Tuesday, November 30, 2010

मैं और मेरा साया ,

उम्र की कड़ियाँ गिनते - गिनते जब मैं जीवन के दुसरे छोर पर  पहुंची,
तो खुद को नितांत एकाकी महसूस किया ...
सुना था कड़ियाँ जुड़ने के लिए होती हैं ..कड़ी से कड़ी जुड़कर एक ज़ंजीर बनती है ..
        और फिर जनम लेते हैं सृष्टि के बंधन..
मैंने भी जोड़ी बहुत सी कड़ियाँ,कुछ जंजीरें भी बनी ,पर बंधन....
एक कड़ी जो कमजोर थी ,अजन्मे ही रहे..
जुड़ने से पूर्व ही टूट गए.
इस छोर पर पहुँचते -पहुँचते,लडखडाते क़दमों से,उद्वेलित नज़रों से , एक बार पीछे देखा,
किसी साए कि तलाश में,आतुर ह्रदय ने दूर दूर तक खोजा,
फिर थके कदम और निढाल होने लगे,
         क्या इस सृष्टि में एक भी साथी,एक भी बंधन मेरे लिए नहीं था ..
         चिलचिलाती धुप में क्या नहीं मिलेगी छाया..
तभी एक चिरपरिचित आकृति को अपने करीब,बहुत करीब पाया,
अपने इस एकमात्र साथी को अपने आँचल में लपेटा और पूर्ण वेग से दुसरे छोर कि ओर दौड़ पड़े,
  मैं और मेरा साया .....
          अंतिम कड़ी के जुड़ते ही एक अटूट बंधन का जनम हुआ,
          कौन कहता है कि अकेले आये हैं तो अकेले ही जायेंगे,
मेरी अंतिम यात्रा में हमसफ़र हैं ,
मैं और मेरा साया ...      

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some more footprints in the sand.....

He was always in a hurry...
  As the cold waiting room grew colder,minutes turned into hours and the wait never ending..
It was fear that made the cold environs of of the narrow corridor at Nanavati hospital 'bone-chilling' cold as we later realized. Our trembling hands found each other for comfort,hearts thumping as my brother in law was wheeled into the ICCU. Having spent years in and around the hospitals,and having a family owned nursing home, didn't make the place seem less intimidating .

Almost everyone avoided eye contact as we saw a dignified cardiac physician,my brother in law,eldest of the three brothers ,break down completely as other doctors took charge.
As the wait grew longer,my niece and nephew,both doctors in making took turns in going in and out of the cath lab.Vee the wife was almost in denial of the worsening situation as she completely  trusted the family of doctors,and the medical science in general.She and her husband were the only non medicos in the family.How could anything go wrong with the best and timely medical help available?...

Bad news..my husband's bbm flashed on my screen and in an instant I rushed towards the OT after I slipped Vee's hand into my niece's.I saw the two brothers emerge out with slumped shoulders shaking their heads still trying to absorb the fact they just lost their brother to massive cardiac arrest
Did you tell Vee? they asked.It was as if someone had suddenly kept tons of weight on my chest.I had never done this before,how will I do this..she will be looking up into my eyes with hope...

"We lost him" the rest of the words just tumbled out,incoherent... . they tried,be strong,there was no hope,sorry,it was massive,and I said -he didn't give us time..I actually said that.He was known in the family as one who did not have time.He  was always in a hurry!

We sat huddled together as emotions took over and as the news was sinking in,came the tough task of informing. How does one inform two, young children that while they trustingly slept peacefully at home,we lost their father. .How does one inform aged parents that they lost their young son ..How does one choose words to be able to break it as softly as possible?

Vee suddenly got up and said she wanted to see him.The walk to the bed was the longest ever.
 Assa ..Assa ..pahaayecha ..(Do I have to see him like this?) and she slumped like a heap quietly.. She got up again to stare at the calm and serene  face .It was peaceful  but white face of death ...and she slowly moved away. Bass.. just like that ...gone ,without a word?You think I should have stayed inside with him?,She asked.
We saw him being wheeled out slowly to the morgue. Did he feel our presence as we said good bye to him one last time?There was hesitation ..How could you go home leaving him alone with strangers in the cold morgue?Will he feel betrayed?
Practicalities rule our lives and this was no exception as we drove home in deafening silence.Vee glanced at her sleeping kids and decided she would let them sleep this night in peace and tell them in the morning . Tears welled up every now and then and as the darkness grew thick and the silence thicker,she talked about him,her life.. she kept on talking through the night ,non-stop and we listened till dawn broke with another day...
Life would be different now..

Monday, September 6, 2010

She came ,She saw, She conquered!!

Perfect day to remember those guiding stars in your life,those who guided you,pushed you,instilled values in you. You were like putty in their hands. Over the years,many hands changed and influenced you like different strokes with different brushes .A stroke here ,a pat there and the canvass became more colorful with each contribution.
  Question is ,do you seriously remember them all?.... .I am talking about teachers. There are only a few who must have left indelible impression on you. For me it was much later in my student  life, in degree college, that I found such an influence. Till she came into our lives,we were like scores of other p.g.students,abandoned by a transferred guide ,directionless...
  She entered impeccably dressed ,with her head held high,exuding an air of absolute authority. She took mental notes and set about setting our student life right :-)
 First she removed all partitions to make the department sans any cubicles which served as our hiding places away from the prying eyes of teachers.
LESSON 1-If you feel the need to hide,you are doing something you shouldn't be doing 
Next she geared up for cleanliness drive.By then we had enough rebels to resist the idea so next day as the staff trickled in,they were greeted by our HOD cleaning the sinks!! One by one she was joined in by the sheepish staff and we had a sparkling deptt.
LESSON 2-No job is below dignity .
LESSON3-Set an example for your students and staff.
Next she took charge of our messy schedule.Many post lunch sessions were earlier spent in the library to cope up with the backlog of studies and the backlog was created in turn due to our crazy appointment scheduling.She made sure we spent enough time with each patient and never rescheduled any.
LESSON 4-Respect time and time will respect you.
She hates lies, even the most harmless ones and respects an honest explanation, always...
She took complete charge of not only our studies,but even those aspects of our lives which would affect our learning process.She made sure we were fit,ate well,were not distracted etc..
I may not say it in so many words and not so often but I know she knows that I care ..
I am proud to be her student and can spot her student from a crowd of students anywhere,any time such is the aura of Dr.Sabita Ram.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Tiny footprints in the sand ....

Another precious life lost! First Juhi and now Tejaswee, both young,all of 19 years ,vivacious,full of life with dreams in their eyes and both victims of dreaded dengue fever.
Juhi,I remember as a little girl,burdened with heavy school bag,  slung carelessly on one shoulder ,something to eat in one hand ( or was it a water bottle?) and shoes in the other hand,hair flying across her pretty face,thus she sprinted almost everyday after the school bus.I think the driver drove slow on purpose and every one heaved a sigh of relief as she managed to catch the bus, well... on most days.It was hard not to love her...her smile was infectious ,her eyes twinkling with hopes and dreams.
Tejaswee ,IHM's little girl,I hardly knew in person..wish had read her blog while she was amongst us...
Words have this ability to bond ..and it is through her blog that now that I feel connected as if I have known her for years.
Why were both  lives lost so young ? Why did they enrich our lives for such a short while?We needed more of Juhi and Tejaswee. They had dreams and they made us part of their dreams ,we looked up to them for energy when we were down,we derived strength from their persona,we had hopes when they hoped..,then why was their journey cut short from the face of this earth?
The answer lies in the tiny footprints they have left in the sands of time. Steps can not be retraced but the footprints of memories remain etched on this earth till eternity.We do not know how or why but these little ones came for a purpose,fulfilled the same and made us richer in the process.Those lives  touched by these souls have been enriched for ever. The sunshine they spread will bring smile on to our lips whenever we think of them.
RIP girls,keep on inspiring from wherever you are ,we still haven't finished on this earth and we will continue looking up to you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sinner for Ever......

Just joined SAGS(Sinners Against Gender Stereotypes ) on FB .Though I am quite a 'girly' girl ,there are quite a few things not quite girly about me.
1.I do not take ages getting ready.When it is time to leave, for work or for a social do, it is me all ready and set waiting for hubby dear to emerge from the green room. ;-)
2.I do not like shopping and I hate window shopping .
3.Diamonds are not my best friends.I am not interested in jewellery at all ,haven't bought a single piece  for myself ever.
4.I do not like Mills and Boon type mushy romantic books though I am a voracious reader with a huge collection.
5.I neither lose my head nor cool when my child gets sick or injured .Will generally take necessary steps rather than biting nails and shedding tears .(Very difficult for my kids to feign illness to miss school when I am around while dad is the softest clay they can mould when sick or injured.)
6.My world does not circle around my maids.I never think  about delaying anything because my maids have not turned up or have been delayed.
7.I do not make a fuss about hubby and kids playing cricket and table tennis in my living room. We actually have a match size TT table,a practice ball hanging in the living room and umpteen sets of  glasses,vases and tea cups sacrificed all thanks to the serious daily training sessions at home. In fact I have been threatened  to wisen up by friends' wives and other mothers who have been urged to follow my example.
8.I am fearless of the dark ,ghosts etc. but I can be jumpy around creepy crawlies .
9.I do not like chocolate in any form.
10.I  am not a make up person at all.
I am all of the above but I also love meeting my girl friends for gossip sessions,and think they are therapeutic.I weep unshamedly while watching movies or when my kids are on stage for a performance and last but not the least,I do worry about my weight and yes,I looove pink.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


My mother in law once told me that most housemaids in Mumbai are called Laxmis and most of the drivers called themselves Raju. Her theory is right when it comes to maids but it is the Rajus that I am going to talk about in this space. Obviously I don't drive so I have to depend on Rajus and over the years I have had  many of them and each one has been an eclectic personality in his own right. While I take pride in retaining the oldest  clinic and home staff from the time I began,the driving    driver force has been an ever changing aspect and a frustrating one at that.A few particularly interesting ones my family can never forget...
Raju no. 1- Lasted 2 years.
                   Pet peeve-sleeping on duty,body odor,absconding to his desh every yr for 4-5 summer months

Good natured fellow,but would sleep through duty hours thanks to his night duty as watchman             elsewhere.BO was taken care of by my son through constant reminders of bath,threats of confiscating his favorite chameli ka tel (which he sincerely thought would impress us) and gifts of .deos .He finally went back to his family back home ,and is sleeping on duty somewhere in Moradabad .
Raju no.2 -Lasted 4 years
                   Pet peeve-none
Fiercely loyal,extremely skilled driver,he was the best of the lot.He had this uncanny ability to appear in all our photographs!All the snaps during that period have him in a far corner with a corner of his 'rumaal' pressed between his teeth.Mumbai weather took a toll on his health and he too relocated to Hyderabad.
Raju no.3-Lasted 2 days
                 pet peeve-too short a time to know
He was a parking lot driver who turned overconfident  little too soon.My cars have bruised bums thanks to him driving right into the wall in reverse. Saw him at a mall a few days back .
Raju no.4-Lasted 15 days
                 pet peeve-Forgetting his way around..
He would reach any destination but would invariably get lost on his way back. Tried understanding how and why,but gave up the day he forgot the way to my house. When he overshot the last turn to my lane,I thought he was dreaming,but no... he couldn't recognize the lane because ,in his own words;"bhabhi  woh eent,patthar kahan gaye?road saaf ho gaya to pehchaan nahin aaya."What happened to fixed assets on the road,the landmarks??? So that was the secret to his' lost ways'!!
Raju no.5-Lasted 30 days
                pet peeve-impatience,hatred for parking anywhere but the building garage!
This one made us the laughing stock of friends,family and staff.He would drive us to our destination,but on our return there was no guarantee that he would be around waiting for us.He would drive all the way back home and park the car back in the garage if,the mall was not to his liking,it was too hot,he was hungry,couldn't find parking on the road,or any other reason that he thought fit.So after being left in the lurch twice each(both me and hubby on separate occasions) we let him go. Wonder where he is now?
Raju no.6-Lasted 3 days
                Speciality-Death personified ,extremely dangerous to all living beings on the road and off it!
Again a parking lot product,he was danger unleashed on the road!!
Day one ,my heart was in my mouth when I reached home after an hour of being in the back seat.
Day two, my head was hanging in shame due to the choicest abuses that were hurled at us all through.
Day three ,people saw me escape a near death situation when suddenly Raju 6 decided to enter at full speed between two speeding trucks jostling for space in front  .Fraction of second later ,there I was all shaken up as if my arms were cut off from my body. Reality soon dawned that I was unscathed but my car had lost both the rearview mirrors as it emerged from in between the two giant trucks..I took a cab home and didn't see his face again.

Good old,family drivers are a rare breed now,and I am still in search of that one Raju who fits in perfectly....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kuch pal..

गर्मी की रातों को ,खुले आसमान के नीचे ,
लेटे हुए अक्सर देखा करती हूँ ,
           रास्ते के निर्जीव खम्बे को ....
बेजुबान प्रहरी सा ये खम्बा ,ना जाने कब से यूँ ही खडा है
           उनींदा सा ....
अपने धीमे से प्रकाश से , आस -पास के नन्हे से दायरे को थोड़ी सी रौशनी देता हुआ
ना जाने क्यों दिन - प्रतिदिन इसका तेज मद्धम होता प्रतीत होता है ,
और साथ ही चारों ओर मंडराते परवाने भी ..
          देखते देखते जाने कब निद्रा मुझे अपने आगोश में ले लेती है पता नहीं चलता ,
          पर ये क्या! प्रातः कालीन उजाले में वही खम्बा कितना निरीह जान पड़ता है ...

जैसे अपने ही प्रकाश से लजा रह हो !!

रात आने तक यही सोचती हूँ कि ,क्या जाने आज रोशनी होगी या नहीं ....
जानती हूँ और डरती हूँ ,
                 एक दिन इसे भी निद्रा अपने आगोश में ले लेगी !
शायद परवाने भी जान गए हैं ,इसीलिए उनका यहाँ आजकल ,
                 आना- जाना और झूम -झूम कर गुनगुनाना कुछ कम हो गया है .....

Monday, May 3, 2010

When she lost herself in time and space...

Some lovely childhood memories close to my heart are the summers spent with my bua or atya in Rajasthan. Never felt the scorching heat....and that was more because of the  uninhibited affection showered on me and less because of the nimbu paani and faalse ka sharbat that she made.Needless to say we were each other's favorites.
 Clinic,shifting,marriage , kids,the excuses of not being able to visit her became so called priorities for me and she slowly resigned .Occasional  phone call made her happy, at least that is what she said and I believed. Life in Metro continued until I  was informed that she was on her death bed ,-cervical cancer,terminal stage,no hope! Had the worst migraine attack in years that day as I slowly absorbed the news.
 By evening I was outside her hospital room,(after fifteen long years) mustering up the courage to enter,fighting tears welling up in my eyes and then I heard laughter ,excited sounds ,some more laughs,giggles.. singing, coming out of the room. Wrong room!! I thought,and retraced my steps when a visibly embarrassed ,red in the face, Prem kakaji rushed out ."Good! go meet her and hold and rub her palms till I return will you?",he said. I entered and decided to take the matters in my hand till I was there,how could they make the hospital room into a..a..lounge, or. ..or..a clubhouse for God's sake I fumed.I walked into a roomful of young,strangers,average age 20 yrs who were completely oblivious to my presence and continued their activities and light hearted banter. Before I could utter a word,I glanced around and what I saw will remain etched in my memory for the rest of my life.A young girl,was changing the diaper of  the skin and bones of my badi maa with a song on her lip,another was busy making her hair,another  ponytailed teenaged boy was neatly disposing soiled diapers and the giggles were for a wrap around skirt that was being designed for their granny!!Will save her the trouble of sliding up her old traditional skirt slip and sari.
  I was sighted by then by this bunch of nieces and nephews,and I was ushered close to the bed .I held her hand and tears started welling up again.. not allowed, I saw someone signal with her finger.She did not see me,she probably heard me,but she sure felt me...as she spoke after two whole days of silence..her first instruction to have mehendi applied to my palms as I was getting married and had come to seek her blessings before taking the wedding vows.
 She was already lost in time and space...
   ...and these kids were only trying to make things better for her..like making her believe that she was in her home,surrounded by her family,just the way she loved,..full of love,laughter,lot of touch,feel..
 Quick maasi,we have to go get mehendi done,buy shagun sari for you,and be back as soon as possible to show her.I meekly followed ,they were in charge,and were damn good at it!On my way out I saw a big poster that said-'MAIN PREM KI DIWANI HOON'.She had lately become too attached to her brother,our Prem kakaji and would allow only him to hold her hand and rub her palms,and if he needed to be relieved and someone else took over,she would feel the different touch and start chanting Prem..Prem..until he took over again. That explained kakaji and his hurried exit!! The  kids were merciless when it came to teasing him or anyone for that matter.
 She did not respond when I showed her my mehendi,in fact never spoke again till I left and passed away ten days later.My only consolation is that I met her before I lost her.As for the what the young bunch taught me,well that is something I shall always cherish..
1. I will think twice before I label any teenager irresponsible
2.I will try not to go by appearances (umm... little difficult ,but promise trying)
3.I will not judge people. ( did I imagine that smile on my daughter's lips?)
  Watching seemingly careless youngsters, care..another one of simple pleasures

Friday, February 19, 2010

yaadon ke taanke

यादों के चंद टाँके जब विचारों की तुरपन से अचानक टूटे
    तो एक शृंखला सी उधडती चली गयी ,
रह गए मात्र कुछ पंक्तिबद्ध छिद्र
     मन की सुई ने टूटे हुए टांकों को subaddha karna chaaha maano
har   छिद्र से gujarte  हुए ateet को aaj के kareeb ,bahut kareeb laana chaahti ho...
     bhooli hui yadon के padchinhon ने yah aabhas hi nahin hone diyaa की
     ateet aur vartamaan zindagee के do pahloo hain,-purnataya bhinna aur prithak
 tabhi ahsaas hua ...
     ateet के padchinhon par aaj की neev anuchit hai,akarmanyata की prateek hai
     uus तुरपन mein एक mod diya hota,
      टांकों के saaye  को nazar से door kiya hota,
naa main unko dekhaa karti,
naa main unme ghusti firti ,
aadhe -tirche hi sahi ,
कुछ टाँके तो ho jaate ,
       uttam ve hote yaa hote asafal,
         buniyaadi ve टाँके hote,

swachha,sudradha va bilkul NAVAL....





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