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Dad – My Heart Your New Home…Welcome Home!

अपने पापा की बेटी हूँ मैं
उनकी गोद में पली हूँ मैं
घर के छोटों में
सबसे बड़ी हूँ मैं

उनकी परछाँई हूँ
उनका नाज़
उनकी सचाई हूँ
बड़े लाडों से पली हूँ मैं
अपने पापा की बेटी हूँ मैं

उनका दिल था बसेरा मेरा
उनकी हँसी में भी बसती थी मैं
ले गए साथ अपने
वो बचपन का डेरा
अब अचानक ही
बड़ी हो गई हूँ मैं

अब वो बसेंगे मेरी यादों में
खुद से किए कई वादों में
उनको याद कर
आँसू नहीं बहाउँगी मैं
उनकी सीख को
आगे बड़ाउँगी मैं

Yes, my fingers do tremble and my heart does go heavy when I type ‘was’ in the same sentence as ‘Dad’.

Many of you know and many are unaware of the fact that my Dad was in the hospital since 26th June, 2015. He underwent a brain surgery which left him in a state of coma. He recovered to a stage where he paid attention to what we would say, would look at us when called and would move his hand to hold ours. He had put up a great fight, before taking a leap towards his final journey to merge into the divine.

Early hours of 22nd January 2016, proved to be unfortunate for us. This phase and feeling is the worst part of gaining experience in age, we lose those we treasure. He protected me like a pearl in the shell while he was alive, and ensured the protection while he prepared himself for the final journey. He has left me with a mission to complete all that he wanted to accomplish.

With lots of gratitude and love, I now shall keep him alive in my heart!

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Six month old me with Dad. Copyrights reserved. This pic shall not be used for any purpose.

Solitude

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googled

…She drove down to the loneliest road she could think of. Sitting at a corner of a bridge she wished that there was a faint overpass in her life too, which allowed people to reach up to her. May be she had some and she herself burnt those with her own hands. In the absence of human presence she allowed herself to break her own promise and lit a cigarette. She looked at the smoke coming out of her mouth after the first puff, there she made another wish. She wished to be the smoke, which existed yet was invisible. She wished to merge in the sound of dry leaves with the blow of wind, she wished to lose herself in the sound of screaming peacocks; her heart was screaming too, for someone who would understand her silence and embrace her the way nature embraces the earth. She looked right through the jungle…through the trees to find the answers but there was none. When there is no one to listen, it is better to speak to the nature…but don’t expect the answers. A drop of tear rolled down her cheek without her permission. In an effort to control that another one became a rebel and then the other and the other. She sat down helpless and scared… Scared of losing control on herself. She was scared that she might repeat what she had seen all her life and what she despised all her life. May be it was this fear that kept her alone, maybe it is this fear which will make her live alone. She always was at the receiving end…of all the hate, the anger, the frustration, the confusion, the regret, the helplessness … And knew that she won’t ever be at the other end…the giving end. The moment she would realise that she has travelled at that far end where she never wanted to be, that probably would be the end of her.

Inked for Life – Dream accomplished!

So, here it is…

My second in last 5 month and it’s a dream come true!

I have carried this wish in my heart for the last five and a half years, since the day Dino left us. I wanted his name to be tattooed on me. A lot of denials initially and good that there were many. Now when I look back I do realise that it would have been a tattoo of despair, but it is more of a celebration now.

My first tattoo is that of the Buddha. Mainly because the life philosophy of Buddhism has helped me overcome the void that was created by Dino’s absence. Only those who have pets would be able to understand what void I am talking about. I was very finicky about the Buddha face. I had eaten their heads with the description of the face I wanted. I wanted it to be a masculine face as most of the Buddha faces I came across were feminine. I did not want a chubby face on chubby me. And it should be a meditating face (eyes closed) yet smiling and peaceful. Each time someone would look at the tattoo, the same feeling of peace and serenity should flow. We picked up one pic, which was that of a statue. Defying all the myths of first timer, I went alone to get the tattoo. Was brave enough to not scream. I could tolerate the pain by making weird faces though. This tattoo is a masterpiece and whosoever had seen the tattoo was in an awe.

This tattoo has another amusing purpose. This is for all those who like to talk behind my back…well, I now have a Buddha watching over you 😛

© Garima - I for an Eye

© Garima – I for an Eye

When I got this tattoo from a brilliant guy in Chandigarh, I told them that I would comeback for the second one in June. Chandigarh, however; couldn’t happen. I came across another brilliant reference of someone in Delhi itself. For me if an artist can make a portrait tattoo closer to the picture then he can make any tattoo. Both these guys are impeccable in portraits and hence I trusted them for my tattoos. Till 1:00 PM of 06th of June 2015, I thought that I will have to wait till next year for this one. But within a few minutes things fell in place and I was getting ready for my second tattoo.

When I was deciding for my second tattoo, I chose a very simple design of infinity accommodating a heart and paws at each side. A friend who was shown that design just mentioned angel feathers and I ended up filtering the one that I have now. Thank you, I love the tattoo!

I had added this tattoo in my vision board, with the date distinctively attached to it (in my mind/heart). And maybe that is why there was a sudden change in the situation.

Here is my tattoo..

© Garima - I for an Eye

© Garima – I for an Eye

It is on the left hand, because that hand consists of the vein which goes to the heart. It is at the forearm, though I had decided for the bicep. I changed my mind last minute because with this placement, I can hug my tattoo 😀 (it might sound crazy, but what makes you believe in my sanity 😛 ). The tattoo has a dog’s paw at the centre. The tattoo simply says that Dino was an angel of my life who will always remain in my heart. Next is Dino’s name and the date on which he parted.

Needless to say that this one is another masterpiece and is very emotionally attached to me.

So now, a masterpiece by the Master Himself is adorned with two masterpieces for life 😉

More to come; now I know what they mean when they say that getting inked is an addiction. I have already started googling for the next one.

While I was struggling during the day with my own thoughts, something disheartening happened. A friend lost his pet in morning, the one that I enquired about a few days back. I could relate to the pain so much, and I wondered at the unfortunate coincidence…that the day mine was born, his took a step ahead. All I wish to convey to him and all those who have lost someone close is that the more we cry thinking of them, the more trouble we cause to their soul (irrespective of the form it is in) and the more we celebrate them, the more they flourish. This is one thought which made me move on, we would not want our dear ones to be in trouble because of us wherever they are. So for their sake, we need to be happy and we need to smile for them. There is nothing else that will make them happy!

I wish Stanley a very peaceful final journey. May he continue to spread love and happiness wherever he goes next. He would have loved to be your encouraging factor rather than being the one slowing you down in your journey of life. You had a lovely, most loved time of your life with him. And you gave him the best you could according to your knowledge and resources, he will always be thankful to you for that. Wish you the strength to overcome the loss!

Dogs truly are the gift to mankind, wish they could accompany us longer.

PS. My tattoo is my advance birthday gift from my bhai and bhabhi. The best birthday gift I have ever got….Love you both, thank you so very much!!!

Pause || Need a Break

Last night I found myself shouting at the top of my voice to someone. Last time it had happened on 3rd of September in 2014. Why had happened? We had to rush Dad for Dialysis. As he wasn’t able to breathe in the morning, felt dizzy and had to take assistance of the cab driver to get down the stairs to the cab. There was excess of water in the body and hence, when we got to the hospital the first thing they did was the process of ‘suction’ where they take the water out of the body. I remember being on my toes from 6 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. And even after that I could not sit and relax. Dad’s dialysis got over by 1pm and we decided to admit him to be on the safer side as he still wasn’t feeling too well. We were not able to get the room. And after a lot of ‘to and fro’s one bed was allotted to Dad in the ICU at 4pm. Nurses kept following up to shift my Dad from the dialysis department to the ICU, but the ICU nurses kept telling that the patient in that particular bed is yet to be transferred. We kept waiting patiently. And by the time it the clock on the wall showed 8, I became quite restless. Dad has been waiting since 1 in the afternoon for a bed to be allotted, we got one by 4pm and at 8 in the night we were still in the dialysis department. This time I asked the nurse to dial the number for me to talk. When I spoke to them they told me that the bed was given to someone else and we would get another bed! Each nurse, technician and patient heard me after that. I was shivering at the end of the call. I am not the kind of person anymore for whom this would be the daily stuff. Dad was looking at me from a distance in disbelief and the nurses arranged for some cold water for me. I could have burst into tears at that very moment but I held myself. I just did not talk for next hour at all and the nurses then followed up. It took another hour for us to get the bed and Dad finally was shifted by 10:15 in the night. I took a cab back home and while the cab was rolling through some well known roads in the dark, I let some tears roll down my cheeks to feel better and to get myself ready to my Mom in few minutes.

Last Monday, I had raised a complaint against an auto-driver who accepted my request for the Hospital at 3:30pm through the Ola Cabs app. Dad asked me to book a cab as he wasn’t feeling well again and there were no cabs nearby, so I ended up raising a request for the auto. He accepted, he called in 5minutes asking me to come out on the road. I gave him the directions politely telling him that we would need him to report at the door step. The directions involved ‘taking a right turn from the park’; he again asked to walk down at the park. I was quite stern this time in telling him that if we could do that we could come out on the road too. “Why would we book an auto through an app if we could do that?” A simple and logical question must have hit him below the belt and he hung up on me saying that he is cancelling the booking. This surely sent my temperature soaring. I immediately called up the service centre to report that, and I was told to raise the complaint for an auto through the app. It took me another half an hour to arrange for the cab. The mail was marked and was sent to the ‘concerned department’ for the action to be taken. Till Thursday there was no action, no reply to the email, I mailed again and yet there was no reply. Friday night, I booked a cab again from the hospital. 10:20pm was supposed to be the pickup. Driver called at 9:50pm and confirming that he would be there at the hospital gate by that time. 10:12pm I started calling the driver and there was no answer to my 4 calls. This wasn’t the first time it happened, it was the fourth time. I asked my parents to get back in to the hospital building, find a seat for themselves and sit inside the hospital till the time the next cab doesn’t arrive. I called up the service centre and told them that the driver is not picking up the call. The representative tried it once and told me that he will send another cab. I was fuming by this time and told him that I am not going to pay for this ride. I told him specifically that ‘before you make the booking, let me tell this to you on recorded lines that I am not going to pay for this one as this now has become your routine’. He booked a cab, made me talk to the driver who reached at the hospital in 5min. My parents were picked up at around 10:45pm and I told Mom not to pay. In the meanwhile I asked for the supervisor. The representative kept saying that connecting to a supervisor in not possible. I kept repeating myself that I wanted to talk to someone senior. He kept my call on hold for two minutes came back and told me that there is no manager as mentioned earlier. While my volume of voice had risen by a decibel the call ended abruptly. Not sure if it was disconnected by the executive. I redialled the number and asked the executive to call the supervisor. He asked me about the issue, I told him and he arranged a floor supervisor to talk to me whose name was Ali. I explained my anger regarding the complaint and that there hasn’t been any action. To this I get a reply that the booking wasn’t made through the call centre. “So does that mean you are not responsible for any service that you are providing through your app?” was my next question. The floor supervisor did not even acknowledge the inconvenience for next few minutes. Mom called saying that the driver is asking for the payment. I went downstairs while talking to the floor supervisor. I told him that I am not paying to which he bluntly said “you will have to”. One, no acknowledgement of my inconvenience and complaint; two, no courtesy!

The floor supervisor in fact was trying to explain to me that this particular driver has no fault, would I like the fact that he is not paid, how I could do that to him! And this is the point where he acknowledge by saying “I understand what you mean”, I asked him to explain what did he understand of my situation he had no reply. At 11:15 in the night I was on the road shouting at this man who I think must have thought that we visit hospital for a picnic. I actually asked him if he thinks we go to the hospital for a picnic and if there are any ethics that these drivers follow. No answers again! I did pay the driver at the end as it wasn’t his fault. And how could I go against what I keep saying “One should not punish someone in the present for the actions of someone in the past”. This driver reached at the hospital within 5minute to drop my parents safely at home. This incident did tell me that most of this world is revolving around money. I am determined to take this forward in whatever way I could, so that these people are considerate at least to those who are actually going through some pain. They may not be able to cure it, but they sure can avoid creating further headache. Since morning I have clicked two auto-drivers for asking obnoxious amount for short distances and for not going by meter. I hate doing this, but I am left with no choice.

This was Friday night. I wasn’t completely over with this when I sat down on my bed after coming out of the oven-like-kitchen in the afternoon. While I was confirming a friend of our meeting, I felt that the bed was shaking mildly but strong enough to alert me. I looked at the water in the bottle at the bed side and yes, it was trembling! I knew it was an earthquake which went on for over a minute. I just prayed at that very moment for it to be felt in Delhi only. Bhai called up to check if all was well with us. That’s when I got to know that Chandigarh was affected too. And as they live on the 6th floor, it was scarier there. They were all safe. I messaged a few close ones to ensure all were safe. And that’s when it had hit my mind that I dreaded the thought. I prayed it not to be anything like Ahmadabad in 2001 or Latur of 1993. Soon I read on WhatsApp group chats and Facebook, before switching on to the TV that it was Nepal this time with 7.9 intensity. The news of devastation was still not on air when I had set my foot out of home. I deliberately haven’t seen the pictures of destruction yet. But I happened to witness some of them on Facebook and I happened to see the CCTV footage of a hotel’s swimming pool. This was more than enough for me to push myself to google.

I am grateful for my blog. It lets me be me. I wish it could talk too, one voice that could have made me feel better.

The Fault in Our Stars

Googled for posters

Googled for posters

All of you must have experienced this I am sure – you never like the movie, when you have already read the book. I knew nothing about this bestseller unless it was recommended as a movie by someone. As I could not catch the movie on the theatre, I borrowed the pirated print from a friend.

I am sure that the book is beautiful. But I was thanking my stars that I did not decide to go for the book (okk, don’t kill me for saying this), I am less of a book person and more of a movie person. I was again thanking my stars for not being able to catch the movie on a theatre; I would have been a social embarrassment. When I had started believing that I have become an emotionless, there came a movie which made me cry with bucket full of tears. I couldn’t watch the movie in one go. I was watching the movie on the laptop…alone and was choking to breathe.

Yes, the movie is about cancer but it focuses on life and love than the terrible disease. It was magical; how Gus would just look at Hazel and without saying a word, just with his breath he would convey his love for her. Teen age love…Sigh! I thought I grew over it, but I guess I over estimated myself.

Another friend watched it on my recommendation and the next day she brought up a point for my opinion.

What is more unfortunate – finding the love of your life and not being able to spend your life with him/her OR not being able to find that someone in your entire life?

To me, though both the situations are sad; the former is more unfortunate.

What do you think? And why?

PS. Though I believe that at the end of the day one should not wait for someone else to make him/her feel loved or better, but after watching this movie I wish each one of us must meet the Augustus Waters of our lives. Even if it is for one day, cos I know that that one day would be enough to survive through the remaining days of life.

Google again!

Google again!

The End of an Era

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The last man standing in my grands’ generation called it off yesterday. My mom lost his father to a heart attack. Though we were not very frequent to our Naanke, there still are memories to cherish. I met him last year at my cousin’s marriage and that was after years. He looked weak, but still was no less than destiny’s favourite brat.

It was Lohri yesterday and we had some friends who came over for dinner. While helping my sister-in-law in the kitchen with chapattis, I heard mom calling out my name. And as in usual days we all do, I asked her to wait for a minute. She called again in rage, I was a little embarrassed of this behaviour as my friends were listening too. Blabbering in a rude tone, I came in the room where she was sitting. I saw her eyes filled with tears as she managed to inform me about her father’s death. I felt as if I have been hit by a rock. Suddenly I was too ashamed and shocked to say anything. All I could do was to hold her hand.

They had to leave early morning to see him off this mortal world. Mom, dad and brother left at 7 am along with masiji, mausaji and cousins following in their vehicle. They escaped the lethal fog at Yamuna express highway, when the car in front of ours banged into another one. It was a narrow escape. Later I heard the news on TV that there were 25 cars rammed into one another injuring over 12 people. It was the carelessness of one family because of which 25 others paid.

While Nanaji would continue to live in memories and albums, his Legacy is surely going to live long.

We never give it a thought but come what may, nothing in this world can replace parents AND nothing in this world can replace children. While elderly give us a feeling of being secured, children would continue to remain the purpose of living for parents. We may or may not be able to connect with our parents, due to distance in kilometres or in generations; but there mere presence in this world is enough to make us feel that we are not alone.

While I pray for my Nanaji to have peace, I wish that we realise on time that family would always be more important than egos, generation gaps, arguments and may we overcome them to cherish the sweetness of this wonderful bond called Family.