Daddy’s little girl…

http://www.creativeadawards.com/hurt-girl/

You lug yourself forward, it hurts in places you did not know existed, until now. You drag yourself ahead; your body is heavy, panting like a dog in a desert. You are all alone, but that is a relief. You don’t mind dragging yourself to the bed stand, you don’t mind using the dying strength in your arms to slowly lift your upper body, and plop it on the bed. You don’t mind being alone; in fact you are positively relieved in your solitude. Because the alternative, the alternative to being alone propels you into tears of dread, misery and frustration.

You know that for at least another three to four hours, you will be alone. That time would help you lick your wounds, huddled in the corner of your bed. But before that you need to check, check your body, check your bones, check your face. No cuts, no visible wounds, no broken bones; that is your first priority; because the last thing you want is for people to notice. Your abdomen screams in pain, so does your nine months old daughter, she screams in hunger. Your abdomen can wait maybe, but not your daughter.

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of Salt and Assaults

“Can you pass the salt?” he said.

“Which one?” she asked.

“The white one. What do you mean which one?” he said.

“Sorry” she said, “I was distracted.”

“By?” he asked, stuffing handful of rice in his mouth, chewing it loudly, rolling his eyes.

“By that!” she said. Pointing at his face.

He slowly turned his head around, expecting a ghost or an intruder or at least an animal waiting to pounce at him.

“By … whatttt?” he said, his mouth half open in terror and half stuffed with yellow rice.

“Ughh … by thatttt” she yelled, “look at your fucking hand.”

So he looked at his hand. Turned his palm around and looked at the other side of his hand. He couldn’t see much. Then he lifted his left arm resting on his knees, hiding under the dinning table and looked at that. Still nothing. He stared harder.

“Aaa … what are you doing?” she said

“Looking at my hand” he said.

“And?”

“And what?”

“There is dal all over it” she said.

“Ah! Okay. I get it, you are mad that our marriage ring is soaked in dal? Aren’t you?”

“Nope! Not at all” she said.

“Then? What are you mad at?”

“Oh god! How do I begin?” She sighed.

“No, no … tell me. Go on … What is it?”

“Sweetie, it’s not just our ring,” she said, “all your fingers are soaked in dal. You have folded your sleeves , which is a smart thing to do, given how you eat, but you should have folded it till your elbows, there is daal on your sleeves too! You know what? You should wear half sleeves at the dinner table. Yup, from now on, you are going to wear half sleeves while eating. In fact, no wait … you should wear sleeveless t-shirts. In fact wear a fucking vest. Eat naked. I don’t care. ”

manfrom04

“Aan huh”he nodded, swallowing her hateful words and the left over yellow rice in his mouth, “I am listening. Go on …”

“Good! Because you usually don’t.” she said. “But now that you are, can you tell me what is that chunk of rice doing on your left hand?” Continue reading

How Maa beat cancer’s butt…

Every time I think of my Maa chasing her cancer away, I always imagine her running behind a pesky rodent with a “cheemta” (tongs) in her hand. And what is a rodent compared to the indomitable spirit of a woman. And like any woman who finds her home invaded by a tiny rodent, Maa went about the task of cleaning up her body off cancer with the single-minded grit and persistence of a really hungry feline.

It all started when I was in Mumbai, and she in Bangalore. I think I have always somehow been in Mumma’s girl. I love her almost as much as I love bitching about her. And one day on our daily calls, she confessed that something was wrong, that the doctors had insisted on a biopsy of her left breast.

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Of course, the doctors were wrong; my mom couldn’t have cancer, she does Pranayama every day! At least that is what I thought until my confidence came shattering down, when I realized that unstoppable forces of nature also pause, and Pranayama moms also fall.

We were on a call, when she said, “Bas ek mastectomy ho jayegi. Theek ho jayungi.” I smiled at the courage it would have taken her to brush it off like your everyday dental filling.

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The family outing

Take your hands off him!

 “I am sorry. Did you say something?” ‘The woman’ turned around and looked at me. Her green eyes wide, almost seeing through my soul.

“Nothing…just that you look really pretty today.” I said, plastering a fake smile. She went back to holding Sammy’s hand and walking ahead. Tall, taller than me, she made me feel smaller than I should have.

We were on a family outing, an experiment suggested by ‘The woman’, a step in promoting harmony, for Sammy’s sake. And I had to keep reminding myself to behave, to keep my emotions in check, to maintain dignity and class. But all I could feel was my entire existence falling apart. The simple act of putting one foot in front of another became increasingly painful. Breathing became a chore and my breaths came in raspy successions.

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“Are you alright?” A male voice beside me asked. Perhaps genuinely concerned, I couldn’t say for sure with the loud ringing in my head that seemed to be eating me alive from inside.

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Hard candy for Diwali

I knew I was going to regret today the minute I woke up. A strong cloud of foreboding hung over my head and after almost a year I found myself craving for a Chocalate Ganache. My stomach tore in desire as I searched my fridge for anything, anything fattening or gluttonous or sinful. All I found were ragi flavored breakfast bars.

I stuffed the bar in my mouth and flakes of bland ragi dropped on my white tee. How did I ever eat this shit for 365 days? I thought. I kept stuffing not one, not two but three of those bars down my throat and simultaneously dusting off the big flakes off my clothes.

Bam, at the stroke of noon my mobile shrilled with Meghan Trainor singing that it was all about her base. The call was from mummy. She was demanding why I was not at her place helping her with all the cooking and other shit that always needs to be done.

moitchur-ke-ladoo

By the time she was done yelling at me, which was exactly 15 minutes, I was in an creased red chudidaar with a torn dupatta. I knew I could cleverly conceal the tear if I wore the dupatta right.

Another fifteen minutes of almost empty roads, I entered my parent’s home. Some may call it a mansion, I called it the fancy house of terrors, mostly because my mother lived there. As I entered the drive way I saw a red santro that belonged to my sister and her two kids. There was another that belonged to my widowed aunt and finally Munna uncle’s land rover, my mother’s younger brother.

I groaned, loud enough that the mansion’s watchman jerked towards me, twisted his head and gave me the “Are you alright, lady?” stare.

The living room smelled like a strange concoction of diya oil, motichor laddoos, marigold flowers and the stench of cigarettes. One sweep across the room and I took in my mother screaming at my twelve year old niece to be nice to Munna nanu, my sister screaming at mummy to leave her alone, my father screaming at them to take their bickering elsewhere because Arnab was debating about the steel flyover, my six year old nephew crashing into my pelvis and my aunt, who sat knitting sweaters in Bangalore with a glass of red wine.

In that instance I knew the reason for my daylong foreboding, this family, these people who I had managed to escape for last three years, working abroad. With a sinking feeling I realised I was back where I started.

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