Free writing

Sometimes, I am really glad that this blog is not too popular. I can come here once in a while, and write what I feel like without any worry. No one will really judge me. In the present world, the concept of space is fading. With social media becoming an important part of our live, there is nothing that is really private. Ironically, this blog post is far from private.

I miss my Dad, so much that some days I feel my heart might just burst holding those kind of tears. I have not cried in a very long time, and even if I am in some situation, the tears just show up and never fall. I am on the verge of making an important decision, and today I felt that what if dad was here. He would have guided me and said to go ahead without any fear, and that he will always have my back.

I called up my mom, and she is not too aware about these things. She told me that end of the day, it is my call.

And at that point, I felt this yearn to hear my dad’s voice. After a point when your decisions are not taking you anywhere, your confidence to take decisions continues to reduce. There are days when I have tried to not let this misery consume me. I have been successful and on days like these, I have again hid myself behind my words.

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A musical undoing

Music has a way of undoing you. Over time, you are able to put yourself together. You are already grappling with changes and the ones that will take place, and one song is able to tear it all apart. And just when you are at the brink of taking a leap, there you are finding pieces of yourself once again. For some, this is an on-going search and for a lucky few, they are able to do this in no time.

Some days, I really want to shake myself. This behaviour seems too unrealistic and unreasonable. More than to others, you owe yourself some opportunities. And you cannot let some music, which is laced with memories, take them away from you.

It is not necessary that re-establishing ties with a He and She will restore everything to normalcy. You long for that time and not those people. And there are times when you will fancy a conversation with those people, but why give the baton of your peace to someone else?

Thinking these ‘what-if’ probabilities about this He and She might just cost you an opportunity, which could do with some attention. They have crafted their happy beginning and you are yet to begin your story. So where will your loyalty be?

Let the river of nostalgia flow with all its might. It is not necessary for you to wash your hands in it all the time. Create the flow of your story than overflowing in someone else’s memory.

Free writing-Dad

I have built you a grave in my words and art. I know if you can see me from up there, you will want me to visit you more often. Maybe mould you in different words or sketch you in different ways. Even if I am not able to do that, your thoughts never leave me alone. They are like still air in my mind. Sometimes, they transition into a breeze and my eyes water.

When you were taken away from me and when I wrote my T.Y.B.A essay on your demise, I thought after that essay, I will not have anything more to say. That will be me putting flowers on your grave and moving on. But, that never happened. I kept revisiting you in various ways and all the time, the pain of you going away would show me some wisdom, which the previous time I missed.

When your memories flow over to my shores, even if I am in the worst of my moods, for that time, I pause. I soak it all in. I give myself the privilege of tearing up for that short while. Considering with you, my ability to cry for hours also passed away.

With you, a part of me passed away. That girl with whom you had fun, with whom you watched movies, with whom you discussed DDLJ in great detail, with whom you watched movies for an entire week in the theater, with whom you guffawed over meals…That girl is long gone with you. I don’t think she will ever return. I might see her memory in glimpses, but I will never see her again. She left your memory with me. Organic and whole. But for that, she had to go in entirety. For, she cannot exist with the memory of you dying. Your death was a growing up call for her. To get me into this world, you took her along with yourself. I can see her leaving with you. Wearing a cream frock, holding on to you and leaving with you

Thoughts of you are enough to add chaos to an already chaotic mind. Especially during the peak days of the month. I go on that thinking trail and then somewhere, work suffers.

I tell myself that it will be fine the next time, but somehow, I always screw up.

When you passed away, there was so much anger within me. And as the days passed, your memory remained intact and somewhere all that anger faded away. Now when I think of it, that anger had kept me together. Those extremities had held me from falling apart. In the present day, the memory of you is enough to crumble me. I keep doing so many things. I zentangle, teach, write and I also joined an initiative of mentoring a street child, but still the depth of the void in my heart created by your absence is directly proportional to all of this.

After you have gone, I have got this habit of affirming what I already know is right. It has got me into trouble so many times. People often think that I have low self-confidence and low self-esteem, which is quite true. No matter how I camouflage it, people are able to see through it.

This brings me to my two years in advertising. They started off well. I actually thought that maybe this is what I can do and should do, but boy! I was wrong or what. There are so many worlds within us, which we hide with such efficiency. If you have confidence issues, then be assured, nobody will even have an inkling of the amazing person you can be. My time in advertising probably hid my worlds to such a depth that recovering them now might need some archaeological excavation.

In this jibber jabber of the digital world, I often think what all have I missed. I forgot to ask you some important questions. The one that comes to my mind immediately right now is about your fear. What did you fear? What made you want to hold on something so tight that you never ever want to let go again? I never realised that even you could be scared of something. I always thought that nothing can scare superheroes, but maybe something did give you nightmares.

I remember watching you at Daddy’s funeral. If my memory has not ditched me, he was 83 when he passed away. Your eyes were starting to brim with tears. I remember asking you that were you ok. I had still not realised the gravity of the situation. You lost your father. I had you. I did not know what it felt like to have your blanket snatched from you. Even though daddy was 83, I am certain he must be your superhero.

Closures are so important. Last words stay on the mind all the time. In our case, I’d say screams. I will narrate your tale in different ways, but six years don’t seem like six years. There are times when I miss you so much that I’d just want myself to be split open and sometimes the pain is such that my fingers find order on the keyboard, hoping that the sound of the keys is enough to outdo the noise of the chaos. My mind still goes back to that day, when you were ill and you wanted to go to the movies and I told you that once you were fine, we will go. But, that never happened.

When I start to write, I want to say so many things, but coming till this point feels as if I have fought countless dementors’ kisses. Maybe, this is why I can speak of you in different ways all the time. Because, I am never done. I’m never over. There are so many things to say that even time runs out of its allocated time for these conversations between you and I.

Home

He leans back on the arm-chair,

A cup of tea by his side;

Untouched.

Nothing in the newspaper

That can shock these wrinkled eyes.

He looks at the walls;

He looks at the clock;

With every space filled;

His house still feels empty.

Memories of his home

Attempt to fill the void in his heart.

The blank white walls of his house;

Take him to his colourful aangan in Sindh.

His smartphone beeps with a message

“ Taakhe chetichand ji vadhayun”;

The smartphone’s lit display

Reminds him of his mother’s colourful saree.

The way its colour would bring out her eyes;

The purchased Lolas are placed on the pan;

Cold and without their real essence.

A bite into it and he reminisces the aroma

Of the ones his mother made.

Their fragrance would wake him up;

And he would charge towards the kitchen

With tiny steps and the biggest smile.

His nightmares are memories of his home;

When he wakes up in cold sweat

All he can see are blank walls;

All he can feel are forced stories of the present;

Refusing to co-exist with the memories

Of his once and always beloved home.

What makes our little smile makers smile?

Babies are little bundles of joy. Their smile is enough to melt people’s hearts who get freaked out by these little ones. But, don’t consider them to be any less. When they start crying, they can take the entire house on their tiny heads. The reasons could be many. It could be hunger or getting up from their sleep and the other one, which people cringe at, soiled diapers.

Unlike us adults, they don’t have a boss on their head who can make them tear up or crazy work pressure to be the reason for their greys or a cranky loved one, who in turn makes them cranky. Their reasons are as simple as a soiled diaper.

Now my little niece, when she cries, I actually start doubting her age. 1 year old and such a shrill cry. It’s very easy to make her smile once she has her dry diaper on. For instance, there are times when she starts moving her hands up and down with the cutest smile on her face. And the best part is when I join in. The sound of her laugh is pleasing than the most melodious song ever.

The best part is to see her sleep once she has been changed. She canvasses the entire bed and she has an elaborate ritual, which lasts up to a few minutes and includes her yawning, stretching her hands and moving around the bed and then finally opening her big brown eyes. One year old and she already does all this.

Recently, when she had visited her grandparents’ home, we were all a little too worried because they have a dog in their bungalow. A big black dog. I used to get nightmares. What if she gets ill? What if the dog scares her? You know, I am just an overthinking aunt. But, to my surprise, after my sister used to give her a bath and change her diaper and the usual routine of powder and what not, my niece used to keep following the dog. It was he, who was scared of her. He was petrified of my cute niece. Also, he was a little jealous as she was getting all his attention. But, nevertheless, he adored her too.

I thought diapers were just like a usual thing for children, but dry diapers definitely have magical powers. Children stop being cranky. They actually smile more and freely move around without any rash that is a cause of trouble for them.

All the newbie moms and dads, you might want to check out the offerings of Pampers here: https://www.rewardme.in/tag/Pampers

Watch how Pampers Baby Dry Pants can make your little one’s day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTlVOdovIZ8

Their new range is quite a lifesaver as the dryness is from within and you can be assured that your baby will be a happy and definitely rash-free one. With these on, be ready to chase your baby as they get a new surge of energy and power to become more mischievous and of course! Spread more smiles.

The Homecoming

When you are a copywriter in advertising, you don’t really get to see home a lot. (My mom has started calling me a paying guest, who just does not pay). Blame it on crazy deadlines, even crazier clients and what not. But, the days I manage to reach home early, the smile on my mom’s face is priceless. Ironically, I run out of words to describe that moment. Those are the days when Ma does not yell at me and happily lets me enjoy her rib melting and finger licking food without “Your room is not clean”, “ Why have you not put your clothes for washing?”. You know all those statements that moms say without which their day is incomplete.

Now, when I come home or most of the times struggle against all the odds to reach home, it is not a big surprise for Ma. But, the surprise that my sister planned for her was the icing on the cake. Married and settled in Texas, my sister does not often come to India. Her trip to India was on the cards and she had given a date to my mother, which was 19th November.

My mother became super excited and started preparing all her favourite delicacies (Look at all the love, how come I don’t get this treatment? *Hmph*) She even went and purchased some interior items for our home and my mother truly exemplified the phrase, ‘bundle of joy.’

Just one day before 19th November, my sister’s brother-in-law came to Mumbai as he had to attend a dental conference . We had asked him to stay for dinner and we were just chit-chatting over the yummy Kulfi mom had made. Suddenly the doorbell rang followed by a frantic beating. My mom was perplexed. I could see the fear that had started to spread on her face. I told her to calm down and I went and opened the door.

To my surprise, I see my sister and Jeeju at the door with my most adorable niece ever! It was that moment when my knowledge of English deserted me. I had no words to say. I could not even scream in joy. I was surprised in the truest sense. I opened the door and they came in. For once, my mother was quiet, she did not know what to say and then she says, “Yeh galat hai! Hum airport aane waaley the. Aap bata toh dete.” To which my Jeeju said, “Oh ma! Bata dete toh surprise nahin hota na.” My mom just went and hugged my sister. It was the tightest hug she had ever given to anyone. My sister had come to India after three years. (I saw the happy tears in my mom’s eyes and I knew that she would be a probable choice for a mom’s role when Sooraj Barjatya makes his next movie)

I was busy playing with my niece who was canvassing every bit of our floor with her crawls and making sure that my house reverberates with the sound of her squeaks.

But, leaving all my corny humour aside (What to do? Copywriter problems) I truly cherish the memories of that day. I am glad to have a family like this that loves each other to the universe and back (Again, copywriter problems). I might not reach home on time and that definitely angers my mom, but still, she waits, just so that we can share some smiles and conversations over our meal. That is our time when we enjoy our family time. When we look up and thank the Almighty for letting us enjoy these slice of life memories and a lot more in this home that just does not house us but our culture, traditions and most importantly, our memories.

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With their services, you might get a new home where you can also create such wonderful memories.

Soporific

( In memory of a friend who was fearless, enjoyed life to the fullest, my support, spoke French like it was a child’s play, armed with an unmatchable sense of humour and wit and a bloody awesome writer!)

I had a listless expression on my face. I was doodling random lines and imagining it to be a great piece of art. He sat next to me and was looking at my ‘art’ with an amused expression. After a moment of silence, he looks at me with wonder and says, “Tune toh M. F.Hussain ko bhi peeche chodh diya.”
I burst out in the loudest laugh ever, only to be reprimanded by my professor. Years later, I sit in the class resisting the soporific air, only to realise that heaven is echoing with his laughter and his comments on my doodles.

RIP Jigar Sheth. You are deeply missed.