Friday, March 30, 2012

a splash of colours

There's another hobby that i'd like to share with you. RANGOLI's and MEHENDI.. These are more an obsession than a hobby. And that's the link below to the blog- a splash of colours!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Random Clicks!!

Let the eyes be the lens
and the mind the camera,
let me capture the beauty,
nature my mantra...

Some random clicks on the highway of life, thought I will share it with you! Check it out at


Will keep updating.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I am surrounded by people who seem to have elephantine memories!!  All, except me!

My mom seems to remember every thing in painstaking detail much to my discomfort sometimes. So it is impossible to dodge her questions with excuses because she will remember every minute detail that I might have told her. But she is the one who reminds me whether I have my purse, watch, etc with me, when I venture out. She is the one I call before I come back from shopping, to check if I have missed anything. In short I can count on her to be my second (rather First) brain behind my memory for anything and everything. 

Dad seems to have a huge memory too! He can recount incidents from his childhood from when he was as young as 7 or 8 years old! He has always managed to keep us regaled with funny instances and stories. I fail to understand why I cannot recount anything from my childhood! Memories are so blurry that they hardly seem existent. Actually, I cannot recount anything from yesterday, so childhood definitely is light years away. I have to depend on him to tell me what I did! And whatever I know now is only due to the constant repetitions of the tales he has told me.

The other day, my ex-colleague reminded me what a prankster I had been during my stint with the organization. I was at a loss to remember even a single event. ‘You don’t remember anything?’, he asked me.  It was only after he recounted what all I had done, did I remember those lovely days! It is not that I completely forget everything. But someone has to keep jogging my memory all the time!! He also narrated how I had sms’ed  a poem to tell him I’ll be late for the meeting, which went something like this-
“I am stuck in the rain,
In a busy crowded lane..”
blah blah blah…
I did manage to recollect the day and had a hearty laugh. But I also pitied myself for forgetting such beautiful moments.

Thankfully I have had wonderful friends who have kept in touch with me and each of them have their share of amazing memories that they are kind enough to keep sharing with me.

I have often trembled at the idea of having to attend an interview because I am pretty sure I would just blank out as if I have not even attended kinder garden. I am sure I would not be able to answer even the most basic question! Luckily, my first interview was in the midst of my final examination of graduation. And bingo! I made myself and the panel proud but not only performing very well but also landing the job! I stayed long enough in that organization to avoid any interview again for many years. Luckily enough, when I attended my next interview, the panel was too happy to see the bright and chirpy side of me (or so I presumed) and did not ask anything that would embarrass me. Of course, I landed the job this time too!

I realized this when my neighbour’s husband had got transferred and they were moving to Ranchi. She asked me if I knew where Ranchi was. And I stumbled and errr’ed and hmm’d and haw’ed, till she told me, it was the capital of Jharkhand. Of course! I knew it. I had just taught that to my son a couple of days before, for his GK exam! How could I forget that! She told a red faced me, that I need to brush up my geography. How do I explain to her that I need to brush up my memory and not geography!

My mom tells me that I am not forgetful, just absent-minded, whatever that means! She tells me I am multitasking, too much, probably, and that leaves me flustered all the time. I am plain happy there is an explanation to my disorder, if I can call it so. She tells me to keep little stic-it notes handy for all the reminders that I may need. So my house is full of them! You will find little yellow stic-it notes on the larder, kitchen cabinets, doors, mirrors, computer, refrigerator and all possible places! I religiously jot down everything I need to remember.

My forgetfulness also means a lot of forgotten birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, pending works, blah, blah, and blah! And a lot of angry people!
So my mobile is in use not so much for making a call or sending an SMS but for putting in reminders for things to do, birthdays and anniversaries to remember..(psst… I even keep reminders for my favorite shows to watch on television…)

My dad being the optimist he is, tells me it is good for my married life to have a memory like this. True to his words, I cannot remember the fights we have, beyond the night after. Even if I do, the topic of the fight is always lost on me and I can see no reason why I should keep sulking. My hubby is a happy man because he has a crib-free, nag-free wife!

I have often walked to the refrigerator, and stood there with the door open, wondering why I opened it in the first place! I can forget things just like that, in a matter of seconds! Then I have to walk back to from where I have just come, so that I can try to remember it.

Such incidents keep happening, every moment of my life. I put the milk on the gas stove and conveniently forget about it, only to be alerted by the smoke emanating from the kitchen. Oh, yes, I have reprimanded myself for being careless, but somehow have managed to burn the milk every single time!! I have a lot of burnt vessels that were the victim of my forgetfulness!

I can never remember where I have kept my keys, my watch, my purse, etc…though I am pretty sure I kept them in the same place as yesterday( wherever that was!!)

When I have a story developing in my mind, I have to put it to paper immediately or else the idea would be completely lost! Even if I have to write it in the middle of the night, I do it, because it would be completely erased out of my memory by next morning!

I often think whether I would survive alone in this world. That is without my little helpers, my parents, my hubby, my kids, friends, my nose, the little yellow stic-it notes, and my mobile who have chosen to ignore my ant-like memory and help me when I need them.(by the way, that means each moment) . But on the brighter side, like dad says, I find it very easy to forgive anyone because I cannot remember why I am nursing a grudge against them. I might have had a fight one day, and if the same person happens to talk to me next day, as if nothing has happened, well…good for him, I will never hold it up against him (as if I can….)

*Sniff* can I smell something burning? I better rush, before I cause a fire!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The kill...

They had tormented her for long! They had kept her under their complete control. She could not even step out of her room when they were around.

‘How dare they make my life so miserable! I must do something about it’, she thought.

This fear and hatred led to the conception of a deadly plan.

‘If I have to put an end to this torture I must soil my hands with their blood. That will be my only salvation’, she said and strengthened her resolve to kill them.

It was a Friday and the children would have holidays for the weekend. She would execute her plan then. She packed off her children to school and went to the nearby chemist and brought her weapon. A deadly combination of Imiprothrin and Cypermethrin. A drug so potent, that just a few drops would suffice to send them into deep sleep.


The thought brought a smirk to her face. She also brought a pair of surgical gloves and surgical mask.

So long, farewell…

Behenji, be careful if you have children around the house. This is very toxic”, the chemist warned her.

“Yes bhaisaab, I will be careful.”

She hid the drug on the attic in her room. Then she called up her mother.

“Mom, shall I send over Guddu and Bunty to your place for the weekend? They wanted to play with Chotu and Raju. I’ll pick them up on Sunday,” she said to her mother.

“Of course, my dear, you need not ask my permission.”

After the kids came from school she dropped them off to her mother’s place. She did not want any witnesses for the gory incident. Her husband was away on tour and would be back only on Sunday morning. Perfect!

Now everything was in place and she could not wait for night to fall!

She wondered whether she should mix the drug with the food or just smother them with it. She decided on the latter. Food would be a dead giveaway. It was almost half past 10 and she had finished her dinner and cleaning. Everything was dark. Maybe they had gone off to sleep.

‘Don’t worry, you’ll never wake up’, she thought as an evil smile lit up her face.

Then she stealthily brought down the weapon so as not to alert them to the impending danger. She put on her gloves and mask and smiled. Then she quietly opened the door of her bedroom, but did not switch on the light. Quickly, she used her weapon on the unsuspecting preys and in so much quantity that they did not stand a chance of survival, leave alone try to escape. She saw them writhing in pain as they succumbed to their death. Then she walked to her in-laws bedroom. Her gait was more confident this time. She repeated her act till she ensured the unwanted guests had breathed their last.

Alas, they were gone now, forever! There were little beads of perspiration on her forehead, a smile on her lips, for a job well executed, and her heart was now free of fear! She didn’t bother to do anything else. She just removed her gloves and washed her hands. Then she went to sleep on the carpet in the hall.

Next morning she got up to see the victims lying dead and motionless. They deserved to die. Then she brought out the broom and dustpan from the closet and began gathering all the dead cockroaches in it. Finally she had gotten rid of them!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Prank

Neeti and Nayan, the best of friends from school, were on cloud nine. Both of them had landed a job with a TV channel and were selected to host a laughter gag series with it. They were given the job of luring gullible people to their pranks and make a fool out of them. They loved their job because that is what they were good at since their school days.

Today they had assembled at an outdoor location out of their city. The director explained the scene to them. Neeti and Nayan were to pose as newlyweds and ask the “victim” to click their photograph from the other side of the road. Just as the photo was taken, the crew SUV would pass by slowly between them. In a split second, the door would open and Neeti and Nayan would exchange places with an identically dressed but much older couple seated inside. The SUV would pass and the ‘victim-photographer’ would be in shock to see an old couple in place of the young. And to add to his shock the instant print out coming out of the camera would be that of the old couple, which would already be set in place. That would freak the victim out. The entire act would be filmed for the TV audience.

‘Oh! This was going to be so much fun’.

They had managed to fool eight passerby’s so far when Neeti spotted the next victim.

Nayan, look our next bakra”, she shouted excitedly.

The victim was fast approaching and they called up their crew to be ready. They spoke their rehearsed lines and the victim agreed to photograph them. They posed for the photo, and Neeti could feel Nayan’s hand on her hips.

‘Strange’, she thought , ‘she and Nayan were close friends but not lovers. And he had never touched her like that, not even for a photograph.’ She made a mental note to reprimand him after the shoot. As the SUV approached they got into it and the older couple alighted from it.

Nayan looked at the victim again from the tinted glass and remarked, “ Doesn't he look like Karan?”

“Don’t ever mention his name, Nayan, not even for fun. I hate him.”

Neeti had herself thought so too, but chose not to say it aloud. She did not want to remember Karan, the college romeo who had proposed to her a million times. The guy she hated the most, and had set up a prank with Nayan to make fun of, in front of the whole college. Nayan had persuaded him for a snap with her on the last day of college. He had purposefully dropped a banana peel near Karan’s shoes. Karan had skid and fallen down and they had a hearty laugh at his expense. Someone told them that Karan had to be hospitalized after that incident.

Served him right’, she thought, ‘that will teach him to be more respectful of women.’

As she was lost in her thoughts she saw the older couple approach the crew.

“Hey guys, the prank didn’t work this time. Who swapped our photo with this one?” the elderly man was screaming.

The entire crew rushed to see what had gone wrong.

Neeti’s blood froze when she saw the photograph.

It was Neeti’s picture with Karan standing with his hands on her hips, exactly like he had stood that day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Looking beyond..

Perched on the branch,
Of a weeping willow,
Feet overlooking,
A cold brook below.
Thoughts galore,
Heart weeping aloud,
Mind to the soul,
Virtually kowtowed.
The willow and the heart,
A cognate indeed,
Wish they knew ,
Better than to cede.
Looking beyond,
A purple sunset,
Together we shared,
A connate kismet.
The vast azure,
Masking the nebulous,
Propitious outside.
Underneath, Ominous.

The wedding..

Rohit was in a dilemma.

He thought of the day when Sandhya had first walked into his office. Her beautiful kohl lined eyes and long silky hair had instantly pulled him to her. He had fallen in love with this ‘girl-woman’ and her incessant chatter. She was so full of life! He loved the fact that she was an independent woman, so witty and clever with her work. He had been a full time businessman, never wanted to fall in love or marry, but this woman had changed it all. From being a staunch advocate of single life, he had begun to dream of a life with her.

It had not taken long for her to reciprocate his feelings. She had fallen in love with his charismatic smile and ready sense of humour. He pampered her with the best gifts money could buy and had always ensured he made her feel special. Before they knew it, they were madly in love with each other.

The D-day arrived when he had decided to ask her to marry him. She loved adventure and he thought what better place than a hot air balloon to propose. They were sailing above the lush green fields and river below and it looked incredibly romantic. That is when he had decided to pop the question. He had expected her to turn pink, blushing when he asked her to marry him. But he was worried when he saw sadness in her beautiful eyes instead.

“Aren’t you happy, my love? I thought you would be jumping with happiness.”

“I am very happy; just that there is something you should know.”

“Whatever there is, be assured it doesn’t matter to me, my dear. I will always love you the same.”

“I…I…had got married at a very young age, I was just 18. And two years later I lost my husband in a freak accident. My parents didn’t want me back and neither did my in-laws, so I educated myself and came to this place. The rest is as you know. So I want you to think carefully before you take any decision.”

He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know whether he was shocked, confused or angry. They did not speak a word for the rest of the journey and went their separate ways after they disembarked.

He was his parents’ only son, coming from a rich but very orthodox family. His mother always besieged him with marriage proposals but he had always turned them down, earlier because had no interest in getting married and now because he could not think of getting married to anyone except Sandhya.

As it was, it would have been difficult to get them agree for his marriage to her, but marrying a widow? He knew they would never accept her. His mother had wanted a dream wedding for him, but Sandhya did not even have a family whom she could bring to the wedding. He did not want to upset his parents. They had always been a pillar of support for him. They had agreed to every decision of his and had always let him have his way. But on the other hand, he did not want to hurt Sandhya too. Now that he knew of her tragic past, he understood how hurt she would be if he left her like this.

The dilemma was eating him up. He sat all day by the river and looked at the sun go down. He finally made up his mind. He decided to go to Sandhya’s house and apologise to her. He could not marry her. He rang the bell and Sandhya opened the door with a smile. He saw some packed cartons in the hall.

“Sandy, are you shifting the house, what’s all this?” he asked surprised.

“Your gifts. I knew what your answer would be. I no longer have the right to possess any of the gifts you gave me. So I have packed it all for you to take it back.”

How could he even think of leaving this wonderful woman? He held her close and said,

“My love, marry me, I cannot even dream of a life without you. Let us get married now. I’ll handle my parents later.”

“No, I cannot. If you really loved me, you would have said this on the hot air balloon when you proposed. Now it is too late. Please go away.”

He could not even look at her and left her house; his eyes brimming with tears. He took a week away from office as he knew he could no longer face her at work. He wondered if he should try to talk to his mother about Sandhya. Maybe she would understand. One evening he was standing on the terrace staring into the garden below, when he saw a familiar face. It was Sandhya and she was embracing his mother!

After he watched her leave, he asked his mother,

“Wasn’t that Sandhya?”

“Yes beta, Sandhya from our office. She’s getting married so she had come to invite us.”

What! Within days of their heartbreak, Sandy could think of getting married? He was angrier than he was sad, and in a fit of rage he told his mother he wanted to get married immediately, to anyone she thought suitable. His mother was pleasantly surprised and preparations for the wedding began in full swing. She tried to show the bride’s photo to him,

“Beta, have a look, this is Mr. Malhotra’s daughter. He is your dad’s closest friend, you remember him don’t you? He has promised that the wedding will be a dream wedding, just as I had wanted.”

He simply did not care anymore and wished he had not foolishly committed to getting married.

The day of the wedding arrived and he went through the rituals like a robot. The marriage had been grand, befitting a prince. After a tiring day he retired to his room, to find it decorated and his bride sitting by the side of his bed. ‘Oh! What have I done’, he thought to himself. He started to walk away from the room when he heard her,

“Don’t you want to lift my veil and look at my beautiful eyes?”

“Sandhya…That is you isn’t it?” he said his heart beating so loud he could hear it.

“Who is Sandhya? I am Megha, Mr. Malhotra’s daughter; didn’t you read your wedding card? Here, take this card.”

He read the card,


Yes, of course. What a fool he had been to think it could have been Sandhya! Then he heard her laughing uproariously.

 “But I won’t mind if you call me Sandhya.”

“Sandhya..” he could have died of shock and excitement, “how on earth did you land here?”

“It’s a long story sweetheart. Our dad’s have been the best of buddies since ages and I have known you since childhood, though you have hardly ever noticed me. Our parents wanted to get us married, but you have always been in your own world and did not want to marry. So our parents hatched this plan and sent me to your office as an employee. I fell in love with you and so did you. All went as per plan and everyone was happy, but on the day you proposed to me I wanted to see if you would still love me if I were someone you had not desired me to be. It was not part of the original plan, and hence all the drama! Your mom wanted to show you my photo but you did not have a look. We thought why not give you a surprise on the day of the wedding, so we kept it all hidden from you. The other day when you saw me at your house, we thought you must have realized what we were up to, but you were busy playing Devdas, so you never realized. By the way, your mom is very happy that you had decided to give up Sandhya for her happiness. And I am happy too, because you were ready to give up everything for me! Well done, sweetheart!”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spare the child!

“Baby Falak leaves for a better world!!”

Reading the headlines brought a lump to my throat. A two year old baby girl, so severely beaten up that she finally decided to leave this world and go to a better world? That someone could be so cruel to hurt a two year old child, leaving her with bite marks and cuts was unfathomable. I do not know this little child, but nevertheless it was painful! 
May she rest in peace.

My friend called me after reading about this and she sounded pained too. But why would she be pained, I asked myself. I know her to routinely spank her children. Just because they were not as grievously and fatally injured as baby Falak, did not mean they weren’t being abused. And here she was feeling the pain of a child she did not know but ignorant to the pain of her own children!

But aren’t little children in most houses being subjected to this kind of an abuse everyday? I have seen this in the homes of friends, relatives and acquaintances. In the garb of correcting the child, in the garb of ensuring that he/she grows up right. Eight out of ten people I know hit their child to ensure that their child is not spoilt. Take break guys, they are not mangoes!

I have seen parents spank their little ones mercilessly for reasons ranging from anything to everything!  To me it seems like they are venting someone else’s anger on the poor child.

One parent spanks her child because he gets up late. How will he learn discipline otherwise? So I ask her, how has hitting the child helped? He still cannot get up early!  Could it be the outcome of last night’s party? Maybe the child is too tired after the endless extra-curricular activities. He maybe genuinely, falling short of sleep. Maybe there is a serious disorder that needs to be addressed. But no, he will be spanked. Wouldn’t it help, if we spend time with the child at bedtime, instead of spending time watching television, trying to talk him out of his problems?

Spank the child if he is fussy at the dinner table! A friend spanked her child because he vomited on the dinner table. The child was made to clean his vomit and quarantined for bad behavior. Arre Behenji, I will vomit too, if I have eaten something disagreeable! Be thankful he didn’t try to eat it and choke on it!

Another mother complains that her son is rude, ill mannered, and fights all the time. There are numerous complaints from his teachers and friends. In her own words, she spanks him black and blue but he shows no remorse or improvement. I can guarantee that he will not! If anything, he will become more stubborn.
Why is the child behaving so? Is he craving for our attention? Is he a victim of bullying? By spanking the child, we make him feel more victimized than ever. In all probability he is picking up what he sees at home. Children are fast learners and our behavior is like a school.  

The same lady tells me, ‘Your son is Shravan Kumar, you must teach him to fight back, or else people will take him for a ride. ‘An eye for an eye’, that’s what I tell my child.’ she says. Oh! So therein lies the problem!  But sorry, I beg to differ. I believe ‘An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind’. It may sound clichéd, but I could never teach my son to hit back someone who has hit him.
My son told me of an incident where his friends were teasing him about something, and instead of fighting back, he explained to them that he felt hurt by their teasing and as a good friend he would never do that to them. They apologized. And I felt incredibly proud of him.

If our children see us lying, they will pick it up in no time. If mom and dad can lie why can’t I? Mouthing bad words? Be sure the child will learn that better than his ABC’s. One mother says, her son lies to her all the time, so she has to spank him; it will deter him from lying. 


I don’t think so!

My child doesn’t lie to me. I tell him that I trust him. I tell him that I will love him even if he has made a mistake. I tell him that admitting his mistake is a bigger virtue than denying or lying about it. And when he admits his mistake, I ensure that I do not admonish him for that. If he has admitted his mistake, it already means he knows he was wrong, isn’t it? I ask him what would have been the right thing to do. 

Trust your child.

I asked my friend to try this. But she said it did not work out. When I spoke to the child, he said, ‘Even when I spoke the truth, mom hit me, I might as well lie and get away with it.’ So there lies the problem!

There are endless reasons why we keep abusing our children, and we have great reasons for defending our action. But I can think of only one reason.


We know he is defenseless. We like to keep him awed about our presence at all times. 

I have strongly believed that no child should ever be abused, physically or verbally. It leaves an indelible scar on their young minds, FOREVER. For us it is a momentary action, but ask any child and you will know that they carry the wounds for a very long time.
Moreover, their little bodies are too weak to bear our heavy fists. What if you accidentally hit a vital organ, what if your spank on his back stopped his little heart or caused internal bleeding, what if it damaged an ear or eye.  We hit out of anger and seldom realize where our hand lands. Why do something that we have to regret for the rest of our lives?

Our children are born out of our love; they need to be tended to with love. I do not mean to say that we should not correct our children even if they are wrong. By all means, we should. That is what we are there for, for holding their little hands, when they falter. Every child is different and only the parent knows the best way of bringing up their child.
But there are a million ways to do that and spanking is definitely not one of them.

There is an old adage that goes, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’, but I would rather spare the rod and spare the child. I would rather make this world the best place for my children to be. All our children need is a little patience.

(P.S. I guess I have been a little preachy, and I hope you will forgive me for that)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Déjà vu...

“Akash, wait a minute…” shouted Suman, as she saw him opening his car door though the window.

Akash looked up and saw Suman with a befuddled look on her face.

“What happened, are you ok?”

She ran down to the car and held Akash in a tight embrace.

“Don’t go anywhere today, stay at home with me, please”, she pleaded.

“Don’t be silly, Suman, you know I have an important client meet today.”

“No, please don’t go… something’s not quite right.”

“Ok, calm down, if you have had a bad dream, then go back to sleep and give it a good ending, huh? Take care, bye”, he smiled.

“Akash, you don’t understand, it’s not a dream. All this…all this…, has happened before, exactly like this, This is exactly how you got up from the breakfast table and walked to your car, this is the very shirt you were wearing, and I called out to you exactly like I did now and you refused to listen to me and went to work….”, she said sobbing, “and then….", she closed her eyes,", please don’t go. Just stay at home with me.”

“Suman, you know what this is, don’t you? Its called Déjà vu, you know it, right? It happens to me all the time. Like something has already happened before.  Don’t worry my dear, if there’s a problem I’ll head straight home. Now send me off with a smile.”

No amount of arguing could convince Akash to skip his client meet and stay at home. When Akash left, in spite of her pleadings, she broke down, sobbing uncontrollably.

She knew what had happened next, last time. Akash had been in a series of mini accidents the entire day. First he had injured himself, slipping on the smooth office floor, then, burnt his hand accidentally on the photocopier, then; someone had spilled their hot tea on him. He had to come home for a change of clothes before he attended his client meet. He was late and as he hurried to his car, it had broken down and he had hailed a cab, desperate to be on time. The cab had hit a speeding truck and Akash was badly injured or was he dead?  She didn’t quite remember.

She saw the time on her watch. It was almost half an hour since he had left, ‘he must have reached office by now’, she thought.  She picked up her mobile and dialed his number.

“Hello, Akash, have you reached office?”

“Hey Suman, I reached, Actually….” There was a thud and the line at the other end went dead.

She tried calling him repeatedly but his phone was switched off.  She was sure something untoward had happened and was hurriedly getting dressed to go to his office, when the phone rang. It was Akash.

“Suman, it’s me. I am calling from Sam’s mobile. I tripped on my open shoelaces while talking to you and my phone fell down and broke open. I guess I’ll have to get it repaired. If there’s anything urgent, you can call at my desk number, ok?”

She was more panic stricken than ever. He had injured himself! She sat brooding over it for what seemed like eternity.

 It was happening exactly as it had, last time. Was there really a last time? Was it just déjà vu or was it a premonition?

Whatever it was, it didn’t feel good. She decided to get ready and go to Akash’s office. She would convince him to come home with her. She absent-mindedly opened her wardrobe and picked out her blue skirt and cream top. She almost screamed when she realized what she had picked.

She had picked the same dress when she had decided to go to Akash’s office that day!

She threw it away as if it were some sort of a bad omen and picked a pair of black trousers and light pink shirt instead.  She came out and was locking the door when she heard a loud honk. She was shocked to see Akash in the drive way honking madly.

“Thank god you are home, Akash. I am happy you listened to me.”

“Shut up Suman! Look what that clumsy clown Gupta has done. He spilled his cup of hot tea on my shirt. Open the door, I have to change and run for the meeting now.”

She looked at him in disbelief, unable to digest what she had just heard. As he changed into a clean white shirt, she stood firmly between him and the mirror and held his hands.

“Akash…” she said

“Ahhh…let go, Suman, it hurts”, he screamed.

What..?” she asked, taken aback.

“My hand, you idiot. Let go of my hand. Ouch…”

“What happened, Akash?”

“I burnt it accidentally at the photocopier.”

Oh no….that can’t be true. Akash, you cannot go out anywhere. That thing you called ‘déjà vu’, in the morning…it’s all true. Everything has happened exactly as I saw it.”

“Will you just shut your mouth and let me go. I am already late”, he shouted and pushed her aside before he stormed out of the house. “

She ran after him, but he had already banged the door shut. She saw him reverse his car and speed away. She was so scared that she could cry. Suddenly it struck her.

 Akash wasn’t wearing a white shirt when he changed, it was red. And he couldn’t take his car. His car had broken down and he had taken a cab.

Relieved, she sat down and laughed at herself. It was déjà vu, after all! She was glad it had ended. She thought of going out to the supermarket to buy few things, now that she was anyway dressed up. She locked the door and hailed a cab.  They had just gone a few yards, when suddenly the cabbie hit the brakes.


She lay in a pool of blood on the road. Her cabbie had hit a speeding truck, and she was knocked out of the cab. In the distance, she saw Akash running towards her. He gathered her in his arms and was hailing another cab. She could faintly hear him screaming instructions at the cab driver. He was looking at her teary eyed, and saying something.

‘Thank god my car broke down. I was trying to get a cab when I saw the accident and then saw you fall out of the cab. Don’t worry you’ll be alright. ‘

Then she saw his shirt. Soaked in her blood. RED.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Celebrating Women!!

“Kamala Bai Happy woman’s day” I greeted cheerfully as the maid entered our house.

Kamala Bai looked at me like I had said something stupid,

“Memsaab, today is not my happy birthday. Actually, I don’t even know when my happy birthday is.”, she smiled.

“No, no, Bai, I mean woman’s day. A day for celebrating women.”

“Is there such a day? So what do we women do? Cut cakes and party?” she asked wide eyed.

“Well..” I was not too sure what to say to her and was suddenly regretting my decision to wish her. How do I explain to her that it was a general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women, a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. Nevertheless, I tried,

“…no bai, we don’t cut cakes, but it is a day to show respect and love towards women for all that they do.”

“Who? I mean, who shows respect and love?” she asked

“People who know us…” I was getting lost in my own words.

“How? What do they do?” she went on.

“Errr.. ummm… my husband wished me today morning and brought me flowers. He may take me out to dinner; to thank me for all that I do for him and our family. Maybe he’ll buy me a little gift.”

“My husband didn’t come home in the morning”, she said as a matter of fact. “He must be lying on some footpath, drunk and unconscious. The lousy b*****d!  If he comes home, he will skin me to death. I have hidden my salary so that he cannot find it. The children’s fees need to be paid. I cannot let him drink with my hard earned money.”

I was already regretting I had treaded on such a sensitive issue. This was such a common problem with these maids. Irresponsible husbands, financial difficulties, struggle to make both ends meet. And here I was talking of celebration. Why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut? Last month, she had been absent for a week and when she had joined back she looked badly bruised. It took a lot of coaxing for her to tell me it was her husband who had beaten her up. Not that I couldn’t guess it, as it was a routine affair. She chose not to do anything about it, and wouldn’t let me interfere.

So much for economic achievements! So much for love and respect! So much for celebrating women!! As a woman, I hadn’t done anything to lessen her plight, not that I could have. Women’s day or not, Kamala Bai was carrying on with life. Irrespective of whether or not, her contributions even qualified as an achievement.

I saw that she was still standing and ruminating on my words.

 “Memsaab,” she said,”people who know us, show us love and respect on woman’s day…so what if my husband did not do it for me. You do. I am so happy you wished me.”

I let out a feeble smile. Happy that she thought I cared. As if on cue, she continued,

“Memsaab, please increase my salary, at least a little.. That would be a wonderful gift for me on this woman’s day.”

Smart woman!

Boss would have been incredibly pleased about her acute business sense, I thought. That’s how you make your sales pitch waiting for the right opportunity; he would have said.

Could I refuse?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

(Don't) Worry!!

Worries. That eats into my existence. I can worry about almost anything and everything. My son just dropped my alarm clock and now my worry is if I set the alarm on my mobile will it wake me up on time tomorrow morning? What will I make for breakfast? A few mental calculations, 1. who doesn’t eat what, 2. what was on menu for the past week and 3. what will be agreeable to all. Voila! I zero in on the best option.

 That is just the beginning of my woes. Because now I have to worry about if I have the required ingredients for the menu. I do a quick mental scan of the kitchen and realize that few things are indeed not available. It’s too late to go out now and buy anything, so I think of few other options and settle on something 1. that is agreeable to all, 2. which was not on the menu in the past week and 3. all ingredients for cooking it are available. That doesn’t settle my worries, because I didn’t estimate the cooking time. I’ll never be able to make it in time before the school van arrives. Darn! I have to repeat the process again.

 The mind flits from one idea to another and finally cooks up something 1. that is agreeable to all, 2. which was not on the menu in the past week, 3. all ingredients for cooking it are available, and 4. the cooking time is the least. Oh! I will need my oven to execute the task. But what if there is no power in the morning, as it happens on so many summer days? Re-think.. After a lot of hemming and hawing with myself, I now conjure up something that is blah, blah, blah, blah plus 5. doesn’t need my oven. Satisfied, I think I can bid my worries goodbye and sleep peacefully.

 As I toss in bed, I try to think if I have missed out on something. The school uniforms! Let me have a check. Just as I had thought! I have to iron them and I better do it now. Can’t trust the electricity, remember? Phew! Finally done. I can go back to my bed.

 As soon as I fall asleep, I see a huge ocean of worries, and I am swimming with all my strength, against the currents, just managing to keep my head above water. I pass wave after wave, small ones and big ones. Clean-the-house wave, vaccum-the-upholstery wave, bathe-the-kids wave, do-the-laundry wave, iron-the-clothes wave, fix-breakfast-lunch-dinner wave, drop-off-and-pick-the-kids wave, pay-bills wave, change-linen wave, shop-for-groceries-and-stuff wave…. As I bob in and out of the waters being hit by the waves, I see a whirlpool of worries, the “please-all” whirlpool! And then I hear a loud beep.

 I am as tired as hell. I open my eyes to see smiling faces. My kids and hubby are towering over me. The AC’s still running. So the power supply has not been cut off yet. I see a tray on my bedside. There are two cups of coffee and breakfast. There’s a card that reads, Happy Birthday mom. Then there’s a black forest cake waiting to be cut. It brings a smile to my face. Then I suddenly worry why the kids aren’t still ready for school. ‘Chill mom’, says my elder one. ‘It’s Sunday’. Oh! Thank God! I feel energetic again. I wonder if I should go back to sleep again. But then, I have to…..

Monday, March 5, 2012

Report card of life

There are “people who care” and then there are “people”. Just people. Whom we try so hard to please. As if our life depends on it. Taking for granted the other set that cares for us. Unconditionally. Irrespective of how we trample upon their feelings. Because we are too busy caring about people who don’t give a dime about you. That couldn’t be love. Just pretence. And you forget to give love back to those who gave you loads of it.

When life gives us our report card, I wonder what she will put on it.

People whom you hurt

People whom you judged

People whom you cheated

People for  whom you nurtured hate

People you took for granted

People to whom you were unjust

People whom you loved

People whom you helped

People whom you forgave

People to whom you gave without expectations

Will I be able to secure a pass or will I get an “F” ?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Frenchman

Roshni was glued to the TV watching her favorite program on TLC. It was a travel show that was featuring the '1000 places to see before you die'. Her three year old son was sitting in his rocking chair and staring at the television. She was admiring the beauty of the Chateaux de la Loire, the magnificent castles in Chambord, when she heard,

 “C'est tellement beau”. (that’s so beautiful)

 “Oui, ses magnifiques” (yes, it’s magnificent) she responded.

 But no sooner had she said so, she gave a shriek of fright and almost jumped out of her chair when she realized it was her little son who said that.

 ‘I must be dreaming,’ she thought, ‘this little brute cannot speak English properly! How in the world could he speak French?’

 She was in the eighth class when her father had asked her take up French as her optional third language. She had managed to score full marks in every exam and even in her boards. But her little one speaking an alien language with the finesse of a local was unthinkable. She tried to brush off the incident from her mind and continued with watching the series.

 “Maman, venez-là, me donner un verre d'eau”

 Shocked, she turned to look at her son, who had just said,

 ‘Mamma, come here, give me a glass of water'

 Was she really hearing him speak French or was she imagining? She picked him up and held him close,

 “Beta, where did you pick up this language?”

 He gave her a sweet smile and a kiss,

 “Maman, je vous aime” ( Mamma, I love you)

 She put him down and called her mom,

 “ Ma, I just heard Bittu speak French! I am shocked, I don’t know what to say…”

 “Really? Have you slept well last night, my dear? Why don’t you take a little nap?”

 “Ma, trust me he did.”

 “Were you studying French when you were carrying him? ”


 “Maybe he was a Frenchman in his previous birth, and he must have remembered something..”

 That reason seemed plausible to her. Maybe he was born in France in his previous birth! How exciting! She had only heard about re- birth and couldn’t believe she was actually witness to such an occurrence. She couldn’t wait to share her discovery with her hubby when he came back from work.

 “Anand, guess what happened today”, she asked her husband as he walked into the house, barely able to conceal her excitement.

 “Did you win a lottery?”

 “You never take me seriously jaanu,” she rued. “Our little bittu was a Frenchman in his previous birth. He speaks French fluently.”

 Then she promptly brought Bittu to his father and asked him to say hello to his dad.

 “Bittu, Dites bonjour à votre père”

 Biitu just smiled and looked shyly at his dad.

 “Ne soyez pas timide” (don’t be shy, she coaxed)

 But Bittu would not speak a word.

 “ Anand, trust me, he did speak French… I don’t know why he won’t open his mouth now.”

 “I trust you my dear, kids are like that .You cannot force them to do anything. I’ll quickly change and join you back.”

 Then he slyly winked at his son who winked back. As he went to his room, he quietly removed a French booklet from under the pillow and hid it in his bookshelf. He was trying to teach his son a few phrases in French to surprise Roshni on Women’s day. Bittu was a fast learner indeed, he thought to himself. Just then Bittu walked in,

“Hello père, Comment était le travail aujourd'hui?” (Hello dad, how was work today?)

Anand looked at him with utter disbelief. Where did he pick THAT up?!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Forbidden Fruit...

Eaten I have
the forbidden fruit,
from the tree of desire...
Thinking of it ,
creates a flutter,
and sets my heart on fire!!
No grudge I hold,
no guilt engulfs,
the candle of my heart..
that melted when,
the match was lit,
and tore the soul apart!
Right or wrong,
no thought did run,
when hunger ruled the roost..
satiate was all,
in mind had I,
my spirit it did boost.
The fruit was sour,
`twas sans love,
needed to turn it sweet..
lust and greed ,
tugged at the reins,
music sans its beat.
I marched to the tune,
of an arrhythmic song,
the words so unclear..
but dent it did,
and scar did leave,
on my soul a tear...!
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