Beggarly crockery.

You entered my small house

Disappointed

But also nostalgic

We used to play here so much as kids

My wife served you plain dal and dry chapati

In my beggarly crockery

And you couldn’t believe I could treat a guest like that.

You were taken aback

By my irritating table habits

Though I remember us eating like that as kids together

You live in a larger house, you always did

You dine on a dining table with forks and knives

And the most expensive China

And you were annoyed by what you had to cope with here

In this ransacked house I own

Whose walls still have the “paintings”

We made as children.

You were so uncomfortable sitting cross legged on the floor

Although as a kid

I remember

You insisted your parents let you sit on the floor

At your large bungalow too

At dinner time.

I asked you to stay for the night

Like old times

When we shared a single, ragged blanket

But you stared at the humble bedding I had

And said

“My wife must be waiting for me”

And I couldn’t help but smile at the thought

Of all those days in childhood

When your mom used to wait for you

But you wouldn’t listen.

I think we just grew up, I think we finally started seeing the boundaries between us.

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Halt.

Taught since eternity that life is a race, we all seem to run aimlessly, unaware of the final destination and that is when, suddenly, life comes to a halt. A sudden, quick, unanticipated halt. All activities abandoned, a sentence left half spoken, a story half told and so many unsaid good byes, life comes to a halt.

What is worse is that while that one life has come to a halt, the other lives do not seem to pause at all. They go on at the same pace sometimes adding that pang of guilt that doesn’t let us sleep at night, as to why has one journey abruptly ended and we seem to keep travelling without waiting.

Waiting? Waiting for what? The wait is pointless for nobody is coming back. In the midst of the buzzing activity of the family, friends and foes, one life has come to a halt.

While there was so much to do sometime ago, there is nothing to do anymore for everything that needed to be done, does not matter any more. The ever moving motivational force behind what needed to be done has ended, for life has come to a halt.

It’s these halts that scare the most, that make you ponder upon the worthiness of this life you keep living, and it’s these halts that fascinate the most.

When the life of a loved one comes to a halt, remember that you don’t have a choice to pause your life for your life will keep moving forward, unaware of the halt that occurred and the halt that awaits….


Memories.

I picked up that book you left me. Smelled its pages and stroked its cover. It revived so many memories. High school when you and I were inseparable. I remember how we used to sit together, have lunch together, and even go back home together. University where destiny brought us together. I remember how we used to go on those shopping sprees and coffee dates and put up each other on blind dates. Your wedding day when I was around you every moment, you wouldn’t let me go anywhere. I remember how widely you smiled that day, all dressed up in the red lehnga and the make up you so detested. You looked gorgeous. That day in the hospital when you cried and cried in pain and then smiled so widely when she finally came. I remember how I held her even before you did. I’m still her favourite aunt you know. Then, your funeral. When you decided not to attend my wedding scheduled days later. I remember how I couldn’t move or eat or drink anything. I just cried and cried and thought about all those times we spent together. That’s when they read your letter and you had left me this book. Our childhood favourite. The old copy that I had lent you and forgotten about. You mischievous woman, you kept it with you all these years after college and let me believe I had lost it.
I opened it again. The back torn, ruined with the coffee spill, and the first page that read in your dirty handwriting “I’m sorry. You are my best friend. Forever will be.”
The tears escaped my eyes and smeared the pages. I wish I knew your struggle.
I was jerked back to reality as your grand daughter comes running to me, pulling on my saree “Grandma, where did you leave the TV remote?”
I wish I remembered. I am losing my memory along with my hair you know. Yet the memories of you and me never die………

Multiple Organ Failure

Way too beautiful

ForeverAwkward (And Maybe Learning)

I don’t love you with my heart
because I don’t want your image
to simply thump through me like
a beat I learn to ignore as I
go about my day, no, I love you
with my lungs, with every breath
I take infusing the emotion with
more oxygen, and I love you with
my stomach, as I digest every
unpalatable bit of you, and 
allow the assimilation to nurture,
and I love you with my pancreas,
breaking down the sugared promises
so that only you and I exist in the
here, now, us, we,
and I love you with the neurons
in my brain, which fire off an
orchestrated litany of fireworks
every time you say my name,
and I love you with my spleen,
because I’m not quite sure 
why or how or if at all it works
but it’s an integral part of me,
and I love…

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Graffiti.

She was like Graffiti on the walls of an ancient European city. Old in her ways, with a slight touch of the changing cultures. She was a work of art, not understood by all, but admired by many.
Oftentimes she was but a simple, straightforward advertisement yet sometimes, she was a message to the masses. Made by careless, carefree, artistic hands full of enthusiasm, she was full of flaws, but the flaws made her all the more beautiful.
She was like Graffiti on the walls of a child’s room. Innocent in her outlook but an expression of what went on in the mind. Unfinished, forgotten, she was the source of happiness to the mother. She was the kind you could look at years later, and get that beautiful nostalgic smile on your face.
She was like Graffiti on the walls of an Artist’s studio. She was near perfection, and near to the Artist’s heart. She was the one made by delicate hands for himself, and not to showcase to the world. She was the reflection of his story.
She was like Graffiti on the walls of a high school. She was the grunt and pain and the aggression. She displayed the hardships of teenage life. She was the story locked in the lockers.
She was like Graffiti, a multidisciplinary work. A creation of so many different people she had met over the vestiges of time. She said a lot, least was heard. Not understood by all, but admired by many.

Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte.

You meet a person, talk to them, eventually becoming great friends and making a million memories. You have thousands of stories to tell each other and so many secrets to share. Then, one day, without you anticipating, its time for you to say goodbye.
Time and distance separating you, for a better future ahead, for better times, but at the sake of your very friendship. Rejoicing the last days, hugging and promising to stay in contact and that slight fear of “What if we don’t”
You don’t want to come at par with the words ‘good bye’ and you keep playing around by saying things around it. Yet, one day, finally, you have to accept that its now time for them to turn around and leave, to a different place, a different life, a different time. It is time to leave behind all those bags full of stories and laughs and tears and carry new empty bags to fill in with new people. You let them go with a hope of retaining over technology what they’re leaving behind. Video chats, phone calls, messaging, you make sure you’re connected on all available facilities, and yet a fear of distance separating hearts along with.
Not every goodbye is forever, sometimes all it means is ’till next time’. Friendships remain if your heart and soul are in them and retain if you give them all of you.
Just say your last “I’ll miss you” and then make sure you don’t by reminding that person of your existence everyday.
Because its not a goodbye, its a phir milenge chalte chalte.

Letter to my Future Kid.

Dear Future Kid,
Hello. I am who you call ‘ma’ and I’ll make sure you call me that, because I like the essence of it. I don’t write this letter to ask you if I am a good mother or not, because I am. I just have a lot to tell you and I can’t decide where to begin. Or I can.
I am your best friend as well as your mother. That is something I have learnt from your grand mom. Your grand mom who knew about each and everyone of my crushes and heartbreaks and talked to me on how the right guy will come along eventually, yet made sure she kept that distance and authority a mother is supposed to. Likewise, you can share your pains and doubts and all the stupid decisions you make, get counselled and then reprimanded.

Secondly, I am the kind of mother who would never check your phone, your personal diary or even push you to tell me your secrets. On the other hand, I will try to be your personal diary yourself, someone you would want to come and share your pains and joys with, yourself.

Now that all the personal, emotional stuff is said, here is to things you and I will do, together:
We will read. I will begin reading to you from my personal favourites but gradually I will let you venture out in the world of books freely and let you develop your own tastes in reading. I know what it means to choose your own fandoms.
We will travel. I love to travel and it was probably my travels in my teenage that made me who I am. We will explore new places and get lost and then find our way back. We will do that. We will learn from the world.
Also, we will shop. We will go out shopping experimenting with new styles and ideas and it will be a date of you and me every now and then. We will talk over a coffee and fight over a new pair of jeans and we will get to know each other better.

Lastly, I want to talk to you about what I will NOT do. Your grand parents never forced me to do anything. They wanted me to do a lot, but never forced me into anything. I know how important that is for your development and growth. So, I will not ask you to do what I want you to. Instead, I’ll support you in whatever you want to do.
I will not stop you from making mistakes. Many a times, I would know your decision is wrong, but I’ll let you take it anyway. You need to learn from bad decisions and wrong pathways. I will let you do that.
Also, before I end this letter, just remember, I will, at a lot of times, lose my temper or be absent minded or just vaguely uninterested in your every day stories. Forgive me for that, I’m your  mother, afterall.

Love,
Ma.