Of friendship and hope

It has been so long since we spoke that I’m concerned. If anything’s the matter I trust that you will let us know so it can be resolved.

You know how to reach me, us or…

Take Care 🙂

Hands shaking, she hits the ‘send’ button and feels her throat close, enveloping the light

around her.

‘Message sent View or undo’?

She blinks trying to get her eyes to focus. Undo… Dear reader,  if only it were that simple, you and I would have found a cure to cancer . If only she knew what the hell there was to undo. (more…)

Home… Dream Home…

Home — that blessed word, which opens to the human heart,

 The most perfect glimpse of Heaven,

And helps to carry it thither, as on an angel’s wings.

– Lydia Maria Child

It was January 2009, my mother’s birthday was coming up in May. There was nothing special about the year or anything. Owing to mortal fear of my soul burning for ever in hell, I cannot tell you how old she turned that year. My younger brother A and I liked to surprise mom now and then.

When I was in the 11th grade, we surprised mom by inviting her estranged niece over, I still remember the pineapple cake – all mom remembers is her niece walking into the living room. She still can’t remember the cake…

She is a single parent. She balanced her job, running the house, us… Completely brought back to the verge of bankruptcy thrice by people she trusted, she never let her children go without food or education. Our small apartment was pristine, we had nutritious food and went to  top schools in the city. We counted our blessings and thanked God every day.

As we sat thinking back on all the things she had to forgo for us, we realised how blessed we were. The people who stood by her were her friends. They never asked anything in return, they protected her, loved her, supported her, told her off, put up with her and were there for her in every step of life. In doing so they kept her focused, determined and strong. In doing so they also had a hand in creating the beautiful life we have. All these thoughts were swirling around in our mind… So… we made a plan.

It was 11.55 pm; we could hear the air conditioner in mom’s bedroom humming. We had this tradition, every birthday at midnight; A would wake mom up and play this movie he makes using all the pictures he took of her during the course of the previous year. Like a photo memoir if you will…

“Happy Birthday Ma!” we woke her up. Excited about the photos as usual, she rubbed her sleepy eyes, and sat in front of the computer… Picture after picture ran past her and as the screen faded to black A said “Surprise”… And there they were all of her friends, wishing her good luck, recounting old memories, telling her how much she meant to them. A and I had labored over the past two months, gathering information, visiting her friends and filming them, friends from other cities had their videos recorded in mobile phones and e-mailed to us. It was beautiful, she was beautiful, my mother sitting there her humble self, only thinking about what others meant to her, hadn’t stopped to think that she had enriched people’s lives too.

When morning dawned we spent the day with her and packed her off to visit a few churches with her mother in the evening. We had planned to have a surprise dinner in the terrace. So we made some paper lanterns and set up the terrace. She came home to an empty house and called us “Come on up to the terrace ma!” we said.

She was over joyed looking at the paper lanterns and rushed to hug us, but stopped in her tracks. She could make out some other shapes in the dark, dull lit terrace and there was a blur of saris and colognes and jasmine… Pandemonium- Friends meeting each other after a long time some of them after decades, laughing crying hugging and talking all at the same time. I would like to believe we found most of them and brought them together that day.

This is my home, built with tough love, some TLC and a lot of friendship. These memories are my dream home and every single person who touched our lives with love and friendship lives there with us and there is room for more…

Dinner was sponsored by my mom’s cousin. There was ice-cream and cake … maybe there was a pineapple cake, but I can’t remember.

 Thank you DP for the writing prompt!

Are you dating a Serial Killer?

Your date sweeps you off your feet by showing up at your doorstep at half past eleven and asks you out for a long drive. Given that the large SUV or Van may not be very comfortable, just look at this as a late night adventure! Sure you find yourself waiting for half an hour at a 24 hour diner 50 miles out of town for your boyfriend who has taken the van out back to park. Boy what an adventure… especially because your boyfriend is worth the wait. Treats you like a queen and you never go to the same diner twice!
He always picks you up and prefers spending time alone with you. He insists on giving you his full attention, so it is just him and you. Your boyfriend is sweet enough to take you to the fair though. You even get a chance to walk home by yourself after a date to collect your thoughts. Your boyfriend is the best; he is not at all irritable or moody on the way back from a weekend out of town. Tired but definitely elated!
You often get small trinkets as gifts and never ask him why (Oh wait! that’s a serial ra.. well moving along). He even helped look for your lost puppy and comforted you when your room mate went missing from the gym.
Happy, cheerful and a disposition to strike up conversation with strangers are what make you unique to him. You can leave him sulking in a corner booth while you talk to people in the coffee queue and enquire about their habits and home. The dried marinara stains in his shirt that you throw in the laundry do not bother you. So… we all spill.
You love scented candles and exotic incense sticks. You think it is simply adorable that your boyfriend’s house is full of them. You don’t mind that there is a landfill nearby and sometimes the breeze can bring an unholy stench. Nothing can dampen your day!
He loves gardening and you enjoy bright sunny days when you can help him dig compost pits.
You have forwarded this post to all your friends because you have forgotten what the title says and are super excited about the content so far.

You have the emotional intelligence of a petri dish and you are dating a serial killer.

I love when Amma says…

1. I’m proud of you: It has given me a sense of elation and accomplishment like no other just hearing this from Amma. It doesn’t matter if I finished last, not even if I didn’t run the race. Just hearing her say this makes me feel like a winner.
2. You make me happy: Coming from a woman who spent her entire youth trying to make people happy, this is one of the best things I can hear. Amma has been there for anyone who needed help, she has received a fair share of heart ache in return too. Making her happy can be the highlight of my day!
3. It’s OK: Amma can be really strict at times. But in the end, she always has your back. When I come to think of it, I had/have panache of getting into sticky situations and there is always Wonder Woman to the rescue!
4. I’m sorry: Admitting mistakes to your children may feel weird, but Amma made me understand that everyone is capable of making mistakes. I can gracefully get my uncomfortably wide feet in my even wider mouth and when I do, I always remember to admit my mistake.
5. I forgive you: This is something Amma does so graciously these days. I’ve seen her struggle to put things behind her, to forget, to accept, to forgive. I’m not there yet. It is very hard for me to forgive or forget. I only hope I can learn the art of forgiveness from her.
6. The last but not the least (cliché attack!) most favorite thing Amma has ever said to me is: “Dinner is ready!”

Raining Colours

There is that phase of life that revisits you ever so often

That phase where you talk a million syllables of silence, where there is a profound meaning to a leaf drifting in the wind; where every second takes on an divine mission; And in a neon moment, the banal act of the spider lunching, mutates to a tale of survival, instinct and the way things are…

There is that phase of life that revisits you ever so often

That phase where your intellect craves like a hungry child for a bosom, where there is a dearth of opulence in the crowd around you.

There is that phase of life that revisits you ever so often

That phase where you repress the urge to break into fragments, where you find yourself alone in a crowd…And in a flash of wisdom you see everything blazing sulphur brilliance-It’s raining colours…

You were saying?

This blog seems to have slumbered enough.

As I write this, one of life’s infinite wisdom has stirred me deeply…

“Whoever gossips about you, eventually gossips about the other person and how they reacted to news about you”

Do you feel that people are constantly talking behind your back and you haven’t had the slightest chance of defending yourself? Do you feel that people don’t give you a fair chance to talk about your side of the story? Do you think they feel that they are afraid about what ugly truths they will unearth if they hear from you?

A gossiper’s brain has always been pictured as a labyrinth of dark avenues, with faded tributes to people’s embarrassing moments in washed out colors… But lately I realized that a gossiper is really not that high on the IQ monitor. The routines are pretty straight forward. I have so far researched and observed

Routine A

  • Gossips about Person A to Person L
  • Loses favor with Person A because Person A is not a chip idiot and gets wind of itImage
  • Apologizes to Person A and Gossips about Person L to Person A
  • Damage control backfires. Gossiper is officially a douchebag

Routine B

  • Gossips about Person A to Person S
  • Loses favor with Person A because Person A is not a chip idiot and gets wind of it
  • Vigorously constructs lies about Person A and hopes the whole world will turn against Person A
  • Damage control backfires. Gossiper is officially a douchebag

Routine C

  • Gossips about Person A to Person T
  • Loses favor with Person A because Person A is not a chip idiot and gets wind of it
  • Tries to earn sympathy with world and Person T in private and in social media
  • Damage control backfires. Gossiper is officially a douche bag

Routine D

  • Gossips about Person A to Person Z
  • Loses favor with Person A because Person A is not a chip idiot and gets wind of it
  • Teams with Person Z and tries to insult and gain joy in tormenting Person A
  • Damage control backfires. Gossiper and Person Z are officially douche bags

Routine E

  • Gossips about Person A to Person V
  • Person A ***** up gossiper
  • Damage control backfires Person A is a douchebag but everyone secretly thinks gossiper deserved it

It’s time to move on my dear reader. Let me quote Albus Dumbledore “That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence… That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped”

 Note: This post is dedicated to Apar. I’m still around and I understand every painful tug at the heart. Let’s move on and write some blog posts like the good old days!

Matters of the heart!

“Archana, tell me what do you really like about him?” My friend PN just want to make sure that I made the right choice…

Hmm… What do I really like about him? His love for his family and the fierce pride he has about his father. The way he gently teases his mother and how she acts annoyed. Having a brother’s protectiveness for his sister the struggle he had to let go of her. The difficulty he faced to accept someone else in the ‘protector’ role. A profound respect that he has for his brother – in – law which was earned by that amazing gentleman over time…

I love the way he seeks out my hand, the gentle pressure of his arm on my shoulder. The way his resolute brown eyes sparkle with laughter and darken with passion; his big palm that stays firmly on the small of my back when I’m boarding a bus or climbing up the stairs; Strong legs that walk many a mile just to meet me… I like watching him look at cars and admire bikes, cheeks rising up in a faint smile of approval, eyes glistening with excitement, his chest rising and falling in tune to the thrill. For all I know he could be that little boy in Ooty racing his lone tyre downhill!

 It’s all about the way he loves life and each day. Facing it dead on with fervor and faith, he never fails to keep me afloat.  Many years back, my good friend Sophie and I had a long discussion about flaws in people. There is no such thing as a perfect person, is there? We agreed that flaws can either be like holes in a boat or like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle… The ship can sink or the puzzle can be completed by binding it with several other pieces.

 In his case, neither is the hole big enough to cause damage, nor is he a difficult piece to fit.

God truly has loved me much.

I hope that answers your question PN!

I have a message…

I have a message – for a man who means the world to me.

This post goes out to him… He who came from a distant land and swept me off my feet…

To someone who always seeks me out in a crowd and calms me down with his smile… Who would walk for an hour in the freezing rain just to say hi and walk back again… Who I learnt to love, respect and miss more than I ever imagined possible…

To a man who is all man… Steadfast in love, loyal to a fault and anchored to his family…

To a piece that brought my picture to life…

To the boy in him,  to the loving son, the loyal friend and the protective brother, to the man I’m in love with… I have a message…

Happy Birthday!

The only thing…

Courtesy Anne Geddes

The only tears worth shedding are ones when you are laughing hard.

The only song worth singing is the one that puts a smile on your face.

The only thing worth your disaapointment is the absence of hope.

The only thing worth dying for is your country.

The only thing worth killing is an innocence hunting predator.

The only thing worth stealing, is a kiss from a sleeping child.

The only life worth living is one where you leave the world more beautiful than you found it.

We get one shot, one time to live it right… to love as much as you breathe, to laugh like it sustains your life, to say “I love you” as much as pleases or thank you s…

We get one lifetime to walk in the rain, to hear the crickets at nights, to fall asleep in someones arms listening to the pitter patter of rain on the window sill, to wake up to freshly pressed coffee and sleepy lips in search of yours.

We earn one set of close friends to travel the world with, to stand by you when the world thinks you are wrong, to drag you out of your shell kicking and screaming, to share the last bowl of soup you can afford, to take the buses with you when your mercedes breaks down, to share your silence as much as your tears…

The only thing worth your indomitable spirit is to live like you deserve it all 🙂

I ran to you…

I half opened my eyes and grunted… The sky outside my window was ominously dark. I scrambled to find my phone which had disrespectfully trod on my dreams.

Managing a thin smile at the doorman, I walked unsteadily towards the restaurant where the famous breakfast buffet was in full swing. 12 hours had passed since Uncle S had called and invited me to breakfast.

Uncle S, as I call him, is the father of my late love J S. It has been 5 years since we lost him to Leukemia and the wound is as raw today as it was back then.

I stood there amidst the invisible bustle of a 5-star breakfast buffet, my feet held ground and surely by slowly hardening industrial concrete.

Uncle S rose to greet me, built like a linebacker, he stood six feet two and gently ushered me into the chair he held out with all the grace of a 70’s gentleman, which only he can pull off.  He patiently answered my inquiries about his family and health and I offered excerpts from my life, which I was sure he held no care for.

Half way into buttering our toast , we stared at each other, small talk exhausted.

“How have you been?” he asked for the second time. I stared at my piece of toast noticing how thinly the butter was spread and yet the piece of toast seemed very heavy in my hands.

Placing the offensive piece of toast on my quarter plate, I assured him that I was fine.

Scooping some beans into his mouth he looked at me. His onyx eyes glistening, betraying the tempest within… I paused and listened to the kettle drums in my ears dreading his silence, the most eloquent herald of bitter tidings.

Fortunately he just sighed and we went back to pushing the food around in our plates for a decent time.

“Do you still miss him?” He asked, staring stiffly at his knees.

An imperceptible drop in room temperature led me to draw myself together. “Yes” I answered knowing what was to come. The chill would spread to my spine and I would go into that subliminal state of shock where I would want to escape into J S’ arms; the only place in this twisted universe and the next, where I would find the warmth to sustain me. It was how I have dealt with it all these years.

Men in crisp hotel garb walked back and forth in the periphery of my vision, in the distance Uncle J was asking me a question that didn’t carry over the table, my fingers were curled around the arms of the chair… I was battle ready.  A shiver passed through me and I fell back into the comfortable warmth of strong arms. Horrified I opened my eyes; those weren’t J S’ arms.

Excusing myself I ran to the powder room and looked at the mirror long and hard. Staring to my eyes, looking for guilt, betrayal… and they were as elusive as a sweet rain drop on a hot summers’ day. That instant I knew my answer.

With renewed strength of spirit, I walked back.

“I miss him every single day Uncle J. But, I also know that loving and caring for someone else does not mean that it is a betrayal to his memory. I love your son very much”

Choking up I stared at the man across the table. A single tear tracing the rivulets of the worry lines in his face. It wasn’t clear when the salty drop had escaped its confines or why. But the knowledge that we both crossed a barrier, which had held our hearts captive for a long time, restored every thread of hope in my weary mind.

Bidding good-bye I walked back to the parking lot, hitting the number 4 on my speed dial to see the contact picture pop up… “I ran to you” I whispered to the picture… “God help me”