Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Such an irony, this life
For what, we strive

Spend day and night
To get it right

Reap what we sow
Celebrate the show

Our dreams don't lie
We hope to fly

Eyes wide open
Enjoying the ride

A sudden U-turn
Starts the slow burn

Dreams die, hopes crash
Over in a flash

The tide turns
The ocean churns

A battle fought
Life's lessons taught

We rise, we fall
But never stall

A tear, a smile
Both stay awhile

Why me, you fret
You take what you get

Stomp on the pain
Master your brain

You, the chosen one
To face the sun

Courage and faith, the battle cry
Adieu sorrow, despair goodbye

Saturday, July 14, 2012


This is my favourite time of the year. Its raining and i can see Mother nature, like all mothers everywhere, hard at work. Mountaintops to be bathed, trees to be showered, buildings and roads to be washed clean, fields to be watered, lakes and rivers to be filled, people to be drenched.......... So much to do till the whole world is sparkling clean! A time for fresh starts and new beginnings.........

 If only life was so simple! If only we could have a personalised monsoon service to rejuvenate our minds and souls! A sort of thorough bathing of every cerebral sulci and gyri to rid our mind of unwanted debris, unwelcome thoughts, depressing ideas, pessimism, past sorrows, future worries, exaggerated fears, anger,jealousy,hatred and every negative emotion till all is sparkling clean and pure as God must have envisioned the human mind to be. All we need for some shine in our lives are such passing showers to wash out the old and bring in the new. A fresh season, a clean slate and that great feeling which proclaims.......' God's in his heaven and all's right with the world'

And so, bathe and cleanse your mind and souls to celebrate the seasons of life in all its glory. A fresh start and new beginnings.........

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Kids, it was the summer of '85 when we first met. Yeah, yeah i know that u have heard all about our' girl meets boy, boy proposes, girl disposes so on and so forth natak ' so often that now it has become ur favourite bedtime story! (read may 2010 POST ) You fall asleep even before it starts!

So, today i am telling u a story about 2 kids who never met their father.

It was a routine antenatal consultation. Lata, a sweet, simple 21 year old, newly married, came with her husband, 12 weeks pregnant. Both were shy, eager to follow advice and were sent off with instructions to eat well,put on weight and follow up after a month. 3 months later, Lata walks in, now 6 months pregnant along with her mother. Gone was that sweet, quietly content look. In law troubles,i guessed, having been witness to many such stories in the past. Was i wrong! 2 months earlier, her husband was crossing the road near Sion hospital when a truck knocked him down. He died instantaneously. The next two months were a nightmare as Lata was blamed for her husband's bad luck and she was forced to go to her mother's house. No time for grief, sorrow is a luxury for girls like her who have to carry on with the business of living. Her old,frail mother and she almost appeared uncaaring but for the catch in her voice and arms protectively clutched around her tummy.

Amita was 7 months pregnant when a weekend trip to Lonavla changed her life forever. Their car met with an accident, she broke her leg but her husband was seriously injured and put on the ventilator. Her every visit to my clinic thereafter was chaotic since she was accompanied by both sets of parents, her brother and sister ln law. Her husband succumbed to his injuries almost a month later and every time i checked the baby's heartbeat, there was a fresh wave of sorrow.

Both mothers delivered with me. Lata had a baby boy and she held him with tears streaming down her face. Amita had a baby girl, the spitting image of her father. One could sense that both sets of grandparents were going to fight for her.

And so were born two kids who will never meet their father!

(all names changed)

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I often wonder what my life would be without my kids. So boring and monotonous. Just recently my son went on a road trip to the north with his friends. I had prepared myself for 2 weeks of silence from his side, quite sure that he would make his customary 'reached safely' phone call and that would have to last me till he returned. Boy, was I wrong! He took me along with him, metaphorically speaking! The first sms arrived on day 2 of the trip.....

“Repaired a broken bag, discovered lanes n shops, made friends, ate at dingy joints, wandered thru the city with a guy found at the mandir, saw a wedding, bargained successfully n in English, wore a gamcha FINALLY, missed stuff, saw new things instead, got mistaken for a foreigner everywhere!! Wasn't initially allowed to enter a temple, now on the way to a village to a dhaba, blowing wind in the dark, possibility of hukka in the moonlight... tired?? NAH !!”

A few hours later, the next text arrives, “Noo hukka! Peeing under the stars n pitch black.” I slept that night with a smile on my face. The next morning I read, “Currently on the oldest road in India... THE GRAND TRUNK ROAD!!”  There was silence for 2 days when suddenly comes this info.....

''The Ambedkar park here in Lucknow is mindblowingly awesome... So big!! N so beautiful. U can almost forgive her for wasting so much money on it! The ‘elephant capital’ of the world!! The details on Mayawati's statue... A purse with a chain and zip, the bag strap firmly squeezed within her palm along with her hanky, a ring, a watch, a bracelet. The chappals and feet wid each n every toenail perfectly manicured... perfect wrinkles, windblown creases on her clothes... MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!!!!”

Late night comes this missive…
“Day four was almost a bore. But not for long. Aimless wanderings lead to food and... what food it was! Kachodis wid chole and what not, kebabs n parathas, sprouts bhel.. Yumm... then the greatest discovery of the day. The Ambedkar Park...... Magnificent! Over the top! Fun! Battery rickshaw, cycle rickshaw, green n yellow rickshaw and now, a bus to Delhi. Bumpy sessions. Dhaba food sessions. Music sesions. Maybe some sleep..” 

Radio silence for 3 days except for a brief sms stating- “ Wearing the kurta I bought in Benaras. So comfy.... I have a surprise for u!”

Finally after 2 days comes a big one.....
“Sorry for the break. Battery conserving spree... A bus ride from Delhi to Rishikesh... dhaba food, great music, AC bliss, Ghats, forest fires, a walk down the mountain to the campsite... at 10 p.m., Rafting for 30 kms, super cold water, swimming in d river, strong flow, big rapids, fallin into mini rapids..yumm breakfast... crappy lunch n zabardast dinner, late nights… talkin n laughin… cold drinks chilled in d ganga... in d light of lamps… tents, lizards, beach, sand, photographs…  and then the bungee !! The punyness u feel when d cord swings u all around… the madness, screamin.. aaaaahhhhh! So now, here again, sittin in d sand in front of the tents, overlooking the Ganga. This is life!!!”  

After this there was a deluge of msgs as the adrenaline rush peaked...
“Black moonless skies.. n here goes a shooting star.. Another!! And still more?? Sleepin outside the tents... Witnessin the sunrise... and Rush, rush, rush!! A bath under the waterfall, cold, tasty water... Rappeling, long sandy beaches wid dunes... jumpin off a 30 ft cliff into d cold, green Ganga waters... Rafting.. Mindblowing..  Almost vertical.. currents carrying you far away from d boat.... A night in a free ashram in Haridwar”

“U know I am not religious and stuff.... But since I was at Tungnath, the highest shrine of Shiva at 11000 ft...I prayed for u and dad... N now have a tikka which no amount of washin can remove...”

“The things that happen at 13000ft above sea level..... U are on the peak of a mountain, surrounded only by air and nothin else on all sides... At the place where Raavan meditated for 100 yrs... Snow clad Himalayan peaks visible in the distance thru the fog looming over us... Vultures flying over ur head in the freezing wind. Suddenly Vodafone ka network catches and u start gettin BBMs and msgs of the past day... N d sun burns d hair on ur hands... So in short, Vodafone is very surprising....”

This was the last sms before he returned, 3 days later, to Mumbai. Wow, what a trip! The next time I want to travel, I am definitely sending him. I am sure I will enjoy myself more, seeing the world thru his eyes! Armchair travel at its best..

As for the surprise.... It was a bunch of post cards he had posted to all at home. Not surprisingly, all have been lost in transit, thanks to the Indian postal system!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


“A field full of swaying crop tells us that a grain has buried itself into the ground to give birth to thousands of grain. The grains which do not bury themselves are taken to the flourmill and ground into flour. The grains which sacrifice by burying themselves in the soil give birth to a swaying field of crop.” (courtesy

As I walked home wearily at the end of a long, tedious day after a packed schedule of consultations, hospital rounds and two particularly complicated deliveries, I could hear the rumbling in my stomach. Now I knew why I felt so lightheaded. No breakfast or lunch, just two cups of tea and a few biscuits had come my way since morning! I quickened my pace, eager to reach home and the hot meal which awaited me.

With plate in hand, I switched on the television…….
“Anna Hazare given permission to fast for 15 days at Ramleela ground.” “Anna says he won’t give up fast till Jan Lokpal Bill is passed in Parliament.”
“Doctors pronounce Anna fit and healthy.”

I look down at my half eaten dinner. 12 hours of food deprivation had my mind and body protesting! Here was this man willing to forgo food for 15 days to fight a battle not truly his own. To quote the great man himself,” When a seed buries itself, it leads to a better yield. In order to get a better yield of grains, one single seed needs to bury itself.”  Simple farming philosophy from a simple man.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011


Two hours of incessant rains on Thursday evening flooded Mumbai city. The reception area of my consulting room was packed with patients who, fooled by the balmy afternoon weather, were caught unawares and waiting for the rain to stop. Soon, all realized that, this was no passing shower but a fullblown storm with thunder and lightning and all! One by one, all trundled out, reluctantly leaving the shelter of the hospital in search of an autorickshaw to take them home.
I still had to take rounds at my nursing home situated one kilometer away and decided to walk since there was kneedeep water all around. It was a route fraught with danger but I was well prepared for a day like this. From the start of the monsoons, I had done my homework. I had been studying this stretch of road between the Milan subway signal and Podar school signal at Santacruz. Every pothole and open gutter had been mentally mapped! I started walking. Straight till the bus stop, a swerve to the right, step off the pavement till the corner, a swerve to the left, get back on the footpath, keep straight till the signal, now cross the road, walk straight till the next bus stop, now recross the road and completely avoid the pavement till the next signal, now step onto the pavement and walk in an absolutely straight line till the building gate, take a sharp 90 degree turn and….voila, I was home safe and sound. WOW, five open gutters and three huge potholes, all nimbly avoided. I waltzed into the building in my new “Gene Kelly meets James Bond” avatar. I had perfected my raindance!
 However, the next morning, I did a quick recon after the waters had receded. I will have to add a few more steps to my routine. The topography had changed! Well, that’s life in Mumbai! Never a dull moment……. 

Friday, July 22, 2011


13/7, 7.30 p.m. I was in my consulting room when news of the bomb blasts trickled in. Within minutes, the reception area wore a  deserted look as all the patients rushed home. However, I had to wait it out. A patient was in labour and it made no sense to go home till she had delivered. I switched on the television only to turn it off minutes later. Burning cars, injured bystanders, the screaming and shouting……… it was just too depressing.

I walked into the labour room. Here, once again, shouts and screams filled the air. The soon to be mother was in the final stage of labour and bearing down. This, I could handle! Within minutes, the lusty cries of a healthy 8 pounder could be heard. On a day filled with death, it felt good to celebrate life. Joy erupted in the labour room.

As I walked home in the light drizzle, I thought to myself, “This is courage! Nine hours of intense labour pains to bring life into this world. Hey you, Mr. faceless terrorist, planting bombs to kill innocent people is an act of cowardice. If you have the guts and truly believe in your 'cause', be a man. Come crawling out of whichever hole you have hidden in and face the families of the dead victims. Till then, you are a coward and not to be feared."

Life can and will go on.