A satirical fictional piece, I wrote during a plague epidemic,in India, 1992. Maybe there are some parallels with this Pandemic….
“So papa where all did you go in Russia?” a question, I had asked him many times, but had never really gotten a proper answer. I grew up listening to my father’s first ever work related trip to Russia. He traveled to many other countries after that, to Nigeria, England, Germany, Indonesia, South Korea for work, and finally the USA to visit me. But Russia remained close to his heart.
It was a lazy afternoon, during our summer holidays, I hopped over to our neighbor Meera Aunty’s house as usual, opening the gate, I went in and rang the door bell. Nobody opened the door. I hung around for a bit, went over to her little garden of beautiful flowers – purple sweet williams and magenta zinnias were nodding to the breeze, right beside the huge papaya tree. Continue reading
It has been a whole year, since she has been gone; I feel a strange sense of calmness today. Isn’t she the one who had told me Shraddhs [ritual performed to pay homage to one’s dead parents] are not required, the essential thing is to remember our Creator, the Creator of this beautiful universe at all times. Continue reading
So many weeks went by in a daze. I couldn’t even attempt writing anything about my father, Sohan Singh. As I was flooded with his memories flashing before me one after another, I realized, he had been like my shadow every step of the way. And wasn’t he supposed to live forever? After all the emotions and sadness of him being gone and the guilt of not being there for him, perhaps the only time in his life when he needed nurturing the most, what can I say? Suddenly I feel numb.
“ Did you have an arranged marriage?” this has been the most often asked question everywhere I have lived, be it California, Michigan North Dakota, South Carolina or Montana. It has been 19 years since I left India, but the question persists. Here is my story on prospective grooms that came into my life before I got married. Continue reading
The other day, I was dropping my son off to school. Here, I was waiting for the car ahead of me to move, and that car in turn was waiting for me to leave. This was in complete contrast to Bangalore, India – where I had just returned from, a few days ago. In Bangalore, honking rules, traffic chaos are the order of the day, and going the wrong way on a one-way is the norm. You deserve to be trampled by almost any vehicle, if you dare cross a road on foot. No wonder! my mother felt people in Helena were very nice, because they waited in their cars patiently with a smile, as she slowly crossed the road! She wouldn’t even dream of crossing a road in Bangalore!
“I have a something for you, I hope you like it”, she said with a bright smile, as she handed me a red packet. Dodie, my son’s piano teacher and a friend looked so happy. Her eyes sparkled with joy, truly the joy of giving is in a league of it’s own. And I couldn’t wait to open it. It was a kitchen towel with some beautiful hand embroidery. “ I love it!” I said, giving her a hug. She was delighted but her quiet expression, implicitly told me “I hope you are not exaggerating, it is only a kitchen towel.” So I reiterated how much I liked it as it took me right back to my childhood.
ਚਲਾ ਤ ਭਿਜੈ ਕੰਬਲੀ ਰਹਾਂ ਤ ਤੁਟੈ ਨੇਹੁ ॥੨੪॥
Chalaa Th Bhijai Kambalee Rehaan Th Thuttai Naehu ||24||
If I go out, my blanket will get soaked, but if I remain at home, then my heart will be broken. ||24||
I open my eyes and stare at the question paper one more time. The subject title says “Physics”, as I look around in a daze, only to realize, that I had gone to sleep while answering an exam paper. I peek into my neighbor, Sakira’s paper and she is circling question no. 40, here I haven’t even read the first question. I read question no. 40 and realize it is futile to even attempt answering it. I read the next one, and it seems more like a History exam as the question goes, ” Which kingdom was attacked by the aliens in 1882?”