Piece of my heart

Dear Love,

Years pass by…everything changes but nothing really does. Though, each time I find you slipping away from my memory, I touch my chin and there you are, going ‘chi chi’ as if I’m a toddler needing to be amused.

I hardly pass by the cremation ground these days. …I’m not supposed to (docs orders, to let all four of you go). You of course are the hardest to stop clinging to, of all those who occupy my heart. The one person I loved without the fear of loosing, who looked at me as if I was the queen of it all, my confidant and most importantly the bridge between me and the rest of the world. How well you navigated through this world- calmly and always detached from the drama around us! ‘Why do you care? Just stop reacting. Iss jungli suar ke gusse ko control kar!’ By the way calling someone a wild boar, is highly disrespectful! You would be amazed at the way I would spiral out of control and I was confused by your ability to sleep through it all.

I miss you more than usual these days. When I’m sad I want to see you pretty face but when I’m saner or happier, I want to see it more. The shrink said to me the other day, ‘ you’re making progress…you want to bring someone to meet me, so we can plan, the days when you struggle?’ ‘ The only person who would have understood is dead and the rest are trying to convince me this is bullshit. So no thanks!’ Remember the last year of your life, you got help from M. We were both a little frailer than most, I guess.

I was sitting in a cafe, in Kashmir a few weeks ago. As I looked out of the window at the Dal, sipping my coffee in this quaint place, I recalled how your friend SG, would pull your leg. ‘Diya at forty will be reading a book and sipping coffee by herself in Ladakh and Dusty will call her, ‘ Diyu my kids are troubling me, come and scold them!’ and she’ll rush back!’ Forty two love, all alone, sipping coffee by herself but you’re not there to fight for. These day, one fights for oneself though. It took them a while to figure out, this one is programmed a little different. ‘ This is bad for your mental well being. Do it so you can sleep well…do it for this that and the other.’ Then they said ‘babies’ and I said bring it on. I wish I could make a few like you but considering my luck and our genes, I shouldn’t take that chance. Imagine, if they turn out to be like me, freaking horror show…no…no..no!

Over lunch a couple of weeks ago, a friend was talking about how men are and I said the men in our house weren’t dominating. ‘ Maybe your brother was a little docile because you’re like this. He must have been giving you space to be yourself!’, I guess, he was trying to make sense of my aggression. ‘ I wasn’t always like this!’ is all I could say. You weren’t there to tell him how I was or how we were as kids, growing up the way we did. Totally different and yet connected, almost completing one another. You -more in touch with your feminine side, mostly in the company of women, peaceful, practical and level headed. Me-with my high testosterone levels, in love with high speeds, chase and drama, perpetually getting into trouble with the parents, hating the whole world and it’s mother other than you (and whichever man I was involved with at the time). Now, when I look back, not only was I fiercely protective but almost territorial about you. Sometimes, I wonder, is loosing you to death more painful or would loosing you to life have been more difficult for me?

Myths Regarding Mental Health


Though we have someone like Deepika Padukone, trying to create awareness about mental health, the stigma around it is terrible. I saw an interview where she admitted, ‘ I was on set, working and no one knew what was going on!’ I’ve had people, try to convince a person (me) who has innumerable cut marks on the body, whose stomach has been pumped for overdosing on pills twice before she even hit eighteen and who goes days at a time, not getting out of bed and still struggles with masochistic tendencies that ‘psychologists’ are just trying to swindle my money and that’s how the ‘spiritually inclined take advantage of weak people such as myself’ and ‘other people have bigger problems but they don’t succumb’. Oh yeah, this is a classic, ‘ if you remain busy, you won’t have the time to think negative thoughts’ and ‘this is what happens when you’re an atheist!’. Please watch this. Don’t send it to the ignorant souls surrounding you because your well being is probably not on their mind. But do seek help.

After struggling for decades with my condition, mostly denying it in order to remain ‘sane’, it’s only now that I realize, accepting is the best way to deal with it. One’s benefitted a great deal from therapy over the past six months…the only reason I don’t write about it or share anything about it anymore is due to the terrible push back, scrutiny and criticism, my seeking help has gotten me from ( most of my) friends and family, who read about it on this platform. I hope you have support and even if you don’t there are loads of strangers out there who will help you…as long as you’re willing to help yourself. Godspeed.


So one’s been cooped in my office in the factory since Saturday. Sick as a dog…the test results were negative but sick nevertheless, with fever, a headache and a soar throat. Started shivering during the night shift and didn’t go home. Since one is the only person I know off, whose only taken a single shot, I’m told one needs to be extra careful. Of course, these days one always keeps medicines around, so recovering steadily.

Like the way, one is perpetually turned on since one’s hit forty ( hormones I guess), same way one seems to be perpetually high on the idea of love these days. Mere dimaag mein jo blockbuster film chalti he na, Sallu bhai’s 300 crore film would look like a SatyaJit Ray in comparison. Why do you think I’m so bored by the rest of the world? I’m like, not enough drama…go away dude. I’ll entertain myself! Just kidding. Come on man, bear with me. I could wake up a few people I know at half one and go, ‘what’s upppp?’ but I should start growing up a little. Teeny, tiny bit, let’s not overshoot.

Kahan the hum? Hai ishq! Kashmir ki jab bhi hava lagti he, my mind starts floating on cloud nine, not that it ever walks on the surface of this earth…in the realm of reality. But somehow it stays in lah lah land longer. Then Satte pe satta plays on the tele and Ali Bachchan is serenading Hema Malini with ‘Dilbar mere!’ and all the teenage romantic cells in my body get charged. Hai, I always want to be him in the film, i’ve never imagined myself as the babe whose being serenaded. What is this bakvas crap, women are told, ‘ be with someone who loves you more than you love him!’ Wow, so that when they stop loving you, everything is over? Be with someone you love more, then most of how it shapes up is your decision. My mum loved my Dad more than he could have ever loved her, someday, my babies will say, ‘ mum got on a tempo and got dad! Not the other way around!’ The way I tell people, ‘my mum made my father elope…she was all of four feet six inches but she was the alpha.’

So much for inna, meena, deeka, alpha, beta, theta…I’m not drunk! Sick and a little homesick, I guess….I miss Kashmir….always but a little more tonight….

Happy New Year

The year of learnings passed by and somehow miraculously by God’s grace and the support of a few friends and loads of strangers, one managed to survive. One seems to have lost a lot but as the year ended one realized, one had gained as much. One learned lovely lessons about self love, care and worth and one gained a perspective that was beyond just one own’s self interest. One has much to learn about oneself and the world but by oneself, when you’re in the deep end you have two choices- sink or swim. Turns out I ain’t ready to sink, just about yet.

Of course the various therapies helped, in some way or the other but more than that Kashmir grounds one more than anything else. If you are an indulgent, depressive, privileged brat like myself one trip to Kashmir, gives you a reality check. Fatak se thapad and one’s dragged out of the hole one tends to fall into. Then of course, Jordan Peterson has also slapped the melancholy straight out of me. So, one’s rearing to go! Looking forward to what this year will bring.

One of the wisest lessons one learnt was when you feel like shit, try to make someone else feel better and that works like magic. That’s what made New Year’s Eve such a memorable night. Met a few people during the week but didn’t think, I wanted to be around anyone in particular on the last night of the year. Since, the workers at the factory are away from their families ( and almost as alone as I sometimes imagine myself to be) I thought I would throw a party for them, so I cooked them a meal. They were thrilled and how. The photographs they all kept clicking and the dancing on the street to Bhojpuri songs I will always remember but the most memorable part about the night was this-

This young lad lives close to the factory. For reasons one doesn’t want to disclose, people are rather nasty to him. He and I are now buddies, so I invited him, too. I think when he turned up in his red sweater and told me, that’s he’s informed his mum that he’s going for a party, till kingdom comes I think I’ll remember that look on his face. Ahh, that made New Year’s Eve-priceless! Shared a drink with Bhaskarji, chatted with a few friends and was off to bed.

The father was sleeping so. he missed out on the fun. ‘ Happy new year Dad! I hope you spend some time with your child this year!’ I teased him this morning. ‘My child is a 42 year old woman not a six year old girl, who needs my time.’ Some things don’t change however many years pass by so I’m guessing we’ll continue to pull each other’s leg this year, as well.

One came to the factory to spend the weekend, at work but stepped out for an hour to celebrate the 1st day of the year, with the one person who entertains me the most- moi. A lovely meal at Swagat where a man sung- ‘iss shahar mein kiss se mile? Humse to chuti mehfale!’ made me think- one rarely is part of the mehfil but one has a good time, nevertheless.

Here’s hoping one continues to make the most of any situation, continues to enjoy one’s own company and becomes grateful for the people who are there. Not just the friends but the domestic help, who yells into the phone when I’m travelling- ‘ Davayee khai he ke nahin?’ and the worker, who makes me a cup of tea whenever he sees me weeping in a corner or the little boy who keeps waiting for me to show up and grins at me the way my brother would, eyes all lit up. There’s much to be thankful for. My Dad says, ‘ people are just trying to isolate us by gossiping about us incessantly!’ but I always tell him, ‘ people can ostracise you, they can try to bully you ( and fail) they can call up everyone you know, each and every person but no one can isolate you. That one does to one self because realistically there are a billion people, you can connect with, so that ain’t happening.’

Here’s to new connections, kinship and hope. This year is going to be ammmmmaaaaaziiing!