Friday, 7 March 2014

Hospital Diaries 1.






"He's standing on a line between giving up and seeing how much he can take "


Patient 1 

When you see him lying on the bed, he looks amazingly fine... and very handsome. You will see him, noticing every move you make. Then he would raise his hand to acknowledge your presence. You can't help but wonder why is he here in ICU? 

After a bit of snooping I came to know, he is a paralysed patient. The left side of his body was paralysed in April, 2001.   He was some ex hot shot working in a nationalised bank. The day he was announced as the ED of that bank, he suffered a paralytic attack. 

He is back in the hospital because he again suffered a stroke but this time it was a brain stroke, which affected his throat. This meant he couldn't swallow or speak. 

I tried to strike a casual conversation with his wife. It was then she told me that all his life he loved food...good food, and now he would never be able to taste anything. He would be restricted to liquid diet for the rest of his life. I looked at him and he, like always was noticing me. I smiled (trying desperately not to look sympathetic) and he raised his hand to acknowledge my smile.

This message is into the void (as I am not too sure... if anybody is reading it). When you meet patients like the above all of a sudden you start questioning if god is really around and watching over us. This man is keeping a brave face but for how long?? God are you listening??? God are you watching??? God are you even there???


Monday, 27 January 2014

Just Confused



I stand on the cross roads
holding your hand
Both of us clueless
It's hard to understand

As we pass this point
it will be hard to go back
what if I disappoint?
what if there is something you lack? 

It's a point of no return
It's bidding farewell 
to our carefree life
and a places where we dwell.

I am scared of losing you
ruining what we shared
may be I am just feeling blue
may be I am not really scared.......
-
-
-
-
     May be I am just confused



( something that I wrote just a week before my marriage....... sheer case of cold feet..lol)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Is it love or dove :)




Note to Dove

I am usually too lazy to participate in contests. My blog can barely boast of 4 contests I had ever participated in. But when Dove's Guessing Game with my Friend came up I knew that I really wanted to be a part of it. Why? Actually because of two reasons:-

Firstly, because I think it's my way of saying thank you...for nurturing and taking good care of my skin. I have been using it since last 13 years, not even once I thought of using any other brand.

Lastly, it always came to my rescue whenever the experiments (new foundation, new face pack) back fired. Thank you again...Dove.
                               
                                                               ****

Having a sister is like having a best friend, who would never leave you no matter what and no matter how much you want. She is a friend who has your back, when it comes to facing or declaring war against the world ( which was pretty rare) but at the same time would happily wring your neck if you are seen wearing her favorite pair of stilettos.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have three of them. In short, I have three best friends. 

When it came to experiments my younger sister and I were more of an experimented-on than experimenters. My eldest sister would cut our hair (I don't even know how did I manage to go to school with hair looking like that)... my second elder one would experiment our faces with innovative homemade face packs from dried orange peel to lots of rotten fruits (that’s how the pack smelled like) mixed in a mixer-grinder to the most hair raising of all.. neem-multani mitti-sandal wood powder-rose water pack.

It was February 2000; I had a farewell party coming up in a week's time
. Like everyone I was very excited about the party. Honestly, I was hoping against hope that I would somehow get college's super-hero's attention. I had carefully decided my saree, stilettos (borrowed, ofcourse) to go with it. My elder sister came up with a brilliant idea that I should apply a face-pack that would bring a glow to my face (my parents weren't very keen on us going to parlors or even apply nail polishes). I was skeptical initially, but my desperation to look good was far greater, so I agreed.

My sister carefully applied the pack on my face. Initially my skin felt cool and then it gradually started burning. I told my sister that it was burning but my sister rubbished my concern and said "It's not burning, it is working" burning stopped but it started to itch. I didn't wait any longer I rushed to the bathroom and washed my face thoroughly. After I was done, my eyes fell on the mirror and my face was staring back at me. I had red, itchy patches all over my face. I couldn't help but cry. How was I supposed to go to the party looking like this? 

There was panic written all over my sister's face. I knew what she was thinking. She knew I would kill her today and make her come back to life and kill her again. With all her might she said “Apply ice, trust me it's no big deal"

"Are you crazy? I look like a monkey. You screwed up my life. I will never have a boy friend now. Every guy in the school will make fun of me. It is just because of you." I felt even more miserable after shouting at her. But I was in no mood to listen. I kept applying ice and crying all at the same time.

By next morning, with redness came flaky, peeling, dry skin. My mom gave me a cold cream to use. It was comforting but I looked really horrible.

Only two days to go and my skin were peeling endless. Itching had stopped but my skin became really dry. It was then while watching Aahat (a horror show on Sony) my sister saw Dove bar's advertisement that 1/4th of dove was moisturizer.



  

I was way too sad to notice anything. At that point of time I felt as if my perfect world has crumbled (Okay, I was a kind of drama-queen in college). My sister bought that soap. At that point of time it was one of the most expensive soaps available in the market and our pocket money wasn't that great. 

My sister didn't say anything to me. She just kept the soap on my bed. "I don't want to use anything given by you anymore."I screamed and threw the soap. 

"Just wash your face with this soap for next two days." ...and she left.

I did as she said; I guess I am way too programmed to follow my sisters blindly. 

8th of Feb was our farewell party and my skin felt amazing. My sister helped me get ready and I did get the school's heart throb's attention, but that's a different story that once he opened his mouth and said "Dude, you look really good". I, immediately knew he wasn't type. How dare he called me Dude; I am a Lady. But what the heck I had a time of my life.

Like expected all my friends said "You are glowing, is it love or dove?" I just smiled and I knew I just got my fourth best friend. ;)    














The above post is written for the Guessing game with my Friend contest powered by Dove and Indiblogger

Friday, 8 November 2013

My Platinum Day of Love

Aren't arranged marriages just beautiful? Your parents happily propose a boy on your behalf and all you have to do is to look pretty and pretend that all that is laid on the table was made by you. Vikas and I had an arranged marriage. The first month of our marriage was all about holiday (I hate the word honeymoon) awkward moments, talking softly and putting our best foot forward.


Soon after the holidays we shifted in our new house. My life seemed to have started fresh altogether. Not only marriage and my husband were new to me but also the city and its people (I am from Kolkata and Vikas worked in Mumbai). People in Mumbai are very detached; most of them had no idea about the residents of their building. Kolkata was very different, we even knew our neighbors' relatives. Mumbai was fast Kolkata's slow pace had its own charm. I really missed being in Kolkata especially road side food ghugni & puchke (Gol Gappe). Vikas would always take me to those fine dining restaurants where we would have that typical old boring food. Frankly, if we were to look at same north Indian menu every time we eat out, what’s wrong with home cooked food?

My life had changed drastically. It felt like from being a careless lad, I was made to sit on the King's throne and take charge of the kingdom. I remember Spider-Man's uncle once said 'With great power comes great responsibility'. My biggest responsibility was decorating this new match box sized apartment, finding maids, running errands and making this house look like a home. It all seemed way too easy. After all I am a woman, decorating and setting a household is practically in my chromosomes. All women do it with such aplomb.
 
Vikas coming from an extremely male-dominated Jain society was hardly of any help. He would throw his socks around, never keep his shoes inside the cabinet and would throw his wet towel on the bed each morning. But I was determined to become a good homemaker.

As soon as I started unpacking the gifts we had received i.e after 6 crystal Ganeshas, two hot plates, three DVD players, 5-6 vases and countless silver wares, I realized none of them were of any use to me. Yay, that meant I had to go shopping.
 
I bought a lot of paintings, crystal showpieces and my major chunk of money went into crockery that was supposedly original China. As a kid, I always dreamt of eating on fine china plates and drinking from the finest crystal glasses.

After I was done rearranging my things and making my home livable, I decided to give it a final touch. I started stacking the china plates and other crockery pieces in the kitchen rack that seemed sturdy enough to hold the weight.

 After I was done with my work, I decided to take a shower. I felt fresh, got dressed tastefully and topped it up with some evening make up. I finally felt like the queen of the house. I was proud of myself. I really wanted Vikas to feel the same about me. I switched on every single light and the very next second, the doorbell rang. I ran and opened the door.

Vikas entered and as always he threw his socks and his shoes near the entrance, before I could protest the entire house shook with a loud crashing sound. I could hear the glass plates crashing on the floor and breaking into pieces. I rushed to the kitchen only to find all my hard work lying broken all over the floor. Something shattered within me. I thought of myself as one awful wife; a good for nothing housewife.  I bent down and picked one of those broken plates and started crying uncontrollably. Vikas who was standing behind me stood speechless. I knew he was going to shout at me. I have ruined my chances of ever being taken seriously. I am going to be nothing but one goofy wife whose husband pokes fun at her in front of his friends. With that thought I started crying even more. Vikas finally asked "What happened, why you are crying?"


"Can't you see what happened?" I pointed towards the plates and tears started rolling again.

"They are just some stupid plates. We'll buy new ones. Why are you crying for this?" Vikas looked really confused.

"Can't you see it's not working out? You don't help at all. You throw your shoes and socks all over the place. You put your soiled towel on the bed. And now you shut the door so hard that the entire kitchen rack came down (I knew it was not his fault, it was mine, I should have known the rack won't be able to take that much weight.)." I kept crying and blabbering. Finally, Vikas sat next to me and hugged me hard.
“Okay, I am guilty about the socks, shoes and towel. But how can you blame me for the rack. That’s not my fault.” He spoke in his defense.

I was not in the mood to listen to him “It’s your fault.” I said as a matter of fact.

“No it’s not”, he sounded amused than angry.

“Yes it is,” Of course it was his fault. As soon as he entered, the kitchen rack fell. “Why are you smiling?” I was confused.

"Can you see the silver lining? We are finally talking. It was suffocating that we hardly talked and we had to think zillion times before we spoke. Now we can finally be ourselves. I am actually glad this damn thing broke. Now we sound like a normal happy couple."

"From which angle do YOU sound normal and WE sound happy?" I looked at him confused.

"Oh trust me, I love it. As for the socks, shoes and towel, I promise I won't do it ever again. But the rack was not my fault” Before I could protest, he gave a slight peck on my lips.

"Let’s just leave these here and go out for a dinner. Tomorrow I will take a day off and we'll see what we can do about the kitchen. The rest of the house looks awesome.".....and he looked at me earnestly. For the first time I realized he had beautiful green eyes. I was not really an expert on love but all of sudden I was brimming with it. I knew the man I hated just a few minutes ago was the only man I would like to spend my life with and grow old with.

I smiled and said "Sounds great. But this time I don't want to go to a restaurant. Can we go to Juhu beach instead?"

Vikas smiled and nodded.

                                     *******

This is one of those rare moments which needs to be celebrated because it is pure and eternal. It is devoid of all the extravagance and superficial romance. This memory would always be a part of our lives, even after either one of us is gone. What better than celebrating it with Platinum which is equally rare, pure and eternal?

Thus it is our platinum day of love. A platinum day of love need not be planned and extravagant. It’s that day when the realization sets in that he/she is the one. This moment was truly special because the magical transformation from arranged marriage where we were tied to each other by our family strings broke and gave way to love marriage wherein we truly wanted to be together. We've had zillions of romantic moments afterwards but that day and that time is going to be etched in our minds forever because that was the day we finally fell in love.





The above post is written for the Platinum day of love contest powered by Platinum and Indiblogger



Saturday, 21 September 2013

Friendship rooted in love

The best relationships--the ones that last-- are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship.

Not very long ago I had written about my friend who recently broke -up with her boy friend...  Realizing it's time to move on

Just the other day, I was talking to her and as expected, she was feeling very down. It so happens that she was missing her college buddy. The story goes that they were together in college, totally inseparable. The guy finally proposed her during their farewell, which she refused. The reason she gave me was, he didn't fit the image of a boy friend. 

The inquisitive me asked her, How exactly a boy friend should look like? She gave me a complete description of a mills and boon hero, Tall, fair and handsome. The guy was not very tall or fair and not very handsome either. Now she feels he would have made a more loyal boy friend than her ex. 

Most of the times we are so busy running after our make believe superman that we often forget to look behind and see who is running after us. Any relationship that is based on looks can never last very long, because looks are not forever and neither is this attraction, because the man or the woman in question will very soon find someone better looking or better versed than you.

She, then, said a very heart breaking thing to me. She said that the saddest thing about the entire situation was she now realized how much she wants him ,she needs him... her friend who USED to love her.

So the million dollar question is...who would you go for the person who loves you or the person who u love????











Thursday, 29 August 2013

Take me back to those good ol' days



David Leavitt once said "Childhood smells of perfumes and brownies".

Nostalgic smells are the one which trigger intense happy memories. It happens to us all. Even a mere whiff of a familiar aroma finds one walking down the memory lane. Surprisingly, each aroma unlocks a particular chamber of unique memories, forgotten over time, and yet amazingly fresh and clear at every recollection.

The prominent smells I relate to my childhood are :-

My Mom  :-  The natural fragrance of my mom. It was a unique and engaging fragrance that also exuded absolute love, warmth and immeasurable comfort. Mom would tuck us in every night and lie beside us reading “Panchatantra” stories. My special memories of her fragrance were of me hugging her tighter and snuggling closer, knowing I was in the safest place on earth. I often sense this fragrance and her memories. Maybe, here, the memory triggers the fragrance.


Freshly made Paranthas (pancakes) with dollops of butter/ghee   :-  My daily “Good Morning” aroma. Mom would start cooking early to prepare breakfast and lunch boxes for the household (four schoolgoing girls). I always woke up to the most appetizing and mouthwatering mornings – the sweet and heady aroma of wheat flour Paranthas being cooked with ghee and laden with homemade white butter. The lunchboxes prepared by mom never felt weighed down by the calories she packed in them. Sadly, Paranthas don’t taste or smell that yummy anymore.


“Old Spice” after shave   :-  The fragrance of my Dad’s room every morning. I was totally enamored with the masculine fragrance of the after shave and, at times, would use it on myself. One day a good looking neighbor asked if I was wearing a men’s perfume and ended my hush-hush affair with “Old Spice”. But the fragrance stays on in me.


New Study Books   :-  The smell that heralded start of the new academic year. New session at School/College started with us receiving dozens of new books. Each fresh book had a peculiar sweet smell. I would love to smell the book before getting down to studying it. Even today the similar smell in any book transports me back to those years of books, books and books.


First Rain of the Monsoons   :-  The buoyant scent of first showers on parched hot earth. We have a word for it - “Petrichor”. I guess everyone loves this smell and the moments which indicate the departure of oppressive summers and arrival of refreshing monsoons. I had a special reason to love this smell. It meant that, at last,  I had the long awaited license to play in the rains unmindful of dirt and filth.


Maggi Noodles :-  The liberating sense of Freedom. “Maggi” could only be cooked at home when my parents were not around, which meant that the fort was ruled by the princesses of the kingdom.  The other freedoms that came with “Maggi” were jumping/dancing on the beds, using mom’s makeup and all sorts of fun/uproarious laughter.


Pears Soap   :-  The mild and refreshing scent of Dad’s bath. He uses the same soap to this day. A mere hint of that smell is enough to take me back to those childhood days at our house in Kolkata and my Dad’s bath.


Napthelene Balls   :-  The wistful smell of clothes and almirahs. The smell has a special place in my childhood memories, though I equally disliked the times associated with it. It would be the tiring annual “Diwali” ritual of cleaning. I loved the memories of us sisters getting to see all of my mom’s old sarees and lehengas. The more wonderful memory is of us sneakily trying on those dresses and dancing around in them till discovery by a screaming Mom. I remember her being very possessive about the wedding lehenga. No I know why.

“Parle Orange” Toffees   :-  The tangy orange smell of Mom’s locker. She always kept these candies in her locker. The smell would spread to the house everytime she opened the locker. My sisters and I would immediately run to her for our share of those delights. None of the present day lavish delights can ever match those simple toffees, with their priceless memories.


Garlic    :-  The aroma of my Dadisa’s (Grandmother) yummy “chutney”. This was one delicacy that she would send specially for me. And I never fell short of doing it the adequate justice. To everyone’s amazement I would finish the huge box within a week. Not surprisingly, my son is a huge fan of garlic chutney too.


Parachute Coconut Oil   :-  The aroma of weekly head massage. Weekly once, Mom would get comfortable on the couch with us sisters lined up ahead sitting on the floor. And then would start 30 minutes of non-stop head massage with warm coconut oil. The entire house, its occupants and its contents would smell of coconut oil. Or was that just me? For, I smelled coconut oil everywhere.

Similar occurrences of these moments today will seem mundane and ordinary now. They surely were just that during those childhood days. But they are priceless and special for they are the memories of those times which are long gone to never return. The present and its demands does relegate these cherished memories to some corner of the brain. And then, during the course of the day, some fragrance or smell brings forth the specific memory from its exact corner in the brain. And they are always found fresh and intense.

It is amazing how our brains can store so much information from so long ago, regardless of its significance, and even more amazing how we can replay these moments by merely capturing molecules into our nose.

I love the smell of...
 
Parathas fresh from the pan
even the smell of "Old spice" man
Orange toffees makes me a kid again
Smell of books is like oxygen to my brain

Smell of fresh rains
make me wanna jump with joy
Smell of Maggi noodles reminds me
my mom's make-up was my favorite toy

The scent of soap 
from my dad's bath
The smell of old clothes
Pushes me into the nostalgic path

But the smell I miss most
the one that make me feel calm
It's non of the above
It's the amazing smell of my MOM


The above post is written for the Ambi Pur's Smelly to Smiley contest powered by Ambi Pur and Indiblogger

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Kitty Party misfits



Kitty Party 

Sounds more like catty party to me. Women, who look so sweet and normal whenever u meet them be it inside the elevator or in the park...But in such parties they change... like werewolves change during full moon nights. They can be viciously bitchy and catty(Now that's a good combo ;) ) Here is the detailed account of my first and hopefully last Kitty Party.


Anuja (my best friend) - Renu you need to join this Kitty party

I -         Why should I? I am pretty happy the way I am right now.

Anuja - Yeah living like a bum. No housewife actually lives like the way you do, all the time in t-shirt and pyjamies. You need to meet some normal people.

I -       I object to that I am very much normal and my friends are very much normal, thank you. 

Anuja -  Yeah if normal actually means being friends with people most probably you'd never meet and liking statuses and writing rubbish, than yeah you are normal. I don't want to hear anything please .Be ready by noon sharp and dress up in salwar kameez or a pair of jeans with some fancy top. Please do put on some make-up and remember to comb your hair. 

I-          Yeah Yeah mommy. FYI I always comb my hair. My hair is unruly.

                                                                      ***** 

Around Noon I was ready and waiting for Anuja to come. She came all decked up like a doll. I looked very plain compared to her. She took out her lip gloss and foundation...and she started working on me and then she frowned looking at my jeans and a cotton top. 

Anuja - Cldn't you wear something good? Why do you have to make matters difficult.

I - I am wearing my brand new top. I got it from Provogue. Thankfully I don't look like a rainbow the way u do... all colours in one dress.

Anuja (rolling her eyes) - Never mind lets go. 
                                                                        *****

The Kitty Party was being held on the 5th floor @ Sharmaji's. I could smell Pau Bhajji (okay, kitty party is not really that bad...yay). The door was open and we went inside.I like a tag-along stood in the corner with a super fake smile on my face and Anuja like a perfect sociallite goes out air kissing all women present. We live in the same apartment building and I hardly know most of their names and there are few faces I didn't even know lived in our building (Shame on me) Anuja was right I should get out more often and try to know people around me.

Okay, there are 7 women let me see how many I know.

1.Yummy mummy (Shes very pretty ,hardly looks like mother of two) 

2.Mommy number 1 (She's like a know all and she's the only woman member of society's management committee.)

3.Hot headed mommy (I 've seen her thrashing her kid. She scares me too)

4. Bobby (I know her as my child and her children go in the same bus)

5. Aarti Sharma ( The lady who made Pau Bhajji)

6 and 7 I've never met.



Mommy No. 1 : You are Renu right... who lives on the 17th floor ?

I : Yeah, that's me. (I keep my fake smile intact)

Hot headed Mommy : I have seen you taking your walks in the eveining.

I : (I continue smiling)

Yummy mummy : You walk?? You seemed to have gained weight though.

I : (nod...she doesn't look that yummy anymore. I think I just saw wrinkles ..fangs and claws..;)

Anuja (my savior) : She writes and few of her works even got published.

Hot headed mommy : We have a celebrity amongst us ??

6 (the most sensible one) : Where exactly has it got published

I : Nothing really great it's just a short story in an anthology. (When would they serve pau bhajji . So that I could have it and leave)

Anuja (please stop talking) : Even in an E magazine.

Mummy no. 1 : Who reads E magazine??? Who has the time?

I : Yeah you are right, no one reads e magazine (Why bother explaining !)

                                                           *****


Yummy Mummy (flashing her very manicured and polished fingers) :How do u guys take out time for anything. It's been ages that I have been to the parlor.

Mother no. 1 : My mother in law is making my life terrible. She is such a pain

Lady no. 7 : Same here and my mom-in-law is more partial towards my sister-in-law. She keeps praising her at the same ime pulling me down.

Bobby : Relax sweetheart. Always remember she is a mother-in-law and not your mother.

Anuja : Aww  (She got up to hug her)

Mother no. 1 (turned towards me..why do i feel I am appearing for my Viva test) : Even you live in a joint family. How are your in-laws? 

I wonder what should I say. I look at that really sad Lady no. 7 , I couldn't possibly gloat how great my mother-in-law is. Nor can I pull the pull the poor lady down, she's been a very good friend. All eyes were on me.

I : We donot really interfere in each other's work. She has a life of her own and I have mine. 

Lady no. 6 :  Aarti , Anuja and Myself are lucky. No woman ; No cry.

That is cool. She knows about my favourite Band Boney M. I should try to be friends with her.

Aarti : My work never ends. I am tired now. I made spring rolls for you guys and Pau Bhajji. I hope you like it. 

Anuja : Oh you are such a good cook. We always look forward to your kitty.

Her cook brings in spring rolls. I take my roll. It does taste very well. God! this lady is truly talented. We like a hungry lot finish the rolls in second. After that the main course was served. Pau Bhajji. I loved it. It was amazing. I am a decent cook but can never cook anything with such perfection.

Yummy Mummy : I should not eat so much we are going out for a holiday. Just my hubby and me and she winked.

Hubby from her lips sounded more like hobby. I rather call husband than hubby. and that wink made me squirm?

Hot Headed Mommy : Oh you are going out on your second honeymoon.

Bobby : Renu, you could talk to her after she returns from her holiday maybe you too could write something like 50 shades of grey ....she too winks at me.

Aarti : I just tried flavored condoms. It's real fun. 

The sex related topic got maximum participation. It was nice that talking abt sex/ love making was no more a taboo. But I miss the days when they were a taboo.  frankly these talks did make me uncomfortable. 

I got up to throw my paper plate inside the kitchen. Aarti ran behind me. But I don't like to give my used to plates to anyone. So I went inside the kitchen and opened the dust-bin to throw paper-plate..and guess what it had empty boxes of a restaurant with bhajji still on them and ready to cook boxes of spring roll. Aarti looked at me and she looked guiltily at me.

I - Don't worry your secret is safe with me. 

Aarti - Thank you so much Renu 

                                                        ****

Hot headed mommy -  How come megha didn't turn up?

Mother no. 1 -  Must be doing her laundry. She always has so much of laundry to do. 

Yummy mummy - I can't wash clothes I am allergic to soap. 

Again she flashed her Red nails. Again went ignored. I really felt sorry for her.

Mother no. 1 - Did you know the Shagun bhansali's husband lost his job. I have evn head they are selling their house. So if you are interested you could call her up, just don't tell her I told you.

I knew people wld do anything to do be the last person talking. But walking over someone's sorrows is inhuman.

I ( Lost my cool) - How could you do that? You have that information because she trusted you. 

I looked at Anuja with disgust and got up to leave. 

Aarti - Renu please stay we'r about to play tambola.

I - I don't play money games you guys have fun. Thank you for the lovely party.

And I was about to leave when I heard... 

Hot headed mommy - I told you she was a snob.

Before I could reach the lift Anuja came out too. 

Anuja : We'll start our own Kitty Party.

I: But we won't name it Kitty Party

Anuja : We'll name it LMAO

I : LMAO ???

Anuja : Laughing My Ass Off

I: You should have seen your expressions. U still have that constipated look though. 

We finally left that horrible terrible party..... never to return back again.