Friday, May 28, 2010


…We enter the chaotic world, the lobby; once again I leave her to wait patiently: ‘patience’ has become a way of life with us by now, and joins the long and crawling queue at the reception.
… we entry the restricted Oncology OPD. Jeet takes a vacant seat in the front row; strangely the rear rows are full, leaving the front one’s vacant. I with her papers, approach the OPD reception for registration.
I keep glancing back at her as the line moves forward; Jeet is looking straight ahead eyes unfocused, deep in her own apprehensions and worries; she gives me a wane smile as I approach.
I come and occupy the seat next to her and await our turn with Dr with whom I have already fixed an appointment on phone.
I look back and around at the sad spectacle: the affected toddlers in laps of desolate looking parents, the elderly in wheel-chairs with, disinterested paid, attendants and also fit looking young of both sexes men and women; fore lone and in no apparent hurry, patiently waiting their turn with glum continence, possibly trying to postpone the diagnosis or the treatment as long as possible.
There are no smiles on the faces of those around and very little talk, if at all, it is in whispers. A near silence is prevailing; a silence of a morgue
…I in lead with Jeet closely following enter the inner chamber and knock on the door of the cubical with the name plate of Dr....
How strange that once again I am going to trust and place the well being of one, who matters the most to me, in the hands of some one whom I am yet to face. The question, if I am taking the right decision, is still haunting me, even as we enter the doctor’s chamber.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010


Magic could not be repeated
The venue was the same,the company was good and as we came out after dinner , there was some breeze and half a moon in the sky, good byes were perfunctory, with little lingering: the magic though was missing

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Missing Magic

After a memorable evening of dinner, drinks and talk, in an expansive mood and a feeling of euphoria we came out of the Air Conditioned Pub of Noida Golf Club to suddenly find us in a different world.

A full moon in the sky, the emerald green freeways bathed pale, a pleasant mildly caressing cool breeze made us linger for a while longer, we had meet at the club to welcome Maliks, our common friends, on a short visit from USA, still talking of past with feelings dipped in nostalgia.

Earlier with the tables cleared, the Kulfies and Gulab-jamuns, savoured slowly, we had lingered at the table and later, with a feeling of bonhomie, at the car park, one hand on the car-door handle the other extended for a reluctant goodbye, unconsciously, trying to hold on to the magic of the evening a bit longer .

The moon and the cool breeze combine, unusual for the time and part of the world of Noida, brought back the magical memories of the legendary Malwa Nights: the vast landscape, lit by the full moon in the sky, stretching far towards the Bercaha lake, long back in time in Mhow and in the endearing company of Jeet, my late wife. Also evocative of similar nights of ‘The Dwars’ at Tezpur, the airfield area spread as far as eyes could see, suffused with the pale-white moon-light, the tall grass reeds swaying in the mild breeze with their silvery-white plumes shining bright, the high in the sky, full moon, of those winter nights was an ethereal sight: the sight, the peace and quiet of those special nights, though wove a sheer magic around one, provided no compensation for the pain and pangs of separation from the family far away in Dehradun.

I came home, parked the car, changed and came down once again to the park below. It was now past twelve , the full moon, and now high in the sky, was still bright as before, the breeze also blowing and the park suffused with the same evocative pale-white moon-light, alas, the magic that I had come in search of was missing and so was the company and the companion.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I was blessed with a thick head of hair, so thick it was that many times the, preceding the use of his other instruments of torture; the scissors, the clipper and the frightening cut throat of a razor, during the barber’s initial combing itself the comb would break in two,
Possibly the thick mop, so prominent in the photo that had preceded me to my future in- law’s had caught the eyes of my bride-to-be, for me to have passed muster.
Jeet also had a lovely main of hair, one of her major assets. However, both of us lost our hair, I progressively, she suddenly.
I got the telltale signal of what lay in future at a relatively young age: It was some times in Mhow that after the haircut, with the barber standing behind me holding a mirror reflecting his artistry; to my horror what do I see reflected in the front mirror but a patch of incipient baldness which grew and grew over time.
With its spread all over the egg, a stage came when I gingerly asked Jeet 'Shall I buy a wig? 'No' she said rather empathically ' I like you as you are.'
The ‘No’ not only acted as a balm to my bruised ego but also saved me a couple of hundred rupees and prevented me from living a life of guilt and deceit in hiding my baldness.
In her case the loss of hair was tragic, sudden and traumatic. Post her cancer operation she was prescribes a course of chemotherapy, a cure worse than the disease. The chemo, May or May not kill the virulent cancer cells but would definitely the healthy ones. And even before that would make the hair fall, which fell in bunches along with her unshed tears.
She, brave as ever, would tie a silk scarf on her now bald head and live life, valiantly, ignoring the prying eyes and the whisperings around.
Fortunately for her the hair grew thick and fast once the effect of the chemo wore off. She had her head of thick brown hair back, but I remain happy, completely oblivious, of my baldness as ever.

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