Might sound like a cliche’ but sometimes all you need is God. Received a forward from the Gaddi Nasheen, of the Dargah, informing me that the Urs is taking place, from tomorrow and all the provisions are in place, the guidelines related to the ongoing pandemic are being followed. I may be impulsive enough to go for the shoot but I’m not silly enough, to not check how safe it will be.

So, of course I went to check out the place today, to prepare for tomorrow. As I was leaving, my help Bhaskarji, looked at me very suspiciously. ‘ Didi, aap jahan jaa rahee ho wah par woh ladka hoga? ‘ ‘ Kaunsa ladka?’ I asked him impatiently, as I was getting late. ‘ Jisko itni bari hum raat ko TV pe dekhte hein!’ My face turned crimson. So the ladka in question, is this boy I’ve had a crush on, for a year, now. Someone you just see on a YouTube video and find fascinating na, like I have a gigantic crush on Ravish Kumar, something like that. I never realised Bhaskarji, will put two and two together just because he heard me asking my father the other day, ‘isn’t he so cute?’ and make it forty. He tells me so the person in question, is Muslim and you’re going to going to a Dargah, that’s why I thought. I should learn to keep my gab shut. As if travelling, to Kashmir and Pushkar was not bad enough, with people wondering who I’m meeting there. Anyhow, it’s when the love life, is non existent, there are plenty of stories that do the round.

So back to God- to get anyone to wear a mask is difficult. But to get kids to wear them, I realised today, impossible. Plus, since I have become this round ball, children because of my height and size, assume I’m their age. So they like to come near me, pull my cheeks, hug me. For the first time, I realised today, It’s so difficult to shoot a kid and not let them touch you. I don’t think shooting is going to be very easy or safe or smart on my part. But like my favourite lines go, ‘apne aage na peeche, na koi uppar neeche….’ or like dad says, ‘ Sheikh apni, apni dekh!’ I think, I’ll just distribute the masks I’ve bought to give away, there only.

Anyhow, if you are hurting, lost or like me scattered in the brain and the heart, listening to some live qawwali at this particular Dargah, of Khwaja Kaki, might give you some relief. It felt like an out of body experience, so overwhelming, a stream of tears just flowing into my mask, while I was clapping and singing with the qawwals. Since, there were hardly any people there, it felt like sitting at home, in Ibadat and unlike the Nizammudin Dargah, which sends a shiver down my spine, each time I visit, which is only and always for work, this one has a brilliant energy. I think I’ll get some sleep today. But for now, if you have people who care about your well being, I would advice you to stay away.




You popped up on fb wall, early in the morning. Your most loved picture from 2016, the platform reminded me. It would have been nice, if I would have posted all our pictures together, every week, I would get a reminder. That would have been sweet but each time, I posted a picture, you would fall ill. Then like an 80 year old woman, I would stand over you, read some Islamic prayer, ‘I seek refuge from bad vibes’. How much you would yell at me for being so superstitious? The argument would with, ‘Am I your baby or are you my baby?’ and you in the cutest way, anyone can reply would say, ‘ I’m your baby!’

Baby reminds me, your original Mother Hen, your sister is missing you, lots. She saw my DP, in the morning and sent a message that if you were alive, she would have asked you to grow up. So, much for wishful thinking. That’s why we liked them young, we never want to grow up! The classic Peter Pan syndrome.

Though, we hardly speak there’s a part of me, that feels terrible for her. This much loss, no one should have to suffer. One after the other, watching people die. Loosing Dustu and you, has shaken me to the core, imagine going through this, repeatedly. Uff, Khudda Reham kare sab ke dilo pe. It’s a pity, things ended the way they did between us. There should have been a natural transference of feelings, which usually happens, in such cases. But in our case, your loss has just driven a terrible wedge. Time heals everything, they say. Here’s hoping! I guess, with time my anger also, will transform into all that I keep avoiding feeling and I’ll stop being angry, with everyone including, myself. But maturity level to hamara, kamaal ka he, so you never know.

Anyway, I’ve been unable to sleep for days, now. Something, is really bothering me, I just can’t put my finger on it. You have any clue? Something you can see from your vantage point? I just want to hold you so tight and sleep right now. How I wish, I could hear the words, ‘ Hai, hai chipkoo!’again.