Are you really going to kill me?


(Reposted from my blog “The quill of the phoenix“. Written in response to the heartbreaking picture by photojournalist Osman Sangirli )

Are you really going to kill me?
I really don’t want to die,
I’d rather run through the grass
And pretend that I can fly.

Are you going to kill me?
I really don’t want to die.
I have so much I want to learn,
So many things to try.

Are you going to kill me?
I really don’t want to die.
I promise I will be good.
I promise not to cry.

So please do not kill me.
I’m such a little guy.
I want to grow up someday.
I really don’t want to die.

Wheelchair Wonderings


Our trip to Bali had been planned over a year ago. My daughters were insistent that a holiday was much needed. And it was true. I couldn’t remember the last time I really had a restful holiday that was just a holiday and didn’t have a wedding or an engagement attached to it; or for that matter a puppy who had to be transported in a train and the subsequent arguements with the railway authorities about keeping her with me in my coach.

Even so, I argued loud and long that I did not have the kind of money for  an international holiday and that India had so many beautiful places that we could visit…blah,blah,blah. And then it happened. My daughters gave each other “that look”. Anyone who has twins will know what I mean. When twins give each other “that look” woe betide anyone or anything that they have decided to pitch their unified will against. And if they are taureans, that will is herculean.

My finances were taken over and a part of my income disappeared every month into some mysterious black hole and I was taught that I could not only survive but could live very well with a little less in my purse.

And so plane tickets and private villas with beautiful swimming pools all to ourselves seemed to have got miraculously booked. (Only later did I learn of the hours that my daughters had spent every night on the internet meticulously planning, what they wanted to be, a perfect holiday).

And then two days before we could leave, I injured my leg. A severe hamstring injury is what the doctor said. I looked at him aghast. Somewhere through my haze of pain, as I lay on that hospital bed, I managed to ask, “But can I go to Bali? I am leaving the day after tomorrow.”

“Two days of bed rest. Take your meds. And use a wheel chair for the trip. Don’t exert and I don’t see why you shouldn’t go.”

Until that moment, I hadn’t realised how much I was really looking forward to the trip. It was just going to be the six of us. My sister in law, her son and his partner, my daughters and me. All the people that I love. So why had I been grumbling so much about it? Why had I been acting like such a whiny kid about the whole holiday? Why could I not accept and appreciate the wonderful job my kids were doing in organising the entire trip?

Why could I not see what my kids could see? That I was burnt out and needed a break. That I needed to stop being the person who had to be responsible for everything and everyone and that it was okay to let others take charge once in a while. It was okay to let others take care of me.

I had had to take the responsibility for everything for so long, ever since my husband and I had separated and then more so after he died. I had got so used to being the one in charge that I didn’t know how not to be. I realised that I actually felt scared if someone one else took care of me. I was scared to depend on someone else to make decisions for me.  But holding the reins of my life so tightly was causing me to fray and tear and maybe that wheelchair was needed to let me know that sometimes it is okay to sit and let someone push you around. Especially when it is done with so much love.


50 strands of grey

I have lived 50 years on this earth and my hair is streaked with grey.

My mom says that the grey is wisdom that you get as you travel along life’s way.

So feeling pretty wise, I thought I’d share

A little bit of wisdom through these 50 strands of grey.

  1. It doesn’t matter whether you are 15 or 50, if your parents live with you, they still want to know what time you’ll be home.nana and papa
  2. When you were younger you swore you’d never be anything like your mother and now you’d give anything to be like her.
  3. Especially as slim and well groomed as her.
  4. You suddenly feel all grown up when Dad calls up and asks, “Want to come over and share some chicken curry and a bottle of beer?”
  5. You still enjoy having mom and dad all to yourself.
  6. And feel on the top of the world when they listen to and praise the poems you’ve written.
  7. There are times when you kidnap your mom and both of you run away for a stolen plate of pani puri.
  8. You stop going over and tidying up your mom’s house when your kids come over and start tidying up your place.
  9. It is possible to stop being a mother and become a friend instead. It just takes a hell of a lot of practice and yelling contests with your kids; and midnight chats over coffee.
  10. You don’t really cry when your last chick flies from the roost. You come home after seeing her off, put on some music, open a beer, order a pizza and celebrate your freedom.
  11. Your kids don’t have to get married just because you want them to.
  12. In fact they don’t have to do anything just because you want them to.
  13. Your son is not unhappy because the live- in relationship he is in does not seem to be moving towards marriage. You are. He is perfectly happy in the relationship.
  14. Your daughter does not wish you were there to help her set up her first home. She is having the time of her life picking furniture and stuff that she likes for it, without your interference.
  15. A lot of fights happen because either one of you or both of you are hungry.
  16. People don’t like you telling them that you love them. It doesn’t matter if it is your kid, friend, sibling, or partner. It puts too much pressure on them to feel the same towards you.
  17. If you give in, it doesn’t mean you lose. As my mom always says, “Be an ant and eat sugar, don’t be an elephant and eat sugarcane.”
  18. Some of your best friends are half your age.
  19. There are friends who love you just for who you are, madness and all.
  20. But then, that’s because they are equally mad.
  21. You can go out on the most fantastic dates even if you are not romantically involved.
  22. You can still tell your teddy bear all your secrets.
  23. No matter how old you are, you still keep looking for that someone special.
  24. Finding pretty lingerie that fits is an achievement worthy of celebration.
  25. It’s possible to drool over Nathan Fillion, Jean Claude Van Dammne, Kevin Sorbo and Milind Soman all at the same time.
  26. You have to explain to your younger friends who everyone else except Nathan Fillion is.
  27. There is something very special about being all alone at home on a Sunday with nothing to do but loll about all day reading.
  28. There is nothing like music to start the day.
  29. Unless it’s the knowledge that you don’t have to get up for another couple of hours.
  30. Enid Blyton books are as much fun to read at 50 as they are at 5.
  31. You finally make friends with the mess in your house and gang up against those who criticise you for it.
  32. The best supplies for getting your house clean are a bottle of beer, a tub of ice cream and lots of chocolate.
  33. You wonder how you managed to sleep for so many years without a muff n mepuppy cuddled against your heart.
  34. You don’t cook for your self, but the dog’s dinner is always ready on time.
  35. When people ask you why you want the trouble of having a dog at this age, you look at them as if they are crazy.
  36. After learning parentese and baby talk and husbandese of course, you realise growls and woofs are pretty easy to comprehend.
  37. It doesn’t bother you anymore to walk into a restaurant alone for a meal.
  38. Or go for a movie alone. You know you might never get to see one if you wait for company.
  39. It is okay to wear a sun hat when you go for a holiday. But if you wear one in summer back home, everyone looks at you as if you are crazy. Wear one anyway.
  40. And for some reason ice-cream always tastes better when you eat it in the rain.
  41. Just because you are always the life of a party, people expect you to never be depressed.
  42. No one is really interested in your story. Their own story is so much more interesting no?
  43. You are not interesting when you are happy. Your misery is great fodder for gossip.
  44. You are considered no fun if you don’t gossip about other people.
  45. Never lend your books to anybody! There are libraries for that!
  46. You always get your best story ideas when you are scrubbing the vessels.
  47. When someone you love dies, you never really recover. You just learn to cope because there is no choice.
  48. Simple things like a sabudana vada can bring back memories and make you cry.
  49. Your sisters- in- law are more sisters than in laws and you belong.
  50. You are comfortable and happy with who you are and know no one can take that away from you.


elevator pitch





Am I Worrying Unnecessarily?



Am I worrying unnecessarily?

Today I had a dozen articles that I had drafted out of which I had planned to complete and post one. But then I read an article by my friend Aamil Syed and it brought to mind things that had been worrying me for some time now.

More than the post by Aamil was the discussion on Facebook that his post generated where one girl vehemently insisted that the situation was only criminal and not communal. It made me wonder how much longer we are going to down play the things that we know are happening around us and so though I am scared about writing this article, I decided to do it anyway and post it instead of the one I had planned.

I generally tend to take life as it comes. I don’t worry too much because life doesn’t really change very much. Governments come and governments go. Taxes increase, prices increase and salaries also increase. People grumble but they manage to still make ends meet.

In fact in today’s world if you are a young urban educated person, you can definitely look forward to a good life. I can see the youngsters getting good jobs, earning well, living good lives. Then what is it that is making me feel so uneasy? What is it that makes me feel that there is something terrible looming in the horizon?

When I sit back to think, it is nothing big. Just small incidents, that over a period of time, add up to something more sinister. When a government of a secular country starts acting in a way that is not secular it is alarming. There is increasing evidence of this daily. And this doesn’t stop there. More and more on social media, on the net, people are openly and proudly claiming that India is a Hindu nation.

This by itself is not bad, but unfortunately this is being propagated by people who are intolerant and dogmatic. What does that then spell for our country?

Yes it makes me scared. I am scared even as I type this. Should I even be typing this at all? But if I don’t I will be giving into my fear and that is worse.

The banning of beef was just the start. If a lot of people of a particular community lost their livelihood due to this and related industries like the leather industry well, that’s just collateral damage right?  Who cares?  It just serves the purpose.

And if it gives people an excuse to kill someone who they suspect of eating beef, well, what can be done?

Atrocities against the Christians, atrocities against the Muslims.  Subtle and not so subtle. Who else will be targeted next? And why?

The senselessness of it all baffles me. What do they hope to achieve? How can a country that lives in fear prosper? And what are the rest of us Indians doing? Why are we just allowing it to happen?

The truth is I don’t know what to do. I know what is happening is wrong. But I am too scared to do anything about it.  In fact when the younger generation talk of not having kids, I feel relieved that there will be less people born into this nightmare that we are becoming.

The story of the mousetrap

Yet as I lack the courage to do anything I think of the story of the mousetrap.

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer killed the chicken. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral; the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember, when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

Author Unknown

What made me write this today

As I have mentioned earlier in the article, these thoughts have been going through my head for some time now, but this is the blog post that made me put my thoughts into words. Here is where you will find Aamil’s post:

You will find a lot of other interesting reads on his blog.


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