Five Stages of Dying

Several moments from the hit TV series House M.D. the philosophy of Dr House helped me hold myself together during the last one month of mother’s approaching death. Particularly Episode 1 of Season 2, Acceptance. A young woman in her 30s, Cindy, visits the clinic for some routine tests for her health clearance certificate for a new job. Dr Cameroon greets Cindy, takes a look at her chest X-ray report and a slight hint of worry comes across her face. In the next scene we see her consulting with Dr Wilson, Head of Oncology. Dr Wilson tells Dr Cameroon with … Continue reading Five Stages of Dying

Sticky post

When a Pillar Falls The Building Crumbles, The Family Falls Apart

26th April I have said and done a lot of hurtful things to my mother for which I am repenting today, will repent forever. But so has everyone else. My father, my sister. Such is life, we fight, we make up, nobody is perfect. Sometimes we say sorry, sometimes we don’t speak for days and then cook something special for the person we hurt and move on. The thing I cannot tolerate anymore is my eight and half years younger sister assuming a morally superior position and trying to judge me in order to defend dad. This is a mistake, … Continue reading When a Pillar Falls The Building Crumbles, The Family Falls Apart

13 Days Of Mourning & Healing Not Without Guilt

21st April The last time I had a conversation with mom about my career, studies she told me to drop the idea of getting a full time job. She said, “You don’t have to worry about money. You just do good work, do your photography, write articles. Its been so long you are not writing for Firstpost isn’t it? Why have you stopped? Get your book published. Study. Read. In between take up some wedding photography assignment that would pay you well.” She just wanted me to focus on what I am good at, my creative and intellectual pursuits. I … Continue reading 13 Days Of Mourning & Healing Not Without Guilt

She Died Within Few Hours of Going on Ventilator

17th April  1.38 pm Exactly a month ago, on 17th March mother walked out of home for routine check up with symptoms no more than of common cold. This morning she went into ventilator. They say putting a stage 4 cancer patient, with no hopes for treatment, on ventilator is a bad idea. It would only increase pain and suffering. In the previous hospital every night the head of ICU would call and try to convince us not to give consent for ventilator. Once such critical patient goes into ventilator they never come back, said the doctor. But we gave … Continue reading She Died Within Few Hours of Going on Ventilator

To Intubate or Not to Intubate?

15th April 2017 My mother wishes everybody a happy Bengali new year. She told me to put it up on her Facebook. Talk about patient – doctor trust and relationship, mother’s attending doctor didn’t even visit her today in his rounds. Didn’t even meet the family to tell us what kind of palliative care is required, what precautions we should take, how to ensure she doesn’t suffer pain. Nothing. He wanted us to leave, we are leaving, he couldn’t be any less bothered. Bengali new year didn’t bring any new hopes. We shifted mom to the new hospital yesterday but … Continue reading To Intubate or Not to Intubate?

Her Lungs Are Giving Up But She Won’t, She Will Survive

14th/April Morning: 17th March to today, mom’s condition is worsening so rapidly, I didn’t know it’s possible for any disease to aggravate so quickly. We have no time at all. All her body functions and organs are in perfect condition but her lungs are giving up. Just giving up. Before Facebook, it was not so in your face evident that while your world is crumbling and crashing, rest of the world goes by just fine without batting an eyelid. Our sorrows are our alone. 11.30pm After my morning update regarding mom’s condition, people got very worried. Some called and messaged … Continue reading Her Lungs Are Giving Up But She Won’t, She Will Survive

To Chemo Or Not To Chemo?

11th April 2017 Cancer is a disease. Chemo is a treatment. Quality time with family is a utopia. We are at the juncture now where we have to decide whether to give chemotherapy to mother or not. The attending doctor advised us against it. She is in stage 4 cancer and he is of the opinion that chemotherapy won’t help her much. It would be high risk. He wasn’t clear what this ‘high risk’ means. He suggested we take her home, give home nursing, palliative care, spend quality time with her and wait. Wait for the cancer to spread and … Continue reading To Chemo Or Not To Chemo?

Cancer The Misfortune That Fell On Us

3rd April 2017 Cancer. Not a disease but a culture. A major story twist. The deadly misfortune has been part of the most tragic films and literature. Mostly it would be the male protagonist, he falls sick and doctors tell him, “You have last stage Cancer, only few days of your life are left” and then an dramatic scene follows. “Ab inhe dawa ki nahi dua ki zaroorat hai (She needs prayers now not medicine)” is a much clichéd dialogue from hindi films of yesteryears. In real life however, among friends and family such misfortune was rarely heard. With advancement … Continue reading Cancer The Misfortune That Fell On Us

“Take Her To Another Hospital” Max Hospital Emergency Didn’t Give Treatment Because No Room To Admit Patient

A 63 year old patient with severe fluid in both lungs, rapidly decreasing oxygen saturation (90 to 85 to 81 percent within few hours) and increasing breathing trouble was not given any treatment at Max Hospital Emergency, simply because they had no room to admit her. “Take her to another hospital” said the Max Hospital Emergency doctor and person in-charge of admitting. My mother’s both lungs were filled with fluids. She wasn’t able to breath. Our ordinary understanding is that the fluids from her lungs needed to be drained out. We had with us two X-ray reports which clearly showed … Continue reading “Take Her To Another Hospital” Max Hospital Emergency Didn’t Give Treatment Because No Room To Admit Patient

My Relationship With My Family Is Broken Beyond Repair

19th February I cannot live alone. I tried but I can’t. I need someone to talk to at end of the day. But I also cannot live with people. I end up making everyone close to me hate me. I don’t know what to do. If after every fuck up everybody tries to convince you it’s all your fault, what should you do with yourself? What should you do if you saw this pattern – that from childhood to date, from school friends to family, if it’s always you vs. everyone else, what does that tell about you? 8th March … Continue reading My Relationship With My Family Is Broken Beyond Repair

A Dead Soul Comes Home After An Eventful Day

A very eventful satisfying day. Volunteering for Aam Aadmi Party, I turn a professional journalist with a mic in hand. On occasion of Women’s Day, we are making a series short videos featuring AAP’s women candidates for upcoming MCD elections. AAP has around 100 women candidates, senior leader Richa Pandey told me that the party is serious about supporting and encouraging more and more women’s political participation. On my way back I booked an OLA Share cab. Interesting conversations and meetings ensued. For the period when I was the only passenger in the cab I struck a conversation with my … Continue reading A Dead Soul Comes Home After An Eventful Day

Why You Must Follow Me On Facebook

Why I insist, vehemently insist, that the men I date, friends I hang out with, and my sister, why I insist that these people must, if they care about me, follow my Facebook updates? Facebook is superficial they say, Facebook makes you narcissistic. Real relationship don’t need facebook. Why Facebook, grow up they say. I will explain why. I am a sum total of 40 years of unusual experiences. I have stored in my heart stories full of funny interesting sad poignant people and events which I carry with myself at all times. My feelings today are shaped by my … Continue reading Why You Must Follow Me On Facebook

Update On House Painting, Call From TISS

Follow up to this: Waiting For A Call From TISS, Mumbai They called me for the written test which is on 10th Feb at Mumbai, so I will be going just for the day. The test is called a Research Aptitude Test. 10 out of 80 people would be taken in the course I have applied for, so it is going to be tough. But there isn’t much that you can study or mug up because it is really about an aptitude, that has to be part of your higher education days, not something you can suddenly develop. So I am … Continue reading Update On House Painting, Call From TISS

Painting Our House: Important Learning

Important learning, if you are painting your home and want to highlight one of the wall with Asian Paints Royale texture, get it done by the company artists directly. The thekedar won’t be able to do the texture properly. I am very sad with what happened to our wall. For one year I have visualized the colour of our house, I wanted the featured wall in Madder Red, Asian Paint’s colour of the year 2016 and other 3 walls in Yellow Charm. This is part of their Rekindle collection, also a 2016 collection. I love minimalist design, and bold solid … Continue reading Painting Our House: Important Learning

Ghar Bana Liya Basu ji?

It has been over 2 years our tiny Mahavir Enclave (ME) house is lying vacant. My father retired from Central Government in 2005, after a service of 40 years. To everybody’s contempt, for which he has to always face all kinds of taunts and accusations and reprimands, at the time of retirement he failed to secure enough savings to buy a 3 bed room apartment anywhere in Delhi. I don’t know what we deserved, but we surely needed at least a 1200 sq feet 3 bed room apartment in a multi-storied complex with 24 hours water, lifts, power backup, gyms … Continue reading Ghar Bana Liya Basu ji?

I Will Not Be Lost In Your Narrative

14th September My life’s journey is a research paper. On this life I document how relationships fail, friendships fail, how  we build expectations and meet disappointments, what are life’s big mistake. Everything I feel and learn, I write. I write them on Facebook and this blog. SVD perhaps have been keeping an eye on all this. Initially she blocked me so she was not supposed to see my updates but today she came on my page and objected to the fact that I had put up her family’s photo on my featured photo section. It was photo of us taken on the … Continue reading I Will Not Be Lost In Your Narrative

How to care for Sad Person?

You might want to read this first to get the context of the words below. 24th Aug I saw a meme on Facebook which was about how to respond to a sad person. I went though the series of images which explained that you should respond with care, hug and comfort. And I couldn’t help comparing how my friends, SVD in particular responded to my recent bouts of depressive rant on Facebook group messenger, the place where this whole break up played out and ended. These sort of memes are double edged sword. They set such high standard of care … Continue reading How to care for Sad Person?

How Are You Holding Up?

27th July So ever since it happened that SVD my best friend sorry ex-best friend called our friendship off I have been trying to make sense of what happened. I am going back in time trying to reconstruct the month of July to find out where did I go wrong, what did I do? We usually communicate over a group chat but I have been silent on this chat since 11th July, the day I left for Mumbai. On 13th, 15th, 18th July she said things that didn’t make any sense to me except that she has suddenly taken a grave dislike … Continue reading How Are You Holding Up?

Sticky post

The World As I Knew It Has Ended

Update: 12th October 2016 I continue to update this blog with any development on this chapter of my life, this breakup. On Facebook I maintain the continuity by making updates tagged with #SVDAndI it is a spin off on the British satirical film Withnail and I. On this blog, follow the category SVDAndI for all related stories. Update: 20-Aug-2016 This is the story of my break up with a friend I had for almost 30 year. The lines (below) written on 26th July was the first reaction I had to this breakup. At that time I was still thinking this is a fight and … Continue reading The World As I Knew It Has Ended

The Rock Crawling Out of The Slumber

My MA exams got over on 17th June, since then I have been just lazing around at home doing nothing. I cook, eat, watch TV/Films, read, write. But these are not doing anything are they? I don’t have  a job, I don’t earn anything so I don’t do anything. Dad went to Dehradun to be with my sister a day after my exam was over. He came back this Sunday, 3rd July. So basically, I was home alone for two full weeks. Every time this happens I plan to party hard, wild and naughty but I am all talk and … Continue reading The Rock Crawling Out of The Slumber

The News Sucks And There’s a Femicide in Guatamela

Hello people. A confession, the staying off Facebook / Twitter didn’t really work. Social media platforms are no longer just places to share your thoughts but also to seek information and exchange ideas. This bit was missing when we first started blogging. Back then it was only about sharing. So that’s a learning from this experiment. But the sad part is that the news we are accessing on social media is like not even like .1% of the world. I looked up popular news website, NDTV, TOI, BBC, Guardian.co.UK and you know what i found? Everywhere there are only the same 3-4 … Continue reading The News Sucks And There’s a Femicide in Guatamela

When Old People Don’t Know They Are Old And Are Stubborn

Alright whenever mom is not around I have a lot of issues with dad. This blog has already seen evidence of that. Since last night he’s given me 10 warnings that, “Tomorrow, early morning, I would go to Sarojini Nagar Market.” In this heat, he wants to venture out, go to Sarojini from Dwarka, changing two buses for some work he can easily do on a weekday after office hours, maybe by adjusting a few hours here and there. He would never taken an auto (three-wheeler). He has NEVER taken an auto or cab in his entire life for himself alone. Can anybody … Continue reading When Old People Don’t Know They Are Old And Are Stubborn

Love is not complicated people are

10th Oct 2015

Last night the adda at SVD’s place was particularly fun, I cannot remember when was the last time I laughed so much. Perhaps it was the good Icelandic liquor and potent dope or a recently heart broken R who opened up a lot more than he usually does or a frustrated M who cannot make one coherent statement without cribbing about the lack of a man in her life or SVD who always asks these interesting questions for which you’d always give some ridiculous answer or all of the above. If there would have been a hidden camera somewhere in the room and somebody saw the recording of our conversation it would have made wonderful comedy. Continue reading “Love is not complicated people are”

On reconnecting

“People move on, get hurt, come back and find me there still.” On reconnecting with a man who used to have a crush on me a decade ago. He still remembers the crush. Told him I was always just a text away. There is nothing worse than two lonely friends not connecting with each other. It just kills me when my single eligible bachelor friends come and tell me how lonely they are. I am like, dude, am I invisible or what? I am single eligible and available, why are we not dating? It was a day of re-connecting with friends, … Continue reading On reconnecting

The woman and her sewing machine – portrait of Indian middle class mother in 70s-80s

The Singer sewing machine is a cultural symbol from a bygone era. Every woman or man has their own memory and story around the Singer machine. My mom’s story begins when at the age of 11 she lost her mother. The sound of her mother working on the singer sewing machine till late night, when the kids were asleep, was one of the strongest memories she had left behind for my mother to hold on to. Continue reading “The woman and her sewing machine – portrait of Indian middle class mother in 70s-80s”

I met Lucky but I didn’t get lucky – Delhi’s Thak Thak Gang’s smooth criminals

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye that Abhay Deol starer film was one of my all-time favourite films. Not anymore for I met a Lucky in my real life.

It happened in broad day light at the Hauz Khas – IIT gate traffic signal, opposite to Essex Farm, amidst a heavy Monday evening traffic and right under the nose of 4 traffic cops posted at the signal.

I was on my way back to my residence in Dwarka after finishing a meeting at the Adchini area. If you know the map of that area you’d know that in order to go to Dwarka or Airport from Adchini which is on your left you have to drive till the signal opposite to Mother’s International School and take a U-turn so that landmarks like Essex Farm, Indian Oil petrol pump or Turcoise Cottage are now on your right. Straight ahead is Hauz Khas and on your left is the IIT gate, you take a free left turn for Dwarka / Airport from this point. Free left turn only if the traffic allows, sometimes it doesn’t. Continue reading “I met Lucky but I didn’t get lucky – Delhi’s Thak Thak Gang’s smooth criminals”

Night in and outside my bedroom

It’s 3 am. The sky outside is thundering and pouring. I can’t sleep. I find the night so much more interesting than day, that I don’t feel like sleeping over it. Right now, all is quiet. Am alone in my room, on my bed. This space is so secure, so comfortable, so completely mine. No intruders, no door bells, no phone calls. Nobody to see me or judge me or question me. I feel free of all inhibitions at nights.

Continue reading “Night in and outside my bedroom”

Matter

23rd July 2012

I would never be able to explain it to anybody, including myself, how much it helps, writing a blog post at the most vulnerable times of my life. The only way I can ever express myself is by typing my heart out right here, away from every human eyes.

So what happened today?

Just what I was always afraid of, my worst fears came up to me laughing and dancing in front of my eyes, making ugly scary faces at me. I feared this day would come and did my best to avoid it, but I couldn’t. And when it came, I couldn’t express any of the emotions I felt, from anger to pain to melancholy.  I couldn’t say the last few things I wanted to say, couldn’t do it my way. Right in front of my eyes, a whole damn world collapsed and I just stood there.

Continue reading “Matter”

That emotional intimacy issue…

Update dt 3-Jun-2012 – This is a rant.

Its about 1.30 am, in exactly 12.5 hours I am required to present my Business Plan at our 10000 women program, in front of a special panel. My B-plan is not even 40% complete. And yet I am on this blog.

I am here because I desperately need to write, need to communicate and I just don’t have anybody to talk to.

Here in this campus I am staying with 13 other wonderful ladies, each one of them are amazing listeners and they give great responses and feedback to most conversations. I have been spending my days talking to them, laughing and cracking jokes every now and then.

But I cannot ‘talk’ to any of them.

Its that emotional intimacy issue. I can write my heart out on this computer, and as soon as I would hit the publish button it would be up for mass public viewing and that wouldn’t bother me but I cannot talk to the 13 people I have known, for last 3 months, staying in the next few rooms of this hostel. Weird! Continue reading “That emotional intimacy issue…”

The heart is not where the dick is

The heart is so not where my dick is. If I were a man, I would have said that about my current situation. So change the ‘vital instrument’ to something more befitting my gender, you would get my point right. I don’t know what else to call this but love and I just feel so ridiculous and helpless about it. I mean what is one supposed to do with this stupid feeling. All said and done, this longing has no future, this is a doomed love. I so don’t want to be in it. I always had a lot of theories about love. “Love can’t happen … Continue reading The heart is not where the dick is

Alone and alive (Final Chapter of Book of Romance-Part 1)

This blog is back in action with its original content, feelings and emotions from the bottom of my heart, bare truth for the world to read. I spent all of 2010 worrying over the fact that everybody who knew me in real life, all the friends, the family members, colleagues, read my blog too often and so I couldn’t share everything that I wanted to share without inhibitions. But of late I have started to notice that the readership of this blog is again impersonal, the audience is made up of faceless strangers like it was when I first started … Continue reading Alone and alive (Final Chapter of Book of Romance-Part 1)

So it was my birthday yesterday

Photo0052
With sis and her friends

That is on 23rd of Jan. It was also the birthday of Netaji Subhash, Bal Thackeray and Lord Denning. I simply cannot stop obsessing over the coincidence of my birth date matching with these men, a fierce freedom fighter, the original Indian Godfather and one of the most popular Jurist who worked so much for individual liberty. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the mere coincidence of my birth date and my name has influenced me for most part of my life.

Continue reading “So it was my birthday yesterday”

Boats on the water, not steps on the ladder

The greatest tragedy of my life is that my parents and my nearest and dearest family don’t understand what do I do in life, who am I. Since they don’t know, from there it follows, they are not proud of me, not particularly ashamed but not proud to the extent that when it comes to answering the question, “What does your daughter do?” they stutter and fumble with words, not sure of what to say as if I don’t do anything worth mentioning, only to finally say “she did her LLb”.

Continue reading “Boats on the water, not steps on the ladder”

Hello again, life

You know what they say about professionalism, that you cannot be personal.

The last few months, in fact the whole year I barely blogged, whatever I did write, like updates on my professional life, my new entrepreneurial venture, some of my interviews that got published on other blogs, none of these were really stuff that belonged to here. I mean shut up, this blog was about my personal stories straight from the heart. I have somewhere betrayed my blog because people kept telling me, “No you can’t keep writing about men” that just isn’t professional. 

It has been a struggle for me to explain it to a lot of people in my life, exactly why did they give me a TED Fellowship. The answer is this blog and its unapologetic ‘personal’ content.

Personal is powerful. It has strengthen me and now I preach it, personal blogging.

It’s not often that we come across people who we have inspired. Recently, I found this blog post where the author have linked to one of my interview and wrote how reading me has inspired her to blog about the truth of her life. In her closing line she said,

Here’s hoping that we all find the courage to blog about our Truths.

I think I am really lucky that something I did was able to inspire others. Most people spend their whole life making it big in so many ways, career, relationships, wealth and yet mostly they fail to inspire others.

So here’s to coming back to the beginning. No more professional updates, no more political opinions, no more agendas, just plain old truth from  my life, my bare soul the nakedness of which, I have been told, inspires and strengthens women. And that’s a feeling I cannot let go no matter how unprofessional I may appear.

~ Continue reading “Hello again, life”

Tag this one as dark, depress, scream

“A 100 years from now, who are you to be, reading me with curiosity?” ~ Rabindra Nath Tagore

If I could paint I would make a painting. Four walls and me, leaning on a corner, screaming. Scream till I lose my voice. Just scream. On the final day, when all of this will be over, I will have so much to say, to so many people, but I will no longer be able to speak. All my thoughts will just make one big mass of noise, a scream.

Thoughts bubbling up, but nothing left to say. Yet I am here to say, say it out loud. This life I lived without love, is scared, to die without love. Life you better be interesting, else you be short. Life you are getting too heavy, find it hard to carry, how far to go? When is it going to be over? I can’t wait to see what happens in the end. Broken heart, will you mend? I know it is going to be a reckless journey, we will bury every hope and dream, we will only carry this body of mass, blood and greed. We will put this body up for garbs, for vultures and hyenas to hog, but in the end a 100 years from now, will we win life?

Continue reading “Tag this one as dark, depress, scream”

Public Announcement: I am no longer associated with Bell Bajao

November 2009, Samode Palace, Rajasthan, ‘Breakthrough’ was having its strategic planning and retreat. In an interactive game the staff were asked to mention the date/month they joined Breakthrough and how has their journey been so far.

When it was my turn I said, “I joined Breakthrough one and half months back and if jobs were relationships I will have to say, I have seen many people, been in many relationships of all kinds, but with Breakthrough its like I met my dream man and for the first time I am in a committed relationship, I am here to stay in Breakthrough.”

But in life and in relationship nothing goes as per your plans. Barely 6 months down I have quit the job which I thought was my dream job. It typically feels like a breakup, so many plans, like dreams, are shattered, so many ideas couldn’t be executed. The momentum I gained with the social media part of the Bell Bajao campaign, the path I had taken the preparations that were underway – all came to a sudden end.

Continue reading “Public Announcement: I am no longer associated with Bell Bajao”