Baggage of dreams

It was his first TEDx speech.

He rehearsed for yet another time on the way to the venue. A lot of people knew about his achievements already. This was his chance to let them know the story behind it – the pain and hardships he had to undergo to make it happen.

“Not every seedling becomes a tree! Dreams don’t just fructify out of thin air. They need intense effort, discipline and dedication. They need a lifetime of sacrifice. Stuff that people with broken spine simply cannot manage.” He looked at himself in the mirror in the car and felt a sense of pride creep into the corner of his lips. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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?”

Continue reading

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

Being daddy!

She invades your personal space like no one else can. Yet, you don’t mind it.

She shares her fear of monsters and expects you to slay them. You hug her hard, for you were responsible in bringing her to this big bad world!

Her world is filled with good rabbits and bad wolves. Beanstalks that grow to the sky and ogres taller than trees.

And princesses locked up in castles!

It hurts you no end that the rescuer is always a prince in shiny armour. Not daddy!

There’s only one man in her life. Daddy. You think, wishfully.

One day, she will be out seeking a new man of her choice. You have to let go!

Relationships are hard and messy. Yet, being a daddy to your little girl is special. You’ll do it again without batting an eyelid.

Anything is fine!

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Every Sunday, I visit her at a long term care home.

Looking into her eyes, sometimes, it feels like looking into a deep well that leads to nothingness!

That is not how I know her!

I know her as a strong minded single lady who became the 2nd woman Tahsildar in Ooty. As the kind aunt who pampered me a lot – those expensive lunches (for those days) at Shinkows and Spencers in Ooty and outrageously priced toys at Chellarams and Mohans! The warmth of her love and affection above it all!

Or, frustratingly, as the lady who picked battles that didn’t make sense (to me) – like spending all her savings on a 40 year case that went nowhere. There were a lot of things we didn’t see eye to eye on, and quarrelled often for. Yet, we had a strong bonding.

She was always very involved. She gave it all. Once she was in, she was all-in. No half-measures! People were bad or good, things were right or wrong. Black or white, grey didn’t exist.

On November 25th, she was found unconscious and was rushed to hospital. A massive stroke left her motionless on one side of her body and more importantly, robbed her off her emotions.

Those very emotions that I have come to see as my aunt – having largely accepted her flaws as time has passed. I miss those.

It feels strange. She is alive. Yet, I miss her. I miss those emotions – those fights, those warm weekly calls, those arguments on yet another lawyer bill.

The last 3 months have been stressful, but time heals everything. I am now thankful that we had our moments. I don’t pray for anything – I can embrace anything. If she disappears into oblivion never recovering from her state, she will be just fine. I will be too. If she recovers and embraces me with all her being, that is fine too. Things can get bad, painful and sorrowful – that is fine too! Or better, that too, is fine!

Anything is fine. These two months, I have learned to remove expectations. That helps!

At the risk of misinterpretation by someone, I quote my opinion on life.

To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.
Like an olive that ripens and falls.
– Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)