Month: August 2011

Reasons to go awww in the week past

Video from a friend where the little munchkin says


and breaks in to a giggle when asked,

Cooker says?


An email from a friend who knows little or no Hindi with one line written in Hindi were half the sentance made sense and the other did not.


D looks at 2 remaining rasmalai pieces and says,

You can have both. I don’t need to have any.

Especially when I know how much he loves rasmalai.


Looking at baby pictures of a friend.


Ping on IM from friends even when I am not visible and bombardment with questions that I have no answers to. Followed by pouting and being called mean.


Me singing ‘Chidiya Chun Chun karti hei’, Buzz repeating after me. Were the

Yeah sab mere saathi hein

sounds (accent wise) just like Indi saying

Tum vishwaasghati ho

in ‘Indiana Jones and the temple of doom’.

As I sing,

Happy Birthday to me

she says,

Happy Birthday to Mumma


Chai ke liye jaise toast hota hei..

..vaise har eak friend zaroori hota hei.

You have all seen this ad, have you not? And have all smiled and nodded along, have you not? And walked down memory lane remembering all the friends who fit in to these various categories, have you not?

For me I walked back to my college days, remembered, smiled at a few, laughed at more than a few, frowned at a few, missed so many and got all nostalgic. So now I capture some of these precious moments in words and hence making sure they are never lost in the sands of time.

Koyi subah paanch baje neend se jagaye:

Uthja, kuch padhle, nahein to exam mein kya hoga tera?

This was how I woke up almost for every exam through the four years of college.

Koyi raat ko teen baje jaan bachaye:

Wardi aa rahi hei!

the call would go out which meant all heaters had to be hidden before the hostel warden got a hold of them and took them away. And if such a thing happened how would we live through the 0 degree C frigid winters?

Ek teri kadki mein sharing kare:

One of those long weekends when all students who lived close by headed home, leaving a handful of us behind. End of the month when money was always tight but fed up of the minimally running hostel mess with its horrible food, 3 girls got out all the money they had. The aim was to get to Rs 100. Rs 2 short they begged someone to lend them the same. Rs 100 complete they walked 4 kms to get to a restaurant (this was food money after all, could not be spent on a rickshaw). One paneer sabzi, one plate rice, one naan. Feast it was with the final bill of Rs 99. 4 Kms walk back, but the smile on their face for having had good food after forever was something to behold.

Aur eak tere budget mein sneak in kare:

We the ‘weekend stay backers’ as we were called because we stayed far far from home and could not run home every weekend were always careful about saving money. We did not have the luxury of getting our funds replenished every week. Money came at the start of every month, after which the mess fee and the electric bill and all the stationary buying happened. By 5th of the month, it was back to watching every Rupee that we had. I was famous for saving money and having a decent amount left at the end of the month. Which meant my wallet was the most wanted thing in the last 5 or so days of the month. And yeah they made sure their kadki turned in to my kadki as well. Height of sharing, me thinks. 😀

Koi nature se guest, koi host hota hei:

Third year, I was the part of the lucky four in our batch who got a room on the ground floor. Lucky because the ground floor rooms where always cool (er) than the ones on the first floor during the melting summer heat and warm (er) than the ones on the first floor during the bone chilling winter. Which meant anytime of the day or night there was someone sleeping on my bed trying to catch a break from the heat or the cold.

On the same lines there were a few rooms always open for the likes of me (whose bed was already taken) to go study or sleep or just hang out in.

Par har eak friend zaroori hota hei.

Eak ghadi ghadi kaam aaye per kabhi kabhi call kare:

I had two main friends. When I was not living in the first ones house (her dad was a prof. in college and they stayed on campus), I was found in the other ones room. Yeah my ‘ghadi ghadi kaam aaye’ friends. I was never far so they never called me. See check on ‘kabhi kabhi call kare’.

Eak kabhi kabhi kaam aaye per ghadi ghadi call kare:

Oh yeah, I had these kinds too. Always dropping in, wanting help for this, wanting to talk about that, always something to sort out and one of the first people to go missing any time I needed help of any kind.

Gossip ka koi ghoomta phirta satellite:

We called her BBC and did she know everything that was going on or what? 😀 Who liked whom, who finally said yes to a certain guy, who got how many marks, who was struggling with what subject, who was seen outside a certain prof’s office trying to maska maroofy, who bunked what class to go watch which movie. BBC knew it all and she being the nicest person in the hostel helped big time. 

Koi saath rahe to karde sab alright:

My go to person for all problems big or small. Just being around her would calm me down and make me look at things from a different angle.

Koi effortless, koi forced hota hei:

A trip from the bus-stand to the hostel one Monday morning, a couple of shared smiles during the initial ragging days and we were friends. Effortless indeed.

The stopping by the girls hostel in the names of getting notes. The making up reasons to celebrate so that the girls could go out for lunch with them. So very forced. 😀

Lekin har eak friend zaroori hota hei.

Chat room friend:

The first and only chat room friend (for the longest time) – D

Koi class room friend:

The ones who made sure the bench N and I loved to sit on was left empty any time we were late for class.

Koi bike pe race wala vroom-vroom friend:

Never really race because a Luna, a Scotty or a Kinetic was never much competition against a Yamaha or a Bullet but a few rides to remember including one where I was stopped in the middle of the drive and was screamed at for not driving carefully enough. Over protective guy friends 🙄

Shopping mall wala shopping friend:

She had the best dress sense amongst all of us, plus she was a local so she knew exactly what to buy, where. Where the sales were. Where one could get the perfect cloth for a salwar kameez to go with the dupatta you got as a gift. Where to go to get a particular style of salwar kameez stitched. And most importantly what style to get it stitched in.

Koi exam hall wala copying friend:

He was the roll number before mine. About 30 minutes before the exam got over he would move his fingers to his back and sign a question number. If I gave a sign back it meant I had attempted that question. Then would start a series of signs where he verified that his result matched mine. This was of course for numerical questions.

Movie buddy:

N, how many movies did we watch together? Do we even have a count?

Groovy buddy:

Aah my dancing partner. Every festival we were seen living it up. 🙂

Hi buddy:

Too many to count.

Bye buddy:

Same as above.

Joke buddy:

We were rehearsing for an event before we headed to BITs Pillani for their college fest. And at exact same point we would burst out laughing much to the irritation of everyone else. We managed to get by with only smiles when we got on the stage but the jokes continued way past the actual show.

Poke buddy:

Oh the love-hate relationship or was it hate-hate? Always on each other’s case, masking it behind smiles of course.

Gaana buddy:

The one person who could abide by my donkey braying voice and who joined in to help me through the difficult parts.

Shaana buddy:

Miss Smart mouth! Oh she was amazing to be with. 😀

Chaddi buddy: to this one, I must say. At least not in college.

Yaar buddy:

Kya yaar!

Yaar aaj to bacch gaye.

Oye yaar, help kar de na?

With a few people, I don’t think any sentence was complete without yaar in it. 🙂

Kutte.. kaminey..

Not Kutte..kaminey but yeah the special names for some extra special friends. 😀

Everybody..sab buddy


gin gin ke naam bheja roast hota hei

par har eat friend zaroori hota hei.

Yup every friend is important because they teach you something new just by being part of your life. Because they enrich your life in their own special way. Because just by being around they give you million and more memories to carry with you, even when you have not met them in years.

Ray of sunshine

Dear Buzz,

You are too little to know what a trouper you have been and how much you have helped us all through everything else that has been going on. Or maybe because you are so little and are blissfully unaware that you stay true to yourself and make us all smile through the tears.

Your enthusiasm for air-pains carried us through the horrors of horrendous routing, missed connections, added connections to the itinerary and multiple days of traveling. You figured out quickly that the food cart always had orange juice. You would patiently wait for the air-hostess to come to our seat and then promptly ask for orange juice before either your Paa or I could get a word out. Which caused everyone around to break in to smiles. You were forever looking out the window pointing out to the wings and engine and the clouds and land below and then say ‘air-pain uper, shooom’. Through spoilt milk and food you were not interested in, through confined seating and limited activities, through irregular timings and frequent waking up from your sleep, you kept going, not really ever complaining or causing too much trouble for us. And still are as fascinated with air-pain as you were before we did the 7 planes travel in less than a two week timeframe.

You were bored, confined inside the house owing to the severe heat and were still seen dancing to all the dinchak bollywood songs. The songs, colors, dancing seem to fascinate you no end. You invented your own game where the bed frame was a barn where imaginary cows, horses and pigs stayed. You played with them, moving them around, putting them to sleep and generally jumping around for hours. Your excitement at seeing a cow or a dog or a horse on the street had everyone excited about finding them for you. Your one outing for the day used to be to the hospital where you were only allowed to the door of the ICU. And you were seen running to the door every few minutes, putting your nose to the door, peeping in and saying ‘Nani theek ho jaao’. And the four little words melted all our hearts every single time.

Your Hindi English mixed language was a great source of amusement to everyone around. The time I picked up a cloth to clean up some mess and you heard me say, ‘mein saaf karti huin’ and you followed suit by picking up a cloth and saying, ‘I saafing’ in place of your standard, ‘I cleaning’ cracked us all up. Every time you said, ‘I suck’ in place of ‘I am stuck’ there were laughs and smiles all around.

I look back at the month that it has been and you stand out the one person who made a lot of us smile, who made us all forget even for a little while what was going on around us. I guess you did see me cry a couple of times and the sheer distress on your face had me wiping my tears away. But since then you have been extra generous with your hugs and cling to me much more. Your warmth helps when most other things don’t. My heart stops for a heartbeat every time you ask for Nani when we call home, I am extra impatient with your tantrums, I don’t do as much with you anymore, so I wanted to let you know that you give me reasons to smile, get angry, get upset, laugh, live every single day. You are my personal sunshine in the gray clouds that surrounds me. I am so blessed to have you.

Stay healthy, stay happy, stay you sweetheart. Always!

Love you loads,


– Life goes on:
   For others and for that matter even for you. Just because it seems to be at a standstill for you does not mean you have to get upset at other people’s smiles and laughs.

– Everyone has their own problems:
   Just because their issues seem so much smaller than your’s does not mean they don’t have the right to crib about them. You were/will be on the other side of the fence someday.

– Don’t expect much:
   Everyone has their way of helping. If their way of helping does not match your expectation it is your problem really, they are doing what they think is right.

– What ifs don’t help:
   No matter how many times you play things in your mind and how many different scenarios you dream up, the past can’t be changed. All you end up doing in hurting some more.

– Tears are there for a reason:
   Sometimes it is OK to let go and have a good cry. It eases the weight on you a little. You don’t have to be strong all the time.

– Don’t seclude yourself:
   Talking to people about normal day to day things, doing normal day to day things makes the day go past with much more ease. Break your shell and talk more, do more.

– Grief makes others uncomfortable:
   Besides saying sorry, we as humans are at a loss at things to say or do when faced with grief. You have always struggled with the right words and now you see others struggle with them. You felt helpless then, you feel helpless now.

– Have an ignore button:
  No matter how much you don’t want it, no matter how much you don’t care for it: unasked for, seemingly well-meaning, unwanted advice keeps coming. Getting upset will get you nothing. Make your ignore button extra strong.

– Friends are a blessing:
  They care, they show, they hold on and carry you through the hard times. Be a good friend in return.

– Family is the ultimate fall back:
  They know you inside out. They know when to push you and when to take a step back. Their love holds you strong, not letting you fall no matter what. Reach out and hold them in turn.

Panda and Frogy

Dinner time. Buzz not interested in eating.

Buzz: Aaoovviii.
Me: Kahaan lagi chot? (where did you get hurt?)
Buzz: Stomach mein.
Me: Kaise lagi? (how?)
Buzz: Panda ko. (Panda got hurt) (In Buzz’s world Panda is the one who always gets hurt)
Me: Kaise? (how?)
Buzz: Frogy maara. (Frogy hit him)
Me: *pretending to talk to Frogy* Forgy kyoin maara Panda ko?
Buzz: *laughing*
Me: Frogy ko timeout de dein? (Should we give Frogy a timeout?)
Buzz: Haan. (yes)
Me: Chalo Frogy timeout.
Buzz: *laughing some more*
Me: Jabardasti rona band karo Frogy. (Stop this forced crying Frogy) (I say this to Buzz when she pretends to cry whenever she gets a timeout)
Buzz: *laughing very hard* Haan Frogy rona band karo.
Me: Frogy sorry bol raha hei, usse bulla lein? (Frogy is saying sorry, should we call him back?)
Buzz: Nahien.
Me: Per wo sorry bol raha hei? (But he is saying sorry?)
Buzz: Panda helecopter chalate. (Panda is flying the helecopter)
Me: achha (OK)
Buzz: Frogy airpain chalate. (Frogy flies the airplane)
Me: OK
Buzz: Shooommmm chalejate. (they go shooommm)
Me: uper? (up?)
Buzz: Uper.

The End!

Gayatri Mantra

O thou existence Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions: gross, subtle, and causal.. we contemplate upon thy divine light. Pray stimulate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge.

The one mantra/prayer I know.

The only one that has called to me all my life.

The one thing that calms me down and brings peace to my mind these days. With every repetition I find myself less and less agitated. I haven’t gotten to the point where I can chant it on my own without thoughts seeping in slowly and taking over completely but I try everyday. Till then listening to the calming words helps.

I wish I had it in a WMA or MP3 format so that I could load it up on my phone. But till I am online YouTube helps.


The thing I remember most about the yearly trips to the native place was all the people we met. We covered the entire state with four main destination points. Paa’s village to see Dada ji, Dadi ji, Chacha, Chachi and all the cousins. Invariably both the Buas would come along with the kids as well. Then there was a visit to see Nani. A trip to badde Mama ji’s place and one to chote Mama ji’s place. Four corners of the small state meant we covered it all every summer vacation.

But these were not the only people we met. There were constant stops to have breakfast at someone’s house, tea at another, lunch someplace else, halt for dinner. All this with no formality. There were no four dishes for dinner along with puri and rice and desert to follow. These were unannounced drop in with whatever the family was having for dinner served to us as well. Which meant simple dal roti or khichadi or daliya. Mattresses lined up on the floor to sleep the night before starting out again. Every city we crossed, there was someone to meet.

I did not know who was who, what the connection was. I just knew them all as part of the family (whose side, Mom’s or dad’s, I never thought to ask). During the pesky teens I started taking umbrage to what someone said or how someone did something. But every time I brought it up with Maa she would calmly ask me

Is it really that big of a deal? Relationships take forever to build and a minute to break. Would you have us break a relationship over something this small?

The answer I always came up with was no.

College happened, marriage happened, moving away from the country happened, annual trips stopped, grudges became big in my mind and then got left behind with everything else that was going on in life. People were forgotten with the passage of time.

A few weeks back as Bhaiya and I stood helplessly wanting to give blood but rejected because of the blood type mismatch and having such a common blood group that the blood bank overflowed with it while Maa’s blood was of the rare kind so an exchange was not in the cards, I saw all these people I saw years and years back come forward. Seemingly on their own. One phone call to one person and the greater family connection came together. Unasked for, people came up and volunteered to get a blood match done. A pattern soon emerged and more and more people came forward. Mom’s mother’s eldest brother’s youngest son ready to drive out for an hour at a minutes notice. My 21 year old, totally irresponsible, all about having fun, cousin brother abstaining from drinking alcohol when out with friends and carrying a list of his friends and their phone numbers because they had the same blood type as Maa. And I think for the first time I really understood what family was all about.

As hard as it was, that constant hand on the head from someone or the other kept me going. As shattered as I was, the blanket of love covered me when I most needed it. As difficult as it was, they collectively pushed me out of the country and on a plane because that was the need of the hour. As heart breaking as it is for me to be away, I know Paa has that support system around him.

Today, I stand humbled, feeling an inch tall for all the petty grudges I carried with me. Saying thank you seems so inadequate for all they did and continue to do. As I call home, Mami ji picks up the phone and says,

Beta tu chinta mat karna, hum ab yahein raheinge. Papa theek hein..

and I break down, not out of grief for a change but for the care shown. For the love in that voice. For the biggest wealth my parents gathered over the years which flows over to us unasked, undeserved, never worked upon – support of the family.

Forever more

Your thoughts were for our wellbeing, your prayers for us.
You taught us to be compassionate, you gave us strength.
You took care of our little one, you showered them with love.
You cried tears for us, you laughed in our joy.
You let us go when we needed to, you held on strong when we needed that shelter.
You took pride in our every accomplishment, you pointed out our every mistake.
You were so very strict, you were so full of love.
You taught us right from wrong, you ensured we grew up to be good.
You held our hand as we learned write, you reached out your hand when we took our first step.

You carried Bahiya and me inside you and now all we can do is carry you in our hearts forever more.