Archive for August, 2010

Its funny,you know, when you encounter something when you least expect it. Specially if it is something or someone from the past .And more so if the last parting was not really on amicable terms. How would one, then handle such a situation?Does one simply jump to the last memory and carry forward from there, or erase the past and try to make a fresh beginning? What if you are not really the concerned party here. You were just an observer of two parties, one of whom was close to you. How would you then react to the other person when you meet him/her after a long time?

I encountered such a scene today. And I don’t know what has peeved me more. The memories of what could have been, or my hiding-under-the-sand act.

Okay, to give you the background first.

A long time back, maybe close to 8-9 years back, my brother was in love with his colleague, called H. She was cute as a button,chubby,short and everything that my brother was not (read, model of patience ūüôā ) . They made a cute pair, he all dark and slim, she , short and cuddly ūüėÄ .

Whenever she used to visit us, she would never come empty-handed, always making sure that she brought goodies for me and Bags. Parents were in Kolkata¬†those days. When they came to know about the ‘affair’, they immediately swooped down on Pune and tried to set matters straight. Which means, they discussed at length about the seriousness of the relationship and whether Bro and H were sincerely keen on getting hitched up. Once convinced that they were, dad and mom set up an appointment with H’s parents.

The meeting didn’t go well. Hell, it went horribly for both Bro and H. Dad had no idea that H’s parents were so vehemently against the proposal. They didn’t want anything to do with a muslim family. Dad tried reasoning with them, but the last straw that broke the camel’s back was when H’s mother fell at Dad’s feet and asked him to ‘release’ her daughter.That was it!! Dad was embarrassed¬†and humiliated. He quietly bid them good-bye¬†and walked out. Bro followed him. The parents didn’t say anything much after¬†that. A couple of days later, they left for Kolkata. Obviously, they were also hurting, though they had given it their best shot. Before leaving, Dad just told brother to take a decision wisely and think about the repercussions of his actions.

Bro met up with H and after hours of careful consideration, decided to part ways. She, because she couldn’t get married without her parents approval. And Bro, because he didn’t think it was brave to marry a girl against her parent’s wishes. For months and years after that, Bro was moody, irritable and angry. What he shared with H was precious. She anchored him. And without her , he felt quite lost.

But luckily, by late 2004, he got married to Bhabhi,who more or less made up for all his loss. I can confidently say that now she¬†is his anchor. The keeper of his secrets, well aware of H and Bro’s feelings for her. Bhabhi is now Bro’s best friend and confidant and it pleases the eye to see them both together ūüôā .

And this morning, after  8 long years, I saw H. She looked just the same, except maybe a little more chubby on the face. She also looked weary and tired. I was in the auto, at a signal, and she was on her bike, right next to me. It was a long wait. I could have easily reached out and said hello.

I didn’t.

I didn’t because I wasn’t sure what reaction my presence would bring out. Would she feel happy to see me?? Would she suddenly remember Bro and feel sad? Was she married?? If not, who’s to blame? What if she is? Is she happy?? I cowered behind all those questions and hid my face in my scarf. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to her just then. Because what we had to talk about would take more time than a 2-minute signal.

I also had this deep pang of regret in my heart. It doesn’t help to know that not all love stories have a happy ending. Sometimes, people move on, sometimes they don’t.

But it would be awful to actually lose someone you love, don’t you think so??

All I can say is, I’m mighty grateful to Allah that me and the BF did not suffer this fate.
And I also pray that H is very happily settled. That she has a loving husband who dotes on her, and maybe a couple of kids to bring sunshine in her life. She is a gem of a person and deserves the best in life. Ameen.

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The last few days have been awful. No, make that¬†a capital ‘A-W-F-U-L’.

The BF was ill since the entire last week. By last Wednesday, the twins had developed a mild cold and cough. We started home remedies for them, and by thursday morning, it looked a little better. Thursday night, after coming back from work, I was exhausted beyond words. I put it down to the hectic work at office and the less than required sleep I was getting (2 hours at a stretch , out of 24 hrs).

Friday morning, since the kids were still coughing, we decided to take them to their pediatrician. While waiting there for her, I started feeling more than exhausted. There was a slight burning sensation in the eyes and I felt a bone deep ache all over. Without a doubt I was coming down with a fever!! It was getting difficult waiting for the doctor to come (she was held up in some emergency) and the twins were becoming irritable. Luckily, just when I was about to call it quits and go home, she arrived. A quick check up of the kids confirmed that they had throat infection. We quickly bought the medicines and headed home. I’d earlier called up my colleagues to tell them that I’ll be coming in late. But by the time we reached home, I felt so faint with fever that I simply collapsed on the bed. The BF administered the medicine to the twins and handed them over to the GMIL.

The whole of Saturday was spent¬†in the same way,with me lying feverish on the bed and the family looking after the twins. Since by Saturday night, their cough wasn’t much better, we decided to take them to the doctor on Sunday. Once again, it was a long wait. There were plenty of other patients before us and it was close to 3 hrs before the doctor could attend to us. By then, I was once again under the throes of a high fever and could barely handle the twins who were getting irritable, cooped up in the waiting room. The BF had gone to get some blood tests done for his continuous throat problem. Once we got back, I immediately crawled into bed and shivered under the covers. The BF was kind enough to make sure I had my medicine before I went off to sleep.

From Friday, till Sunday night, I’ve been having¬†fever on and off. The MIL and GMIL¬†were annoyed with me for not visiting a doctor and getting some medicines. And I didn’t have the energy to tell them that this particular fever is a result of exhaustion and sleep-deprivation and nothing else. I just needed sleep desperately and nature took it into its hands to make sure I slept as much as possible ūüôā

Luckily, I feel much better today. I’ve even come in to office, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to last through the day!

One thing I’ve learnt in this last week, is the importance of¬†family. Of living with a support group so strong, you needn’t give a thought about your children’s wellbeing while being bedridden yourself!

The GMIL¬†and MIL made sure the twins were fed¬†and looked after while I tried my best to recover. They had a tough time keeping the twins away from me, since in their illness, they were crankier than usual and howled for their mamma all the time!! And it bewildered them to see that their mom was home, but wasn’t spending time with them, wasn’t carrying them around, wasn’t fussing over them ūüė¶

I don’t know what I would have done if I was living alone with the BF and the kids. Most probably, we could have called in a full-time nurse to tend to the twins, but then, would it have given me the satisfaction of¬†knowing that the kids are being cared for by loving hands? I doubt it ūüėź

¬†The twins, who are extra irritable these days, shy away from strangers. Only members of the family are able to handle them, specially the BIL. He’s very good with them,entertaining them and making sure they stop whining and crying. The FIL is always ready to take up responsibility of the kids when required.

If it wasn’t for the gentle support of this family, I’m sure I’d have been bed-ridden much longer. But I’m up and about, I’ve had my rest and am raring to go.

We are all much better now, the BF and me are back to work, the twins no longer have a fever and things are slowly coming back to normal.

All I can say is that, whatever little regret I ever had, of not having a chance¬†to stay alone with the BF post marriage, was wiped¬†out with this one instance. I didn’t realize how much dependent I was on them these last few days. And they came out toppers!! All of them ūüôā

Thanks Everyone back home!!

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This one’s for nostalgia. For memories best NOT remembered. But it helps to face those demons once in a while. To get a reality check. And also, to thank the Almighty that we were not infected much with that virus.

In case you think I’m rambling, please stop.Halt.Desist.Retreat.

This post is best suited to people born before 1980, though I feel a few of you born till 1985 would be aware of the calamity I’m talking about.

For the record, I talk about the period in Indian Film industry, which stood between Rajendra Chaturvedi and Saroj Khan. The gap between a Habib Mirza and a Manish Malhotra.


I talk about the outfits and dance sequences of films in the late eighties and early nineties.

When there didn’t exist a ‘stylist’ or even a ‘dress designer’. Instead, we¬†had ‘costume’ designers. And as the word aptly says, the outfits were costumes, best suited for theatrical appearances. And since Cinema was an extension of theatre, the producers felt no harm in mirroring those outfits for 70 mm.

As for the dance….err…the less said, the better ūüôā

Anyhow, there are loads of articles on the same on the net. And I don’t want to be¬†another critic/reviewer of those styles. But I do want to be¬†the one to share with you these priceless gems . Please take out some time and view these. You may either feel enthralled at how these people got away with it, or you can shudder and turn away, relieved that you don’t have any such ‘demons’ hiding in your closet. Or do you??

Hehe. Just kidding ūüėÄ .

Check these out (to better absorb the outfits and dance, please set the video on mute. Let not the music interfere with your visual senses) :-

1) Sridevi-Jeetendra : Competing with each other!

Where do I start??  From the extreme match-much in the blue to the bird-wings-tiara-red-gold to the canary-yellow-monstrosity, what were these people smoking?? Who paid money for these creations? And WHY??

Was Sridevi sleeping when they asked her for a trial. Or was she just blinded by all that colour and glitter??

And coming to the choreography……hmmm….that particular step at¬†01:27¬† (and again later towards the end of the video) must not have been easy. Hell, by the looks of it, it’s not¬†even a ‘dance’ step. What made the dance¬†director incorporate it in this song? If it wasn’t the steps, it’s the¬†awful synchronizing¬†that eats at me. Even S and J are not able to match steps with each other. S definitely looks as though her skirt will rip off any minute if she tries to match steps with J (who, not surprisingly, jumps with much gusto!!)

Help me people, I’m at a total loss here ūüė¶

BTW, kudos to S and J for actually looking happy performing that feat. That, my friends, is called ‘acting’ !!

2) Jaya Prada : Secrets in her cupboard

First, just ignore the caped crusader in the beginning. I have NO idea why he’s dressed like that, when its clear he’s reminiscing about frolicking on the beach with his lady-love. Dressed up for dreaming, I guess.

Coming to Jaya Prada……Aaarghh…. to think I actually liked her at one time. What was I smoking?!! That silvery, castle-tower on her head takes the cake. The faux-middle-eastern setting/clothing clashes oh-so-bad with the pseudo bharatnatyam¬†dance!! They tried for fusion I guess, but ended up with a horrible, horrible mish-mash of unpalatable, squishy,semi-not-erotic number. Dont even get me started on the banjara look !!

3) Kimi¬†katkar:Am glad we have no idea where you are ūüėź

Warning: Jewel-coloured-tight-shalwar-kameez-with-boots-frizzy-hair-puffed-full-sleeves-brocade-dupatta-alert.

Ahh…I see you took a peep. C’mon, confess. Confess that you were as stunned as I was at the entire ensemble. Govinda, we can ignore for now. He was (is) never known for being well dressed.

As for Kimi……kimi, kimi, what’s up with those outfits? Tell me frankly, you hate it, dont¬†you? You were just a newbie in the industry and didn’t have much of a say, isn’t it?ISN’T IT?? If the purple one wasn’t fugly enough, you exchanged it for a pink one. Of the same design. And possibly same material. WHY?? Thankfully, the boots were missing this time!!

Coming to the dance people, do pay special attention to 00:25 and 02:00. What is it?? What is the idea behind those moves? And who am I kidding here? Hell. Watch the whole video and then wonder what the song was about.

I’m surprised there weren’t rounds of protests and demonstrations when these movies got released. I’m surprised these were accepted and *shudder* copied.

But for now, if my kids ever get hold of these movies and ask about them, I’ll simply lie about my age say I wasn’t around when this catastrophe occured. That’ll prevent me from being ridiculed (or so I pray ūüėź )

On second thoughts, any idea where I can grab my copy of that blue dress Sri wears in the first video?? Its kinda captivating, you know, in a faux-royalty kind of way,not that I know any royalty who wears a blue hat, blue dress, blue bracelets, blue leggings and blue shoes. Or for that matter, anyone who wears blue like that.

Or maybe, I do ūüė¶

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Visual Deception

I’m not a fan of film magazines (okay, maybe except those times when I love LOL on reading some headlines ūüėÄ ) . But it doesn’t mean I don’t catch up on the little bit of gossip printed in our daily newspapers ūüėÄ

Its fun, its stupid and it gives me a reason to thank God for not making me suffer that fate.

But one thing always irked me. The fact that the starlets looked so good!! I mean, just look at them!! Some of them, though years older than me, could easily pass off as half¬†my age. Flawless skin, tamed mane, curves to die for and looks to kill. Jeez. How I burn with envy when I see them and then see my pockmarked face, wayward hair, cellulite deposits and pregnancy scars (although, since these scars aren’t on display, they are less of a worry ūüėÄ ).

And then,I found reprieve from my agony. I found a site that exposes the truth behind the beauty. I say guys, I wept with joy to see Mariah Carey bearing the cellulite at par with me. I gushed over snaps of Lindsay Lohan with bad, bad skin. I gloated over the fat calves of Rachel Weisz.

I tell you, what these photoshopping guys achieve , is pure genius. I can only marvel at the deft way they make the aged Madonna look stunning, or make a flat-chested Keira Knightly look busty !! Installing photoshop on my laptop is a high priority task right now. Let me just set a reminder for it .

*setting reminder*

*aaaaand, am back*

And oh, if you think those photoshopped images were excellent, see what happens when the geeks behind the comps get too serious about their job. I’m surprised the editors even allowed these snaps to be published. That too, as a front cover ūüėÄ .

I’ve been hunting¬†for photoshopped images of our Indian celebrities, but no luck so far. Except for this one of Rekha’s, which is so obviously touched up and not too favourably at that!! Poor Madam Re. Wonder how she felt on seeing that teeny-weeny waist ūüėÄ !!

Anyhow, I’ve had my share of laughs this morning. Time to share it with you guys ūüôā .

*Hitting publish*

Edited to Add :

I'm bad at proof-reading. The eager-beaver in me wants to hit the publish button as soon as I type out the last letter.

But once in a while, the post is proof-read , and then posted.

Even then, bloopers happen. Like today.

I wrote "celluloid" instead of "cellulite" and yet, not one of you pointed it out.Wordpress, of course , trusted my judgement on that word!! (Thanks WP. You make me edge closer to finally buying that space. But, wait. Not yet :D . We have people to take care of first)

*wagging finger*

Bad, bad readers. All of you get a minus score on the reader front!!

Makes me almost want to insert bloopers, just to see if you guys really do read my posts :D (hmm....come to think of it, not a bad idea...hmmm)

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The bug is in the air

It’s the season of illness. Of malaria , dengue and swine flu. And the omnipresent flu-for-no-reason-and-all-seasons.

The BF is severely ill. So are the twins. The FIL¬†was ill last week. GMIL started coughing this morning. I’ve developed a mild itch in my throat (a precursor to cough, I guess).

I’m SICK of this depressing air.

I’m SICK of feeling down and low.

I’m SICK of being sleepless for a week now!!

Silver lining in my awfully black cloud is that, parents are in town. It was such a relief to see them!! Dad’s returning to B’lore today (:( ) , but mom will be around for some more time. She too, is under a black cloud, still shocked at the demise of her sister-in-law. She’s staying with her brother, but I hope she comes over and spends some time with me too.

Work is hectic these days, hoping for some reprieve in a couple of week’s time, after which, I’m taking a break and going to B’lore.

PS: So looking forward to happier, healthier times ahead ūüėź !!!

PPS : Hoping for some happier blog-posts too. I wonder you guys aren’t sick yourself, reading my depressing and morose posts recently!!

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Funny, isn’t it?

I mean, I would have found it a wee bit funny if it was printed as a headline in a newspaper or a magazine.

But it wasn’t. And its funny in the least.

My aunt, a qualified , practising doctor, died of Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TENS)  ,also called as a severe form of Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

I’ve provided a link which does not have any images with it. Because they are too gory to watch. And it doesn’t help for me to recollect that my aunt looked far worse than what these images show.

The magnitude¬†of her suffering, till the end was too painful to even express. And it’s heart-wrenching¬†to realize the amount of pain she must have¬†borne. She, being a tough woman herself, gave a good fight. And there were sparks of her getting well, like the day before her death, she was coherent, craving for some coffee and juice. Her agony was multiplied fourfold because she couldn’t believe that she,a¬† doctor, could cause herself such misery. Till the time she could speak, she kept complaining that she must have lost her doctor’s touch if she could cause such damage to herself.

For the record, my aunt was suffering from malaria. She was undergoing treatment from her family doctor, a certain Dr.G. Now, we have a very adverse opinion of Dr.G ,because till date, all the patients in my family who’ve been treated under him, have suffered. But the aunt looked up to him a lot. He was her mentor and guide. So when he suggested that she take Tamilfu pills in addition to her malaria pills for “added protection”, my aunt didn’t think twice. My cousins procured the pills for her and the rest, as they say, is history.

The doctor is currently¬†absconding. No one knows where he is. I’m sure he’s hiding behind a rock somewhere, certain that we’ll be slapping him with a lawsuit, which he deserves. But my uncle is not bothered. He says no amount of lawsuit will bring back his wife . It was their fate and they’ll have to bear the consequences of their wrong judgement. After all, my aunt herself took the medication. Being a doctor, she should have realized that mixing strong doses of different medications is not good for the body. Alas, there are too many “what ifs..” going about, but none of them is of any use now. What is done¬†is done.

The weekend was traumatic. We’ve been through a bad loss. My uncle’s still in denial mode, not venting his grief, but rather laughing and joking loudly, his voice boisterous as though nothing has happened. As if he’s still thinking that its a big joke and my aunt would one day magically come back ūüė¶ . We can only look at him and mourn . There is nothing we can do here, other than wait for time to do its healing act.

My cousins are faring much better. The elder one has taken up the reins of the family . He made¬†sure things moved smoothly, from handling the hospital formalities to arranging the funeral to the post-funeral rituals. He’s standing strong and its a relief to see that his father and younger brother derive strength from him. I’m sure his mom would have been so proud of him.

I’d like to thank you all sincerely¬†for your prayers and wishes. Though it may not bring back my aunt, it will at least put her soul at rest.

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It’s the season of bad news.

Too many deaths in too short a time. I don’t know why this sudden wave of bad news has hit me recently. It’s not¬†just relatives, but even people I know, some personally,¬†the others¬†virtually.

I don’t know whether to regret the loss of youth when I hear about a youngster passing away, or rue the loss of wisdom and blessings when it is an elder.

I don’t know whether to mourn the loss or be glad that they touched our lives.

Right now, my aunt is battling for her life. A simple toxic reaction to Tamilfu is threatening to snuff out her life. She’s been fighting it valiantly, but the doctors say she is too weak now. We aren’t allowed anywhere near her since she’s in isolation. He skin has peeled off entirely and she is under the risk of septicaemia.

Please pray for her. And for my mamu, who hasn’t left the hospital for the last few days. For my cousins who are too young to lose their mom, but old enough to understand the loss. For everyone in the family, who waits with bated breath, hoping for that one miracle which will turn the tables. It is the month of Ramzan. We are hoping for a miracle. Please make it happen. Please pray for her.


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All in a Day’s Work!!

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The twins are mere midgets¬†now, showering their love unconditionally and demanding the same in return. Life is full of hugs and kisses and mushy cuddles¬†ūüôā .¬†Which we are thankful for. The only thing that worries me is that it wouldn’t be long before they wriggle out of our grasp and squirm when we try to kiss them. That they will avoid their best to be in our company and roll their eyes when we say something for their good. That they will think their parents are the dumbest of the lot!! That some day, our kids might label us as “uncool”.¬† *Shudder*.

So we try and absorb all the love that comes in freely now. Without asking, without demanding. The twins have grown rather possessive of their momma ,who does a rather silly preening act when they hold her tight and claim that she’s theirs ūüėÄ . Awww munchkins, who else would I rather belong to?!!

Anyhow, while on trying our best NOT to be uncool, I can’t help, but recollect instances of my parents bringing us up. Which doesn’t strictly mean instances where they disciplined us, but rather, just slices of their life and how exactly I’ve come to believe that my parents rock big time in the ‘coolth’ department ūüôā

Check these out :-


1) Dad was posted¬†as the CWO¬†(Commanding Works Officer) in Dehradun. We were regular visitors to the DSOI¬†(officer’s club) every weekend. In those days, we owned a Fiat (Premier Padmini) , which technically ran only on sheer will power and not petrol (as is the case¬†with the current brand of cars). Anyhow, we used to get dressed to the nines, pile into the car, dad would insert the key in the ignition, and after the car gave a few failed spurts and chokes, we would pile out again , take position¬†and push hard. Now, I’ll tell you one thing about the Fiat of days gone by. Those machines were made¬†of metal. Heavy metal. No fancy fibre and stuff. Just hardcode¬†metal which weighed a ton. I realized this much later¬†when I got a chance to push Dad’s Maruti¬†Zen and the Maruti 800 before that. These new cars were so light, almost easy to push them single-handedly. Whereas, the Fiat required all the force we three sisters could exert.

So we hiked up our skirt, positioned our stillettoed feet, placed our hands on the dicky and grunted totally unladylike while pushing . There were lucky days when the car would start (albeit with a few jerks) within a few feet of pushing. And then, there were days when it took us close to 500 metres to get that heap of metal to respond!! Aah!! Joyful, it was NOT!!

But that’s not all. While leaving the house, we were lucky that the pushing took place within the driveway of our Bungalow compound. So no one could see us and cause us misery and humiliation.

But, it was a different story when returning from the party.

There would be other people in the parking lot. We would bid everyone good-bye , pile into the car and start praying fervently that it start. But it wouldn’t. So it was back to spilling out, hiking skirt, positioning feet,placing hands and shoving hard.

So much for dignity ūüėź

When a couple of officers offered help by way of shove, Dad would politely decline them. He would say that his daughters are no less than boys and he would expect nothing less of us than to pitch in when faced with trouble. The poor officer would step back politely and we would resume pushing, with a fake smile on our face, unsure whether to take pride in what dad had said or resent him for refusing to part with that rusting-pile-of-heavy-element-masquerading-as-car !!

Looking back, I realized two things. He made us independent and responsible and not some simpering damsels in distress who look to other people for help. And secondly, we gotta cherish and look after things which are old. Not all old things are useless and have to be sent to the scrap dealers.

And oh, he finally donated the car to an orphanage. He couldn’t come to terms with selling it!! It was his first car, after all ūüôā

PS: the Brother was in Bangalore in those days and was of no help whatsoever ūüė¶

2) While travelling in the same Fiat , mom would often chide Dad if he stepped up the accelerator. For her, even 30 on the speedometer was “speeding”. Dad used to have a tough time arguing with her and we three would simply tune out, gaze outside or start chattering among ourselves. It was understood that the parents would still be arguing on the speed even after we reached our destination.

Anyway, one such day on MG Road, Pune, Dad was cruising along, when suddenly this auto-rickshaw guy creeped up besides him and yelled into his window,”bageeche¬†mein¬†chala¬†rahe¬†ho kya?”

Without missing a beat, dad replies,”Mujhpar¬†mat chilla-o. Yeh madam ko bolo. Inko¬†tees ki speed bhi¬†zyada¬†lag rahi¬†hai“.

Without missing a beat, mom retorts to the auto driver,”Problem kya¬†hai? Overtake karna¬†nahin¬†aata¬†kya?”

Poor auto guy just looked flummoxed and sped away as fast as his auto could take him.

Meanwhile, obviously, we three sisters were doubled up with laughter!!

3) Once, when I was about 11 years old, I walked into the kitchen to find my parents locked in a tight embrace, with dad just bending down to kiss mom. I was shocked!! For Gosh’s sake!! We are Indians!! Our parents don’t touch each other, let alone kiss!! We all knew where babies came from! They were the outcome of two roses,sunflowers or¬†dahlias getting cozy and then the mother returning from the hospital carrying the baby. Surely our dad had NO role to play here!!

But here he was, cozying up to mom the way the roses had done in “Aan¬†Milo Sajnaa“. Not done, I tell you.

So I stood there gaping at them. Mom flushed a deep pink and tried to get away from dad. But he held her tight. Turning to me , he said,”If you don’t mind, I want to kiss my wife. I don’t need your permission for it. And oh, for the record, she was my wife before she became your mom. So beat it”.

Beat it, I did. Totally appalled at the blatant breach of morals!!

But down the years, when I see dad come home and randomly pull out ¬†a single rose for mom, proclaiming his love for her, even¬† after all these years, I’m all misty eyed ūüôā .

I don’t see any harm in expressing love. It comes naturally to my parents and I would like my kids to also realize that their parents have their own personal life too. Surprisingly, none of my friends have ever seen their parents get cozy or even the least bit intimate. More’s the pity!!

4) There was a time when I was living alone in Pune. Bags was in Gurgaon, Aapa¬†in Dubai. Bro was in B’lore with parents, but was awfully busy with work. Dad had taken up a plethora of activities post retirement and seemed to spend most of his time away from home.

Mom used to rant at us that Dad isn’t paying her any attention, he’s immersing himself into a zillion activities and try as she might, she’s unable get interested in those herself! Oh well, there wasn’t much we could do other than tell her to start her own activities. She hummed and hawed and said she’ll see.

So what does my then 55-year-old, middle-class  mother do?

(Well, what do such ladies do anyway??)

My mom had her head shaved.Yup, she got rid of her shoulder length, thick hair. Not just trimmed, but shaved away!!!

And that, got Dad’s attention. And how?!!!

He was flabbergasted at seeing her. And my mom, cool as a cucumber says, “If only you’d paid attention, this wouldn’t have happened!!”

Dad made sure never to ignore mom after that.

And Oh, when Mom came over to Pune shortly after the shaving episode, I swear she stunned everyone here too. My cousins promptly declared her the coolest person ever and begged mom to retain¬†the look. Even I was impressed. And jealous!! She had no right to look so cool and amazing even without hair ūüė¶¬† (and here I was , mourning the loss of each hair that left my scalp, never to return!!)

5) Army wives have this habit of dressing up their living rooms with trivia, show-pieces, driftwood and the singular piece of embroidered Horse, mounted as a frame (you won’t believe the number of houses which display The Horse. It almost has a standing of its own!!).

A long time back, maybe sometime in 1985-86, mom made our Orderly-bhaiyya¬†(The guy assigned to assist¬†Dad)¬†to run out to the main road to collect the shattered glass pieces of an accident that had taken place there the previous night. The advantage of those shattered glass crystals was that they generally didn’t have sharp edges. The orderly-bhaiyya¬†collected as much as he could. Mom then washed those crystals with Nirma¬†, dried them and then filled a glass vase containing some dry-arrangement thingies with these crystals. The over-all look was beautiful!! Those glass crystals stayed with us all these years, although their quantity kept depleting, what with bratty officer’s-kids stealing fistfuls and throwing them around!!

Recently, when I was in B’lore¬†(before my wedding, so make that 4 years back ūüėÄ ) , me, mom and dad were returning from a big dinner party from RSI (MG Road, B’lore). On one of the by-lanes leading to our home, mom noticed the remains of a recent accident. There was a large pile of shattered glass lying on the road. Since it was close to mid-night, there wasn’t a soul around. Mom suggested that we pick the glass since the stock at home was over. I protested vehemently, but surprisingly, dad seconded mom. He said it would hardly¬†take a minute if all three of us pitched in. So very reluctantly, I piled out with them. Mom fished out a plastic bag from her purse (I have the same habit of carrying my own plastic bags¬†now!!) and we three squatted down to collect the glass.

Half-way through, a police patrol bike came up and the two policemen astride were stunned to see three well dressed people huddled up on the road. They couldn’t see what we were up to, but surely, that looked even more suspicious!! One of them called out to us and asked us what we were up to!!¬† Dad had this mortified look on his face. He turned beet red, stood up slowly, cleared his cravat-covered throat and in his best Kannada, explained that he was helping his wife collect broken glass.

It didn’t make any sense to the policemen. Why would a middle-age lady, dressed in Kanjeevaram¬†silk, stoop to collect glass pieces off the road? They just gaped at us, expecting more. Mom quietly got up and with a dignified nod of her head, declared that we were done. She apologised to the policemen¬† (in chaste urdu) for holding them up and walked calmly till the car. Dad quickly followed. And the only reason I tagged last, was because I couldn’t get my eyes off the policemen’s face.

I’m sure they thought us a quirky family, the kinds who own a high-end car, dress impeccably and then huddle in the middle of the road collecting glass pieces ūüėÄ

I wish I had a camera to click the expression those policemen had!!

Even while leaving, I turned back and saw that they were still rooted to the spot, wondering if they were dreaming or people like us do exist ūüėÄ


¬†Looking back now, I realize my parents really¬† are the epitome of “cool”. They let us choose our own field of education or work, even let me make my own choice in the matter of marriage. They were never patronizing or the kinds who imposed their will on us. They were just themselves and gave us a choice of being either ourselves or being what others wanted us to be. Luckily, we take after them.

And I seriously hope that down the years, I give my kids enough chance to think positively about their mom too. And also their dad. Even if he feels that kids should stick to the flowers-give-babies theory ūüėÄ .

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…and by this, I mean, this soul-wrenching letter that a young girl wrote for her adopted daughter to read when she (the daughter) grows up.

A letter that expresses exactly what I would want to say to my daughter. A letter that encompasses so much,but at no point gets preachy. A letter, which I will save, because it expresses so much that I myself cannot.

The writer of this letter is no more. She died of Dengue on 11th August.

Too young to die ūüė¶

But if you go through her blog, its hard to miss her positive vibes emanating from each post. The zest for life, the sheer optimistic attitude towards it.

Do go through it.

And also, do send in your prayers for her soul.

It’s the¬†season of bad news , I know, but even in this tragedy, you will marvel over the¬†way this young girl¬†writes on her life, friends and family and also the world as she sees it.

May God give Tejaswee Rao eternal peace and her parents  (mom, IHM) the strength to go through it.

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