Sunday, 30 March 2008

Before I forget....or will I?

My parents live in one of those upcoming localities in Bangalore where the land is the price of gold & still rising. But 25 yrs back it was a paddy field nobody wanted. I remember when my father decided to pick up the land my mother was not very happy about it. At that time we were living in a colony in Indranagar where every facility was within reach. She was like -how are we going to survive in this deserted area where a bus runs only once in three hours and the nearest grocery shop is ½ a kilometer away. But my father saw the potential & immediately picked up a double plot.

Soon we shifted into a rented house closeby so that we could monitor our new house being built. There were just 2 other houses in the surrounding area and the rest of the area was covered with grape vineyard & a guava orchard. At night, it was pitch dark outside as there were no street lights & even the torch light was just an eerie 4 inch oval shaped glow.

Though I missed my friends at the colony I took to the new place immedietely. My sister and I had acres of vacant land to ourselves and wherever we were, my mother could keep an eye on us. Our nearest neighbours were distant relatives(they were the people who convinced my father to buy the land) with 3 boys who loved my mothers cooking & would find excuses to wander over to our house(they needed excuses coz my father came across as very stern and forbiddingJ). They didn’t have sisters & so adopted us as their own & kept us occupied with pranks & tall stories.

My sister and I would go with them on their bicycles to the guava orchard to buy Rs.1 worth of Guavas. We could buy 10 guavas for that amount. But by the time we speed back to the boundaries of the orchard, we would have more than what we started out with. As we rode back home thru the orchard, these boys would ride the bicycle standing up and pluck all the guava overlooking the path. We sisters would be perched precariously behind on the rear seat, not even holding on to anything coz we are busy holding the cloth bags open for them to slide in the guavas. We would ofcourse dispose the extras in a hurried “Who can eat fastest” contest before reaching home with correct number of Guavas.

Once the youngest brother(he was some 3 yrs older to me) was planting some colorful looking greens in the garden. He had dug the ground up in some weird design & he made us sisters fetch and carry throughout the entire exercise. Only when the greens grew lushly we realized that he had carved his name SABU on the ground and planted the seeds in. He showed off his creativity to everybody and our efforts figured nowhere in the list. When we expressed our dissatisfaction he mollified us with “Next time I’ll make a design with both your names” which ofcourse never materialized.

And I clearly remember this one incident when my father opened the front door at night for some reason, there was this cobra with its hood spread swaying in front of him. Later he told us how he was paralyzed with shock & couldn’t move for 10 secs. He closed the door and we shouted for help from our window. Who else but 2 of the three brothers turned up with sticks, killed the snake & burnt it. They then trooped in to the house like warriors, and my mother hurriedly whipped up a meal for them. While they ate, they treated us to a magical hour of snake tales & warnings wherein we were advised to be extra vigilant coz now the female snake will be on the warpath looking to extract revenge. Of course the risk was lesser now cause they used their superior brains and burnt the snake after killing it but one never knows. I remember how my sister & I lived in fear looking over our shoulders and under the beds for the next 1 week, after which ofcourse the story lost its bite.

As time flew by, we shifted to our then new house. Buildings started sprouting everywhere & we made new friends. The path to their house grew longer as the shortcut we used to reach their house was blocked by barbed fences and other barriers. What was a 1 minute shortcut became a 5 minute walk. We’d only see each other when we’d both happen to be up on the terrace at the same time. We then proceed to have a conversation at the top of our voices, for ½ an hour, with elaborate gestures.

Once we saw the eldest & the youngest together on the terrace hanging their clothes on the line. After 2 minutes of ‘over the top’ conversation, Sabu the youngest motioned that he was coming over. He came over in 5 minutes and pressed a brown paper bag glazed with oil on the sides, in my hand. Pointing towards his brother who was standing on the terrace “Sam got his first salary today, so….” said Sabu trailing off. He sped away immediately on his bicycle. We looked towards their terrace, gestured our thanks to Sam who was still standing there and got into the house eagerly to open the packet. The packet revealed a big stone and some sand. My mother, sis and I looked at each other confused. In a flash it clicked, we let out a howl of fury & rushed out to look towards their terrace. Both of them were laughing like maniacs. It was April Fools Day. We were royally conned. We shook our fists at them but at the same couldn’t help laughing at their ingenuity. By the end of the day my sis & I fooled 5 other households in the neighborhood with the same gag.

Even now as I am tapping this incident into the computer I’m having difficulty holding my laughter in & in the process my eyes are stinging.

As I wind up this post, snatches of memories crowd together in my mind waiting to be let out…

…..we would all sit together to eat our meals & these boys would show us something outside the window & when we looked back into our plates, the pappadams would be missing.

…..if our school declared a holiday, they would boast that it was them who advised OUR principal to give us a holiday.

…..they would hold a dance competition & win it always just because the youngest brother could shake his head sideways as in a bharatnatyam dance(my sis & i used to go green with envy coz v couldnt)

…..we played snakes and ladders when it rained, flew kites in summer, burst crackers for diwali, made HUGE stars for Christmas…..

……I can go on.

So am I in touch with them now……? is the most obvious question. No. I’m not. I’m not in touch with any of them. All 3 are married with families and reside abroad. I have 'bychance' met them twice or thrice in these past 10 years. Whenever we happen to meet we are genuinely happy to see each other. We agree to catch up on what happening with each other at a more appropriate time but it just never happened.

In my day to day life I hardly give them a thought. Some 3 yrs back, out of the blue I dreamt that Sabu crashed his car somewhere. I called my mom up & related my fear. She told me they were all fine & not to worry. And that was that.

I just wish them well wherever they are. They may not be a part of my life now but my childhood memories are never complete without them.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Take Solace...

For all those moments when you were hurting & wish you were not, here’s a little positive thinking.

Take a moment to read:

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.

You never know who these people may be, possibly your roommate, neighbour, co-worker, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger, but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you become. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious when you open your heart.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.

Make every day count!!!

Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it again.

Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen.

Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high.

Hold your head up because you have every right to.

Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you.

You can make of your life anything you wish.

Create your own life then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.


If you LOVE someone tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store!!!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Tooth or Dare

Nikita(6 yrs old) pulled her front tooth out 4 days back. She’s been wanting to place the tooth under her pillow since then. Her father with great difficulty convinced her to wait till Thursday night coz Tooth Fairy is really busy during the week & may not leave a good gift.

She forgot to keep it under the pillow on Thursday night but she remembered & carefully kept it under her pillow on Friday night. Her 4 yr old sister Naina was not at all happy about the situation. She also wanted a gift from the tooth fairy. She spent a hectic ½ an hour trying to pull out atleast 1 tooth to place under her pillow. Her father then gently explained to her that her tooth was not ready to come out but she was not very convinced & went off to sleep reluctantly.

Silently applauding my husband’s sensitivity I went off to sleep myself. At around 11.30pm I’m shaken awake by the same sensitive husband %^*%&* to write the "Tooth-Fairy Letter" explaining that Nikita's gift will be given to her only on Sunday(coz we had forgotten all about it & it was too late to go out and something).
Bleary eyed I sat and looked at a blank sheet of paper & pen which my husband oh so thoughtfully provided. 10 minutes later I surveyed my handiwork, decided that it was the best I could do under short notice and placed it under Nikita’s pillow.

This morning…

I was in front of the mirror combing my hair when Nikita stretched & got up. Almost immediately the body stiffened, shot upright & scrabbled frantically under the pillow. Her nimble fingers shook the letter out & she read out loudly in excitement.
“Mama, look Tooth Fairy has written a letter to me. Naina, look she has a message for u also” exclaimed Nikita. This was a first because for the previous 2 teeth, Tooth Fairy directly left gifts, so there was no need for a note.

Naina was also up by now and leaning into the letter. Together they scampered to the living room to show their father. As I was leaving to work, Nikita gave the note to me for safekeeping just in case we needed to show it to Tooth Fairy as proof of document.

10.30 AM
Nikita calls me at work.

Nikita: Mama, have you kept the Tooth Fairy letter carefully?
Mama: Yes I have.
Nikita: Did u see the Tooth Fairy leaving the letter?
Mama(lying thru her teeth, pun unintended): No I didn’t.
Nikita: Okkkk bye.


Nikita again.

Nikita: Mama
Mama: Hmmm
Nikita: You wrote that Tooth Fairy letter, right?
Mama, startled: What are you saying?
Nikita: because there is half a sheet of paper & a pen lying on the table.
[Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh mama’s mind is working overtime to find a loophole. I had divided an A4 paper into ½ before writing on 1 half of it. Nikita seems to have found the other half]
Mama: What color does the pen write?
Nikita after a minute: Blue
Mama: Well the tooth fairy has written with a black pen.
Nikita: ohhhhhhh. Ok bye.


Guess who….

Nikita: Mama, did the Tooth Fairy really write the letter?
Mama, taking the bull by its horns: Ofcourse she did. Why? Does it look my handwriting?
Nikita: Mmmnnn, no-o.
Now that her mother challenged her directly she hesitated to call her mother a liar.
Nikita: Ok byeeee.

I’m thanking my stars I brought that Tooth Fairy letter along with me. Just imagine the number of doubts which would have cropped up if she had it with her the whole day. And there is still 4 hours to go before i leave office.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Poor Concepts

We were on our way to church last evening. The traffic was terrible as usual. My daughters were amusing themselves by gazing out of the car window.

At one of the traffic signals……

Naina: Chechi, look at that poor man. His car is broken. He has no money to repair it.

Nikita: Oh so sad.

We all turned to commiserate with the poor man and his broken car.

It was a Mercedes Convertible. The owner was driving it with its hood down.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Woman of Strength

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape.
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything.
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her.
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future.
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure-footedly.
But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face.
But a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey.
But a woman of strength knows that it is the journey that she will make her strong.

!!!!!!!!! HAPPY WOMAN"S DAY !!!!!!!!!