Monday, October 31, 2005


Shalu heard her husband moving about. She opened her eyes in the semi-darkness. It was 6:00 AM. She closed her eyes. Ashok shook her awake at 7:00 AM.

"Aren't you going to work today?"

"I don't think so. Can you tell them I am sick?"

"What is the matter with you? It has been more than five months. You need to get hold of yourself and try to move on. You think it is easy for me?"

"It is different. You didn't go through those nine months. I did. I nurtured that tiny life within me, you didn't."

Ashok knew the futility of arguing with her and left for work.

Shalu tried to go back to sleep. Back to oblivion, wanting to forget. She felt like crying, but her tears had dried up along with her milk. Her little son, Sumanth, stillborn, had sundered her heart in two. She had been in therapy for three months before she returned to some sense of normalcy. Yesterday, her cousin had called to announce the birth of his new son. She was happy for them, but it brought back all the heartache and longing. Years of fertility treatment, mental agony and dashed hopes had left her mind quite vulnerable. She was angry against fate for causing her so much pain.

Ashok seemed to be taking it better. He was deeply affected when they lost Sumanth. But while the therapy had been good for him, it was a temporary measure in her case. It was a disease now. She ached to hold a baby in her arms. Sumanth, not any baby. Her Sumanth, whom God had snatched from her, like the sadist He was.

She moved around in her nightgown, unkempt hair and unwashed face, barely eating anything. The TV was on, but her eyes had a faraway look. The phone rang. She let it ring. It stopped and rang again. Then it stopped.

An hour later the doorbell rang. It kept ringing. She finally moved from the sofa and opened the door. Her mom. Always looking poised. Why was she not like that! Mom came in, and hugged her silently, not offering trite words of comfort.

She made her sit, cleaned her face and brushed her hair. She made some food for her. Shalu ate in silence. Just having her mom next to her gave her a lot of comfort. She hugged her and the silent tears flowed in two pairs of eyes.

"Shalu, there is something I need to tell you. I probably should have told this a long time back. May be I could have saved you a lot of trouble."

Shalu looked at her mom, curious to know what she was going to say.

"Your dad was stationed in Delhi then. I was four months pregnant."

"Pregnant with me?"

"No. It was before you. One evening, on our way from a party, some drunk driver rammed into our car, your dad lost control and we hit a tree. I lost the baby."

"Oh, mom. I didn't know. I am so sorry."

"I was in bed for 6 months after that. We tried for another baby for years. Nothing worked. Later, I found out that my uterus had been damaged and I couldn't bear any more babies. I was heartbroken. Just like you."

"Then how...?"

"One of my friends look me to this place for orphaned kids. I started working there. I grew quite attached to the kids. Then your dad got a transfer back to Chennai. I threw a fit, I didn't want to go. Finally, your dad convinced me that we could adopt a child from the place. I agreed to that. You had been left there a month back. You were barely 3 months old then. I had been looking after you for sometime. We decided that you would be better off thinking that you were our own blood."

Shalu sat stunned. All these years, she had had no clue.

"Who were my real parents?"

Mom winced at that. "Does it matter?"

Shalu stared at her for sometime. "No, not really. You are my mother."

Tears of gratitude in her mom's eyes. "I could not see you killing yourself slowly like this. This is not the end of the world."

Shalu wiped her eyes. "Yes, mother." A slight smile appeared like a rainbow.

aaaaabbbbbbbbd ddddbbbbeaaa abbbd aabdd

If you are wondering about that title - long time no c :-) lifted from a PJ forward.

Sprained my back sometime recently. All I could do was lie and watch movies or read books. Very sad, I know. Recos - do not bother with I heart huckabees and power of women. Why did Hariharan do that, eh? A couple of songs were good. Parineeta, Sarkar are in the must see list. Reading recos - if you like victorian mysteries, I stumbled on the gaslight mystery series, set in early 1900s in NYC. Robin Paige is good too. Then there is David Baldacci's Camel Club and Sue Monk Kidd's secret life of bees waiting to get their turn. 5 people you meet in heaven is one of THE most awesome books I have read. Why? don't ask, just read it.

Then there was all that personal drama. hubby almost caught in the chennai flood chaos, water entering home, alone with kids and temporarily handicapped. Felt like I was in a sun tv MS. How do people ( actors and the audience) take this load every day? BTW, should we now have a new word "vidience" for the visual medium? One good thing, loads of diwali sweets from back home. Didn't have to break my back making them at home.

And for the few awaiting the next part of the journey, gotta wait some more time. There is a lot of distance between the mind and my fingers.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Only word to describe a concert performance by (Guitar) Prasanna and band. Didn't know someone who was so comfortable with a musical instrument. His fusion of east and west is beautiful. He calls his latest album, Be the Change. True to that, he is heralding a new style to Indian Classical, fusing it with other forms, making it appealing to the younger generation. Who wouldn't love Bilahari and Hamsadhwani, the way he does it! His drummer(Jordan) almost matched him, and it was a pleasure to watch them. His Ragabop (kapi) was awesome! I wish I had the whole concert taped!