Monday, January 5, 2015

विड्याचे पान

एका संध्याकाळी Indian restaurant मधून विडा विकत घेतला आणि घरी येउन fridge मधे ठेवून दिला. दोन तीन दिवस तिथे फिरकले पण नाही. तिसऱ्या दिवशी अचानक नजर गेली आणि चटकन हातात घेतला. चंदेरी foil मध्ये लपेटलेला तो विडा मी नाकाजवळ नेला आणि एक दीर्घ श्वास घेतला. तो सुगंध घेतला  आणि नजरे समोरून तीन चेहरे सरकन तरळून गेले. माझे तीन मामा . तीन तीन मामा होते माला . माझी आई त्यांची लाडकी बहिण. खरोखरच लाडकी. मामा लोकांना पान खायला आवडायचं .

तीनही मामा म्हणजे मूर्तिमंत प्रेम. लाड कसे करायचे हे कोणी त्यांच्या कडून शिकवे. किती करायचे त्याला काहीही मर्यादा नव्हती कधिच. काही लोकांना आठवल कि कश्या काही भावना जागृत होतात तसे मामा आठवले कि उब वाटते. प्रेमळ लाघवी बोलणे आठवते. मिठास …. मिठास म्हणतात त्याला … नसानसात इतके प्रेम कि डोळ्यातून पण तेच दिसायचे. आम्हा भाचे लोकांना ते लाडाची नावे ठेवायचे. लाडाची नावे आणि प्रेम हे इतक डोक्यात जावून बसलं न लहानपणी कि कुणी जर लाडच नाव ठेवलं नाही तर प्रेमच नाही असच equation बसलं घर करून मनात… गम्मत असते न …. शब्द कित्ती महत्त्वाचे असतात . मामा लोकांनी इतके लाडावले कि आम्ही म्हणजे जणू प्रेमाच्या पाकात मुरलेले गुलाब जाम झालो…

दिवाळी ची सुट्टी सुरु झाली कि आई ला उत्साह यायचा. भाउ बिजेच्या दिवशी भल्या पहाटे उठून ती बासुंदी चा घाट घालायची . तीनही मामांना बासुंदी प्रिय. अर्थात इतक्या गोड माणसांना आणखीन काय आवडणार म्हणा … तिघे जेव्हा मनसोक्त बासुंदी प्यायचे तेव्हा आईच्या चेहऱ्यावरचा आनंद ओसंडून वाहायचा जणू . सुंदर माणसे आणि तितकेच सुंदर नाते … छोट्या गोष्टी पण तितकेच मोठे प्रेम …

जेव्हा एकेका मामला गमावलं  तेव्हा बालपणाला हळूहळू रामराम म्हटलं … एक अतुट नात , एक अद्वैत प्रेम , अनेक प्रेमळ सव्वाद , खूप काही राहिलेल्या अपूर्ण गोष्टी एका गाठोड्यात बांधून मनाच्या कोपऱ्यात ठेउन दिल्या… त्या सगळ्या ह्या एका विड्याच्या पानामुळे धुवाधार पावसागत कोसळून गेल्या … आणि राहिला फक्त एक सुगंध ….

Friday, January 2, 2015

Halloween in January

New Jersey..
Jan 2nd
2:14 A.M
Note: EnD whispers when room is dark. Even if it means she has to speak same sentence 10 times..

EnD: Maaaami, I need to go to the restroom...
EsD: {No kid, you need to wait until you see light outside} go..

few seconds later..
EnD re-appears in the bedroom (please multiple the horror by at least 10 times since....remember?? EnD whispers when the room is dark even if it means she has to speak the same sentense 10 times...)

EsD: what happened??
EnD: maaami...
EsD: Yes???
EnD: maaami, I need to tell you something...


Note2: Its 2 AM and each sentence can begin with "I need to tell you something" and then a pause
Note3: remember...she whispers..remember.


EsD: what is it??
EnD: maaaaaami....remember, the light switch?? the one we had in the bathroom??
EsD: Yes
EnD: maaaaami, I need to tell you something..
EsD: what??
EnD: The light switch in the bathroom is not there..maaaami..the light switch is gone..

EsD: {really?? heeeee heeeeee..}

Note4: You can laugh at almost-six-year old only when it is dark because apparently some almost-six-year-olds from NJ with curly hair and cute button nose have a bad temper when you smile at something like this..
Note5: EsD is big fan of Harry Potter and she can hear Harry Potter music almost instantaneously when situation like this arises.

So, Hermoine Dixit wore a big black hat and had a magic wand in her hand and walked with EnD in dark and entered the restroom and said "Vingardium Leviosa!!!!!!!!!!!" and voila...the light switch magically re-appeared..

Hugs and kissess..hugs and kisses...from EnD to EsD...

Thank you dear God for special magical powers and almost six-year-olds and almost nine-year-olds ..




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa...I need you to be real...

I was on my way back from the gym walking through an underground passage. It was just 2 days shy of Christmas and NYC was glowing. People walking with co-workers happily sharing stories of their plans on how to spend holidays with family was all I could see and hear until I spotted a man. He was sitting near the door of a pharmacy store. His son - I assumed - was on his lap. He had a board next to him "For the love of god, please help me". For a person who has commuted to NYC for over 10 years, this sight is not unusual.

I stopped for a second and looked at his son's face. He was wearing a jacket and a cap and his eyes were closed. The man was holding him with both hands and trying to not disturb his sleep. His eyes looked full of love for his son.

I went back to my office. Hundreds of advertisements of toys, clothes and food flashed around in front of my eyes. I walked back speedily as if I wanted to run away from these thoughts. necklaces, rings, balls, apple pie, Santa, elves, elf of the shelf, Mrs. Clause, temperature below freezing, family get together, parties, drinks, food, dance, drinking, smoking, kids, accidents, babies, smiles, tears all circled around me until I reached my desk. I frantically searched my wallet and found 15 dollars. I grabbed all the chocolates I had and ran back to the elevator. Never help a person who is begging for money, they say. You can help them once and then what will happen next? What will happen next, Sangeeta? I do not know. Do you? The elevator was on the lobby level and I had to get out. What if this guy goes somewhere else and I can't find him? I need to run because I need to talk to him. I need to talk to him and look into his eyes. I ran down the escalator to the concourse level. Is Santa real? Jay asked me. What do you think, Jay? I asked him. I don't know mommy..He said. What is real is this. What is real is people are dying, starving, shivering, crying and people are laughing, eating, drinking, driving when drunk. What is real is people like me who want to help are not helping somehow. I spotted him again. There was some money in the bag next to him now. some one dollar bills, some change. I reached close to him and sat down on the ground. My nose was all red and voice shivered as I said hi to him. Is this your son? I asked. Yes, he said. How old is he? I asked. Four, he said. I looked at his face and then I looked at his son's face and reached out my hand to shake hand with him. How is he feeling? I asked. He is fine. He said. I handed him over 15 dollars and chocolates. Thank you and may god bless you, he said. Please take care, I said. We both smiled at each other and I left.

Santa, this Christmas, I want you to be real and explain me what gift is. Santa, this Christmas, I want you to guide me in finding out how am I a gift to others in this world..Santa, this year, I want your help to find out how can I make a difference in someone else's life...Santa, I need you to be real..

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Basmati Developer

One day long long ago yesterday when I was far far away from home 2 minutes into my driving, the phone rang and it was Nina on the other side.

N: We aaa oooo?
M: what?
N: we aaa oooo?
M: what?
N: aa nee ooo
M: heh??
N: aaaaa neeeeee ooooooooooooooo

At first I thought my gifted child is beginning to deliver some message from a parallel universe and it was..She introduced me to Shira. Shira  is a highly expressive responsive open source language created by Nina. Shira is a highly vagabond-ish and attitude-ish language with severe need of an interpreter. So I came with up with the name of interpreter - Basmati. The interpreter will come next. But name is most important thing these days. You see the theme going on here, don't you? So Shira can be vaguely interpreted by Basmati right now as follows-

1> The key words in Shira are never spoken fully. For example - need as neee, where as we
2> The key words in Shira are sometimes not spoken at all. It's entirely interpreter's job to figure that out and Basmati is smart at that. for example:
3> The words should all flow together. For example:
heneeooo is He needs you. AaaaaneeeOOOooooo is I need you. Do you see the explosion of harmony going on there? Simply breathtaking!!
4> Shira ignores questions asked and can continue to give same answers in incresingly annoying tone of voice. For example:

aaa neee foooo ( I need food)
what's that Nina?
aaaaaaaaa [pause and eye roll] neeeeeeeeeeee fooooooooooo ( [woman], I need food)

5> sometimes in Shira one word or sentence can be heard as totally another word or sentence and it is left to listner to face the consequences. For example-

aa neeeeeeeeeeeee taaaaaaaa (I need that)
Who is Anita?
aaaaaaaaa neeeeeeeee taaaaaaaaaa (I need that)
you have a new friend called Anita??

6> Basmati needs help from smart brains as Shira gets more and more complex. So I call out to anyone who can demonstrate true courage to the daily scrum meeting at 12 AM.

PS: Nina is almost 18, and can speak better than her mom and dad and is in no need to speak Shira, but hey, it's Nina!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thodasa Forrest Gump ho jaye...

People like me get fed up with the routine almost hundred time during a given day. People who live with people like me give up on people like me..They sort of let them wander around and about and then go crazy. Have you noticed crazy people are always looking around..and since I am one of them, I can tell you for sure, they are looking around to see if they can spot someone like them..

On one of such routinely boring day when my crazy mind was tired of thinking nothing in particular, the phone rang and "N" on the other side asked me a question to participate in an event. My mind said to me "hey there Sango, thodasa forrest gump ho jaye??" and just like that I became part of the sensational dance group.

Sensational dance group is created by "R". As I got to meet her and the other ladies and later knew about this name, I thought sensational is an understatement. A bunch of souls full of life are set out to find happiness in dancing here. It's a place where crazy is normal. Crazy is wonderful. Crazy is wanted. So my type.

Here is an ode to my wonderful new friends whom I will admire for the rest of my life. Your tenacity and affection humbles me....


Thodasa Neeti ho jaye
Eak pyarasa smile diya jaye
apne eak friend ke liye
thodasa unresonable hi ho jaye..

Thodasa Rashmi ho jaye
Eak sundar sa dance bhithaya jaye
raat ke andhere me
eak lamba chauda email hi kuon na likha jaye..

Thodasa sa Mugdha ho jaye
Photo me eak silly sa smile diya jaye
headache hai to koi baat nahi yaar
eak kadak chay hi piliyi jaye..

Thodasa Shalini ho jaye
Eak warm so hug diya jaye
hindi windi marathi warathi kya yaar
thodisi pyaar ki bhasha hi boli jaye..

Thodasa Minal ho jaye
bahut sara skype bhi ho jaye
steps weps kya cheej hai yaar
life hi eak beautiful dance ho jaye..

Thodasa Sangeeta ho jaye
eak apna vacation bhi ho jaye
aate hi yaaro vapas
thodasa practice bhi ho jaye..

Thodasa Archana ho jaye
aur understudy bana jaye
eak raat ko achanak
main role bhi accept kiya jaye..

oye thodasa rumani ho jaye
aur thoda crazy ho jaye
kaal kisne dekha yaaro
aaj to thoda sensational ho jaye...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life happens here...



NYC intersections are more like classrooms....a maze..everything and nothing all at once..I especially like the one right next to the port authority. 

It is huge. It is crowded and windy there. The signals are rattling and the life is bustling..As people reach the middle of the avenue or the street, they start guessing if there is a stop single or go signal or there is a flashing stop/go signal. Some speed up in anticipation and some slow down. For some, it does not really matter.

As people reach intersection, something magical starts happening. The intersection starts talking to people. It says, slow down.. It says..hey, slow down buddy. It says, make a choice..Some people speed up and make it to the other end. Others slow down and wait. There is something about that place when they wait. I can't exactly tell what it is..But when we wait, we suddenly start existing in our own world. Some take a sip of coffee. A mother carrying her little chubby son or daughter kisses him or her. A dad pushing a stroller looks at his son or daughter lovingly and sighs. Two people in love hold their arms and pull each other a little closer and whisper “I love you”s… A young man listening to some nice song starts dancing. Some look at the billboards and give a silly smile..ummm...life..life smells sweet there..life...life stands still there... until the signal starts beckoning us again, we make a little sweet spot for ourselves in this huge world and breathe..just breathe..

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mommy Brain

Since this planet is blessed for almost 40 years with my presence, I wonder that did I contribute and what I am supposed to be doing or contributing.

Flashback to long long ago...
Long long ago when some man (Yes!! man) had nothing and I mean NOTHING to do on his plate for months after months and years after years, one day he woke up and bam!!! He thought to himself..well may be I am supposed to think about - what am I doing here? and the philosophy was born..

Some people (like the one I live with) do not buy into all this C.R.A.P and they put their shoes on and put one foot in front of other and say "Hell with what I am supposed to do here..I am just doing to go do it.." But some people like me buy into the C.R.A.P and when they wake up in the middle of the night, they say to themselves..well..what am I supposed to do? Then when they are waiting for the bus, they say..well..what is my purpose of living?? then when they are looking at people in the meeting, they say..why was I brought into this world??
Is my purpose of living -
1> Pack three pairs of shoes for Nina so she can have a good day at school?
2> Keep extra water bottle for Jay because he is going on a field trip?
3> Provide no help to mom who is here to visit and ask her to bring me water?

You see..it's a boradway show everyday..I am the stage director..I am mostly working behind the scenes..I take care of lights, sound, dialogues, wardrobe. I prompt ..I dance as an extra when 2 kids are doing their main part..and when the show is over, and everyone is in the limelight, I say to myself..well?? Is the job well done?? And the answer is - The job is done for today. But could be done better may be tomorrow..

flashback to a week back..
A mom dropping her twins off at the bus stop for summer camp..She seems all happy and content and talking to me and suddenly all the colors on the face fade off..oh no..she was supposed to make her kids wear socks today because they are going roller skating..off she goes to get the socks and before she comes, the bus is gone with the kids in it..Her show was ruined..She ruined her show all by herself..She could see herself standing a few feet from her and say "You...missy..you totally messed up your kid's day today..You should be punished.."

When a mom goes to sleep, we should catch the things happening in her mind..It would be totally funny and scary. In fact why is the science not yet advanced so we can explore this yet? May be that is what I SHOULD be doing..

Anyways..so..back to mom's world when she appears to be sleeping..Here is what goes on in there-
I wish I had become an actress..software is so not for me..wait..isn't Nina supposed to have a show-and-tell about sports tomorrow? Show-and-tell tomorrow..show-and-tell tomorrow..Why can't I still try to become an actress? or a teacher? They say it's never too late..why is it always that they say "they say"? Who were they? Jay has to return library book..library book..library book..in case I miss a 7:26 I still have a 7:40 bus and then I can still make to the meeting tomorrow..summer camp admission..

and so on...and so forth...

Mommy brains are tough cookies. If I tell my brain this is all what I am supposed to do, may be half of the brain cells would agree just out of sympathy and other half would look straight at me and say "Really? think woman..think.." Isn't thinking brain's responsibility and not mine? Or has my brain out sourced thinking to some other agency that I need to get in touch with? I think mommy brain has pockets of cells which contradict with other bunch of cells in a weird way. Majority of them point out to you with enthusiasm that you are a bad mommy. Some group of cells there insists that they think by simply thinking you are a bad mommy, you are actually a good mommy. And some other bunch of cells indicate that you are observing this bad mommy and good mommy conversation between your brain cells and you actually know you are a good mommy, but you would rather prefer to be called a bad mommy anyways..

Do not worry of you do not get any of this, because, frankly, I don't get it either..but, oh well..