Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Last Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,

When I got up today morning, I had a faint suspicion that today something was gonna go dreadfully wrong. I have had this feeling on so many days in the past, so just as I did on those days, I chanted the "Gayatri Mantra" a few times in my mind and set about to start my day.

Today was not like the other days that had passed uneventfully and peacefully. Today when Mom called me on the phone, I knew that this time was not like the other times. This time what I dreaded and hoped would never happen, happened. We lost you today Dad.

You never ventured near the computer or the Internet while you were with us, I hope they give you the Internet on the newspaper there, cause then I am sure you will read my last letter to you.

I have seen snaps of you holding me when I was young. I remember a particular snap with you in a white shirt with black dots looking down at me and smiling. I remember the stories you told me about how we used to go to see Mom in hospital when Prabal was about to be born. Me in a raincoat standing in front, with you driving your Lamberetta scooter.

In fact the earliest memories I have of you are you coming to pick us from school on that same scooter. You were always late Dad.....always. Well at least that gave us a chance to buy sweets from the small shop next to the school gate. I remember we used to go for picnics on that same scooter. The four of us. And remember, I always sat on the carrier behind and you even skidded the scooter once and we all had a great fall.

I remember you telling us that when you were younger, the girls complimented you for your Italian good looks. I am sure Dad.....where else do you think I have got my good looks from?

I remember how you used to comb you hair for ages just to make sure your puff looked just right. You used to stand in front of the mirror and admire your dimples. I remember the songs you used to sing to get us to sleep.

Dad if I have to describe you, I need just two words. A fighter and a complete family man. Your last fight with the long illness of more than 15 yrs shows the will you had to live life. The will was to see us settled, for us to have our children and for you to play with them. I don't remember a single occasion when I heard you say that you did not want to live anymore.

We know that even after you had your first and second attack in Port Blair and even while you were in ICU you clearly instructed us that we would stay on in PB till we both finished our 12th and got admissions in good colleges. That was how much you valued you family.

I remember the first time when we actually went out as friends was when we went to Allahabad and you dropped me to college. We had lunch of tandoori chicken and thumbs up and then we went to college. You told nearly everyone you met to take care of me and for the first time I saw you cry as we said good bye. I hope you are not crying now Dad, as this time the bye is really for good. I didn't cry then but I am crying now.

You loved your meals at a nice restaurant occasionally. It had to had to be only butter chicken and naan. We always forced you to try something else, but you never gave in. I wish we could have a meal together now Dad, and this time I will order the butter chicken and naan for you.

You loved to watch a movie before that. I know how keenly you were waiting for "My Name is Khan". The movie is running now Dad.....Can we see this movie together? We always fought on who would buy the tickets and whether there was any point in seeing it in a PVR. I will buy the tickets Dad and we will go to Delite like you always wanted.

The gol gappa wala at gole market really looks forward for your visit. Whenever I went there alone without you, he asked me "Babuji kahan hain?" I always told him "Jaldi aayenge, khatta paani peene ka man karege toh aayenge". I wish I could give him the same answer now Dad.

I am lucky I bought myself a new cellphone just in time. Although you did not appreciate the colour (Koi acha pink, blue nahi tha kya?) it sure has a good calendar and scheduler. I will need it now as you will no longer remind me when my LIC premium or house installment is due. Dad you did that for Mom, Prabal and me. I always wondered how you managed it. I remember I also coaxed you into paying the installments for me sometimes.

I feel bad now that you had to lure me into coming home to see you. "Samit, Mummy ne aaj tasty chicken curry banaye hai....aake kha le". Why did you never say "Samit come home, Iwanna see you". I hate myself for not coming home often enough to sit with you and talk to you.

In spite of not being too well you wanted to go out and visit places with your family. I know you used to tell Mom, I can go anywhere in the world if my sons are with me.

Finally Dad, I hope U had a satisfying and fulfilling life. You got your sons settled and married, you have a lovely grandchild. You have ensured our Mom has all the worldly conveniences. I hope there were no dreams unfilled except the one or two I know about.

Dad please rest in peace coz I will fulfil them.

Thank You Dad for loving us all so much. Thank you for making us the stand on our feet and for being there every step of the way. Thank you for everything.

Your loving son


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Many faces of Love

1992 - 93 - 94

He was in class XI. Final exams around the corner. If he passed he would move on to class XIIth and then boards and then degree college followed by a job and then marriage. Only the last part interested him and that was what was precisely on his mind as he stared at the other end of the class.

Hair tightly tied into two plaits neatly held in place with red ribbons. A plain neatly ironed school uniform, white socks pulled up nearly to the knees and shining black shoes. He found her the most beautiful girl in the world. He had been staring for a few hours now, and for months before that...Yes HE WAS IN LOVE.

He had spent hours drafting love letters and tearing them up....he was good at Mathematics....she used to go for tutions...He enrolled for the same classes and stared some more there. He would translate the Maths lessons into Hindi and wrote them down and then passed it on to her...hoping she would understand now...

He lay awake at nights wondering if her lips were pink or red??? Did she even notice him? Did she know he existed? He thought their eyes met in class last month....did that actually happen?

He wrote her name followed by his surname and stared at it for hours each day.

He told her he loved her at least a million times a his mind.....

It may not have been love in the true sense but it definitely was a strong attraction....and only one sided. She did not feel anything for him.


His marriage was fixed.....

A lot happened in between but she was the same girl...

The pig tails had been replaced by flowing bouncy hair. The school uniform with flowing dresses and the shoes with high heels.....Now that the marriage was fixed, she noticed him, smiled at him and he told her he loved her.

They would go on looooong drives and he would hold her hand all the way. They would listen to songs on the car stereo and sang together. The sat the whole day at Buddha Jayanti park. He kept looking at her and cooked up excuses to touch her, hold her hand, give her a hug.

During the courtship, when she was at her parents place, he would beg his mother "Mom after 11 the STD rates are one fourth, can I please speak to her for the whole night once???"

He told her she was beautiful every time he saw her. He used to open the car door for her each time she got in. He never got irritated with her and was always willing to listen to her stories. In fact he wanted her to keep talking so he could just sit and look into her melting eyes.

The love had increased but still had a long way to go. He showed his love more than he actually did.


He is still the same and so is she. The only thing that has changed is the time they have been married.

He loves her now. In the real sense of the word. He makes sure that she is always comfortable. If she wants something he gets it for her. He hugs her and sleeps at night. He cant sleep without her. He still teaches her....

He comes back home from office and looks forward to sitting with her and share the happenings of the day gone by. He loves going for long walks with her. He cries silently when she is unhappy. He prays for her happiness.

He gives her space. He loves it when she goes to meet her friends and comes back smiling. He loves taking her on holidays. And she loves him back..with conviction and in a way only a woman can.


He hardly tells her he loves her.

He never holds her hand when they drive.

Rather than singing together, they argue in the car.

Buddha Jayanti park has become a cheap place now.

He stopped opening the car door for her long back.

He gets irritated often and dosent look into her eyes when they talk.

The love has grown.....but when and why did he stop showing it?

Authors note: All unmarried people may come back and read this post a few years after marriage. It just might make sense then

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Auto Expo 2010

Delhi is a great place.......apart from the fact that I was born here......its got fairs and expos....things which I love to go to.......Trade fairs I never miss and this time I decided to go for the 10th (I think) Auto Expo......

Now as brought out above.....I was born in Delhi, which makes me an Indian......and Indians don't have the word "Tickets" in their dictionary. So being a true Indian, I ignored the phenomenon called tickets and sought out on my mission to manage FREE PASSES.

Lots of phone calls.....texts......mails.....but no luck. After all India has a huge population and all Indians have the right to free passes. Lots of friends started avoiding my phone calls, acquaintances started ignoring my calls......But I like these times....fair weather friends are sifted out from the real friends.....and at the end of the day U can figure out who are the people you can really count on. Nothing against anyone, but all I expect is take my call and say "Sorry dude, cant manage passes".....Don't just ignore the calls.

Anyway, there is this sweet friend....bechari was doing duty at the auto expo and somehow she managed to get me two for me and one for the wife....who surprisingly wanted to go along (though I have doubts about what she was more interested in....the cars or the food). So God bless this friend.....May she keep managing passes for me all her life.

Very prudently, I had decided to go to Pragati Maidan on my bike in spite of the chilling winter. I had suspected there were going to be traffic snarls. Forget cars, there was no parking even for my bike. Luckily I spotted the supreme court parking and parked my bike there on the sly. There was a huge traffic jam and even crossing the road on foot to approach Gate No. 7 was a mammoth task. After dodging a few cars and jumping over the bonnet of one, we were within sight of the gate. The snaking queue there was daunting enough for us to have second thoughts about entering the expo. Finally after a few shoulder pushes and elbow jabs, with my wife protected in front of me we managed to enter the gates.

As expected, it was mayhem....people and more people were all over the place.....long queues at each pavilion....I wanted to go to the BMW and Audi pavilion and the wife wanted to go the food courts.....There was no point arguing though...Both were equally inaccessible. We decided to try one of each.

The BMW pavilion had a serpentine queue....we braved our way in......We cud see the cars standing in the distance and each had a heavily made up and scantily clad model with it. The huge crowd was clicking away to glory. Some were clicking the cars, most were clicking the legs. I was interested in neither specially from this distance. So we pushed our way out and decided to try the food court. The crowd was as much there.....and the claustrophobia got to us.....

The only thing left now was to try and figure out the way back to Gate No 7.....that was what took us about an hour.....The auto expo as such had taken us only about half an hour.....and so in all of about one and a half hours we were back to where we had smartly parked our bike.

So at the end of it, I was glad I had acted Indian and managed passes and not wasted precious money just to make a huge effort to get into Pragati Maidan and a larger effort to get out.