Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Letters to Dad – 21st February 2004

Dearest Dad,

I realized it’s high time we revived a certain tradition that both of us – you, and me, by virtue of being your daughter, have held so close to our hearts. As you might have very rightly guessed, it’s about getting back to the art of writing letters – it feels like ages since I wrote something to you out of my hand. The fact that my handwriting seems utterly messy would suffice to say that I have moved distantly away from a culture that has a charm of its own and demands special prowess. Nevertheless, I shall attribute that to initial trouble and move on.

Dad, I am planning to do this thing, systematically. Let matters of daily routine rest with our usual telephonic conversations and daily mails. These letters will be different. Let me explain. Do you remember those nights when I returned home for my vacation? We used to sit in the balcony, look up at the sky and talk philosophy watching the stars! I remember how we used to glide from one topic to another and let words play, to put forth our different ideas. Discussions, they were, that taught me plenty and left me wanting for more.

Time has always ushered new things into our lives and can you believe it is seven years since you got me married? Dad, try how much ever, it’s been tough to maintain our relationship the way it had been before my marriage. However, my love and concern for you and mom, have remained unquestionably intact and isn’t it true that love grows even more splendidly in separation?

I want to begin this series of letters, with a special person who has redefined the meaning of my life and in the process, has offered me such interesting perspectives and thoughts that I haven’t really been able to identify myself with, before. Yes, I am indeed talking about the three year old brat that I have for a son and you for a grandson - Aryan. Dad, you got to tell me if I had been such a big trouble for you when I was young. This chap really gives me all the exercise I need to keep me going in my old age – very active, or more appropriately, brimming with ‘difficult-to-manage’ mischief.

I know I have shared aspects of his growing up with you and mom, over the phone. But certain observations, a few realizations, I feel I can best articulate only through writing. It so happens that when you watch your child grow up, it’s almost like looking into a mirror and seeing your own childhood. In a way, it’s an access to insights about what I might have been when I was a child and what as a parent, you would have done (leaving aside photographs) – things that I, in all realistic possibility don’t have an inkling about.

What I want to share with you is the emotional side of bringing up and being with one’s child, after having been one, to one’s parents. Aryan brings inside me a gush of feelings – love, concern, responsibility, pride and sometimes, fear.

It’s surprising as to how a fresh soul can breeze in so much of happiness into one’s life. From the day Aryan was born, I have watched every act of his, as one of divine nature and worthy of all human awe. Ah, what could be more fulfilling than watching your child toddle, seeing his teeth grow, throwing all those fond admonitions for getting his shirt dirty, or for fussing over a glass of milk or for sucking his thumb? I remember you telling me how mom used to scare me that she would tie a cockroach to my finger if I ever sucked it again. May be, it’s time for me, to use those silly tricks again and feel foolishly superior to a child, who knows no fear. Dad, didn’t you feel this way too?

I tremble with pride when he cites nursery rhymes with half audible words and syllables that are yet to find their way to perfection through that sweet tongue. In child talk lies the core of innocence and I wish I could trap that and keep it with me forever. It’s something that experience has eroded off my being and I helplessly realize, my son would be subjected to the same fate.

I feel responsible for his life and sometimes as Akash puts it, get over protective and fussy. Can’t help it, can I? It’s that being a mother, I feel insecure when the child is away from my vicinity, slowly leading to fear. When he holds my hand, I feel overjoyed and overwhelmingly safe. As your child, didn’t I redefine the outlines of your life? May be I did, from what I am learning now.

My son teaches me so many things that I ironically have forgotten; the beauty of simplicity, the power of an inquisitive mind, for example. May be as a child, I had taught you similar things – what you taught your parents and had forgotten. Suddenly, your daughter starts teaching the same things all over again! We teach lessons, to forget them, only to learn them again. Vicious cycle?

It all seems so similar and it’s just that I was a daughter to you whereas Aryan is a son to me. But, we hand down those emotions, those tricks. And those childish pranks run down unstoppably, generation after generation. The phases that we observe and admire are undoubtedly the same through years. May be you used a cassette recorder to tape my rhymes and childish chatter. But today, I do it through my digital camera and my mobile phone. There are things that do not change and there are some that change.

I am led to believe that a chain of changes dominates every generation and at the same time, there are things that are handed down to children – such is life, isn’t it? For all that there is, we have so much to learn and ponder about!

We’ll indeed talk more on anything remotely possible, in the days to come. Do write back to me.

Love to mom and messy darling doggy, Bruno!

Lots of affection,

PS: Dad, I miss your cake and your hug. Wish me Happy Birthday!
- Sumi

Thursday, July 13, 2006

United we stand!

More than a hundred lives lost and over a three hundred injured. Of what worth is all this immense loss, I understand not. Why target the innocent common man? Where is all this leading to? When will peace return to this land?

Bombay. What I share with the bubbling city is a long time love affair. The terror attacks that wrecked havoc in the city, by targeting the lifeline of Bombay, have left me feeling empty and wanting to share my spirit to fight, though I don’t stay there anymore.

A part of humanity wants to instill terror, while another goes about its business undaunted and the city wakes up to live the next day as normal as ever.

What's more. It's high time some relevant action is taken on this front. Meanwhile, the strength of unity is what can help us now. Overcoming differences and joining hands is the need of the hour and Bombay set a perfect example of this spirit yesterday.

I remember how we fought the July 26th floods last year and like I was mesmerized by some supreme force, I got back to office the very next day. I am sure the same calm would have returned over the skyline at the Marine Drive, even today.

Salaam Bombay! Your spirit shall rule over every other evil force that wants to purge the courage out of you! May the kith and kin of those who lost their lives, find themselves even stronger and may those who caused it, tremble with shame for the gruesome act they committed!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Weekend delights..:)

May I have the lovely pleasure of introducing to you, the delight that tickled my taste buds over the weekend?

Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together to welcome,

The Sizzling Brownie!!!!! :)..:)

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Charming yellows, soothing greens, smart reds, earthy brown, pale purple, hazy blue, icy silver – gorgeous, glamorous, picture perfect, every year. I watch the twenty seventh spring of my life, this time, a little early. I, Scarlet Wadsworth, let myself loose as the wind pulls me, swirls and rolls me down the memory lane.

When did I smell the hint of my first spring on earth? It was when Sally, my caretaker took me down the slopes near my home, and I caught the sweet scent of spring and received the first shower of dew. Then on, I have come a long way, may be far, far away from the novelty of a new born.

Isn’t it fascinating? The way we all grow up; so many changes manifesting themselves in our physical form and the nature of our being. That, what once seemed meaningful and perfectly valid becomes the ground stone of absurdity; that innocence, turns to be a paradigm so distant, and next to impossible, that we struggle to realign our focus to what we once were?

Pouring over a cup of hot chocolate, landing up with sticky fingers, sticky lips, standing in those long twirling lines in the school, waiting for a chance – to pick up a library book or to get your notebook signed, or maybe for a drill, or may be just to render a prayer with due reverence and hear boring speeches with undue disrespect. Memories – how they rustle like the falling leaves of autumn!

And what about those merry go rounds with Agnes Anderson, Hilda Osborne, Rachel Larson and Matilda Merryweather during school days at Southampton? Would I care to do that today? Come on, I just can’t afford to make a fool of myself, Can I? That’s what I think - openly. Secretly though, I wish I could call all of them to my guest room sometime and do it all over again!

Deals used to be struck those days. Rachel and I would exchange our pencils and pencil cases. Hilda would let me have her doll for a week’s time and I would give her my (much eyed) kitchen set, but mind you, only for a week. Deals often led to complaints, teaming up and pesky fights. And those were followed by courageous reconciliations, ironically through deals struck again, only different ones this time.

As children, I think we asked interesting questions, enthusiastically pondered for answers and surprised elders, out of pure naiveté. Momma, how did I come into this world? May be Momma said, from me. And then she would have gone on to say, God made you and sent you to this world, through me.
“Really, But, where did God come from?”
Silence. Period.

Today, I have changed, in so many ways. I have grown up. Yes, I have. I no longer let out a shrill cry of joy at the look of a box of toffees. I don’t sink my teeth into a pastry, unmindful of cream smeared all around my mouth and falling onto my dress. I don’t fascinate wearing all those jazzy pink ribbons and laced hair clips that I had once held with so much adoration. I live, carefully treading along the boundaries defined by the society, the world, people. I no longer ask the right questions. Even if I did, I don’t bother to struggle enough to get answers.

I bother. Oh hell, yes, I do. I care for what others would think of me. I care for not messing up.

Time changes one or one changes with Time. May be you realize that or you don’t. Years back I was a kid who ran back home after I lost something as small as my school badge or snapped up my watch strap accidentally, out of fear and agony. Today, I can’t even think of doing all that again.

What’s all that? A part of the package called ‘growing up’?