Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Final Lap 2015

2015 has been crystal clear about what this year has been for me. It started off with M moving out, choosing an overseas job in the month of March. Life took a 360 degree turn. I became a temporary single parent. Handling two kids, a job, home and much more all by myself was not easy, to say the least. My bathroom has been a solace and a witness to many of my emotional outbursts and not so lady like moments. Things were in for a drastic change when for many reasons kids and I decided against moving abroad. It basically meant M and I staying apart, the kids having to live with one parent and being able to see their father once in few months. We decided to brave it out… the opportunity was huge.

The first few months were just fine. After that boredom set in for M and me. Now many people wouldn’t understand. Boredom is never a reason for sadness right? Boredom is a silly childish word. What do you do when you get bored? You watch TV, go for a walk, read for a while, listen to music, do some gardening or get a new hobby. But none of these have anything to do with people. At the end of the day you need people to get back to…. at home. Sometimes, boredom is an understatement. We don’t have the right words to verbally express. Yeah, adults too suffer from insufficient vocabulary.

The boldest of the mind also needs a marshmallow of the sorts. Nothing…Nothing completes the incompleteness of a lonely heart, other than what the heart truly desires. So finally, we let the heart win over the head. M decided to come back home to us. Nothing was worth being away from family.
We decided to finish the final lap of 2015 with a visit to our hometown. Has it ever happened to you that you wish to hear some things from people who matter to you, and when they say those words, it feels like words from the Gods? Well, during the usual string of visits to extended family members, some of them spoke certain words which made us believe in ourselves just a tad bit more. It did not matter that there were few souls around us who felt leaving a very lucrative opportunity abroad was a totally absurd idea.

M’s almost 80 year uncle asked us, “So tell me why do we take birth?” I blinked twice before giving a blank look. He said, “To die.” Okkkkk.
“So what do we do between birth and death?”
“I know …I know!” I chirped like a little girl. “Live”
“Correct. We should live our life. And what helps us to live?”
This one I knew ….bang on. And I answered unlike a little girl, but as someone who had walked the talk.
“Family. Family helps us to live.”
“Correct.” He said. “Family and people around us help us to live. So, don’t just stay alive. Live.”
I smiled.

We have a lot to be grateful for. 2016 begins with just a small prayer loaded with humbleness and thankfulness for everything big and small in our life.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

When "I" speaks... listen

Alarm did not go off, your child tells you at the last moment that he has an unfinished homework, your favourite dress is not ironed, your help decides to take an off, you are already late for work, the boss has her own story and you know what that translates to, your period arrives a tad bit early (Oh yeah!) or worse it is late (Gosh!), an additional work comes over your pending list, your kid arrives with a exam date list and portions, your younger one is in a particularly cranky mood (Ya, they have that knack, they really do) and your mother calls you to complain how you don’t give her time. 

Finally the day is over, and you retire to your bedroom. You give that puppy look to your husband or the mirror (pick your choice) and say: “I want to go to some place far. Where there is no one. Just me and peace.” (Himalayas is the first choice. I know.)

I have heard this many times and said it many more times. Later I have asked:

Really? Do you really want to go?

Nah, a mortal soul is not meant for finding solace in the Himalayas. You are a part of the circus and finding yourself amidst all this, is well... your agenda.

What would I be without my crazy family, crazier friends and n number of add-ons in my life?
Boring, blah, like the doordarshan intro ad which went round and round till your eyes go all spooky.

I ain’t trading all that for anything. Trust me, even you won’t. The reasons would call for another blog post (Patrons, please remind)

We are running. Running all the time. From the time we are born, we are a product of expectations more and less of nature. We should hold our neck at 3 months, stand at 8, walk at 11. We should sing the rhymes at 3 years, write words at 5, score well throughout, get an enviable education and a more enviable job. Get married at a ‘decent’ age and have kids at a more ‘decent’ age. Take correct decisions, prove people right, raise good children, take care of parents, grow in our career, listen to people if we don’t have careers (Sitting at home…What are you thinking?!) Make money for myself, make money for kids, get them married, help them raise their kids. Woah!!

Sorry, where was I? Literally, Where AM “I”?

I want to say No to my boss. (What will he think?)
I want to not cook something yummy for my kids (Will my kids hate me? Or Will the teacher think how bad I am as a mother?)
I want to wear no make-up today. (Will people think I have been crying?)
I want to go on an expensive trip abroad and see places. (Will my kids’ education suffer?)
I want to earn money, lots of money. (If he can, I can too!)
I want to become the fore-runner of a multi-national organisation. (I want to prove to my friends that I am “the person.”)
I want to learn something new. (People will think I have gone crazy at this age.)
I want to stop wearing kurtas and wear that skirt. (My neighbour will laugh at me.)

What does “I” do?
I do things, because “someone” out there is watching us or judging us.

I always say one thing to myself. When I am 60, will it matter? Most of the time I get my answer. You will too. Ask yourself.

It will matter if your health suffered when you took up more work than usual, or you missed time with your growing kids, or you have so much to tell your grandkids about your younger self, or you have seen exotic places, or have tried something new every year, made lots of friends, or just done what you felt you should do.

I recently saw a video in which real people were giving advice to younger ones.  A 47 year old said: Stop thinking about what people are thinking about you. They are not thinking at all. A 72 year old said: It’s never too late to try something new. An 85 year old said: Spend all your money, or else your kids will do it for you. And like my friend said “the epic one” said by a 93 year old: Don’t listen to others. Nobody knows what the hell they are doing!

Change…Change for yourself. Not for someone. Anything done for someone else is temporary. When you do something for yourself, you fall in love with yourself all over again. Go on, be a little selfish. Selfish is not a taboo word. Even cholesterol is good and bad. Ditch the bad selfish and love being the good selfish. Give yourself the due regard it deserves. 

At the worst, you will make mistakes, pick wrong choices, and tell yourself: What books don’t teach, mistakes do. Move on.

And people. Well, they talk anyway. Will they matter when you are 60? But you will. Oh BTW, 60 is the new 40. There’s a lot more to go.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Less is more.

While growing up, I used to travel to Kerala by train. No AC compartment, but good old 2nd Class. I never knew what it was like to be in AC, so the need never arose. It used to be a long 48 hours travel time from Delhi to Kerala. I used to carry a bag full of books even then. The moment the train would start, I would climb up on the highest berth and stay put with my books. But post dinner, my favourite pastime was to sit near the window and look out. I would wish for some small village to come by. Well, I loved to watch a small house or a hut with far away lights inside it. It was like the lights are twinkling for me. Sometimes, I could see smoke coming out of the chimney, or a lady cooking food or a child with her mother. Infact, on any give day I used to and still love to look out at random homes during late evenings. Switched on lights still comfort me. Watching people doing their chores makes me feel all warm.

I like it because I feel life is ON. It is ON for everyone around. Does not matter whether you are big or small, young or old, rich or poor.    

Just the other day, I was waiting at a traffic signal. I saw a young man, looked like a construction worker, walking back home. It was a Saturday evening. He was walking out of a chicken shop. He has ear phones on and was singing along. His walk had a rhythm. He was probably thinking about the wholesome dinner that awaits him. It brought a smile to my face. My son was with me and I said, "Look at him. Happy in his own world."

And I wondered how little it takes to be happy. 

When I started working for the first time, I can say that it was not one of my best memories. The working hours were long, working Saturdays and long distance to work. No..No... not a good combination at all. There was one thing that held me together. You may laugh at this, but well, this was and is me. I would call up my mother at work and ask her what's for dinner. To listen her tell me the menu for dinner would bring a wave of joy in my heart. I was reminded that life is more than this job. 

And I wondered how little it takes to be happy. 

The last few days, my help brought her 4 year old niece to work. The little girl's mother was off to the village and there was no one to take care of her. The 1st day she was quiet and looked unwelcoming. But the 2nd day, my 5 year old walked up to her offering a cookie. She promptly took it and in a matter of minutes, the two girls were running around the house. The short giggles coming out of the two girls was so heart warming. My mother and I were left smiling all the while. A stage when money, fashion, fancy things does not matter. All one needs is someone to laugh with. 

And I wondered how little it takes to be happy. 

We are so busy in our lives, relationships are getting lesser, we want more of everything else. It doesn't seem to stop. In reality, it takes so less to be happy. I know the daily hustle of getting things done sometimes can squeeze us out. But a moment or more helps us to look beyond. To see that there is so much more to life than meeting deadlines, keeping people happy, making money and building that dream house. 

Life is on. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Patience is not sitting and waiting...

As a child, I used to look forward for my maternal uncle to come from abroad. He is a sailor and he used to travel a lot, and when he used to visit once a year, he would bring a suitcase full of goodies for me. I would be like a jack in the box. I wouldn't sit still. And finally, I would be left alone in a room with "the" suitcase. Life was good. But somewhere I heard the elders in my family say: Patience, have patience. I didn't know the meaning of this word then.

Later, when I was giving a lot of entrance exams for MBA and things were moving slow, I heard this word again. The young and restless heart doesn't know the meaning of this word. No way!

Then came marriage and kids followed. I hardly knew when my day began or ended. It was like life was slipping off my hands. My social graph was falling dangerously. I again heard this word from many people. I am a mother, don't teach me patience! (eyes rolling desperately)

Present Day: This word doesn't leave me alone. I wonder why. An extra nerve called Patience is well deserved in our body. It should start from our brains and run straight till the tip of the toe. Ofcourse it should get very strong and thick around our hearts. God, are you listening?  

I am learning the meaning of this word very patiently, I must say. A lot is happening. Husband is away in another country for work. Meanwhile, I am single parenting. (Did I just hear an applause?) Work is busier than busy. Friends seem to be painting their own lives. (Disclaimer: I love my friends to bits. Darlings, don't bark at me after reading this blog.) My neck seems to be the focal point of stress. It shows me the middle finger every time I push myself a little more than I can take. I haven't been reading quite well. That is a polite way of saying that my Kindle has been resting quite a lot. (Yeah, kill me). And I could shout from every corner of my house: I NEED A BREAK. Shhhh.

I know I am not alone. 

A very dear friend of mine is nursing her husband from a bout of dengue. There is another one who is waiting as she is understanding a new meaning of love. Not too far away, a mother I know of is waiting for her pre-teen's tantrums to come down. Another friend is grieving the death of her two pet dogs. A few friends are taking breaks from their careers and waiting to find a new path, a new journey. 

Lately, I have begun to like Rumi. More than his poetry, its his quotes that fascinate me a lot. I love it when a few words hold a world of meaning. 

This one has caught my eye...rather heart.

Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.

Beautiful, isn't it? Looking beyond is patience. 

Patience is when my mother waits and waits for me to get free and finally takes away my pen and books and says, "Enough of work. Take a break and watch TV."
It is waiting for Onam so that I can make Pookolum.
It is waiting for my Kindle to get charged so that I can read tonight.  
It is looking forward for a little time out with my friends. 

And undoubtedly when my little daughter looks at the horizon through my favourite window and says, "Amma, see those trees. That is where Pappa works na?" I respond, "Yes". In my heart I say, "Let's patiently wait till the road from that tree to home gets shorter. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


A very dear friend of mine has been asking me what I feel about the feeling: LOVE. And she suggested that I write today about it, as it is my 11th wedding anniversary. :)

One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for friendship... rings a bell? I have fond memories of walking to the bus stop (during school days) and searching for mynahs. The moment I would see one mynah, I would immediately cross my fingers and search frantically for two of them together.

I am sure many of us have played the game of FLAMES. The compatibility between friends and ofcourse the special ones would be analysed using the names. F- Friendship, L-Love, A- Attraction, M-Marriage, E-Enemy and S- Sibling. (Not sure whether the full forms remain the same today) Most of my notebooks had FLAMES all over in the last page.

The need for companionship and love remains then and now. But the definition changes as we grow.

The teenage hormones enter our body in a package. With it comes the flutter in the eyes, the sweet heaviness in the heart, cheeks turning pink and warm feeling all over our body, when we see that special someone.

And then comes rejection, heartbreak, misinterpretations, mistakes.

And then we GROW UP.

I had read somewhere...You must not fall in love, but rise in love. I remember the day I had read this quote, I told myself, "Yes, that is love. We must love someone who makes you rise and not fall."

The other day, I asked my son,"How come you don't tell me anything about the girls in your class?"

He said, "What's there to tell?"

I asked, "Do you not like playing with girls?"

And then he said a few names of girls in his class with who he liked to interact. And then immediately he said, "I just like them ok, not love them."

I asked, "Why? Why not love them?"

And his answer was, "Amma, please. You love a person when you marry the person. Otherwise you just like the person."

Ofcourse he doesn't know that it's not the truth. He will know...when the time comes.

If you have read the book Only Love is Real by Brian Weiss, you must be knowing how beautifully he explains that a person can have more than one soul mate. The term soul mate is highly misconstrued. A soul mate is someone you meet who helps you to complete a certain purpose. A soul mate may stay for a really long time with you, or may move on way too soon. But at the end, the motive is fulfilled.

I feel love for my husband who has always stood by me. He is my biggest strength, and my true soul mate.

I feel love for my kids who have taught me to be true meaning of selfless love. Love without expectations.

I feel love for my friends. Some of these friends are so close to me that I feel they are my soul mates. They have spoken the right words at the right time and made some of my worst days passable.

I feel love for my home which is not even a living thing. One of the practices my husband and I follow is thank places we stay in, when move out. We have thanked hotel rooms and our past rented apartments. Silly as it sounds, but we feel love for these places, which helped us feel safe and at home.

At the end of the day, love makes us strong...alive and makes us move ahead. It doesn't hold us back. We accept the person and not weigh the options.

This quote from the book and the movie Notebook rightly puts it:

"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds." – The Notebook

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I have questions for you, Mom!

My 9 year old is growing... pretty fast. The recent questions from him were:
"Why is the middle finger bad?"
"Sex is either male or female, then why did the person in the movie PK said it is something we do?"
"What is that and why do you use it?" (referring to sanitary pads)
The list is endless.

If you have faced these questions or the like from your child, read on.

My husband has found a very apt solution to handle these questions. Walk away as if the question has disappeared into thin air or he very smartly finds something urgent to do. Good job! Well, his excuse is that since I handle kids of this age all the time in school, I am more adept at handling these situations better than him. Sometimes being not so good at something is also a life saver.

So that leaves me to handle these I-could-do-away-with-these kind of questions.

I had undergone a training programme on Child Sexual Abuse by Enfold and as a part of the curriculum, there was a very interesting discussion on handling such questions from growing kids. I will share here a few very handy pointers told by the trainer, which has helped me immensely.

1. Mostly children ask such questions not for knowledge but to check our comfort in answering the questions. 
Simply put, they just want to test our reactions. Infact, most of the kids will not even wait for the entire explanation. They will soon get bored when they see that we are ready to explain without any discomfort or shyness. So the important thing is controlling your reactions.
When your child asks you an uncomfortable question, the first thing for you to do is NOT SHUN or AVOID them. Never say, "What are you asking me? Leave me alone. Don't say such dirty things".... and so on. What I do is just keep a straight face, keep an eye contact, just nod and listen. This applies to 'all' the questions my child asks.This very reaction tells them we are prepared to answer their questions and they have not surprised us. This puts them under ease. Remember that the child is also going through a gamut of emotions when they ask us something of this genre. They are confused, anxious, little embarrassed.

Remember, mostly children stop asking such things to their parents once they enter teens.

2. Never answer these questions immediately.
This does not mean that you answer the next day. It simply means that you buy a few moments before answering. A simple few things I do is turn around, go and sit on the couch or say 'Let me wrap up what I am doing, so that I can sit with you for this.' This gives me a few moments to think well in my head and come up with the right words. In a need to answer immediately, we may end up giving answers which could give rise to more uncomfortable questions.

There is another reason for this. The children are so anxious to get an answer that they are impatient. Most of the times, they will blurt out what they already know about the topic. So, that will help in framing your own answer. It will help you play around the fence.

3. Do not give over information.
This is the biggest tip the counsellor gave me. She said it is important to know how much the child is already aware. Age appropriate and just the enough information is the key. For that, the best thing to do is to follow point no. 2.

Replaying the situation in which my son asked me: "Sex is either male or female, then why did the person in the movie PK said it is something we do?"

(PK threw googly over googly: Dancing cars, condoms, sex is something we do ... Gosh! It was like playing with fire.)

I was in the kitchen when A came and asked me this. (Yeah... the eye opening discussions happen in my kitchen.) M remembered to respond to his 'important' mail just then. I immediately turned my face away from A to regain composure. (Come one... the least you expect while making Paneer sabzi is your son asking about sex) It also gave me some time to think and wait for him to speak to me more.

I then said, "Yes, sex also means Male or Female. But it also has another meaning." 
A: "Ya, so what is that?
Me: "It also is something humans do to reproduce. 
(I further waited for a while, when I saw him thinking. I did not say another word.)
A: It is something husband and wife do right?
Me: Yes. 
...........Period. (I am waiting for another mind bender)
A: Ok... 
And he hopped away. Wow! Not bad. I thought. 

Precisely at that moment M came back, gave a smirk and said, "May I please bow before you. I could have never done that!"

I think if your child is coming and asking you these questions, you are in the right path of parenting. It simply says that your child is comfortable talking about things which somewhere in his heart he knows is 'different.'

I hope this post helps you to handle such situations better. Happy Parenting :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pretty Me!

Today I came across this video on Facebook. Do have a look here. The reason I liked the video is because it is something I have thought about quite often.

What is that makes us look radiant? Some people say prosperity brings radiance. Some swear by Oh-the-awesome night cream. Oh ya, also the Happiness Sale in Central! If you like to read self help books (I am not much of a fan,, but yes there are a few books which helped me think differently), do read up Happy for no reason - Marci Shimoff. It's a lovely book that I came across when I was going through a rough patch a few years back. It speaks about how one must learn to be happy without looking for reasons.

Women, in particular are taught to take care of themselves. Ever wondered how men can be so callous about their looks...and ever thought how sometimes the gorgeous looking men are unshaved and oh-so-casually dressed. From the time a girl is born, her physical attributes are spoken about and taken care of. I remember one of the incidents shared by a friend of mine. She was coming back from her mother's house, after delivering her daughter. In the flight, she met Shahnaz Hussain. She went over to the 'beauty diva' and asked her just one question: "How do I remove the excess hair on my daughter's body and face?" She was told to massage her baby with ta-da-dum-dum.... and so on.

Have you noticed how some days we look particularly good. The hair is behaving itself, the skin is soft and supple, the abs looks tucked in and the lipstick stays on. And then there are those days, when well, we could just go back right away to sleep and get up the next day. I have had many such days. If I look back and observe, all those days have one thing is common. I have been happy, very happy from within.

Being a single child, I have grown up on a steady diet of friends. They make me happy, and let me be. I guess the worst period of my life was when I had just had my son (first born) and I had lost touch with my social life. I literally had switched off myself and I was at my lowest. Then friends came back, I made new ones, I left behind a few, I let go of a few. Today, I have a good bunch who I know will pick up my calls when I want them to, will hear me banter or bitch when I have got up from the wrong side of the bed. Go ahead... have some of your own. There is never an age for having friends.

Ever had that moment when you had that bite of chocolate or cake or imli and felt utter bliss. That moment when saliva comes oozing out of all the insides of your mouth, and your eyes gets closed as you swallow the food. Go ahead... have those moments more often.

Don't ask a lady her age. And may I ask why?? Age is just a number right? When people shy away from telling their age, I want to shout out loud: Grow up!
Age has got nothing to do with anything in our life which truly makes us happy. My grandmother (you can read about her here) is in her 80s is a mixed bag. On one hand she loves to pray and spend her quite moments with God, and on the other hand she still shops for gold, changes her jewellery often, can make a salesman go crazy while choosing footwear and sarees, eats her chaat-papdi with relish, and loves tandoori chicken. She still massages her face religiously with Vitamin E cream and advises me to do so too. Did I tell you, she looks yummmmm. So go ahead... get old, but stay young. (If you know what I mean) And if someone asks your age, shout it out loud and clear.

Times are stressful, kids are a handful, newspaper is full of news you rather don't read, pollution is on its rise and so is inflation. Back home, that weighing scale just doesn't seem to incline towards the left, the local cake shop continues to make sinful chocolate cakes, children start to fight the moment you pick up the phone, the power goes the moment you decided to make the chutney. But trust me, you will always end up finding something or someone you see and feel: Thank God, I am ME. And that is the moment, my friend... when you look beautiful. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blues of going GREEN

The whole world is going green. I have a few close friends who have inspired me to make some lifestyle changes. One of them is Priti Rao about who you can read here.

Ok, so I am fairly green. I ensure that I carry my cloth bags wherever I go. I switch off all lights and fans if not in use. I also ensure that water is not wasted. I keep buckets under leaking taps. Infact the other day, my kitchen sink mixer tap had been leaking. The plumber was immediately called and he said the entire tap is gone (thanks to the not so friendly hard water) and we will have to purchase a new one. I obviously said ok to that till I heard the cost... 2500 bucks...what!!! The plumber was sent off and I precisely kept a small katori under the leaking tap. This was till yesterday, when I realised that my kitchen is not looking cool enough and I am okay with shelling out 2500 bucks on a stupid tap. I hate inflation.

My kids are always on the move. Ofcourse partly coz they are kids and mainly coz they run around switching off lights and fans in the house. The other day A had switched on the tap to fill hot water (Did I tell you ours is the only house in the whole apartment which has a solar panel), and the poor guy got mesmerized with some cool dance competition coming on TV. Soon enough the water started over flowing. That moment... that life defining moment when my son's and my eyes met and he ran dropping the towel... to close the tap. My dear son was not visible for the next half an hour.

The rule of the house is whoever exits last from a room has to switch off the lights. This rule is taken very seriously by N and A was proven a few days back. I saw N refusing to come out of the room. She kept calling me or her brother.
Me: Why can you not come out?!
N: Because I will have to switch off the light.
Me: So?
N: If I switch off the lights, the ghost will eat me.
She kept staring at with huge wide opened eyes and I felt like a monster!

If there is one thing where I have failed miserably is educating my darling husband. Its truly weird how as soon he enters the house, all the lights of the house comes alive. Can you think of what he did to my green heart when he threw an entire bucket of water because it got filled with cold water instead of hot?!! Don't ask further questions about what happened after that. Well, dinner was eaten silently and water has never ever been thrown after that day.

Shortly after my mother moved in with us and after witnessing my go-green initiatives at home, one late evening I entered into a pitch dark house. I was wondering where everyone is. And then I heard my mother and kids playing in her bedroom. When I wanted to know why the house is dark, she said, "Well, you don't want unwanted lights to be on, right? And we were in my room, so all other lights are off." Seriously, Amma?? I am surely misunderstood by my family.

The latest bug I caught was growing veggies, Well, I was inspired by those who grow their own veggies and I was all gung-ho about it  too. So we drove to the nearest nursery, bought pots, seeds, and all the jazz. I spent a whole Sunday afternoon making my hands dirty and the kids had a ball too. But to my dismay, I realised that my green hand reaches only the electric taps and switches. Growing veggies is not my thing, hats off to those who do it. But I am not cut for it, atleast for now. So till then my local sabzi wala it is.

People who know me are aware how crazy I am about reading. My electronically friendly husband had been after my life asking me to get a Kindle. But I always pushed him saying there is nothing like the smell of a new book and how a book has to be felt and not just read. Then one fine day while dusting my library shelves, I suddenly realised how many trees have been cut for all these papers. The very same evening, Kindle was ordered (much to my husband's delight). And I must add here, I am very happy with my device. I have donated 90% of my books to a library. I have been reading a lot more thanks to free e-books, cheaper e-books and ease of reading whenever and wherever.

I still like to call myself my environmental friendly (who cannot grow veggies). I am trying to do little things if not big ones. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Today morning as I cooked, my son came up to me and said, “You know Amma, J said that he does not want to live anymore.” The meticulous round dosa that I was trying to make now looked a weird oblong. Cooking can wait, I thought. I turned towards him and asked him what he just said. He obviously repeated the same thing.

“But why would he say something like that?” I asked.

Now, if you are wondering who is J, let me tell you that he is my son’s best friend and is 10 years old.
“I know I asked him the same thing! He said we anyway have to die one day, then what’s the point anyway.” My 9 year old muttered.

I was on the verge of giving a dose of gyan session, then I stopped myself. Instead I asked, “What did you say?”

“I said I don’t agree with you J. Life is so exciting. There are so many fun things to do. We have school, friends, games, all the new things our parents buy for us.” His answer followed.

I couldn’t help but smile. All I could manage to say was, “You are right. Life is indeed exciting.”
He soon walked away to drink milk and got ready for school.

It is beyond my understanding how sometimes kids end up saying such magnanimous things and simply walk away. I wish I could get in their heads to know whether they are still thinking about it or it is one of those many things they simply say and forget about.

I have been quite inquisitive about what kids talk among them. Those precious animated discussions that my 4 year old daughter has with her tiny tot friends has made me squirm my ears just enough to hear atleast one word. There have been times when I have asked my son what is that he and his friends talk in length when it rains and they are unable to play football. His answer is mostly monosyllables or maximum… “Just like that…this and that.” And today is when I have come to know that they talk about life and well…. Death! Keeping my fingers crossed, after saying a little prayer I kept myself sane, thinking it could be just a heat of the moment small talk the kids had.

As I was back to making dosas, I wondered about the people who find themselves at that scary, at-the-edge point of their lives, when they no more want to live their lives. At that point, life is not something to be explored, experienced and enjoyed but an end to the means. What could probably help them? A friend, a good advice, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, an empathetic family member, or a visit to an expert?

Long back as a child, our maid’s daughter committed suicide by drinking poison. The reason was that she suspected her husband of infidelity. Deep in her heart she knew and was quite vocal about the fact that she was dark and therefore average looking, while her husband was fair and very handsome. But the point is that just moments before she died, she cried for help. When she saw someone had arrived to help her, she said that she wants to live and maybe it was all just a suspicion. She kept crying that she wanted to see her two young children grow. But it was too late by then. Our maid spent many days after this incident crying how her son in law was really depressed and kept wondering how in the world his beloved wife got that kind of an impression about him.

That incident came flowing into my mind and I pondered what could have helped her? A life that decided to come to a still, a soul whose purpose was achieved, an unfinished life…an answer refused to come to me.

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