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MEMORIES……KEEP VISITING

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Three months have gone by. It is as if I have lived three decades looking at lovely images of a tall and handsome man smiling at me from nooks and corners…..the man who was around me for a good 40 years as my father.

Life moves on. There are moments when whilst laughing my lungs out with friends, I slow down. Getting over the gulp in my throat I try to feel and focus on an image that teasingly crosses my eyes. That image is of YOU – your once radiant and bemused face, your eyes that used to brim over with laughs and your hands that used to break into a clap.. once upon a time. When you were a free bird ,the emperor of your dreams, and followed every passion and obsession with heart and soul- to live life king size.

 On a rainy day, as I picked up an old soggy book – memories dragged me 25 years back into your library. At a tender 15 or perhaps 16 years ,I stealthily used to pick up some from your priced collection. Vaguely remember some –TRAIN TO PAKISTAN , RAPE OF THE LOCK and a few others. As I struggled through them trying to make out what they were about , I tried to understand you through some lovely sayings and poetry scribbled by you on the margins of their pages in a handwriting that was so typical of you.

It has been a hide and seek game with memories these three months…..at times choking me and at times bringing along a broad smile .One of the most hilarious ones for you then and for me now is our being hijacked for a yearly preventive vaccine to your favorite doctor . Every year with a straight face you would smartly lay the trap with  an ice-cream treat which used to come but only after that painful prick . I would howl and over-react and vow not to get trapped the next time. And you would just flash your winning and naughty smiles. Ironically , those smiles so typical of you became long distant dreams for some years to come.

These three months, images of you have whizzed past my eyes….at times sitting on a regal couch dressed immaculately in white with a black coat by your side, as if ready for work ,sifting last minute through the pages of one of your law books.

The sheepish smiles, the roaring laughs that we so longed for – have all been visiting in hoards over and over again. You accompany them like a guest. Each time you get up smiling to leave with them ,I feel like reaching out and urging you to stay back. But then somewhere inside I know, you are in a happy space for you have always come and left smiling.

Memories do keep visiting, Papa do keep visiting along .

 

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Vaccinating years…gone bys

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Yesterday’s happened to be the last one! Looking back every shot had its own share of drama -some low pitched and while others over-the-top. With the exception of the first one, on all others my boy ensured that he remained the protagonist and none of us hogged the limelight.

Clearly remember the first one. With the new mommy still confined, it was papa and grandma who took him. Whilst the two day old baby just gave out a timid squeak, the new papa’s pulse rate showed quite a few fluctuations as that prick happened.

The next few were while he was still in the lap. This time it was always Mommy not wanting to look at the needle going in. For the baby, of course, the aftermath was bad. A swollen bum, waves of pain and a forced smile. Luckily till that time, he was quite a patient baby.

Then came an era when those chubby legs got wings and vaccination time meant that the doc and we had to endure a couple of solid kicks and that high pitch wailing for a good time after that prick too. Probably the funda was ‘Let me not make it too simple for them!’

Then came the 4-6 years phase. By now the legs had enough strength and the vocal cards raring to explode. From a naive and innocent baby, he was learning the ways of the world and had mastered a few tricks of the ‘bargaining trade’ by now. For us it was- anything for that seamless shot. With some fancy toy in hand and promises to behave and not shout beyond permissible limits, we would together land at the clinic. But alas -promises are meant to be broken! Along with the toy all promises would be flung in the air as soon as we moved towards that blessed bed. And there we had-enough drama to entertain for the patients waiting outside. Out emerged mama avoiding eye contact with people smiling, carrying a sobbing baby who did not forget to pick the toy notwithstanding the pain and peripheral drama.

The 10th one was certainly different as it came after a very long gap. This time instead of bargaining it was ‘I’ll get it done when it suits my schedule?’ For a good two and a half months the schedule remained jam-packed with- exams, feeling sick, cricket match and on and on and on! Finally yesterday, He had no choice. I picked him up straight from the ground to take him to the friendly neighborhood doc, just a walk away. Here he was proudly telling his friends ‘Oh! I’ll just be back after the injection’ like a macho man. The fear factor was there but I know how to hide it now. Luckily for me, one of his good friends tagged along. On the way, he kept asking me in whispers what to do if it hurts. I told him just to close his eyes and say Ek Omkar (means God is one, as in Gurbaani,). At the clinic, as the assistant got the bum ready, mama forgot that she had brought along a baby who appeared all grown up but still needed that hold. All busy chatting with my doctor friend, I heard him just before that prick ‘mama, you need to hold my hand’. It was a matter of a second after that. And there he ran off with his friend leaving me chatting with the doc.

From zero to ten years, seems we both have grown together on this odyssey ! 

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On your 11th one…

Every time I prepare to roar ,’No cricket practice in the house’, the mummy of my little baby holds me back as if warning, ‘ Better control yourself lady,for you are going to miss this too ! As you miss his cute blabbering, his wobbly walk, his crawling and then tugging on to your legs or even his messy throwing up after gulping that bottle of milk.’

As I see you reach my shoulders today, I see a young boy wanting to take his own little decisions, expressing his opinions; at times so eagerly making tea when I have a headache or tiding up the house with me when unexpected guests prepare to land. On umpteen little things, my eyes well up and as I hold my head high, I do hide that gulp in my throat wondering where did that little baby go?

Not that I have stopped roaring or ranting. At the end of the day, when you come and manage to fleece me with your most innocently pleading smile and say ‘ Today your baby will sleep with you..and that’s final…na !’ I pretend to frown but succumb to a wide smile, for I know that my little baby is still around.

These eleven years as you were growing to be a big boy, the mom in me was growing each day- at times wondering, most of the times learning, also experimenting, somewhere failing, somewhere succeeding but Yes….loving you and your growing up ….all along !!

Happy 11th birthday Hamraaz

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Muchas Gracias…

 

Muchas Gracias 2011

A glance back, 2011 seemed to have dished out a lavish spread;

Celebrations that left us enthralled

Little setbacks taught us to move on.

That good news that made us gleefully smile at life,

Sadly some that shook that faith for a while.

Waiting eagerly to welcome a new life,

Helpless at another one just sink by.

Few bridges crossed

A few fences built.

Handful of opportunities lost

A few blissfully grabbed and savored.

Relations; many relished, some endured

Some chose to walk with us,

A few others walked all over us,

Some walked past and lost touch,

While others left imprints that still warm the heart.

Few cozy conversations went on and on….others just didn’t pull beyond.

A rush of naughty glances, warming ups, some cold shrugs, heated discussions and warm hugs.

To the almighty; bless us with the courage to sail through storms,

Shower upon us sanity to be humbled by windfalls and not to get swept off.

A heartfelt gratitude for the year gone by!

Let’s look forward to savor and welcome what 2012 unfolds!

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Bequeathing a fortune of warm memories ~ Will our children be as lucky???

As I see sonny excited for yet another transition – graduating from pencils to using fountain pens – I wonder why the memory of a shiny silver fountain pen has been poking me vehemently since the last few days and making me silently smile!

One of those childhood memories when my father handed over his much used Chinese pen (with Chinese nib!)….and I had felt as if he had bequeathed me a fortune! Along with this are memories of many small things and the emotions accompanied ….A small Texla t.v.- the first tv set of our house for which me and my brother waited for months , my first pocket calculator that a dear uncle (now my father- in- law) gifted me on one of his visits when I was around 10 or 11 years old.

A Vespa scooter that carried four of us- papa, mama, my brother and me (perched on a steel carrier seat ) to our ancestral house every weekend. That – almost 20 km ride in glaring sun was such fun that I remember finishing many story books on that steel seat and my brother playing his simple water game tucked between mummy and papa! And I can keep going on and on!!!

Wonder whether our children flooded all the time with new age gizmos and gadgets – will have any memories of things they longed for and then finally got! Without advocating deprivation, I feel we were luckier than our kids in this regard. I guess it is not the material comforts but the emotions attached with every event and acquisition that etch them in our memories….for– my warmest memories are of the innumerable journeys by non-Ac buses and trains to meet loved ones and cousins during holidays!

Guess we sacrifice and overlook many emotions in our quest for material comforts……We shall leave our kids much richer if we bequeath them a fortune of warm and rich memories of apparently small things! And I myself know it is not that easy – to practice :)))

 

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Colours on my canvas…

The colors on my canvas….are not my own,

 The colors on my canvas come from varied zones!

A part of the canvas has all soft and pastel hues,

They come from a fairy queen God mother,

 Such a compassionate soul!

Thou was there to hold me when I went through my baby steps,

With that boundless love …you showered on me,

Am for life overwhelmed and ………drenched!

Yet again U were there by me in my later lissome steps,

You would never utter a word,

Yet your warm gaze would tell me that those were ‘the’ steps……

You bestowed me with some precious gems,

And from them I ‘draw’ each day and still my kitty is ever intact….

 

“Your loneliness would never leave you amidst all the noisy crowds,

If your ‘inner self’ was not satiated and ever so beautifully right”…

Even though miles separate us…your gems are always by my side .

Another part of my canvas has all bright and luminous hues,

They come from a friendly and vibrant soul….

As u walked in and splashed some of your vivid tones,

I felt I was just blinded by all the shimmer around,

But as I looked back at my canvas,

 I just fell in love with all that radiance,

My feet could walk the ‘right steps’…

You told them they could dance as well…

At first they were hesitant…

Later they discovered their new self.

My soul……………… that was in bliss,

All happy and engrossed with the inner peace,

 Was just waiting to be tapped by your finger tips…

The ‘silence’ was always so soothing,

Yet the melodies, jingles and noises,

Were somethings with which I fell in love,

From a loner and a solitary reaper,

Got drawn towards the chatter of my whole new world…

Thus…my smiles became laughter…

And those whispers got some 😉 pitch.

I still yearn for that little space,

Still can’t do without those quite moments…

For they give me that wonderful solace..

But as I look at my canvas,

It is all merged and submerged in the colors from my two worlds.

THE COLORS ON MY CANVAS,

WERE NOT MY OWN….

BUT THEY COME FROM TWO LOVED ONES…

AND TODAY,

It is as if, they were always ….MY OWN!!!!