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I sought pardon,

For my sins,

In lives gone by,

And this existence.

I found refuge,

In temples, mosques,

Monasteries and churches.

In mountains and caves,

In rainforests in the heart of darkness.

Rituals and ceremonies,

To appease the higher power,

Whichever name you choose to ascribe.

The tests and struggles that everyone faces!

Either makes them stronger or breaks them down.

Every single time when I hit trough bottom.

I fought, for I believed, I had a chance.

An obligation to survive, because I was accountable to my mother.

To make her world and life as happy as possible.

Today, as I observe her in a drug-induced stupor.

We fight ailments known and unknown.

I am powerless to help her,

All I can do is to take her to hospitals.

Follow medication and diets as prescribed.

Still there is no clear solution.

No proper answers, the battle,

For a good night’s sleep,

Was lost long ago!

I keep my eyes shut tight.

But the ears remain steady,

Waiting for the slightest moan or cry.

I don’t know what I have turned into.

A robot who mechanically,

Continues to go about his chores.

My employers have been patient.

Helping in anyway possible.

Friends, a handful, call or message.

Fragments of a family scattered around the world.

A few good souls still keep in touch.

What lies next? I don’t know,

The charade of positivity,

Of hope and good things,

All remain mere masks.

I hope I find answers.

I hope things change, for the better.

I have just one reason left,

To continue this struggle.

As that reason too, disintegrates,

Bit-by-bit, cell-by-cell.

The tunnel of darkness,

Seems to beckon me.

If tomorrow comes.

We shall meet again.

Sleep

There she lies on the bed,
The gentle rhythmic,
Breathing indicates that she’s fine.
I wonder, when was the last time,
That I slept without nightmares,
That keep plaguing me?

At times, there’s a sustained pause.
She mutters incoherently,
In the drug-induced sleep.
I wake up and sit,
For a while,
And then again lie down.
Nothing lasts forever!
Good or bad – we move on!

Blessed are those,
Who can fall asleep,
Without a pill,
Without a worry,
Without nightmares plaguing them.
Another sunrise, another battle,
In this city of fire,
In the hope of a better tomorrow,
We forge on….

Thoughts on Mother’s Day

My timeline on Facebook is flooded with sentimental posts, pictures and quotes all celebrating motherhood. How does one define one’s relationship with one’s biological mother, or the mother who adopts us, or teachers who become mothers and guide us? It is very difficult to define this bond.

When a lady bears you in her womb, goes through hell to deliver you bearing a whole lot of pain; a part of her dies to bring you into this world. That umbilical cord that binds you to your mother is a special bond! In times gone by when adventures on the high seas and travelling by ship was the only way to discover new lands, umbilical cords were coveted among sailors as a lucky charm to keep them safe. Sailors believed that the cord would keep them safe, the cord was fashioned into a charm or amulet and worn by sailors!

There are some close people whom I know who share an angry relationship with their respective mothers, it is out of distrust and misunderstandings that snowballed into a rift boosted by the egos of the parties involved! I have had the task of setting alight the funeral pyres of distant cousins and family friends as the son/daughter in question was stuck abroad and could not make it to India in time for the last rites. I have had people breaking down to me over Skype and on the phone; cursing the very moment they chose to go abroad! I had a friend who said, “Mahesh amma oda pavizha-kallu padicha mookuthi irukkum da, adha mattum yaenakki anuppi vei da! I want it to keep reminding me that I let her down!” Incidents like these are many! There was the best friend of a time gone by who completely ended up a “penn-koandhan” toeing every line his wife said and ditched his mother in an old-age home; she died broken-hearted! The idiot just came and completed the last rites; when he lit her pyre that’s when he broke down completely! “Matchaan, thappu panitaen da, paeriya thappu panitaen, Meena pinnadi sithi ipidi vitutatenae yaen Amma va! Paava manippaey illai da yaenakku!”

It becomes a worry for me if my mother fails to answer the phone! Morning once I reach office, I call and confirm she is fine, evening once I step out of office I call her again. There have been times when she would be in a drug-induced sleep and would not answer the call, I would worry a hundred different things and keep calling every ten minutes till she would reply.

I have let go of many opportunities for her. There have been numerous wedding proposals that have come through! Without batting an eye-lid the girl’s parents would ask – “Amma va vittu thanni kuduthanam varanam thambi!” I would say – “Nadakaratha sollungo, ponnu ku vaera maapalai a paarungo saar!” Friendships that could have blossomed into something more concrete and and an actual love story; got cut short! Opportunities to go abroad have been sacrificed!

When an entire clan stood against us, asking us to give one more chance at redemption (after umpteen earlier chances), I firmly put my foot down and was in a way black-listed by a whole group of “well-meaning relatives”. We battle, every day, within and without, illnesses, medicines, food, cooking, choice of fruits to be offered to the Lord for prayers!

We battle every day with each other and others.. life goes on!

One wonders if it was all worth it??

All I want to tell you readers out there is – “Some battles are worth it and some battles are not worth it!” Don’t end up doing something that you will regret all your life. One day you will have to set your closest ones free! So cherish this moment with them!

Tomorrow may not come….

 

Dear Uncle Robbie

Dear Uncle Robbie,
You are no longer,
With us in person,
But you shall always,
Remain in our hearts,
In our minds and thoughts.

Be it a man dressing up,
As a middle-aged lady,
Trying to save his marriage,
From falling apart.

An English teacher inspiring,
A room full of students.
Inspiring a generation of kids,
To puruse Literature.

The radio jockey in Vietnam,
Cheering up soldiers,
With witty one-liners,
Ruffling up feathers,
And raising laughter.

So many roles,
So many characters,
So many smiles,
All reduced to tears!

Wherever you are now,
I am sure you are,
Safer and happier,
And are no longer,
A tormented soul.

Dear Uncle Robbie,
Our prayers are there,
In support and grace,
For your family and friends.

Finally you have been set FREE!
Take care my captain,
For I know,
Perhaps this too is a role,
That you are playing out.
Oh Captain! My dearest Captain!

Lines from “Dead Poets Society’
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

“We’re not laughing at you – we’re laughing near you.”

“There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.”

A genius who was too talented, a manic energy that radiated from him, a life full of worries and battles with himself, his inner demons and alcohol. Finally the mind caved in and he chose to end his life. Wherever he is I hope he has found solace. R.I.P. Robin Williams!

A Vision of Mother Mary

Ever since I can remember, I have had dreams when I sleep. Some have been pleasant, many have been nightmares and some well just plain unexplainable.

Last Saturday on May 24, I returned home quite late and after a very late dinner I fell asleep at about 11:30 PM in the night. I don’t know what happened but I had a beautiful dream. I was walking in a forest-like area and I came to a small stream, the stream had sparkling clear water. As I was thirsty, I went to the stream and cupped some water in my hands and drank from the stream. I was very tired and I decided to rest. I rested under a tree, looking at the stream. Suddenly on the other bank of the stream I saw a benevolent lady in a white gown-like dress with a blue scarf-like wrap on her shoulders and she was smiling at me. This is when I woke up!

I did not understand this on Sunday morning and dismissed the dream! I had this dream again on Sunday night. On Monday, on reaching office, I ran some key-word searches on dreams and visions of old benevolent women. What I found indeed surprised me and as I dug deeper and deeper; I think I really saw Mother Mary in my dream. The dream repeated on Monday night as well and I also wrote a short story with Mother Mary’s benevolence and miracle as the central theme!

By birth and by my practicing faith I am an orthodox Hindu Brahmin, but I visit all centres of religion be it a mosque, a church or a monastery and have picked the best nuggets from all major books of various religions.

Can any of my readers please guide me on what this dream and vision means?

I look forward to your valuable thoughts!