Monday, February 28, 2011

My Son…My Blessing

It is said that we do not choose our parents, that a soul has no choice in choosing its family. But there is also another theory that says souls ready to come back to earth choose their parents and a particular family to learn from them and also to teach them. I tend to believe in the latter. I believe my son chose me to be his mother, knowing full well that it would be a tough ride and yet he and I would form an incredible bond of love and understanding. I never planned on having him but he happened to me…

The journey of my life has been laden with strife, pain, heartbreak and abuse. People have come and gone in my life leaving me broken and shattered. Through all this my bundle of joy has been my constant factor. He is the reason for my sanity. I shudder to think of my life had my son not been with me. He is my source of joy, pride, strength and awe. Awe and bewilderment because despite all that he has been through in his tender age, he has turned out to be a smart, intelligent, mature, reasonable and above all a kind, gentle and sensitive kid.

Ron was barely three when one day his father and I were having an argument and he overheard me saying that I was leaving. He came up to me and said “Mummy please take me with you” and I finally did leave with my baby. And so started a road to hell for the two of us that was to last for many years.

There are some men in this world who are so insecure that they have no qualms about competing with a child for the woman’s attention. When I look back I often wonder…did I do something wrong to make them feel that way? I don’t think so. The love of a mother for her child is something so pure and beautiful that it cannot be compared to any other love. And I think some men are incapable of understanding that and that’s what makes them mean, cruel and ugly. They will do and say hurtful things to shake your confidence, to undermine your love for your child. In the process Ron suffered as much as me, in fact much more. He was innocent and defenseless.

My innocent one had to grow up fast. Life was unpredictable, it felt like you were walking on eggs shells, didn’t know when violence, or abuse would strike. Except for me, there was nothing he could call family. His extended family became his friends. Today he has friends everywhere, and they keep in touch no matter what the distance. He loved the time spent with his friends. However underlying his happy times with his friends, his concern for me and his love for me remained. Wherever he was he kept in touch with me. “Mom I will be late”; “I’m home in 5 minutes”; “Mom are you okay?” are some of the many texts he would send me just to make sure I didn’t worry. He does that even today. Before any sleepovers at his friends’ he would make sure I was comfortable, he would go to the lending library to borrow a movie so that while he is gone I am not alone. M y son had become responsible.
Years of unhappiness, abuse and dealing with an alcoholic had taken its toll on me. I was a mere shadow of what I was once. Ron watched me day in and day out trying to cope and save a doomed marriage for a second time…till one day he told me “Mom I’m old now and you don’t have to take care of me all the time. It’s time you give something back to the world, you are so talented. Get a job”. He was 13. My self esteem had taken a real beating, I had to pick up the pieces of my shattered self and take the first tentative step to go out once again into the world outside home. I landed myself a job and my life turned around after that. I became more confident, more assertive and fiercer when it came to protecting my Ron. Our relationship also reached a higher level.

 Today I can talk to my son about everything. We share so much. We cry together as well as laugh till we think we will die laughing, we argue, we sulk, and yet both have no ego when it comes to apologizing to each other. My son actually was instrumental in giving me a new life.

There is a saying “A loved is not the person who understands your happiness but is the person who can guess your sadness before your eyes feel”. Ron is that person. He can read every expression on my face. He senses my tears even before they are shed and I am humbled every time he consoles me. Where did all that wisdom come from? Only god is responsible for that! I have often watched him sleep and wept my heart out. Guilt for having put him through so much and so young! Pain for being the cause of his suffering. Once I had apologized to him, “Baby I am so sorry I have put you through so much in life and all because of my choices. You were helpless; you had no choice but to suffer with me.” To which he replied “Your choice was always mine. I wouldn't want to be anywhere but with you”. I wept.

I can go on and on. Today is a world of text messaging where we communicate so much through text. My son is no exception, like any other kid he is always texting. I have saved some of his sent to me and will cherish them till the end.
(i)                 “I got my award” – he had gone alone to his school in Goa from Guwahati to get his award for being the topper in his 10th board exam. One of my proudest moments when I received that.
(ii)               “Chill out…go have a smoke…you earned one…and don’t worry… if I ever leave…I’m leaving with you” – this was last year after we moved back to stay with my mom. All that Ron knew of his life and friends in Goa, I uprooted. It was a very difficult time for him, adjusting. He would often take off on his own and I would tear my hair out worrying that he would do something rash. That text was his response to my “worried” one that I sent
(iii)             “You rock! Thank you for being so bloody darn awesome!”
(iv)             “Love you, Ma”

And many, many, more….
Ron will be  seventeen soon and I wish him all the happiness that he so deserves. He is the blessing that god had destined for me in my otherwise miserable life. This is a tribute to him. I wish all mothers have a son like him. I love you my son, my blessing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I AM….

I am their Fantasy
That fires their desires
Their hidden longings
They weave their dreams
Around me
But fail to make
Me real.

I am the “What if”
Ponderings of their life
That could have been
But lacking the conviction,
The courage to
 Give it a shape.

I am the Cauldron
Storing their panacea
For heartaches
Handing out magical potions
That makes them whole
Coming back always for more
Leaving me empty.

I am their Muse
Inspiring them to
Break into poetry
Celebrating their life
While all I have
Are sad and broken verses.

I am their Secret
Their thoughts, their desires,
And dreams are mine alone
And yet I am nothing.
While I still seek
The One in whom
Fulfillment will be mine.

Monday, February 21, 2011

From the Ashes…

From the Ashes…

The ashes of their devastation
Swirl around them,
Dark and impenetrable…
The stench of burning flesh
Fill the night
Charred bones stare vacantly
What once had been life
Now lay scattered, cold and dying.
“Free at last from the horrors”
She thinks…
For a moment shackles of what had been
Tie her to him in an uncanny way,
Glimpses of joy and laughter
Of the past bind her.
Caught in a web of compassion
She looks at him,
A star that had once been
Now burnt and fallen,
And sheds a tear…

The world of make belief that was once
Lay shattered around them
Lies, deceit and blame
No longer hold the power
To bleed her…
They lay helpless, torn and twisted.
“Why” she cries out to the swirling darkness?
Silence greets her as she stands alone
Amongst the ravaged rubble.
The carnage of two lives
That had raged and ranted
Has finally died…
Picking up what is left of her soul
She takes one last look at him,
A star that had once been
Now burnt and fallen
And sheds a tear…

The road to another lonely journey
Calls out to her
She has no choice but to
Follow this strife laden new path
To ride storms yet to come.
Broken but not without spirit
She sighs as she trudges
Towards the unknown, the perilous
Holding the innocent hand of her flesh
She braces to face the strife and turmoil of life.
“Help me God” the shattered pieces of her heart
Cry out to the dark sky
The winds carry her prayer
She holds her innocent one close to her.
Remembering him once more,
A star that had once been
Now burnt and fallen,
She sheds a tear…


Has anyone felt that they have been in an abyss, that feeling of sinking deeper and deeper into a black hole with no light in sight? I have been in many such dark impenetrable holes, most were scary experiences, but there was an exception. It was the day my son was born.
He was born on 29th March ’94, eleven days premature. Due to complications I had to opt for having doctors cut me up. The amniotic fluid was slowly dissipating and my baby was getting cramped inside the walls of his home, my womb. The efficient doctors led me on a stretcher to the OT and the anesthetist kept murmuring sweet nothings to me as he injected me with general anesthesia. I don’t know when it took over but before I knew I was plummeting into an abyss, dark and cold. My silent screams did nothing to stop my fall. It was frightening at first but then flashes of thoughts crossed my mind. I was not alone in that dark hole, my thoughts were my company…  but uppermost  was of my baby, waiting to hear the miracle workers from up there to give me news of my baby.
Finally I heard them…. I cannot express the feeling of elation as snatches of conversation filtered down. It was a boy! From what I could gather in that dank hole with its cold walls was that everything was fine, he was a normal baby. I remember thanking god for this miracle. But my happiness was short-lived. The walls came caving in when I heard them give an anxious exclamation. I knew something was wrong and I helplessly prayed at that moment. Please god let my baby be alright.
God did hear my prayers that day in that abyss and my baby turned out to be fine. The problem was with me. They discovered a cyst that had to be operated. So by the time they were ready to sew me up, I was almost out of that abyss. I felt every pain of them stitching me back. My screams were just a silent echo as I held on to my sanity. I knew I had to get out of that hole to see my bundle of joy. When I held him that night in my arms I promised to protect him and love him with my being.
Today this bundle of joy is almost seventeen. He protects me more than I. We have had our tumultuous journey together and we know there will be more to overcome as well smell the flowers along the way. I have come a long way from that abyss, often plunging into deeper ones but that dive into that one on that fateful day is something I will cherish till the end.

Friday, February 18, 2011


It was that awkward stage in my life, a couple of years into my teens when you are so conscious; you feel you are ugly, fat, and not good enough. Your face is just not right, your nose too flat, your smile not pretty enough, your eyebrows too thick and so on. The only people I wanted to be with were my friends because they accepted me for what I was, good, bad and ugly. I would otherwise spend my time locked in my room with my books and music.  Social interaction was alien to me. But my parents thought different. They would encourage me to go out with them visiting friends, relatives, go shopping. Most times I would escape by mumbling some excuse but other times I had no choice but to reluctantly tag along because I didn’t want to disappoint them. My brother being away in a hostel studying medicine escaped these obligations and the onus always fell on me.
It was on such an occasion when we were on our annual visit to Guwahati and staying at my grand mom’s house, my parents decide that I should go shopping with them. I thought of every conceivable excuse but at the end had to relent and accompany them but on one condition that I wouldn’t get out, I would stay put in the car. They agreed. We set out in our car, my parents ignoring my sulking. The day was bright and sunny, the streets were crowded and the shops were buzzing with people. Getting a parking space was a challenge but we were lucky, my dad managed to squeeze the car in a vacant slot. My parents were not happy at all leaving me alone in the car but because we had an agreement, they left me with a lot of forewarning, that I should not leave the car under any circumstances even if some stranger comes and tells me that one of them is hurt. I just wanted to be left alone so I agreed and promised and assured them that I wouldn’t leave the safety of the car. However, before I continue my story I want to tell you what the situat ion in Assam was then. Our state was in turmoil, it was reeling under violence and agitation instigated by power hungry politicians and like minded people for their own selfish gains. We had become xenophobic, villages were burnt and razed to the ground, and families lost their loved ones to death or to the terrorist outfit ULFA. People were discontent, lives had no value, there was extortion for money, kidnapping, murder, you name it we had it. So under these circumstances I found myself sit back in the car to go into my own dream world. My parents’ unease at leaving me alone was understandable under the circumstances.
I had barely relaxed when my dad came hurrying back and very discreetly asked me to get out of the car. I wanted to know why and he said “Don’t look back but there is this man who has been staring at you intently. I noticed him as we left you. He was on the opposite side of the road when I was parking the car but now he is right behind the car and staring at you, I don’t want you sitting here alone.” Fear got the better of me and I didn’t protest, I took my dad’s hand and walked ahead. And he followed us. I didn’t dare turn and take a look at this stalker until he and I came face to face. It was an encounter I remember to this day. We had reached a shop where my mom was waiting anxiously for us and as we stopped this young man walked straight up to me. I cannot forget those haunted eyes. He was a fairly good looking man, must have been in his early twenties. He had no shirt and there was a deep fresh burnt scar on his chest, his trousers were in rags. He kept staring at me with tears streaming down his
face, his lips moved and yet no words formed. I knew he was trying to tell me something but I was too scared to ask him. I moved away and yet he kept coming to me. Seeing my discomfiture the shopkeepers shooed him away calling him a mad man. He may have been mad but more like a very sad man to me. He didn’t go very far and continued looking at me with tears in his eyes.
It is been so many years now but I often think about that young man. Who was he, what was it he was trying to tell me, did I remind him of someone he had lost, was he asking for help? Anything was possible those days with the carnage that was spreading in Assam. I wish I had gathered enough courage to ask him, I wish I were more patient to listen to what he wanted to tell me that day. But I was scared and uneasy and wanted to escape his scrutiny. My parents were very disturbed and all plans of shopping abandoned we left for home. As I w alked back to the car I turned back to have one last look at him, and there he was a lone, lost soul, his tearful eyes following me as we walked away.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I love dogs but my son Ron goes one step ahead – he loves animals. He has been after me since we moved in with my mom, to get a dog. I even searched the net and found adorable pups to adopt but… I had many reasons not to…. We live with my mom who is not fond of dogs, I am at work, and Ron is in school all day so who will look after the pup? I have always had dogs because my father, who is no more, loved them. My dad, my brother and I being dog lovers always outvoted mom when it came to having one in the house.
Just as I was adamant about not having one now, Ron was equally dogged about having one. So one day in the dead of the night while I was sleeping, he heard this lost pup crying across the street. His soft heart couldn’t take it so he brought this poor little baby home. I woke with a start when I heard my son stealthily go to the kitchen to fetch milk for the pup. I didn’t have the heart to tell him to abandon the pup where he found it so we both got a shoe box with some old rags for it to spend the night downstairs, all the time dreading my mom’s reaction next morning. One thing I made it clear to my son that the dog cannot live in the house. Next morning with trepidation I told my mom the story and she very grudgingly accepted the fact that there was a dog to stay. So Scruffy that is his name given by Ron has become a part of our family, sometimes a joy, sometimes a menace…
I must have been about 17, almost Ron’s age now when I had the good fortune to experience something extraordinary with my dog Lassie. I had written about it a couple of years back and the article was also published in a magazine. I want to share it with you. My friend Sulekha and I go back a long way and she has read this article before. I hope you like reading it as much as it has given me pleasure to share it…

Once Chance In A Lifetime
My brother and I always aspired to be doctors. While he stuck to his goal to become one, I somewhere along the way gave up on it. It was mainly because of the frequent visitor that I was to hospitals, being accident prone. Every second month I would be dragged to the hospital for some stitch or the other! So my dream to become a doctor someday died as I grew up. But someone up there had heard my wish and I did get my one chance to don the mantle of a quack!

We had an Irish setter called Lassie, a ferocious bitch who guarded us with snarls and barks. Though a pure breed, she decided to fall in love with a handsome black Labrador (her neighbor) and start a family of her own. In her canine parlance he must been the ideal tall, dark and handsome guy she could have as her soul mate! It was the peak of summer and I remember all of us preparing her to bring her babies to this world. We did up her kennel which was in our garage (Mom had put her foot down about Lassie having her babies inside the house). Lassie may have appreciated all our earnest efforts but she was one stubborn bitch. She had already set her eyes on delivering her young ones inside the house and so it happened!

The big day came and she sneaked under our parent’s bed. The room was air-conditioned and she settled in there. Anybody, including my dad who tried to bring her out came face to face with bared teeth. Having no choice I crawled under the bed and kept vigil. She didn’t mind as she was comfortable with me. I will never forget that magical moment. Life of any kind is a miracle and to assist in bringing forth a life is a humbling experience. Lassie’s bag burst! And as she pushed, I watched with awe and pulled out one tiny wonder after another. There were six of them, blind as bats but struggling to move. Animals don’t have a doctor, a nurse or an attendant to clean up the mess after babies are born so God has taught them to clean up on their own. They eat their own placentas and lick their babies clean.

Lassie did just that while I watched dumbstruck. Once a mother, any species protect their little ones with an unmatched ferocity but I think for Lassie I became the trusted one.  She allowed me to carry her pups to the intended delivery room, closely following behind and it was here for the next one month I took on the role of a pediatrician, where no one dared venture near her or her pups, except for me.
Today Lassie is no more and all her little ones, I am sure are also grandparents, but I will always remember that special moment which she and I shared. My brother is the gynecologist in the family today and I am just an ordinary woman. While my brother experiences these magical moments everyday when he delivers human babies, I too can say that I got a chance once in this lifetime to experience one such magical moment because my Lassie had placed her trust in me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In his dreams

She comes to him
In his dreams now…
Ethereal, waiflike
A warm sensation
Almost real and yet intangible

As she kisses his lips
Her long tresses
Cascade over his
Slumbering self
He breathes in her
Familiar scent,
Remembering those times
When he would
Soak his face in them

He responds to her lips
With every fiber of his
Body tingling…
Drinking in the sweet
Nectar of her mouth
The thought crosses
His mind again…
No woman kisses him
Like she does

She whispers in his ears
Her warm breath
Fanning his neck
He groans with
Unleashed pleasure
Remembering those moments
When she would
Tease him…
 Her tongue exploring him
Arousing in him passions
Alien to him.

He wants her
Body and soul
And she surrenders
To his hungry desire.
As their limbs
Seek one another
He knows he would always
Belong in the arms of this
Illusive creature

They dance in unison
To the rhythm of their love
As one
All senses alive
They reach their crescendo…
He wakes in sweat
His heart still beating
He reaches out for her
She is gone…
She was only a dream
Leaving an emptiness
In his heart, his life.

With a long sigh
He turns on his side
And watches his woman
Sleep in his bed, by his side
This is his truth…
While she visits him only
In his dreams now…

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Them and her…

They sat holding hands….
The crackle of the fire
Warming their cold bones…
Their gnarled fingers intertwined,
A testimony of a life of
Togetherness, of a life fulfilled.
Their silence like music
Soothe their hearts.

His salt and pepper hair
Now snowy white
Shine in the glowing ember.
She wants to slide her fingers
Through the silvery strands
But doesn’t….
Gestures like this no longer,
A proof of her steadfastness.

His still twinkling eyes behold
Her with love and affection
Many a storm has
Come and gone
But they have stood
Their ground.
Like pillars they
Have held their legacy together.

His angelic smile warms
Her content heart
As they gaze into
Each other’s soul.
Ensconced in their world
Their journey of life
Began and will end
As one, bonded forever.

She sits huddled
Close to her fire.
Her old, weary, cold bones
Seeking the only warmth
Left to her
The other woman….
Worlds separate them
Loving him yet lost to him always.

Her crop of silvery strands
Too shines in the burning light
Stooped and alone
She sits reminiscing….
The spring of love
That had welled in her
Now lies dried and dead….
A memory only….

Her smile still lights
Her lined face,
But tinged with melancholy.
His promises, his words
Still beating in her heart
“Love me and await,
I promise I will come to you”
His words reverberate….
Remaining a refrain in her life.

She waited by the
Door of hope…
Hoping against hope
But it stayed shut
Only silence echoed…
A silence that clamored
For a resolution…
That never came.

Shivers wrack her tired frame
As flashes of emotion
Surge like lightening…
His laughter, his smile.
His deep voice with
His tender words
“Not right now baby….”
But the line remains
It stays suspended
In the passage of time.

He abandoned her
His other woman…
To uphold his legacy, his woman
As she died and
Shriveled inside
With emptiness
Residing forever in her heart.

They had met at a crossroad
Their paths crossing briefly
Love swept them away
The deluge of emotions racing in their veins
Blinding them…
Till conviction came calling….
Their parallel lives
Had no meeting point
He tries to explain…
While her love groped and
Groveled in the darkness
Of uncertainty
And withered away
Lost in this journey forever….


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our journey

Our Journey

Someone said “love happens”.
 Love happened to me…..
You tiptoed into my loveless life
 Knocking on the door to my soul,
 My lost, ignorant soul…
Beckoning you into the deep recesses
 Of my numb, dead heart
Something in you awakened me…
A stirring, a familiar tug of my heart.

Days became an anticipation,..
Waking up with a song in my heart
The deluge of passion and intensity
Swept away agonies of a yesterday.
Drinking in every word, every sigh
Intoxicated and heady
Life took on a magical hue.
The smile that was lost
In the darkness of my heart
Spread its wing to soar once more.

Seeking the one, my soulmate
In every face that crossed my lonely path
I have stumbled and faltered.
Many a journey was embarked
Only to abandon…
And yet we met when all was lost
You belonged to another…
We sought to walk the mile
Strewn with tears and laughter
Our heart as one…
Tasting the salty tears of futility
I walk with you my love
With no destination in sight.