Thursday, January 24, 2008

Negatives of Memories

I love pictures. I love to see my parents, captured in marriages, outings, hanging around with friends, and mostly, when they were in school. (I recently discovered that I look much like my mum used to when she was young.)

I love to see old, faraway relatives, whom I've never met, smiling, or surprised faces, and ask about them. And yeah, I love to make fun of those huge, horn-rimmed spectacles and bell-bottoms Dad used to wear in the seventies- fashion in those days!!

And I love my class photographs too........

Our school is hexagonal in shape. Everything, from classrooms, washrooms and assembly grounds, is huge and six-sided. So yesterday, after attempting a rather confused English Unit Test, we were taken along to a corner of the hexagon a.k.a. the assembly ground for a class photograph. I was pretty excited, since I was not a part of the class that smiles at me from the frame on my desk, due to my absence last year on the photo day.

During the photo session, there were chairs in the first row, chairs over tables in the second row, chairs over two tables in the third, and so on.The first row belonged to the shorties (that includes me, of course), and we were supposed to sit like 'nice ladies' with a smile plastered onto our faces. Behind our backs, the naughty ol' boys showed off some of their herogiri. So, the photographer said, "You want your grandchildren to see you like that, mahboy?" and peace prevailed.....

Afterwards, my friends and I posed for an informal photo, arms over shoulders and all, 'cuz next year, our class would be shuffled and we'd pose with complete strangers. :( :(

I love class photos. They remind you of old times, old friends, and old teachers, who fade away into the distance, only to come back again. They pull you into the past, and you can actually hear ABC's being recited in the background. You can spot childish grins, and crying kids, falling down, getting hurt, and up and about again. And most of all, they show a person very different from what you are today- carefree, kiddish, cute, and slightly stupid too!

Good memories. Good photos. Sigh, I have loads of them registered in my brain, and there's space for lots more.......

in a honey-sweet mood,


Saturday, January 12, 2008


Sigh! I can’t believe 2008 has already arrived.

2007 had been a good year, and I expected a nice, cozy winter.
But somehow, this Christmas wasn’t as happy as I had wanted it to be….

On the 22nd of December, my paternal grandfather passed away after struggling with cancer. We left for Chennai, our hometown, by the first flight the same day to attend his last rites.

A day after we arrived, my maternal grandmother, with whom I was staying, felt a little ill, but carried on with her work as usual. But the next day, she felt unusually breathless and my mother and I rushed her to the nearest hospital. There, she died of a sudden heart attack and respiratory failure...

My nani was a lady with a heart of gold. She loved all her grandchildren tremendously. She never hugged us to say how much she cared, but did it all through her actions, and never tried to impose her love on us.

Whenever she came to Delhi to stay with me, she brought loads of goodies, the tastes of which still linger in my mouth. Even in a completely new atmosphere, she adjusted so easily, as if she’d been living in Delhi all her life!

When she went back a month later, I felt hopelessly lonely, and yearned to find the same, grizzled ol’ lady opening the door as I came back home from school. She was a quiet person whose presence was never even felt, but her absence had created a huge vacuum in the house, and now, in my heart too….

I would forever remember the times I spent with her - the family trips to Haridwar, her delicacies, her one-toothed smile, her habit of asking a question again and again until she got only a ‘yes’ for an answer, the silent spectator at my karate classes, her habit of dabbing Ponds powder all over her face, and of course, the whiff of Tamil Nadu on her saree.

Nani, I thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me, and for the love you bestowed on us. I pray that you will rest peacefully, in heaven....