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.