Archive for April, 2007


Sand Dunes

Have you ever taken the time to sit and watch a child playing in the sand? Watch if you will, the effort with which he will gather up sand and build it up into a pile that for him is his castle of dreams, his world. And inevitably watch how nature would conspire to blow it away so that all the child is left to remind him of what he had are the few particles that stick to his hand. The mouth trembles, the hand clenches to hold on to emptiness and the eyes go wide with unshed tears. And yet before the tears escape, a hand will come, gentle and safe and pull the child up into a haven of reassurance and comfort and give the courage to keep on dreaming.

This week I lost one of those hands that held me when the world trampled over the castles that I used to build. He became a part of the sand, who in some way taught me how to make the moments stand out bright gleaming gold, even as the sands of time slip away through my fingers so that when I look at my hands, I have memories that sustain me.

I just can’t believe that my ‘Daddy ji’ is now just one of those memories. In the film that plays across my mind of Daddy ji taking a gaggle load of cousins on picnics, of playing cards, of long late night sessions of haa haa hee hee at weddings, are now pictures that I never dreamed I’d see. Daddy ji lying still in a hospital bed with doctors trying to revive him, watching my Papa cry when the doctors told him there was no hope and it would be more dignified, and even kinder to let his elder brother go, and myself standing there at the end, stubborn and mute watching the doctors remove the pump that kept Daddy ji’s heart beating, seeing the ECG go flat…

I know he’s at peace now. One only needed to see his face when they brought him home to know that, but right now the pain of the loss is too fresh, too real to take comfort in it. On a purely selfish level, it is the sheer fragility and non-dependability of human life that seems to have left me numb. This is it. This is what we are so proud of. Our accomplishments, our entire worldly possessions, relations, issues come down to this when we are lowered into the earth by other hands. Here one moment, gone the next.

Last Wednesday, my biggest concern was wishing that I could somehow delay submitting my research paper due that day. Had I but known I’d get my wish before the day was done because my Daddy ji was no more….

Bich’hra kuch iss tarha say keh rut hi badal gayi
Ek shakhs saarey sheher ko weeran kar gaya

You will be very, very sorely missed Daddy ji…


Blogword No. 39: Sure

There is nothing in life that one can be sure of except death.


Hum Jo Tareek Raahon Mein Maare Gaye

Tere honton ke phoolon ke chahat mein hum

Daar ki khushk tehni pe waare gaye

Tere haaton ki sham’on ki hasrat mein hum

Neem tareek raahon mein maare gaye

… Qatl-gaahon se chun kar humara alam

Aur nikleinge ushaaq ke qaafle

Jin ke raah-e-talab se humare qadam

Mukhtasar kar chale dard ke faasle

Kar chale jin ki khaatir jahan geer hum

Jaan gunwa kar teri dilbari ka bharam

Hum jo tareek raahon mein maare gaye

– Faiz Ahmed Faiz –

There are days when something in another’s world, in another’s life takes you back to a past you thought you had left behind only to realize the memory of it is still there, stronger than perhaps the reality.  Just the thought that you had been there makes all the old hurts and all the fear fester and bleed, surrounding you in dark, cloying darkness that makes it so hard to breathe…

April 2007