Friday, November 10, 2017

A Man of Wisdom with a Heart of Gold

“Life has many shades, good bad and the best”, you have left me these words and some very worthy knowledge. What I know of life today, you have a big role to play in it. You were not only an impeccable teacher but a divine soul who left us way too early. Dr. Andries du Plessis I am taking the liberty to write about you here.

Cheers to life!

It was my first day at the university in New Zealand. Like all other international students, I was a lot happy a little confused! It was a big day in my life, I was 12,000 km away from home, I had always dreamt of this day and finally, I was living it. And from a distance, I could see a human figure about 6 ft. tall, silver hair and very well dressed. Little did I know you were going to be my professor soon.

So our first interaction was such, I knew I would learn a great deal from you. Soon you became a friend, philosopher and a guide to me. Whether it was about the assignments or talking to you about missing my parents, you always had something wise to add to my story. Professor, you were like this encyclopedia of life, I only had to ask you a question and you were always ready with the answers.

I distinctly remember the day, when I was marked for the first assignment I had handed over to you. You had 5 assignments on the table and the rest in your signature style briefcase. When asked about why those 5 assignments are on the table, you replied very casually, “oh these people have failed”. And I prayed hard for not to be in those 5, unfortunately when you started distributing those assignments I was the second one to receive it.

 I was so shattered and ashamed of myself for failing the test. I just did not want to open the pages and then you spoke again, “don’t you want to see how you have performed”? I turned to the last page and saw your remarks. “Excellent, well done”, was what you had scribbled in a handwriting only you could read.

That was the day when you taught me to excel and never to look back. You have been a guiding light to many others like me. I am sure today a lot of your students are sad for we all know what a loss it is. Your absence will be hard felt, Andries. The only solace I have is, you are in a better place.

May you rest in peace. You will never be forgotten.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


My mother brought me to this world after struggling for nearly 8 and half months. But the first person who held me was my Maasi, (my mother’s younger sister). The word Maasi (Maa jaisi) in Hindi quite literally means, “One who is like your mother.”  I obviously don’t remember my first day on this earth, but I have been told so much about it by my Aunts… Yes you got that right, plural, Aunts because they are twins.  So coming back to day 1, they say I had long black hair; I was looking at everything and everyone around, with my eyes wide open and wasn’t crying at all like a new born usually does.

My Aunts Manju Aunty and Premi Aunty, that’s what I call them fondly, are the best ever people I have met in my life. They have been the friends that have played with as a kid, loved unconditionally, pampered and spoilt rotten. There are a lot of memories that are associated with them. A lot of stories to tell. I cannot fathom my life without the two of them. Stories…. I wonder where do I even begin from, well I will start with Manju Aunty. I was four years old I guess, one fine summer afternoon, and sun shining bright outside. So me and my cousin Pinky, who was two then were supposed to be inside the house. But me being me wanted to go out and play (yes that’s right! Play in the scorching sun). So I was being stubborn and started throwing tantrums. She obviously had to be strict with me; I got punished for not obeying. My punishment was to stand against the wall and stare endlessly. I stood right there for hours as Manju Aunty forget to tell me let go. I must have stood there the whole day without complaining. Manju Aunty then realized she had forgotten that I was punished. I remember vaguely but she came upto me and hugged me tight. I have never been punished by her since then, infact I know I am still her favorite (Sorry Vicky, that’s the truth….). Aunts have a unique way of showing love, so she made a cabinet and painted it all by herself and put up stickers of all my favorite cartoon characters. My love towards her is such, that I still have the cabinet. 28 years and it is still going strong.

Nine year old, leader of the destructive gang. There were 7 of us playing in the playground, when we found some fire crackers. Well the leader of the gang ordered the others to bring the crackers to her (I am talking about me). We had to light it up, but how? So I told one of the boys to get match sticks from his place. In no time, we had a pack of match sticks, so now the only thing remained to do was to light up the fire cracker. Ofcourse I had never done that and little did I know what was in store for me. I lit it up and before I could know, it burst in my hand. I was severely injured. My right hand was burnt, so were my eyebrows and eyelashes. My Cousin sister Pinky, who was my partner in crime, practically saved me, pulling me by my hair. We ran in the house, was a Saturday afternoon, so Premi Aunty was home. She saw me and then my sister and before I could understand anything, she put my hand in the cold water. She actually saved my hand, the burns were pretty severe. I knew my Father was going to be really upset, so was he. But I was glad that my hand was still usable. Since Premi Aunty was in close proximity with me she could smell the gun powder for days on her. But I am sure she didn’t bother about any of it.

These are just the two stories I have shared here today, but the love I have been showered on with by the two of them cannot be compared to anything valuable in this world. The stories are never ending and so is my love for the two of you. Whatever little or enormous you both have done for me, I will never be able to repay, for I don’t know how to repay love. Today is your birthday and wish you guys grow younger by the day, because me, Pinky and Vicky need you for the longest time. Our lives wouldn’t have been so amazing if it wasn’t for the two of you. I am not rich enough to afford a flight tickets for the two of you, but I am wealthy enough to share my love and happiness with you. Happy Birthday gangsters!! I love you both to moon and back.

Friday, November 4, 2016

To, My Future Daughter

November 4, 2016

Dearest Sunshine,

The apple of my eye, my future daughter. I am writing to you well in advance, because some day when you come to this world I will be very busy admiring the beautiful person, that is of course you. Then I will not have the ability to be sensible to be able to tell you the things I would want to tell you. So I am penning it down today.

I don’t know what I am going to name you, but the adjectives that I will use for you are going to be endless. That’s the love you will bring out in me. Remember sweetheart life is a string of beads; each bead signifies the lesson that you will have to learn or at least experience. Nobody said it’s all going to be easy and a walk in the park for you, but remember there is not impossible in this world. Your life should always have goals. Goals will define you as a person; a life without goals is like a car without its driver, directionless. It is very important that you be truthful to yourself and to your dreams. Dreams are the purest form of you.  Your goals, dreams and aspiration are your armor and your shield, protect your dreams and make them come true. Be true to yourself and to the people you love, because that’s the only feeling of satisfaction you will want to experience in your life, rest everything else is materialistic.

Love!! Love will happen to you and will come your way, when it has to. You don’t have to wait for it, in bars, pubs or hotel rooms. It will happen to you in the most unexpected places, so my dear first take care of yourself because you cannot pour from an empty pot. The feeling and joy of being loved cannot be expressed in words. And when that feeling hits you, it doesn’t give you time to balance yourself, you fall, but the truth is you should always rise in love and not fall. Don’t let love hit you hard in the lungs and the take your breath away, let love be like the ocean, vast and unending.

Darling people will walk in and out of your life, don’t hold on too tight to them. Give them the love, the freedom, the space you would expect them to give you. Help them find their wings and when they say they are ready to fly, let them, tell them to sore so high that the sky should be the limit for them. Nothing is permanent; change is the only permanent you shall experience in your life. People change, places change and situations change. Remember to let go like autumn, it teaches how beautiful it is to let go.

Emotions, people say have no logic, I say; good they have no logic, because how can feelings have logic? Saying this I also want to say, your emotions should be your strength and not your weakness. Channelize your emotions to suit your better needs and not that of the million others who will surround you. So whether its anger, passion, love, hate whatever you must feel, know them that they are a part of you. Feel free to express, but remember there will be consequences, if you are ready to face the repercussion of your actions, then let your emotions flow like the river would flow into the sea.

Last but not the least stay focused. Define your purpose in life. Having a purpose in life is very important. Imagine you have planted a rose sapling and sat infront of it day in and out hoping it to grow into a plant that will bare beautiful buds, those will blossom into equally beautiful flowers, but you didn’t water the sapling or give it enough sunlight, will your sapling grow into the plant you anticipated of? The answer is simple, No! Life is your sapling and purpose is your water and the sunlight. Give life a purpose, let it grow and then enjoy the fragrance.

Love yourself, like no one else ever will. Be honest and truthful to yourself. Be answerable to yourself, don’t wait till people point a finger, embrace life for we have only one life to love, live and remember.

Your Friend J

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Wait....

Its 4.31 pm in my part of the world, November 3, 2016. Even the word document gives me a prompt when I type the date. I am furiously moving my fingers on the key board of my laptop to write this piece down, I don’t know what it is going to be like when I am done writing it. The wait is sort of killing me (don’t take it in the literal sense).

What exactly is this wait? Is it a feeling, a sensation, a word or what? I have not exactly understood the restlessness behind it, but as I am writing about it I have certain restlessness in me. The anxiety of what is going to happen next is always that question that bothers me. Well I met someone a few months ago and little did I know like a teenager it was going to be love at first sight. We met at a coffee shop and at the perfect moment the person walked in.  When I say perfect moment, it was quite literally perfect, Frank Sinatra playing in the background, windy, there was a lot of noise around but the footsteps were quite audible (just to me ofcourse!!). Some of you stupid romantics will be feeling the awww…. Don’t worry go ahead I am your kind too, coz I had butterflies in my stomach and stars in my eyes when I saw the person for the first time, perfect moment!!

I was dumb struck, not knowing what to say, it happens very rarely in my life that my heart overpowers my mind and as they say heart is silly, it sometimes skips a beat. Mine started thumping, stomping the body probably. We sat down and I even knew what drink I had to order, that’s how much I knew of the person. We instantly connected, the conversation was amazing, funny, intense deep all at the same time, before I could gather myself we ended up kissing (clich├ęd probably, but that’s the truth) and then I couldn’t take my eyes off the tattoo on the shoulder, reminded me of the chainsmoker song. Such is the foolishness of falling in love, unrealistic. Fantasy and fairy tales are written for a reason, well obviously it didn’t work out, our paths don’t cross, we don’t meet and we don’t talk, but I have this strange feeling and that tells me to wait…. Aah!! That stupid feeling again, wait! Did I answer my own question?

Wait- stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or event, that’s how you would define the feeling, in action. All I want to say is I am waiting and I will, because this feeling is something that is healing me, this wait makes me love you more than I could ever imagine. The wait is the reason I can still smile amidst all the things that are happening around me. This wait gives me a reason to love you more, today and forever.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Time and Place

It’s been a long time since I wrote last. My blog practically is dead and today I have decided to revive it, bring it back from the grave, and bring it to life! I was running out of reasons, not to write but I guess every reason is exhausted and I can feel the flow of alphabets transform to words, to sentences, to paragraphs ,to story and so on…..

This year has been quite an eventful one. And it flew by, even before I could understand where I spent all my time. As humans we want to anticipate the future, know what’s in store for us, be ahead and know everything before anyone else does. But little do we know, everything has its place and time. And I mean it literally. It only feels like yesterday that I took that flight to New Zealand, the excitement, the butterflies of flying to a country I always wanted to come to and be a part of. I didn’t know anyone here, I had no friends, and everyone was equally a stranger to me. I had no clue how is it going to be here. And here I am, successfully surviving nine months in this country, making friends, knowing people and loving every part of my being here.

Some places have this pull about them, you are attracted not only by the beauty of it but also by destiny, yes you read that right! I am exactly where I should be at this moment, doing what I am supposed to do. So my place and time was already fixed even before I knew it, what’s the point anticipating it then? But we do, like always and will keep doing this because we are humans we are curious to know, what’s next? But we can hardly fathom. Standing on the bus stop I always think how’s my day gonna be like, I sometimes feel like superman who can save the world and most of the days I feel like me. 

I don’t know what I want to reach for, for it’s difficult to clear the fog and drive past it, everything takes its time even the day gives way to the night, even the sun must set for the moon to rise. The beauty of things is in its existence, its presence and not in anticipation. Whether you love someone and haven’t told them about it, you like the smile but haven’t mentioned it yet, just go say it before you run out of time. I know everything has its place and time, but now is the good time!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Road Repair in progress,go slow

Oh these summers in Nagpur, makes me so irritable. The temperatures here sores to 48 degrees Celsius. Coolers don’t help, thirst is not quenched merely by drinking water and I don’t feel like moving out during the day. Amidst all this if you are suffering from tooth ache, it is the worst punishment, just like the old ch***se way, to be hung by the thumb. Slowly the entire body weight is managed by that little thumb and the person dies in agony and pain. Tooth ache is very similar to that.

They say an adult has 32 teeth. I have 30 at this moment and the other two are fighting to erupt. God knows why they are wisdom tooth, when by the time they arrive people are totally at loss of wisdom “pun intended”!! So continuing with my ordeal, this Sunday I was sitting in one corner of my room and cursing my fate. Why, why on this holy earth do I need another pair of teeth, when I can manage pretty well with the existing 30? Cutting, tearing, grinding all of it, at times biting too, you know what I mean (sheepish smile). Nobody answered my question, not even the almighty. 

As the day grew longer and never ending so was the pain, long and never ending just like the female ursa. I desperately needed to see the dentist. No tooth pain is cured without visiting a dentist. So I chose to do it the tough way, the doctor’s way. As it was a Sunday no doctor was available so I had to wait for another day to get rid of the pain. That night as I slept I saw this handsome guy, very smartly dressed. His hair was done neatly and he looked so pleasant, I walked with him inside the glass door, he made me comfortable and we started to chat. Suddenly!! The handsome man turned into a giant monster with a mirror and a drilling machine, my mouth wide open and the position was one or two or three in life that lack dignity. Yes you guessed that right I was sitting on a dentist’s chair. My mouth being worked on like cross sections of road. Oh what a terrible sight that was. I woke up with a start to see if there was any concrete in my mouth. Luckily that was just a dream.

I narrated the dream to my mother and she listened like three year old. I was being dramatic with her while narrating it, she got so petrified, and she cancelled her appointment with the dentist (I can take up the profession of a story teller). Anyway, if you are thinking I am still suffering from the pain, then let me give you a good news, finally, like finally I become the wisest in the family with 32 teeth in my mouth and also I am the youngest to have them all (Tada!!)

So if you think it’s going to hurt just a little bit, think twice, because if the apple keeps the doctor away, dreams keep dentist’s bill away!! (wink wink)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Maa Suno To!!

Ever imagined a day without your mom?? Nightmare!! that’s all I can say. I was reading newspaper one fine morning. My mom walks into my room, picked up my clothes for laundry took the empty tea mug and moved my slippers away from the puja room. All in one go. I was sitting on my chair witnessing the sequence of the events. And it struck me what if I have to pass a day without my maa… And I imagined and the cloud became bigger and bigger and bigger.

Well I did imagine a day without my maa… I was reading newspaper one fine morning. Nobody did my laundry that day, as a result of which my clothes are lying somewhere or the other. There is a mountain of clothes under which I am suffocating in some corner of my room, let alone the newspaper I can’t even move to sip tea from my favorite mug. I get super irritated and finally manage to come out of that heap. I am running for some oxygen, suddenly I brake because I see some more stuff lying on the floor they are my camera lenses,on the floor. I pick them up and try to find a place to put them but I am more than shocked that even in a 2 BHK I can’t find some decent space for my belonging!!

I have a favorite tee…. It’s pink in color. I am searching for that tee and can’t find it anywhere. I am so sad and disappointed. I feel like reading and I can’t find my book that I kept near my bedside last night. I feel so lost so confused. The house looks strange, the things not arranged, in mess. In all that confusion the house helper arrives. “Didi mummy ko pucho kitni roti banana hai??” and I am super surprised, she also makes rotis at my place??  I never knew that!! A minute later the same question pops up and I say, “6 bana do.” And she again says, “lekin aapki mummy to 7 bolti hai hamesha.” To which I reply, “ha to bana do na.” Again she asks, “Aur Parathe kitne??” And I wonder who eats Parathas at my place!! Confused I tell her, “Bana do apne hisab se.”

The door bell rings…. There is a tall man standing as I open the door, “Kapde de rahe kya??” I realize he is our iron man. “Ha ruko lekar ati hu….. 32 kapde hai , kab tak laa doge.” And he replies, “kal subah main la dunga.” And I wonder what would take him so long, I mean its only 32 right!!

And before the cloud could get any bigger it burst, I realized I was just day dreaming. I looked around and I found my maa doing what she is best at, managing us, her home and above all our lives. I called out to her, “ Maa suno to.” She replied, “Bol jaldi time nahi hai.” I said, “Maa you are my hero!!” My maa, turned around smiled and said, “Ja ek baar sabzi dekh le nahi to jal jayegi…..”