Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Tuesday, 29 December, 2009


My grandmother today strung tulsi leaves together for grandpa's pooja... slowly, poorly and dropping half the leaves all around.

But after weeks of battling multiple complications, after having seen death stark in her eyes so many times, after marathon hospital shifts and sleepless nights... its our big miracle.

The garland takes me back to No.1, Selliamman Koil Street... I am five again, and its time for grandmother's friday prayers.

Monday, 14 December, 2009

Maybe its time to let go

I have been such a useless granddaughter. wrapped in my work, jobs, friends, books. I must have learnt breathing exercises and got her to do it regularly. I must have made her walk. must have rubbed camphor and coconut oil more often. must have done accupressure. must have forced the garlic with milk. must have done more house work.

I must have learnt more about her favourite topics and chatted more with her. I was there all the while and stayed useless. I will regret this all my life. And I deserve it. for I got so much love.

"leave me dear" were the words I heard last from her. that was yesterday evening. she is fading and I am helpless.

I have always vowed to be better after every hospital visit and failed miserably. I prayed hard for a miracle again. I prayed for apollo. apollo that will service her organs with mechanical precision. apollo that saved her from near death once. But yesterday what aunt said made sense. No more pain, no more risks. just peace.

Peace from the IVs pierced all over sprinkly veins. Peace that will smooth her brows. peace from that throbbing cancerous bubble in her throat. a throat narrowed by three surgeries. peace from the dozens of tablets painfully gulped down.

I cannot see her fighting those binds. I cannot see her with the pipe down her throat. her most dreaded fear.

What Uncle Sam said comes back. Accept and let go, only then can they move head. I love you Ammama. I love you. forgive me if you can.

Friday, 11 December, 2009

emergency room

The wail of a baby plucked for veins, the scent of surgical spirit, the nagging beeps of central monitors, punctual piercings for vital stats. A doc nods familiarly before he goes back to his book as all children in emergency decide to cry at once. tender veins are found for IVs and fluids gush down them.

I describe our neighbours to grandmum, hoping her eyes stay would alert for a few seconds more. But the drugs take over immediately. A young man with a fractured limb gallantly gives his bed to a delirious 6-month-old. Dengue mosquitoes in the city have been baying for babies.

Few nurses, fewer beds, the doc, sacred ash on forehead, resolutely thumbs his book. Tempers fray, sparks fly, mothers weep, and grandmum coughs up phlegm. the reports finally arrive. Doc surfaces from book. He speaks to grandmum, attempts telugu humour at twilight. Is it always like this, I ask. Only worse, he grins.

Making demigods of docs doesn't seem unfair anymore.


My nephew is a slothbear