Tangled

Should I do it? Would I be able to live with the guilt? I kept thinking.

My mind wandered to the day when I first met her.

I work as a consulting neurologist and movement disorder specialist here. It would have been just another day in the hospital, but for this particular case.

Adhira was referred to me by our neurology resident Dr Kumar.

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Walking away from a wrong table

Several times in life, I’ve sat at the wrong table and waited for things to get better. A wrong job, a bad investment, a bad industry… to list a few. Talk about table selection and I’ve made all mistakes one could!

2 years in a job I hated. 3 years with a significant investment I wasn’t sure about. 2 years in an industry that I knew would take me nowhere.

I waited.

Nothing really happened!

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The bank loan

Part I

I received a memo from head office today. It makes me nervous.

They have marked Surya homes private limited as a red-flagged account and have asked me to prepare a report for the Central Fraud Monitoring Cell.

Making it worse is the fact that this case will be directly reviewed by our Deputy General Manager, Mr Bharat, a long-timer in the bank known especially for his honesty. Continue reading

திருடன் – a short story

“ஏன்டா! உனக்கு இதெல்லாம் தேவையா? படிச்ச பையன் தானே நீ!”

“இல்ல சார், இந்த ஒரு தடவ விட்டுருங்க சார், தெரியாம பண்ணிட்டேன்!”

“என்னடா தெரியாம பண்ணிட்ட?! விசயத்த பாத்தா ரொம்ப ப்ளான் பண்ணியில்ல செஞ்ச மாதிரி இருக்கு? இதுக்கு முன்னாடி மாட்டியிருக்கியா?”

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The fortune cookie

A sketch by my daughter that actually inspired this story (and perhaps this post)

“You’ll soon be with someone you truly love,” her friend read the fortune cookie aloud after snatching it from her.

She tried to smile, but her inability showed as she snatched it back and stashed it away. She turned her face towards the window and wiped a silent tear. They all turned silent. Continue reading

The circle of life

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As I take pictures of her, I’ve realised that it is not about her. It is about me.

It is about the memories we’ve shared. The times when she’d take me to Mohan’s or Chellaram’s or Higginbotham’s and buy those things dad would not. The times when she’d sit at her large desk in Collector’s office as the Tahsildar and I’d feel proud visiting her.

I realise it is about my childhood. She was my angel in that period. The person who I could go to for anything and receive undivided attention.

It is also the realisation that our relationship peaked in 1990s and has somewhat declined ever since.

Adolescence took me in a direction away from home. To look good in the eyes of outsiders, who I didn’t even know, mattered more than those at home. And adulthood took me in a different direction away from home too. The pursuit of things and the pressure of creating a career took me away from them.

It is very easy for me to repay all of that in money and kind. However, I cannot repay that in ‘time’. The ‘time’ she (or dad or mom) spent with me, I can never repay. The only way I can do it is by paying-it-forward.

By spending more time with my kids.

And I know my kids will spend less time with me one day. They will probably spend more time with their kids. That is life.

Sisters

We brought her home 2 days after her birth.

I was anxious. What does this do to our first girl? She’d shown signs of feeling neglected when Amma couldn’t spend time with her in hospital.

When we went shopping for the baby, she kept asking, ‘who are you getting these for?’. I got her a few toys and pretended like we were really shopping for her.

Mama’s time was now split and she probably realised things would change. And cried about it. I felt sorry for her.

Surprisingly, she warmed up to the baby very quickly. That night, she went close to her and caressed her feet. I took the baby and gently gave it to her. She held her for a while, very carefully.

“Appa, she’s sooo small,” she said.

I nodded my head, lost in my own thoughts.

Grandpa

Grandpa!

The only person who can give her completely undivided attention!

When she’s in Shimoga, grandpa’s orbit shifts around her. From taking her on his morning walk to having breakfast together, from having his staple evening masala dosa  to watching kannada plays and yakshaganas, from visiting friends to even taking her to medical council meetings… they literally spend all the time together.

Few days later, we return to Bangalore. He calls eagerly to talk to her.

“Tell him I’m busy,” quips she, cuddling her toys!