Wednesday, 25 November 2009

On the lost list

I have a list, of things I have lost, being as careful and careless as I'm. There is that pencil box I lost in the 3rd std, that gold earing, that cycle that got stolen, those clothes, books, cassettes that was borrowed that never came back and many more. But then have you ever lost a friend? I have, not sure when and where.

How does one loose a living person... a friend? Am not so sure where she vanished. She wasn't just a mere acquiantance or one you just get along with. She was one of those friends I thought would last a lifetime, one you saw growing old with, catching up and talking about the long gone days. I still don't have an answer to .... how does something like this happen? And I'm blank on what to do about changing the situation. My address or numbers or email id's haven't changed and yet I wonder why she wouldn't want to keep in touch.

The last I met her was a shocker to her and to me, and in the process of recovering from it, she seemed to have moved places or shifted countries.

Meena was her name, she came from a very staunch Sunni Muslim family, this chubby girl with two pigtails, wearing a black burqa a the age of 12 was shy and versatile. Me: this absolutely cheerful, happy go lucky, never had to put in much efforts but always got my way through any situation kind of girl. We hit it of and were friends for a year. Then she moved school, we managed to meet up with her once a while, sent letters whenever possible etc. The next I heard was that she was involved with a new age socialist communist group, and was being considered as a next leader, one with a lot of potential. But then, family found out, put her unders some clerics and house arrest for a year. This only strove to raise her voice. (BTW a point to be noted, I still hadn't changed much, so the kind of vigour in thoughts and philosophies that she went through just flew past my brain.) This is the background to one of our last few meetings. Then I moved to Bombay, to do my post graduation. One very fine day, a few years past my post graduation, I get a call saying that she is back in our home town, married, an address was given, asking me to come see her.

First look, and I knew that something felt different. She seemed like this cleric woman, who at the age of 25 had gone on a Haj, and her world view was.... lets just say different. Beyond regonition for me, and the questions she asked, which I answered in a daze, all along trying to think if this is the same girl I knew or had met 13 yrs back. We haven't been in touch since then but this time it feels like I have lost her, not sure to whom or what, but I have.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Goldiloks: a fairy tale no less


Madam M, to all those who meet her for the first time and to some of us it is M Didi. Goldilocks is what I will call her for you. She is by far one of the most exhuberant and eccentric people I have met in my life. And of all the others, she stands out. She is intresting, fun, lavish, generous and giving juxtapose it with eccentric, abusive, feared, revered, powerful, relentless, and a true bussiness woman.

I wish I could give her true name but then ........, though knowing her, I'am sure she wouldn't mind. She is a woman who has crossed the points of avarice, greed, agression, of being feared, being the violater, being abusive, someone who has realized and asked what more can power and money bring? Now she has moved to being a so called social worker and loves being reffered to as a 'samaj sevika'. She totally enjoys being in the league of the famous, helping someone or supporting a cause. A life beyond onself and for another.

Oh by the way, this feel that is there through the first two paragraphs are not my initial feelings of M didi. Before I met her, I had heard not so many nice things about her, one of it was 'to be dreaded'.

So picture our first meet, both of us very obviously suspicious of each other. Me from a society that supposedly hadn't know or seen much violence or abuse except for in the movies and from a very safe and secure family. Not that I said much, but the impression becomes obvious to anyone who has lived in the background of violence and abuse. And not to mention I was very determined and keen on making an inroad, burning with a passion to make a difference, not yet completely moluded by the NGO culture and I was there to talk about rights of the women and children around. A few meetings, a few talks, a few tactics and we hit it off. Most barriers crossed, no love lost and no wars won.

Frankly, I dont think she ever trusted me neither did I her, but we had a certian respect for each other, and that was enough to get us through and stick by each other. Except for the swords hanging over each other, the cops over hers and my NGO connections over me. In some sort of an usaid way, we knew each other and we were very careful around each other, very watchful as to not hurt each other's sentiments, and yet made sure we got our way or atleast reached a negotiation point.

Now if you want to get the true picture, and image of M Didi, imagine this. Every single day, M didi would dress up in the most fanciest of sarees or salwar kameez, which cost an average of 10k to 25k, with a whole lot of gold which approximately could have weighed in kilos, ofcourse spread from head to toe. She had golden red hair. She usually carried a purse with lots of money, not sure how much, but any amount you asked. She had it at hand to give it to you. She never took much in writing but the people who borrowed were always very promt in returing. A warning for those who are already drooling, you cannot get within 20ft of her if you dont know her, black cats or white cats, they are there even if you cannot see them. Her average earnings and investments were high enough to make the Tata's drop their jaw. She has had a difficult past, was sold as a child, abused, worked her way out of bondage and paid up all her debts. She moved past all that held her, and worked her way up to the top of the lot, in the process ended up doing the same to many others. This is the point that fate brought us together. When I met M didi, she was right on the brink of wanting more meaning to life, and that process had already begun with her adoping a little girl . She dotted all her love on her and like any mother wanted the best for her. In the middle of that mess, a spotless clean place for that little angel.

Wondering why, I should write something about her, maybe only to tell myself that change is possible, hope always burns in the wierdest of places and it does burn bright.

Like I said, even after all this background, knowing her much more than I care to reveal, she is true flesh and blood. Wonderful, exhuberent, eccentric, business women now social worker, who managed to turn things around for herself and is now working at making it a better place for all those other women who have it tough in that same situation and for all those women who she herself put on the road to self destruction.

Hats off to you M Didi, you make me believe in people. You make me believe in hope in the most difficult and unimaginable places, in change, not in a day but in the process itself which has been as enriching for me as it has been for you. God bless and cheers to more of you Goldilocks. A fairy tale no less.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Through the fog, a ride on the cloud



Have you ever felt like you are going this phase in life, where you seem outside yourself; where the world just passes you by; where life is going through its usual routines but then you feel like someone else is living that life; It feels like, I have absolutely no memory of the last few months, and how it has passed me by. A lot has happened but yet nothing seem to have registered. Right through a death in the family, to shifting continents, to reading, through music, then yet nothing had the power to wake me from this dreamless slumber. Can one be void of feelings and emotions, where there is no reason to take a decision even at the most crucial time, hoping that the decision would just comeby. It is like there is no feel of the time, the seconds or the minutes or the hours or the days or weeks. And it isn't like there are no vague states of awareness, a reason or a thought, that I am going through this phase, yet I just don't seem to be able to push it to the level of consciousness. So as of now, I still feel like I'm floating or looking through a cloud... more like there is a lot of fog around me, and with me watching my twin live my life. More like a kite without it string, or just the string but it just doesn't seem to be held, more like its being carried by the wind...

It does not mean that I haven't the realization or that I haven't done anything to get out of this stupor. Questions have been raised and debated in my head, actually who am I kidding, a very minimal effort has been made to get out of it yet... And part of that effort is me attempting to make sense to myself by writing this piece. And the only reason I can come up with is, may be there is a sense of being unproductive. Which makes me ask myself, have I lost the fire and passion in life? What is worse is, though I have gone through such phases ealier its only been for a very short period, there was always something to wake me out of it or bring me back. Now that this phase has lasted longer, and the few efforts I have made seems to have failed, I only hope to figure where this drifting will lead me....

Friday, 10 July 2009

Bell Bajao! Ring The Bell!



The Bell Bajao Campaign is an initiative by ‘Breakthrough TV’, the corporate social responsibility wing of the famous O&M advertising firm.
I was sincerely impressed at their initiative to take up the issue of ‘Domestic Violence’. The efforts at bringing it to the masses, at a level that the common man can get involved and show their concern, is admirable.

This campaign has been one of the most innovative campaigns I have seen in the recent past. Their take, on how to deal with the issue of domestic violence, is what caught my attention. It simply says, ‘even you can do something’. You don’t have to be a women’s rights activist, to raise your voice. You can show ‘you know and that you care’, by just ringing the bell.
The word says it all ‘Bell Bajao’ or ‘Ring the Bell’. And speak up against Domestic Violence.

So much of efforts to bring this issue to the forefront, so many organizations working on the issues and yet it does not seem to be enough.


How many of us have seen violence against women at our homes, in our neighbourhood, among friends and people we know? And what have we done about it? Haven’t we heard people say, ‘it is their family issue, how can we get involved, and what can we do about it’? These are questions for those who don’t care.

So for all the people who refuse to accept that this concerns us or that violence against women exists, hope this is an eye opener:

45% women are slapped, kicked, beaten.

75% battered women try to commit suicide.

77% men felt their masculinity threatened if their wives did not listen to them.

55% women perceive violence as normal part of their marriages.

So speak up for the woman who has been violated. Show that you care, these women need you. She has no voice; she cannot ask for help, she may feel that she is betraying her man for he is her lifeline. But YOU can be her voice and her a ray of hope.

A word of caution to you: don’t loose hope, things don’t change in a day, but you can be the start. Be the light, be her voice and ‘Bell Bajao'!

For more details check out:

http://www.bellbajao.org/



Monday, 6 July 2009

Tag 4!

Thank you Mathew, for the tag. It reminds me of the high school autograph/slam book.

Take 4 tag 4:

4 Places I have lived:

Bangalore: My 2nd home. That’s where I lived most of my life: school, graduation and work. Very dear to my heart cause, that’s were kettiyon and me met, where friends are and where we plan to live in a few years. I hate the traffic, the pollution, I have refused to touch the wheel in the last 2 years, I have given up cycling because of the fear of being run over, yet ‘Namma Bengaluru’ is still home. I love the cosmopolitan culture the city owns, the gentle and loving Kannadigas’, all the shopping, the food and the hang out joints.

Mumbai: My 3rd home. Came here for my PG and stayed on for years. The first time I stayed away from home, the beginning of many realizations and the beginning of a wonderful vocation/ career. Am a Mumbaiaite at heart, I love the hustle bustle. The ‘locals trains’, which taught me to value ‘a minute even a second’, the work culture, the security of travelling alone as a woman, all the innumerable plays I saw, the galleries I visited, shopping (for clothes, shoes, jewellery, bags) on Bandra/ Colaba Causeway, the innumerable restaurants, theatres, all my friends, the women/ children I worked with(the ones I call my own: My women, My children).... its never ending. I miss you Mumbai.

Goa: My favourite vacation spot and I was lucky to have lived and worked there. Though it was for a few months. By the beach at Vasco, was where I worked with the most vulnerable children. I wished I could have taken them home with me, not sure who was sadder leaving.. them or me.

Indiana: A town in the heart of the corn fields, ‘Warsaw’. Before you ask, no, this one is not the capital of Poland. It is a small little town in Indiana, USA. This town was equiv. distance from Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis. This is where we set up our first home. Lived there for half a year, and it became our extended honeymoon. Warsaw is the ‘city of lakes, calm and serene. It will always be our 1st home.

4 TV shows I love(d) to watch:

Mind your language: It made me laugh and it still does. Mr. Brown, the English Teacher, a British, Mr. Ali, Mrs, Jamila.... each one of the characters were so well scripted. Any question on why its tops my list?

Chitrahar: The time when Doordarshan ruled. Wednesday 8pm was Chitrahar time. Guess we hardly missed any shows. I can’ think of another show that I wait for now, with that fervour.

Wonder Years: Still makes me say ‘aawww’. The cute Kevin and Winnie and their true love. It was the ultimate teenage love story. I still look at it and say, ‘true love’.

World This Week: The charming Pranoy Roy, with his impeccable English and the coverage of issues over the world. I still remember his interview with Amir Khan when ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ had released, then there was Clinton’s elections...and ofcourse so many other issues.

4 places I have been on a vacation: Surprisingly most of my favorite places are in India.

Kozikode/Chertala: One in the hills of Malabar and the other in the backwaters in Kerala. Both these places hold a million memories, very close to my heart. We were there, every single summer vacation since pre-school. Those early morning walks to the church, picking flowers on the way, playing, playing and more playing, attempts at afternoon naps: when all we did was look at the clock for it to ring 4pm, so that we could get up and run back to play. Hiding behind Grandpa as he looked into the honeycomb, playing with the new born ‘calf’, hunting for eggs, waiting for the cashew fruits to fall down, the trek up the rocks, jumping into the pond.... Oh god, I can go on and on. By far the best time of my life.

Goa: The land of the beaches... I simply love it. Have been there innumerable times and I can still go back. The water, the people, the rides, the dancefloors, the food... GO GOA any day!

North East India: The unexplored land. The land ridden with strife and pain, but, of breath taking beauty. I have travelled through Assam and Meghalay, but it was more than enough for me to say, ‘I have to come back’. The only other place I’am in love with other than my homeland ‘Kerala’.

Munar: The honeymooner paradise. The drive up there was beautiful and so is the place. Was it the early morning fog or was it the thick array of trees or was it having breakfast in the middle of the clouds, or was it going to the long forgotten church, or seeing the river flow by or eating ‘parota and chicken’ at the roadside tattukada? Again, in one word ‘ Beautiful’!

4 of my favourite food: By far the most difficult. 4 is not enough!

Neimeen Patichadu: The way ammachi makes. When I go home.. its mimi(fish) time!

Chilly Chiken (Indo Chinese style and Hyderabadi style): Love both these dishes, spicy, hot and sizzling. One, red in colour the other, green. Yummy yummy!

Unakameen (sravu) achar and Kanni manga Achar: Hope it counts for food. I could finish half a bottle in a day, I could finish the rest if I don’t get caught..

Gui Chocholate Cake: Again does this count for food. Oh sure it does! Must be ordered only from ‘Cafe Churchill’, on Colaba Causeway, Mumbai, also available at ‘Cafe Mogambo’, Fort, Mumbai. Yummy, finger licking / plate licking so much so that, the plates don’t need a wash.

4 places I would rather be: Other than where I’m right now....

Back home with Ammachi: I miss my mom! Any day with her is like reliving childhood. I can just lie around doing nothing, food comes and plates get taken back. And I become the queen of the mansion.

Back in Kozhikode/Chertala with all my cousins and grandparents: You know why..

Kottayam: That’s our long term plan... to settle down, with a some ‘Krishi’. And I could have any number of dogs, cows, goats, duckies, chickens and a pond with fishes. And oh, I have a list of names for each one of them. The chickens/duckies maybe out of the list cause kettiyon has promised to christen them chicken 65, chiken tandoori, heard a few and I decided to reconsider owning them.

Nepal: Haven’t been there yet but I would love to go. Nepal for me is the pristine mountains, the monasteries, and ‘Yodha’ (Malayalam movie with Mohanlal, actually this in one other movie I have seen a few times. Love it)

4 things I hope to do before I die:

Adopt a child/children: Hope we have the courage and the faith do that.

Finish my ‘to learn list’: That is quite a big list..it has pottery, sewing, piano, Carnatic music, fly a plane, learn to sail and many more.

Trek to the Valley of Flowers and river rafting on the Ganges at Rishikesh: Any description would not do justice to these places.

Start an organization: This dream has a long way to go, but then I sincerely hope that I do reach there. Working with people is my passion. So it would be: A place for the old (poor and otherwise), children (orphans and street kids), women (abused and alone) and for others who want to work with people a little less fortunate. The ideas are just forming, waiting for HIS time.

4 novels I wish I was reading for the first time: 4 is a small number :(

Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry: I find it difficult to put down my thought on this book. Anyways, for those who don’t know enough about the ‘Emergency in India’ this is a must read. The terror, the pain, the shock, the wonder at the reality... Rohinton Mistry is a very fine writer, his wit and unemotional narration, and the way he builds his characters is brilliant. It hits you hard. Brilliantly crafted and must read.

God of Small things by Arundathi Roy: Surprisingly I haven’t read other works by her except for a few articles. Met her once and still saw the enigma of the book in her. Some parts of it went way over me, read it again but then it still remained mysterious. I know this books has mixed review but I loved it.

The Tragical Story of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe &Macbeth by Shakespeare: I just couldn’t separate these two books; I read them around the same time. Scared me, moved me and changed me..... Absolutely intense narration, the dark side so well captured and the protagonists so dark and so very deep. It says so much about the authors.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: For anyone who loves the classics and being a women, how can I miss this book. I loved Elizabeth, for she reminded me of me in some ways and I fell in love with Mr. William Darcy immediately. Jane Austen rocks.

4 movies I can see over and over again: Listing movies I have seen an average of 17 times.

Kanamrayathu: Loved Shobhana, Mamooty and Rehaman in the movie. Some say its Shobhana’s 1st movie, am not so sure. Scripted by Pradmarajan and directed by Sasi. Who can forget the songs ‘Kasthuri Maan kurune’ and ‘Oru Madurakinavin’. One other reason I love this movie, is because it’s adapted from one of favourite books ‘Daddy Long Legs’. There is also a black/white English movie released in the early 50’s.

Chitram: Awwwa Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu , Srinivasan and Ranjini. The comedy timing is brilliant. And I still laugh my heart out when I see the movie. The twist at the end which is so typical of Priyan is sad though.

Masoom: I fell in love with Jugal Hansraj. Come to think of it, he was my first crush. One of Shekar Kapoor’s finest movies, based on another of my favourite books ‘ Man, Woman and Child’ by Eric Segal. A very well written/well directed movie, and kids were all so wonderful Baby Jugal, Baby Urmila... The songs Tujhse naraaz nahin zindagi.., Huzoor is kadar bhi na ithla ke chaliye.. , Lakdi ki kaathi, Kaathi pe Ghoda... They are timeless.

Sound of Music: Another timeless piece. And I know, it is an all time favourite, especially the songs. Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp family, nothing can beat this movie.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Oru telephone call!

Forewarning:

1. No info to be given to kettiyon.

2. Its a short piece but the transaltions may add to the length. ;) And do forgive the gramattical errors in the traslations. Attempts were to retain the spirit.

3. Wicked mallu housewife humour. With malayalam jargons.

Mode: One of those days....

I feel totally over the roof, bugged with all the house work, no chaddi pals to bitch too. This is agrevated by the exam fever. A sudden thought 'my pre marriage theories, all the Blah! Blah blah! Blah blah! Holds no good any more. Everything has fallen apart.' Oh! That can be depressing.

But since brain and heart is overwhelmed, it rejects any understanding. It scans... beep, beep, beep.....for potential victims to bitch too.

Who would agree to all that I say? After which I could be feather light. Somebody who will just let it pass, ignore it and act like it never happened.

Scanning, scanning.. beep beep BEEP! Bulb lights up : Ammachi

To myself: Telephone evide?

*Where is the telephone?

Dialling..............

Me: Hello

Ammachi: Hellooo! Araa keekunillalloo

* Who is it? I cannot hear.

Me: Ammachi idu njanaaa.

*Mom, its me!

Ammachi: Mole nee aannoo?

*Girl, is it you?

Me: Aiyo ammachi adde idu njan aa

* Oh, Mom! Yes ofcourse its me.

Ammachi: Enna ondu mole vishesam?

* So what is the news, girl?

Me: Ooo onnum illa ammachi.

* Oh its nothing.

Ammachi’s brain proceccing my tone, feel and catergorises it under SOS call.

Ammachi: Pinne enna mole, oru usharillathe?

* Then why aren’t you sounding so good?

Me: Ooo onnnum paraynda amme.

* Literally translated don’t say anything but it means there is so much to say.

Ammachi: Ennadi kocche? Vellom pattiyo?

* What happened? Did something go wrong?

Me: Enikyu maduthu ammachi, ee manushyane kondu njan thootu

* I’m tired mom. I’ve had enough with this man (man ofcourse is hubby dear)

Ammachi: (Voice changes, a little worried that I might just pack my bags and come home. I've always been the unpredictable one among her kids.)

Ammachi: Enna mole? Enna pattee?

* What is it? What happened?

Me: Ee veethu panni okke cheydu maduthu. Oru saadanam vecha salath irukyuela!

* I’m tired of doing all the house work, nothing remains in the same place!

Me: (Thinking: Oh wait I sound like her. This was her dialogue to me long ago.. Hmmn.Hope she doen’t remember)

Ammachi: Oh atreolloo? Njan vijarichu.....

*Oh is that it? I thought....

Me: Ee ammachhi enna parayunne... athare ollono? Enkinje vaya amme... Ingane poyal sheriyavilaa

* What are you saying mom? That’s it? I can’t take it anymore mom. If it goes on like this, it is not going to be good.

Ammachi: Pakshe mole... Ninde kettiyonu ninne vayangara istam alle?

* But Kettiyon (hubby) really loves you, right?

Me: (Thinking : Adu ippol endina chodikinne. Oh! She is trying to confuse me. Onnu, kettiyonde kuttam parayanu vechapool.... deey kedakunnu)

*Why does she have to ask that? Oh! She is trying to confuse me. I just called to to bitch about hubby.But then, there she goes.

My brain processing: I should have called Susykutty.

(Voice high)

Me: Ammachi arude pakshataanu?? Enndeyo kettiyondeyo??

* Mom, who’s side are you on? Mine or hubby’s?

Ammachi: Ennde koche ella aanungalu inganeyanu...... And then she quotes a few examples.

* My little one, all men are like this.

Me: Even then mom... you know how difficult it is. Remember all the ideas I had. Blah! Blah, blah! Blah! You know how tough it can be for me :(

Ammachi: (Thinking: Ahhaa! Adu nadanadu thanne. Ival areya pattikyunaddu?)

* Ahha! As if, that would ever work. Who is she kidding?

But then the situation is also the perfect bait that she was waiting for. Brain rewinds to pre-marriage warnings. And by now she knows me well enough to get me to say exactly what she wants and what I want too (somewhere deep down).

Man! This lady has vision... I always wondered, how she knew even when I didn't.

Change of mode: Ammachi goes into offensive.. and the dialogue follows.

Ammachi: Edde...Njan annuthanne ninnodu paranjadalle,?? Idu sheriyavillanuu!! Avan ninaku cheerathillanu... Njangalellarum pranjadalle?? Inji nee anubhavicho..

*Didn't I tell you that day itself? That this wasn't going to work. He wasn't right for you. Didn't we tell you? Now you can live with it.

Me: (Thinking: Now what is wrong with her... just now, she thought that I had the most wonderful and loving husband. How could she say this? She is the one who dottingly waits on her dear..est son in law. Filled with atmost repect and pride. Subconsciously saying, how did my little 'dagini'^ kutty (an evil woman from one of the children’s magazines) find somebody so sane??)

Now I'am confuseed, cause my brain has not yet processed Ammachi's stratergy. Btw this strategy always works.

Me: Ee ammachikenna pattee? Ippol endinanu pazye karyangal eduthu idunadu. Kurachu cheeta prayan vilichappol... Njan phone vekkygayanu..

* What is wrong with you mom? Why are you saying all this now? I just thought that, I could call and bitch. Forget it, am putting the phone down.

Ammachi: What did I say? You started it.

Me: Amma, am not going to talk to you. You can be really mean. Why don't you understand? Don't you realize how much kettiyon loves me??

Ammachi: (Thinking: Mission accomplished!)

Ammachi: Isn’t that what I was trying to tell you?

Me: Ok mom, will call later. Am feeling better. :)

Ammachi: So you are ok?

Me: Yes mom! Super cool!

Ammachi: Ee peenine kondu njan thothu!

* I'm have no idea what I should do with this girl!

One of those days changes to....

Njan kurachu cheeta prajapol, hoooh! endoru samadanam.
* A little bit of bitching and oh! what peace
Ketttiyon loves me and Kettiyon is a nice guy. End of story.

Dialing...
Me: Hey Achaya...
Kettiyon: Hey Kutty! What's up?

Me: I just called to say I love you. Bye
Kettiyon: Me too baby. Bye.

Kettiyon thinking with Lionel Richie singing in the background: My wife loves me so much. Guess am really lucky..

Daakini wicked smile! He he he ha ha ha!! ;)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Miss you my little Kutty boy!

Oh child! How, I would give anything...

To know that it all worked out fine,

To know that you are safe;

To have what you had...

Strength and grace to accept whatever life has to offer;

A raw acceptance of life’s realities;

Giving life your best; and,

waving happily as you passed by this world;

with a smile on your face.

God bless you my little Kutty boy!

May He rest your soul in peace.

I think of you often and it’s with joy that I do.

I see you waving my sweet angel;

With you, I send... my love to all the angels up there;

I miss you Kutty!

Your Di.


*PS - this post is a continuation from my ealier post 'Kutty boy and his 'amma'

Kutty boy and his ‘amma’!


The first time I met little ‘kutty’ was on one of my first weeks at work. I was still getting used to being away from home, staying by myself and most of all dealing with the issue I was working on. The days of my realization, that there was always atleast two sides to any story, was only beginning.

It was at one of the clinics run by my organization, on a very ill famous street, that I met Kutty and his amma for the first time. His eyes stood out from his face, ofcourse they would, for his body was so thin and he was all bones, almost like he was out from a Somalian picture. Only difference being, it wasn’t hunger that brought him to this state but 'hiv'.

My heart had almost stoped beating and what went through my mind the first few seconds, was absolute shock and numbness at the situation. Kutty was only 10 years old, but with the maturity of a boy of 20. I remember, the first time he held my hand and we walked down the street to find a taxi, that’s something I could never forget, his his little bonny fingers wrapped around my hand. Kutty was admitted to a public hospital, after much difficulty. The hospital ofcourse had seen many such cases ... the so called cases without hope. Being a renowned government hospital in the heart of the city, the staff had a huge task managing the overflow of patients from all over the country. So no complaints. Only that on the priorities scale, Kutty was way down on the list. 

Trying to convince the doctors to fight a losing battle, and let an entity, who had no hope of surviving use up the meagre resources was only the beginning of the many task to come. The problem with being 'hiv' infected is that the terminality of the illness itself takes a backseat and the social relevance takes precedence. One can almost hear all the ongoing murmurs/ thoughts , all the  ‘hmmnnn!.. aaahhh!.... awarghhh!.... oh my god!... oh its them!.... oh, they deserve it!..... oh, these people!’ Kutty was an exception.

With no other family, nobody else to support and almost a zero income, his amma struggled to keep things going and a never dying conviction, that things would get better. Kutty was almost in the last stages, but both his amma and me never realized it, as in, it never really registered. Acutally, he never let us think about it or dwell on the topic. He must have been the skinniest boy I had ever seen (btw kutty only weighed 20 kgs when I met him). His eyes held life and a child. I guess he realised he had a terminal disease, but that didn’t seem to bog down this little carefree body. Kutty’s only concern was his amma. Kutty worried about who would take care of his amma, when he wasn't around. She spend every waking moment by him. Very religiously sitting by her son day and night, keeping herself going, with the morsels the hospital provided, to its patients. I never saw her cry, but her eyes held deep pain and hope, which, to me was unfathomable.

Being with this family at such a point was never about  being involved in overtly emotionally dramatic family scene. Since, that is what one would expect after being bombarded with the soaps and movies in general, about how life was so unfair or why god had choosen them...etc. Those kind of thoughts never came , not once, when I was with them. Not even when the final good byes were being said. Infact it was me who kept asking those questions to my god, each night I lay down, trying very hard to understand his mercy, his judgement, his decision....

Kutty, ofcourse for all his maturity was still a kid at heart,When I was told  by the resident doctor, that Kutty didn’t have much time left, I couldn’t face him. With tears rolling down my cheeks, trying very hard to hide it, finding my voice to speak to Kutty..... I somehow, only managed to tell him that he would fine... Now, that is the sort of situation that changes you in ways that is unimaginable. He knew what was coming and all three of us preferred to let it remain unsaid.

Kutty’s mind on the otherhand was trying to find ways to wrap things up for all the people he was leaving behind, his amma and me (I had know him for only 4 weeks, a little more than 30 days). He said ‘Di, would you please make sure amma is OK’ 'Yep!'. I said. ‘ Hmmnnn... Di!’ ‘Yes Kutty!’ I said . 'Ooh Di, may I please have a vada pav and a cold drink’. We had a good laugh, this little child and us. He had lightened up the place with his wicked smile and love and we kept passersby guessing our reasons to party. I hugged Kutty and left. That was the last I saw Kutty, happy and smiling.

Miss you my little kutty boy!


*PS - Few verses for Kutty on my next post 'Miss you my little kutty boy!'

Thursday, 30 April 2009

A tag and a confession!


A very thoughtful surprise on Monday morn... Tagged by one of the bloggers I treasure Kochuthresiamma.

Feelings: Intoxicated ‘n excited, cause now I know what the Oscar winners feel when their names are announced...he he he ;-). Humbled, cause I have only begun blogging. Appreciated ‘n a vi bit motivated to say the least.

Now for the catch that comes with the award. A fore warning!!

“This award is bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog’s content or design is, in the giver’s opinion, brilliant.”“When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!”

With that out of the way, here I begin..

  1. The reason I began this blog was, cause I thought/ know that I have lots of stories of people or my so called real life angels, who have touched me in some way. (And since I no longer dwell/ traverse among them, I was a little worried that I would slowly forget them.) Especially the ones who moved to somewhere special. If only writing about them would make them immortal. Now, am not so sure if I will be able to do justice either.
  2. By far one of my biggest fear is that I may not remember the sound of my dad’s voice, the way his hand looked, how his skin felt, his smell, his very peculiar sneeze, how his little finger felt when I held it, our little walks to the ‘tattu kada * aunty who sold ‘vadas and mulaga baggis’*. Just writing this piece down makes me wana cry and there is this huge thing stuck at my throat.
  3. I believe in ‘soul mates’ and I have found my personal angel and my soul mate in one.
  4. If you have heard that faith can move mountains, I say IT DOES. Faith, has helped me move and traverse through unbelievable place, among people outcast, when being there, has only brought fear to me and the people who love me. Yet once those barriers broke, there was no fear and no going back. And I have seen ‘change’ in the process and in the making. (Yep, I know thats the new catch word with the Obama Admin and ofcourse politicians world over.)
  5. If I hadn’t met my ‘kettiyon’*, I might have sent one sane man to the asylum ;)
  6. I have a tremendous sense of belief/ intuition and I have the courage to stick by it even when things around me are falling apart. Getting there has always been soo hard, that I have wondered if I was making the right choice. But, it always does turn out right.
  7. I was a self confessed feminist (ok, ofcourse not the extreme- radical). Somehow, right now, things seem a little different. I still believe that I am one, but being in a relationship, I understand the nuances and the dynamics much more. Following which there has been a few changes in my views/takes. (‘Kettiyon’* should be all thrilled. Hah! I can see his wicked smile) Btw, kettiyon is a fulltoo ‘ achayan’*;) . Now for those of you who know an achayan, you know how much I must have been badgered (dishom* Pishom*adie* idie* thoyi*) He he ;)
  8. After the hullabullo and the pre marriage issues, I believe that I have very successfully managed to ‘mani adichu ammayi ammeye kayil eduthu’ * Literally have my mom in law eating out of my hands ( Just hope she doesn’t read this ;)
  9. I’am a home maker (for want of a better term) and I can’t for the life of me believe (neither can anyone who know me) that I'm very comfortable, happy and have settled very well into my new found profession. Everyone including me thought that I would be this ultimate career woman, taking the development field by storm, which, believe me, I managed to do in a span of just a few years in the arena.
  10. I love life and believe in living it to the fullest. I believe that all that matters is the attitude. And faith, love, family ‘n friends keeps us going. I can laugh with all my heart until I have tears in my eyes and I can cry at the drop of a hat.... people, books, movies, anything. And when you live, 'Live Life King Ishtyle'! (that’s the new achaythi attitude, thanks to kettiyon)

Matlab/ meaning/ artham:

tattu kada * - a small roadside shop, that functions out of a four wheeled table sort of thing.

vadas and mulaga baggis* - a snack made from lentils and hot chillies; mostly deep fried.

kettiyon* - Hubby darling

achayan*- atypical Malayalee Syrian Christian man who owns a some*(left to interpetations) land; a little spoilt and by far a self confessed chauvinist, who has very clear ideas of the gender roles or so to say. ;)

Dishom* Pishom*adie* idie* thoyi* - unavoidable sounds which comes with the fight sequence; courtesy our Indian movies

Hey people, (mallus fraud ‘n true likewise) you are welcome to tweak the definitions.

Now for my fellow bloggers, to whom I award the ‘Honest Scrap Award’-

And the award goes to...... Attribution, CJ, Doc, Narial Chutney, Neers , Preetha Nair and Purple pitara..... for making me laugh, for making me cry, for taking me places and for showing me a little bit of your world. I trurly enjoy reading your posts.

A 'thousand apologies' and happy introspection!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

infinity ‘n stars..............’n i


.....for all the infinite possibilities that the stars hold,

 twinkling away.

.....for all the memories of childhood,

the mystical feeling.

.....for wanting to swing on a star,

‘n walk on the cloud.

.....for all the stories told by amma

to get me through a meal,

.....for all the dreams we share

under the light of the moon ‘n stars.

laying down on a clear night sky and wondering..

if they do talk to each other,

if only i could decipher.

.....for all the times i have found my answers,

just looking at them,

 enjoying each one of their twinkle.

.....for those endless wishes upon the stars.

.....for  each star..  an angel,

..... for all the times I miss those special people

who went somewhere special,

.....for i know they will always be angels.

i pray,

we shine forever,

bear light to those we cherish,

be the glow in the darkness.

 ‘n shimmer ‘n twinkle.

So here’s to all the stars who i spoke to, ‘n all the angels up there,

 i take on one of your names...

let me shine forevermore.........