Sunday, February 21, 2010

When children express their love

When children welcome you home with open arms, huge smiles and big hugs, you know you were missed. The card is ALWAYS the icing on the cake!

Thank you bachchas!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thank you. Forever.

I chose Valentine's Day to pack a bag and go visit my ailing mom. And I didn't have to think twice.

Often I've heard my lady friends lamenting that they can't take time off from their families even for emergencies. Because their husbands can't look after the kids/home/cooking/homework etc by themselves. They feel lost without their better halves ( which I feel is an excuse to shirk responsibility).

Or have heard out anxious friends who make compulsive trips out of town due to work - "I hope he is getting the house swept everyday..."

And I.. I can go attend a wedding in Delhi for three-four days content in the knowledge that Harish will not only look after the kids and their needs, he will also look after the home, the maid, the veggie shopping - indeed everything that would constitute running an efficient household. I return to a home as clean and organised as I'd left it.

And he will do it well.

So well that the kids often miss me but not in the cranky irritated way that spells "When are you coming back? We don't want to be in charge of dad anymore!!" but in a happy way - "We miss you mom. Come back soon and get this, this and this for us!"

I have often taken off on trips that were not for business alone. I've dropped in to meet my parents or chill at a cousin's wedding - without fear, guilt or anxiety.

And I could not have done ANY of this without his love and support and the faith Harish has inspired in me for him.

I know he will hold fort even if Abhir has a fall and needs stitches on his chin while I'm in Delhi.

He will cook an excellent Saturday afternoon meal for our children and the neighbouring children who often drop by to dine with us, with enthusiasm, even as he negotiates a business deal with the Europeans while frying pooris!

He will drive them to their classes, help them with home-work and be there for them despite his own hectic schedule.

I have learned from Harish that handling a home can be easy even for a guy. All they have to do is try!

You could ask me, "Is it Dove?" And I will say, "No. Its love!"

It is love that makes him want to do things for us - our home, our kids, our lives!

This Valentine's Day I wish my girl/lady friends as much luck in love as I've had for the past 16 years.

Thank you my love. Forever.

This is for you, MAA

Multiple layers
A shade of pink in the midst
of an ocean of blue
A bed of clouds
spread out before my eyes
Lingering few suspended
in the far distance
The radiant sun shines 
on the extended wing
bidding goodbye to my world
on its way to light another
This is what Heaven must feel like
And each one of us
has their share of Heaven 
just waiting to be hugged


I'm seated in an aircraft and am looking out of the window. I'm going to meet my mom.

Dad called last night and said her blood pressure had shot up. She was hospitalised being given a drip with medication to bring the BP down. She is stable, he said.

But my mind - my mind could not stay still.

I tried sleeping but I dreamt of her. When I woke up in the morning, I'd resolved to go meet her. Come what may.

The money that would be spent, the hassle of traversing this distance - I was given feeble excuses to stop this journey.

But my aching heart could not accept the 'logic' of those words. I had to do as my heart bid me.

Before I left, Harish noticed my sadness and when he gently asked me, I almost soaked his shirt.

I am in gratitude to my mom for the rest of my life, for:
Being my pillar of strength
Fighting unending battles for me
Believing in me
Giving me the gift of life
Encouraging me to revel in the happiness of children
Being my support
Making me the headstrong, independent individual I am....

In return I perhaps never gave her much. A dose of my rebellion in my teen years, some criticism and lots of anger and sadness.

I have often told my friends that my constant and recurring nightmare has to do with the fear of losing my mom. Sometimes I feel (when I hear of friends losing their moms, or when Harish lost his) that I will probably die or want to die with her.

To me she is so precious that I would like to follow her into the next world when it happens.


School instilled in me the fear of Hell. My convent education has reinforced the idea of Satan waiting in HELL where raging fires burn to teach us humans a lesson for all our evil actions on Earth.

I know I am not perfect. I lie when needed, I am egoistic and prone to intense anger - in short, I KNOW I'm probably going to Hell. Somewhere the fear still lurks - not of dying per se, but of dying and going to hell.


With these numerous feelings I sat in the cab that took me to Bombay to catch my aircraft to Cochin.

Mid-flight when I saw the sky outside the window, after waking up from a disturbed nap, I finally felt at peace inside.

The devil had been put to rest.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

German Bakery

I never got very friendly with him. In fact I don't even know his name. But his smiling face hasn't gotten out of my head since the news of the blast in German Bakery.

He is a waiter who often cleaned up tables at the bakery. He is especially fond of Abhir.

When I walked in to the bakery last morning he wished me and ruffled Abhir's hair asking him "How are you champ?"

After the news of the blast, Abhir asked me if 'that uncle' is also dead.

This blast tonite is just too close to home.

Our favourite hangout, where my children have freaked out on the Tiramisu, Doughnuts, Mushroom Omlettes, Soya Cheese slices and the most awesome ginger-lemon tea.

But when we move beyond the obvious gastronomic attractions of this popular bakery in Pune's 'happening' Koregaon Park area, this is a shocker for us.

I am hoping that the people I have known working there are safe. My prayers with the dead and injured.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Indian Express whips the Indian Army

Has the Indian Army become the latest whipping boy for the media?

It would appear so!

This incredibly blasphemous headline appeared in the Pune Newsline supplement (dated 11 Feb 2010) of the Indian Express:

"Army officers held for clearing substandard equipment"

Read the story here...

The fact is that the corrupted officers were DGQA officials who are NOT men in uniform, but civilians who do not undergo a day's worth of the ragda the uniformed men are put through.

It is sad that a newspaper of such high credentials will stoop to such levels to make a headline!

As a journalist it saddens me to accept that this is reprehensible and totally condemnable piece of journalism.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Prez Patil in a soup. Or is she?

They're calling it a "gigantic embarrassment" - the fact that the honourable President's husband has been apparently found guilty of grabbing 2 acres of land from a hapless farmer in Amravati, Maharashtra. But isn't it more than that?

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has conveniently declined to comment on the issue merely stating that the President's husband is a private (not common though) citizen and does not enjoy any special privileges.

The immediate thoughts that arise:

1. Would the political fraternity of this country demand that the President step down "on moral grounds" as is so often demanded off others in high offices who commit similarly serious or worse crimes?

2. Will this issue be brushed under the carpet by the very capable media of our country (since it is just an order by a Sub Div Officer and c'mon, it was only 2 acres of land!!!) who conducted an extensive (and perhaps justified) campaign to bring the Sukna Land Scam accused from the Indian Army to their nadir... while there are no follow ups/investigations/campaign for the Madhu Koda scam that runs into a whopping 4000 crores (of a State like Jharkhand where the amount allegedly plundered was the budget for the State a few years ago)?

3. Accountability is at its lowest in the political arena. And that seems to have become the watch word for Y2K. You can do any damn thing and get away with it. Look at the Thackerays in Mumbai, Sharad Pawar (his gross mismanagement of sugar prices), Koda, Mayawati.....

4. Trials by media seem to have become our (the common citizen's) only path to justice. Except that the media chooses to blow up issues that mean good TRPs (trials for murder/rape/molestation victims). So in all likelihood, the honourable President's husband will get away with this. Our (ir)responsible media will condemn for a few minutes of air time, but will look the other way tomorrow.

5. I doff my hat to Bansod, the farmer who stood his ground and got his land back from the powerful first family of the country.