My Grief

(Grieving for my mom who recently left for her heavenly abode and my father who left me 41 years ago)

Can my tears
Wash away my grief?
Can my makeup
Dim the heartache?
Can my bhajan
Lighten my heavy heart?
Can my short leave
Fill the void l feel?
Can my clothes
Act as balm to my troubled feelings?
Nothing will..
Only time will.
Even 41 years is too short
For the pangs of heartache
To heal.
The kind words of my friends will,
The chatter of the kids will
The patter of the raindrops will
The mundane housework will
The blessings of my Sai will.

Atithi Devo Bhava…… The three words conjure up an image of Aamir Khan extorting the guide/agent to be humanely Indian and treat the visitors from across the shores as our honorable guests. I had a most pleasant experience, an experience contrary to the pessimist image of our brethren that I had. We selected some destinations and made online bookings in government tourist houses and guest houses for our 21 day adventure. Unable to find a proper site for Mysore, I clicked on ‘government guest house’, little knowing it is the official guest house for, dignitaries or officials on govt. duty, who visited the city of palaces. Surprisingly I got a response to my query for accommodation advising me to send a request to the Deputy Commissioner of Mysore. Still unaware of the status of a govt. guest house, I was perplexed. Is it because of security reasons that the DC sanctions and screens the visitors to the palace city? I sent my request expressing the enthusiasm of a middle aged couple on a sortie to the wonderful land of lush green forests of aromatic sandalwood trees, the well kept palaces, the soothing Nilgiri hills with a vast expanse of tea gardens and the many gods and goddesses who shower their blessings on this tranquil city. I was in for shock to receive a call from the DC himself advising us to get in touch with his pa whose number he forwarded. Has the gentleman mistaken us for someone else? Why would a bureaucrat of his status call us? Brushing aside mundane thoughts we embarked on our dream vacation. This vacation myself and my better half planned to explore the four southern states. Accordingly we alighted on our trip through Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh., .finally reaching Bangalore. We had planned to stay Mysore for 2 days. After a whirlwind tour of the IT city we left for Mysore. As our train chugged to a halt at Mysore Junction, there were hundreds of questions I had in my heart. Alighting at the station we found a gleaming white govt. Ambassador car waiting for us. The driver approached us (how he knew was a question on which I did not ponder on too long) and informed us that he was from the DC’s office to receive us. Though apprehensive (coming as we were from the heart of crime land), but with little option at 10.00pm in a strange land, we sat in the car which he drove through the sleepy city to a huge building complex. This was the government guest house where we were booked in VIP room no. 2 – a truly VIP suite of 3 rooms; a drawing room with plush sofas, a dining room and a bedroom. Hubby and I exchanged glances. How much are they going to bill us? My better half promptly called up the person who had made the arrangements. Mr. X assured us that we were guests of the city, of the DC, had not to pay anything and to enjoy our stay. No, I am sure there has been some mistake. This time I called up ..Mr. X, you are mistaken- we are no VIP, not even govt. employees. We cannot possibly stay in this palatial place. We do not deserve it.. etc etc. Mr. X was adamant. You’re our guests, no ordinary people. Atithi Devo Bhava!! For the next two days we had a state car and driver who took us to all the places worth seeing in and around Mysore. Everywhere we went a word would be reach that we were guests of DC Sir and got a treatment which an ordinary person of a democratic country can only dream of. Truly it was a lifetime experience. One had heard of the hospitality of Mysore State and but to experience it was amazing. The silver lining to this whole episode was that the guests and the host did not meet face to face. The net and the telephone was our only means of contact- amazing isn’t it. It is true that there is still hope in these troubled times- hope for a better, hospitable, loving and caring India for our little ones

Faith will heal

I am too shocked to react.

She led a very sheltered life, pampered and loved by her husband. He married her convincing his mother that she was the one for him. He: tall, fair and from a regal family. She: beautiful, dark and dusky from an aristocratic family.

Together in happy matrimony they had four lovely children; two girls followed by two boys. Summer holidays meant visiting family and sojourns to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Mussouri, and finally to South India. At a tiny Tamilian hamlet called Bitrgunta she lost him for ever. It was a severe heart attack, the very first; in a first class compartment in a train. In a place where language was a barrier, emotions spoke louder. Strangers performed the last rites and handed over the hot ashes in a Dalda tin to her. The skies burst forth in tears but she remained stoic holding the young kids to her bosom.

Back to the city she metamorphosised into a working woman. Office and home was her ‘karmbhumi’ for the next 13 years. No longer was it a sheltered and pampered existence. Life was tough bringing up daughters in a world without the sheltering umbrella of a father or bringing up the boys without a daddy at home.

Years rolled by as the girls got married and moved to new cities in their new roles. She could now relax as the boys took up the responsibility of the hearth.

The children tried their best to fill in for her lost years, for the youth she did not have or the love that perished too soon. Who says time heals all? The wounds in the heart are too deep to be healed by time or tide. But life goes on.

It went on fine ……..till yesterday, the 23rd of December 2017.

There were hiccups in health with an appendix operation, cataract and removal of an eye due to infection, replaced pelvic girdle and fluctuating blood pressure which required hospitalisation. So much of pain…..bearing it all, facing it stoically. She came out of all a stronger shinier self.

Why oh why did the stroke hit her now? She never wanted to be laid in bed with others attending her. To one who was stronger than any one else I’ve known, who lived life on her terms, who, a widow at 38 years of age donned the role of a father and a mother, who fought with society if anyone pointed a finger at her brood, who was Durga incarnate.. this is not acceptable. Not for her. Have mercy dear God and listen to the prayers of a daughter for her Super Mom…Faith is a power stronger than the doctor’s verdict. He is sure to listen 🙏🏻


A woman passes through innumerable phases in one life.

As a daughter she is doted on , loved, pampered and treated as a princess. Father dotes on her especially if she is the first born. Life is all about movies with daddy dear, watching international matches in stadiums, picnics, family and friends get togethers when the girls would discuss anything and everything under the sun; be it the handsome Imran Khan or the chocolate hero Rishi Kapoor. There would be table tennis matches on the dining table, smuggling sweets from the cupboard, and jug full of Aam Ras, playing holi coyly with friends, reading  M and Bs , walking to school in the rain and unaware of any other existence she basks in that happiness. Suddenly  destiny pulls its strings and the little girl suddenly grows up. Her father, her hero, her God is taken away to a far away land from where there is no return. No longer is her life a cucoon in which she lived at will as she wished. The carefree days are suddenly past and gone for ever.

Life has taken a turn which life will itself teach how to deal with. Each step to be taken carefully, think of the neighbour’s reaction  to each action which would be scrutinised under a microscope. School changed to college and life again was bindaas. In an all girls college one needn’t think of what not to wear. Friends came closer and shared not only your tiffins but your deepest secrets and your dreams.  College over it was simple to decide what one wanted to be. The diva Lucy Gray… with high stilettos and mini skirts , she would be a secretary to a handsome boss.

Matrimony soon happened and what a contrast to the life she had led till date. To look after and care for a doting husband, be a bhabhi Sakhi to a caring brother in law was a new experience. Soon a beautiful baby entered her life. A bundle of joy who demanded all her attention and in return showered her with pure,sublime love. Duties and priorities changed. Motherhood dominated over being a wife or a daughter. Soon another tug at motherhood with the arrival of a baby boy. Experience and life’s lessons made the transition to this phase a lot easier.

The little princess in her own house grew up to a beautiful young woman and was soon a wife to a prince from far away land. It is now that  she realised that her daughter had become so close to her. The tugs of the umbilical cord hurt like never before. But her happiness gave satisfaction and peace to her. The princess gave a gift of two adorable grandchildren….through whom she relived the childhood of her own children. Soon the other one too flew the nest. In the empty nest life revolved around the activities of the kids who had grown wings and no longer needed the comfort of the nest.

Then entered a lovely girl in the life of her son. A girl who became the centre and focus of all his attention. A person with whom he could share and weave dreams. She felt a tinge of jealousy to share what had been hers till now. They married and the pain grew. When she visited him next was when she learnt that to let go is to grow and to be happy. This lovely girl has taken over so beautifully where she let go. A girl with a glowing heart and a firm head on her shoulders; she was the ideal companion to him.

Now a new horizon beckons her. To live life on her terms , do what makes her happy, laugh when she makes a mistake, learn from it and move on. No longer to feel scared  to experiment and make mistakes. Laugh at herself , stretch her wings, explore new horizons and A new chapter begins…..

A page from a mom’s diary,,,,

A page from a mom’s diary…

My beautiful little baby girl! I wonder how you are today. My due date is 8th November 2013, but Dr Robson; my obstetrician has planned 30th October 2013 to put you in my arms. But Arianna dear, you had other plans. On 25th October, I felt no movement. Are you sleeping little one or have some other plans up your little sleave? I had orange juice which gives you a surge of energy to wake you up….no avail. I had a cup of hot coffee ..again no avail. So mom and daddy dear decided to go to John James around 4 pm and have you monitored. Hope all is well with my little one. The midwife hooked me to the machine, to check your heartbeat contractions and movements. At that time, you dear Arianna had good heartbeat but constant Braxton Hicks were sure there.

So back home, though I was still not in the best of spirits.  The divine grace is sure on us. Besides mom knows better than all the MBBS, MS MD degrees etc. So following the motherly instincts, we decided to go back to the hospital at 11pm. Telling Nini and Nanu that I will be back soon, we again proceeded to the hospital. And it sure was an excellent decision. This time when the midwife hooked me to the machine to monitor, your heartbeat dipped with each contraction (fake).Seeing your distress; the midwife immediately got in touch with Dr Robson. And then started a methodical flurry of activity. Within half an hour, the doctor, anaesthetic, nurses, helpers and dad all got ready for the operation. No time to think anything. I prayed for your wellbeing.

As soon as I was opened up, I heard Dr Robson exclaim! He picked you up from a bed of blood and handed you to the paediatrician. You had blood in your nose ears etc besides being swathed in blood. It seems the placenta had ruptured and there was almost a litre of blood clotted inside. By the grace of God, you were fine and came into my arms at 1:33am. Nani and Dadi had just reached the hospital with Momo. I hugged you, my little bundle of joy who will be mom’s bestest friend in the whole wide world. Love you my baby!

Thank you!

After a long enjoyable and successful tenure as a facilitator; for that is what a glam teacher is called today, I sit back and relax and recount those lovely years. Am humbled by the thought that thousands of my students let me be a part of their lives and let me leave an imprint on them.

The words…ma’am, ma’am…still echo and want me to reach out to the voice. The tears of the students and the thoughts of my colleagues in farewell speech are the rich dividends I have accumulated over the years. I cannot barter this with any other treasure of the world.

Thank you dear students for enriching my life and giving me a lifetime of experience which I will share with others. Thank you dear friends for a lifetime of experiences which I will cherish forever. Thank you for giving me your shoulder to lean on when I needed, your patient hearing when I rambled about how unfair life was, your happy laughter sharing my silly jokes et all.

Thank you dear life for this opportunity which very few are fortunate to get.