Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'll be there for you

Eby I am confused, I don’t know if this is right, it pains me to see you lying still like this and I regret for asking you to shut up those last moments. You know the doctors say you wont wake up, you are brain dead but how do I tell them I don’t want to believe it? You always played dead remember? I wish I could ask your mom what to do.She was always good at deciding during a crisis. She always surprised me with her decisions and now she has left me alone to decide this. You love her more don’t you, you guys are teaming up against me huh ? You want to stay together, punishing me for traveling around and leaving you alone always?

Doctors say you can’t listen to what I say but I know they are lying. You know this aunty came to see you and she told me there is a little boy like you who is not well. She says if you give your big heart that boy can play and go to school.

Your mom would laugh if she saw me now, I have never cried before you know? I told her crying was girlish. But I don’t care anymore .

What do you say? Will your mom be mad at me? I don’t know da I am not as strong as you both; I keep hoping you will come back. Won’t you? I met that boy he likes Sachin like you and he is in 2nd STD too. And guess what he sang for me? your favourite song. He asked me to say Hi to you.

I wish I could join you people too, you know how lonely it is back home. I have not touched the clay model you set out to dry. I promise I won’t stick my notepad over your paintings on the refrigerator. Akshay asked for your ball last evening. I said I need to ask you. He is not that bad huh?

Your mom is gonna kill me , I opened the cooker before the pressure left and guess what ? The roof looks yellow, remember the commotion she made last time. You know what? I wish she came back to kill me.I miss her fights.

You are laughing within aren’t you? Does it hurt a lot da? It’s been a month since we spoke. Your mom speaks to me at times you know? I hear her humming in the kitchen, yelling at me to reduce the volume of the TV. It’s you who left me alone.

Rachel misses you a lot, she has not eaten properly the past one month. She sniffs around searching for you beneath the sofa and bed, she is my comapnion in this game of hide and seek , we both want to believe you will be back.

His name is Aditya you know? that kid who has the heart problem, they call him Adi. The doctors say he does not have much time, and I can help him it seems, but I don’t want to leave you.
They say you can’t be kept like this for long.
Am I doing the right thing? Will you forgive me if I was wrong?

Listen champ ! remember we played rescue missions, you are gonna be a real hero now , you are gonna save Aditya and Papa's proud of you. You are brave aren't you ?

I’ll always love you da and I know you will be alive through Aditya .

Friday, January 23, 2009

what could i say....

What could I say about a woman who has the heart of gold and the fire in to have reached her all the way to where she is from a little village she left at the age of 15 ?

What could I say about a woman whose words were as crisp and warm at the same time that it melted your heart?

What could I say about a woman to whom no situation in life was perplexing, every obstacle was an opportunity from god?

What could I say about a woman whose immense faith and patience would put your arrogance to shame?

What could I say about a woman who cherished a gift like Pieta and bore the same feelings with reverence in life?

What could I say about a woman who would not cry when being tortured with pain that would choke any mortal man?

What could I say about a woman who taught what it was to celebrate life in adversity?

What could I say about a woman who on losing her husband would say to her children lets fight this together?

What would I tell a woman who tells her children pursue your dreams and never regret in life even if it’s at her cost?

What could I say about a woman who would smile to any problem on earth and say is that all?

What could I say about a woman who would comfort you on her way to the operation theatre saying I’ll be back?

What could I say about a woman who has lived on this earth for 60 years and still sees the beauty of life?

All I could say is she’s my MOTHER

“I never realised you are the reason I am here Mom and i had no idea , that all those qualities people saw in me was a reflection of yours.

Happy Birthday old lady- though you would argue you are young and I admit your sense of style in 60 is something I wont ever inherit not even in my late twenties

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Teena's Diary entry -Chennai Book fair

Dear diary,

I owe this post to some of my friends. How shall i begin? How about once upon a time 4 IITians set out for a book fair :) nah.... pretty conventional huh ? well IITians !!! and book sale !!!! . Well if you have lived inside an IIT and if you belong to a non- tech background it would amaze you. But chances are minimal that someone belonging to that category would read this.

When I joined IIT I often heard people saying " why do we need a humanities dept" ? some said "man I wish they taught enough vocab for CAT and GRE and stayed to that alone " . When I met a bunch of Btechs at chapel I never wanted or wished to know them. Well that's history today they are very much a part of my life here, I hope I mean something to them too :)

Books are my passion , my conversations often trail to what I read and whose thoughts inspire me. So when it was time for Chennai book fair I was excited, but I never found anyone outside my department who read, naturally people here read other books to cure insomnia so when Jils and Sonu said they are joining me to the fair I thought they were joking .. but they weren't.

Book shopping is the only shopping that makes sense to me, with clothes and jewellery I am pathetic. Sonu was the highest bidder hunting for biographies and books on Einstein in the 300 + stalls there.

Book lovers identify covers from a distance like dogs sniff and find food, we were hunting for a copy of Alchemist for podimol our fourth member frevently that any cover with yellow and red cover page would draw us like travellers being drawn to mirage.

We paid homage to my favourite stall " left word" and got some food for thought with leftist lit. Sonu kept jumping for biographies - he is a collector of books rather avid reader , he needs treatment for compulsive shopping :P

Jils and I preferred pirated books so chose only rare books from the stall, Sonu dead against piracy kept buying originals, podi seemed lost in between she was trying to upgrade herself from Nancy drew to not so intellectual but digestible stuff - you know like kids proceeding from cerelac to solid food :) she finally managed to get Alchemist and Tottochan though i am sure she is reading none these days.

It was also an oppurtunity for us to share stories of books we read, viewpoint on ideologies and on our way there and way back we were like excited kids talking on and on, Jils says once you make a tradition of going to a book fair it continues, I cant stand crowds but that days among thousands of people and commotion in 300 stalls I discovered bliss.

May the book lovers tradition of going to annual fair continue... Jils, Sonu and Podi this one's for your cheers !!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We named her “ FOI”- Flight of ideas. She had them frequently. Funniest part was that she never realised it. We would be talking about someone and she would talk about something incoherent. Those of us who knew her would understand it’s related to something she spoke earlier that day or perhaps that week. She would begin her sentences like “ He is mean”… now it’s for us to decipher who the ‘he’ is and why he was ‘mean’. Or maybe she would suddenly mimic her nephew. Sudden sight of something her nephew liked or asked her to get would take her there. Then it would be recounting her previous experiences home, but in between she would sing a song and then her conversation would trail of to her first experience of singing that in turn to some movie… that would lead to the name of some movie and some actor and mostly it would turn out like the actor had nothing to do with the movie. She would then come back to her nephew when we all would be stuck wondering about the movie she referred to. That was her, full of life like a butterfly flying from one place to another.
Her sorrow, her fears, her joy were all unhidden impulses, easy to identify, easy to relate to. She could never hide anything not to people she loved. But yet at times I find her alien, she could alienate herself. If she was full of life, she also lived life to her terms, she had conditioned herself with her lifestyle to be alone, she enjoyed moving alone but wanted us to watch her from a distance. If we alienated ourselves she would be crest fallen though she never realised how it affected us when she did the same.
She had timing for humour intentional or unintentional I never could know. Everything about her was comical her expressions, her FOI effect, her laughter, her tone of all. She had a flat base voice, more or less a dead voice when she said something and the melodramatic expression of a worn out warrior.
She was often lost in herself, but thanks to her FOI effect she would forget her fears in a second because she could escape by flying to the next topic , her mind was like a discontented viewer surfing channels , the moment discontentment crept in her mind switched channels.
She believed she had few problems; firstly she is colour blind not the technical colour blindness this was an advanced case . So if she told us purple for instance, we knew it’s blue. She had difficulty comprehending stories that meant if we watched the same movie she claims she didn’t understand half of it- no she is normal she could answer anything scientific , but you know you could say she is aesthetically challenged :) . She cannot relate tune to words.she hears them totally messed , well she got her genre of music , trust me she could make rock music sound like lullabies and threatens us saying she would marry a musician to compensate her musical loss . Same discordant relation she had with her room, she could not place things as it was maintained the result was, we could see her rummaging for basic things under her bed and her room is a certified archaeological museum .

But to us she is the coolest, the joker, the tragedy queen, who would in great adversities remark in her dead tone “ oh is that all, why bother” and in silliest situation scream “ Tell me what to do”… That’s her our dear FOI who would talk about Einstein and APJ and her nephew and Surya's Vel , and sing varanam ayiram and talk about Panchathantra all in one sequence.

Mr Butterfly Effect

He was full of irrational beliefs, the most superstitious person I had ever met. He believed if butterflies crossed your path your day would be great. And there was this child like smile on his face when he saw a butterfly and his eyebrows would arch in a questioning gesture telling me see butterflies!!
He believed if you shaved your day was gonna be hell. He was scared like hell of number 13, he avoided talking to people with roll number 13, he avoided fixing up meetings on 13, he hated being 13th in a line and in fact his hobby was finding out what happened to people given number 13 as roll number. I once tried rationalising with him asking what about people born on the date 13th? Or what happens on 13th birthday. But as you know irrationals cannot be reasoned with so I always gave up.

If he ever lost anything he would draw up his irrational theories, he was a walking, talking Harry Potter who lived in a world of magic and was contented with the bare minimum. The number of good luck charms he carries would amaze you, he has no track of the number of shirts he has, but good luck charms yes.
You talk about war, epidemics, anything sensitive you can see him blinking at you and saying , oh you are so serious and intelligent , which makes me feign a smile and wonder “ which planet is he from ?”. I suspect he never reads a news paper; well he was not very social either. Irrationality made him a dreamer and dispassionate about things that boiled me up, so when butterflies excited him , a book review caught mine.
It’s amazing how friends come in an assorted box called life. Each time I waited for a friend who matched my interest, and in the long run I realised “hey I got a bunch of eccentric weirdo”. I would yell years ago if I saw a person excitedly counting train boggies or stopping at signal to stare at an aeroplane or stop my work to talk about how many laps he ran. But that’s how he was. You accept it, his alimentary canal doesn’t function because what he hogs do not seem to show anywhere in his body or was it his digestive system that didn’t work?

But he is so different from “FOI” at least. Well who’s FOI? Wait for the next blog, I am opening up my assorted box, don’t tell me I got a bunch or wierdos for F.R.I.EN.D.S I love them anyways 

I can’t reveal their names so for now this is Mr Butterfly Effect!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Your not being around

Your not being around does not pain me
Actually it’s the void that annoys me
Remember I promised not to miss you
But now I realise how much I do

You were never the comforter
You were but my staunch supporter
Do you still remember the good old times?
The pranks we planned
The dreams we shared
That definitely was the best of times

Where did we go wrong?
Did I grow up or did I grow out
When was that moment I moved out
Why didn’t I know you weren’t strong?

It takes a life time for some to know their dear ones
It takes someone’s life to tell them their dear one
It cost your life to tell us what you were
It cost you , your life to tell me who you were

Did I forget to ask you how you are there
I always smile when I goof asking if you are bored there
Time and space cannot steal your presence
Memories cannot steal from me your essence

I regret for what you never told me
I know those secrets you buried from me
Did you know they echo around?
How I wish I could turn around

I hate you for not being with me
I hate you for making me a bold dummy
But of all I hate you daddy
For loving me the most and believing in me

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I hate strawberries

This is a real incident, what it demonstrates is nothing but presence of mind and true spirit ,( my devotion to cooking too). My sister loves strawberries. I worked in Dharwad – (that’s a beautiful place in North Karnatka ) for a year and strawberries are cheaper over there. She never asked me to get her anything so when she insisted on getting strawberries I had to do it. I got two small boxes of strawberries and it looked fresh and red but we had no refrigerator where I lived but its just a matter of day I thought, leaving it on the refractory table . I was travelling to home for a meeting in Kerala. Travelling from Dharwad is always adventurous because there’s only one train to Kerala that’s a weekly train and it takes 26 hrs . So if you don’t travel that day its either go to Bangalore and then Kerala which is 20 hrs but difficult to get train tickets, or go to Karwar ( near Goa – 6 hrs from Dharwad). From Karwar you have Netravathi to Kerala. This is my usual route but its tedious. So I started my journey to Karwar with my luggage and the strawberries. The bus was thickly packed and as it neared Karwar we had fisherfolk on bus so you can imagine the ambience with villagers from coastal side smelling fishy …. I could see my luggage being stamped ruthlessly and I was worried about the strawberries.

I reached the station at 6pm and had two hours to board the train. I went to the waiting room to inspect the strawberries. The sight of the boxes bled my heart. They were nearly jammed. I felt bad for my sister, her unfinished, unbaked shortcakes. I had no options but throw them. But suddenly a wave of craziness came over me. I rummaged my bag and saw two bottles of ayurvedic medicinal powder mom send for me , I was fed up of them and was taking home to return them .I emptied the contents and washed it with the water I had. The medicines being bitter , mom had send some powdered sugar to mix along .I filled some water into both the bottles , added as much sugar I could and cleaned the strawberries and put them into it. I felt like a life saver who saved the lives of half kg itsy, bitsy, cute strawberries. Thanks to my biology teacher who taught us food preservation. Though in train the sugar syrup leaked on to my government documents and by the time I reached home I was in a mess. But the whole episode made me feel nice.
But when she baked the cake and praised the strawberries I didn’t have the heart to tell her how her strawberries travelled the borders of Karnataka.

But ain’t I a crisis manager ;)

You might think i am crazy but then again i think i am most of the time .....i would still carry strawberries or gooseberries for my loved ones the most thickly packed trains ... that's me.... But i hate strawberries... i tell you.

Introspection into Invigilation

This was not the first invigilation duty I did as a TA but after each duty I was left to wonder what this whole monkey business was about. TA’s need to be assigned some work but cant it be something they could benefit from rather policing students who by default were antagonistic to our department because they could never fathom why we existed in their institute. Definitely Humanities department in a technical institute made no sense to them and all our courses were meant to relax them in between their technical courses which worked their brains ( ya they think so, as if Arthashastra and Upanishads are leisure time ). They expected our courses not to make them think hence if any teacher tried being innovative offering assignments that teacher’s T.A would have to waste lot of time googling to hunt the source from where these assignments might be copied. Exams too are expected to be objective in nature (Now imagine assessing professional ethics in objective question format!) .It’s funny to see an ethical dilemma with four options and these fellows playing inky pinky and ticking random. And what would the results reveal A is more ethical than B? If its maths or science it makes sense but ethics? How can an exam ensure he is ethical? All it would ensure is the student has mugged well, his memory is sharp or his luck played well when he was randomly ticking. But in case of any exam rote learning is what it tests; alternative methods of assessments have been a topic of discussion among academicians for ages.

I had an exam duty for English ‘O’ level it was funny, I admit maybe they are good at technology but my experience that day would reveal how poor their communication skills was. A girl smiled at me and asked “madam what does this word mean”? The question read “Describe the changes India has had in the automobile sector over past 50 years ” ? She was asking me the meaning of automobile! I was dumbstruck, I could tell her , it was not a big deal but I was curious and the past week’s reading on Summerhill School and innovative teaching made me ask her can you try guessing what it could mean? She looked at me puzzled, T.A’s either stare or yell or might look insultingly and here was me playing with her , maybe she thought I was mad. I told her again see some part of the word might click divide the word into two and then she said auto is a vehicle are they talking about transport? I smiled and she took the clue. If you think I am exaggerating and this girl is a fool I checked on her after a semester she is doing pretty well. So what’s my point? Am I saying not knowing the meaning of automobile makes a technologist dumb? Definitely not, it makes them look pathetic to me. They always like to think in terms of “hey we are technologists so we are experts in calculus and stuff and not language that’s for you social science people”.

No actually there are many scientists who write well, to cover up one’s weakness one can’t show others down. Forget the language issue sometimes comprehension is very poor, for instance after every exam there would be some who says “madam the paper says use tick mark I did cross will it be a problem” ? Madam I used pencil is that a problem? And I end up thinking would not kids in kindergarten be better. Sometimes multiple instructions frighten them to the extent how to fill a feedback form has to be explained individually in a hall of 60.

Sometimes it’s funny when students ask madam could it be possible we have more than one answer in the multiple choices? I feel all answers are right, some would sleep half the exam and stick to the paper when its time to collect. Throughout the exam you could see blank faces asking you “why the hell am I writing this” ? The most funniest part to me is the starting part of an exam especially when you have questions of different sets , people go sit at back rows in big galleries making it difficult to distribute papers, refuse coming forward and then the regular tug of war” you come forward or I wont start giving the papers” threats by the T.A and the students rebelling pretending deaf. If you think this is my version it’s no different in the physics , chem. Labs.

I often hear T.A’s saying students write on wrong side of the books and explains “I like it this way”, or demand, ‘explain to me separately I didn’t hear when you explained’. Or gets up and leaves saying I am in no mood to do this give me my attendance, or keeps saying I don’t get the readings making the T.A note all the readings.

And the teachers end up discussing how poor the performances are and how companies remark on the qualities after placements, I don’t know about the performance but by the end of the day a comment on an answer sheet like the one below makes me introspect into invigilation.

“ I am an engineer why should I be asked to write about syphilis and ethics is that not for medical students”-

“Sir please give me pass mark”

“ why do you pain us like this ?

As I toss the paper to one side wondering what made him write so, I prepare myself for the next performance …. Students enter the classes lazy, sleepy, unkempt, all set to crack exams and to fight us T.A’s like student protestors waiting to tear down policemen at protests.

I am just an observer of this antagonistic relationship wondering how I transformed from a student to T.A and why wasn’t I like this long time ago.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A cup of tea

An interview for LIPSTIX was no big deal, then again; that the interviewer was “ Naz” definitely was a problem. I had been ignoring her requests to join the group id of our batch mates, make efforts to come for the reunions. I had not replied to her gifts and cards which were regular on my birthdays and celebrations for the past 12 years.

Maybe this interview was her way of getting straight with me. I used to watch her on TV tearing down big shots into pieces with her words which she used meekly like a lamb but “ferocious” like a lion from within.
From where had she acquired this ‘tough nut persona’ of hers? How different was she when we were together? Why had I been avoiding her all these years for that matter anyone who reminded me of my past?

It all looked funny those moments at college those fighting with guys, those euphoria of being worshipped and proposed and the satisfaction derived from breaking hearts. Those gossips behind the basketball court, the pretence of being uninterested in guys and reading every Femina to find possible tips to attract guys. Those cramming for exams, dissecting cockroaches in exchange for “dairy milk”, how did we transform from those innocent souls to obsessed automatons?

Suddenly the thought of giving an interview to her made me want to go through the autograph diary , maybe I should impress her by quoting what she wrote to me to remind her I have not forgotten her. But where had I hidden it? He never touches my stuff - he says I turn a lioness guarding her cubs the moment I see him near my things. And when would he have time to search them too. He would either be off territory or sleeping dead each time I reach home.
We promised never to crib on schedules and priorities and the traveling we both did. Bt when we made these decisions we were Post modernists radicalists, asserting independence, but maybe the vicious circle of life brought us to structures .It definitely used to hurt initially to return home and see stick pads on refrigerator reading “off to Chennai back in a week”. Then it progressed to “off to Chennai and then to Singapore back in a fortnight”. But that did not foster the spirit of radicalism which did creep out in form of disagreements, theory of being good partners, parents.

My silence was my test too I had no rights to complain as I had people to prove that I did right choosing ‘him’. Not that he ever stopped loving me, not that he ever compromised anything when it came for me but only that he got busier to give me the best that I slided to the bottom on his list.

He had his explanations. To live this comfortable life he had to work and he had no fortune like my dad and fortune my dad would never share because I was with him though he never said the latter sentence I could understand he meant that.

Very often when we quarreled and I said Suman’s husband does not work like you or Ann’s husband can cancel his meeting for her he would quote Suman’s dad bought them the flat and Ann’s dad has always given Ron the option of joining their business when he quits job. We have no support and no option and we can’t lose this race .I don’t need anything from your family but I want to give you the best. I try believing he has good intentions and he loves me.

How I wish I could be back to college edit my life rewind and take away those moments that pain me today. How I wish I could go early morning without breakfast and crib to Naz on why mom makes us girls wash our clothes and the men at home kick theirs off for mom to pick.
“That’s how it is” Naz would say and I would argue why. “You will wash your husbands one day” she would explain and I would say” in your dreams” and she would then tease “we will advertise for a groom who is willing to wash his own undergarments”.
To think of it now the aaya washes both our clothes .

but to think of, after I fell head over heels for ’him ’ I wanted to do all chores I could or I am expected as a woman, no, rather society expected from a woman, Naz never knew that phase in my life and after we left Intermediate I never let anyone know anything about my life partially because I was immersed in my life with ‘him’ and partially because I had nothing to offer than my problems.

Each day fights with mom who believed my frequent fevers were because I lied and which later turned out to be a case of typhoid and I lost my hair due to her superstitions.
My dad who constantly nagged me for being born as a girl and a stubborn one who would displease her in - laws and be kicked back home. Life never made sense to me then and even today it doesn’t make much sense. I badly wanted to leave home because it made me mad. When all girls cried at the thought of it, to me it was a sign of freedom.

I took up every job that came my way though they never matched my qualification but it never mattered as long as it fetched money.’’ hated the idea because he earned enough but he had no voice because he was mostly out and he knew if I was not occupied I would demand his presence. And of course we set out with radical ideals, though he had realized they were expensive to practice. ‘’ who loved poetry, who had difficulty keeping his eyes away from the sports track , talked about radical ideologies, was smart to give them away for livelihood, but maybe to me he then ceased to be what I thought he was.

But roaming from Academic research to social work to counselor, I began to write initially to ease my mind, to find serenity and later to realize this is what I was destined for. Never in my wildest dream had I thought ‘’ could he replaced by my writings. when people bought my books and took keen interest in my happenings I was a celebrity and also my in-laws knew their daughter- in law was destined to fame so they could never reject me .

That pain was something I could not overcome and ‘he’ suffered sadly for it. He was sure he would give me everything I had not got in life and he promised his parents would accept me. But the fact they refused hurt me because it made me conscious about my appearance, my background and instead of hating them I hated my parents more.

Today the world thinks my stories reveal my inner strength but I realize how futile they are , for I still stand where I started, I still struggle in my sleep crying for the acceptance of those who mean everything to me.

My life has turned into a cup of tea which I drink realizing has no sugar but try to drain through my throat helplessly cursing my aaya only to realize that the sugar was left undissolved at the bottom of the cup. At the bottom of my cup I see ‘him’ struggling to keep me happy. Naz trying to meet me eagerly and my mamma who still expects me to bring Sid and Diya to meet her , my in-laws who want to love me and long for their son.

I know ‘he’ takes kids to my in-laws as well as my parents but he never forces me to do so. We are together because we comfortably avoid confrontation. And luckily our kids picked the skill too. They never ask us where we go, when will we return, neither have I spotted them with regressive behaviour or behavioral problems people expect from children whose parents are too busy to care for them.

Mamma used to say that I would realize her pain the day I become a mother but I feel guilty at my ineptness for not having planned to give them what I wanted, or having dreamt foolishly to give them what I never got. But I got frantic when I could not keep my word. Yet my kids tell me I am the best mom because without fail I take them on trips, conduct parties and never question their liberties , but I am not the best mom just a puppet who sways because it has to put up an act . My day begins with this play which out of sheer desperation I put up not knowing how to be a mom, no one taught me, no one taught me, I never had a real family.

“You must be busy writing your new story huh! Mom”? Sid came in. All says he looks like me, why hadn’t I noticed it before? Infact he looked like my brother. Where would he be? I heard he went abroad that was 9 years ago Sid was born that year. “Mom can we come and see you being interviewed next time”? Diya demands a lot with the for an 8 year old she was quite strong willed – was that picked from me or ‘him’, maybe my dad!! . She definitely looked like ‘him’ – those eyes, that innocent smile. When was the last time I saw ‘” smiling, twinkling his eyes. “Mom might be busy and we might trouble her said Sid though it looked like a preplanned skit to me and why won’t they after all if mom can bake cakes kids could manage cookies at least. We are all actors of a lot.

And I would follow their trail and say yes you can and no Sid you are grown up kids and I don’t think it would be much troule.”Where is your Dad?”

“He is sleeping and said it was due to jet lag and I looked up the dictionary it means” said Diya maybe trying to impress me and I followed her trail and said “that’s smart Diya I am proud of your interest in language”.

Why did kids have to try hard to please parents, I did my best too to bring marks, medals, certificates whatever it cost my parents to notice me who thought its my role to as the eldest to achieve these to set a model for the younger ones.

How helpless children turn when they want attention. I promised to pick up these cues when I had children and today my children are desperate for attention.
“How long have I been locked up in here I asked?” “Maybe three hours since we came from school” said, Sid and not much had been written I flipped the pages of my writing pad.

I really wonder how I switched these many jobs with these kids finally writing gave me some times to be present at home but I never gave up in those tough days as our neighbors say I was an iron woman to juggle all these responsibilities. ‘he’ was never happy at me traveling when Sid and Diya were small but we debated on egalitarian concepts of family roles and if he could travel why couldn’t I?

Eventually I realized I traveled to cover my complexes that my existence was unimportant to a man’s if I took up a 9 to 5 job but my new career in writing definitely got me off my complexes. I stared at ‘him’for a long time, it seemed like hours to me. I had not noticed his hair was receding, he still snored like he did 12 years back, and had gained weight, I used to tease him that if he did not put on weight I would he would not be able to carry me. All those awful remedies we tried to make him look healthy and the efforts went in vain when he played on ground draining all the efforts I put on him.
He woke suddenly and smiled seeing me. He would always tell me to be in front of him with a smiling face when he wakes up. But, was I smiling now, because he seemed happy. One nice thing about, him ’ was that he saw each day as a new one, never carried baggage’s like me. To him, his wife is the same cute, smart woman he met 12 years ago. He cannot think beyond that and he calls it a man’s shortsightedness.

Can we go for dinner with the kids I asked?
Have I ever refused your request madam, he asked? And you can rest for a change, I tell you often not to strain yourself don’t i? “We are going out for dinner to Mc D’s I announced”.” but today’s Thursday and we got class tomorrow mom”, Sid said.” And dad hates Mc D’s Diya said”. Perhaps mine cutting off the conventional timetable surprised them.

“But we could go out for a change” I said to see their eyes gleaming with excitement.
After ordering their delicacies Diya asked” dad can I call a friend from your cell phone”. “Yes darling you can but do you know her number?”. ‘He’ had a way with kids, his innocence was intact and with kids he was one, I always said I had three kids.” That is simple dad they are multiples of 4 and 9 .9844182724. Its simple mom. First 9 then 8 then half of 8 and half of 8, double of 9 and triple times 7 and triple times 8.”
”Another gimmick to impress you mom” Sid said.
And why would Diya want to impress mom and not dad?
” because you are so busy writing stories to listen to them”. And your dad? I asked surprised how he spends more time with them than me. Dad calls every night wherever he is so this is no big deal for him mom Sid says.

It shocked me how far I was from my kids being with them under the same roof. But that’s ok mom you have a tough job to write books .Dad says your job is tougher than his. I looked at ‘him’ with admiration why did he cover up my mistakes .After 5 years of courtship and 12 years of marriage what had I given this man. Two lovely children, ‘he’ answered and loads of love. “Pardon”, I asked “did, I speak louder”? “No you didn’t”, he replied. “Then why did you say two children”? Because I heard what you asked within he replied with a smile.
And there was Diya calling her friend and saying “we are at Mc D’s yes I know its only Thursday so what my mom’s a writer she does not work on time tables and my dads travels a lot so we are different. I got a supermom.

Her last sentence choked me “I told you I have the world’s best parents I trust them”.
‘he’ held my hand warning me not to cry. He always squeezed my hand tight before leaving it, after all these years even today when he held my hand he held it the same way, a bit shy, gentle as if the love that flow through them should leak out. That night when I believed I lost everything I discovered by mixing the coffee well you could dissolve the sugar crystals.

Back to home Diya slept on Sid’s lap and ‘he’ drove silently but like the old days he pulled my hand on to the gear each time he changed it as if he was teaching me to drive. And sometimes he pulled the pallu of my sari and moved the gear as if the pallu was my representative in driving. “Mom”, Sid cleared his throat as an introduction to what he wanted to say. Yes I replied . “Cant you meet Grams next time dad take us there they miss you do you know they renovated your room”.
I know you are too busy and they said you call them occasionally but can’t you join us next holidays.I will I told him.
“I have an interview “ , I told ‘’ plaiting my hair in front of the mirror a posture I took up to show I was serious. “You stopped oiling your hair ‘he’ asked”? Let me do it for you. ‘’ I can manage I am not a kid anymore infact I am the mother of two. But that would not change my feelings for you and I haven’t stopped loving you lesser after you became their mother. Perhaps he was answering my insecurities.
Why had I avoided even being touched by others why did I shrink? So the meeting you said something, he asked. Yes LIPSTIX wants to interview me and the kids want to see the shoot. That’s great taking them what’s wrong, he asked ? Naz is interviewing me.
So? I mean I never spoke to her all these years where do I start? Come on you know to deal these sort of stuff professionally. Yes , professionally but personally she is my friend best friend I avoided her for twelve years was I drugged all those years?
“I won’t answer you the way you want to hear , I wont, you have to search these answers. If you write sense you can think sense too. Confront your inner self and stop avoiding. Don’t you see how innocent Sid and Diya are? They are what you were 17 years back .I want that woman back. And you can do it.”

Maybe that’s what I wanted to hear I said. And I knew that he said smiling. Goodnight molu .Give her your best.
And you are watching Miss ‘T’ or Mrs. T . On LIPSTIX and I am your hostess Naz .
So are you still on for washing undergarments? That’s a personal one from my side viewers since she is an old friend of mine too.
Well do you mean I am old or the friendship is Naz? The same old wits huh! Well I would not remark on such personal issues.
So what’s your style being a writer large bindi, cropped hair, kurta or beads?
Well Naz seriously as you can see nothing, I am not a writer of poise but choice so no style.
Hey you don’t talk in monosyllables unlike other writers ‘T’?
Well I did not change my religion, marry twice or reject awards and create newspaper headlines Naz.

And any message for your readers ‘T’?
Yes do read my books not because you have options but I have no option to survive and do let me know why you read them because I hardly can skim them when I complete so just curious how you people manage.

So whose your secret to success your family, husband, kids, or your readers.
I believe it’s me because if I end despite these motivations there would not be a book so it’s me Naz.
That’s all for today and stay tuned till next week this is Naz signing off.

I never thought you would come to my show and I never thought I would face you again. Thanks for coming. No Naz , I should thank you . Thanks for making me come, pulling me out of my shell.

I won’t blame you because I know why you are what you are.
I read each book of yours and I knew u missed me in each book I could see excerpts from our life too. Maybe you needed those 12 years to learn the real you. You are lucky to have ‘him’ did you know he replied to each of my cards to you?

No I did not know but, I know he wants me to appear as goody good in front of everyone.
He loves you damn it, Naz said. And we smiled the way we used to in college.

Mom you were fantastic. Naz this is Sid and Diya my saplings. I know they look like you ‘he’ send their snaps once. Take care and keep in touch. And it felt like back in the old days I was not the old me locked up for 12 years I had changed within 48 hours and came out of my reverie that lasted for 12 years.

Why are you smiling that way mom Diya asked?

I have learned to dissolve sugar in tea darling I replied amusing the children who kept chattering to me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dard mein bhi kuch baat hai

There is something intriguing about pain. People often prefer avoiding it, in fact all our pursuits are in a way seeking palliatives and inoculations for pain. People say i cling to pain. But what they don't understand is i am not scared of it. In fact it strengthens me.Each time i get hurt i remember not to forget the lesson.I am in no hurry to bury it, after all wound heals but scar remains.If you become friends with this thought it cannot conquer you

What fascinates me about pain is that it is not reproducible, Many times i look back over the moments that made me happy and i feel the same feelings in the same magnitude i experienced then but in the case of pain it is not that way. Well you would ask me why do i even want to think of pain and relive it? No , i am not a melancholic.

Would you believe if i said that pain motivates me, because its the only emotion that can evoke human feelings in me, bind me to others through their involvement with my pain.

I am not ungrateful to the beautiful happenings in life , they always happen , but when we are happy how many people do we remember? i don't know we just enjoy that moment and wish it stays forever but when we are in pain remember the countless faces that comes to our mind, well strange theory huh ?

Something interesting about pain to me is hope , whenever in pain there comes a feeling of hope, but whenever happy i dont know if you are scared it's like a bubble waiting to burst.Quite christian a thought i would say which always has conditioned pain with hope .That's what the picture above relates to me and why i love it.

I am definitely curious to know why i think this way but i would accept it as my predisposition however.....perhaps sweeping states of madness too...

Anything that weakens you is poison but if what weakens you , strengthens me then perhaps whats poison for you is antidote to me.

Reminds me of the Adv of an analgesic which says

" dard mein bhi kuch baat hai"

for hope lies within us......

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Love sucks poor friends

When you wish to disappear into thin air, for me its just not my day. And in one of those days you get up from bed and land up in class wondering is my day bad because I got up facing left or right , this is not what you wish to await you.


“ Hi Teens , was waiting for you”. Wait, halt , cease “ Eda is it a girl problem”?. “You know what Teens you read my mind” , who said you aren’t intelligent? . Yeah, who said I am not intelligent tell me now I’ll break his bones. But ,…. Teens I didn’t say it’s a he. Eda dash mone… I don’t give a damn to who said it . Waise bhi “ All men are bastards” . I know da Teens , but excluding me right?

You … You are their leader , This is your fourth or fifth crush this year isn’t it and you found me a feminist to discuss it, you know why you are alive ? Yeah coz I am your friend Teens….. God he knows all the wrong answers at right times…….

This was my best friend …. And he loved having infactuations actually he did it for fun , but when girls became serious he would come running to me to scheme how to get rid of them. Ok off to CC, she should never know I gave u this idea yaar she is my hostel mate…… She will come to me soon.

Scene -2

“ All men are bastards di”.. ditto you said my motto … who ditched you? Hey Teens how did you know. Oops( if you make a foul with women its not ok , they are clever) u fool its written all over your face and u could say Teens is intelligent( a bit of concern and buttering always helps). “No don’t even look at me, now don’t cry here, ok lets hit CC.“ Ok I understand he is mean…. What did you think men where? What would I do if I were you? Darling you think guys would dare take risks with me? Well I wish someone tried and I would break his neck.

Now you breathe slowly and repeat the motto.( All men.. 1, 2,3 … All men.. 1,2,3…)
Di, I declare it a mourning week. Oh what does that mean, sober clothes and no make up? Oops I was trying to help, please don’t cry….. Why are you women touchy? Next time you ditch some guy….

She was my ex- roomie, classmate and a nice girl, dressed quite well, read lot of mushy romance… but she was an ok girl.

Scene – 3

Da she is under control, she declares it mourning week, now you don’t meet her. Hello are you normal? No, don’t give me that look … No you are not guilty and even if you are you won’t patch up…. And even if you patch up I don’t know you guys.
Teens, one needs a reliable, committed friends to turn for advice.

(This is danger, Why are men always confused??? I should check my horoscope … I got odd timings with odd people.)

Ok but I am not cutting classes for advicing let’s hit to back bench. Da it’s my bad day I knew it when I got up on right side no maybe it was left….

Scene – 4

Oh heavy make up, great salwar let me guess you guys patched up? Hey how did you know? Well I don’t believe in romance … but aint I intelligent…. You know Teens sometimes I wish you should be a match maker of course it doesn’t suit your feminist personality. You sort of read between lines …..Yeah …. Tell me something I don’t know…….( I write those lines too dear).

Note: Dedicated to the good old days of UC college… and the CC which witnessed blossoming and withering of romances . Any resemblance to love stories of my friends is purely intentional :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

10 things that could make me smile

1. A baby’s smile
2. Yellow roses
3. My dog Rachel
4. A book as a gift
5. Jelabi’s
6. Snaps of good old days
7. A Kishore Kumar melody
8. A jar of pickle
9. Love birds
10. Painting stuff

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Teena's diary entry Jan 1 ,2009

Dear diary,

Yesterday at Satyanilayam we bid farewell to 2008 by burning a snowman . I watched bridget's diary few days ago so thought i would share my thoughts too, i wish i could burn some people too :) now that was not mean ok! well people kept sending lot of crap sms which spoke about hope for something new , do something exciting this year and all. Anu said the thought that we will hit 26 this year is scary well i said after we hit 30 years will fly and i already am enjoying it, she gave me that " you wierdo look" .

Well what exactly did 2008 give me? i was already inside IIT last New year. The thrills this year were- My hair has started to grey( and i love it), i lost few pounds ( this time i never did anything for that), i have stopped being anxious
( i am too lazy to worry these days), painted some tiles and some walls :), danced again which i thought i would never ( margamkalli), visited some awesome places
( dehradun, Wayanad, Mysore, Bangalore), Lost few friends and my heart :), found some lost friends and books,some friends had a tougher time and i decided to stand by them,discarded quite some junk and some memories, started a blog,so you are here in limelight, tamed my anger.... learned to cycle ( wow), bought a camera and mp3 player ( double wow), and above all maintained my new year resolution ( which was not to make any resolution :) .......

But my biggest asset is depicted in the snap above, my family here in IIT , my strength , my shield, which reminds me how i changed over a year .At times when i see their excitement when they are back from home i doubt is IIT our home - where did they go then :) ?

Welcome 2009 ..... hope i can burn some people next year :)