked like and kept asking everybody if they remembered.

Mataji, I think, was a painter. With strokes of her brush, she changed men into women and life into death. She gathered the women in the ward and told them the world was going to end but they needed worry. She would save them. She loved everyone but was scared. Whoever she loved always died. So she pretended to hate the women and pulled their hair and slapped them hard.

The scar on Tulsi's body told tales of bride burning. With her one good hand, she kept digging up imaginary pots of gold and ran to give it to anyone in sight "You wanted gold! See how much I got you. I'll get you more. Take it or else I'll burn you."

The most moving character was Ranibai. Stories floated that she was born at a railway station. She thought she was a railway platform. She hissed and puffed and waited patiently while trains came and went. She was there for every train. She couldn't take time off to eat and sleep for fear of causing an accident. She would grab a quick bite without taking her eyes off the imaginary railway tracks. Her station was too busy and so she had to be awake. Sometimes, in between trains, she caught snatches of sleep. "It's a hard life. But I am happy". She sighed.


Blogger Pallavi said...

tis a hard life yes

5:04 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

ddnt get the question. btw - who r u?

5:18 pm  
Blogger Gangadhar said...

Once in our life,at least... we should help this kind of"women of another world"...
Nice presentation,Anumita!!

6:11 pm  
Blogger @$#!$# said...

lost for words.....

good post !!

7:49 pm  
Blogger Akruti said...

Life and the part which we fear to resemble to but can atleast empathise with.

7:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think they see logic somewhere in the world they are in. and in all probablities we might be the ones appearing less sane to them. maybe....


11:11 pm  
Blogger gulnaz said...

damn it anu, tears again!
its pathetic how we treat the mentally disturbed in our country, i think we treat our dead like royalty in comparison.

12:10 am  
Anonymous Kahini said...

Lovely, thought-provoking post. Fang you.

9:48 am  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Oh, and so there was some method in madness, was it? Good post, anumita.

9:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounded too artificially and "filmi" ... dont mean to be rude, but is this a fictional post?

10:19 am  
Blogger AmitKen said...

i guess each one of us has some fears, some whims, some crazy thoughts. I dont see much difference between people inside asylum, and those outside. Though the way we percieve them is remarkably different.

11:35 am  
Blogger Pallavi said...

You have been tagged again :)

12:12 pm  
Blogger anumita said...

pallavi: You bet it is.

ricercar: You don't know me. Just ramdomly reached your blog from an old comment from you on mine.

gangadhar: Is help the answer... I wonder...

@$#!$#: Welcome! Took me ages to type out your name! Thanks.

akruti: Right. Like it's always on the other side of the road happening to other people.

parna: Maybe... you are right.

gulnaz: Some of us don't even acknowledge them... that's the saddest part.

kahini: It's actually something I wrote 10 years back.

sudipta: I think there was. It's always fascinating...

anonymous: Thank you for your comment. As a rule I don't acknowledge anonymous comments. But seeing a different opinion made me respond. You can call it 'fictional'. It's a highly dramatized piece I wrote 10 years back.

amitken: You are right. Not much difference. Actually it's to protect them from the cruel outside world, they are locked up.

12:12 pm  
Blogger raxterize said...

Hey A, thought it was quite a moving post till I read that it is a 'dramatized' piece. Somehow it does not seem so moving right now :-( Does anyone else feel the same ?

1:22 pm  
Blogger anumita said...

raxterize: Many times in life I never realize when reality blends in with fantasy... when real seems surreal... but do you think I can fantasize about this?

1:38 pm  
Blogger Pallavi said... check this .. I tagged you..

3:41 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

if u dont mind me asking ... how did u get to my site?

4:26 pm  
Blogger Tarun said...

so sad....

7:58 pm  
Blogger hope and love said...

nice blog.. iv added it to my favourites..

10:34 am  
Blogger Xavier said...

wow, that's really good fiction. At least I assume that is fiction. I'm a creative writing major, and I wish i could write as creative and thought provoking as you.

11:04 am  
Blogger @$#!$# said...

u can use the simpler version of my name next time on...

thats Ashish

12:37 pm  
Blogger raxterize said...

I dunno really. If you write as well as you do,then you have a vivid imagination (thats a compliment). Its my guess therefore, that its fiction inspired by reality. But this is a topic close to my heart. These differently abled people have tugged my heartstrings enough times already and in my own special and small way I have been involved.

1:29 pm  
Blogger Rat said...

that was really nice.

2:28 pm  
Blogger anumita said...

ricercar: I told you how.

tarun: Sad, yes.

ashish: Quicker to type. Thanks.

hope and love: Thanks. You got a neat blog too.

xavier: Welcome and thank you for your compliment. You write well and regarding writing, I guess it's an outcome of feelings.

raxterize: Imagination, yes, it's something I trive on. It's great that you are involved in some way. We need more like you.

rat: Thanks.:)

2:51 pm  
Blogger None said...

well written piece. you are a journalist, are you? i wish more journos wrote this way.



3:35 pm  
Blogger anumita said...

ramya: Thank you. But am no longer a journalist. Just write inane stuff for a living.

4:28 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

ok - replied - doctor uncle's story is up now

7:46 pm  
Blogger Shubhodeep said...

stunning post...makes me feel so small...wonderfully written..Cheers!

do visit my blog again

5:29 pm  
Blogger Rabin said...

Reality is subjective, sanity is subjective. Loved Ranibai's attitude towards life. Enjoyed the post and your blog.

9:41 pm  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Cool! I like this style...more please!

12:58 am  
Blogger Raccoon said...

Quite liked it:-)...I think all of us spin bizarre tales about ourselves at some points in time...but some choose also to live in them...which is what puts them apart from others....
I used to spin so many tales when i was a kid...

3:51 am  
Blogger sanguine said...

wow , anumita .. fantastic piece . really sad tho.
2 sad post in a row . now i want a happy one from you :D

11:39 am  
Blogger anumita said...

ricercar: This is intriguing.

shubhodeep: Thank you.

r: Welcome and thanks.

gratis: Let me dig into the colourful past and look for more...

pranav: Spinning tales cannot not done by all. Would love to read some of your tales. Blog about them?

sanguine: Yes. I better start writing happy things else will be branded tragedy queen!

1:23 pm  
Blogger Raccoon said...

haha! I actually thought of blogging a couple of my tales but soon realised that I'd be packed off to Ranchi:-)

No - they're much to outrageous to be shared....:-D...even given the relative anonymity that the net provides:)

6:19 pm  
Blogger Nupur said...


*very intense indeed!*

8:43 pm  
Blogger ~phobiac~ said...

Hey ANU...great write up !!

1:13 pm  
Blogger meetu said...

i have worked with them during my college NSS days ...i could very well relate to this writeup.

4:21 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

thanks. just saw the last reply of yours. hope u liked it. another episode up now to. im not very happy though with the story so far. needs some serious editing. bit difficult for me cz no comp at home. now im thinking she shud tell her folks ... will think about how over the weekend. am planning to kill the father ... what do you think?

3:16 pm  
Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

Awesome and I loved your style. Hard hitting, in your face and true to life...


7:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

new post please :)


11:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reminds me of 'girl interrupted'!! it shook me up..that book..


3:21 pm  
Blogger Gangadhar said...

Hi Anumita..gud morning..waiting for your new post!!

12:26 pm  
Anonymous subs said...

Hello! finally :)

11:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Anu,

ANgel glided down here to see hug you.

^_^ >:D<

11:23 am  
Blogger mis_nomer said...


11:28 am  
Blogger anumita said...

pranav: Please write. Promise not to pack you to Ranchi.

nupur: Thank you. Exams over?

phobiac: Welcome and thank you.

meetu: Welcome. You are lucky to have interacted with them.

ricer: Thanks. Somehow am feeling lighter. You know why.

vasu: Welcome and thanks.

parna: Coming up. Coming up.

bips: Did it really?

subs: Yes, finally!

gangadhar: Coming up. Coming up.

angel: Hi! You aren't writing enough. What's happening with the most popular girl in

mis_nomer: Welcome. Thanks :)

10:40 am  
Blogger J said...

sounds a bit like 'girl interupted' :)

12:51 pm  

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