Friday, April 27, 2012

That Awkward Moment

We all have our shares of awkward moments. Here are some of mine....

That awkward moment when you find out that your dog is allergic to you.

That awkward moment when you are singing D.K Bose, and your father tells you it meant "something bad" when he was young.

That awkward moment when you make that grunting noise while laughing and your beloved sister points it out. (in public)

That awkward moment when your father confesses that he thinks that you bear a strong resemblance to music director Pritam. (obviously now am not going to share his picture over here)

That awkward moment when you feel more like Bappi Da. Without the gold though.

That awkward moment when Linda Goodman describes your laughter as 200 perfect hens laying 200 perfect eggs, and your family nods in fierce agreement.

That awkward moment when the LCD of your laptop mysteriously turns blue, so every movie you watch is blue.

That awkward moment when it starts working fine when you accidentally pour alcohol over it.

That awkward moment when you are dancing, and your dog heaves a sigh, gives you the look and walks out of the room.

That awkward moment when you wake up on a super sleepy morning and brush your teeth with your father's shaving cream.

That awkward moment WHEN YOU DO IT AGAIN.

That awkward moment when your family doesn't need a mosquito repellent when you are sitting in the room. (because of some damned factor in your blood, the buzzing blood suckers prefer you over anybody else).

That awkward moment when you affectionately plead your defunct table lamp, microwave, water purifier and sandwich toaster to start working again and they oblige, immediately.

That awkward moment when you intelligent electrician divulges to you the wisdom that Plug and Socket are known as male and female respectively.

That awkward moment, when you are walking on the road and a donkey appears from nowhere stands right in your path and starts shaking his head as if he has just accepted your proposal of marriage.

That awkward moment when a random dog starts howling when he sees you, runs to you like Majnu to Laila and lies down at your feet, only for the pack of biscuits in your hand.

That awkward moment when you realize that all your crushes are either dead or octogenarians.

That awkward moment when you start coughing while pronouncing Vincent von Gogh.

That awkward moment when you are admiring a Picasso and someone tells you its Modigliani.

That awkward moment when your maggi mysteriously turns green.

That awkward moment when you pour "kevra jal" into the Chinese, instead of vinegar.

That awkward moment when you discover Rohini was Moon's wife and he had 27 of them.

That awkward moment when he tells you that you are his sunshine, and he is wearing his Ray Bans.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

INCOMPLETE Chapter the Last

Six years later

The room was humbly furnished. A single bed, a few chairs and table, cupboard, bookshelves, and her puja. 
In the center among all the deities, was the daughter's picture. 

She was lost in thoughts in the midst of prayers.

"Pray to him, only when you remember him" Kaveri whispered in her ear.
She was still here. "When such bonds exist between two souls, they are never broken"
She had lived an year more than what the doctors had thought possible. She had agreed to get the treatment done but insisted that it was only the happiness that was carrying her through. She had healed every pain, she had taken away all the sorrow, all the agony. 

Taarush was standing at the door smiling.
"I miss her terribly too"
She touched the picture lovingly "Why miss her? She's very much with us. Isn't she?"
They smiled at each other.
"Mr. and Mrs. Teotia have come. They wanted to meet you. They want to take Soumya home"
"Ah thats wonderful. I wanted to meet them as well. I'll come in a minute"
She went downstairs.
Taarush introduced her to the couple.
"Krishna, the life and breath of Jayant House" he said
"And his wife" she said smiling at him.
They laughed.
While they were talking, a child entered the room and sat next to Krishna, leaning her head on her arm.
"This is your daughter?"
"Yes, say hello to uncle baby"
"What's your name princess?" Mrs. Teotia affectionately inquired.
The child smiled shyly but proudly revealed



Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5  Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8

She could hear her heart thumping. All of her existence was to bring to life this very moment.
Taarush's word were still ringing in her ears and she still believed that what passed a little while before was a dream. Thing's couldn't turn out so bitter. Their bond wasn't one of blood today. But it was much more than that, it had transcended  lives to keep promises and answer prayers.
The room was humbly furnished. A single bed, a few chairs and table, cupboard, bookshelves, and her puja. She saw the father's photo kept in the center of all deities. She could almost hear her say. "You are my God Baba."
She imagined Kaveri in the room. Writing letters, reading books, praying, resting. It was impossible for her to imagine her old and frail and ill. It was a shattering feeling to come close to visualizing something close to that. memories came back. She closed her eyes. All answers, all questions were laid to rest.
"Beta" came a voice. She opened her eyes, not sure if her heart was beating anymore. She knew the voice.
She turned around and so did her world.
They stared at each other, with the same expression, with the same stunned mind and heart, with the same awe.
Neither moved.
In front of her was standing, the reason of her breaths, the reason why her soul survived the cosmic upheavals to be born again, the reason why all laws nature defines in its disciplines were defied to make reunite a father with his daughter.
She had wondered about her reaction, when she'd meet Kaveri, of how she would react to her grey hair and wrinkles, to her frail structure and weakness.
But nothing of the sort happened. To father's eyes a child will always be a child. He only saw his Kaveri. His beautiful angelic daughter standing in front of him.
She took a step forward. A tear appeared to witness the moment.
Kaveri remained where she was, silent and motionless. Had she recognized him?
It was too much for her. She came forward, touched her daughter's feet and embraced her, the world had to stop here. A few moments later the daughter embraced her back. They wept, one knowing and one unknowing of the miracles that had had woven their souls together.
Then she heard Kaveri laugh, they parted, she laughed as well.
"Strange things happen child. We just met and look at us.." she smiled and put a hand on her cheek.
"You reminded me of someone. I cant say why or how. For a moment I felt he was standing right here in front of me"
"Your Father?"
She looked stunned." How do you know?"
"ah nothing, just a guess. Did Taarush tell you...?"
"Yes yes he did, come sit."
The sat opposite each other.
"Children are hardly interested in their grand parents these days. How come you know about your great grand father and his friend?"
she hardly had an answer "Well, I was going through an old album one day, when I found Sayadev and Meera in one of the..."
She laughed, just like she used to "You call your Great grand parents by name beta?"
she fumbled for some explanation.
"Its ok dont worry, yes your Great grand father and my father were great great friends. Very fond of each other. You are Janmejay's grand daughter?"
"How is he, I never met your family after... after Baba passed away"
"Yes, Gradma told me, Dada passed away almost a decade back"
"Am sorry to hear that"
Kaveri was just the same, her tone, her manner, her disposition. Nothing had changed.
"Your father, you were very attached to him I believe"
Kaveri was silent, then she wiped off a tear..
"were attached?" she smiled "I am still very attached to him. He meant everything to me child. He had been my mother, father, sibling, friend, guide.. everything. When such bonds exist between two souls, they are never broken."
It was her turn to wipe the tear.
"You are a very sensitive child. Whats your name waise? Taarush didn't even tell me"
She fell silent.
"What happened beta. Are you alright?'
"Yes. I think I'll have some water."
"Wait I'll get you. I shall make you some tea as well. Calm down."
She went across to the table to fetch the water.
"Acha tell me, what sort of tea do you like? Adrak wali banaoo?
"Elaichi wali... Kadak"
The glass fell down.
She got up, they faced each other again. This time both knew the miracle.

"Baba" she gasped and fell on her kness.


Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3 Chapter 4  Chapter 5  Chapter 6  Chapter 7

She waited in the drawing room. Things had changed with time. She was having constant visions now. Clear and coherent. The pictures aided them. The Kumbh of 1942, the stampede, she could even recall being trampled upon by hundreds of feet. It made her breathless. She only thanked God that she had not taken Kaveri along.
When Sumitra had died, Jayant had promised her that he would never leave Kaveri's side, he would always stand by her and take care of her. He couldn't keep his promise then, but he'll keep it now, almost 60 years after he had left the chapter incomplete.
Taarush came in, she had told him, she was Kaveri's distant relative and family freind. She had names to prove it.
"Ma is doing her puja. It'll take her half an hour. Do you mind waiting for sometime. We generally don't disturb her during this time"
"No no don't.I'll wait. Can we meet the kids?"
As they walked she asked him other things about Kaveri. "Nah, she never got married. She was hardly nineteen when started working on this place, about six months after her father's demise. She gave this place any and everything she had. Initially there was a shortage of funds, but that by God's grace got managed subsequently. We have got 127 children right now. She also has plans to build an old age home now. Ma means everything to Jayant House"

In her heart she was dying every moment. The wait seemed like thousands of years. Each second took ages to pass. However it became easier with the children. Then Taarush called her aside for a moment.
"Its too much of a coincidence, how you came here casually and found Ma. There is however something that I think I should tell you"
The expression on his face made her uneasy. "Ma has Leukemia"
The words fell on her, one by one, the last one buried her beneath its weight. It didn't let her rise again. She was totally numb.
"Blood Cancer. It was recently diagnosed. She is however refusing to take any treatment. In vain we have tried to persuade her but she refuses to budge. She means the world to us. We cannot afford to lose her. Jayant House cannot do without her. Its here because she nurtures it with her love. She is Ma to all of us. Please do something if you can. Try and convince her. The doc say she has months to live. The treatment may make a lot of difference."

She was listening but nothing he said was making sense. Nothing was sinking in.Why? To meet your daughter after more half a century only to find out she has few months to live. This was a bad dream. A horrid nightmare. She needed to wake up.
It was becoming too much to take.

"Ma is almost done.You can meet her" some lady came in and informed.

"Lets go. Its time" Taarush said.

"Its time" she repeated.


Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3 Chapter 4  Chapter 5  Chapter 6  Chapter 8

"And please Phuphaji, please look into it earnestly. I cant tell you the reason. But it matters a lot and lot to me. Please"
Her phuphaji was an IPS officer posted in Lucknow. It wasn't difficult for him to find out Kaveri even though she had no substantial information about her. Phuphaji had promised help and agreed to do it confidentially. He and Bua were very fond of their confused niece.
It was a pleasant day. She decided to visit Jayant House.
The address wasn't difficult. After a few turns, things started looking familiar.
She believed it was Deja vu. She hadn't been to this area before.
She asked no one, took help from no one and before long, her feet had led her to stand in front of a gate.
"Jayant House" read the board.

In a dream she had entered these gates. The place, the building, it was all there before. Suddenly the world transformed itself into another. She was seeing things, hearing voices. A hundred people talking, a hundred visions sweeping before her eyes. She hid her face fell down on her knees.
"Hey whats wrong?Are you alright? Whats happening?" someone took her by the shoulders and helped her.
The visions stopped. She opened her eyes. Taarush stood before her, completely shocked.
"What the hell happened? Are you alright? I'll call a doc immediately:"
She stopped him. "Nah am absolutely alright. I think its the sun. Got a little dizzy. Am fine"
He gave her a "I don't trust you" look
"Arre baba, I'm telling you I am fine. Wont you take me inside?"
He was still uncertain but led her inside.
The corridors appeared overwhelmed but a picture on the walls paralyzed her.
"That's Ma with her beloved father."

The phone rang, kept ringing.She received it in a trance. It was Badi Ma.
"His name was Jayant. Jayant Shekhar Singh. Forgive me..." she hung up.
Taarush inquired again if she was alright.
"Yes. So this is Ma and her father you were telling me"
"Yup, thats the man, whose dream Ma has lived all her life. This was his house once upon a time. He worked for the British Government but had planned to retire and turn this place into a children's home. Unfortunately he died in a stampede at the Kumbh in 1942. Ma was very young then, but still she gathered up all her courage, sold every belonging, left every comfort and came here to set up the ashram. We've come a long way since then."

Her heart had sunk as she stared at the picture of the man and his entire universe gathered up in his arms.
Her lost world came back to her.
"What was his name?"
"Jayant" replied Taarush "Jayant Shekhar Singh. And that little angel,Ma, her name is.."

"Kaveri" replied the father.


Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3 Chapter 4  Chapter 5 Chapter 7 Chapter 8

It had been years since she had last visited the Hanuman temple.
She dreaded coming here in the early years, and when she had finally mustered up the courage, her family had no explanation as to how she knew ever nook and corner of the temple. She even told them how the temple came into existence. Which on verification turned out to be true. It was a mystery then. Today the unusual truth had become a usual part of their lives.
She noticed a group of young and exceptionally well behaved and happy children as she entered the temple premises. They were in the company three young adults,a woman and two men. Inspite of the tempest raging inside her, she couldn't help but smile. She loved children, loved them since ages, loved them through lives.
After the darshan, she went to the children to give them the prasad. They were wonderfully warm.
In no time she became one of them.
As the children proceeded to do the darshan, one little girl came back and sat in her lap.
"You are not doing the darshan baba?" she asked the child
"Ma says pray to God only when you remember him. I am not remembering him now"
Funny how that sounded so familiar
"Where is your Ma baby?"
"At home, she is old na. Doesn't keep well"
She was now getting an idea. These children were probably from some home. But it impressed her how they were so well taken care of.
"Whats your name?" she asked.
Again the simple question tore apart the fabric of her mind.
"Call me Didi. alright? Whats yours?"
"Divya. I am four years old. And I can write full ABCD"
She laughed and hugged the child, overwhelmed with loved.
The rest of the children came back, Divya freed herself from her embrace and ran to them.
One of the men accompanying them came to her.
"So you are fond of children it seems." He smiled warmly.
"Yes" she said. "They are beautiful in all their being. Their love is uninhibited and pure. I love children."
He looked at her intently
"Ma thinks exactly the same. Its nice to come across people like you once in a while. Divya was very comfortable in your company"
She smiled and took the prasad he offered. "Yes, I am thankful to God that kids are able to tolerate me. They are a major source of my happiness. Tell me about them. Are they from some school?"
"They are God's children. They don't have parents. But they have a huge family. In Ma, in us and in each other. We are from the Jayant House if you know. I wont like to call it an orphanage. Its a home for children."
She was touched by his words. He was living a life she had always dreamed to live. She was envious and at the same time in complete awe of these people.
"Thats amazing. I'd love to visit sometime soon. If thats allowed I mean."
He laughed. "Allowed? You'll be welcomed with open arms. Warmth in your heart is the only criterion required for entering Jayant House mam"
"Thats nice to hear. May I know the address?'
"Ofcourse" he said and explained her the address in detail."Although you can enter without a prob, but still in case if something bothers, call for me, my name is Taarush."
"Nice to meet you Taarush" they shook hands.
"And you are?" He enquired.
The damned terrible question. She hesitated but knew she couldn't avoid it but she couldn't answer it either.
"The Lunatic" she replied, he laughed in confused surprise.
"Haha? No but really? What..."
"Ah leave it.I'll tell you when I come there. Its a long story. Know me as the lunatic for now"
"Umm.. ok... as you say mam" he gave her a bewildered smile."You stay here?"
"Ah.. am staying at the camps abhi, till the Kumbh"
"Ah lovely, enjoying yourself?"
"Yeah. Kind of"
They chatted for some more time. She was surprised to know that he was a software engineer by profession but had dedicated himself to this service.
"I really appreciate your zeal Taarush. I'm highly envious"
He laughed again."Come to Jayant House. You'll never cease to be surprised.That lady there is a lawyer in Allahabad High Court and the man is an MBA from California"
"Thats absolutely remarkable!! but I also think they are waiting for you. I must not keep you any longer. I'll visit Jayant House as soon as I possibly can."
They took each others leave, she waved to the cherubs.
As she walked back to the camp, she knew she felt better than she had in a long time.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3 Chapter 4

They sat together for another hour. The Grandma got up to go inside advising the same to her.

"Badi Ma" she called, Grandma turned

"I know you know it all." Badi ma was motionless

 "I know you know how Kaveri's father died and when. I know you know his name. I know you know him by face as well. You haven't ever forgotten anything. I wonder how you thought I was going to believe you."

Badi ma opened her mouth but words couldn't come out.

"I understand the dread that the family has. That in case I find Kaveri, the consequences can be disastrous. You think I'd probably become another person altogether. And you think that if I don't find her I'd probably get over in some time and return back to being me."
 She stood up and turned to face her grandmother. "But you probably also realize that you are betraying a father and his daughter. For whatever reason you are committing a sin that your God might not chose to deliver you from. It is his decision that I am standing here. She is purpose of my standing here. You tell me Kaveri can solve the rest of this puzzle. Yes she can. But what about the pieces that you are hiding in your depths?"
The silence between them pierced their hearts.
"You are a parent. You have witnessed the misery and helplessness of seeing your child in agony. You have lost your child before your own eyes.And I know there hasn't been a single day, when you haven't wished him to be back. Is it difficult for you to fathom what I am going through? Or perhaps you can't because you see me as a child. You can hide whatever you chose to Badi Ma, but you also know I am going to find her. And that will be before the Kumbh celebrates its last day."

Badi Ma was still silent, but was speaking through her tears. 

"I understand. You need not share anything with me. But don't lie to me either. In any case, you'll meet Kaveri soon."

She turned and walked the other way, deciding to face the crowd on her own now.

Grandmother watched as she disappeared into the crowd. She knew the words were said not by her grand daughter but by the man whose identity she had been hiding all these years. She knew the father's patience had ended.

She knew she was going to meet Kaveri soon. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3

She was woken up by her grandmother's early morning Aarti. Everyone else was still asleep.
It was still dark outside. She got up, wrapped herself in the shawl and went outside. It was quiet except the distant sounds of the temple bells announcing the morning. She sat outside the camp. Once again her thoughts wandered back to Kaveri and then her own demented self.
A few years ago, she was a loner. A complicated, terrified, and absolutely confused child. She had a doting family but there were things that were beyond their grasp. For fifteen years, she had ceaseless nightmares. Then they turned into coherent pictures. They didn't remain dreams at all. By seventeen, she was living two lives. She had stopped answering the call to her name. And she was incessantly searching for familiar faces among strangers.
Whenever in crowds, she invariably had asthma attacks. The doctors identified this as psychosomatic. Her mother thought otherwise. Deriving the conclusion from her daughter's disturbed nights, which indicated that there was some reason for the phobia. A large part of her dreams were shared only with her mother. Ma was convinced that even though something was disturbing her,it will gradually fade away with time.

Things started getting out of hand, when once in her grandmother's old album she chanced upon a few old photographs, and recognized most of the people present in them. Even her grandfather's parents whom she had not heard of before that day.
"Satyadev and Meera" she said in a trance, in a different tone and voice. "Its been a long time"
Her grandmother stood there, aghast.
But the grandchild had no explanation for the words that came out of her mouth.

They decided it was time to visit a Psychiatrist.
Dr. S.M Singh was a name in his field. First look at the lady and he knew it wasn't an ordinary case. After half   a dozen hypnotic sessions and half a dozen counselling meets, his patient's nightmares had ceased. and he had got rewarded with the most intriguing case of his career span.

"Past Life" he said, as he showed the videos of her session to her parents. "She doesnt recall all of it, but certain people hold special significance. She was a man . She (He) was working under the British Government. Had some land in Allahabad. Had a wife called Sumitra who died of consumption. Lost three sons. Had a close friend called Satyadev and his wife Meera, who are as you revealed, your grandparents. Had to go and get Ganga jal from Kumbh for his ailing mother. And then there is Kaveri. Someone that mattered to him possibly more than anything. Its remarkable Mr. Tomar, but your daughter is not one of the regular cases we have read about. The time she is talking about is probably the the 1940's. She doesn't recall a lot of things. Especially nothing after the part where they made up their minds to go to Allahabad. Probably, this man expired at that time. But then why is reborn so late and if he was born again as someone else, she does not recall anything with respect to that life. Your daughter or lets say the man who is reborn as your daughter cannot let go of his own daughter. It might sound strange and insane to both of you, but you must try to find this lady, Kaveri, if she is alive. Thats going to give you a lot of answers and perhaps the only way you will be able to calm down your daughter's state of mind"
It was difficult truth for the family to absorb, but nevertheless, they knew there was no other explanation.
She had calmed down after the counselling. She finished her higher studies and started working. She even became decently patient in crowds. But Kaveri, her only quest remained unanswered.

Grandmother came and sat beside her. "I know it keeps bothering you" she said as she gently stroked her grand daughter's hair. You know, I always wondered why you were forever inclined towards the masculine things" They laughed.
"Badi Ma, why don't I recognize myself ? Why don't I remember my own name? If you have so many pictures of Satyadev, then I must be there in some of them. Why can't I recognize my own face?"
She laughed. "Its so funny how you so casually call your great grand father by name. But its natural I guess. Its awkward sometimes." she smiled, "And as for your query, I don't really know the reason. Perhaps its pre- destined that rest of the puzzle should be completed by Kaveri."
She leaned on her grandmother's shoulder. "Do you remember anything about her?"
"Only that she was a wonderful human being. By the time I got married to your grandfather, she had sort of closed herself to the world. Attempts to contact her were all in vain. They said the trauma of her father's death was too much for her to bear, she met no one for decades. Then we moved to London. When we came back, it had been a long time.

The tears came unchecked. The agony pierced her heart. Kaveri had no one. She couldn't bear to imagine the ordeal and the pain the child must have gone through. How must she have managed? Without help, without support. How did she survive the cruel world?

But she did. She was still alive and she was waiting. Her heart swelled with pride and love.
"Isn't it a miracle? My child is so strong and brave. So brave. She managed to live through the ordeal. She managed it alone! Isn't it amazing? I shall find her now. I wont let my daughter suffer any longer. I shall do anything to find her. I'll find my Kaveri"

Grandma listened and in the light of the Sun's first orange rays saw the love of a longing father speak in her grand daughter's voice and shine through her hazel eyes.


Chapter 1  Chapter 2 

The world went by slowly. People never hurried. Walking at a certain pace, never too slow, never too fast. He wondered about these men as he passed them. About their lives, their ambitions, their dreams. How it had increasingly become limited to the boundaries of their town and their colonized minds.

He stared at his feet. His worn out chappals demanded to be laid to rest. She'd be angry if she came to know he was exploiting them still. He thought of her. The dilemma did not seem to have an answer. The atmosphere was charged up, there had been several attacks on government servants and in a few cases, even their families. He couldn't leave her alone. No. That wasn't an option. Then should he take her? There did not seem another option.

The tonga stopped at his house. He paid the man and stepped down.

The noticed that the doors had been painted. He had thought about getting the work done, but office kept him occupied. Funny, how she knows everything thats going on in his mind and how she manages it all.
He called the servant from outside. Shankar opened the door and smiled.

"You came early today Saab ?"
"Yes, not much work, people are leaving for the Kumbh " he explained as he entered the house. "Get the water Shankar"
Bhanu came with the water. He washed his feet and changed to khadaoos (wooden slippers). "Hide them, she must not know" he said handing him the chappals and smiling in conspiracy to the helper. Bhanu smiled back as he took them.
He entered his room. The lamp had been lit. He sunk in rocking chair and recalled the events of the day.
His mother was breathing her last. She wanted the Ganga jal from Allahabad. She wanted him to bring it and pour it in her mouth before she transcends the earthly ties. His being an atheist had nothing to do with it.
He had to go. But...
There was a knock on his door. "Aa jao" he said. She entered quietly, with the tray and placed it on the stool beside him.
"Ajwain ki Poori?" he asked delightfully. Have you made more? The children at the ashram love it.
She smiled. "I went there in the afternoon and had lunch with them. They were asking about you."
He looked at her hands as she handed him the tea. The bangles. They had always been on her wrist, ever since... ever since.. he did not want to recall.
"How was your day?" she asked as she took a little stool to sit down.
"AH alright, not too great" he said breathing heavily and sipped his tea.
"Whats bothering you?"... He looked at her, what was the use hiding.
"Ma", he said, "She wants me to go to Allahabad, to the Kumbh, and get Ganga jal for her. I dont think I have another option. She feels she isn't going to last long".
She shook her head "Yes, she hasn't been keeping well. I think we must go and visit her as soon as possible"
He agreed. "But what about Allahabad? Will you come with me? I'm not in a mood to leave you behind. Ever since Quit India has started, there have been quite a few incidents of violence. I wont let you stay alone"
She smiled, "Then I shall come along, you were talking about the ashram there, I think you should look into that matter as well."
It was his turn to smile. "Yes, yes,that also has to looked after.And I will get to meet Satyadev also. Its been quite a while. Meera had come to meet her mother the other day. She was asking about you."

"She is a very kind lady. Janmejay wants to become a lawyer like his father I heard"
"Hmmm, he is quite like Satyadev. He shall make his family proud"
"So then its final. I'll come with you and do all the darshans on your behalf".
He smiled as she she gathered the plate and the cup. "Shall I make more tea?"
"Hmmm.. Elaichi wali, kadak" both laughed.
As she was leaving he spoke,


she turned

"God bless you my child"

"You are my God, Baba"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy 1st Budday BLOGGIE!!

             Love you baba.. Cant thank you enough! may we continue to be the bestest buddies forever!!
                                                 Wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!


Chapter 1

Allahabad was originally called Prayag, which means sacrifice. There used to be a sacred Peepal tree on the banks of the Ganga, from which people used to jump into the sacred waters and commit a sacred suicide, positive of the fact that this led to their attaining salvation, Moksha, freedom from the cycles of birth and death, from eternal suffering.

Emperor Akbar was immensely fond of the city and renamed it to the present one. Allahabad literally means "settled by God".

The politics keeps changing its name to Prayag, then Allahabad, then Prayag, then back to Allahabad. The Allahabadis couldn't care less. It doesn't change the pace of their easy life, doesn't give extra limbs to their standard ambitions, doesn't make them any more or less of the Hindus and Muslims they have been their entire quiet lives.

The city, by whatever name one chooses to call it, lies at the confluence of three holy rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and  the Ancient Saraswati, which is present only in soul. This is called the Triveni Sangam. Every year pilgrims from the length and breadth of the country and beyond it gather at the four sacred cities of Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nasik to bathe in the holy waters and take it home.

The Mahakumbh of 2001 was much more significant, a lifetime opportunity for every devotee. It happens once in every 144 years, due to the remarkable alignment of the planets which repeats itself after this particular time period.

Around 60 million people gathered at Sangam that year. It was the grandest event the city had seen.
Her grandmother came here and stayed for a month every year. Family members would often join in. This year because of its significance made the party a little bigger than it usually was. She came to visit grandma occasionally. The crowd had always wanted to kill her in the nightmares. She could never bear to be in one.

This time when she came, they made her stay for a couple of days. Her mother wanted her to. She couldn't refuse. They had all gone for the holy bath in the morning. She stayed back, and warned them of the stampede. Her cousin brothers couldn't stop laughing, they kept teasing her till the minute they left.
She had waited for an hour, and wondered why nobody had come back. The ghats weren't that far from their camps. Two hours now, she hesitantly stepped out to look for them. Before, she realized, she was lost in the murderous crowd. Then the smiling Sadhu appeared and things were never the same again.

Somebody kept a hand on her shoulder, she turned around startled. Grandma stood there, clad in her ivory widowhood, silently questioning her grandchild's dilemma.
She realised her feet had turned numb in the waters, she had lost the sense of time and place as she mused on the sequence of events that had brought her here.

 "Lets go bachha"  grandmother said smiling.

While walking back to the camp, she fell into her cauldron of thoughts again. She felt very young, very naive and at the same time so aged that the world seemed all newly born to her. The feeling had begun to take over her senses. The nightmares had stopped but her own personality was becoming intertwined with some other entity. She talked about things nobody knew, she knew about things she had never seen, she had seen things nobody had. Often she couldnt answer people the simplest question to be asked. She couldn't tell them her name.
She wasn't sure.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


She had a feeling she was going to sink in the sands on which she stood. Something had just broken off or added itself into her being. She was oblivious to the commotion around her. There was nothing she could hear, nothing she could see, nothing except the man, nothing except the name she read on his lips. Kaveri.

He came closer. The smile on his face looked centuries old. He himself looked much older. She had met Sadhus before but never like the one standing before her now. On his ash smeared body were scars that told their tales in a language she could not read. She couldn't decipher the inscriptions that his eyes wrote all over her. The only thing she understood was that he had taken the name.The name that meant everything to her. He had taken her name. He knew. But how? She needed to ask him, but words didn't come out. She realised that she was blinded by tears as they escaped ceaselessly; she wept, there was no end to it. She did not know who she was, she had no idea what was happening to her, all she knew was if this indescribable feeling continued to invade her mind, she would stop breathing.

The Sadhu was still smiling. Then he brought up his hand and touched her forehead. She felt his warm rough hand move across her forehead. There was something in his hand. Ash, she realised, as he rubbed it on her head. She made no protest. She could feel her old self take over again. He spoke at last
"Do not fight the circumstances.They are there for a reason. Do not wonder and cry. You are here again only for a purpose. She is alive. Find her. Take her back."

She knew it. Her heart knew Kaveri was alive. Nobody wanted to believe her but here, this man told her the only truth she wanted to hear. She believed every word this man said. She wanted to. There was nothing else to believe. 

She fell down to her knees and held his feet. "Where?? Tell me where is she? Where do I find her? How will I know? Please!" she cried before collapsing on the sands.
He helped her by the shoulders and made her stand up. "She is where your journey began my child, where the waters meet. She is here. And she waits for you. Find her. She has all the answers."

"She is here" the words echoed through her soul. She started laughing amidst the tears repeating"she is here", "she is here", She will find her, she will find Kaveri, she had to. That was the answer. She needed no answers after that.
Somebody called her name, she turned to look. It was her father. She turned back. But the Sadhu was gone. 
Her father came shouting. "What is wrong with you?? Where the hell have you been? And whats all this on your head? Answer me!" He shook her out of her trance. She answered all his queries in three words. "Kaveri is alive." 

Sangam had always given her the answers. "Where the waters meet" she recalled the Sadhus words. She went to the banks. It was unusually quiet. Her grandmother was saying her evening prayers. A few other souls were praying to the confluence to bless them. The Mahakumbh vibrated with chants and devotion of millions of people from all over the country. Washing their clothes and sins in the same silent waters. And the water goddess embraced them all, her beloved children coming for redemption and salvation or for the final rest.
She put her feet in the freezing waters. Strange what urgent devotion can do to human beings. Millions take their holy dips here not minding the coldness, not minding the filth, often religiously contributing to it. But faith is ever triumphant. Nothing happens to the devotee, except  when stampedes happens.The waters have got little to do with it.

The Sadhu's words echoed again. So it was here that her quest ends. It was here that it began. A lot of answers stood before her waiting for her to find out their questions. She thought of Kaveri. He had told her she was waiting. She fiercely believed him. After all Kaveri was her daughter. And she was all that Kaveri ever had. Her beloved father. She was Kaveri's Baba.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Ode to Solitude..

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye. 
Alexander Pope

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Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Rohu Oreo Shake

If you are a health conscious individual. Do not try this at home.

As sinful as it could get, the oreo shake is a family and friend favorite. I have been offered handsome incentives to treat them to it. Its not difficult to make but it definitely brings a smile on your face if you make it right. Do try it if you are in that particular "I dont care" mood...

For 2 servings you will require,

  • Oreo biscuits - 1 small pack  
  • Vanilla ice cream - about two to four big scoops (thats totally upto you buddy :) )
  • chocolate bar- 1 medium (dairy milk compliments the flavor)
  • milk- a glass would be enough (it has to be half ice cream, half milk)
  • sugar- swad anusar, mine has 2 tablespoons
  • chocolate sauce- in tolerable quantity (2 spoons)
  • vanilla essence- half a tablespoon, can be skipped
  • coffee- half tablespoon, pressed (only for the flavour)
Break the biscuits, put them in the blender, Do the same with the chocolate bar and add. Put the sugar, ice cream, chocolate sauce, coffee, milk and essence. You can use different flavours of ice cream like chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch to be innovative. Let them all embrace each other in the blender for about five to ten seconds depending on how you like it, Crunchy or smooth. Putting it in the freezer for fifteen minutes will make the consistency smoother.
Pour in your glass, top it with whipped cream and crushed chocolate or relish it as it is.

And if it doesn't work out, I will not recognize you and secretly remove this post (rubbing hands with evil smile) ... However looking at the ingredients, you will have a fair idea, that it can hardly go wrong except if you make it too sweet... 

Have a Great Day


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Purani Jeans

For those of us who have lived in hostel during our college days will probably agree that hostel life makes up a huge part of their finest memories. I've had the loveliest time and perhaps its not a big deal to say that it has a huge role in my growth as a person. This is a little collage that represents one of the happiest times of my life..

"The Buddies"

VIEW from my room...

My Room

Birthday fun

"bestest  buddies"

at India Habitat Center...


"Midnight Brownies" (we were allowed to bake :D)


"WiFi Hunt"

"Jack Sparrow" 
Farewell Party

Friday, April 06, 2012


What remains of me
Does not belong to you
I breathe no prayers in your name
What remains of me
Does not seek you
Rest all of it is just the same

My songs never reached the sunset
It drowned in the waters before
My prayers never reached its Lord
They were swept away to some grey shore

You could not see my hope
I could not see your smile
You couldn’t love before
I couldn’t all the while

I couldn’t let you pass
You couldn’t fail the test
In the midst of push and pull
We killed the grieving nest

You never knew my name
I never knew your words
I spoke to silent walls
You sang to lonely birds.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Beauty in the Beast

My memory lane looks more like a wildlife sanctuary. Almost three fourths of all the happy moments that I can recall has some member of Kingdom Animalia present in them. My identity is incomplete without them, and they have a huge purpose in my being. Pa thinks I belong more to them than I belong more to them than I belong to the sapiens. He fears that by any chance if I land up in the Indian Police Services, I'll turn it into an animal rights protection force.

I was born in a home which had more canines than human beings. I grew up irritating them. Bruno, Sheeba, Mickey, Rocky, Daisy... Its a family secret that I BARKED before I spoke. I'm not to be blamed. Subsequently, animals were all around me. Inside my home and outside, in my books, on the tv, everywhere.
Now came those beloved divine interpreters of my stars. The Purohits. Even before I was born, they warned my mother to be careful. Her first child was going to be a typhoon. When I came, the family's belief in jyotish vidya intensified. They were called again, to design my horoscope, pick out the doshas, suggest the upayas and some other stuff. Heres what I was told to do...
Feed fishes on Sundays, Ants on friday, Cows on tuesday, Keep a female black dog as a pet, Free birds in cages, also a pair of snakes, Keep a deer as a stuff toy, Feed Gud to elephants and some other stuff. I still wonder if they were astrologers or animal welfare activists. 

So being one hell of an obedient child, I did it all and understandably I grew close to almost all sorts of animals. Whatever morsel of fear was present disappeared eventually and by the time I crossed the incredible age of adolescence, my interaction with beasts often became a matter of wonder to spectators.

Obviously, now there were enough reasons why I chose Zoology as a subject for graduation including the fact that my mother was also a post grad in it. Miranda House had no idea what was it in for when it welcomed me.

Dissections, one thing that I'd perhaps never forgive myself for. I was a decent student, but I was exceptionally good with dissections, Cockroaches, earthworms, sea urchins, prawns, rats, frogs, leeches, pigeon heads, I did it all until the final year came and changed me forever. I had chosen entomology as one of my subjects, which is the study of insects. I excelled at the observations, cultured butterflies, and mosquitoes, and what not, but then there was one exercise called insect collection. You have to catch all sorts of insects, kill them in poison jars, stretch them, pin them and put them up for display. 
One huge problem with my entity is that if I fail to understand the purpose of something, I am not able to do it. After collecting a dozen of them and seeing them twitch in pain and die in those damned jars, I walked up to my teacher and told her I am not going to do it anymore. She had high hopes from me, the war ensued, I was to get no marks if I didn't do it. I decided I didn't want them.
Similarly another grose exercise carrying a load of numbers was live dissection. Where you dissect live frogs, and some goddamn perverted purpose which even your teachers will not be able to explain to you, you will cut open their ribs to record their heartbeat or muscle twitch. Its an abominable sight, but for marks YOU ARE TO DO IT . I feigned asthma due to psychosomatic reasons and was exempted though no marks were to be awarded to me. The very same day I reached home and called up a lady politician who is a very avid animal lover and activist. After half a dozen calls she assured me she will look into the matter. Thankfully from this year there will be no dissections in zoology honours. Thats the biggest reward I received as a student.

Animals can sense your feelings and reciprocate the same way. If you are afraid, they'll chase you, if you get violent, they mirror your actions, if you are aloof, they wont bother, and if you are affectionate, they return the same hundred times the original amounts.
 I've picked up terrified chameleons to rescue them from my screaming lady classmates, and the faith with which they've climbed onto my palm... :) When I was in school I once saved a bat from being killed, and after a while it was so comfortable and affectionate it refused to come out of my lab coat pocket. Snakes have never been aggressive with me. I had picked up a krait when I was six and it had only stared at me dreamily. I know you'd be wondering if I am insane. Perhaps I am, but when something that cannot speak conveys to you such an amount of love and faith you'd probably prefer being one.

My own dojjy, Brandy Singh, however defies all logic. She is absolutely terrified of my cuddles and until I am back from a long journey or something, the only look I get from her is that of scorn.

Brownie and Titli, two dogs that reside outside my house but in my heart are a matter of wonder not just for me, but for everyone else. God knows if they are bro and sis, or cousins, or lovers, but one thing which can never be doubted is that their companionship is a matter of envy. Always together, these two have so much love brimming in their hearts for each other and for us that when they come running to you every time they spot you, you know this was one reason for which you were born. If I am standing outside the gate, brownie will be sleeping on my feet and Titli will sitting close. If I am sitting, then Brownie has his paw on my knee and Titli within hands distance. If I am walking, then I am flanked on either side by the two of them. Such love dear reader, is so profound that it seeps into your heart and makes your grey a shade lighter. You heal with this love, you forgive, you move on, you smile and you understand what happiness is in its purest state. Be it Titli's protective mother like behavior or Brownie's baby like affection or their miraculous awe inspiring companionship, your soul will hold on to these moments. They drown me in their love and I become a better person every time.

Its an overwhelming feeling when a winged one comes to your garden tormented by the cruel afternoon, has a sip of the water you kept for her and with new hope, soars again. Its a wonderful feeling, when your little gesture saves a being, its a beautiful feeling when you know somebody loves you more than you love yourself... Its a wonderful world for all thats in it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

No escape.

He became conscious of the beads of sweat on his forehead. There was no escape. It was all his doing. Now he had to pay the price. His hand were cold and numb. The noose tightened. He closed his eyes and said a small prayer. Took his last free breath and muttered,

"I do."

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Dream :X

What happens when you wake up one fine morning and attempt to recall your dream. And what happens when you have finally recalled it and you painfully wish you hadn't. What happens when your dream is so exasperating that even the characters curse you all the while. Don't bother...Just try and get over the trauma of it.
One such dream that gives a new definition to nightmares took over the remains of my brains about a fortnight back. I still cannot get over the shock. Let me share it and feel better...

Its a dark place, an abandoned theatre or something of the sort. There is an owl in shades of white and pink who apparently loves ribbons. To his glee I am wearing one. (Good God, I am wearing a ribbon!! ) and for the rest of this dream, he is on my head as well.
So yeah, coming back to the theater... there is the stage in front of me. I must be invisible at this point of time as I am given no attention and with the owl on my head, am pretty much thankful for that. On the stage is a circular grey platform. Around this platform are kept dozens of formalin jars with creatures I dont really recognize. (Formalin perhaps entered the scene because I am a zoologist by degree). Now the platform is rotating. There is a man standing on it. His face is in the dark. Body appears like that of a beefy arthropod. Grey Shirt, Black Pant. Lights please.
Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting before you, The One and Only

                                                              " INSPECTOR DAYA"
                                                    D:  "THIS LADY HAS LOST IT"

So now the man of my dreams is standing right in front of me. This sure is a fairy tale. But wait, where is the villian. Theres got to be a villian, a classy one.
Daya looks around for doors to break. no doors, only curtains! Damn you Rohini Singh, where are the doors?? Poorly dreamt. :(
Enter Villian  *FAINT*
                                                                   " DARTH VADER"
                                          DV: " I shall gag and die after this dream is over"

Lights, Camera, Action!!! Perhaps the most memorable scene in the history of dreaming. Na kabhi dekha tha, na kabhi dekhoge! Its altogether an extra terrestrial experience to watch Daya chasing Vader. And chasing him straight into the ruins of Machu Picchu... *SOB*
                                                                 "MACHU PICCHU"
                                                      MP: "What was she thinking???"

Here, my hero disappointingly disappears. And Vader is running alone is the ruins, then he stops breaths a sigh of relief and enters an SBI ATM (yeah right.. In Machu Picchu). After playing the baddie is all those movies, he has been unemployed for quite a while you see. Poor guy must be pretty much out of cash. Try and be sympathetic people.

                                                            DV: "DIE WOMAN!!!"
But look at his kismat, he steps out straight into a Mafia Shootout. And before long he swears at the author of this dream and jumps from a cliff nearby.
Rest in Peace.
                                                     Don Watever: "She'll spare no one"

And here I am, caught in the crossfire, with something in my hand that looks suspiciously like a green dual Beretta. Bling! Must be my sister's. And then I notice my cousins, sitting behind a wall playing Uno! (some relief!! this is normal). And woah, I have something else is hand, bulky and big! WhatS that??
"Concepts of Economics" by Dutt and Sundaram.
The owl is still hooting on my head. And somebody is shouting. Wait that sounds like my mother..Yeah baybeh..its Mum.. my Saviour... How I loved her that morning... Waking up was never such a relief.