The day that changed my life forever!

4 Feb 2016. 2.43 PM. The moment that changed my life, forever. The moment he announced his arrival wailing so loudly that it woke me up from my subdued state and replaced the frown of anxiety with a huge plastered grin on my face.

But before that, let’s rewind some glorious moments that I experienced before the tiny being decide to show up.

For all the nine months I was petrified that I wouldn’t know how a contraction would feel like. I was always paranoid of being wheeled into the OT just because I missed listening to the signs that would lead to his arrival. I am generally an anxious being, the doctor would swear by it. I pestered them with queries and confusions on every visit. All the consulting sessions did mostly end with a “what happened if” query and the doctor subtly telling me “we’ll see when that happens, for now you and the baby are perfectly fine” Talk about paranoia! Hmph!

So finally when the time came, I was hit by a force that I wouldn’t have ever imagined. So now I know what a contraction was! Unexplainable. I went to the hospital. Apparently it wasn’t time yet! Until you can bear it, it isn’t time yet, yes that’s the nurses’ version! The kicks were getting stronger and frequent before an adamant me dragged Mr husband to the hospital again, in the middle of the night!

I went to the hospital thrice before the doc was convinced about admitting me! The little excited being was dancing and kicking in all glory inside giving me all the contractions I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of! Seeing his eagerness, the doctor, wasn’t keen to wait further. She burst the water bag, giving him cue to start coming out. A normal check up in the morning and before I know, the nurses informed me that the kid will be out before evening! Was I prepared? Not remotely! The whole 9 months I knew this day was near but nothing ever gave me the fright that morning did! The adrenaline rush and the nervous excitement didn’t let me think straight! Was it painful? Let’s say I would give a mouthful to anyone who would instruct me to stay calm! Mr Husband was subject to maximum of my yells.

Finally after 6 hours of being admitted and a whole 20 hours of contractions, he was here! The one who is sent purely for teaching me what responsibility is! The little life that lies beside me, with those tiny fingers and toes, pink lips and a button nose is here to teach me what patience is. And also what unconditional trust and love means. How can a person give you smile amidst all the pains and screams and how you would want nothing but to hold the bundle in your arms!

Let’s get your hands together for my baby, Yug!

PS: it took me over 4 months to introduce him, but the bunch of awesomeness that he is, took his own sweet time to let the overwhelmed feeling subdue before I could pen down his arrival!

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An ode to the thankful life I lead…

Hello all! The blog sees me after almost half a year. But I am very much here. A silent reader and a hidden lurker. There was so much happening with me in the past year that I was too overwhelmed to pen it down. The year was the most eventful year in my life, to say the least.

Last year showed me what destiny means when my brother emerged as a winner after battling a near fatal accident. Nights and nights of praying and crying made me believe strongly in what karma is, like never before. And now,when I see him living life fully as he always used to do… The days in hospital seem like a long ago nightmare. But the memories are always there, haunting and making you shudder. Guess that is something which will always push us to live each day fully, as you’re never aware what tomorrow has in store. I tend to turn a little philosophical when I remember those days. Nonetheless, a year to that day, and we are here, smiling as ever before, counting our blessings and thanking our stars.

Last year the accident also coincided with me conceiving a little life. Almost a fortnight after the dreadful day, I came to know I was carrying a little miracle inside me. Initially the news swept me off my feet. Now I knew that all those days of backaches and fatigue weren’t just due to the frequent hospital visits, but due to the pregnancy too! The exhilaration was soon replaced by dread as I was paranoid that the depressing nights and constant bouts of worrying may have adversely affected the foetus. That was the first thing I asked the doctor! To my relief she said that I was in very early stages of pregnancy during the phase and the kid would be out of danger from those events.

Then began the most exciting phase of my life. I had an awesome pregnancy with all the pampering i received and the happiness seeing my brother recovering at a great speed. My first kid and the kid inside me, both were the major contributors of my happiness in the year gone by. Nine months passed in a haze with all the cravings satisfied, eating without a care of bulging like a football, discovering the strength I never knew my body contained and giving birth to a little bundle of joy I ever believed I could love more than myself. 

There was a little twist during my pregnancy as well. As they say, what’s life without a little spice. There was the brother’s wedding scheduled which almost coincided with my delivery due date. I kept on rolling my eyes thinking about what perfect timing is when my to-be kid is always coinciding with major events in my brother’s life…their paths kept on crossing even before he was born! Nevertheless, the optimistic soul that I sometimes am, I went ahead and stitched myself a beautiful princess outfit for the brother’s wedding. Of course, I knew that I might not get to wear it at all if the baby has a plan to welcome the world early! Also, if I did get to wear it, I would very much look like a whale, owning to the huge belly! Nonetheless too excited that I was, I went ahead! And surprise surprise! Not only did I get to attend the wedding, but I was even looking as a pretty (pregnant) princess if I can say so for myself! The glow that the little one inside me gave me was unmatchable!

5 days after the wedding, We welcomed our son through a normal delivery and I was over the moon. The contractions were difficult, but labour was fairly simpler. For all the expecting first time mommies out there, our body has an amazing ability that actually makes you enjoy childbirth! All you need is conviction and loads of will power! Of course, a super awesome spouse and a great family makes things easier by leaps! 

So, here’s a big thank you and a shout out to the blessed life we live! Everyone of us has problems and situations to deal with … But when we sit and count our blessings, we will know we have much more than others can just dream of! 

On that note, I hope to return to the consistency of the blog I once had! 

Posted in A Toast to Life, Chapters of Life | 7 Comments

As the year ends….

… I come back for the last post of the year after a looooong hiatus! Eons later, when I want to recollect about the most momentous year in my life….I have to have it documented somewhere! And when it comes to documenting, there’s nothing better than one of my loves – my dearest blog which I have easily managed to ignore for some months now.

Giving myself some relief from the grief of not posting on my beloved blog, I might blame my pregnancy brain acting against my interests! Yes! I am on my way to mommy hood and have had zero inclinations to write a post and do anything remotely connected to blogging. Even reading books has slowed down because I simply don’t feel like doing it! I so wanted to scream when Paris was subjected to attacks, wanted to shriek in disgust when Salman Khan was acquitted in the hit and run case, wanted to yell when they found the dead body of Alan Kurdi, wanted to offer condolences and more about the Chennai Floods…all this and more…but I didn’t! I kept praying and even killing some people in my head, but my rants had subdued, I couldn’t bring myself to document these events on my blog. I couldn’t care less to let people know my opinion. I am even finding it a little difficult to muster up the will to write this one! But still, here we go….

There has to be more than one highlight to this year!  The first one being the awesome recuperation of The Brother after the near fatal accident and other one being my pregnancy. Coincidently, both of it happened at the same time. And these are more or less the happenings that made 2015 the most significant year of my life till date. And before my pregnancy brain messes up with this post, I am going to stick on to both of these exactly.

The Brother’s accident was the most horrific event that I have personally witnessed in this lifetime. I have even published a time travels series on that. It still manages to make me shudder and cry when I re read those. But what makes me strengthen my belief on Karma and destiny is the way he has recuperated. My fighter!! It took months of patience and love from the family to make him emerge as strong as he was before. But as they say, all’s well that ends well.

As I was shuttling between the hospital for The Brother and back home, a tiny little thing had entered my body and was starting a life. But unaware about anything else except the brother’s health, I had let myself overcome by grief. Wallowed in self-pity and prayed for some divine intervention to give me back my brother as he was before. All this was fairly heard by the little guardian angel inside my womb and before we could confirm the pregnancy, the Brother was discharged and was home.

Still, paranoid as I always am, I began worrying about whether the depressing thoughts and the constant crying would have hurt the foetus taking life in my womb. But the doctors were more than optimistic about my baby being perfectly fine since it was the initial stages of conception. This is just the reassurance I needed and coupled with the recovery of The Brother, made my year almost perfect.

One thing I have majorly learnt is not taking life for granted and counting my blessings thoroughly. Mr Husband has been my pillar of support in all these trying times and I am more than thankful about having him around. He is the one of the major reasons I haven’t lost my sanity this year. A man of few words, but awesome actions, he is the life support system I am proud to have. Of course, having an awesome family helps too! All the while, from battling life during the hospital visits to enjoying all the adulation and pampering during the course of my pregnancy, you know you are lucky when you have a family sharing sorrows and doubling happiness around!

2015 was indeed a teacher. And as 2016 starts off with the brother’s wedding and my entrance to parenthood, I am sure it’s going to be one hell of a year! Let the unknown remain unknown and wait for the shocks and surprises this year unfolds. After all, life is all about having to deal with drama and waiting for happy endings!

Lo and Behold, 2016, I await your arrival!

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To Ban or Not to Ban

Too much is already said and done about the ban and against it. The Ban of meat for 4 days during the Jain festival – Paryushan. Someone feels it’s OK to appease Jainism by banning these foods because other religions are appeased by granting some favors as well. And other illiterates are displaying extreme ugliness by cooking chicken outside Jain places of worship. Ugh! MNS…how can you be so insensitive?!

I never felt the ban was correct in the first place. The Mira-Bhayandar court should have know better. I am a proud Jain myself. But Paryushan never meant imposing Jainism on others. Jainism is one of the religions that preaches the live and let live policy fervently. Moreover, the ban did not serve the purpose of saving innocent animals. For once you can never get meat lovers abstain from non vegetarian food. They may use packed and processed meat and store them for days on end. If not, the massacre of the animals will be on a huge scale after the ban is over, to satiate the need of the 4 days missed. In any case the animals will be slaughtered.

Also, it does no good to affect the livelihood of the butchers, many of who are living hand to mouth. A 4 day ban on the sale of their products might affect their financials to a considerable extent. They may bounce back with a vengeance unknown, to cover their losses. Because, of course the excess collections in the Jain temples these days will not be donated for the butchers’ household expenses. God forbid, this may end up killing more than a couple of days of animals saved.

I would more than prefer if we keep religions, politics and our respective egos aside. Rather than giving Paryushan a controversial angle, it would be better if we concentrate on the acts of penance during these sacred days. No God ever said anything in favour of imposition. And all Jainism taught is live and let live. Let us abide by that and not display our hypocritic side in the name of religion.

All said and done, the demonstration of burning chicken outside the Jain temples and societies is a horrible act of insensitivity. Some give this a leeway, saying this is a reaction to the ban. I say this is the sick mind of some jobless fools who wait for a chance to riot and oppose without applying a drop of their so called brain.

Case Rested.

Michaami Dukkadam😀

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Time Travels – Part Four – Our Happily Ever After

It’s been almost a month since my last post. High time I concluded the Time Travel series. High time I thank all of you for your concerned mails, messages, call and visits inquiring the brother’s health. High time I give you all a peak into the current state of affairs on the Brother’s front. And high time I start blogging about matters other than The Great Accident!

The recovery of the brother was a taxing time for all of us and more so for himself. It tested our patience and tolerance to the highest of levels. He would more often than not be child-like in his tantrums and in attention he needed. I got to get a peak on how he would have been when he was a kid. He kept on repeating himself for multiple times before we made him realize that he already had said the same thing a couple of minutes ago. He introduced me thrice to his boss when the latter came down for a visit. He would wake up during dead of the nights and sleepwalk. Once, he even opened the main door of the house. We were in a deep slumber, exhausted by meeting the demand of our newest kid around. I woke up just as he was about to go out. When inquired about what was he up to, he said he wanted to check whether there is a petrol or diesel pump nearby! At 2 AM in the night!!! We had then taken to locking the doors with a key, with the key safely tucked under our pillows. He would gorge down chocolates like never before. One day he had 3 whole bars of the Dairy Milk Silk. So much so that mom finally had to hide the box away from his reach.

These are little stories that fascinate us now. The initial days they were the cause of our dread. Obviously he doesn’t remember any of these tales and finds them amusing. He doesn’t take this to heart and laughs when we narrate the tales of his recovery. The strength that he has shown has contributed to great heights in speeding up his recovery. Finally when he was all OK and raring to start on with his life that he had left midway, it was no less a struggle. Staying at home for such a long time had made him restless. More so because he had now recovered. He was demotivated and frustrated to say the least. All of us were worried that this may be a setback for him and a hindrance in his recovery. Obviously when the brain is in question, the healing has to continue till eternity. Although he is now perfectly alright, the brain is still filling the gaps and healing it on itself. It may not necessarily show on the outside but normalcy is what he yearned for. To keep him busy in the meanwhile he joined daddy’s office and got himself involved as much as he could.

He visited his own office thrice to give long interviews and fitness certificates to the official doctors before they were sure about taking him back on-board. Finally, The brother has joined back his office in Pune since this week. The spunk in his voice is getting back to normal. The liveliness and the eagerness to learn new things has returned with a vengeance.

Incidentally its almost 2 months now to the ill fated day. This is no more the story of how drastic the accident was…no more the incident where we were reduced to wobbly and weeping willows. It now is the tale of how the brave heart brother willed himself to be OK after all that perspired… The unconditional nature of love in its various forms… The strength with which you surprise yourself when in pressing situations…. Knowing yourself better than you thought you knew….thanking the divinity above fervently than you ever did! As they say… If it’s not happy, then it’s not the end.

This is, now, the tale of our Happily Ever After…

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Time Travels – Part Three! – Calling the Parents

This is the third part of the story. You can read the first and the second ones here and here

After trying to console a sobbing sister in law, the next important thing was to wait for the neuro surgeon. A couple of hours later, we were called inside for an audience with the Neurosurgeon. Initially he was a little paranoid about speaking to us since I and the sister in law were both trembling to what the outcome might be. So, Mr. Husband and the cousins were called in and explained. “Vinit has been hit in the head which has led to swelling in the brain. The swelling combined with the shock is not letting him gain consciousness. The vitals are working fine, but in case there is a problem with them, we will need to put him on a ventilator. This is only the worst case scenario I am letting you’ll know. For now, we are keeping him on medication and praying that he doesn’t have bouts of fits (epilepsy) or vomiting. That is sure to worsen the case. The next 48 hours will be very critical for him. As the swelling in the brain decreases, we expect the aggression to gradually come down. For now, we will wait and monitor the effects the medicines have on him.”

When the effect of the sedatives started wearing out, his manic shouts would start. They once even had to call us inside the ICU because he would keep on cursing them and pulling out the tubes and bandages. All of us tried to pacify him, to make him listen but he would just continue, “you’ll are frustrating me, go away, leave me alone.” After a point we had to hold him, two of us held his arms and the other two his legs, and after a lot of struggle, the doctor could finally inject him! That angered him more, and he broke the foot-board of his bed! The doctors even made us sign a document which said that they would have to keep him tied to the bed, because if he gets up, he will end up hurting himself. This is actually what they did!! The sight was excruciatingly painful.

This was the cue that the situation here wasn’t one bit minor. There were too many decisions to be taken. Whether to shift The Brother to a better and reputed hospital in Bombay? But that would require him to be stable and accommodating to a cardiac ambulance. But going by his aggression and shouts, we weren’t sure whether it was a good idea. What if his health worsens…? It was one worry that was kept plying us down! On top of all this, the aggression was worsening. Calling the parents was now inevitable.

I am emotionally unstable and totally a wrong contender to break this news to my mom and dad. Because one would have to be composed and calm while talking to them which generally I am not. Both of them would be travelling back alone to the hospital after the news…and I couldn’t afford one more casualty! Mom is a fearful person with a weak heart and Papa has a body that houses everything which one shouldn’t….High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes and what not. So, adding to the stress for certainly not on the list. Finally my cousins did the job. They called them and informed that Vinit had met with a minor accident and is hospitalized. They lied that he is stable but unconscious with a couple of stitches. It would be better if they arranged for a return journey. They obviously found it fishy because if it wasn’t such a big issue they wouldn’t have been called back from their respective trips. Specially dad, who was in China and would require a day and a half to travel back. Both of them were adamant to talk to me. Talking to me would let them know the extent of damage done because it’s easy to gauge my fear just by talking on phone.

They say, when the time comes, the strength you gain to face situations is unexplainable.

Every time I talked to mom and dad on phone, I would be calm and let them know the brother is doing better. Talking to them required a gigantic will power. I released myself completely after the phone call was done. I would cry like a mad woman. Displaying strength is so not easy when you are feeling wretched inside. It would drain me out to talk to Papa and console him about everything being OK, when all I wanted him was to be here, hug me and say everything is going to be all right. But I knew, I couldn’t lose my wits on the call, because mom had started her train journey and would be here by night and dad was making his travel arrangements. But even as early he tried, he would only reach the next day afternoon after a hellish journey of changing 3 flights and innumerable hours of worrying alone on the airport. The only time I couldn’t stop myself from bawling and had to hand over the phone to Mr Husband was when dad asked me to send a picture of Vinit, just to see where he has got hurt. He was sounding so drained that I couldn’t talk to him for one more second. How would I send him a picture when they tied him from across his abdomen with a bedsheet which pinned him to the bed?

PS: It’s a month to that dreadful day today! The accident anniversary! We still thank God, every day, for the second lease of life he has been blessed with!

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Time Travels – Part Two – Encounter with The Doctor

This is the second part of the story. You can read the first one here

After what seemed like eternity, the screams subsided and we were let in. The feel of the ICU is alone horrific, let alone imagining the person you are closest to lying in there. With a prayer on our breath, we dashed in. All I would keep myself consoling was, I will give him a tight hug and he will be alright! But the sight there was something I will never forget. For once, I could not believe that the limp patient I was seeing bandaged across his head, the oxygen mask on his nose and the various tubes inserted in him connected to a hundred monitors around, was my effervescent and handsome young brother!! I took ages to tune into what the doctors were talking about. Even Mr. Husband, who vowed to be calm so that he can take care of a hysterical me, was staring agape at the injured Brother. Words refused to come out of his mouth. He could just manage to hold me firmly so that I would not collapse in the ICU. Internally, he was thankful that we had called the first cousins and help was on the way. I fathomed that the strength he displayed on the outside was just a matter of a couple of hours before he could break up himself.

After the initial shock subsided, we listened to what the doctor had to say. Thankfully he gave us a couple of minutes to compose ourselves before starting the full blown attack. He said, “Vinit had been really uncooperative and we finally had to sedate him before starting medication. We already had lost a couple of hours to pacify him. It obviously isn’t his fault since he was probably asleep in the passenger seat when the accident happened. And he is right now unaware of what has happened to him. His brain still is on the accelerated speed of the car and will take a while to calm down and return to normal, and thus the aggression. A neurosurgeon is on the way to check him up and till the time he arrives we will carry on with a CT Scan of his brain since a head injury has visibly occurred.”

The only positive thing that he said and which helped us to hold on to hope was, “his vitals are being monitored, and miraculously they are functioning normally without any apparatus’ help. The heartbeats, breathing and the pulse are all working on their own.”

He then escorted us out of the ICU and told us to wait till they prepared him for the scan. The ICU was at the 2nd Floor and the CT Scan unit on the ground floor. We waited outside the ICU, me crying inconsolably and Mr. Husband praying for the cousins to arrive soon. He was visibly shaken too! But I was too deep in my sob story to console him! They bought him out on a stretcher for the CT Scan and we followed them, same like it happens in all the Bollywood movies. I could not help staring at him with a hope that he will just now open his eyes and call out to me. But all through the travel from the ICU to the scan unit and back, he did not move a limb! So much quiet and stillness in a person who cannot stand straight for a minute without tapping his feet to create some music. After the scan was done, they bought him back to the ICU and left us in the lobby for waiting and praying.

In a while, my cousins and The Brother’s fiancée joined us at the hospital. Mr. Husband escorted them to The Brother’s bed. I somehow knew I had to be strong for the sister in law. She was shocked to see him in middle of so many critical patients. Until you saw him for yourself, no one would imagine him in such a state even in the most horrible nightmare. And as expected the shock hit her in full force. Now I know what Mr Husband would have been going through all this time when he was consoling me. You need to be strong, not for yourself but for the sake of others. But at the moment, all I could do was hold her tightly in my embrace and accompany her in crying……..

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Time Travel – Part One!

This happened 3 weeks ago. This title because, these weeks passed in a blur. And only now I am composed enough to publish this here. Also, this post is published in parts because the trauma of writing all of it in once is simply too much to bear. Still, I wanted to pen it down as a memoir of the worst days of my life. And whenever I hit a rough patch, i want to read these parts and tell myself, “you survived this, you can go through everything else too!”

On 8th June, the brother was travelling from Mumbai for his job in Pune when he met with an accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. I got a call at 7.20 in the morning when I was getting ready for work. The person on the other end asked me whether I was a relative of Vinit Gandhi, I murmured a low ‘yes, I am his sister’ and his next sentence was enough to give me a panic attack.

I am sorry to inform you ma’am, but your brother has met with an accident and is admitted in the hospital. Please come as soon as you can” The next thing I know is handing over the phone to Mr. Husband and changing my nightclothes quickly. He took down the hospital’s correspondence because I was trembling too much to think straight. Worst still, my mom and dad were out of town. I and Mr Husband started our drive to the hospital with a prayer on our otherwise numb brains!

The hospital was at a 2.5 hour drive from our residence and these hours were the most horrific. I kept telling myself that surely The Brother must have suffered a couple of fractures and nothing more. When it comes to tragedies all we think is they always happen to someone else. But I was never more wronged. Halfway through our journey I called the hospital to inquire about his health and whether they are giving him the necessary treatments. To my horror, I could hear him screaming in the background like a madman. The shouts were no less horrific then the ones you hear when someone is howling in pain.

According to the doctors, The Brother had got hit on the head and was not responding correctly. He was not letting them treat him and was constantly being aggressive if someone tried to comfort him or give him medication. I then requested them to let me talk to him once. Initially they refused, but I was persistent and also because they had given up trying to pacify him, the nurse passed on the phone, mouthing, “Here, take this, talk to your mother!” And all The Brother could do was shout in the phone, “Please come soon, these mad people will kill me” The agony and helplessness in his voice broke me down completely and all I wanted to do was to run over to him and hug him tightly! I barely managed to say, “Bhai, please let them treat you, they are doctors and I am reaching as quick as I can

Beside me, even Mr. Husband heard him shout and was now sweating profusely in the driver’s seat. Yes, so loud he was that the phone earpiece couldn’t keep his voice in check too. He was hardly able to manage a hysterical me, the trauma of being the responsible one in this case and worrying about The Brother’s health. But I must say, he did manage as well as he could. He realized that the accident was not as petty as we were expecting it to be. Apart from us, this may require the expertise of some elders of the family. He urged me to take a break from my sobs and call my elder first cousins since my parents weren’t here. I did exactly that and the knight in shining armors that they are, quickly left for the hospital. A close knitted extended family is a blessing I always knew, but what I experienced in these tiring days only strengthened my belief further.

When we reached the hospital, we got to know that The Brother had been shifted to the ICU. We could hear him screaming from inside the room and crying in pain. I requested to be let in, just once, but the security refused stating the doctor was treating him. Helplessness washed over me like a blanket.

All I could do was wait for one glance. Each passing second I could feel my breath getting stuck in my chest.

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The Birthday Post

…and so I turned 28 last week, without much drama. There were no balloons burst, no huge teddy bears, no surprises springing upon me from behind the sofa, no smearing cake all over me, no blindfolds and welcome to a huge surprise party….in short everything I always wish would happen in each of my birthdays did not happen. I would have loved each of these things to happen, but nonetheless, I was not overcome by grief nor did I have the pressing need to tear my hair apart. I did have a ‘surprise’ cake cutting at 12 in the night with almost all the people I love dearly around. The Brother, however was missed! Having a family makes you feel blessed in ways more than one. I guess this acceptance is something that age gifts you with. You no longer yearn that the sky should fall and the world should treat you special because hey, after all it’s your birthday…and the world should know! How can they not?

I went to office on my birthday. Yes. Is it a big deal? Mr. Husband was acting generous since he knows how much birthdays mean to me. He even gave me the option for us to take a leave and celebrate somewhere. But the question loomed large…what will we do? Esselworld on birthdays no longer excites us, driving up to Lonavala (again) and back just for a day did not make sense either…and it is not really us to impulsively pack our bags and be off to some destination because…yes…it’s my birthday!

So keeping the sanity intact and having nothing much to do, we went to our respective offices. The day dragged on and I found myself cutting time in office. Lack of work because the boss and the boss’s boss are all away on vacation and the idea of an empty office is much like the government ones…long lunch breaks and too much of facebooking and spending time brooding about how less I get to travel! Gosh! I seriously need a break.

The sad part about attending birthday phone calls is when people wishing you ask you plans for the day and exclaim “why office today?!” Makes you feel more wretched then you already do! But why the shock?! I can’t explain.

I had hidden my birth date from Facebook since I did not want random friends to be compelled to wish me because Facebook said its Shweta’s birthday today! But silly that I am, I forgot to save the settings and a 100 ‘friends’ wished me. More than half of them wouldn’t recognize me if they were walking right past me on a road.  Well, this turned out a blessing in disguise since I wanted to kill time and replied to each one of their comment individually!

This assignment kept me busy for a couple of hours and then I had Mr. Husband pick me up for dinner. I had stalked everyone on Zomato to search a new and decent dining place. One thing I absolutely love is visiting new restaurants. The wicked grin on Mr. Husband’s face told me he had something planned but the bored pessimist in me thought; there is nothing great he can surprise me with. The last birthday I blackmailed him in surprising me, he gifted me personalized table clock which worked fine exactly for 2 weeks before giving up and biting the dust. But Voila! This time the surprise turned out to be really awesome and totally unlike him! Well, a little private to jot down here but when he surprises, he makes sure I get pampered big time. Thank heavens; my birthday did have a highlight after all!

After the surprise, we went for a candle light dinner and stuffed ourselves with starters, sizzlers and mocktails. I did plan on having the awesome deserts on display but my over full stomach beeped warnings and I had to admonish the desert plan. I did even manage to make him pose for a quick picture with me.

And so, one more awesome birthday went by. Although I don’t feel a minute older than 15, mentally! I still yearn for appreciation and a pat on the back each time I do a job well, each time I cook a decent meal and each time I play agony aunt to the friends in distress. I still cannot fathom the fact that this is ‘expected’ of me and people will not stop to shower claps for each of the roles I don with aplomb. Growing up – a hellish trap, unavoidable nonetheless! Gah!

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Pages from the diary of an outstation driver


Hi. I am Raj. I am a tourist driver in Gujarat since the last 3 years. Not enough experience about knowing roads. I am Just 25 and not really keen on driving, since roads is something I am not great remembering at! I took up this profession because I am from a family of meager earnings and my father left for his heavenly abode before I had a choice to pursue a career. As they say, your profession need not necessarily be your favorite hobby. When others in my generation are taking trips, my profession needs me to cater to their needs.

At times, I stay awake all day and the subsequent night because you have deadlines to reach. All this when majority of you are snoring in the back seat complaining of a tiring journey. Sometimes I even have to skip meals when there are no budget restaurants on our way in the interiors of Gujarat. My stomach grumbles as it listens to your munching chips in the back seat. But only some of you are decent enough to offer me a bite of your snacks. I feel grateful for such passengers boarding my car.

Majority of the times, Gujarat being the state where many Hindu temples are situated, my passengers are pilgrims. Peace loving, but real task masters when deadlines are concerned. I have seen so much of God in the last 3 years that I no longer feel compelled to visit the temples. I prefer waiting outside when you are praying inside, only joining in to have lunch in the dharamshalas. After all, it is almost free of cost. Initially, I used to feel guilty about my indifference towards these pilgrim sites where throes of people visit from all over India. But now I have developed a habit of using these tiny breaks to enjoy a dose of tobacco that keeps me awake for rest of the journey. The God that you are praying inside knows my dilemma and no longer feels offended about it. He knows that if I am drowsy during your trip, chances are that you may not need temples but directly visit him up there!

When you check in dharamshalas for the night, many of these do not have a driver’s quarter and I have to spend the cold night in the car while you are resting in a cozy blanket. But I do not complain, because that is a part of my job. Some of you show pity about how unfair it was to let me sleep in the cold and think about letting the authorities know. You talk in English so that I may not know what you’re secretly discussing. I smile within when I understand each word of yours but still maintain a straight face, glad that at least some of you have a heart and maybe my next visit here will be a better one.

I laugh on your jokes but still miss my family who are waiting for me to end my trip and spend a couple of days with them before I can go off on the next job again. I buy innuendos for my kid back home who awaits my arrival each fortnight with shining eyes expecting gifts and stories of my travel. He thinks his dad has the coolest job in the world to be able to roam different places and earn from it as well. He is still young to know the difference between travelling on your will and visiting because your work demands so. I do not intend to ruin his fairy tale this early in life so I let him believe his dad is the luckiest guy, secretly promising myself that he will not be taking up a forced profession to feed his family.

At least, that much, the Gods I visit will make me capable of doing for my son!

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