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Father’s Day: Infinite moments with Dad

The passport is lost. I am blithely unaware, enjoying the windy breeze in ruffling burst which curled past my window and the sight of the gentle sea at Marine Drive.  The perk of being a hostelite in South Mumbai. My life was going to change. Dreams came knocking and harassing me in succession to send a sign that life was going to alter drastically in the flick of days and weeks. Papa came in the dreams and pretending not to recognize me on the street and hailing him fell on deaf ears, as he marched ahead, turned to look at me with a stern face growing a shade dimmer.

The occasional monsoon became herky-jerky in the city. I woke up on Saturday in the city and picked up a copy of Economic Times to plonk my way on the wooden chair in the canteen mess, ordering coffee and sneaking a smoke, far away from the glares of the warden who may pop up. A couple of days back, I realized the pouch where my passport sat was missing and went to my bank, asking if they kept the document but no one did.

One Saturday my cousin called from UK, asking if I would like to travel back home to meet my Dad and then hung. I sensed something was bad. Another cousin called to say Dad is in the hospital but should be doing fine. I call home and after trying for a very long time, Mom was in tears telling me to come down by any means since Dad was seriously ill in the hospital. The cousin called and I asked straight away. No dilly-dallying. What I feared in the morning came true. Dad was in the coma.

The family shifted to a different country. I have two days to reach home. Banks are closed everywhere. I got no passport nor there was money in my possession but still gotta catch an international plane from India. It looked impossible. But, they say when you need help, the entire universe conspires to make things happen. Money pooled from hostel friends, some gave 500, someone else gave 1000 bucks and another family friend from Pune who tried her best to reach Mumbai in time but couldn’t make it.  Gitanjali Didi called and her voice broke down but I assured her things are ok.  I managed to get a travel document in place of a passport. Lalit, a friend and former hostel mate, accompanied me to the airport, where we took a train with luggage from Churchgate to Andheri hopped on the rickshaw to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. I was stopped by cops for routine checking but dealt with me in the most humane manner, saying next time travel home with a proper passport.

Finally, I reached the place my parents made their home and after hugging Maa, gulped tea, hopped to the hospital filled with ailing patients. I couldn’t recognize Dad who apparently survived from the coma. It was a small miracle. Miracles can be an illusion. I walked past Dad and Mom called me. We came in the afternoon when Dad was shifted from the ICU room to the normal hospital hall. He was hallucinating and they told it was the medicine’s effect to get out of the coma. But, I sensed trouble and told someone that he may not live for more than two weeks. But, with time, Papa’s condition improved. Apparently, the injection was given to keep Papa alive so that I can spend some time with him. He stayed with us for more than a week during the hospital trips, speaking normally and was discharged. He was able to get up out of his own from the car to the room, with little help from us, heading to sleep.

I vividly recall the day when I slept on the couch when Mom jettisoned me out of my reverie early morning to feed Dad with milk and corn flakes who was in my room. Papa’s body has become suddenly heavily stiff and was reluctant to take medicine and we took a harrowing time giving him pill that he spit. We ushered him on a chair to sit but the entire body wouldn’t budge, making it impossible for two persons to lift him. Mom broke down. The time, I called a friend who came to help us lift him back to the bed. The first time I saw someone dying right in front of me but still, there was some reaction on his part when an aunty visited, someone whom he was rather fond of, making an effort to speak asking to make her sit and give tea. The time was coming. I called a close friend and medical student who asked about tears in Dad’s eyes and sat by his bedside, pressing his forehead and the rare times, he thrust to grab my hand with tears in the eyes. It looked so surreal. We were close to each other and there was nothing I asked Dad that would be denied.

Finally, he closed his eyes in the evening and upped the neck with a crack, the pupil became whitish. Mom told me to call uncle, our next door neighbor who was Dad’s childhood friend, calling him, “Gyaan, what happened?” He opened his eye one last time with tears in the eyes to say bye to his childhood friend. It was the final good bye.

Dad would affectionately call me, ‘Babu’. I maintained courage and balanced my emotions coming to terms with things that at least was able to see him for one week. At the hospital, he asked Mom what I brought for him from India. It was a shirt and a Hindi film CD. Our loved ones stay with us forever and they really die the moment we stop thinking about them. It’s a firm belief that people we truly love never go anywhere. You know the biggest coincidence? Dad passed away on June 19 on Tuesday and tomorrow going to be 11 years. It will be on Tuesday. Dad would have celebrated his birthday on June 28. Cheerz to you buddy, the one people would call Shammi Kapoor. You were a crazy fan, right! You adored Dev Anand Saab and Raj Kapoor Saab, of course, Amitabh Bachchan, where you took me to watch several flicks of the angry young man.

Love you, Papa. Happy Father’s Day.



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Silent whisper in the dark night

Silent whisper,

susurration of gentle stream,

disappearing in the fading distance,

a long night,

creepy voices,

fluttering of wind,

mind at rest,

fighting the storm raging inside the body,

peace is a heavy price to pay,

liberated soul,

unfulfilled prayer,

come and claim the body,

I challenge the Gods!

it shall not be!

Emerging victorious from the jaw of death,

they think!

wounds shall remain,

true liberation doesn’t reside in the battered body!


a pound of flesh,

wandering aimlessly,

it’s no triumph,

a curse to fight death at every second,

tired and crumpled i am,

my imagination soars in the dark night,

hello poet,

weaving the strings,

creating illusion,








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Make every moment count: Are you ready for it?!

Golden rules often serve as a grim reminder and hammer us on the head now and then. It takes the form of a precious stone and a close chum that we have neglected and long forgotten as we snuggle in our personal comfort and busy in the routine existence.  A simple question: Have we forgotten how to live every second of life?

It’s my home truth, I am not pushing myself out of my comfort zone to stand on the cliff’s edge. I don’t know about you. But, aware I am of not being alone and hold your breath, this post is not a personal rant. I dare you not to avoid reading this post calling off the bullshit or gyaan yours truly is doling out. First, he should practice what he preach. Indeed, it’s what I am doing right now.

There has been a slew of terrible news in my surrounding since last week and I couldn’t buckle my mind to do stuff. It’s a question that has occupied my grey cell and couldn’t evade the thoughts raging in the mind like steamy water in the kettle.

Image credit: Google.

There was someone whom I knew during my school days and who succumbed to a brain tumor last week. He was an accomplished lawyer and still remember the triumphant face when he was a topper in his 12th standard. On Saturday, another bad news came where my aunt (Chachi) died at 78. What saddened me the most is the fact that she was pushed off the staircase by some thief who robbed her gold necklace and when she tripped on the stairs, her head took a hit.  She stayed in the coma for 15 days. And to think that the ever smiling and gentle lady didn’t die of illness and was an independent someone who actively took care of her house and grandchildren. It makes me shudder. Just today, I hear that a 26-year-old doctor suffered a massive heart attack in the bathroom and collapsed.

There is no certainty to life. Being 37 or 26 is no age to die, so many of us would concur. At the same time, no death can be justified, young or old. But, destiny doesn’t thrive on our reasoning. Are we doing enough or living life, taking care of every single moment or breathing free? We can never know what will happen tomorrow. Slogging our ass has become an art nowadays to pay bills, procreate or settle this home or car loan. Honestly speaking, I cannot claim that I make every moment count in life.

It’s on rare occasion that I meet friends, forget about partying or going on an adventure trek. It’s been ages that I haven’t gone on a date that I have forgotten how it looks.  The birthday is no reason to cheer and serves an ugly reminder, ‘You are aging and not doing enough.’ Honestly, I freak out when the birthday comes. I don’t get BPL…Bump pe Laath, anymore. My hair and beard have grown grey. The way I’ve seen the past decade, from the blissful college days, to love and break up, amazing friends, job, frustration, idleness, out of work and again an amazing job has flitted right in front of my eye. Who knows? I may not live in the next second. Tears of regret before I breathe my last. I again ask, Are you living every moment of life, claiming to be in the present and doing things that you are passionate about or it’s a drab existence? Be honest.

Facebook, selfie or Instagram uploads is no proof of happiness that someone is making the most of life. We live in the la-la-land of likes and indulge in gratification to boost our self-esteem as individuals and it’s in itself a flawed way of telling how happy or fulfilled we are. It’s a lie. There is always an issue of perception, holding the mirror to see ourselves and compare to others. The mirror boosts our ego. It’s the biggest illusion that we carry on our shoulders.

The story is classic. Study, earn money, get married, bear children and then what? We are stuck in a rut. Our sad reality! We are the product of two-faced symbolism that stands in conflict between what we desire and end up doing. Zilch! Life is a bitch. One day our tears will not compensate the missed opportunity or skip the train of wondrous life, experimenting with everything that society says No to and going on an adventure thrill with the best pals.

Just do it now. Wear this Reebok shoes, climb the muddy terrain, go on a sports adventure or fearlessly walk to this super hot woman and ask her out. Fine! You may be rejected but at least try. Go and pursue your dreams for it’s never too late. Stop thinking and go on a fling with someone or have the most amazing sex without wearing a guilty conscience. Ok! I am exaggerating here and not saying to be rambunctious. You may not want to do bungee jumpee, sleep with someone out of the blue or do sports adventure but dare to live in every moment, bring joy and do things you’ve always inspired to.

For me it is being back to India, write the novel and make a short film.

It’s never too late but a day will come when it will be too late.




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Mystery of life and death

What do we make of life? It’s a never-ending mystery that we shall never be able to understand as we try to dig deeper when things happen that way to us and our loved ones. As human beings, we are confined to our comfort zone and live in an oyster of sort. It’s quite a selfish way to live comfortably where we wouldn’t feel the pain of others going through some sort of ordeal or the very fact of losing someone. I mean, there is very little that we can do, except being sympathetic or emphatic. Till, it happens to us.

The pain, hurt or angst of losing someone close to us. Trust me, it gets very painful to cope with unexpected death of someone, whom we love and as we look at the picture of the person, smiling and happy, we just can’t accept the fact that he is gone for good. It comes a shock to our soul when two weeks back, the person was alive, vibrant and kicking. Or, when we last met the person whom we held in high regard for his achievements and turning the tide. We are in awe and the time we meet, we wouldn’t think that perhaps the next day, the person would be no more.

Life and death are mystery that we shall never be able to understand. It’s not in our faculty to do that. Death is a very painful and a hard fact to accept in life. It can tear the heart and soul part. It’s such a painful change and if we are not properly equipped, it not only turn our world upside down but drains us physically and emotionally. Do we sit and ponder about such things? I bet most of us don’t. Honestly, I’ve never done this. We tend to take our loved ones for granted and then one day, we realize that they are no more. What remains with us are memories and their voices that keep ringing in our ears. Perhaps, they send a signal that they are very close to us, at a touching distance that we cannot see since we are attached emotionally and can’t see the love that they send to us. Why do they make us cry so much after they are gone?

Things like the soul lives forever or pray for them to rest in peace stop making sense altogether for we are angry with them for departing without telling and to God for being so brutal. You feel that your world has stopped and suddenly not feel like doing anything, just sitting idle and lacking in enthusiasm for you are reminded every now and then that the person is no longer here. It’s not something that many are ready to believe and accept. Again, we can’t feel the pain of the departed closest kin, like mother, siblings and better half. How painful it must be for them!!

Our equation with the person matters the most. I believe that the soul is eternal and lives forever, as a protective guardian that looks after us as well as perhaps visiting every now and then. It suddenly makes sense and at times, not at all. It shudders one, thinking that we will never be able to see the person physically or speaking to them. Time heals our wounds but it hurts when we think about it.



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Taste of death and freedom

We are invited to a funeral.

Someone close to us has just passed away.

Alas!The identity!!No revelation.

Death is a surprising harrow, I ponder.

Certainly, it’s not someone’s birthday party, as the coffin comes in.

I realise it is a funeral.

I can see people mourning for the poor one as he rest in peace.

Suddenly, the birds have stopped humming, the winds are brought to a stand still.

Eerie silence as the officiating priest recites the rituals to honour the death.

As the block coffin is opened, a tall shadow sleeping peacefully,covered from head to toe is lifted on the ground.

He is drapped in white Kurta-Pyjama.

As the veil is lifted from his head.


I stare in utter disbelief.

It’s me.

I sprang from my feet, in a state of shock and dismay.

I have been invited to my own funeral.

Why me? I ask God.

I will miss all the beautiful people in the life I lead.

My Friends, family, teachers.

Should I be grateful to life or death?

I ponder till they bury me.

I shall set my guns and answer the Almighty, my creator.


A taste of freedom.

My freedom from the shackles of tradition,custom and identity.

Am I really free in thinking and actions from the potency of society.

Attitudes translates into freedom.

Is it a myth or bust thinking?

I have the right to live life on my own terms.

I was born free. Yet, I didn’t lead a free life.

I wish to break away from the way of the world.

I didn’t rally indulged into free creative thinking.

Society influenced my thoughts and actions.

Individuality lost in translation and a life led over regrets.

Regrets for not living a fulfilled life, free from the fake reality of religion and politics.

Who invented society and religion, moral and immorality.

I decide what is moral and what’s not?

I live my life.

Who gives the right to decide what is right or wrong for me.

I am a free bird and hence free to fly to my destination.

A free-spirited birdie even in death.

The freedom to script the story of life.

Filmi folks call it creative liberty.

Holier than Truth.

My life as I lives it.

An open book.