Tuesday, November 21, 2006

TAG: To My Blog... With Luv...

This Tag is courtesy one Meesha Mathaichan...

1. Are you happy/ satisfied with your blog, with its content and look? Does your family know about your blog?

I am more than satisfied with my blog. And.. No.. My parents don’t know of my blog. They are not very internet savvy. I don’t think they would even know what a blog is. My father only recently learned how to send sms’, but I forgot to teach him how to enter a space. So for quite some time he used to lavishly send sms’ to people without any punctuation or spaces between the words thinking that is how it is supposed to be sent ~laughs~. They know I write though. One day I’ll print all my stories and gift it to them in the form of a book. They would like that.. :)

2. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?

This blog is a reflection of me, an expression of my innermost thoughts and beliefs and that’s certainly not something I am ashamed of.

3. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?

Hmmm… Well, blogs have not exactly brought about any changes in me. But they did reinforce what I believed in. They exposed me to a million different perspectives of people belonging to different cultures, social background and circumstances. I got to know about the life of a transvestite who is still craving to be seen by others as she is… About a woman who had to stand at her own feet even as a child… About another woman having to fight cancer each day without knowing how long she would live... Now that I think about it, I don’t think I have changed as such, but it has definitely made me grow in many aspects that I didn’t even realize.

4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?

Oh! I always like exploring the world around me. You never know what you may find…

5. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?

Not a thing now… It did mean something when I started the blog to be honest. Or at least I thought it did. Now I don’t even look at it. Because I know I don’t write for another soul except myself. Oh, that reminds, I have to remove the ticker off my blog…

6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?

Not really… I don’t try to visualize how they would look physically. But I do have a mental picture of the kind of people I think they are sketched in my mind. I think a person’s writings reveal a lot about the person even without the writer intending to do so.

7. Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?

Does everything we do necessarily HAVE to have a tangible benefit??? I am sure everyone has their own reasons for blogging. Some may do it to display their talents, while others use blog as a journal to jot down day-to-day events, which in turn becomes a reservoir of memories to be savored years from now. Many have created a blog only so that they can comment on others blogs. And most of the bloggers are in this space purely for time-pass. ~smiles~

8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?

The “bloggers society” consists of people who are very much part of the real world and affected by the events happening around them. (What a stupid question..!! ;)))

9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing?

Oh, I looooooooove criticism… As long as I am the one giving it.. ;)))))). Ok, jokes apart… I think a person would get affect by criticism only if one doesn’t know about oneself and isn’t confident about oneself. When one is faced with criticism one has to know what to take as constructive feedback and what to IGNOOOORE!!!! Having said that, people have a right to their opinions and that needs to be respected.

10. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?

Not at all…. Politics is very much part of the world that we live in, whether we like it or not…

13. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?

Oh, that was the first thing that I thought about when I started this blog. I wonder if people would know if I am dead... I wonder iof they would still come back to see if I have posted something... And I imagine the worst when people don’t post for a long time…

14. What do you like to hear? What’s the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?

MEMORIES - Sung by Elvis Presley

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories...
Sweet memories...

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you...

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Sometimes silence can be the biggest of all crimes ever...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Prashant tagged me.. Grrrrrrrrrrr... I'll get you some day for this... ;)))

This is a morsel of Me...

1. Introvert: I am outgoing. I get along with people well and soon. I am known to have a huge group of friends. But there is a side to me that only my very close ones know about. I am comfortable in large groups; at the same time I enjoy my solitude too.

2. Easy Going: I tend to take life as it comes and thus embrace what it has to offer. I am usually cool with people; unless they brush my ego (I have tons of it ;)) in the wrong way, take me for granted or try to exploit me. Then, I make sure that I get my point across loud and clear.

3. Passion: I love dancing. I started learning classical dance at the age of 4, just after I learned to walk without banging into things around me. Now I can move to any kind of music right from Bhangra to Hip Hop. Music is very close to my heart although very few people know that I can sing without the dead rising ;). Writing is a passion that I have come out in the open with only recently. Reading is a pastime that I am still re-discovering.

4. Friends: Aaaaaaaah! What would I have done without them… They are my soul mates…

5. I am here, HOW???: Some unprecedented biological mishap??? Hehe.. :D

6. Sports: Errrr.. Does Suduko count as sports??? ~grin~ I have always been PATHETIC at sports. I used to participate in these running races and used to invariably end up being the first.. from the LAST!!!... nevertheless I used to happily jog on the tracks as if on an evening stroll, when all the other players would have reached the final point long before.. The viewers would groan and shout at me to either finish the race fast or get off the tracks... But I used to shamelessly wave back at them, grinning widely, as if I were some celebrity being cheered by the mob and continue jogging...

7.What I dislike : Let me re-phrase the question… What I HATE to the core of my heart: BIGOTS, HYPOCRISY & FANATICS in that order.

8. Spirituality: Some thing which is confused with religion these days. Spirituality is nurturing the inner you, the spirit within you. Religion is only one of the means to achieving that.

9.Me and My Dreams : I have a million dreams. I am living through one this very moment. ~smiles~

10.Hobbies : My passions are my hobbies.

11.My most weird dream : That I would become a writer one day… Hehe.. Weird na??? ~wink~

Phew! Done with my first tag ever.. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006


This sweet little Poet celebrated his b'day yesterday. He wrote to me "My b'day on the 8th ... so wish me ... hehe .. :)" ~smiles~

Anup, wishing you all the happiness that life can give.. All the best for your exams and for every impediment you may have to face.. Hope you find your rhyme soon. Its about time.. ;)))


Friday, September 29, 2006


I didnt realise its been a month since I blogged...

Im feeling incredibly lazyyyyyyyy... HELP!!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


~I know this post may be a little too late for Independence Day... But that is a illusional endowment that we enjoy every day. I had written this poem as a comment for a couple of fellow bloggers. Thought I would post it today~

I walked past the corpses sacrificed in the name of fanaticism,
And the souls living a life of death in its terror,
I watched the law stripped naked by the symbols of corruption disguised in white.
I retched from the stench of poverty, the slums that have mushroomed on my belly.

I listened to the AIDS victims, homosexuals, transvestities crying out for acceptance.
I was deafened by the silence of women waiting to prove their worth.
I watched helplessly as soldiers died in the conspiracy of patriotism
And the spirits crumbled beneath the hand of casteism.

I have witnessed Pain of love, Ecstacy of grief, Sanctity of hatred and dubiety of happiness.
Yet cradling the hope of a better tomorrow in my womb,
I walked towards the tri-colour that symbolizes 6 decades of my freedom.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The sequel of Mein Aunty Ban Gayi would follow in the next post. Me tied down with loads and loads and loads of work... I have begun to see little numbers wih tiny wings floating around me grinning at me devilishly. Pray for me so that I have the strength to hold onto the remanents of sanity... ;))))

Thursday, August 17, 2006


~This post dates a couple of months back~

We have all had our moments of truth – a crucial, defining moment that throws reality in the form of a baseball right at our face forcing us to swallow it. Well, I didn’t even imagine that my baseball would be thrown at me by a 6-year old darling.

I was returning back to Mumbai after over a week of vacationing at my home-sweet-home in Kerala. (‘Vacationing’ should be read as lying down on the ground in front of television and changing channels with my toes, munching nothing, anything and everything that my mother sets in front of me and if I get time off from my busy schedule I would sleep like a god-forsaken LOG which has gone into a coma for ages!!!). Every time I am about to leave home, my mother would hug me tight. First her lips would turn into a perfect inverted U, then her eyes would swell up with tears (her eyes have the incredible ability of filling up with tears right to the brim without letting it fall off onto her cheeks) and her nose would turn into a ripe tomato, making me wanna kiss it. Every time the very same scene in the very same sequence… I bid goodbye to a wet, ripe tomato poised above an inverted U and drove off with my father to the airport. The vision of my mother standing like that at the gate of my house would remain picture perfect in my mind for quite some time… every time…

My father on the other hand has mastered the art of hiding his emotions, which I have inherited. Since time immemorial women have been considered the epitome of emotions. But I feel emotions play an equal part in men and women alike. Just that we women know how to simply cry and let it out of our system. Men on the other hand just do not know what to do with all the emotions accumulated over their lifetime. They seem to be walking on a tightrope balancing all those feelings on one side and the image of a “strong man” on the other. He would hardly talk to me all the way to the airport.

When I and my father reach the airport, he would put an arm on my shoulder and say,

“Shari, mone” (“Ok. Son.” He always called me ‘Son’)
“Poyitte varu” (The literal translation would be “Go Come”, but it means something to the effect “Take Care”)

The only thing that would give away the true emotions behind these 4 words is the slight quiver in his voice as he said them. Later my mother would tell me that my father was in a foul mood that day like all the other days I left from home. I turn and walk towards the airport exclaiming to myself, “Parents!!!” :)

I was looking forward for my flight that time as it was the first time I would be flying in Kingfisher, the much heard about king of all times. Right at the entrance there was a representative greeting you and taking your luggage. It felt goooood. Come ooooon! Who wudnt like a li’l bit of pampering? When my friends had come to know that I was traveling by Kingfisher, they had given me quizzical looks which said, “Why are YOU traveling by Kingfisher???” As soon as I entered the plane I knew what they meant. The airhostesses were GORGEOUS!!! They were adorned in smart red sailor suites and I could not help but ogle at them. Errr… Mein straight che.. ;)

The seats were plush and luxurious and the designer interiors were highly attractive in luscious red. Kingfisher was indeed the king of the Indian skies especially after experiencing airborne bullock-carts like Air Deccan. But what bowled me over was when I saw Yana Gupta, in her smart mini-skirt, giving the safety instructions in a screen right in front of me. Damn! She was even speaking in an accented Hindi. My eye-balls literally popped out of their sockets and fell off into my very hands. Vijay Mallya seems to be playing the cards R-E-A-lly well - Kochu Kalla, China Thiruda, Little Robber.

I slumped back into the comfort of the seat and closed my eyes. I opened my eyes after just a moment and there she was …. A vision… A vision of big round eyes behind cherubic curls….

To be continued…

~Gosh! Now I know how powerful Ekta Khanna feels. ;)... Errrr.. That was Ekta Kapoor.. Hehe.. ~

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hey Guys,

Thanks to all of you for the best wishes for the contest. I am taking a break from work and going off to my fav city - Hyderabad. I am hoping to surprise a dear friend. Can’t wait to be there.

Take Care… :)


Friday, August 11, 2006


A couple of weeks back a colleague of mine submitted a short story from my blog titled 'Long Wait Home' on my behalf, as an entry for a contest called 'World's Greatest Novel'. This forum is building a novel that would be written by numerous writers. This is how it goes... First, write-ups are invited from writers across the globe, which is then shortlisted by a panel. One write-up is selected from the shortlisted works based on a public vote. This becomes the beginning of the novel. For the next part again a contest is conducted by inviting entries from writers. This process goes on till the entire novel is completed. Cool idea, ain't it?
Well, what my dear colleague missed out was that my write-up should have creating a setting for the start of a novel. But she liked my story and just send it without paying attention to the instructions. I had received this reply: -
"Hello, thank you for submitting your work. We have read through the work and must congratualte you on an excellent piece of literature.
However, as you already are aware we hope to create a novel. We are concerned that this opening has no where left to go. And on this basis have declined the work.
Where do you see the next chapter going or what the story could develop into if this extract was the start.
I would be glad to hear your views, we just fear this has no scope for future writers.
We would be very interested in receiving a work from you that allowed plenty of potential for the story to progress.
Thank You"
So I considered the matter closed and didnt even bother replying. But today when I opened my mail i had this message from them:-
"Hello Betsy.
Our various editors have read through your work again. After careful consideration and debate, it is felt the standard of writing deserves to see this work progress through to the next round.
We are still concerned that the work has limited opportunities for progress, but we have decided to let the general public on the forum have the final say.
The work is excellently written and we would like to congratulate you once more for an excellent piece of literature.
The work will be published on the site in the near future.
Good luck with regard the voting for the actual chosen work."
Out of the 253 entries they got, 12 have been shortlisted so far. And one of the shortlisted writers is MOIIIIIIIII... :)))) ~running around dancing and peeing in my pants~ ;))))
Check it out for urselves... Get onto http://www.worldsgreatestnovel.com/. On the left-hand side the list of short-listed candidates are given. Mine is the 9th one named 'Betsy Mathew 10/08/06' (Yup! Thats my name :)). Click on it and you will be able to view my write-up.
You can also click on 'Forum' and then on 'Shortlisted Work' (the second option) and give in your views.
~still beaming away to glory~
And all of you guys, why dont you give it a try? Try ur luck. It could be a nice way to create a writing background for aspiring writers.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


~When I was home a few months back I was going through the junk in my room. I came across this poem that I had written when I was about 12~

When I was a child, so meek and mild,
I sat on my mother’s lap, looking at her face.
I clung to every word she said,
Cherishing her tender gaze.

She told me about everything, sun, moon, breeze,
Even about the birds that sang on every tree,
But she always reminded me of one thing,
She always wanted me to love that one thing.

She said, “Reach out for the rainbow,
Seeming so far yet so near.
In every step of your way, to the rainbow you should go.
Never fear that, because God is always there.

When the clouds are black, there is thunder
When problems arise, your steps may falter.
But after the storm, after the rain, there is rainbow,
So don’t stop your journey, to the rainbow you should go.

Through all your burdens, through all your pain
The sun may seem covered by the clouds
There may be no way for you to go through
But remember there’ll be a rainbow, shining just for you.

And there is a pot of gold
At the end of every rainbow
The legend may be true or old
But to get what you want, reach out for the rainbow

It is a bridge between heaven and earth
Between dreams and real life
It reminds you that love is not to be held, but given
You should be strong, so to the rainbow you should go.

It is the symbol of peace, a symbol of hope
It says you’ll always be able to rely on God
When with your problems, you want to cope
It tells you not to look at the problem on which you have to trod.

A rainbow is a thing of beauty, a joy forever
It reminds you of a river
Which keeps flowing till its destination
Overpowering all obstacles without hesitation

Even when my mother lay in the hospital
She was in great pain
Still she did not show it on her face
And outside it began to rain

She said, “The clouds are heavy,
The night is dark and dreary,
But when the rainbow comes there will be light.
So reach for the rainbow, through the way that is right.

She lifted her hand to my face, so mild and meek.
She breathed a deep sigh,
Her hand fell from my cheek
She went with a silent goodbye.

My mother’s words still rang in my ears,
They drive away all my fears.
“Reach for the rainbow, so far away yet so near,
It is your aim, the sky is your limit.”

“To the rainbow you should go, where there is light.
To the rainbow you must go, through the way that is right.
To the rainbow so beautiful, to the rainbow so bright.”

~Although now when I read it I find the poem a li'l lousy :), I was amazed that even at that age my writings were very dark... Its been ages since I have written a poem.~

I need to add this as I think my poem may have been a li'l misleading.. The poem is purely fictional. My mother is alive and kicking. Although she did suffer from a fatal stroke when I was 11. Not sure if this poem stemmed out of the experience of almost loosing my mother.. not sure..

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


The web count on my blog has crossed the 10,000 mark !!!!
~Me jumping around, shaking hips, pulling hair and laughing out loud, crazy with happiness~

Monday, July 10, 2006

TAP... TAP...

I thought today would have been like any other day. I woke up to the boisterous cacophony of crows, who had taken refuge from the pouring rain under the parapet of my window. They were creating an orchestra of discordant noises with the dedication and genius of Mozart himself. I gave them a quizzical look through my sleepy eyes and curled back into the solace of my warm blanket. Only moments later, or so it seemed, I was woken up by the urgent voice of my roommate “Get up! You are late.” I looked at the clock; it read 9:30. “Damn!” I swore to myself before jumping out of my bed. I went about with my daily rituals and dressed up with lightening speed and was out of my home at 10:00. Like every other day I caught a rickshaw to the local railway station.

As I made my way from the entrance of the station, with the rain beating down on my ridiculously pink umbrella above me, along the pathway towards the platform, I heard a recurring, sharp sound behind me, cutting through the humid air. “Tap… Tap… Tap…” It came in perfect rhythm. I turned to find a 30-something man looking straight ahead with his unseeing eyes. He was adeptly maneuvering himself amidst the crowd finding his way with the aid of his walking cane, each step of the way, tap by tap.

He held a black umbrella in one hand and his cane in the other, holding it in front of his waist and tapping in cadence from left to right as he walked, clearing his path ahead about 2 paces ahead and splashing water lightly in all directions from the puddles on the ground. His slender shoulders were erect, probably with a lifetime of fighting his way through every step of the way. All his senses were alert and his ears were grasping the minutest of all sounds and voices. He used all his sensory inputs to construct a picture of his surroundings before is mental eyes that would otherwise have been perceived visually.

Tap… Tap… Tap…

I walked on, with him a couple of feet behind me and the sporadic taps in the background as if making his presence known by gently tapping the very ground he is about to step on. I took the turning; but I suddenly stopped in my tracks as I wondered if he would know the road would turn. Oh yes. He turned along the turning of the road almost with the perfection with which a bee spots a honey-rich flower lured by the sweetness of its fragrance. I marveled at his ability to move through this crowded environment.

Tap… Tap… Tap…

I continued walking. I mounted the steps of the bridge that connected to the platform. I listened to the rhythm of the walking stick behind me. ‘Tap… Tap… Tap… Tap tap…’ The rhythm faltered. His cane must have discovered the first step. He climbed the stairs as his cane encountered each step. When he reached the level ground on top of the bridge his cane retained its original rhythm. I had not realized that my steps had begun to follow the same rhythm. We walked along the bridge and then down the stairs towards the platform, our steps in perfect synchrony.

When we nearly reached the end of the stairs an incredible thing happened. The taps seemed to have multiplied. I realized that the multiplicity of taps that seemed to fill the air came from somewhere ahead in the platform. As I walked ahead the sonance grew louder. What I saw touched and amused me all at once. In the section of the platform where the compartment for the handicapped would come, there stood a group of blind people. They had heard the taps that announced an approaching blind person; the taps which perhaps have grown to be more of an identity for them. All of them began to tap at the ground in unison with their walking canes to inform the approaching man of their presence and cheering him towards them. And all of them had this huge grin on their faces. It brought a smile on my face as well. The man made his way through the crowd to the group and started chatting with them as they waited for the train.

For quite some time, long after the train arrived and I pushed my way through the blatant crowd into the train, long after the train whizzed me past the slums that have mushroomed along Mumbai’s railway tracks, long after I stepped out of the train only to be swallowed by the dissonance of honking vehicles, shouting hawkers, and the murmuring rain, long after I entered my office to feel the cool air hit my face, the taps were with me; its echoes rebounding within the walls of my mind, as if trying to find its way to knock at the corners of my heart.

Imagine living a life in nothingness, where you cannot even see darkness, let alone light. Friends we have a lot to learn from these people – the art of independence, dignity and above all, the tenacity of the spirit to survive, surmise and strive above all handicaps.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


It was a sultry day and the scorching summer peeped through the trees trying to witness the event that was about to take place. The air was humid with the weight of each moment that passed. The trees rustled in the soft breeze whispering the anticipation in the air. In the shadow of their whispers on a wooden bench sat an old lady with her head held stubbornly high. Time had taught her undeniably that surrender to destiny was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice. Time would put her through perhaps the most painful test a mother would have to face. Her calm demeanor cached the multeity of emotions within. She sat there, the tender grass at her feet, staring at the entrance of a grey imposing structure.. Waiting..

Behind the walls of the grey structure that marked a different world, behind the dark corridors that were stale with the stench of forgotten dreams, behind the iron bars that caged the despair of broken wings, he lay on the cold ground staring at the ceiling above him. Time had taught him to fight with the world for one’s existence no matter what the end. Time had made him immune to fear - even fear of death. He lay there feeling the cold seep into his bones, his heart beating in synchrony with each passing moment…. Waiting…

The sound of clink of metal broke him away from his reverie, as the supervisor of the prison opened the cell with food in his hands. He gulped the food and it went down his throat like little rocks. Later a doctor came to examine him. To check if he was healthy enough to die? He grinned at that thought.

…The breeze lifted the fallen leaves from near her feet. She took a silent walk through time, lost in the haze of memories. The images behind her closed eyes were entwined in darkness. The voices echoing in her ears were weaved in silence. The whispers knocked at the doorstep of her heart. She walked up the empty inner rooms of her memories calling out for the child that had been hers… The child that had clung onto her finger as he learned to walk… The child that slept against her bosom in blissful slumber… She had only herself to blame for the man he turned into. She may have loved him too much. She should have read the signs… The friends he hung out with… The long recurring trips until finally he vanished leaving her behind with a hole in her heart. She hadn’t heard from him until the arrest. “Aggravated murder and sentenced to death” the court had declared, not knowing how many lives would die with one. The leaves settled in some corner of the world.

In the other world, he waited till his time came. He had no remorse in life. He loathed the so called ‘law’ that thought it knew what is right for people. What does the ‘law’ know about the life in the streets? The law cannot feed people. The law cannot set one free. Initially he had felt trapped in the path he had chosen for himself. But later he was intoxicated by the money and the power it gave him. He felt as if he was empowered to rule the lives of people around him.

When the metal bars opened for the second time that day, he knew he was not coming back. The Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and three guards stepped into his cell. One of the guards applied the restraints on him while the other two held him. Then the two guards held either of his arms and urged him out of the cell. He swung his arms away from their grip and said “I walked on my own in life. I can walk on my own to death.” So with one guard on either side, the other guard and officials behind him, he marched toward death.

At the execution room, the executioner was waiting for the convict to arrive. This was his first execution, not that he was looking forward for it. As the convict entered he felt a chill run through his spine. When the convict was taken past him to the scaffold, he looked straight into the executioner’s eyes, as if knowing he was the one destined to put his life to an end. The executioner saw the cruelty lurking in the corners of his eyes.

After the prisoner was made to stand near the scaffold, the death warrant was read aloud. The warders held the arm of the convict and mounted him over the scaffold, placing him directly under the beam to which rope was attached. The executioner, with professional indifference that he was trained at, strapped his legs tightly together, placed the black cap over his head and adjusted the rope tightly around his neck. To the executioner, the faceless figure standing at the scaffold seemed like any other man. He stepped down from the platform and everyone waited…

The arrow of time pierced the thin air. The pendulum swung solemnly, steadily. Time ticked by in the convict’s pulse, in his heart. His heartbeats raced with each tick of the clock. Everything around held its breath in anticipation of the next second. A sullen silence remained. For the first time he felt fear grip him slowly like a snake tightening around its prey. He felt his inner self writhing as if on a red-hot metal sheet. Just as the clock signaled it was time, as the executioner signaled the guards to withdraw from the scaffold, as he drew the bolt, as the rope tightened against the convict’s throat beneath the black cloth, as the ground he stood on gave away under him, just before he choked at his own weight, a loud cry escaped his lips that echoed within the walls of room, ringing hollowly in the minds of the people in it. That scream would haunt the executioner’s dreams for years to come.

At that moment time had stood still. Not a leaf rustled, not a soul stirred. Everything seemed to be frozen, captured in the ice of timelessness. Nature reflected the emptiness within a mother’s soul.

Later at the funeral house she waited to take her son back home with her. When his body was brought to her, she stood beside him and removed the white cloth that covered his face. Not a tear was shed… Not a sob escaped her lips… She stared at his face searching for her child, only to realize he wasn’t there.

She started her journey towards home with the corpse of her son; only she knew that she had reached the end of her long journey.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Cloudburst in Mumbai !!!

The most significant characteristic about Mumbai is that it is absolutely unpredictable. And anything that happens in Mumbai leaves an impact that could shake us to the core. The advent of monsoons was no different. The clouds burst with the showers of its blessings and a million droplets poured down as if to shake mother earth awake.

Me and Dewy were in office with our noses glued to our monitors, pretending to be hard at work (we were actually playing online sudoku, googling for “Best pastimes during office hours”, and of course reading blogs), when somebody yelled out ‘Heavy Rains! Get home as soon as possible!” I am not sure if it was the fear after last year’s floods or relief at receiving an excuse to abandon work, but people started rushing out like hippopotamuses whose tails were on fire. Well, we were quick to follow suit.

We reached the ground floor of the building to find all the hippopotamuses flocked together, scared to step out into the heavy rain. Honoring my irresponsible and forgetful self, I didn’t have an umbrella. Inspite of this we bravely plunged ourselves into the rain huddled under a single umbrella. Our “we-should-get-a-paramvir-chakra-for-this” expression was washed away when water splashed from all directions at us. Inspite of the umbrella, in just a couple of seconds we were completely drenched, except for a small area on top of our heads, were a middle-aged man would be beautifully bald. Nonetheless, because of the shame of returning back we carried on like a pair of wet Siamese twins hiding under a giant mushroom. It was so windy that I thought Dewy’s frail frame, along with her peacock hairstyle and crooked smile, would be ‘Gone with the wind’. Thank God, she was holding onto a heavy handbag which anchored her to earth.

We reached the place where we usually catch a shared cab only to find a huge queue for it. There were hardly any cabs available because of the rains. After waiting for a long time, we were contemplating on whether to expose our ‘tange’ inspired by Pooja Bhatt in ‘Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi’, when finally a couple of cabs came. But people rushed at it as if it was a matter of life and death. Finally I got my turn and sat in it.

My relief only lasted for five minutes till I reached the station. It was so crowded that I was doubtful I would even have air to breath. I stepped out into the mob and was soon swallowed by it. Hundreds of us moved slowly from the entrance of the station to the railway platform huddled together like fetuses in the enormous womb of Mumbai local railways. But even such a time men could not cease to be MEN!!! They were religiously entertaining themselves by grabbing at whatever flesh they could get their hands on. While I was trying hard to hold on to my 10 cm. sq. of space.

So like fetuses trying to find their way out of the womb, we slowly made our way to the platform. People who stay in Mumbai would be able to appreciate the challenge involved in entering into a local train. I sometimes wish a miracle would turn me into a heavy-weight sumo wrestler for just that half a minute when the train stops, so that I could hurl everybody away and find my way into the train (except that I hope I don’t get stuck in the entrance of the train). Even without the miracle I pushed my way into the train (which arrived after a long wait) only to the sandwiched between two fat stinking aunties, knowing exactly how a burger felt. The one thing that Mumbai local trains and maternity wards would have in common is their slogan - ‘Push!!!’… ;-)

After being ‘burger’-ised for almost two hours the train reached my destination. I pushed my way yet again this time out of the train and took a deep breathe of relief. I thought my eyes would swell with tears of happiness like it does in beauty pageants; but the drama was not over yet. None of the rickshaw walas were willing to go to the place where I stay. There were many of us waiting hoping somebody would take mercy on us. Suddenly, at the corner of the road I saw a ric stopping and people getting out. I ran with all my might and asked the rickshawwala.”Poonam Nagar chaloge?” He answered reluctantly, ‘Madam, Bohot traffic hai, pani bhara hua hai.” I met his eyes, mine pleading to his and a soft whisper of prayer escaped my lips, “Bhaiyaa…” He thought for a moment and said, ‘Chalo, baito.” I felt like kissing his balding head but I refrained myself and quietly sat in the ric instead. After an exciting rollercoaster ride (some of the few moments in life that I remember God!), as he maneuvered through the traffic and the poring rain, I finally reached home.

I collapsed into my bed as if after a war. I swore to myself I would rather go on my knees before an unassuming chicken on the street and beg it to bestow its flu on me rather than go through this again. But I guess this war would continue each day of the monsoons. Sigh…

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


“Prostitution, cud b a necessity, a compulsion or simply a choice? its such a deep rooted social existence, that nw, if uprooted wud leave possibly too many ppl unemployed, n ostracized.i wonder, is it such a moral issue?(if taken up by choice?)”

~This was one comment I received on my previous post - A Walk in the Rain. I started replying to this in the comment box itself, but it got too long that I decided to turn it into a post. But I would like to make it clear that I am not lashing out on the person who wrote it. Because the person was only voicing a viewpoint which most of us share. So this is just an attempt at setting some facts straight~

"Prostitution, cud b a necessity, a compulsion or simply a choice? "
I got the last two parts.. but NECESSITY???? Why wud prostitution hv be a NECESSITY????

"Its such a deep rooted social existence, that nw, if uprooted wud leave possibly too many ppl unemployed, n ostracized.".. I completely agree with this.. It is only gonna make matters worse if we just ban prostitution, fold our hands and watch... I remember a couple of years back in Kerala, where I hail from, the govt had introduced strict measures to curb prostitution. It only gave the police more reason to raid public places and demand more money from prostitutes in the pretext of ‘cleansing’ society of immoral traffic. Conditions had become so bad that women started selling their bodies for as low as Rs 25!!!

Now the govt and a lot of NGOs have initiated a more structured approach to the whole issue which attempts at addressing the root cause… In 1997 the Health Intervention Program was launched. As part of this program, first and foremost, these women were issued ration cards, id cards which gave them voting rights and officially reframed the word "prostitutes" to "sex workers".. Guys.. This may sound funny to mentally secured ppl like us.. But I think the fundamental thing an individual needs is an IDENTITY, which these women are deprived of and this gesture went a long way to give them just that… For ppl whose lives r filled with the dearth of hope to a better living, any ray of light can breathe life itself…

As a next stage in the program, these women were given basic awareness abt AIDS, condoms and counseled abt dictating terms to ensure their safety.. Friends.. u wud be shocked at the torture these ppl are made to suffer.. I read somewher that in US abt 87% of prostitutes have succumbed to torture in some way or the other!!! You can only imagine what the numbers would be like in India. I cannot even fathom what element of sexual pleasure it gives a man when he tortures another human being!!!

Then these women were taught stitching, weaving, typewriting.. Some of them surprisingly displayed immense talent in pottery and painting.. This gave them something to fall back on and attempted at empowering these economically handicapped women.. It did help in atleast revealing a trace of light at the end of a long tunnel and giving them a choice to be able to atleast think of quitting prostitution and taking up another means of living...

I know this initiative has many bottlenecks.. First of al the geographic penetration is very limited.. Its not yet been taken to the interiors wher the problem is more prevalent.. Besides I wonder hw truly effective it has been considering the mentality of our society.. Questions like 'who wud employ these women?' remain unanswered.. Although there are many NGOs who have started cottage industries to employ these women, they are very few in number. Financial resources and manpower in the form of volunteers are always a constraint. And there will always be men knowing that she was once a prostitute trying to take advantage of her vulnerability… Thus it becomes a vicious circle these women are trapped in. I think our society has a long way to go in terms of maturing and opening up their minds to embrace an individual into a new life regardless of the person’s past...

Besides these, certain other 'Moral Issues' have not been addressed yet, such as kidnapping of women and being forced into prostitution, so called ‘Arab Sheiks’ marrying girls from poor families and turning then into prostitutes, etc. We live in a world were children as young as 8-10 yrs are subject to sadistic pleasures of mentally twisted men, leading to their deaths and eventually their bodies are burnt so that it leaves no trail.. Guys… don’t think I stole this out of a Steven Spielberg movie.. It is happening as we speak..

Let me say something about ‘Choice’… (Let me make myself clear at this point.. I am NOT taking about the call girls who sell their bodies to earn extra pocket money so that they can afford expensive cosmetics. I am only talking about women who have to sell their souls for a day’s meal.) I think we all need a serious reality check here.. There is a huge segment of the society that is deprived of the basic right to CHOICE!!!

I was a very small part of this Health Intervention Project for sometime as a counselor. But at the end of it all, I wondered who counseled whom. My heart goes out for them because they are out there in the world living it night after night. Before we talk of moral issues there is an issue that’s far more fundamental – the humanitarian aspect.

Just to enlighten you a little as to what these women have to go through EVERYDAY of their lives, let me share this document with you.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Walk in the Rain...

As she sipped her coffee, she couldn’t help but think how magical the night was. It was raining softly outside. She listened to the rhythm of the rain lashing over the roof as if whispering unheard tales inducing the night into sweet slumber. She finished her coffee and went about her routine activities. She kept a jug of water next to her father’s bed; her father who had been paralyzed by fate for years now. For the last time she made sure her little brother was asleep. Then, she stepped out into the rain, in her crimson red sari, when the world was fast asleep.

She didn’t bother to carry an umbrella. The rain was no alien to her, nor was the rain to the expressions of her heart. She felt the cold shimmering pearls of rain that fell from the heavens above, drench her warm body slowly. It was not the kind of rain that poured with vehemence that cut through the sacred earth and echoed the storm within you. It was the rain that caressed you with each of its drops trying to wash away the pain engraved in the heart of your soul. She took a deep breathe of the sweet fragrance in the air. Yes… this is the closest one can get to magic. Each drop fell gracefully on the unforgiving ground in steady rhythm; music as if to guide a lost child to find its way.

As she approached a turning in the road she could hear the laughter of children. Just around the corner there were a group of children playing in the little lakes that the rain had made and were ridiculously giggling away to glory. At that moment she wished she were a child cached in the bubble of its laughter… A child with only childish fantasies so improbable within the realms of reality, yet seeming attainable within the vagaries of a child’s mind.

She walked further down the road to the bus stop and stood a little away from it, waiting. After a couple of minutes a man came walking down the road towards the bus stop. As he neared the bus stop he looked at her. Time seemed to stand still as their eyes locked. A flash of lightening momentarily illuminated the dark night making her face shine with an unearthly glow, which was followed by the sound of thunder that rolled across the sky. Everything seemed to be frozen around them as their eyes penetrated each other, assessing each other, anticipating each move. She caught her breathe as a cold chill spread across her bones. Was it the rain or was it fear that gripped her every time for just a millisecond?

She walked towards him and stood beside him. He looked the other way and asked her, ‘How much?’

She replied, ‘500’.

‘Hey, that’s too high. I’ll give 200.’

‘Look, I am not settling for anything less than 400.’

‘Go away. I’ll look for someone else’, came the reply.

When he moved as if to go away, she instinctively took a step forward before stopping herself. She swallowed hard hoping to erase the desperation in her voice and said, ‘Ok. I’ll take 300 for one hour and that’s final. Take it or leave it, old man.’ She said it as vehemently as she could. She didn’t realize her eyes portrayed a strange blend of conflicting emotions.

He seemed reluctant for a minute, which seemed like an eternity to her. But finally he said, ‘Fine. Follow me.’

She let out a sigh of relief and followed him along the road to a dingy hotel. There were other women standing outside the hotel. The men in the hotel gawked at her. Her gaze didn’t waver even for a moment as she glared back at them. The hotel was dimly lit and smelt of stale air. She waited near the window as the man spoke to the guy at the reception.
She watched the sporadic drizzle through the dirty window. She was struck by how different the rain looked from this side of the world, as it fell on the puddles creating ripples that spread far beyond only to see its own end as the ripples of each droplet merged with each other. From that dingy, stale hotel lobby she felt the rain looked like heaven’s way of washing away all the filth in the world.

Her trail of thoughts were broken when the man called out to her, ‘Hey you. What is your name?’ He was standing inside the room that he had rented on the ground floor holding the door open for her to enter. She walked towards the room and said, ‘Does it matter?’ She shut the door behind her. For about an hour she shut herself away from the rhythmic tales of the rain… shut herself away from her childish dreams…

Later, she sat on a half-broken chair staring at the money the man had kept on the bed. He was sound asleep. Opposite to where she sat there was a mirror that held captive her image, reflecting silence. It seemed like a stranger was staring back at her from inside the mirror. But if she looked closely she may see the distorted image of a person she once knew. Someone had once told her that your world eventually becomes a reflection of yourself. She instantly looked away, picked up the money and quickly left the room. It was still raining gently outside, as if it was waiting for her… knowing the need of its comfort.

Once again, when the world was fast asleep, she stepped out into the rain. The rain swept her face as she walked along the lonely road following the rhythm of the rain… like a lost child… trying to find its way…

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


[Warning: This post is extremely boring and lengthy and thus has an acute anesthetic effect. If you have any satanic kids in your household whom you want to put to sleep instantly, this article is very much advised. Else, if you really intend to read through it then, stimulants like a couple of jugs of coffee is mandatory. ;-)]

Have you ever wondered what the very first image that has been imprinted in your mind would be? It maybe the feel of a mother’s warm hug… or the taste of cold ice cream melting in your mouth… or the sound of a shriek induced by a playful tickle…

Hold my hand and walk with me down my memory lane to my very first memory, which is the journey to India for my grandfather’s funeral.

I was three when my grandfather passed away. That was the age when you were allowed to freely walk around in nothing but your underwear and still manage to look incredibly adorable… the age when u could replicate one of Picasso’s paintings on your grandmother’s face and still smile innocently and get away with it.

My family was in ‘Gelf’, like all mallus who infested the place at that time. Well, even today most mallus, in their outrageously colored lungis, are either in Gelf or atop coconut trees (oops! I shouldn’t be forgetting the toddy shops). I was born in U.A.E and my family had not visited India in the time span between my birth and my grandfather’s death. In that three years time, my grandfather used to write letters to me, knowing very well that I was only capable of joyfully chewing the letters into an indecipherable pulp.

The Dream…

It was past midnight when my father woke up with a jolt from his sleep, sobbing and he just couldn’t stop. He had dreamt of his father dying. My mother tried to calm him. I had woken up by the sounds but pretended to be asleep. Only a few hours later we received a call from my hometown back in Kerala announcing my grandfather’s death. Amazing is the power of bonds and the instincts it evokes!!!

I didn’t understand the turn of events that had occurred. I was only excited about the trip to a place my parents called ‘home’. The next morning as my mother packed the stuff for our journey, I put on my best airport dress with a lot of frills and lace inspite of the fact that it itched so bad that I could get an entry into an Itch Guard ad. I grasped a bunch of my curly wild hair and tied them into a pony right at the top my head, and it was perched as though just about to take a suicidal dive from the top of my head.

But that morning, my father was unusually quite and preferred to sit by the window and stare into empty space. I ran to him, jumped onto his lap and gave him a bear-like hug. But that didn’t seem to pacify him. I felt like saying, “Dude… What could be more important in this world than getting my full attention?” Well, when you are a child life seems like a football match. Everybody seems to be madly running after the same ball. I mean it just didn’t make sense.

The Take Off…

After all the packing was done, my family proceeded to the airport. My uncle, who was also in U.A.E, was to accompany us. So, parking myself comfortably in my uncle’s arms in my itching dress and my suicidal pony, we entered the plane.

It was my very first flight. Excitedly, I sat at the seat next to the window (in years to come I ensured I did the same) and waited for the plane to take off. When the plane finally took off, it sent weird tremors at the bottom of my stomach as if invisible hands were tickling my belly (I love that feeling!!!). Eventually we were airborne with the plane’s wings outstretched and dashing into the clouds that adorned the sky. I remembered every bird that looked mocking at me as if to say “Can you do THIS?” before flying so high up in the sky and I silently replied, “Hey you funny feathers, even I am flying now.”

Nightm-AIR INDIA!!!

I slumped back in my seat ready to devour the delicacies that they served while I was flying in mid-air, or so I thought… The 40-something aunties with their bottoms filling up the entire space of the aisle put some mass in front of me expecting me to eat it. After close inspection I realized it they were the ghosts of once-upon-a-time robust eggs. I gulped them down hoping I wouldn’t puke. I couldn’t even fall asleep because of the fear that the hen that had lain those eggs would come in my nightmares demanding, “THAT!!!! U stole my unborn babies for THAT???”

After a while, the aunties distributed toys for the children to play with. One of them gave me a Barbie doll to play. I gave her an amused look as if to say “Do I look mentally retarded!!!” and demanded for a jig-saw puzzle. She gave me a cold stare that I thought I would turn into a ice sculpture with a thunder-struck expression, a fountain on its head and eggs in its mouth. I spend the remaining time staring at the clouds through my window waiting for them to part and reveal to me my first glimpse of home sweet home. Finally it did and I saw a wide expanse of greenery. Man… that was a lot of coconut trees!!!!

The First Step Home…

I stepped out into that Land of Coconuts. I didn’t feel any sense of euphoria or any lump in my throat. All I felt was a disturbance in my stomach and before I knew it, the nausea gripped me and I vomited the once-upon-a-time-robust-eggs all over my uncle. I was debating whose curses would have had a bigger effect on me – the aunties’ or the hens’. All the way from the airport to my father’s home, past the paddy fields, past the little houses with tiled roofed and past the narrow pathways, I was vomiting while in my uncle’s arms oblivious of the lush beauty around me.

All my relatives were eagerly waiting for us, mostly for me as they would be seeing me for the first time. There was a huge hue and cry for sometime when we made our grand entry and everyone for some time forgot that there was a funeral. Some of the relatives gathered around me to check me out. I don’t know what they expected. Did they think I would have wings and would flutter around, or that I would be trotting wagging my tail or that I would charge with my horns pointed at them? Some of them where pinching my chubby cheeks and were chattering on and on something to the effect “Ooooh… She looks like her father”, “Ooooh… She has the feet of her grandmother”, “Ooooh… She has the index finger of her great grand uncle’s cousin’s god-knows-who”.

But I was enjoying being the centre of attention, till my grandfather’s corpse arrived. All the relatives suddenly abandoned me, ran towards my grandfather and flocked around like ants in and around an anthill. They started beating their chests like a bunch of gorillas and wailed like inhabitants in one of Hitler’s torture chambers. I rolled my eyes thinking “Adults and their pretensions!!!”

Unto Dust…

Everybody sang songs that are commonly sung during funerals and I tried my hand at lip-singing and kept mumbling something or the other so that my sound merged with the sounds that the group was making. Then the priest gave a sermon (through which I slept peacefully) after which we said our prayers and my grandfather was taken away to be buried. “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

We spend a couple of days more in Kerala and then returned to our home in U.A.E carrying with me the vision of a man in his coffin, a man I had only known through the letters he had sent me.

My father till today regrets the fact my grandfather never had a chance to meet me. I still have some of the letters he had sent me. At times I open them and that smell comes pouring out, that old paper smell. I would be struck by a sense of my childhood self that seemed to be contained in there… and above all the sense of having once lived in a man’s dreams…

This was the very first of my miscellany of memories – memories which entwined together like the notes that would form the beautiful melody of my life.

[Most of the incidents mentioned above are based on imagination and conjecture of what may have transpired at that time. But what I do remember are visions of waking up in the night to my father’s sobs, of vomiting all over my uncle during the journey and of seeing my grandfather in his coffin.]

Whats your very first memory?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


She had woken up from her sleep long before dawn. She lay on her bed enable to go back to sleep again. She got up, sat on the bed and let out a long sigh. She reached for her walking stick and stood up with difficulty. Age had multiplied the effort required for simple things as this.

It was a cold winter morning and she felt the chill hit her bones. She lit a fire and slumped into the comfort of her favorite rocking chair beside the window. It had snowed the previous night. The white ground that seemed to stretch into eternity looked as if it were painted… as if the sky was floating gently on earth.

She could hear the sound of the wood cracking in the fire. She watched the flames dancing in the air and the shadows of light dancing to its tune. It is fascinating how darkness could evolve from something so brilliant. She could feel herself crawl into the warmth that filled the room. That room was full of memories. She looked around the room that was witness to her kaleidoscopic world. She glanced past her children’s medals and trophies, past the drawings they had made a long time ago, to where the collection of photographs was kept. She picked up one framed photograph out of them.

A man… a smile… a solace for almost a lifetime… Now just an image in a faded photograph. She ran her wrinkled hand over his face. It had been years since he had gone… years since his hand had held hers in the paths trodden.

The first sun beam that was to break the darkness that dawn, would mark her 80th birthday. It was hard for her to believe that eighty years of her life had passed by in an eye blink. The few days ahead seemed like a struggle, with the present hanging onto a bunch of forlorn dreams.

She closed her eyes and drowned into a panoramic rummage of her mind’s cache of memories. Images flashed before her eyes… images of her wedding day… her first child… her children’s first steps… their laughter in that very garden… her grandchildren… The thoughts brought a smile to her face. All that she had been through in life was worth holding her grandchildren in her arms. But they were all away in different corners of the world. Maybe they would send her a card wishing her happy birthday or maybe she would receive a phone call.

She looked at the other photographs of her family. They were moments of life captured for eternity that never grows old and never ceases to look back at you. You never see the bad days in a photo album; life simply seems to travel from one happy snapshot to another. Time in all those years had revealed the beauty in the multiplicity of patches. The time ahead was marked by the wait to ultimately become an image in a faded photograph.

She leaned back in her rocking chair and closed her eyes. Slowly everything around her vanished into nothingness. When the sun rose in the horizon of the slate blue sky, its sunrays kissing the sleeping night awake, she was asleep clinging onto the faded photograph of her beloved.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


When people come into our lives they take with them a little bit of ourselves. People that define everyday of our lives are nothing but extensions of us – little particles of ourselves floating around in our little universe; like the firecracker that bursts into a million sparks against a dark moonlit silhouette.

I would like to dedicate this post to such a spark in my life who has been on my mind for the past couple of days… An impulsive laugh, loud enough to shake the very ground that we walk on… An inspiring persona any living thing would look up to… A tender touch filled with unconditional, genuine care and concern… She came into our lives like a breeze with a sunshine smile, created a tornado which swept us off our feet to simply steel our hearts away.

Some old lady once told me that only good things happen to good people. Well, life does not walk around in the streets with an evil detector in its hands ready to shower curses at people when the machine starts beeping. In reality we are like this feather in ‘Forrest Gump’ floating ever-so-heedlessly wherever the wind called ‘life’ takes it. The wind could either take it to a sea of daffodils or to a busy Mumbai street to be trampled by the mob.

So the fact is, bad things can happen to good people as well... and it did… to her of all the people in this world…

She had been living in this bubble created by her, shut away from reality, wrapped in the comfort of memories and all the time hiding the torment within. We had watched the bubble burst before our very own eyes – helpless and in despair. It should be awfully scary to look at the wide blue ocean knowing that you may have to sail through it alone. Would she ever know that we would be there for her through all odds? But the truth was - will it make a difference?

Weird are the ways of life and the paths that it takes us through. The difference between life and classroom is that “Class room teaches you a lesson and then tests you. But life tests you first which in turn teaches you a lesson”. You silently seek answers to unspoken questions knowing very well there are no answers and that the only choice is to succumb to life’s magical hands.

I shut my eyes tight, excluding myself from the deafening silence and prayed to that unseen force to give us the strength to sustain, survive and strive through all obstacles that life has in store for us and look at every impediment in the eye and say “Life truly is beautiful”.

I hope time, being the ultimate healer, would bring back the sunshine smile and impulsive laugh back to that spark in my life.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Like all things good and bad that inhabit this universe, I also have a beginning.

The Genesis…

The day I was born the entire world celebrated. Till today the day is cherished as that of dreams, happiness and eternal love. OK OK… You guys stop giving me that “you-twister-of-facts-look” one would give Mr. Bush when he says “We are STILL trying to find Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq”. I happened to be born on the V-Day. (No no… my parents weren’t married on Children’s Day… Oops! It is supposed to work the other way round, isn’t it?) So when young couples walked hand-in-hand in dimly lit parks, gays returned peoples stares silently yet vehemently saying “Dude! Today is Valentines Day and we are in love” and dogs trotted around with their bitches with that “I am gonna get laid today” look in their doggie eyes, my mother was trying hard to bring this bundle of joy (I bet she would beg to disagree) into this world.

It was a calm morning compared to the catastrophe that was in store. I mean the earth didn’t shake, the volcanoes didnt erupt and tornados didn’t wipe away lives to mark the debacle that occurred on that Winter of ’83. I guess it was the lull before the storm.


To begin with I was born upside down. Well I am not referring to how my cupboard looks (which btw looks as if Bin Laden has done a test bombing in my closet before WTO) or my twisted brains (which I am sure during my post-mortem would look like a chunk of entangled spaghetti). I mean to say that I was LITERALLY upside down in my mother’s womb.

Watching the sonogram of their unborn child is one of the most touching moments for any couple. My parents would have had a picture perfect view in there minds of an innocent fetus cuddled in blissful slumber. They were in for a shock!!! Besides being upside down I was striking this pose as if I had just been electrocuted. My parents were amazed at how I could have imitated Jayan even before my birth, with my limbs stretched out wide and adorning a ridiculous grin. (for the non-keralites Jayan is a mallu actor of olden days who had the dressing sense of Elvis Presley and danced as if he was about to have a nervous break-down).

Well my version of the story was that I was embracing life with open arms ;-).

Cry my Child…

So that’s what my mother carried for 9 months – an upside down Jayan. And finally on the V-Day I decided this is the day that’s gonna mark my grand entry into this universe. Well, it was grand indeed…

My mother had to have a cesarean. I gave her complications before birth and have been continuing the legend till date :-). But when the doctor cut her up, he realized that I was too spread out in my Jayan posture that he had to cut my mother up a couple of times more (I have sworn to hunt that doctor down and cut HIM to pieces!!!).

So finally after replicating Mask of Zorros’s signature on mummy’s tummy I was taken out of her womb and into this world all bloody and wrinkled. But when all normal childbirths were marked by the cry of life, I decided to be a little different from the rest. I was so consumed with my sleep (which became my favorite pastime in the years to come) that I forgot about the rule that I should cry. My mother let out an anxious cry, only to be silenced by the doctor who gestured with his hand against his chest (in the background came the ICICI jingle “Hum Hai Na…”). So, the doc held me by my legs gave me one tight slap on my unassuming bottom (Another reason why I intend to hunt him down). To the relief of my mother I let out a loud cry that shook the hospital structure. WAAAAAAAAAH… (Translated: “You *&@#$#^!^#^^$”).

Lonely… I am so lonely…

The cute male nurses (there are a lot of cute male nurses in U.A.E, where I was born) immediately wrapped me up and took me away to clean me. As they put me on a table I struck a Pamela-Anderson-on-the-beach pose and cooed “Blookloo…ma…coooooo?” (Translated: “Aint I cuuuute?”). But they took one look at me and ran away into the theatre room to find refuge away from the horrific creations of nature. I cried out with my little arms outstretched “Gulooooo…ma…nanaaaa…; Bulooooo…ma…nanaaaa…” (Translated: “Hold me now; Touch me now”). (Four years hence Glenn Medeiros found inspiration in these words and thus came the most famous love song of our era “Nothings gonna change my love for you”.)

Apparently, my mother was having complications after she delivered me and was bleeding profusely. While the doctor and nurses were fighting against fate and hope to set things back to normal, I was left in some corner of a hospital room oh so very lonely. Outside the theatre room my father was feeling as if he was living a nightmare.

All in the eyes of a Man…

Finally after it was ensured that my mother was safe, the nurses decided to display me to the world waiting outside. After what transpired one would expect a reaction something like this when one took a look at me: “That’s it??? All this pain and trauma for THIS???” But as I was kept snugly into the warm arms of my father I was ready to strike my Pamela Anderson pose again, only to be stopped by the look in my father’s eyes. The common opening statement by the nurse “It’s a GIRLLLLL!!!!” was easily forgotten amidst the havoc. The doctor did tell my father that my mother wouldn’t conceive again due to the operation undertaken to save her life. But as my father gazed into my half-closed eyes, the news didn’t seem to him the least bit important. (In short my parents were stuck with me for life… only me… Only years later, did my father realize the true gravity of what the doc was trying to tell him :-)). What I saw that day in my father’s eyes was probably the purest form of love-at-first-sight.

So that was the beginning of my journey into my Topsy-turvy world. The 23 years that followed have been punctuated by unexpected events that have defined the very essence of my life.

But I am still searching for the doc though… ;-)