Monday, 15 June 2009


This morning as I was getting my daughter ready for school, she said, "I can do that by myself, Mamma."
I watched as she changed by herself ,so confident and unhurried. I felt proud to have taught her well. As I knelt down to do up her shoes, she said," No Mamma,I'll do it."
Again, I took a step back and watched as she worked on her shoe laces.Her little forehead crinkled in concentration, she managed to do it just fine. The clock ,at that moment chimed the half past eight gong and we rushed out to school.

Something was bothering me, but at that moment I didn't it give it a thought.

On the way back from school, that upsetting thought came back.
Am I becoming redundant? Does my daughter not need me anymore? She is ready to do things by herself. And more importantly , she wants to. A state of panic hit me, for a moment.

I am not sure, who depends on whom. Do I depend on her more than she on me? Is that a possibility? Truth can come home in many ways. As she is growing , I am teaching her to be confident and to learn to do things by herself, as any mother would. Isn't that what I want? But in that process, I am slowly making myself redundant.

This process will continue until she is an adult and can finally spread her wings and soar high up in the sky. Yes! That is what I want. I am sure of it!!

In the meantime, I am going to look at other avenues to full fill myself as an individual. I know, my daughter has a lot left to learn. But how time flies! I don't want to be one of those clingy kind of mothers who molly coddle their children and don't want to let go. I will continue to let her be independent and grow into an individual.

Eventually, I will be a proud parent of a well adjusted child. And as a mother , I will always be by her side. HEY! THAT'S JUST WHAT MY MOTHER DID!!

Friday, 24 April 2009


Let me jump right into the fire. My husband does not believe in ' grey areas'. For him every thing is either black or white. I ,on the other hand beg to differ. I believe, life is full of grey areas. Areas which don't have clear demarcations, especially while dealing with relations or people who are important in your life. You step carefully, like on egg-shells.

I guess, the rat race has made him so cynical. The cut throat competition hasn't helped either. Surely he isn't the only one? I see more and more professionals fall into this category. Every day as he is home from work, I feel his irritation and anger. It never seems to let up, rarely do I see him relax.

Why this need for perfection? Why give more of yourself than you can afford to? Why expect others(your family) to follow you? God did not make us perfect--in this sense. He has thrown in imperfections. We were not meant to be robots. Robots are supposed to be perfect --in every sense. Even that has not been possible---scientifically.

It's good to be striving towards a goal, realistically I might add. Having a purpose, a goal is important. But being so tightly wound up that you ignore your surroundings, surely isn't sensible? Last week ,my husband worked 18 hrs a day for two weeks without a break. Stress levels hit the roof, as you can well imagine. I was stressed because he was stressed and because we were stressed my daughter suffered. She kept asking her dad, why he didn't spend time with her. Unable to understand what was happening around her, she one day burst out crying. There was this huge tantrum (something my daughter does not indulge in) all because she did not get to see her dad on the weekend. Thankfully, I managed to calm her.

If he had the time, I would like to remind my husband of a decade ago. We were in love and everything was all right with the world. Love is and will be the largest 'grey area' in life. You cannot define or defy love. We were no exception to that rule. If he just took the time to look back at those days, he would realise how much he is missing out by not taking it a little slow.

Sunday, 12 April 2009


MY daughter is just learning to read. These days she is reading full sentences and even tries her hand at short stories. She is doing well. Yesterday , she managed a whole page of her favourite fairy tale. I was so proud I could have shouted from rooftops. I am waiting for the day when I don't have to read her good night stories anymore. She is independent in most of her activities and in the next year or so should be able to take charge of herself.

I have myself not been far behind--in the learning process. In one of my earlier blogs , I had mentioned my weakness in the baking area. I have finally got over the fear. I have been consistently turning out really good muffins and brownies. I swear I am not lying. Just ask the family. The proof of the pudding lies in the eating , well my hubby and daughter have definitely been gobbling them up. A dozen muffins disappear in a couple of days.

This process of learning never ends. We might not be aware, but with every passing moment, we learn something. We have learnt the likes and dislikes of our partners, our other families members and try our best to accommodate them. This is learning, isn't it? Even today, after 12 years of marriage, I learn new things about my partner. It's so strange, I thought I had finished with the learning process.

Every time I have moved, to a new city or country, I have without realising learnt and increased my knowledge. Like they say, 'Experience is the best teacher'. Life has taught me many lessons-- some good, some tough ,some funny and some sad. I have taken them in my stride. CHIN UP.

It's not been easy. That's for sure. With age you 'learn' to be patient. You inevitably ' learn' that there is a time for every thing. You ' learn' not to go against nature. You ' learn' to keep your cool. Being a mother to an impressionable five year old, as I 'learn' --I also teach. So it's imperative that I 'learn' the right things!!

In fact, from the time you come into the world you start learning. A child learns to use its senses. I remember my daughter trying to walk. She was all of eleven months and trying desperately to gather her balance and step ahead. All I did was to help her a couple of times , but when she walked , she did so on her own. She got up and walked over to me like it was the most natural thing to do. She had ' learnt ' to walk.

As always, I continue to support and nurture my daughter but she will finally 'learn' on her own. I am the book that has the knowledge and am willing to part with it, but the 'learning' she has to do herself.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Ami Probashi Bangalee, go toh 1 bochur theke ami UK te achi. Na ,Na ekhane settle korini. India phere jete, ami paa bari ye e achi. Amar didi abar ' belethi ' . Seh , aaj 10 bochur theke Canada te baash korche. Amar Ma/ Baba thake, Ramrajatola --Howrah. Buj the e parchen obostha. Teen jone teen dikhe. Ekhon ami je ghotona ta bornona korbo sey e ta soth thi gotona. Ektu o bariye bolchi na---Maa kaali r dibbi!!!

Amar jamai babu--Asit da, hotat decide ( ko ekta English kotha dho kach chi--bol lam toh Probashi) korlo seh bari kinbe KOLKATA te. Aar ami je he tu okhane chilam , before coming to UK, sei dai e toh ta amar. Amar mone hole ,didi amar barrir kaache thakle sub hi de hobe , tai ami Jodhpur Park er ekta 'Agent' dhorlam. Phone korte jante parlam tar nam--Tapas Pal. Tai bell bajthe, ami jokhun dorja khul lam , ektu o bak e hoi chi. Ekta chottoh moton , gol gal manus pan chebate chebate bollo--"Ami Tapas pal. Cholun apna ke ko ekta bhalo bari dekha e". Ekhuno majhe-majhe raatire ghum bhenge jai--sei kaalo , gol mukh ta aar paan er chop dhora obda kabda daanth mone pore. Uuf!

Jai hok--ami toh gelam baari dekte. Amake niye gelo-Salimpur er ekta barithe. Baire theke toh building ta bhaloi laglo. First floor e uthe uthe dek hi ekta baari r dorja khola. Ekta , khali geye aar komore gam cha bendhe , moddho bhittho boishko lok dorja te dare ye ache. Ama ke dekte e bol len, "Ki !! Phete ana cho?". Amar chok chana boda hoi gelo!! Ki bole--ami phete ante jabo keno!! Pore jaan te parlam --'phete' maane-measuring tape!! Aar Tapas Pal--Se toh barithe e dhuk lo na. Amake bollo--"Jan jan apni dek he ashun."

Bari tar toh kichu bolar e nei. Jaar malik orakhum kore dorjar te dariye theke, lok ke bhoi dek ha be--tar baari toh buj te e par chen. Ekta e kotha maathai ash che---SANGHATHICK. Aar tar por Lok ta amar saathe kotha bole e jaa che. Ami jotoh bar berobar chesta kor chi , seh baarir suk khati korei choleche. Ami ekbar baire takalam--amader Tapas pal er dik he. Seh mich ke mich ke haas che aar amake ishara korche--"chole ashun, buro charbe na sohoje."

Ami , finally jokhun bero the parlam--buro amake bol lo--"Amar apna ke pochondoh hoi che. Ami baari apna ke e bekkire korbo".


Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Deadly Onion!!

The most disgusting thing on earth is without doubt -----Onion Breath. Imagine being on a date with a guy who reeks onion every time he opens his mouth. Would you not dump him? The humble onion is , without mincing words, a trouble maker.

Even something as simple as chopping it causes trouble. I cry bucket fulls every time I chop one of these. Being a great fan of Indian food I find myself chopping the onion at every meal. But try cooking without the onion and your food will not taste the same, no matter how well you have cooked. The damn thing has to be present , how very irritating. It's presence can't be discounted in most cuisine's even though I would like to show it the door. It's like those people we often encounter in our lives --professional or other wise, who just make a point of being there even though they are not really welcome. They make their place by being, if I may add , absolutely essential to the situation. Like your BOSS. It is a love -hate situation, isn't it?

Can you imagine how proud the 'humble onion' was a few years back when the prices had shot up ? Everybody was talking about it and giving it such undue attention, that the price soared further. We were , I remember , treating the onion with such caution and care as though it were worth it's weight in gold! How ridiculously we humans behave! Instead of putting the onion in it's place, we fanned it's importance.

Right, now I need to get back to making dinner. The family have decided on the Indian fast food---PAV BHAJI. There I can see the onion smiling at me, almost maliciously. I don't have an option now, do I? No wonder I call the onion---THE DEADLY ONION.

Friday, 20 March 2009


Friends for life.... I never believed such a thing existed. But I was proven wrong this morning. So I dedicate this blog to those friends who have re entered my life and bought back nostalgic memories. I hadn't laughed this hard in days. It really cheered me up, something to cherish in this otherwise uneventful day.

I was lost. Lost in the nitty-gritty of humdrum existence. My happy, carefree and beautiful childhood cloaked under the shadow of growing up. Growing up, getting married and having a family took precedent over everything else. I was told---"This is what adults do." I believed and did the same.

Today has been a turning point in my life, and I recognize it. Real adults never sever ties. They carry forward with them the people who matter. I spoke to a long lost friend today and not surprisingly the connection was instant. Neither of us hesitant, we spoke for long hours. We laughed and joked and did a bit of 'load shedding' . It helped....really helped.

Just the other day, I was complaining about loneliness and not having any real friends. I was wrong. They are there.... just where I left them. This morning we took the first step towards bridging that gap. It shall I put it? A piece of cake.....smooth, creamy and incredibly tasty.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Short Story

Friday, 13 March 2009


Bikram sat brooding, his mood as dark and murky as his coffee. Damn it! The coffee tasted bad. It was much too sweet. Pouring it down the drain, Bikram wondered how his life was in such a mess. What he had done so wrong, that his wife had to divorce him. He had long come to accept that there was no real love between them, but after so many years.....divorce. It just didn’t make sense. The problem with him, Bikram realised, was that just signing a scrap of paper did not undo anything. In fact it made it really hard for him to believe that he had been married to such a cold woman.

Now at the age of fifty, to start afresh, it seemed ridiculous. More importantly, he had forgotten how. The loneliness was hard too. The pitying looks from people, he couldn’t stand anymore. What was he to do with himself? Start life in a new place---run away from the situation. Money was not a problem, and Malini hadn’t asked for any. She was divorcing him because her way of life didn’t match his. She was a jet set lady with a great career and after the kids had grown up there was nothing to bind them together. She had different plans—plans that didn’t include him. So there! That was that.

Maybe he should take up the offer in Kolkata, after all.

A new life. How did one go about it?

Best to go along with the flow, he thought.

“Thank God, my mother isn’t alive to see his day. What would she say?” (“I told you not to marry her!” he knew).

He had met her in college, a wonderful, vibrant girl. The parents had objected to the match but the young couple had refused to budge.

The first few years had been bliss. Then the children had arrived one after the other. Life had taken on a different dimension. She had to take a break from her career, something she resented to this day.

His career as a marketing executive had its own demands. He would to be gone for half the month and Malini would have to cope alone with two school going children and her job. She refused to give up her job no matter what. This was the main bone of contention between them, then. He never understood why, she needed a career.

For Malini, the divorce was a must. It was the only solution. Over the years she had taken over the burden of running the show. Bikram was never around to help. As the years progressed, Bikram and she moved away from each other. They were at completely differently wave lengths. She learned to never depend on him. The children were in a boarding school and she visited them as often as she could. On long summer vacations, they would go away to exotic locations and the children never guessed the truth. It was like---- play acting. How long could you keep it up?

The fights had been getting worse over the years. Bikram expected companionship from her. She was just lost in her own world of friends and colleagues. Her work kept her late in office and Bikram couldn’t deal with it. He wanted to spend time with her as he now was not travelling so often. But for her it was too late. Lately, they had just stopped communicating. There were no fights, no explanations. Nothing at all. Under one roof they lived like strangers, each in his world.

In his new life, Bikram was slowly settling down. The new job and city did help. Actually, it was the anonymity that helped. He could start on a clean slate. Not many people knew him and for some time he preferred it that way. The children, both married and settled did not bother with him much. So long as he didn’t get in their way. Basically, he was on his own. Bikram was picking up the threads. He had help coming in to do the regular chores that took care of immediate problems like food, dishes and clothes. Slowly, also spring was returning.

Sitting on a beach in Digha, watching the sun go down, Bikram felt a sense of peace. What was it that was making him feel that way? He just could not put his finger on it. He waited patiently for the answer to come. He knew it would.

As he walked back to his room in the nearby hotel, which he had rented for the week, Bikram finally accepted that he had come to terms with his divorce. He was actually happy. He did not have to live a lie anymore. He was finally free. His marriage had been a habit, a routine, which even though did not give him any pleasure, he continued. Malini had set them free, free to live life the way you wanted to. She had saved them both. She had saved their marriage, not dissolved it.

As he walked into his room, he dialled Malini’s number. She picked it up on the second ring.
Friendly as ever, she chatted for a while. Promising to get together next time he was in Bangalore, she signed off. Bikram was at last happy. Tomorrow he would visit the unexplored part of Digha he had been putting off.